Atascadero News Magazine • #56 • February 2023

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Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit 19 13Stars Paso Robles CA ECRWSS Local Postal Customer FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE Health, Fitness & Wellness Local experts share some advice on being your best self Share Some Love on Valentines Day The perfect reminder to stop and smell the roses of friendship, family, romance and self care Roll THROUGH NORTH COUNTY Storms
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The Running Chicken Fun Run Returns for 5th Year

Everyone’s favorite 10K/5K was back this year with the 5th annual Fun Run that celebrates the lives of local sisters and runners Brittni and Brynn Frace.

The Evolution of Fitness and Why Passion is Key

Back in the day fitness was a matter of survival; since then, our life has changed significantly.

Share Some Love on Valentines Day

The perfect reminder to stop and smell the roses of friendship, family, and romance.

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On the Cover Mirac Mattson exploring after the rain. Photo by Hayley Mattson
Something Worth Reading 06 Publisher's Letter Round Town 08 Colony Buzz 09 The Natural Alternative 12 Nut-Fruit-Nut Central Coast 14 The Realty Report Atascadero People 16 George Marrett Features 22 Health, Fitness & Wellness Business 24 Atascadero Chamber of Commerce 25 Custom Card Clocks with Joe Tent City 26 2023 SLO County 5Ks 28 New California Laws for 2023 29 SLO County Office of Education Taste of Atascadero 30 Taste of Americana Calendar & Events 31 February Events 32 Service Listings Last Word 34 Journaling: For Mental Health 34 Directory of our Advertisers Issue No. 56 February 2023 18 20 27 4 |

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As we welcome February and look to warmer days ahead our community is still recovering from the severe rain storm that we encountered last month. At the time of writing the Sheriff's Department continues its search for missing 5-year-old boy Kyle Doan, who was swept away by raging floodwaters on January 9 near San Miguel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our community.

In today's fast-paced world, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and neglect our health and well-being. From long work hours to constant social media stimulation, it can be challenging to make time for ourselves and prioritize our physical and mental health. But it's important to remember that our health and well-being should be at the top of our list of priorities.

This month we spoke to local experts who shared with us some of the best ways to focus on our health and well-being is to make self-care a regular part of our routine. This can include simple things like taking a few minutes each day to meditate or practice deep breathing exercises, going for a walk or run, or even just taking a few minutes to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and just be. Be being kind and compassionate to yourself, and recognize that your needs are just as important as anyone else's. It's about taking the time to do things that make you happy, whether that's reading a book, going for a walk, or simply taking a few minutes to sit and breathe.

One thing I have learned over the years is don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Failure is a part of the process, so don’t let it discourage you. Learn from your mistakes and move on. The more you try, the more you will learn, and the closer you will get to achieving your goals. Believing in yourself and having faith that you can achieve your dreams is the key to making them a reality. With hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything.

We hope you all have a wonderful February, and a Happy Valentine’s Day. We appreciate all your love and support and look forward to what this year will bring.

Much love,

Please enjoy this issue of Atascadero News Magazine.

Hayley and Nic

if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading.

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6 | Publisher's Letter • Something Worth Reading
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Storm Surge Tears Through Atascadero

The Atascadero Lake and Sunken Gardens also sustained amble flooding, as well as many other spots throughout the city.

Design de Cuisine 805, Traffic Records, Raconteur Room, Totum, Gordon’s Good Games, and Andy’s Awesome Arcade on Traffic Way all sustained flooding of 2 to 3 inches when the parking lot behind their businesses became a small lake, leaking into their establishments.

other business owners on her block.

Atascadero canceled its 7th Annual Tamale Festival that was slated for Saturday, January 14 and rescheduled to May 6 due to the severe weather warning and flooding.

An atmospheric river was promised for California, and it delivered plenty of rain and destruction throughout San Luis Obispo County the first part of January.

Due to the rain storm, Atascadero was also put under a Severe Weather Shelter-in-Place Advisory. Over a 24-hour period, Atascadero received 5.24 inches of rain, creating fast-rising creeks and rivers and flooding areas and roads throughout town. Mexican restaurant El Taconazo on Morro Road was flooded with approximately two to three feet of water but

“I sustained heavy flooding through our back door as did many of the businesses we share the block with,” stated Traffic Records owner Manuel Barba. “Due to the unusually large amounts of cardboard and wood crates along with the records themselves, we sustained heavy damage and are working to save all the inventory we are able. Several hundred of our many thousand of LPs were wet along with our racks and bins. We will likely be closed for up to one week to ensure that we can abate any potential mold or Mildew and will have to toss a considerable amount of damaged product.”

“Everyone banded together [it was] pretty cool to watch,” said Specs by Kyla owner Kyla Skinner, who spotted the flooding in the back parking lot and alerted the

Following the storm, the search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away by raging floodwaters near San Miguel continued throughout January. It was reported by Cal Fire that on Monday morning, the area the car was trying to cross was impacted by a downed tree. A neighbor tried to help rescue those inside, and while Kyle’s mother was pulled to safety, he was unable to be rescued.

The SLO County Sheriff’s Office USAR (Underwater Search and Rescue) Team, air operations, drone team, detectives, and deputies were deployed to search for Kyle, and after about five hours of searching on Monday, crews had to cease the search due to hazardous weather. However, with a break in the severe weather, the search was continued the following day.

Unfortunately, there have been no signs of Kyle, and the search efforts continue by both the county officials and volunteers. 

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love is All you need and a smidge of chocolate

When you need a sweet gesture for Valentine’s Day

We’ve been with Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor since the beginning. Maybe it’s their classic style or the fact that they play in a band called Huckleberry Flint. We have an open relationship, meaning we dabble with others, someone from London, perhaps, or someone really attractive from the midwest. But at the end of the day, we always come home to Dick Taylor.

We’re talking about chocolate, of course. Dick Taylor chocolate, founded by Adam and Dustin, is one of those products we trusted when we first opened our doors nearly a decade ago, and it’s one of those goods you’ll still find on our shelves. There are a lot of truly delicious artisan chocolate producers in the US now. Compartes out of LA, with their wacky and delightful flavors (their milk chocolate with potato chips bar goes with us on every road trip), and Askinosie’s single origin bars are a staple for us. But when someone inevitably asks us which is our favorite, many on our team are going to point you to the Dick Taylor chocolates. They are exquisitely packaged and consistently rich

and flavorful. Their Fleur de Sel sea salt chocolate ranks right up there with the best in the world (they’ve won over 80 awards for their craftsmanship), but we’ve also fallen pretty hard for the dark chocolate covered cherries, which are nothing like the kind we had growing up. Using tart, dried cherries grown in Michigan, they add multiple layers of Belize dark chocolate before dusting it with organic cocoa powder.

Having met the founders years ago, it’s wonderful to see how these two young men with a background in woodworking and boat building turned their love of creating with their hands into a source of pride for their hometown of Eureka.

When you’re thinking of showing a little love this Valentine’s Day, we hope you’ll consider some California-made chocolate. As always, we’ll be here to help you pick just the right something special, whether you’re in the crush phase, or hitting that double digit anniversary mark. We love to help!

Big hugs to all this Valentine’s Day!

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Central Coast almonds, olives, and walnuts

“Santa Barbara County has a long, narrow strip of sea-coast, fronting south, [. . .] which is believed to be peculiarly fitted for the culture of the almond.” So wrote Charles Nordhoff (August 31, 1830–July 14, 1901) in “California: For Health, Pleasure, and Residence – A Book for Travellers and Settlers” (1872). Nordhoff began his travels through California in 1871, and reported on the agriculture of the Central Coast.

Nordhoff was born in Erwitte, Prussia (Germany), and emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1835. After schooling in Cincinnati and newspaper work in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, Nordhoff joined the U.S. Navy and sailed around the world. Following three years in the Navy, he worked as a fisherman and in merchant service. Nordhoff turned to journalism in 1853, writing for Harpers, the Evening Post, Tribune and Herald — all in New York. For his California project, he crossed the country by train and sent dispatches of his findings back to New York. The articles, revised and combined with additional material, became Nordhoff’s book on the Golden State.

One of the most notable journalists of his time, Nordhoff crusaded for equal rights for the newly freed slaves and for working-class people. His fascination with farming seems to have at least partially stemmed from his

Germanic work ethic, which placed a premium on industriousness. Carol J. Frost, Ph.D wrote in “The Valley of Cross Purposes” (2017): “Agriculture was the measure of a land’s value to Nordhoff, commerce and urban pursuits seeming only to fatten the ‘non-producers’ of the world.”

During his explorations on horseback, Nordhoff stayed at ranchos but sometimes roughed it; sleeping, he wrote, “on the green grass, with my horse staked out, my feet near a fire, and my body wrapped in overcoat and blanket.”

As you’d expect from his forays on the Central Coast, Nordhoff mentioned the cultivation of oranges, lemons, citrons and limes. But his agricultural reportage focused on almonds, olives and walnuts — crops which are almost nonfactors in Santa Barbara County today.

In San Luis Obispo County, however, there are currently nut orchards in Atascadero, Paso Robles, San Miguel, Santa Margarita/Pozo, and Templeton, while olives are grown in Atascadero, Templeton, and especially Paso Robles, where the Paso Robles Olive Festival is held each year in May.

Nordhoff noted the success of the Languedoc almond — imported from France several years previously — on the Central Coast. He reported that the Languedoc tree’s advantages were that it blossomed late, produced prolifically,

and that the nut had a reasonably soft shell. Farmers planted 108 trees per acre, with each tree yielding about 12 pounds of nuts at five years, and 20 pounds of nuts at eight years. With almonds selling at 20 cents per pound, the groves would produce about $260 to $430 ($5,115 to $8,460 today) per acre. One farmer could single-handedly maintain 20 to 30 acres of almond trees.

The author told of groves of fine young olive trees growing in Santa Barbara County. Planted at 60 trees per acre, at 10 to 12 years old each tree yielded an average of 25 gallons of olives. Olives went for 60 cents per gallon, while pickled olives sold for 75 cents per gallon. Mature olive groves would produce $900 to $1,125 ($17,705 to $22,130 today) per acre. Nordhoff considered the area’s pickled olives better than those from France and Spain, and he predicted that the Central Coast would become the center of olive culture.

Also growing in the region were English walnut trees. Nordhoff described the trees as having “clean, grayish bark, and wide-spreading branches.” Properly cultivated and irrigated, the trees each produced 50 to 75 pounds of nuts at 12 years, and 100 to 150 pounds at 15 years. Farmers planted 30 walnut trees per acre, and one grower could care for a 30-acre orchard. With walnuts selling for 12.5 cents per pound,

12 | Round Town • Charles Nordoff

an orchard of walnut trees 15 years old earned $375 to $560 ($7,380 to $11,700 today) per acre.

Nordhoff’s glowing writings about the Central Coast earned him the affection of its residents. In early 1874 real estate broker Royce Gaylord Surdam laid out a Ventura County town, now known as Ojai. At the urging of local hotel proprietress Mrs. Blumberg, Surdam named the town “Nordhoff” in honor of the author who had written so much about the region. Nordhoff’s official founding occurred on April 6, 1874. The name was changed during the First World War due to the anti-German sentiment of the time.

Nordhoff’s grandson Charles Bernard Nordhoff also earned fame as a writer: He co-authored the novel “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1932).

Nordhoff on the Central Coast

In “California: For Health, Pleasure, and Residence — A Book for Travellers and Settlers,” Nordhoff rhapsodized about journeying along the Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Hollister, “through so fine a country, and under such brilliant skies.” He noted that he “slept three hours at the little town of San Luis Obispo,” one of the stage stops on his route. Nordhoff wrote:

“California has certainly the finest climate in the world. At Santa Barbara I left my horse, on February 20, and rode in the stage through parts of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey

counties, over the mountains through the long and magnificent valley of the Salinas.”

Paso Robles

From Almonds to Olives

In the latter 19th century, Paso Robles was known for its wheat production, but by the early 20th century grapes, fruit, and nuts were the district’s main crops. Almond trees, in particular, thrived in the region’s well-drained soil of clay, sand and silt, and the local annual rainfall was ideal for the watering of non-irrigated nut orchards. The quality of the area’s nut crop was highlighted at the 1906 World’s Fair, where Paso Robles pioneer and farmer Michael Gerst was awarded the prize for the world’s best almonds.

The Paso Robles Almond Growers Association was established in 1910, and commercial almond growing began in the region in 1912. The area’s almond industry exploded to the point where in the 1920s, it had the highest concentration of almond orchards in the United States, and Paso Robles came to be referred to as the almond capital of the world.

Paso Robles’ dominance in almond growing continued into the 1960s, when its output began to be outstripped by producers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Although almond trees are still cultivated in Paso Robles, the district is known today more for its olives and grapes than for its almonds. 

February 2023 | 13

Interpreting Atascadero Real Estate Numbers: 2022, A Perspective


If you have kept up with news regarding real estate happenings, the roller coaster of information available would make you wonder what to do next if a real estate transaction is in your immediate future. It may be helpful to take a historical statistical look back to understand how we ended 2022.

Due to personal choices and demographic flexibility, we saw residential home values increase from 2019 through 2022, allowing real gain in the market. Statistics comparing Atascadero sales from 2019 (pre-COVID), 2020, 2021, and 2022 clearly show an increase in three of the four years’ home sales numbers and appreciation of home values consistently in all four years.

In 2019, there were 429 homes sold with a median price of $512,000. For 2020, total sales were 460, with median sales at $550,000. Gaining momentum in 2021, home sales increased to 495, with a median sales price of $640,000. For 2022, taking a bit of a dip, there were 350 homes sold, but an increased median sales price of $750,000.

Nearby communities saw real market increases as well. Looking at Templeton, there were 181 homes sold in 2021 and a median price of $825,000. In 2022, Templeton had 93 home sales and a median sales price of $930,000. Paso Robles home sales were 821 in 2021 and a median sales price of $612,000. In 2022, Paso Robles had 589 home sales and a median price of $672,452. Clearly, Northern San Luis Obispo County, for 2021 showed the highest number of home sales, while 2022 continued the unprecedented increase in home values.

With the economy on everyone’s mind and inflation on the forefront, interest rates are being used to allay its detrimental effect. Working to help curb inflation, interest rates increased quickly in 2022, starting in

April and peaking in November. Clearly, interest rates have impacted the real estate market on the Central Coast as well as the U.S. Freddie Mac ( shows the weekly U.S. 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage on January 6, 2022, at 3.22 percent. By December 29, 2022, it had just about doubled to 6.42 percent. November interest rates were in the 7+ percent range when they peaked. Projections are that interest rates will drop throughout the year giving buyers more buying power.

The Central Coast’s appreciation in home values evidenced by sales dollars from 2020 through 2022, increased by an impressive 31.7 percent. Looking at the numbers annually, 2020 and 2021 saw appreciation of 4 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively. For 2022, appreciation was around 10 percent. There was a drop in appreciation in the third and

fourth quarters of 2022 by single digits, but still ending with an overall positive appreciation of home values. When looking at historical data since 1978, records for San Luis Obispo County’s appreciation average 6.1 percent per year.

This includes downturns in the economy and the more recent 2007-2012 market recession — one that many people remember and are trying to compare the current environment to, which is not accurate. The 2007 market recession was brought on by poor lending practices, bad loans that spiraled out of control, and variable interest rates, amongst other things happening around the world. Since that time, new laws have been put into place to protect a borrower with stricter regulations to monitor lending practices. In addition, current foreclosures are at an all-time low; remember that value has been added to

14 | Round Town • Realty Report
Jaime Silveria Owner/Broker Malik Real Estate Group BRE #01706045

homes over the last few years, leaving many homeowners in a strong real estate equity position. Lastly, most recent home purchases have been made with a 30-year or 15-year fixed interest rate. This provides stability and reassurance that the monthly mortgage will not be changing for the life of the loan.

Looking ahead, the 2023 real estate market does not have the indicators of a crashing market; it is returning to a normal market. This means it may take 30 days, plus or minus, to sell a home, and both buyer and seller have the ability to negotiate a purchase price and terms.

Supply and demand will play

a role in the sales forecast for 2023. The first week in January, Atascadero inventory has increased when comparing 2021 to 2022, from approximately 14 to 29 active homes on the market for the same time period. This increase is starting to give buyers more options when purchasing a home, but still a long way from previous years. With the positive equity gains for sellers and a strong buyer desire to relocate to the Central Coast, it is a great time to be a seller, but also opportunity for a buyer to establish themselves in the real estate market and put down roots.

Putting these figures into perspective is helpful when deciding to buy or sell a home. As most know, circumstances typically dictate when a real estate transaction needs to happen. Whether it is a new job, downsizing, changes in the family dynamic, retirement, or any other life-changing event, making a real estate move will likely be a consideration. Deciding to act on that consideration is then typically determined by whether or not the financials work. What makes sense and what is financially feasible certainly frame any real estate transaction or major move.

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George Marrett

ECHO Founder, Author, Pilot, Veteran

When it comes to the Vietnam conflict and rescue missions operated there, you are sure to find the name George Marrett in the history books.

George is an aviator, writer, one of the founders of the El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO), and one of the earliest members of the Estrella Warbird Museum. You can typically find him tellings jokes and introducing speakers at the Estrella Warbirds Museum at their monthly dinners. But on the rainy night of January 4, it was George's turn to tell his story.

& Bob

The Origin Story

Born in 1935 in Grand Island, Nebraska, George was 5 years old when the United States joined World War II and 10 years old when it ended. Along with most Americans at the time, his family lived with food and supply rations. He remembers helping his father raise and sell rabbit meat and hide to help their family survive the tight times.

"The war made a big effect on me," as he retells of planes flying overhead in his childhood during the second world war.

Living near an Army Air Corps base, George and his childhood friend played fighter and bomber pilots, re-enacting the war stories they heard over the radio.

"That got me interested in airplanes in that time period [of the war], right off the bat," says George as he goes on to explain his journey to later becoming a decorated United States Air Force officer.

George graduated from Iowa State College in 1957 with a BS in chemistry and then entered the United States Air Force (USAF) as a second lieutenant from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). From there, he spent a few years in pilot and flight training at several Air Force bases (AFB) around the country. In 1964 he was selected to attend the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB where he flew the Northrop T-38 Talon, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and General Dynamics F-106 Delta Dart.

After graduation, he transferred to the Fighter Test Branch at Edwards for three years, where he tested the McDonnell F-4C Phantom, Northrop F-5A, and the General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark.

A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider 1968 George
16 | People • George Marrett

The Sandy Chapter

After some convincing, George went to Thailand to join the Vietnam conflict by flying the Douglas A-1 Skyraider as a "Sandy" rescue pilot in the 602nd Fighter Squadron. While there, he completed 188 combat missions, over 600 combat hours, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters.

George's year of rescue missions in Southeast Asia was a formidable one. Twelve pilots in George's squadron were lost that year, two suffered from severe burns that sent them home, and 26 airplanes were lost.

Here, George recounts witnessing a pilot going down during one of his missions: "Suddenly, I see a parachute going to the tree and an airplane crashing into the ground — Now I am the only one left with two helicopters [who have] never been on a rescue. They have already shot down two airplanes. And that was the deer in the headlight that of all of my flying experience that was the one where I was just stunned."

For this downed pilot, George was told to turn around and resume the rescue mission the next day. That pilot ended up in a prisoner of war camp for five years before returning home.

George wrote the book "Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos" to memorialize the men that were killed in his squadron.

"Rescue, I think, changed my outlook on life. Rescue is a big thing. It's American," George says of his year of rescue.

Homeless, Not Hopeless

When George retired from Hughes Aircraft in 1989, he couldn't let go of the rescuer he had become. Moving to Atascadero for retirement, he couldn't help but notice the homeless population there with no organization to help them.

"There are a lot of homeless veterans and there is just something about a veteran that is homeless and that just can't be," says George as he explains why he felt called to the homeless cause. "That rescue [in Southeast Asia] changed my life and outlook on things."

After years of working with the Atascadero Loaves and Fishes by expanding their services, the first Board of Directors for the soon-to-be ECHO was born, with George sitting as the group's first vice president. The journey to building ECHO into the organization it is today is recounted in George's latest self-published book. In it, he recounts their humble beginnings and the miracles their organization would soon foster.

One cannot possibly condense all of George's stories and life onto one page. But that is OK because George has written six books recounting the different chapters of his life. His experiences have impacted more than just himself and are ones that have gone down in history.

This February, George celebrates 65 years of marriage with his wife, Jan. Together they have two children, Randall and Scott, and four grandchildren, Tyler, Zachary, Cali, and Casey.

George has been inducted into the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, received the USAF Test Pilot School Distinguished Alumnus award, and was inducted as a Fellow with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. 

F-104A Starfighter 1965 A path to remember. Richard Rockoff: NMLS# 243871 / DRE# 00801198 Cell (820) 206-8152 RaeChelle Rockoff: NMLS# 243867 / DRE# 01310466 Cell (820) 206-8232 Planatek Financial, Inc.: NMLS# 328896 / DRE# 01329960 Ph (818) 707-8899 LENDER THE REVERSE MORTGAGE OPTION. MEET US AT THE SANDBOX 1345 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446 CONNECT WITH THE ROCKOFF TEAM Visit us at Call (805) 286-4679 February 2023 | 17

The Evolution of Fitness

and Why Passion is Key

What does it mean to be fit? Back in the days of early man, fitness was a matter of survival and reproduction. Since then, our lifestyles have changed significantly, causing humanity to move from a necessarily active to a much more sedentary way of life with a new set of issues to deal with health wise.

From the convenience of food to working at home and a million ways to stay fit, I turned to a local fitness expert for insight and advice on keeping motivated and staying on track.

Physical movement has always been part of our daily lives, but over time, beyond simple survival, specific movements were slowly developed, passed down, and refined for use in battle, protection or competition, dance or communication, celebration or religion; but movement for health reasons did not come about until later.

The earliest concept of health in relation to physical activity was noted around the time of Confucious when it was found that certain diseases were associated with the physical inactivity of the Shaolin Monks from their long term practice of sedentary meditation. At that time, a form of “moving meditation” began to be developed to promote health, muscle development, the stimulation of internal organs, and increased longevity, a practice that would become Kung Fu and the beginning of the martial arts movement.

Pre-Industrial Revolution, the global population was generally more physically fit, simply by the amount of time and effort required to live on a daily basis, but the innovations and technological advances since have led to not only more comfort, convenience, and leisure time but also to a more sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle that we’ve tried to address as a consequence.

From leaders such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s establishment of the President’s Council on Youth Fitness in 1956; to President-Elect John F. Kennedy, who called physical fitness a defining principle of his administration; to the jogging boom of the 1970s, the Jane Fonda workouts of 1982, the popularization of gyms and fitness centers, rise in personal trainers, home fitness equipment and now with fitness apps and trackers; have we found anything that really works?

In addition, with more research, we’ve learned not only how important movement is for us physically but also how important it is for our mental and emotional health as well.

As a professional brain coach and memory expert, Jim Kwik says, “as your body moves, your brain grooves.”

This quote refers to studies that show how exercise increases heart rate, blood flow, and oxygen into the brain, releases positive “feel good” hormones for a better mood and lowers stress and anxiety. In addition, a UCLA study also shows an increase in the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has shown to increase learning and memory in addition to “supporting functional recovery from brain injuries.

18 |
Brittany and David Pomfret with their two kids, Samson & Clementine, and family dog Sunny.

Basically defined now, to be fit means that you are in good physical and mental health, in a general state of well-being, or that you can function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure at various life stages.

So, what do we do? If we’re not “required” to be physically active for our livelihoods, how do we get motivated and stick to it? To help answer these questions, I asked a local expert, the man affectionately referred to here in Santa Margarita as “Workout Dave” (of course!).

David Pomfret grew up in New York, where he was always active and involved in sports, from gymnastics to diving, and later became a track athlete as a sprinter specializing in the Pole Vault through college. After graduating with a degree in Biology/ Pre-Med in 2000 from Bucknell University, David followed his passion to the Central Coast.

By making this move, Dave was able to further his skills as a Pole Vaulter joining the Sky Jumpers of Atascadero to train under local coach and legend Jan Johnson, the 1972 Munich Olympic bronze medal winner, while also pursuing his Masters Degree in Kinesiology at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

After obtaining his masters degree, Dave went on to coach Track and Field at Cuesta College for 15 years until leaving to focus more on his family and purchasing Studio Fitness for Women, rebranded as Equilibrium Fitness for Women in San Luis Obispo. Along with his wife Brittany and staff, their familyrun business offers an “overall fitness approach focused on helping women stay healthy, balanced and fit through all stages of life,” providing services that include metabolic testing, education, and nutritional counseling in addition to a fully equipped gym and fitness classes.

If you’re anything like millions of other iPhone users and me, you may have noticed a new fitness app that came with a recent update. You know, the one with the rings. Input your age, height, weight, and fitness level, and it gives you a goal of “active calories burned” to close the ring. I found myself becoming neurotic,

having to use the app all the time, or my activity didn’t count. Asking Dave about my experience and his thoughts on apps he laughed and told me I’m not alone. He said to “take fitness apps with a grain of salt. Although they can be good for motivation and data, the metrics of counting steps, actively burned calories, etc.., just don’t fit each individual, and the constant notifications can be distracting, taking you out of the moment”. Also, “calories burned will never out do what goes on in the kitchen.”

Over the pandemic, there was a move to home fitness equipment and apps, but people missed out on the social aspect of classes and meeting at gyms prompting a resurgence of gym memberships.

All considered, what’s Daves best advice? “Consistency, but the key really is to do what you love to do and to move your body for pleasure, not to lose weight or to reach some arbitrary goal; otherwise, you will fall off track quickly.”

“Whatever activity you find most fulfilling is the best thing, and set process goals vs. product goals; for example, say you love playing Pickleball, meet at the court twice a week before breakfast. Love hiking or backpacking? Walk a minimum of three days/week, gradually adding distance or frequency.”

Dave also explains, “incorporating some weight, balance, or flexibility training and occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone will make you even better at what you already love to do.”

So, what are you waiting for?

Find your passion, add some friends for accountability and enjoyment, and have fun, and fitness will follow. 

“as your body moves, your brain grooves.”
“take fitness apps with a grain of salt”

Share some love on Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect reminder to stop and smell the roses of friendship, family, and romance — but It can be easy to get swept away in expectations. So, we are sharing some fun and easy ways to show your loved ones (including yourself!) just how glad you are to have them in your life.

Go on a coffee date

There’s nothing better than a warm cup of delicious, caffeinated joy. Luckily, we have plenty of locally owned coffee shops to fuel our caffeinated addiction. Treat yourself and a loved one, to some of the good stuff from Spearhead Coffee on 12th Street in Paso Robles, or from AMSTRDM Coffee on 13th Street and then take a tour around the park and browse the local boutiques.

If you find yourself in Atascadero, then pick up a hot cup from Malibu Bru or Dark Nector and enjoy the sunshine sitting in Sunken Gardens right next to the historical and grand City Hall. Then take some time to cruise through the shops on Entrada.

A picnic in the park

Take your family for a picnic in the park or go solo — either way, start the journey at Red Scooter Deli on Pine Street in Paso Robles. Sitting conveniently across from Paso Robles City Park, the deli offers a wide selection of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, wraps, and soup.

After you have the essentials, head to the park to enjoy your meal free from other worldly distractions, and then take the little ones to the park for some playtime.

Love, like wine, gets better with time

Wine has a very romantic reputation. So take your sweetheart to Kula Vineyards & Winery tasting room on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero. Alongside their golden retrievers, owners and husband and wife duo Chris and Ayako Williams will seem like old friends in a matter of minutes. Enjoy their award-winning wine, and ask about

their Sparkling Fridays, which offers a special price on their Sparking Rose. The Kula tasting room sits in the heart of Atascadero, which comes to life at night.

Flowers are always a good idea

Research shows fresh blooms have positive immediate and longterm mood boosting effects. The Floral Parlor on Spring Street in Paso Robles offers beautiful blooms and arrangements. They also have fun and unique gifts, perfect for the last-minute pick up.

Show some love and appre ciation to your friends and family, or even yourself, with a lovely floral arrangement this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine Movie Night

Main Street Association and Park Cinemas are joining forces to bring a classic film night at the movies. Get ready for a screening of the timeless romance “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” on the big screen on Sunday, February 19 at 7 p.m. So grab your popcorn and join them for an evening of nostalgia.

Satisfy your sweet tooth

Now that you have flowers and wine, pick up something sweet to complete your Valentine’s Day. Just Baked in Paso Robles and Bramble Pie Bakery in Atascadero offer seasonal and scrumptious treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Whether or not you share those treats are up to you. 

20 |
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Health, Fitness & Wellness

Local experts share some advice on being your best self

The start of the new year and anticipation of spring has a way of making us reevaluate our health. These last few months until spring gives us an opportunity to get back to the basics — cleanse our bodies and minds so when the weather is bright and warm, we are ready to take it all in while feeling our best.

We sat down with three locals who make bodily health their business. We asked them for some advice on all things health, fitness, and wellness.

Ryan Joiner is the founder and CEO of Athlon Fitness & Performance in San Luis Obispo. Since 2003 he and his team have specialized in fitness and performance coaching to help our community look, feel, and perform at their best and create the lives they want. He holds a bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology from Fresno State, a master's degree in Human Movement & Sport from Cal Poly, and 14 other advanced industry certifications.

What advice do you have for beginner athletes?

Two key things in the beginning of a new program, (even if you're advanced and restarting a program).

1. Start light. Focus on volume (more sets and reps, or time) before focusing on intensity (amount of weight or speed). Your body and brain will reward you with more consistent, long-term progress, and less pain and injuries. Too much intensity threatens your brain and puts it into survival mode rather than muscle-building mode.

2. Don't miss workouts. Show up consistently each week, and you'll progress. Make it so easy you can't say no to it. Seriously, show up to the gym and do one simple exercise and leave. Then repeat it often. You can add more complexity in the future. Start easy, and show up consistently. It works.

What advice do you have for more seasoned athletes looking to improve?

Come at it with a beginner's mind: start your new program light, don't miss workouts, and increase in very small ways. Nine times out of 10, advanced athletes derail themselves by violating one of these key beginner principles. They're called fundamentals for a reason. They work. Embrace the basics and start light, don't miss workouts, and increase in small ways. It will get you where you want to go much faster and more effectively than all the sexy stuff from the internet.

North County Pilates owner and instructor Melissa Barton fell in love with Pilates over 15 years ago. She attended Cal Poly, receiving her BS in Kinesiology, the study of movement within the human body. After Cal Poly, Melissa completed the prestigious BASI Pilates training with Karen

Clippinger at Cal State Long Beach.

Melissa explains, "My goal is to provide a safe space for the exploration of movement utilizing Pilates. I want my clients to feel better and get stronger to be able to do the things they love."

What are the advantages of doing low-impact exercises like Pilates?

One advantage of Pilates is we can start someone wherever they are in their fitness journey; you can come in having recently been released by your doctor from an injury or more progressed in their fitness level.

What advice do you have for someone looking to begin a fitness routine?

My advice for someone wanting to improve or begin a new fitness journey is to start slow. I know we all want quick results, but I want my clients to incorporate Pilates forever. I want it to be part of their lifestyle. And new routines take time to make permanent. So give it time.

Rachel Howell is the Manager of The Natural Alternative and holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Colorado State University. Since 2017, Rachel has passionately assisted our community in health and nutrition matters, providing guidance in weight management, digestive health issues, skin conditions, and autoimmune disorders.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to improve their overall health?

Improving your overall health comes down to making practical, sustainable changes and practicing them each day. The key is to start small, ensuring these changes become lasting habits, then working toward bigger goals little by little. My advice for small changes initially would be to focus on incorporating more movement, fresh foods, and water into your daily routine.

What are three essential vitamins/minerals you suggest implementing for overall health?

The three most important supplements one can take to improve their overall health are:

• A food-based multivitamin containing a broad vitamin/mineral profile, taken a few times per week or every other day.

• A quality, multi-strain probiotic taken each day at nighttime to ensure optimal gut health and regularity.

• A digestive enzyme supplement, to aid in digestion, nutrient absorption and prevent gas and bloating. 

22 |
LICENSE#S: 405801856 405802301 405802302 405802303 405802304 (805) 296-3239 · 2025 Union Road, Paso Robles, CA CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN MORE OR SCHEDULE A TOUR! The new standard inSenior WE OFFER A FULL LINE OF MODERN DESIGNED DOORS FOR YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS (805) 239-0202 2756 Concrete Ct., Paso Robles, CA 93446 Visit our website to view our projects Come Visit Our Large Showroom Serving the Paso Robles and Atascadero area for over 30 years! SOLAR NEM 2.0 RATE PLAN DEADLINE: APR 13 PEOPLE. ENER G Y. P L A NET. (805) 466-5595 • • CSLB# 391670 • SINCE 1975 Install solar + battery backup and lock into the NEM2 solar rate plan. Save 300% more savings than under NEM3 rate plan. Deadline is April13, 2023. Call today. 5” SMOOTH FACE 5” OGEE 5” HALF ROUND 6” HALF ROUND 6” OGEE FASCIA STRAIGHT FACE SEAMLESS GUTTERS • Aluminum & Copper Gutters in over 70 Colors • Discounts to Contractors • Service & Maintenance • 5-Year Work Warranty • Rain Chains • Senior Citizen Discounts 3226 EL CAMINO REAL, ATASCADERO  Lic. #876930 Bonded & Insured Workmans Comp, General Liability, Bonds FREE ESTIMATES Thank You! Thank You! For Voting us Best of North County February 2023 | 23

Calling All Entrepreneurs

right over to your work desk at Bridgeworks Coworking, just a few feet away, and settle in with a complimentary coffee or water available at the coworking spaces. Since Bridgeworks Coworking is in downtown Atascadero — you’re central to all things in A-Town, which makes lunches with clients or partners, and after-work plans a breeze (for a complete list of amenities, visit

It’s 2023, and you can take this as your sign to commit to your dream of starting or fully investing in your business. A new year for new goals and a new way to work. 2023 is your year to thrive — I’m looking at you, entrepreneurs. I want to help the local dreamers and doers in our community kick off their work productivity. So, I’m offering 50 percent off all year for the first four qualified entrepreneurs/ start-ups that sign up for a reserved or unreserved desk at Bridgeworks Coworking. Get off the couch or out of your garage and start accomplishing some of your best work this year.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll get your work and projects done with the highspeed internet and encrypted Wi-Fi at Bridgeworks Coworking. Grab a snack from our onsite, fully-functioning kitchen as your project quickly uploads or as you print from our full-color printer. It’s also open 24/7, so you can work on your terms. That means you can grab dinner and a beer at the brewery next door and then head

Programs and Events:

Membership Mixer At Bank of America

February 16 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 6905 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero

Join us for the first Membership Mixer of 2023 at Bank of America. Start the new year off strong by connecting and getting to know other local business professionals. Explore new businesses in our community at “Member Alley” while enjoying complimentary bites and drinks. Membership Mixers are a valuable part of

Our unreserved desks allow you to hop around the coworking spaces and sit wherever you feel inspired to work. Bridgeworks Coworking offers desks, café tables, an indoor lounge, and five outdoor lounges to work from. It’s great if you’re a free-spirit worker and enjoy moving around to a new or different desk daily. Our unreserved desks are only $200 a month (or $100 a month with the entrepreneur/start-up promotion).

In comparison, a reserved desk will allow you to plant some roots. You can leave your computer, office supplies, and more on your designated desk. With security and monitoring, your desk office is safe with us. With your supplies at your desk, it makes dropping in to do a little bit of work and then taking off again easy. Our reserved desks come in at only $300 a month (or $150 a month with the entrepreneur/start-up promotion).

Entrepreneurs, this is your year, and the time is now. Make sure you’re one of the first four people to email me at Josh@ to claim your 50 percent off desk space at Bridgeworks Coworking all year long. Remember, an investment in yourself and your work is never wasted. Call the Chamber team to set up a space tour at (805) 466-2044, or you can go online at to learn more. 


Goosehead Insurance, Tina Jazinski tina-jazinski

The UPS Store

The Wondering Blonde Salon and Boutique thewanderingblondesalonandboutique.

Mystic Hills Vineyard

LouLou Cheese Girl

Ella’s Vineyard

Labor Finders Staffing Agency

Chop Shop Axe Throwing & Social Club

El Compadre Authentic Mexican Food (805) 466-0460

Chameleon Marketing

A-Town Window Cleaners

membership. During this event, you’ll find exceptional opportunities to meet and create strong supportive relationships and connections with other local business professionals.

• Members: Free Admission

• Non-Members: $10

*Registration is encouraged to assist with food and beverage planning purposes. Feel free to invite your coworkers and other business professionals. The more the merrier. If you are not able to register ahead of time, we still welcome your attendance.

LOL Yogurt (805) 663-5348

Byblos Mediterranean Restaurant

Oceanpoint Ranch

High Voltage Professional Home Services (208) 916-8083

24 | Business • Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

With Custom Card Clocks

For the last couple of decades, Joe Brannon has carried the idea for his brandnew business, Custom Card Clocks, around in his brain. Melding together his printing knowledge and his creative side, Joe is bringing a new way to tell time and promote your business to the Central Coast.

"The inspiration came from years ago. I was a graveyard [shift] person in an old Kinkos down in Ventura County, where I grew up, and I would do a lot of things on the machines in there and could make my own business cards and make things like that," stated Joe on his initial spark of inspiration for Custom Card Clocks. "That's probably where the inspiration came from. When I got my first business cards, I started thinking about the clocks and have been carrying this around for probably a good 30 years or so in my head."

Joe's sister moved to the Atascadero two years ago, and he followed her to the Central Coast a year later after a 15-year stint of living in Seattle, Washington. With him, he brought his dream of opening his own business.

"I take people's business cards and make

enlargements and make a clock out of them," Joe said with excitement.

Not only does Joe take your business cards and turn them into clocks for your workplace, but he also specializes in making clocks out of your important memories, including

graduation, family, and pet photos. His shop opened in the old Kmart Shopping Center, now known as the AT 101 Center, on the corner of El Camino Real and San Anselmo in late fall of 2022.

When asked about the process of making his card clocks, Joe said that he takes his client's jpg of their photo or business card, and then he works with a printer out of the Seattle, Washington, area to enlarge the image before it is put on card stock.

"And then I'll frame them and make a clock out of them," he added.

The clocks are 11x17 and capture your favorite memories or give your own clients all the info they need about your business while also getting the time.

You can reach out to Joe to create your own custom clock via his email at jebcoent45@, or his phone number; (206) 791-7994. The store, which is also a secondhand shop, is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and closed on Sunday."

Joe added that he's excited to be a part of Atascadero and equally excited to see what happens with the business in 2023 as it grows and more people learn about it. 

Custom Card Clocks • Business Spotlight
Joe Brannon A loner, I tried to do my book on my own for years. Patricia’s quiet wisdom and tactful manner drew me in, and guided me across the finish line.
~Linda Fairbanks, Paso Robles  Pet Photos  Business Cards  Special Photos  Birthday/Holiday Gifts  Coaches/ Teachers Gifts 4000 El Camino Real, Atascadero  206.791.7994 
7 Custom Card Clocks Unique Clocks, Made to Order February 2023 | 25 The Time is Here!


Us Californians tend to get a little antsy this time of year as we wait for the impending arrival of spring. Along with the crisp, perfectly temperatured spring weather comes a new way of life for us in the Golden State. This new season means the outdoors and one of our favorite pastimes — warmer weather means marathons, 5K's, and triathlons are officially back here in North County.

So that you can get in on the running fun, we compiled a list of all of the marathons, 5Ks, and triathlons happening this year in North County:

Lake San Antonio Triathlon

May 7 Bradley

The Lake San Antonio Triathlon is back this year to kick off the month of May. The triathlon includes a variety of challenges with their sprint, Olympic course, long course, parent/child, duathlon, and aqua bike.

For more information or to register, visit

Silver Moon Race

March 4-5

Paso Robles

This March, the Silver Moon Race is returning to Paso Robles for its 3rd annual race. The Silver Moon Race is a two-mile lap race across farm and vineyard roads. Go at your own pace and enjoy the scenery or strengthen your endurance. The race starts at sunset and runs through the night under the moon and stars until sunrise.

For more information or to register, visit

Lighthouse 5k Fun Run

June 3

Santa Margarita

The 9th Annual Lighthouse 5K Run Run returns this June. Runners can look forward to a scenic trail to walk or run along with a kids’

half-mile and 100-yard dash. It will be a day of fun for the whole family with raffle prizes, race awards, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, vendor fair and bounce house.

Most importantly, you’ll be helping Lighthouse support victims of addiction and work in spreading awareness, prevention, intervention, and education about substance abuse.

For more information or to register, visit fun-run.html

San Luis Obispo Spartan

Trifecta Weekend

November 4-5

Santa Margarita

The Spartan Race returns to San Luis Obispo County for its second year this November in Santa Margarita. Dash through the rows of growing grapevines during bud break and in epic open landscapes, surrounded by the towering Los Padres National Forest. Compete against the top Age Group athletes from around the country and earn points based on your finishing position.

For more information or to register, visit detail/7929/overview

ECHO Turkey Trot

November 23


In 2022, the El Camino Homeless Shelter held its 4th annual Turkey Trot in Atascadero. As always, the trot is held on Thanksgiving morning. Participants are encouraged to wear their best turkey costume while they run/ walk twice around the lake. Prizes are awarded for the best costumes for adults, children, and pets.

The suggested donation for participation is $20 per individual and will help provide services to those in need in our community. There is no need to register in advance; donations will be taken at the event. 

For more information, visit

Silver Moon Race
Tent City • SLO County 5K's 26 |
Lighthouse 5K Fun Run

The Running Chicken The Running Chicken Fun Run Returns

Everyone’s favorite 10K/5K was back this year with the 5th annual return of The Running Chicken Fun Run. The muchloved fun run took place on Sunday, January 8, at 9 a.m., with 430 walkers and runners registered for the race that celebrates the lives of local sisters and runners Brittni and Brynn Frace.

“We’re excited. Can’t believe it’s been five years that we’ve been doing this, but the event has continued to grow, it’s got a lot of community support, and it’s really allowed us to further the mission of Brynn and Brittni’s foundation,” said their father, Warren Frace.

Like last year, this year’s Running Chicken was conducted in a hybrid fashion. While many of the fun run participants headed out to Lake Santa Margarita in person, 50 people also participated virtually from all over the country.

“We decided to keep virtual as an option because we know we have people from around the country that want to participate. They can’t actually get out to the race course,” added Warren.

The Running Chicken Fun Run had something for everyone. The 5K, mostly flat, portion of the course is set up for participants of all levels and ages. More experienced runners gave the 10K section a go. There they faced plenty of challenges, including “the wall.” The race course at Lake Santa Margarita is the same one used by the cross-country team at Atascadero High School. It’s also the very same course that Brynn and Brittni ran themselves.

“It’s a pretty course. It’s a challenging course. And that’s why we picked it for the location of this [fun run],” Warren said. “When they [the participants] are out there running the race, you can picture Brynn and Brittni running those exact same hills and turns.”

Continuing with tradition, the Kiwanis Club was there to make a pancake breakfast for all the racers and walkers once they crossed the finish line. The Kiwanis Club said they made more pancakes this year than ever before.

The Fraces, who pick the Running Chicken’s theme yearly off of things that their daughters created, decided this year’s theme for the race would be “Be Nice — Say HiYa.”

“That’s something that Brittni came up with, she had a sketchbook, and she would draw pictures and write little inspirational notes and whatnot,” Warren explained. “We used to go up to Oregon in the summer, and there was a sign you’d see on a lot of the hiking trails that were up there, basically a ‘share the trail’ kind of sign. It would say, ‘be nice, say hi,’ and the whole idea was for mountain bikes, equestrians, and pedestrians all to share the same trail. So she actually drew some different drawings of that, and that’s what got incorporated into the poster.”

This year, the top three winners of the 5K and the 10K in both the women’s and men’s categories received stained-glass chickens made by artist Deborah Nottenkamper. A distance runner herself, Deborah was also good friends with both

Brynn and Brittni.

This year’s winners were:

5K Women: Frances Perry, Quinn Dubrul, and Colleen McCandless.

5K Men: Oliver Baker-Ballantyne, Bailey Aiello, and Adrian Garcia.

10K Women: Annie Meeder, Nora Pizzella (who ran wearing Brynn’s race bib), and Ellie Nisbet (who ran wearing Brittni’s bib number).

10K Men: Connor Fisher, Anthony Perez, and Jason Reed.

“After the accident and we lost the girls, we had this vision to create this foundation to honor their memory, and the whole idea was to be able to give back to the community and spread positive thoughts and ideas and encourage kids to be in sports and whatnot,” Warren Frace stated of the Run 4 Bitti and Brynn Foundation. “That was a great idea back in 2018, but with everything that’s changed in the last five years, it seems like that mission is even more important than it ever was. So, the ability to just kinda have a positive event and really promote the overall community and help young kids stay focused on achieving their goals is a really great thing to be involved in these days.”

So far, the Run 4 Bitti and Brynn Foundation has given away $21,000 in high school scholarships for kids going to college, and they’ve also given away 250 pairs of athletic shoes to kids in need. To find out more about the foundation, visit

February 2023 | 27 Running Chicken Fun Run • Tent City

New California laws in 2023 Could Affect You

New laws affect traffic, the workplace and more

Each year California enacts new legislation with dozens of changes to state law. Here are some new laws that took effect on January 1, 2023:

The Freedom to Walk Act nearly legalizes jaywalking. Crossing the street outside a designated sidewalk won’t automatically be a ticketable offense.

However, if law enforcement deems the action of a rogue walker creates an “immediate danger of a collision,” then a jaywalking ticket can be issued.

Vehicles must move over to an adjacent lane of traffic if one is available before passing a bicyclist. AB 1909 also prohibits governments from requiring bicycles to be licensed.

California’s minimum wage is increasing to $15.50 an hour. In San Francisco, the minimum wage is nearly $17 an hour.

Pay equity is behind SB 1162, which expands on existing transparency laws that mandate all workplaces with 15 or more employees to include a salary range in job postings. Employers with more than 100 workers must submit certain data to the state, including salaries of employees and contractors broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity.

Removing the “pink tax” is behind AB 1287. The law prohibits charging a higher price for goods that are similar in kind like razors, shampoo, and deodorant, just because they are marketed to women.

To help college students meet academic goals, AB 1705 calls for community colleges to enroll their students in transfer-level math and English

courses if the program they want to transfer into requires those subjects.

It will now be easier for sidewalk street food vendors to obtain local health permits. Backers of SB 972 claim it will improve community health and safety while helping vendors enter the economy to build businesses and provide for their families.

AB 2799 aims to protect rap artists by restricting prosecutors’ use of the artists’ creative content like song lyrics and music videos against those same artists in court.

Local State Senator Ben Allen backed SB 1322 that requires oil companies to post on their websites how much profit they’re making in California.

Known as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, SB 1183 allows California children up to age 5 to sign up for free books in both English and Spanish.

AB 1242 protects women seeking an abortion by prohibiting law enforcement or state corporations from cooperating with or providing information to out-of-state entities regarding lawful abortions in California. It also prohibits law enforcement from knowingly arresting a person for aiding a lawful abortion in the state.

Gender affirming care will be protected under SB 107 which will protect transgender children and their families who flee to California from other states that criminalize a range of social, psychological, behavioral and medical interventions “designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity” when it conflicts with the gender they were assigned at birth.

A new state law prohibits police from using evidence collected from “rape kits” from sexual assault survivors to be used to prosecute those victims in other criminal cases. Police departments can no longer retain the victim’s DNA to be used against them in the future.

SB 1044 prohibits an employer, in an event of an emergency, from retaliating or disciplining an employee who refuses to report to work or leaves a workplace because they have a reasonable belief that the work area is unsafe. Employers are prohibited from taking a worker’s mobile device or preventing them from seeking help. The law defines an emergency as a natural disaster or criminal act. A health pandemic is not listed as an eligible emergency.

AB 1949 allows workers to take up to five days of bereavement leave for the death of a close family member, such as a spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild. The leave may be unpaid at companies without a bereavement policy or workers may use available sick time if company policy only allows for up to three days of bereavement leave.

AB 44 outlaws the sale and manufacturing of new fur products and clothing in the state. California is the first in the country to implement a statewide ban. The law does not apply to used fur products and clothing.

Plus, four new state holidays will be celebrated in 2023; Lunar New Year (January 22), Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (April 24), Native American Day (September 22), and Juneteenth (June 19). 

Tent City • New California Laws 2023
28 |

What to do after high school?

During the holiday season, my wife and I attended gatherings of family and friends with high school-age children and grandchildren. A common question overheard while talking with the high school-age youth was, “What colleges did you apply to, and which is your first choice?” I tried to ask, “What are your plans after high school?” According to the 2021 U.S. Census, approximately 37.9 percent of adults in the United States have completed a bachelor’s degree. By asking the question about the next steps, we consider the multiple postsecondary paths individuals can take on the journey to becoming productive members of our society.

How do we, as a community, best prepare youth for life after high school graduation? Nearly ten years ago, I presented some of my educational research at a symposium hosted by Cambridge University in the United Kingdom (U.K.) about postsecondary paths for young people and the recruitment of employees. My research partner Dr. James Gentilucci and I addressed an audience from America, Europe, Asia, and Africa on the importance of thoughtful education and workplace practices designed to train and retain a local workforce. The U.K., London in particular, faces a similar shortage of employees as we do here in California. One path the European, African, and Asian countries implement is aggressive Career and Technical Education (CTE) in secondary schools that include teacher education. Over the past few years, I attended conferences hosted by the California Department of Education on the importance of CTE pathways in our schools. Our previous local assembly member, Jordan Cunningham, was always in attendance. I anticipate our new assembly member Dawn Addis will continue the support Jordan championed in the state legislature. Education in the United States and across the globe continues to experience challenging times. We would be wise to remember that less than 40 percent of Americans report attaining a bachelor’s degree. More than 9 out of 10 Americans (91.1 percent) earned a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Educational attainment varies by age, sex, race, ethnic origin, nativity, and disability status. While we in America continue to navigate through federal and state mandates impacting our classrooms, our leaders must continue emphasizing CTE as a part of the educational puzzle. Expert puzzle masters advise that instead of taking a wild stab at the puzzle, identify a good strategy that will lead to an acceptable solution. Like the puzzle master’s advice, CTE is a crucial piece of the educational quest for student success. CTE curriculum

strives to pair academics and high-level workplace skills. Students, administrators, teachers, business members, community leaders, and even politicians have endorsed CTE programs across the country for the following reasons:

• CTE-related jobs are in high demand.

• CTE preparation can meet individual and community workplace needs.

• CTE programs reduce dropout rates.

• CTE classes serve to increase student engagement in both CORE and CTE classes.

• CTE curriculum increases student achievement during and after school.

• CTE is cutting-edge in preparing students for “college and career readiness.”

We must make college and career readiness information available, such as collecting and reporting whether students are on-track for high school graduation, readiness for postsecondary enrollment, and how well students persist towards earning a college degree (not simply entrance rates). SLO Partners’ mission is to engage business partners and educators in aligning workforce needs with career and college pathways. We facilitate work experience opportunities to ensure that students have the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the workplace and that businesses have the skilled workers required for a sound, growing economy. We continue to work on industry certifications, such as our highly successful CompTIA Bootcamps.

SLO Partners is a regional consortium of business, industry, education, and community leaders committed to collectively impacting the workforce and economic development by aligning education systems and employment programs with economic opportunities. We recently received formal notification of the intent to award additional pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and workforce development grants for our county. SLOCOE, Cuesta College, and every school district and charter school in our county continue to join forces in leveraging CTE funding to best serve the students in our county. I encourage you to learn more about our highly successful partnership with Cuesta College, SLO Partners, and our high school CTE programs benefiting the community. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools. 

County superintendent of schools
Tori Brown - Owner 7730 Morro Road, Ste #201 Atascadero, CA 93422 Office: (805) 464-4457 ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW BOOKKEEPER OR TAX PREPARER? FREE CONSULTATION FOR NEW CLIENTS  All Bookkeeping Services  Year-End Data Entry  Multiple Year Tax Preparation  1099 / 1096 / W2 / W3 Prep & Filing  Payroll Services  Notary Services  Tax Estimates & Much More! Medical Massage Therapy (818) 625-7490 742 Morro Bay Blvd, Morro Bay, CA 93442 8838 Morro Road, Suite A/B, Atascadero, CA 93422 26+ plus years of experience in Treating Structural & Pain Disorders Peace o f Mind Peace of Mind is a Place for healing and resting the mind, body & spirit Every Body Kneads Peace of Mind www.peaceofmind-massage-morrobay February 2023 | 29
SLO County Office of Education • Tent City


There are many reasons I love the month of February. Reason number one is my birthday, and I'm just glad I'm still having them. Number two, I collect heart items, and the stores are full of them. Number three, I love the color red. And finally, I get to celebrate Valentine's Day by baking something special for those I love. Here are some ideas for you to consider for your Valentine's Day celebration

French Almond

Custard Fondue


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch


Easy Pots De Chocalott

2 cups light cream

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons almond extrac

In saucepan, mix sugar, salt and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually stir 1/2 hot mixture into egg yolks; blend back into mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and add butter and almond extract. Pour into fondue pot. Good dippers include pineapple, cherries, strawberries, bananas and pound cake.

This recipe is super — super easy, super quick and super rich.

Impossible Coconut Pie


4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups milk


Barbie Butz

Devil's Creme


1/4 cup powdered chocolate drink mix


1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Stir together ingredients and chill; whip until stiff. Use to frost Chocolate/Cherry Torte.


1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 egg yolks


1 1/4 cups light cream, scalded

3 tablespoons brandy, rum or creme de cocoa.

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend, pour into elegant cups, such as crystal wine glasses. Chill 4 hours. Garnish with whipping cream mounds if desired.

This delicious pie makes its own crust.

Raspberry Delights


1 1/4 cup sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1 egg yolk


1/2 cup self-rising flour

1 small can coconut flakes

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients with beaten egg; pour into ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

2 tablespoons brandy or milk

3/4 cup raspberry jam

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 tablespoons melted butter

2 1/2 cups flaked coconut

Sift flour with salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and baking powder; blend in butter. Add egg yolk and brandy or milk. Mix. Pat into an 11 x 7 x 2 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spread jam over the crust. Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored; beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar, vanilla and melted butter. Add coconut. Spoon over jam. Bake in preheated moderate oven, 350 degrees, 35 minutes. Cool. Cut into 1 inch squares.

Note: These Delights can also be made with strawberry jam. They freeze well.

For a fun end-of-the-meal dessert, try this next recipe.




1 tablespoon flour

1/2 tablespoon cocoa

2 cups sifted cake flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 (4 ounce) bottle

maraschino cherries

1/2 cup butter


1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 1/3 cup evaporated milk

2 teaspoons red food color

Devil's Creme for frosting

Combine 1 tablespoon flour and cocoa. Lightly grease two 9-inch round layer cake pans; dust with flour-cocoa mixture. Sift together

2 cups cake flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Drain cherries, reserving juice. Chop cherries and set aside. Cream butter; gradually add sugar and blend until light and fluffy. Add eggs, chocolate, evaporated milk, reserved cherry juice and food color. Beat until smooth. Blend in dry ingredients. Fold in cherries. Bake in prepared pans at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Carefully split cake layers. put layers together with Devil's Creme, reserving 1/2 cup to decorate top layer. Decorate top with chocolate candy kisses. Refrigerate to set creme. Makes 12 servings. 

Taste • Taste of Americana 30 |

FEBRUARY Calendar of Events






Bring your special girl to the Father-Daughter Dance at the Pavilion on the Lake for a semi-formal evening of music, dancing, refreshments, & more! A professional photographer will be on-site with affordable picture packages. For more information visit




Bring your special girl to the Father-Daughter Dance at the Pavilion on the Lake for a semi-formal evening of music, dancing, refreshments, & more. A professional photographer will be on-site with affordable picture packages. For more information visit








912 at Haywire Minnesota, 200 miles from the nearest woman. Lumberjacks Slim, Muskrat, Dirty Bob, Moonlight and The Kid live their bachelor life. However, when Slim accidentally orders himself a mail-order bride named Rose, their simple shanty lives are turned upside down. This hilarious musical comedy is paired with “A Culinary Cabaret” for our famous Vaudeville Revue.




Welcome the 2023 Board of Directors and thank the 2022 outgoing Board members. They will also honor the Roblan of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Beautification Award recipient, and Business of the Year, as they share the Chamber’s accomplishments from 2022 and look forward to the year ahead. For more information visit



Enjoy a classic movie on the big screen in Downtown Paso Robles. Movie to be announced soon. Tickets are only $12 and include popcorn and a soda. For more information, call the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street office at (805) 238-4103.

Join us February 23 - 26th, 2023 for the World Surf League Men’s and Women’s event at The Rock in Morro Bay. For more info or to sign up



Experience a taste of Paso Robles Wine Country on the beautiful California coast. Paso Robles BlendFest on the Coast will take place February 23 – 26 in San Simeon and Cambria with a selection of exciting events. Paso Robles’ winemakers love to blend wine, mixing varieties to craft something unique and delicious. BlendFest celebrates rulebreaking, traditional, and unconventional wine blends throughout the weekend. Visit for more information.

Wednesdays Saturdays Tuesdays Saturdays Atascadero 6505 EL CAMINO REAL, ATASCADERO, CA 93422 3pm - 6pm Templeton CROCKER ST & 6TH ST, TEMPLETON, CA 93465 9am - 12:30pm Paso Robles 11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES, CA 93446 9am - 11am Paso Robles: County Farm & Craft Market 11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES 9am - 1pm SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: thu FEB 23 - 26 thu FEB 23tue feb 14 sun feb 19 SAt feb 11 fri feb 3 fri feb 3sat feb 4
February 2023 | 31


Atascadero Library

6555 Capistrano • (805) 461-6161

Register online at


• Tuesday 10-6

• Wednesday 10-6

• Thursday 9-5

• Friday 10-5

• Saturday 9-5

February Programs:

Toddler Storytime

Every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m.- Join Ms. Sally in the library and read books, sing songs, and have fun! For ages 0-3.

Preschool Storytime

Every Friday at 10:30 a.m.- Join Ms. Sally in the library and read books, sing songs, and have fun!

Paws to Read

Thursday Feb, 4th & 16th from 3 to 4:30 p.m. - Come read stories to Jack the dog!

Slo Symphony Instrument Petting Zoo

Saturday, Feb 18th at 2:00 - Play with a variety of instruments from the SLO Symphony! All ages.

Tiny Canvas Painting

We provide the materials and some inspiration; you do the painting. Thursday, Feb 9 at 3:00.

Teen Scene

Friday Feb. 10th & 24th from 2-3:30 p.m. Activities for teens at the library, including Legos, board games, movies, and more! Ages 10-17

Lego Club

Saturday Feb. 25th from 2 to 3 p.m. Create and build with Legos at the Library! For kids age 5-12

Templeton Library

1173 S. Main St.. • (805) 221-5372 (currently voicemail only)


• Tuesday 10 am (Storytime onlyCapacity limited to 30 participants) 11 am - 2 pm,

• Wednesday - Friday 1 pm - 5 pm,

• Saturday 10 am - 1 pm

• Closed - Sunday and Monday

Santa Margarita Library

9630 Murphy Ave. • (805) 438-5622

Creston Library

6290 Adams St. • (805) 237-3010


Cancer Support Community

Providing support, education and hope

1051 Las Tablas Road, Templeton • (805) 238-4411 •

Cancer Support Helpline • (888) 793-9355, 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. PST.

• Visit: for more info

Special Programs

Email for Zoom links and more info

• Every Wednesday

• Tai Chi Chih | Virtual via Zoom•

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

• Mindfulness Hour | Virtual via Zoom •

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month

• Grief Support Group | Virtual via Zoom •

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

• 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month

• Adv. Cancer Support Group | Virtual

• 10:00 a.m - 11:00 a.m.

• 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month

• Caregiver Support Group | In Person •

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

• 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month

• Cancer Patient Support Group | In Person •

11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.

• 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month

• Grief Support Group (Templeton) | Virtual via Zoom •

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Explore Cancer Support Community’s Virtual Home:


North County Parkinson's Support Group

Atascadero Bible Church Library, 6225 Atascadero Ave, Atascadero

• 2nd Monday of each month from 6-8pm

Atascadero Lake walk, 9315 Pismo Ave Atascadero

Meet in the Pavilion parking lot

• 1st Saturday of each month

• 11:00 am

Bring your walking poles if you have them

Contact for more info:

Vic Breault (951) 663-9841


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


Optimist Club

• Atascadero #14927 • 2rd Thursday of each month, 6:00 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 7 p.m.

Santa Margarita Club 2418 • 9610 Murphy St.

• Meeting — 2nd, 4th Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Shandon Valley Club • (630) 571-5466

Meeting — Call ahead for meeting times

Templeton Club 2427 • 601 Main St.

• Meeting — 1st and 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m.

Loyal Order of Moose

• Atascadero 2067 • 8507 El Camino Real • 805-466-5121

• Visit for more information

Atascadero Republican Women

Federated Club

• Republican Headquarters - 7357 El Camino Real, Meetings • 4th Tuesday 11:00 am

• visit


Atascadero Unified School Board

• first and third Tuesday, Closed Session 6pm, Open/Regular Session 7 p.m

Planning Commission

• first and third Tuesday, 6 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 6500 Palma Avenue

City Council

• 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

Events • Service Listing
32 |
(805) 466-2585 • GET MORE EYES ON YOUR AD Scan here to get started! Promote your business to 20,000 addresses in the Atascadero area. Only $165/month! Mention this ad and get 10% OFF your 1/8 page ad for 12 months E85 Diesel Propane Car Wa sh Hw y 41 & 101 Exit 219 Atascadero, CA 93422 ® LIVING TRUST WILLS = PROBATE Without a trust, the court decides Who gets all your property and... Who raises your children... The government or your family since 1980 lic#095935-03 For your peace of mind, call Ed Preserve Your Assests!  In-home Appointments  A complete Living Trust Edward L. Heiman, Jr. (805) 772-2655 FOR ONLY $800 Wood Finishing ‧ Cabinetry ‧ Specialty Projects Service ∙ Sales ∙ Installation Proudly serving all of the San Luis Obispo County February 2023 | 33

Journaling For Mental Health and Clarity

Mental health is an important aspect of a person’s overall health and well-being, and journaling can be a powerful tool for one to process their thoughts and emotions. It allows you to reflect on your experiences and identify patterns and triggers, which can help develop coping strategies. It can also be used as a goal-setting tool and tracking progress.

In addition to its therapeutic benefits, journaling can also be used as a preventative measure for maintaining good mental health. Keeping a journal allows you to regularly check in with yourself and identify any potential issues before they become problematic.

Journaling is known to be just as essential as physical fitness and exercise. Both are important for maintaining overall health and well-being, and they can complement each other in a holistic approach to self-care.

Journaling can be helpful for a variety of reasons. Some of the main benefits include:

Processing thoughts and emotions

Journaling provides a space for individuals to process their thoughts and emotions, which can be particularly beneficial for those who are struggling with anxiety or depression. It allows them to reflect on their experiences and identify patterns and triggers, which can help them develop coping strategies.

Gaining insight into oneself

Writing in a journal can help individuals gain insight into their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can lead to greater selfawareness and understanding of oneself, which can be helpful in making positive changes.

Tracking progress

Journaling can be used to track progress in different areas of life, including mental health, personal growth, and goal setting. Reviewing entries regularly allows individuals to see how far they’ve come and identify any areas that need further attention.

Providing an outlet for self-expression

Journaling can serve as an outlet for expressing feelings and emotions that may be difficult to share with others. It can also be a way to express gratitude and positive thoughts, which can lead to an overall improvement in mood and well-being.

Helping with decision-making

Journaling can help individuals to organize their thoughts, evaluate different options, and make decisions. This is because the act of writing can help people to clarify their thoughts and feelings and to consider different perspectives.

Preventive measure:

Journaling can also be used as a preventive measure for maintaining good mental health. Keeping a journal allows individuals to regularly check in with themselves and identify any potential issues before they become problematic.

Starting a journaling practice can be simple and straightforward.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

• Find a method that works for you: Decide whether you want to write by hand in a physical journal, type on a computer or mobile

device, or use a journaling app or website. Experiment with different methods to find the one that you are most comfortable with.

• Set a regular time: Decide on a regular time each day or week to write in your journal. This could be in the morning, before bed, or at any other time that works for you.

• Be honest and authentic: Write about your thoughts and feelings, no matter how insignificant or difficult they may seem. Remember that journaling is a safe space for self-expression and reflection.

• Reflect on your writing: After writing, take a moment to reflect on what you have written. Look for patterns or themes, and consider how your thoughts and feelings relate to your overall mental health.

• Review your journal: Reviewing your journal regularly can help you track your progress, identify patterns and triggers, and make connections that you may have missed initially.

• Seek professional help if necessary: Journaling can be a helpful tool for managing mental health, but it should not be used as a replacement for professional help. If you are struggling with severe mental health conditions, please seek treatment from a qualified professional.

• Remember, journaling is a personal practice, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important thing is to find a method that works for you and make it a regular part of your routine.

It is important to note that everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing is to find a balance that works for you and to make journaling a regular part of your routine. 

Last Word • Mind, Body & Spirit 34 | 76 Gas Station 33 A Heavenly Home 23 American West Tire & Auto 7 Bottom Line Bookkeeping 29 Brad's Overhead Doors 23 By The Sea Productions 33 Central Coast Casualty Restoration 15 Custom Card Clocks 25 Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners 15 Educated Gardener 33 Edward Heiman 33 Five Star Rain Gutters 23 Greg Malik Real Estate Group 10, 11 Hearing Aid Specialists Of The Central Coast 3 Kenneth's Heating & Air 33 Masterpiece Framing & Gifts 21 Nick's Painting 33 North County Pilates 9 O'Conner Pest Control 33 Odyssey World Cafe 9 Optometric Care Associates 7 Paso Land, Wayne Lewis 8 Peace of Mind Massage Therapy 29 Perry's Parcel &Gift 8 rlender Inc. 17 Solarponics 23 Teresa Rhyne Law Group 21 The Natural Alternative 9 US Southwestern Falun Dafa Association - Shen Yun 5 Writing Support Group 25 DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by

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