Atascadero News Magazine • #47 • May 2022

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Ad hoc committee created to discuss funding for ECHO and to further address homelessness in city

Board recog nized Paloma Creek

By High TEMPLETON — Three School for being a Templeton Unified School Model Conti Board (TUSD) trustees were nuation 12 and 13 in Santa Margarita. Contributed photo of the Spartan Race held on March handed letters notifying them Racers compete in one of the obstacle coursesHigh School PASO ROBLES — On of the intent to file for their By Margar- to pull it because of COVID,” SUPER with 25 obstacles took Tuesday, March 15, Paso Santa NNA inCHRISTIA recall from the Board. The After being postponed tan Race christiann The said Spartan’s Head of Media, place. There was also a 1-3k Robles City Council met for 12 and 13.MARKS ita on Marcha@atasc board meeting was held on in 2020, the obstacle aderone La Rosa-Stotz of kids race with smaller obsta- a regularly scheduled meeting. Racer De Christine race originally was to take shares Thursday, Mar. 10, in the Eagle a ATA They received an update from event took place in cles on both days. he participa ofD2020 and the 2020 Spartan wave SCA March place in Canyon board room. ERO Atasca tes in thesingle time that we Paso Robles Central Coast “Every County — Local racers, racers from all its North Spartan finally madedero Leah Penner handed TUSD Santa Margarita Unified Race last Distric Schoolover the United States, and come to an event it’s Community Energy, Paso amazing. weekend being shut appearancet after (AUSD President Nelson Yamagata, in Santa their ) met Margarit and Department, worldwide participate You get to see the community Robles Police forracers to initial COVID down dueregula a, running By CHRISTIANNA MARKS Clerk Mendi Swan, and After board meetinrly schedu being and a vineyard March 12 here. You get to kind of see; it’s a Caltrans quarterly report through ledin Spartan Races. Trustee Ted Dubost letters of lockdowns. g on Tuesda ned 2020, as a part March 15, the obstac postpo something that you can’t transportation update. of the course. in the 12kinjust every- y, racers competed “We set theatcourse le event 7 p.m.up, intent for their recall. During North County their Contribut following BEAST was held The El Camino Homeless coming Santa Marg really explain about p.m. Closed ed photo with 30 obstacles to go, and pretty SANTA MARGARITA — one was6 ready public comment, Penner read shut downuntil appeara Paloma Session aritawith 60 to in rganiz Once a Spartan Race after ation (ECHO) the event. or the 50K ULTRA due toyou before Creek much the day 8,000 racers from all over the was a letter to the Board: initial COVID being High downs. 12 racers for a request CONTINUED ON PAGE A15 presented 13, the 10K CHRISTIA having obstacles.ByMarch up School ended off, weized competed wentrecogn lock- with CONTINUED ON PAGE A15 world showed up at the Spar- Model NNA MARKS for being christiann “We set Robles a@atasc Contin the course funding their Paso 30 obstacles in the 12k BEAST a aderone uation ready to School. or the 50K up,housing with when you Oak everyonlocation on Black High 60 obstacl go, Princip ULTRA e was SUPER walk up al SANTA es. March before the and pretty much ECHO Maddin GEOLOGY on the course, is requesting Drive.the MARG g gave a Dr. Libby 8,000 13, the 10K you start to event witha 25 day present on all of and racers from ARITA — Over having to pull went off,one-time ready. Everybsee all the racers we endedrequestThere ation of $444,000 obstacles took the showed all over place. up smallerwas also a 1-3k getting said Spartan it because of ments this school’s achieve ody’s seeing meeting up the Robles Paso of kids race City the from COVID at the Spartan world obstacles - Santa ’s Head year that each other, each other with or ,” tine De Margar “Every single earned CONTIN costs on both days. for the the staffing to cover a lot of La Rosa-S of Media, ita on March Race in Spartan ChrisUED ON first time, The race people, totz, of an event PAGE A16 obvious all the 12 and 13. other time that we come for byit’s not paid Race. that theare as ain March originally was ly, who time with launching his third career 2020 hunting for unique items with amazing. The geode rock is to Local race the to COMMUNI their take us, they’re commu of You fiscal 2023 to racers, 2022 for 2020 and place United friends. get to see hunter. racers from funders seeing TY It’s a really finally made of see; it’s nity here. You estimated to be over a ties to history in one way or treasure year. get to kind soon as you over the good vibe just someth its particip States, and racers all Now intrigued by the another. His favorite finds are walk up. really explain as ing that momen ate in Spartan worldw and CEO million years old with connected to people or events rock, Hiner consulted with ECHO It’s such t to take you can’t ide President about coming a nice tan Race it all in Races. to see Wendy MarchLewis explained until the and be minerals unique to that bring local history alive. a friend at the Santa Lucia you actually to a Spar- after everybody for able just aexperienced general shelter had the a while,” come. It’s Many of Hiner’s finds are Rockhounds, a non-profit kind Paso Robles regions De La Rosa-Sfirst time of getting many cost increases since of feeling you totz said displayed in local museums, founded in 1992 and club everyon get e is increase One back its opening. togethe including the Paso Robles dedicated to promoting the By CAMILLE DEVAUL CONTIN r The study of rocks, minerals, UED ON staffing, as the shelter has had PAGE A16 Area Historical Societyprojec t was difficulties hiring enough staff uncove completed as red gems, and fossils as well and Museum, Nacitone EDUCATION to cover their services. Before in early the remode and spearheaded sciences concerned s e u m , the natural PASO ROBLES — Paso ( L o c k w o o d ) M uFebru l. ary 2022 opening the shelter, ECHO the Earth’s formation “Ben Mendo Robles man and treasure Te m p l e t o n H i s t o r i c a l with za, who projected to serve over 200 is alsoza and geology. The clubMendo hunter Dale Hiner has Museum, and more. However, owns By CHRISTIA Meat — people based on a 2019 report Kiwanian NNA MARKS he’s also of the California remains a member unearthed what is estimated to his greatest collectionchristiann — asked a a@atasc which stated there were 224 and take me to go aderone of Mineralogical be a million-year-old volcanic at home as his personal Federation a look at in unhoused people in Paso the kitchen and itwith Societies and is affiliated rock from a ranch in Northern treasure trove. needed ATAS CADE , a lot of Robles. During their first year said Kiwani of RO — Federation a treasure Before Hiner wasthe Paso Robles. beginni the American an Tony work,” of opening, ECHO served 600 of the year, At Though Villa. Societies. as one of ngMineralogical Twenty years ago, Hiner hunter, he workedKiwani most of s Club the unduplicated men, women, of the cooked Hiner was explainedis to It Atasca for the dPaso unearthed the geode rock the first detectives donate in the main food dero That a comple percent 85 children, and a was formed from remod el As the rock Meals Connec te kitchen from the North County Robles Police Department. t to volcanic of those from Paso Robles. Meals eruptionLuis in the kitchen in San ConneHiner property only to lay as yard a young police officer, That deepObispo ct. The (SLO), Approximately 40 percent of prep project sits on its Paso Robles lots of Earth. Cassidy art at his home. It wasn’t took Dennis comple ted on was the work, packag in unique geologic ECHO’s clients come from the ing, and heating formation, kitchen squad car. a week, until two weeks ago that his ride-alongs in his and the of food at the Atascaddating Salinas Riverbed. Atasca dero fossils Seniorfollowed ero before happens in wife decided to clean the Cassidy ultimately Citizen preserving being delivered to the District 1 SLO County period is used bycareers Center the Neogene back to rock to discover a variation of the law enforcement (which people Meals in our Supervisor John Peschong million who need it 23 commu in PRPD (approximately Chief That Connec the North minerals and an almost perfect path and became Yamagata, t spoke in support of ECHO. Count “Our focus, nity. 1997 to of Police fromcomple figure of a bird. Liz Dunn was It is estimated ted2007.earlyyearsy)ago). generally with Kiwanis “I do support this effort,” he Dubost wereSwan, and 2022. from inlaw million years is the over oneyouth, that Februa After retiring “I asked her who painted Club voluntee help cleanin ry thing but when we see handed said. “As you know, the County rs in her somevolcanic ofthat Manyworked letters of it,” said Hiner, who thought enforcement, Hiner needs to remodele the kitchen g and paintin membeas ago, hundreds the commu intent d kitchen. Luis Obispo has been of San help Meals g sheetro the be done in formnity, for Centuryrs oferuptions Kiwanis helped space, but Contribut the bird was painted onto the a real estate agent the last school at ed photo of ECHO ck that Villa brough very supportive go ahead decided that do it,”ofsaid deliver theweDale Conne ct andridges ago, mountainous years That 17meals in Paso Robles. was necessa 21. Then, about hunter and collector wasn’t well-known treasure Hiner is aand rock. board t Glen enough in ry, utedON PAGE A15 took who’s meeting to new counte CONTINUED local homethe kitchen Casey, bound by Camille DeVaul/PRP in charge PAGE A15 Photo CONTINUED ON detector, metal brough to the project Hiner, now in his 80s, enjoys he got his first individ project to rtops, of Commu Services uals. Includi . the elderly, Kiwanis. remodel were t in new cabinet “Gettin nity to at Kiwani ng After a trip g s. able to the site s. Liz Dunn, with someth people involve veteran physically disabled By CAMILLE ascertain We by Casey, WEATHER COUNTYand Villa, COMMUNITY s, and EDUCATION Mendoza, industrial stainles COMMUNITY , DEVAUL two ing as import d the Count camille@ as this is wives North widows it s steel atascade ant and Meals y site manag of veteran the entire was decided that So we did a a really, ronews.c complete really good feeling, s. er for Kiwani om kitchen of the ” said Casey. ans Tony That’s how asked That Conne revamp@PasoRoblesPress remode would whole TEMP led, free ct, Villa, Glen Casey, Casey by Villa LETON of charge. be From floors kitchen area. and Ben had a relation what she was “So what Temple wish — with the would Mendo for if she ton Unified Three we did, added Villa. to everything,” ship za list. we did had a wish- complete remova @PasoRoblesPress School Depot frompeople at Home Board (TUSD Dunn simply a EDUCATION The ) trustees a previou handed asked for thing in the kitchenl of every- Club Atascadero were letters Kiwan is And when prompt s project. of floors down, current . Put new the intent notifying them ed, Kiwani put togethe COMMUNITY 100 membe ly has close replace BOWLS SUPERVISORS MOVE to file for s recall r a grant d some PIONEER MUSEUM EVENT PALOMA CREEK HIGH ECHO’S EMPTY to rs, and from their proposa members 28 of the to Home Depot repealing housing TowardCOUN l meeting the Board. The Annual event coming Gifts garden shed made worked Bands, Brews and the project board 7 help 24135 to 5 67808 was held and contrib TY High 75° | Low 36° . But, sadly, with Mar. 10, ordinance | A5 on back April 28 | A4 Barbecue on April 23 | A2 by students | A3 in the EagleThursday, CONTIN they board EVENT S UED ON Canyon room. PAGE CAMILLE DEVAUL


Race Co

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Paso Robles Man Finds Volcanic Rock

Atasca dero Ki wanis North Re County Kitchen models for Me als That Connec t

Three TUS Trustee D s Face Recall



PALOMA SECTION Gifts gardenCREEK HIGH ECHO’S EMPT Scan herestarted! by studen shed made to get Y BOWL ts | A3 Annual event coming S SUPERVISOR back April S MOVE 28 | A4 Toward FLIGHT! HELP YOUR BUSINESS TAKErepeali ng housin but CHAR LES PADDO ordinance when you subscription g 8th Not only do you have the power to choose the | A5 that fits your life, CK ZOO annua advertise, you will broaden your reach into target markets throughout the Central Coast, Zoo” | A15 l “Brew at the from Ventura County to Monterey County!


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Paso Robles City Council MARATHON Approves Senior Parking Program

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Issue No. 47


14 21

Santa Margarita

Life in the Memorial Business By Simone Smith

Gil Cabrera, Santa Margarita resident and Atascadero Cemetery District Manager, was presented with the “Cemetarian of the Year Award” at the 64th Annual Association of Public Cemeteries Conference. Golden State Car Classics

Car Club & Show Returns By Camille DeVaul

The Golden State Classics Car Club returns to Paso Robles for their 14th Annual Car Show on Memorial Day Weekend, after a two-year break, and car enthusiast are ready to show off their hotrods!

20 22

Memorial Day

Atascadero Memorial Day Ceremony By Christianna Marks

Atascadero is honoring the area’s fallen soldiers with their Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Face of Freedom Veterans Memorial, that includes flyover by Estrella Warbirds and guest speakers.

Best of the West

Antique Tractor & Equipment Show By Camille DeVaul

Celebrate American history and honor the country’s fallen heroes this memorial weekend at the Best of the West Antique Equipment Show in Santa Margarita as it makes its comeback after two years.

On the Cover

Memorial Day 2021, at Faces of Freedom Memorial in Atascadero Photo by Hayley Mattson 20,000 PRINTED | 17,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY! Atascadero 93422 • Santa Margarita 93453 • Creston 93432


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27 Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter: Special Month of May Round Town Atascadero Chamber of Commerce: Cross Talk with Josh Cross The Natural Alternative: Spring is Here Atascadero Senior Center: Provides Residents with Resources and Services Atascadero People Mary Augusta Neal: Giraffes on the Loose in Atascadero Taste of Atascadero


Taste of Americana: Springtime Perfect for ‘Taking Tea’

Business Spotlight 25 Central Coast Casualty Restroation Inc: Ready to Help With All Your Restoration Needs Tent City 26 27 28 30

31 32 33

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Eats, Drinks Treats Discover the Best Tasty Delights Around! • • • • • •

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EATS, DRINKS & TREATS • SUMMER ISSUE! Don’t miss out on our local guide to all the flavors of San Luis Obispo County. The Central Coast is home to some of the best cuisine and we tell the world about it in our digest sized guide to all the best Eats, Drinks & Treats around. Deadline to advertise is May 10. To advertise call us at (805) 466-2585 or email

Tour of Paso: Raises Funds for Cancer Support

Atasacadero Fine Arts Academy: Celebrates 20 Plus Years of Education

SLO County Office of Education: Education Adaption and Innovation Another Rick Evans Photo: A Special to Atascadero News Magazine Calendar & Events Calendar of Events: May Events

Service Directory: Atascadero Atascadero Farmers Market: Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Last Word LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero: Beginnings of Lighthouse Atascadero Directory of our Advertisers

6 | May 2022

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May 2022 | 7

Something Worth Reading

Publisher’s Letter

publisher, editor-in-chief

Hayley Mattson

publisher, editor-at-large

Nicholas Mattson

assistant content editor

Happy May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day

copy editor

Camille DeVaul ad design

community writers

Jen Rodman


ay is one of my favorite months, warmer weather, days full of sunshine, events start to fill up every weekend, and this year my husband and I celebrate 10 years of wedding bliss. Being married to Nicholas, growing with him, and watching him become the man and father he was destined to be truly fills my heart and soul.

Mike Chaldu Christianna Marks

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Neil Schumaker Evan Rodda

Dana McGraw Brooke Brinar Jamie Self

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Cami Martin |

In May, we also get to celebrate Mother’s Day, which is one of the most special honors I have been given in life is to be a mom to three special kiddos. Elle, 17, Mirac, 9 and Maximus 7. These three have taught me more about myself and the world than I could have ever imagined. The last few years have been quite the challenge; however, each one, in their own way, have embraced the changes, made their own paths, and continues to inspire my husband and me each and every day. We wish a warm Happy Mother’s Day to all the momma’s and all the women who step into a mom’s shoes when there is not one. May also brings us May Day, Cinco de Mayo, and we end with Memorial Day. Memorial Day has always held a special place in my heart. To all the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom, we will be forever in your debt, and you will not be forgotten. This year, Atascadero is honoring the area’s fallen soldiers with the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Face of Freedom Veterans Memorial. The ceremony will start at 11 a.m. with the national anthem, a flyover by the Estrella Warbirds, guest speakers, taps played by Darin Gong, and a wreath-laying (page 20). We are excited to see the return of the Best of the West Antique Equipment & Tractor Show (page 22) along with the Golden State Car Show (page 21). As our nation starts to reopen and mask mandates are lifted on travel, we will begin to see an influx of travelers, along with events starting to fill up our calendars. See what exciting events are returning this May (page 31). Each month, the Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by all the advertisers you see on each page. Please be sure to thank them when you visit their businesses or see them around town. We genuinely enjoy what we do and love being able to provide local professional jobs for our team who love living on the Central Coast. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine. Hayley & Nic

Barbie Butz


Josh Cross

James Brescia, Ed.D.

The Natural Alternative

Joe Allen

Simone Smith

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Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Atascadero News Magazine. Atascadero News Magazine is delivered free to 17,000 addresses in North San Luis Obispo County. Our costs are paid entirely by advertising revenue. Our Local Business section spotlights select advertisers. All other stories are determined solely by our editors.


Atascadero News Magazine is owned and published by local people — Nicholas & Hayley Mattson Atascadero News Magazine is a trademark of 13 Stars Media ©2022. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without written consent.

“Happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is.” — Angel Chernoff

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8 | May 2022

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Atascadero News Magazine

• Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

Calling All Residents to Support Economic Development Opportunities


CEO/President | Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

ur town of Atascadero is growing! We’ve seen more local businesses, entrepreneurs, and events taking root in our backyard, leading to a greater quality of life and prosperity for us locals. We want to keep this momentum going to develop even more jobs and entertainment for us and future generations. There are several key development opportunities in Atascadero that I need your help in bringing awareness to. I’m calling upon you to tell your friends, family, neighbors, cousins twice removed (basically everyone), to spread the word that we have opportunities to open

abusiness or perhaps a second location of an expanding business. If you know of specific individuals or businesses that would be great fits for the following opportunities, please reach out to me at, and I will follow up with them. 1. Kmart Center, located at 3980 El Camino Real, it’s a great space right off the highway. There’s 73,530 SF of retail space available that can be divided up. 2. LaPlaza, located at 6490 El Camino Real, it’s a great space right here in downtown Atascadero! Within walking distance from Galaxy Theatre and dozens of fantastic local shops and restaurants on Entrada and Traffic Way. They’re offering completely customizable spaces for businesses ranging from 200 square feet to 12,00 square feet. 3. Del Rio Marketplace, located at 510 Del Rio Road, is ideally situated next to a few tasty restaurants and is just a short hop from Highway 46. There’s approximately 4,500-9,000

square feet available for retail and restaurants. 4. Bridgeworks Coworking, located at 6907 El Camino Real, is expanding to include 13 new private office spaces. An interest list is available now at bridgeworks. Opening summer of 2022. Reserve your spot today! 5. Other opportunities include: a. Former Denny’s Building – 6910 El Camino Real b. Midcentury modern office space – 5750 Traffic Way c. Historic Winter’s Garage – 5680 El Camino Real d. Colony Square – 5906 El Camino Real By working together to help share these fantastic opportunities, I know that we can fill these empty spaces with some incredible local businesses. Leading to higher employment opportunities and greater experiences for residents. Help us make a difference in Atascadero! 


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12 | May 2022

Art & Wine Tour May 6 | 5:30 – 8 PM


elebrate the spring season with the Art & Wine Tour! Sip and shop your way downtown Atascadero. Enjoy phenomenal wine and other treats from 20+ businesses. Earlybird tickets are $20 and are available through May 4. From May 5 -10, General Admission tickets are $25, on the day of the event, they are $30. Every ticket comes with a complimentary wine glass. Get your tickets at Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner & Gala - “An Evening of Excellence” May 21 | Starting At 5:30 PM


he Atascadero Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to the Annual Awards Dinner and Gala at Springhill Suites on May 21. Experience an “Evening of Excellence” as we honor extraordinary business leaders of the community and recognize the success of the Chamber as we #MoveAtascaderoForward. The Annual Awards Dinner & Gala is the Chamber’s largest and most prestigious event of the entire year. Business and civic leaders in the Atascadero area will celebrate the accomplishments of the local business community. The event is black-tie optional, and the cost to attend is $110, or $900 for a table of eight. Corporate tables with exclusive benefits are available for $1,250. Purchase tickets by May 9 at or call (805) 466-2044

Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival — 25th Anniversary June 25 | 4 – 8 PM


he genuine wine tasting experience – sun, food, wine, art, and music – all come together at this sun-splashed wine festival overlooking the Atascadero Lake and amongst the environs of the Charles Paddock Zoo. Now celebrating its 25th year, this festival will feature hundreds of premium California wines are served up along with the best of the regional craft brews, cider, and spirits. Three live bands triangulate the festival grounds in order to keep the beat going for this lively event. Get your tickets at the AtascaderoLakesideWineFestival .com

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pring is a beautiful time of year! The grass is abundant and green, the flowers are popping up, adding color to the hillsides, and the weather is warming. For those of you who suffer from allergies, this, unfortunately, can be a dreaded time of year. Allergens (agents that trigger an allergic response, such as pollen from various plants) stimulate the immune system to release immunoglobulin, which in turn produces a histamine release. Histamine causes the body to flush, produce extra mucus, swells tissues and can cause eyes to tear-the primary symptoms of hay fever. Other nasty symptoms include sinus congestion, headache, and burning eyes. The good news is there are several fast-acting natural products that can relieve those nasty symptoms (without the side effects of certain medications)! Natural D-Hist is an effective natural approach to seasonal allergies. It includes quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles leaf, and N-acetyl cysteine, a powerful combination that works quickly without causing drowsiness. The targeted blend of flavonoids, antioxidants, enzymes, and botanicals provides complete support for those miserable allergy symptoms! A customer favorite now 20% during the

month of May! Matthew’s Honey is our local honey that customers love! Exceptionally rich in nutrients and savory sweet, this antioxidant rich honey is a great compliment to oatmeal, tea, coffee, or whatever needs a touch of healthy sweetness! To keep nasal passages clear, try an ancient secret – the Neti Pot! It can be used daily while showering to remove dust, pollen, excess mucous, and other irritants. Used with a saline solution (we also carry the special salt), you gently rinse your nasal passages to soothe and moisten when they feel dry and irritated. As an alternative to Neti Pot, try Xlear saline nasal spray to alleviate nasal congestion and relieve sinus pressure.The key here is to reduce the irritant’s ability to adhere to nasal membranes, washing away dust and pollen that triggers an allergic response resulting in a runny nose and watery eyes. This simple spray is natural, fast & effective, and safe for daily use! Let us help you enjoy this beautiful time of year without the misery! Always here for you, Bobbi, Rachel, Jessica, Megan, Moriah, & Crystal – Your Team!!




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Round Town • Santa Margarita

Lifein the

Gil Cabrera, Santa Margarita resident and Atascadero Cemetery District Manager, was presented with the “Cemetarian of the Year Award”

Memorial Business Simone Smith


onday, May 30, is Memorial Day, a day to observe and honor all who have served our country, particularly those who lost their lives while on active duty with the US military. Many Americans throughout our nation will observe the day by visiting or decorating veterans’ gravesites or attending a cemetery or memorial ceremony to honor and remember those who have passed and why. On the Central Coast, one local man has recently received recognition for his role in the memorial business; he has overseen countless ceremonies with dignity, respect, and compassion, helping others during their worst times and serving our communities through active volunteerism. On Saturday, March 12, Gil Cabrera, Santa Margarita resident and Atascadero Cemetery District manager, was presented with the “Cemetarian of the Year Award” at the 64th Annual Conference of the California Association of Public Cemeteries held in Seaside. The award is given to a member, active in the association for at least six years, who shows outstanding leadership in the organization in addition to “maintaining high professional standards, exhibiting outstanding qualities in the cemetery profession, and demonstrating exceptional personal achievements in business and in the community.” Born in Salinas in 1958, Gilbert Cabrera moved to the town of Santa Margarita in 1976. Gil says that he “accidentally got into the cemetery business.” In 1988 after 10 years at Cal Poly as an administrative analyst and simultaneously caring for his two elderly parents, Gil found

14 | May 2022

himself out of work and in need of a new job. That is when he saw the posting for the position of cemetery worker for the Atascadero Cemetery District. Since then, Gil was appointed and has served as the district manager for the past 25 years. Gil, a soft-spoken, thoughtful, and caring man with a good sense of humor and chuckle, is well known in the community of Santa Margarita for his years volunteering and helping out with many town organizations and projects. You can find Gil at any barbecue, being an active Lions Club member and part of their barbecue team for the past 28 years. Gil also served 15 years on the Days of the Dons committee, was an original member of the CSA 23 Board, was on the Atascadero High Athletic Boosters barbecue team, past executive officer for the Santa Margarita BSA Troop 123, personal barbecue chef for Henry Barba, has helped out on countless community events including feeding volunteers for Santa Margarita Beautiful events, was awarded the 2014 Santa Margarita Beautiful Citizen of the Year award and was appointed to and continues to serve on the Board of the Santa Margarita Cemetery District since 2000. The Santa Margarita Public Cemetery District was originally formed by the San Luis Obispo County Supervisors on March 5, 1909, to serve the communities of Santa Margarita, Garden Farms, La Panza, and outlying areas. The actual Cemetery was designated in 1915 from a 3.5-plus acre gift of land donated by Frank Reis, the owner at the time of the Santa Margarita Ranch. The original cemetery design designated 1,740 plots, laid out in three sections that have been filled to nearly 95 percent capacity. Of those interred in the Santa Margarita cemetery are approximately 175-200 veterans, many from WWII, including a veteran who

had survived the Battle of Bataan and recently local resident Henry Barba, one of the oldest WWII veterans in California. Gil explains that expansion plans are currently in the works, and “the Board is very appreciative of the relationship with the current ranch owners, Rob Rossi, Karl Wittstrom, and Doug Filipponi, for their donation of additional land for the project.” Gil Cabrera will complete 45 years of public service this fall and is planning his retirement, dreaming of obtaining a job as a hotel concierge where he can use his people skills to meet with visitors and people on vacation. He’s the perfect candidate! We congratulate Gil on his well-deserved achievement and can certainly attest to his wonderful qualities and are thankful for his many years of community involvement. 

Memorial Day Program

An in-person Memorial Day program will take place on Monday, May 30, 10:30 a.m. at the Santa Margarita Public Cemetery, located at 606 East Pozo Road (Hwy. 58, just east of town). The program this year, in addition to honoring and remembering our veterans, will be dedicated to long-time Santa Margarita residents Henry Barbara, Harold Lowe, and Herb Brazzi, who all passed within the last six months. The event will include speeches from representatives from the Santa Margarita Cemetery Board and Scout Troop 123 and a scheduled fly-over by the Estrella Warbirds at 11 a.m. Atascadero News Magazine


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ocated on East Mall, next to the Sunken Gardens, The Atascadero Senior Center has been helping seniors in the community since the mid-seventies. The Senior Center, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is entirely volunteer-run. “One of the main things we offer is group activities. We try to get people together to have fun, get out and socialize. Most people, I guess, know this, but

one of the main contributors to things like dementia is a lack of socialization. So we really try to reach out to seniors,” said John Crippen, who shares office manager duties with his wife. The Center provides things like movie groups, Tai Chi classes three mornings a week, a Bunco group on Monday, chair yoga, and a discussion group that talks about random topics weekly. The Center is also looking to start up a new walking group. “One of the things we’re trying to do

is, is we’re trying to get more volunteers to facilitate groups and come up with new ones. We have multiple rooms, so we can have more than one group going at a time,” continued John. The Senior Center is currently looking for people to help run the front office, which is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday thru Friday so that people can come to the Center to sign up for groups and learn more about what is on offer. They’re also looking for people who can help maintain their building which was built in 1948. Unfortunately, The Center also recently lost its grant writer and has been having difficulty getting financial aid ever since. “Somebody who could do some pro-bono grant writing for us, that would be extremely helpful,” stated John. “There’s a few reasons why funding has really gotten difficult. We were hurting before the COVID, but with COVID shutting us down for a while, we lost members, we lost a little bit of funding and staff, and we’re having to kind of rebuild.” On top of providing local seniors with group activities, Atascadero Senior Center loans out assistive equipment, has access to federal, state, and local resources, provides its members with a small lending library, and partners with Meals That Connect. You can even give Ranger the Bodacious Beach Dog belly rubs on Mondays. To make monetary donations to the Atascadero Senior Center, you can drop off or mail checks made out to SCUI (Senior Citizens United Inc) to 5905 East Mall, Atascadero. To find out more, and check Atascadero Senior Centers’ calendar of events, go to their FaceBook page here, 

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t h n o e s L e f o f o a se r i G • Mary Augusta Neal

By Christianna Marks


uring the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, right after the world shut down, local resident Mary Augusta Neal found a way to bring smiles to people’s faces in Atascadero when she started creating displays on her fence with wooden cutouts of giraffes. The display started with a single giraffe on her fence that her brother sent to her after having an artist from Oceanside make as a gift at the beginning of COVID. Little did Mary know that she would be the highlight for many people as they passed by each day. “My brother has a dog which he takes for a walk by this guy named Dean’s home, up by where he lives in Oceanside — he does these wooden art pieces. He [Dean] has “Star Wars” creations and always decorates his house totally to the hilt. So, my brother talked to him about making me a giraffe because my nickname was Gussie growing up, and people used to give me Gus the Giraffe birthday cards each year. I think back then is when I really started my affection for giraffes. I think they are the most beautiful and know, non-predatory animal in existence,” Mary shared. “My brother sent me Gus (the first giraffe)...his name wasn’t named Gus then, but that’s when I decided to name him.” Mary was then sent Charlie (the second giraffe) anonymously. She still doesn’t know who sent him, but fell in love with him as soon as she saw him. From there, Mary explained that she was ready to extend the family, “I wanted a mom and a dad

Mary Augusta Neal with her wooden giraffe cutouts in 2021. Photo by Hayley Mattson

[giraffe]. So, my brother had the artist Dean make the mom and the dad. I wanted a straw hat and the pink bow, and I wanted a son [giraffe], too. And that’s where Gus, Augusta, and Gussie came from.” Mary decided that the son giraffe was going to be named JJ, after her brother John Joseph. He went by JJ growing up. John wanted the giraffe to have a rebellious streak, so he had him made wearing surfer shades and a bow tie.

“So that’s how JJ came to be, and now the family’s complete. Well, like I say, it’ll pull down my fence if I put too many more out there. But I think it’s plenty now,” Mary said of her five giraffes. Other people have anonymously added to the giraffe display. Mary recalls when someone left four little giraffes on the ground next to her fence. She added them to her display until they became too weathered to stay outside. To protect the others from the elements, Mary painted over the large giraffes with a clear coat so they will last longer. Along with her family of giraffes, Mary started putting up signs on her fence throughout 2020 and 2021, thanking frontline workers in the community and celebrating the big days of the year. Including holidays and things like Back to School. “I love doing it. I love making my little signs. Somebody said to me, ‘well, maybe everybody around you thinks you’re nuts?’ I went, well, I am a little bit, so that’s okay,” Mary said with a laugh. The giraffes on Mary’s fence made a huge impact on the Atascadero residents who have seen them and brought a little splash of light to them during a dark time for all of us — making people feel connected while we all had to stay apart. “I’m glad it’s bringing pleasure to everybody and not just me because I love doing it,” Mary shared. The giraffes can still be seen on the corner of Carson and Portola. 

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Memorial Day By Christianna Marks


or 153 years, Americans have devoted the last Monday of May to honoring and remembering men and women who lost their lives in service to our country. The first Memorial Day was on May 30, 1868, so we once again find ourselves observing our soldiers’ sacrifices on the same day it began, over one century later. However, somewhere along the way, Memorial Weekend has become the kick-off to summer. It’s the weekend we break out the barbecues, sunblock, and popsicles. I’m not sure if this is what General John A. Logan had in mind when he issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the Civil War. The Civil War may have ended on May 5, 1868, but the division among Americans has continued to plague us throughout the years for one reason or another. Perhaps living in a melting pot of varying cultures is a blessing and a curse. But in the end, the freedom to be a melting pot, to have our own opin-

20 | May 2022

ions and share them, and to be our own person is what many of our soldiers were fighting for. So, in the end, we observe Memorial Day to honor those very people who paid that ultimate price, giving us the freedom to eat those popsicles and get sunburned or do whatever we want on the last weekend of May or any other day. Atascadero Memorial Day Ceremonies This year, Atascadero is honoring the area’s fallen soldiers with a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Face of Freedom Veterans Memorial. The ceremony, which is expected to last about an hour, will start at 11 a.m. with the national anthem, a flyover by the Estrella Warbirds, guest speakers, taps played by Darin Gong, and a wreath-laying. Like in previous years, this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony will be put on by the Atascadero Veterans Memorial Foundation (AVMF), which also organizes Atascadero’s Veterans Day Ceremony every year. The wreath-laying will honor the memory of Seymour “Si” Tenenberg.

“Seymour ‘Si’ Tenenberg passed away at 87 years old on February 7,” said Cheryl Hertan, AVMF board President and ceremony coordinator. “[He was the] Director of Helping Soldiers in the Desert, and sent more than 23,000 care packages to military members deployed overseas over the past 15 years. Si Teneberg was a U.S. Marine Korean Veteran.” The community of Atascadero has been showing up since both the Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies returned after a county-wide virtual Memorial Day Ceremony in May 2020 and abbreviated ceremonies through May 2021. “This truly is a community event, and the participants from the Elks Antlers/Boy Scouts are helping set up and tear down to the tradition of the Gongs (this year, we are fortunate to have Darin [Gong], perhaps for the last time) playing taps” stated Cheryl. “We have found we don’t really need to advertise these ceremonies anymore; the community expects them and comes out in droves to honor our military.” 

Atascadero News Magazine


he Golden State Classics Car Club returns to Paso Robles for their 14th Annual Car Show on Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28. After a two-year break, car enthusiasts are ready to come back to the show. Dave Silva is getting his 1934 Ford coupe ready for Paso’s big car show. “Our car club is ready to go after two years of putting off the show,” Silva said. “I think there is a lot of pent-up enthusiasm. I know I’m excited.” New this year is a Pre-Show Party on Friday night in lieu of a cruise on Spring Street. The Pre-Show Party is May 27, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a complimentary buffet, no-host bar, raffle, 50/50, and live music by The Wavebreakers Band. The event will be held at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Hangar 1, 4251 Dry Creek Rd, Paso Robles. The Golden State Car Club started in 1987.

The show will start Saturday, May 28, going from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Downtown City Park, 12th and Spring streets, Paso Robles. There will be a raffle, 50/50 drawing, food vendors, trophies, and live music featuring Unfinished Business. Another new feature is Manufacturer Row, highlighting local classic car-related businesses. The club is also raffling off Craftsman top and bottom toolboxes valued at $1,200, a prize donated by Lowe’s. The club members made this year’s show more inclusive. “Many car enthusiasts felt left out by our judging classes because the cars had to be old,” said Bob Tanaka, the club’s first vice president. “I have a ‘70 Ford Mustang Boss 302, but lots of people have cool cars that are newer. We made room for them.” The judging classes include early and modern muscle cars, customs, hot rods, special interests, and the traditional classic categories for cars and trucks. Over 150 cars had already been registered by the first week of April. There is sure to be a car there for everyone to enjoy. The show in the park is free for the public. Until May 9, registration is $45 and includes a T-shirt and a ticket to the Friday Pre-Show Party. After May 9, registration is $55 and does not include a T-shirt. “I think it will be a big summer, and we’re happy about that too,” Smith said. “We want to see the vendors do well and the local businesses.” Golden State Classics is a nonprofit organization that promotes classic vehicles and supports local charities. To register or learn more, visit 



President Scotty Smith joined the club four years after retiring. Like many others in the club, Scotty has had a lifelong enthusiasm for rebuilding cars. The car show registration includes the Pre-Show Party. “Show cars will be able to park by the hangar and the planes. We think everyone will enjoy the experience,” Smith said. “However, there is a cap at 200 people on Friday night, so I suggest buying tickets soon.” The club was unable to present the downtown show in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We appreciate that our sponsors stayed with us, including our title sponsor Kings Oil Tools,” added Scotty. “I would like to thank them all for hanging with us. A lot of these sponsors joined up two years ago. They’ve allowed us to keep that money and move forward.”

May 2022 | 21

Best of th

t n e m p i u q E e u q i t n A By Camille DeVaul


elebrate American history and honor the country’s fallen heroes this memorial weekend at the Best of the West Antique Equipment Show as it makes its comeback after two years. Starting Friday, May 27, and going through Sunday, May 29, guests are welcome to explore and enjoy the equipment that helped build America into the country it is today. More importantly, the weekend is dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans who have given their lives for our country. The Best of the West Antique Equipment Show is a Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee and Rossi Foundation event. Santa Margarita Ranch poses as the perfect location to enjoy a family gathering outside and teach the younger generations

22 | May 2022

about the heritage of our area. For two years, the show had to cancel its celebrations to comply with COVID19 restrictions. This year the show will be back to normal and getting back into the swing of things as they plan for a bigger and better show in 2023. But they look forward to bringing back the much anticipated weekend of fun. Tara Tedeschi, a Best of the West coordinator, says, “There are going to be some changes, but everything is positive.” Many fan-favorite activities will be back at the ranch, including the Farm Bureau’s tri-tip dinners and other food vendors, parades, the Kid’s Corral, and tours hosted by the Santa Margarita Historical Society. In the Kid’s Corral, youngsters can look forward to some unique activities, including gold panning with the Central Coast Gold Prospectors, vintage water pumps, butter making, model trains and tracks, grain buckets, and roping dummies, giant sand pile, and tire climbing gym. Each morning the gates open at 8 a.m. and close that evening at 5 p.m. At noon each day, all operations will pause for a military salute and flyover. “The main focus of the show is to make sure that we are honoring our veterans and having Memorial Day as the main purpose,” said Tara. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy a tractor parade, earthmoving demo, plowing demo, blacksmithing, and so much more. A favorite crowd activity is taking a ride on the train. The steam engine holds plenty of history itself. It was featured in the TV show “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” and was one of the passenger coaches from Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad from the 1950s. Atascadero News Magazine

he Weusrnts

t Show Ret Of course, the crown jewel of the show is the wide variety of working antique equipment. Locals from around the county and even folks from across the nation bring equipment and tractors from various decades. It ends up creating a timeline of the mechanized progress of 20th century America. This year the show has booked more exhibitors ready to showcase their piece of American history. “A lot of this equipment is unique, and there are only one of two operating versions of that model of tractor equipment that’s out there,” added Tara, “They like to showcase it, which is cool that we are on that map for that.” The first show made its debut in 2010. Since it was so well received, it came back in 2015 as an annual event. “I’m looking forward to getting back to some normalcy and getting everyone in the community together,” said Tara, “It’s a place where people can come see machines and equipment from the past and present.” Best of the West annually happens at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. Before being settled by Franciscan missionaries in the 1770s, the ranch was home to Native Americans for thousands of years. The land’s fertile soil, mountain forests, and abundant water and wildlife made it the perfect home for Salinan and Chumash tribes. Joaquin Estrada was granted the ranch in 1841. Known for being a colorful ranchero, Joaquin frequently hosted grand fiestas and rodeos — setting the tone for generations to come at the ranch. Since Joaquin, the ranch has been home to many longtime local ranching and winegrowing families, including the Filipponis, Rossis, and Wittstroms. The ranch is home to many landmarks serving as proof of its rich history. Here, people can find the

inal El Camino Real, the Asistencia building, the Wells Fargo building dating back to the stagecoach days, and mission vineyards. Over the years, it has become a community effort to put on the show. Entirely run by volunteers, the show is becoming a tradition that many look forward to every year. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed to help at the show. This year, the camping area has been extended to allow for more weekend campers. Weekend campers will receive two adult weekend passes to the show. Tickets are now available online or can be purchased at the gate. Weekend passes are $25, and day passes are $10, with children ages ten and under free. Guests can also opt to camp at the grounds for an additional fee. For more information on tickets, trailer camping, volunteering and all the show has to offer, visit 

May 2022 | 23

• Springtime Perfect for ‘Taking Tea’

Orange Tea Loaf Ingredients: 2 cups self-rising flour 2½ teaspoons baking powder Pinch of salt ¼ cup butter, room temperature ¾ cup sugar

Barbie Butz

Springtime Perfect for ‘Taking Tea’


t a recent committee meeting at the home of one of the members, the hostess had prepared to serve us tea before we began. She had set her dining table with a fragrant bouquet of fresh flowers, filled two beautiful china teapots with loose tea and boiling water, and included plates of sweet and savory treats. We enjoyed sipping a cup of tea from some of the lovely china teacups in her collection. The experience was delightful and set the tone for our meeting which moved along very smoothly, perhaps because we had all shared a centuries-old ritual, that of “taking tea” even if it was not a “high tea,” which involves much more ritual. The month of May, offering an abundance of spring blooms and weather that has not yet heated up, is the perfect time to plan a springtime tea party. Unpack those teapots and start planning! Your friends and family members will be delighted to attend. This month, I’m including recipes from a cookbook in my collection, titled “The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea," authored by Angela Hynes, who was raised in Manchester in the north of England. The book was published in 1989. This simple tea cake can be made a day or two ahead and tastes even better when it is.

24 | May 2022

1 egg Grated peel of ½ orange 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons milk Butter for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8” x 4” loaf pan; set aside. In large bowl, cream ¼ cup butter and sugar with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, then orange peel, orange juice and milk. Fold in dry ingredients. Spoon into loaf pan; smooth top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. Wrap loaf airtight to store 1 to 2 days. Slice and serve with butter. Makes 8 to 10 servings These little tarts come from Coventry, a city in the midlands of England where, among many legends, Lady Godiva took her famous ride! For the crust, purchase ready-made tart cups or use your favorite recipe for a short crust.

Coventry Tartlets Filling Ingredients: 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature ½ cup sugar ¼ cup butter, room temperature

2 egg yolks Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon orange juice


Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease tartlet pans if using homemade dough. On lightly floured surface, thinly roll out pastry with floured rolling pin. Cut into rounds with 3-inch cookie cutter. Line pans with pastry or premade crusts; prick bottoms of fresh dough lightly with a fork. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt nutmeg and orange juice. Beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth. Divide among pastry shells; smooth tops. If using premade tartlet cups, cover with a piece of foil and bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, remove foil and bake 10 minutes more, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Carefully remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 12 tartlets. Note: You will want to feature an assortment of sumptuous accompaniments at your tea. How many will depend on the style of the tea. A “high tea” will naturally require more, and a mixture of sweet and savory offerings is in order: Consider scones, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, tea sandwiches, trifles, mousses, tarts, sausage rolls, and shortbread bars. All portions should be small so that guests can enjoy several selections. A tea is an opportunity to show off some of those platters, teapots, teacups, bowls and linens you’ve been hiding in the back of the cupboard for years. There are many books at the library about putting on a tea. Atascadero News Magazine

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• Tour of Paso

Tour of Paso By Christianna Marks


Raises Funds for Cancer Support

n Sunday, April 3, 122 cyclists met at Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles at 7:30 a.m. to participate in the Tour of Paso Bike Ride. Tour of Paso is an annual fundraiser for Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast (CSC-CCC) in Templeton. The ride had both a 50-mile and a 26-mile option for participants, with a luncheon and award ceremony at Niner once the ride concluded at noon. The Tour of Paso bike ride fundraiser drew 122 cyclists to Nine Wine Estates. Photos by Elzy Miller This is the event’s first time at Niner Wine Estates since pant had a suggested fundraising goal support, CSC offers our services at no the 2019 Tour of Paso. of $200. cost and provides support to not just to “We are thrilled to be back host“[The] donations go towards the the cancer patient but to their whole ing at Niner and being able to enjoy continuation and expansion of our family.” a nice lunch and some fantastic wine, comprehensive programming that Since the beginning, CSC-CCC all provided by Niner Wine Estates,” we offer to our participants,” Candice has supported anyone in the county said CSC-CCC Executive Director said. “Our programs include support whose family has been touched by Candice Sanders. groups and social opportunities, cancer, whether it is the patients themTour of Paso raised close to educational seminars, health and selves or their family members. $65,000, and every penny of the funds wellness programs, patient naviga“Our mission is to ensure that all will go directly to the CSC-CCC. The tion to community resources, as well as people touched by cancer are empowmoney will stay in San Luis Obispo limited individual counseling. Backed ered by knowledge, strengthened by County and support families touched by evidence that the best cancer action, and sustained by community,” by a cancer diagnosis. Each partici- support includes social and emotional added Candice, who became involved

with CSC-CCC during her own battle with ovarian cancer. We are committed to defining and implementing high-quality cancer care and support and work to improve each participant’s quality of life. We do that through our programming, which focuses on support, education, a healthy lifestyle, social opportunities, and access to resources,” At The Tour of Paso, awards were given out for the top fundraising team and top individual fundraiser. The award for Top Fundraising Team went to Saxum Vineyards, who brought in over $10,000 in donations. The award for Top Individual Fundraiser went to Daniel Rodriguez from Paso Robles. Prizes included bragging rights, a Tour of Paso jersey, swag bags donated by Lululemon, and wine from Niner Wine Estates. “Our motto is ‘community is stronger than cancer,’ and this event proves that,” stated Candice. Donations are still being accepted through 

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Atascadero News Magazine

Fine Arts Academy to Celebrate Over

Atasacadero Fine Arts Academy •

20 Years in Atascadero By Christianna Marks


t’s been 22 years since Atascadero’s Fine Arts Academy (FAA) came into being. And though COVID-19 stopped its 20-year celebration and reunion in 2020, staff, past students, and the school’s founders are remedying that this year. The Fine Arts Academy began in 2000 and was the brainchild of Dr. Dan Dodds. Dodds was Atascadero Unified School District superintendent from 1997-99. “He [Dodds] started two ‘academy’ model schools — Santa Rosa, which had an accelerated reading program as well as other innovative alternative curriculums, and the Fine Arts Academy, which, in addition to a full academic curriculum, would also offer a comprehensive Arts Program every day. We were hired to put the school together,” said Alan Pietsch, one of FAA’s founders. “I should also add that there was a great deal of support from interested parents, which helped the school board approve the school. It was quite a bold and daring venture.” The Fine Arts Academy’s founding team in 2000 consisted of Principal Steve Ventura and Secretary Evie Lanier, along with Cheryl Hockett, Steve Collins, Susan Donk, Melissa Bourbeau, and Alan as the academic and art teachers. In addition, Beth Klemm taught chorus, Brian Wallace taught band, Suzanne Culver taught drama, and Vicki Buerster taught Spanish. Though the Fine Arts Academy has art in its title, it’s not strictly an arts school. It shares the same academic curriculum as the rest of the schools in the AUSD as it is a public school. “The school is essentially the same model we created in 2000,” Alan said. “The Arts Program offerings change somewhat from year to year,

depending on the interests and background of the faculty. “It is grades 4-8, an unusual grade combination for a school. We started with one class/grade — approx. 135 students. We grew to two classes/ grade — about 250 students. I believe the enrollment now is a little over 200. We’ve had several different principals during this time. The school also added a Resource Center to help students with learning needs, which has helped a great deal.” Back when the Fine Arts Academy started, they were up against people who didn’t think they would be successful, and budget cuts in the early 2000s. But with the help of the AUSD board and Assistant Superintendent Kathy Hanneman, the school survived. “Our 20-year anniversary would have been in 2020, so, of course, it didn’t happen, nor in 2021. So finally, this year, we felt it was safe enough to have an in-person reunion,” Alan said. “We have spread the word to alumni and families scattered across the country. You cannot believe how connected people who go to this school are. It is truly a unique school and has a profound impact on many young people. “All of the original staff will be there, as well as many alumni from the early years as well as from recent years. It will be very emotional — and fun! We just really want to celebrate how successful this school has been for over 20 plus years. It is an inspiring story of what is possible with some imagination and a lot of hard work.” The Fine Arts 20-Year Celebration and Reunion will take place on Saturday, May 14, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Fine Arts Academy. It will feature a barbecue

by Old SLO BBQ for a small fee and drinks for purchase, an open mic for sharing stories, and an alumni gallery. You can sign up for the celebration at: home?authuser=0 “Atascadero should be very proud of this school,” Alan said. “This city has always been a home of inspiration and vision, beginning with E.G. Lewis. The success of the school is also a tribute to the support and commitment this community has always given its schools. It is truly a wonderful school district.” For more information on the school, you can watch Alan’s documentary, “The Atascadero Fine Arts Academy — A Jewel of a School,” at fine-arts-academy/open-enrollment-information-forinterested-students-families?authuser=0 

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• SLO County Office of Education

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” -

Winston Churchill

Education Adaption and Innovation James Brescia, Ed.D.



n 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a fourday banking holiday that shut down the entire banking system, including the Federal Reserve. This action enacted by President Roosevelt addressed challenges presented by the Great Depression and proposed changes in banking operations. The 1933 legislation allowed banks to reopen as soon as examiners found banks to be financially secure. Today government, business, and education are considering changes in practice that the pandemic forced. Agencies consider basic options such as complete in-person, hybrid, and fully remote services. Even services that require comprehensive in-person-type services such as education, medicine, and hospitality will implement and maintain flexibility in how they reshape the future of work. Navigating operations during the pandemic was one of the most challenging periods in my professional career. To keep services, most agencies had to adapt, be innovative, and adopt new ways of doing business. Two years later, some aspects of providing services resemble pre-pandemic actions, and some practices dramatically changed. Local taxpayers, school boards, administrators, educators, and educational employees have the opportunity to make the best use of sustainable adaptations implemented during the pandemic. Technology

28 | May 2022

officers provided digital tools to all students and employees throughout the pandemic. Because of reduced in-person services, business offices adapted reporting, signature, review, and collaboration practices. Facilities, operations, and maintenance departments implemented staggered and split shifts to reduce in-person contact. Because of the pandemic, all employees engaged in meetings, professional development, and consultations via online platforms. Which of these practices will continue and save taxpayer dollars? As we move forward, leaders in government, business, and education indicate that some of the practices implemented during the pandemic will become long-term practices. I am thankful for the countless employees who have adapted, innovated, and continue providing high-quality community services throughout our county. Employers acknowledge the potential of remote practices to increase productivity, balance work and personal commitments, and as a tool to maintain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. Forbes Business reports that nearly half of Chief Executive Officers plan to increase their long-term investment in digital services by 10 percent or more in 2022. Proposals include remote working where appropriate, remote professional development, remote meetings, and remote paperwork completion. Business surveys indicate that 44 percent of the workforce desires to maintain some work flexibility implemented during the pandemic. Today’s business leaders are considering modifications to address

the challenges in recruiting and retaining employees. Education too is learning to embrace remote work for meetings, professional development, consultations, public engagement, and other functions that do not require an in-person presence. Last week, I remotely participated in the review and interview of potential employees. In addition to flexibility and innovation, businesses now review access to mental health resources and childcare coverage as workplace benefits. Offices have established online health portals and remote access to counseling services. Recruiting, developing, and retaining the best talent is a critical business differentiator. The pandemic forced a focus on this factor that now extends far beyond the traditional C-suite recruitment/ retention efforts. The approach agencies execute will have long-lasting implications for workplace culture, employee trust, and maximizing taxpayer resources. The amount of funds expended on the recruitment of employees and the loss in productivity because of frequent turnover is justification alone for increased focus on innovative practices leading to higher employee satisfaction. As government agencies, schools, and businesses adapt to new ways of working, the leaders of our agencies need to monitor practices and performance carefully. Leading the entire team on a successful journey requires careful consideration of reshaping workplace culture supporting current working models. Education leaders can continue developing, executing, and readjusting their workplace strategies

by applying some proven Harvard Business School practices. • Ask the stakeholders (families, students, staff ) what is working • Apply data to gauge progress and performance • Review roles for boards, administrators, and staff regularly • Focus on recruitment and retention • Examine what is working in other schools and businesses • Adjust practices as needed The pandemic created a sense of urgency prompting many organizations to develop flexible operating models. Strategic leaders are increasingly willing to embrace agile methods; they are getting used to jumping on quick video conferences to solve problems and enable remote teams to have more decision-making authority. The pandemic taught us that it is essential for cross-functional teams not to lose sight of the long term and avoid panic reactions. The flexible or “agile” model means putting what may seem new into action. Meetings that include opportunities for remote participation could increase public engagement. Recording in-person classes and providing access online could mitigate some of the challenges presented during student or faculty absences. Remote workplace supervision can continue to offer ongoing metrics for accountability and improved practice. I have confidence in our community to embrace some of the modifications adopted during the pandemic to provide better service. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools.  Atascadero News Magazine

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Visit our website to view our projects

May 2022 | 29

• A Special to Atascadero News Magazine

Calendar of Events


Calendar of Events

Stay up on all the events and happenings in North San Luis Obispo County!

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





Art of Linda Trapp on Display





12 p.m. - 6 p.m. For the month of May view artist Linda The North County will have an Trapp’s Abstract watercolor expresses opportunity to gather in Atascadero, joy in nature for two events, a brief gathering at noon for prayer, and a full program at 6pm


Mother’s Day




Art & Wine Walk




National Day Of Prayer



5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sip and shop downtown Atascadero. For more info and to purchase tickets visit





1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Enjoy over thirty Central Coast wineries while wearing your finest haberdashery & enjoying a live stream of the Kentucky Derby. For more info and to purchase tickets visit



Paso Robles Wine Country Auction The 2nd Annual Virtual Auction. A weeklong online auction is the opportunity for bidders to acquire one-of-a-kind experiences not available out of any retail channel, as well as rare wines, vertical collections, and large format bottles

Atascadero Citywide Yardsale

Rios-Caledonia Adobe


10 a.m.-3 p.m. Portraying Living History during the aftermath of Jack Powers gang robberies in May 1858. For more info visit




8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Find unique gifts with proceeds going towards Parents for Joy. For more info and map details visit





Bearcat Booster Cornhole Tournament

SLO Sheriff’s Rode

Paso Wine Fest

Golden State Classics Car Show





5:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. The first SLO County Sheriff’s Rodeo will feature barrel racing ,team penning, and a concert by Joe & Martina. Tickets are $10 and children 12 or younger are free. For more info visit

The event weekend offers visitors the chance to explore Paso Robles Wine Country with four days of wine tastings, winemaker dinners, live music, and more!

Fri: 5:30-8:30 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Join the Golden State Classics Car Club for a Friday Night event at Estrella Warbirds and a Saturday Car Show in the Paso Robles Downtown City Park. For more info visit

10 a.m. Join the Bearcat Boosters to support the Bearcat Athletics.




In remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces.

May 2022 | 31

Service Directory

At The Library

Health & Wellness

6555 Capistrano • (805) 461-6161 Register online at Hours: • Tuesday 10-6 • Wednesday 10-6 • Thursday 9-5 • Friday 10-5 • Saturday 9-5

Providing support, education and hope 1051 Las Tablas Road, Templeton • (805) 238-4411 • Visit: for more info Cancer Support Helpline • (888) 793-9355, 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. PST.

Atascadero Library

Cancer Support Community

Special Programs Email for Zoom links

May Programs: Storytime with Ms. Sally May 20th & 27th at 10:30 a.m. - Join Ms. Sally for story time to read books, sing songs and have fun! Teen Jackbox Games May 13th at 3:45 p.m - Join us for JACKBOX GAMES! Virtual Teen Advisory Board May 14th & 21st 3:30 p.m. - Looking for volunteer hours? Join Atascadero Library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB)! Lego Club May 21st at 2:p.m. - Come create and build with Legos at the library! For kids ages 6-12. Register for these virtual programs online at

• Every Wednesday • Tai Chi Chih | Virtual via Zoom• 10:00 - 11:00a • Mindfulness Hour | Virtual via Zoom • 11:30a - 12:30a • 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month • Grief Support Group | Virtual via Zoom • 1:30p - 2:30p • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month • Adv. Cancer Support Group | Virtual • 10:00 - 11:00a • 2nd Wednesday of each month • Caregiver Support Group | Virtual • 10:00 - 11:00a • 2nd Thursday of each month • Cancer Patient Support Group | Virtual • 11:00a - 12:00p • 2nd Tuesday of each month • Young Survivor Support Group | Hybrid • 6:00 - 7:30p


Atascadero Unified School Board

Creston Library

• first and third Tuesday, Closed Session 6pm, Open/Regular

6290 Adams St.,• (805) 237-3010

Santa Margarita Library 9630 Murphy Ave • (805) 438-5622

Session 7p.m

Planning Commission • first and third Tuesday, 6 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers,

San Miguel Library

6500 Palma Avenue

City Council

254 13th St. (805) 467-3224

• second and fourth Tuesday, 6 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 6500 Palma Avenue Visit for virtual & up to date meeting info. General information: City Hall M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5p.m. (805) 461-5000

Shandon Library 195 N 2nd St. • (805) 237-3009

Service Organizations Optimist Club

• Atascadero #14927 • 3rd Tuesday of each month, 5:30 p.m., Outlaws Bar & Grill, 9850 E. Front Rd.

Rotary International • Atascadero • Meeting • every Wednesday, 12 p.m. at Springhill Suites by Marriott, 900 El Camino Real

Kiwanis International • Atascadero • 7848 Pismo Ave. • 805-610-7229 • Meeting • In person or Zoom every Thursday, 7:00 a.m.

Veterans of Foreign Wars • Atascadero #2814 • 9555 Morro Rd., • 805-466-3305 • Meeting • first Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Elks Lodge • Atascadero Lodge 2733 • 1516 El Camino Real • 805-466-3557 • Lodge Meeting — second and fourth Thursdays

Lions Club Atascadero Club 2385 • 5035 Palma Ave. Atascadero • Meeting — Every 2nd, 4th Wednesday at 7p Santa Margarita Club 2418 • 9610 Murphy St. • Meeting — 2nd, 4th Monday, 7:30p Shandon Valley Club • (630) 571-5466 • Meeting — Call ahead for meeting times Templeton Club 2427 • 601 Main St. • Meeting — 1st and 3rd Thursday, 7p

Loyal Order of Moose • Atascadero 2067 • 8507 El Camino Real • 805-466-5121 • Visit for more information

Business & Networking Atascadero Chamber of Commerce • (805) 466-2044 6907 El Camino Real, Suite A, Atascadero, CA 93422

Templeton Chamber of Commerce • (805) 434-1789 321 S. Main Street #C, Templeton, CA 93465

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Atascadero, CA 93422 Atascadero News Magazine

Atascadero Farmers Market • Event



Farmers Market



By Christianna Marks


tascadero celebrated five years of holding its Farmers Market in the Sunken Gardens on Wednesday, April 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. “It’s lovely to be together with the city in this big endeavor to grow this wonderful Farmers’ Market here in Atascadero,” said North County Farmers Markets Manager Robyn Gable. The anniversary festivities started off with an official ribbon-cutting by a mixture of Atascadero City Council members and leaders in the community. “It is so fun to see that it’s grown so much and how many people are out here. I mean, just look at today; there’s probably a lot of people that haven’t been here before,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno. “I’ve been coming regularly, I’d say, two to three times a month, and I love it. I’ve met people I didn’t know before the Farmers Market. And then


you run into them regularly, and it just feels like a real community market.” Though the Farmers Market previously took place in Sunken Gardens, for a 14-year period it was located away from the downtown area. “Back in 2003, when we had the San Simeon earthquake and City Hall was no longer inhabitable, and downtown was really dead for the most part, the Farmer Market moved over to what is now the Smart & Final parking lot,” Mayor Heather said. “And in 2015, City Hall was back and going again, and we were really trying to revitalize downtown. So we reached out to the organizers of the market in late 2015 and started conversations with them about coming back, and in April of 2017, they did. And it’s been fabulous to have them back downtown.” Robyn has welcomed the return to the Sunken Gardens. “It’s been a really good move for us,” she said. “Every year they [The city] do a Summer Sizzle, which is an event, kind of like this, three times

during the summer, and they’ve been doing that for five years to help support us and bring more awareness to the market. And then this year, we’re celebrating the five years since we moved here.” The five-year anniversary celebration also included a live music set by Central Coast favorites the Jump Jax, delicious food samples from Colony Market & Deli, cider tasting from Bristol’s Cider House, and wine tasting from Lone Madrone Winery. The celebration continued with giveaways and games for all. Every Wednesday, you can find 20 to 30 vendors at the Sunken Gardens Farmers Market, where you can shop for fresh produce, breads, salsas, honey, soup, pies, and more. “It’s the freshest of the fresh food you can buy right now,” added Robyn.  You can find the Atascadero Farmers Market every week on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. During daylight savings, the market runs from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, head to

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The Last Word • Lighthouse Atascadero

By Joe Allen

Lighthouse Atascadero Board of Directors


ighthouse Atascadero was created in 2012 in response to several tragic deaths of local kids. These tragedies were a result of drug overdoses. As Lighthouse Atascadero developed, it was obvious what we needed to do as a group. We decided it would be our goal to raise awareness and offer ways to prevent kids from becoming addicted to drugs. Intervention and education were at the top of our list. I was tasked with implementing The Reality Tour program. In 2013 we presented the first Reality Tour. Reality Tour is a tool that checks all of the boxes in our mission statement: Dedicated to overcoming addiction through Awareness, Prevention, Intervention, and Education. We present this program to local kids ages 12

76 Gas Station.................................. 32 A Heavenly Home............................ 15 American West Tire & Auto..................7 Atascadero Chamber...........................5 Atascadero Greyhound Foundation...9 Atascadero VFW................................ 13 Avila Traffic Safety............................. 18 Brad’s Overhead Doors.................... 29 By The Sea Productions.................... 26

34 | May 2022

Central Coast Casualty Restoration.. 25 Central Coast DG.............................. 33 Citywide Yard Sale............................ 36 Colony Mortgage............................. 17 Day of Prayer..................................... 29 Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners............................................ 25 Dr. Steve Herron OBGYN.................. 17 Educated Gardener.......................... 34

through 18 years old. All kids attending must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. The program takes the audience through the many scenes of addiction. The program begins with a peer pressure scene where several high school-age kids demonstrate tough decision-making, followed by the kids’ decisions when some of their peers want to experiment, use or abuse drugs. Attendees are then taken to a scene where the addicted kid is arrested for theft and possession of illegal drugs. The next scene takes attendees into the jail, where the addicted kid is booked into the facility. Attendees listen to the narrative as it relates (to the kid and what he or she might expect while in jail. The audience is then taken into the dramatic and emotional overdose scene, where medics are trying to revive the kid who has just overdosed. The last scene takes the audience to the funeral

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for the young kid who lost their life as a result of a drug overdose. In addition, attendees receive education on current drug trends in our community, along with a recovering addict telling his or her story of addiction and recovery. The tour wraps up with round table conversations with attendees and professionals in our community. Everyone can leam more about legal and illegal drug use. It is a great opportunity for kids and their parents to ask questions and get answers. All parents of Atascadero Unified School District students ages 12 to 18 have received a district Email regarding the next Realty Tour on May 23 at 6 p.m. The Email guides parents on how to sign up for the event. Advance sign-ups are required, and the events is free for all to attend. For more information, visit 

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Atascadero News Magazine

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