Atascadero News Magazine • #50 • August 2022

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The Illustrated Life of Helen K. Davie

Food & Drink

When Life Gives You Lemons AUGUST 2022 Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit 19 13Stars Paso Robles CA ECRWSS

Local Postal Customer

Cruisin' Weekend st 31

Mid State Cruizers

Annual Lake Car Show is back


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Pavilion on the Lake Sept 14, 15, 16, 17, 2022 Tickets on sale July 1st at Theme: Prime Time Atascadero. Season 11 Show Directed by Molly Comin & Christina Troxel Event produced by Jeannie Malik & Friends of the Atascadero Library PROCEEDS BENEFIT ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Atascadero Library Atascadero Performing Arts Center Committee Central Coast Dance Foundation / Artistry in Motion Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo North County Economic Foundation / Leadership North County Sheriff’s Advisory Board / Atascadero Police K9 Foundation Templeton Community Library Association



d Ch Tom ampion Kara Butler s Fren zel

Photo provided by: Cheryl Strahl Photography For information on community star dancers representing these non-profits visit


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fe at ures

August 2022

Issue No. 50



The Illustrated Life of Helen K. Davie


Atascadero’s Cruisin’ Weekend Returns





By Christianna Marks

Local artist and children's book illustrator Helen K. Davie has been creative ever since she can remember. She started painting at the young age of 4 and hasn't looked back since then.

By Christianna marks

The Mid State Cruizers 31st Annual Lake Car Show is back. Returning for the first time since the 30th annual show in 2019, the classic cars will join the fun-filled weekend once again.

22 24

AHS Aquatics Plan: Where Are We Now? By Christianna Marks

Over the last few years, plans for the Atascadero High School pool, which has been an item of speculation from the community, was talked about in detail during the study session answering the key question, Where are we now?

California Farmers Water Curtailment Orders By Camille DeVaul

Farmers up and down California are once again facing an uncertain season ahead of them as a state water curtailment order issued in August 2021 continues to take its toll on farming and ranching families.

On the Cover

2021 El Camino Cruise Photo by Rick Evans 17,000 PRINTED | 15,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY! Atascadero 93422 • Santa Margarita 93453 • Creston 93432


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Atascadero News Magazine

Publishers Note

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Do you have an inspiring image of our amazing community? Do you know of a story that needs to be shared? Email us today at

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July 2nd The Rockin’ Bs Band Presented by STOVE & SPA CENTER (Country Rock)

July 9th The Jump Jax


(Swing, Soul, R&B)

July 23rd Ghost\Monster (Rock & Roll)

July 30th The Cinders Blues Band Presented by STARNA CELLS (Blues)

August 6th Soundhouse Presented by RE/MAX SUCCESS (Rock)

August 13th The Counterfeit Kings (Cover Songs) Presented by QUOTA OF ATASCADERO

August 27th The JD Project (Rock, Blues & Country)

September 3rd Stellar

Presented by COASTAL COMMUNITIES PHYSICIAN NETWORK (Classics & Fleetwood Mac covers)

September 10th Truth About Seafood (Rock)

Bring a low back chair! Food available for purchase!


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Hayley Mattson

Nicholas Mattson COPY EDITOR


Mike Chaldu

Camille DeVaul AD DESIGN


Jen Rodman


Christianna Marks



Dana McGraw Brooke Brinar Jamie Self

Neil Schumaker Evan Rodda Lauren Miller




26 Something Worth Reading


Publisher's Letter: Life As We Knew It

Round Town 12 14 15 16

Colony Buzz: Happenings Around Atascadero Cross Talk: Claiming Your Employee Tax Credit The Natural Alternative: Sweet Dreams Solutions Santa Margarita: Back to School Kicks Off Scouting Recruitment

Atascadero People 18


Farron Elizabeth: Celebrates 7th Year on Entrada Ave. Atascadero's Movie Theater: The Show Must go On

Tent City 28 29

805Ag Kids: Organization Expands to SLO County Camp Cinder: Firefighting Camp Comes to Atascadero

Taste of Atascadero 30

Taste of Americana: When Life Gives You Lemons

Calendar & Events 31 32 33

August Events: Crusin Weekend, Concerts in the Park and more Service Listings: Government, Health & Wellness and other Resources Festival: Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival is Back

Last Word 34 34

The Natural Alternative

Josh Cross

Simone Smith


SEPTEMBER 2022 PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE September 2, 2022 ADVERTISING DEADLINE August 10, 2022 For more advertising information, contact our advertising representatives above, or see our media kit at

Shawna Volpa: Brings the Drama to Atascadero High School

Business 26

Barbie Butz

Atascadero Oaks Baseball: Wins 14U Gold Bracket Directory of our Advertisers



5860 El Camino Real Ste G Atascadero, Ca 93422


P.O. Box 6068 Atascadero, Ca 93423


Annual subscriptions are available for $29.99 Subscribe online at


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.

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Publisher’s Letter

Creating a Life Well Loved ummertime on the Central Coast is one of my favorite times of the year, and this year, we had only a few days that were hotter than one could stand. Over the last month, we enjoyed some of the fantastic events in July. Circus Vargas was back in town, which has become a family tradition to attend every year. If you have not attended one of their shows, I encourage you to do so when they return; it is sure to be an excellent time for the entire family and just gets better every time we go. Another community and family favorite is the California MidState Fair; what I love the most about the Fair is watching it all come together. The amount of people, time, and effort that goes into producing the Fair for the County each year is quite impressive. A terrific job to everyone involved, dedicating their time and effort to bring us “The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere.” A true staple of what our community is all about. If we have learned anything over the last few years, it is that home matters and nurturing the community that surrounds our homes. Over the years, we have volunteered our time and effort to multiple nonprofit and school event committees and sat on Boards for the Chamber and other nonprofits because we believe that is where the real change happens. Many will say the heart of the community lies in the hands of the selfless volunteers that spend their time unpaid putting on the much-loved events our communities thrive and depend on. These committees do not happen by chance, and for most of them, they are a group of individuals who love where they live, believe in our history and tradition, and value what we have here. For that, I will be forever grateful to everyone who showed up before me and taught me to do the same — give of my time, invest in our community, and teach my children to do the same. In turn, we will create a life well-loved and one we can pass on for generations. “The purpose of life is not to be happy, but to matter – to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” – Leo Rosten We hope you enjoy the month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine; it is an honor to publish it for you every month. Hayley & Nic Mattson

if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727 This month’s edition of Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by all the local advertisers that fill our pages. Thanks to them, we are able to bring you your local Hometown Magazine.

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Atascadero News Magazine

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Thank You!

For Voting us Best of North County



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Specs by Kyla Celebrates One Year on Traffic Way

On Tuesday, July 5, Atascadero's bold eyewear boutique, Specs by Kyla, celebrated its one-year anniversary. The shop has become a beloved business on Traffic Way since opening in 2021. "It feels overwhelmingly amazing, and I'm just full of gratitude," said owner Kyla Skinner. Skinner, who recently joined the San Luis

Obispo (SLO) Chamber, celebrated her one-year anniversary with a ribbon-cutting which was provided as part of her joining. But she was surprised when the Atascadero Chamber showed up with a ribbon of their own. SLO Chamber members Kaila Anderson, Michelle Axberg, and Bridgette Faulkner were in attendance, as well as SLO Chamber Ambassador volunteers Rob Quintana, Ray Riordan, Holley Edwards, and Shawn Ray. Julie Matthews, Rosey Parks, Anna Pecharich, and Angela Cisneros represented the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. The entire City Council was also in attendance, including Mayor Heather Moreno and council members Mark Dariz, Susan Funk, Heather Newsom, and Charles Bourbeau. "So the SLO Chamber, it was arranged to do a ribbon-cutting with them," Skinner said. "I invited the Atascadero Chamber just to be here, and then they surprised me. That brought a few tears to my eyes." Even though Specs by Kyla isn't a brand new business in the North County, it never got an official Atascadero ribbon-cutting due to COVID. "I think I've just been so surprised at the feeling of support in this community,"

Skinner said. "So it really just touched my heart that they [the Atascadero Chamber] made an effort to be here and to make me feel appreciated and welcome." Not only was Skinner celebrating one year of operating Specs by Kyla, but July 5 is also her birthday. She decided to open her glasses shop on her birthday as an ode to her birth mother, who, upon her death at the end of 2019, left Skinner an inheritance that was used to open the shop. "Thank you to Atascadero and the North County for being so supportive during my first year in business," Skinner said.

Atascadero’s Dancing with Our Stars Returns!

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The community ’s much-loved event is back, with the postponed March 2020 show on track for this September. “Prime Time Atascadero: Season 11.” directed by Molly Comin and Christina Troxel. The show is based on popular TV series, past and present, featuring professional dance vignettes coupled with “Community Star” dance performances supporting 7 local non-profit organizations. More details will be released over the next few weeks; read more in the upcoming issues of The Atascadero News or visit

Wild About Art at the Charles Paddock Zoo

Wild About Art is back, plan for a day of fun and art on Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. Attendees will have an opportunity to watch as the zoo’s animal residents create their own, unique and artistic pieces. Zoo visitors will also be able to create lots of fun arts and crafts too, with plenty of opportunities for children to color, paint, and much more. In addition, talented local artists will be on hand to showcase their beautiful artwork for sale. All of the demonstrations, workshops, and artistic activities at this terrific new event are included with the price of general admission. There will also be plenty of delicious food and beverages available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 461-5080 or

• August 27: Sing 2 • September 3: Eternals Concessions will be available for purchase from Paradise Shaved Ice. Be sure to bring a low-back chair or picnic blanket. For more information, go to:

Movies in the Sunken Gardens Enjoy a movie under the stars with your family in the beautiful Sunken Gardens. Movies are free to the public and will begin at approximately 8:15 p.m. This year's movie schedule is: • August 6: Encanto • August 13: Dog

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A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND DONORS 11th Annual Atascadero Optimist Club Wine Festival Golf Tournament

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Exceptional Gifts  Fine Teas  Jewelry  Candles  Greeting Cards  Calendars & Books  Seasonal & Vintage Treasures

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$125 SPONSORS AND DONORS Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival Atascadero 76 Cindy Bell Beverage Services Inc. Gerald & Merrilene Bollman Desoto’s Family Tree Service Dignity Memorial (Chapel Of The Roses) Dubost Winery

Farmers Ins. (Daniel Phillips) Ferrell’s Auto Repair Galaxy Theatre Golf And More Guest House Grill Home Depot Holiday Inn Express Hunter Ranch Golf Course Idler’s Home Kennedy Club Fitness Rich & Kersti Lasiewski Legends Salon Links Course At Paso Robles Lube N Go Matthew Coons D.D.S. Michael’s Optical Miner’s Minkyu Energy Kim Okerson O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Olea Farm Pambrun Bracing D.D.S. Paso Robles Golf Club Paso Robles Optimist Club Rocky Canyon Kennels Sylvester’s Burgers Talley Farms Tanjerine Enterprizes Templeton Feed And Grain The Cutting Room Tobin James Cellars Union Bank Zenaida Cellars

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Round Town • Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

Cross Talk: Claiming Your Employee Retention Tax Credit by Josh Cross


id you know that if you experienced a 50 percent drop in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 or 20 percent compared to 2021, you qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)? You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity for your business! It can dramatically help your business as you recover from the pandemic. If you’re unfamiliar with the ERTC, it’s a refundable payroll tax credit businesses receive on eligible employee costs, including wages and certain benefits. The credit is calculated per employee, with a maximum of $5,000 for 2020, or 50 percent of the employee cost. With a maximum of $21,000 per employee for 2021 or 70 percent of the employee cost. If you received government funds, including the PPP, RRF, and other payroll programs, you could still qualify for the ERTC. You just cannot “double-dip” into the same claimed wages. Even if you’re a new business and started after February 15, 2020, you can

still qualify as a Startup Recovery Business with modified limits. While the ERTC program ended last year, you can still claim the credit on amended payroll tax returns as long as the statute of limitations remains open (three years from the filing date). This means you have until the end of 2024 to take advantage of the employee retention credit against applicable employment taxes and qualified wages paid to their employees through December 31, 2021. To date, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce has assisted businesses in receiving over $670,000 in ERTC funds. Ready to get started on claiming your employee retention tax credits? You can contact our friends at the Pioneer Accounting Group by calling or texting (206) 745-9492 or emailing ertc@ They can help you determine if your business qualifies (which a surprising amount do) and help you file the necessary paperwork to claim it.

NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS Haven Blue Salon Damsel in Defense/ Pepper Spray Patty Stilson Cellars Toyota of San Luis Obispo

Headstrong Fit


Tuesdays in the Park Every Tuesday | 5 to 8 p.m.


oin us every week on Tuesday from 5–8 p.m. for some mouthwatering dinner from local food trucks, baked goodies by various nonprofits, and a wine and beer garden at the Atascadero Lake Park. Live music by the Atascadero Community Band kicks off at 7 p.m. We recommend bringing chairs or a picnic blanket. Get ready to enjoy summer evenings with our amazing community! August Membership Mixer TBD August 18 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


oin us on the 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for our August Membership Mix. Mix and mingle with local business professionals, and explore “Member Alley.” Enjoy complimentary bites and drinks.

Membership Mixers are free to members. Registration is encouraged to assist with food and beverage planning purposes. If you are not able to register ahead of time, we still welcome your attendance. Fall Art & Wine Tour September 9 | 5 to 8 p.m.


elebrate the fall season with the Art & Wine Tour! Sip and shop your way downtown Atascadero. Enjoy phenomenal wine, beer, coffee, and other treats from 15+ businesses.

Earlybird tickets are $20 and are available through September 4. From September 5 to 8 p.m., General Admission tickets are $25; on the day of the event, they are $30. Every ticket comes with a complimentary wine glass. Purchase your tickets at:

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Bella Luna Estate Winery FlyWithWine Soleil Floors & Design Brushworks Painting Page of Art History Atascadero News Magazine

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Round Town • Santa Margarita

Back to School Kicks off By Simone Smith


Scouting Recruitment

hen kids head back to school in August, learning is on everyone’s minds, well, that and seeing friends and maybe the thought of joining a sports team or a new club to pursue a special interest. If, however, you (or maybe a child or teen you know) have diverse interests, want to learn leadership skills, are interested in outdoor adventures, or just want to escape the boredom of being indoors and are 11 to 17 years of age, you may be interested in Scouting. Although the “modern Scouting Movement” started over 100 years ago, Scouting organizations are still going strong worldwide. It all began when British Army General Lord Robert Baden-Powell re-wrote his popular military training manual, “Aids to Scouting,” into “Scouting for Boys,” which was published over six installments in 1908 to better suit a youth readership. The story goes that Baden-Powell’s new manual was so eagerly received that it resulted in the spontaneous formations of Boy Scout troops and led Baden-Powell to become the founder and Chief Scout of what would become the worldwide Scouting Movement. Scouting quickly became so popular that,

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according to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, when the first Boy Scout Rally took place in 1909 in the UK, “a group of girls showed up declaring themselves to be Girl Scouts.” This prompted Baden-Powell to decide that there should be a Scouting movement for girls as well, leading to the official establishment of the Girl Guide Association in the UK led by Agness Baden-Powell, Robert Baden-Powell’s sister. By 1912 the movement had spread to other countries such as Ireland, Portugal, and Norway, and a woman by the name of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low became the Founder of Girl Scouting in the U.S.A. By 1922, Scouting had grown to over 1 million members in 32 countries around the world, and according to Scouting facts, by 2020 had increased to “more than 31 million Scouts, youth and adults, boys and girls, in 216 countries and territories”. Much has happened over the years, and since its inception, Scouting has changed along with the times. Although in the U.S., Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts remained similar in promoting adventure, camping, skills, personal fitness, and leadership development, the organizations remained separate

in regards to the membership for only boys or only girls until recently. Although siblings were welcomed to attend meetings and work on projects, girls were not allowed to become official members of the Boy Scouts, earn Merit Badges, or recognize progression through ranks. That all changed beginning in February of 2019 when the Boy Scouts of America became all-inclusive, changing their name to Scouts BSA and allowing girls to become members. Now Scouting is for everyone, all children 7 to 10 years of age can become Cub Scouts, and for those 11 to 17 years of age, there are additional, new, and separate all Girl Troops of Scouts BSA (due to the dynamics of girls generally maturing earlier, being more communicative, cooperative and more naturally prone to taking on leadership roles). In San Luis Obispo County, you can find local Scout BSA Troops to join through, with newer Scout BSA Girl Troops available in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Pismo Beach. Although Scouting is yearround and welcomes new members at any time, Scout BSA organizations will be doing more Atascadero News Magazine

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Troop spent their time being active outside, restoring 1970s canoes from Camp French and renting space from a local Christian camp for a week-long campout where the boys were able to earn up to 50 Merit Badges, including Motor Boating, Cycling, Fishing, First Aid and Pioneering. The development of leadership skills and self-reliance has high priority in Scouting, and Tashma likes to push the Scouts to do more planning, researching their ideas for projects and campouts and presenting them along with details of, when, where, how, and what the costs are. Sound interesting? To join Scouts BSA Troop 123, you can contact Tashma by calling him at (760) 219-4277 or via email or by attending a meeting which is held generally every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Santa Margarita Community Hall. 


outreach and recruiting students as they head back to school in August. Currently, Santa Margarita has a very active Boy Scout Troop 123, which is looking for new members and will be doing outreach and recruiting to middle schools. Under the guidance of Scoutmaster Sean Tashma for the past three years, Scout Troop 123 is a “high adventure Scouts BSA Troop serving boys ages 11-17” as part of the Los Padres Council of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. As Scoutmaster and former U.S. Marine, Tashma has brought his leadership skills, boundless energy, enthusiasm, and project ideas to the Troop and encourages the boys to go in the directions of their choosing. As a self proclaimed “avid YouTuber,” Sean has helped lead the Troop in many projects, including making Rocket Stoves, Penny Stoves, and PVC snowshoes. During COVID, the



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North County: 805.466.1248 ‧ South County: 805.543.5539 ‧ Email: August 2022 | 17

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H ap m Fro

People • AHS Drama Teacher Shawna Volpa

Shawna Volpa Brings the Drama to Atascadero High School By Christianna Marks


or the last five years, Shawna Volpa has been the theater arts instructor and director at Atascadero High School, where she's been teaching her students the fine art of drama. Shawna, who grew up bouncing around a mix of inland and coastal towns on the Central Coast, learned of the teaching opportunity at Atascadero High School when former teacher Sabrina Pratt suggested she apply. Sabrina and Shawna knew each other from performing in community theater productions together. "I'd already had teaching experience, and

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I was like, a drama job, I would love it. That's what I went to school for. So, I applied, and I got it," said Shawna. Sabrina and Shawna shared the position for a year before Sabrina left to create the Central Coast Comedy Theater, leaving Shawna to helm the AHS Drama Department by herself. Shawna dove headlong into bringing her own flair to the program. With a background in Improv and theater, she's built a drama program that ensures all angles of the dramatic arts are covered and that everyone who's a part of her classes has a place. "We have an improv team that the kids audition for every year. We have at least one

show a month where we do sketch comedy and improvisation," Shawna added. On top of Improv, Shawna's students perform one play and one musical each year. But that's not all; she's also known for featuring her students in talent shows. "It's for the kids that really want to do something but didn't audition or didn't make it into a production," Shawna said of the talent shows. "I'll try to throw something in, so they can at least have some sort of performance opportunity." Shawna's curriculum includes four classes. Including a class that teaches students the basic rules of Improv, with some sketch comedy and script writing thrown in. Other Atascadero News Magazine

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classes include an Interim to Theater class and an Advanced Theater class, including film acting, acting theory, and more. The fourth one is a Tech class. "Tech is responsible for the two productions each year, said Shawna. "So everybody gets a role, and depending on how many kids there are in the class depends on how many roles we have to share. So somebody's responsible for costumes and planning the costumes, and we all design the set together in the very beginning." The Tech class is also responsible for picking the plays and musicals they will perform that year. In addition, they also design and build the sets and create the costume designs. And one student gets chosen to be stage manager/ assistant director and will shadow Shawna from the audition process through the closing of the show. "But it's such a positive thing because we are stoked even if they [the students] come out," Shawna added about the audition process. "Even if it did not go as well as you intended, the only way to get better is to practice." Shawna is known for being hands-on with all of her students and finds a place for them, whether they're comfortable on stage or behind the scenes. "I feel like the more ownership they take in it, the more it means to them," she said of her students. Shawna went on to say that she enjoys fostering the creative energy of the students who like the back-end work as much as

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the actors who want to be in the limelight. As a drama teacher, Shawna also loves getting her students out into the community, and while a lot of that has been put on hold due to COVID, she's excited for the 2022-23 school year and the ability to get back out there. "In the past, the techies have built for Fine Arts Academy shows," she added. "They'll send us the play, we'll design the set, we create the set, and then the Techs run the show for them." Shawna doesn't stop there; she also likes to bring the community into her classroom, pulling in theater and film professionals from all over the Central Coast to guest speak or even run workshops for her Atascadero High School students. "I think that's super cool that we have so many people like that on the Central Coast," Shawna said. Shawna also stresses to her students that what they learn in her classroom will apply to parts of their life that have nothing to do with performing or tech work in theater. "I tell them from the very beginning, even if this is not your cup of tea, what you're going to learn in here is going to help you in the future. Because creativity is the new currency of the 21st century," Shawna stated. "So, I try to get them [her students] to think of it not just in this moment, but this will help you later. This will help you for job interviews; this will help you in all types of aspects of your life.". 


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7/20/22 6:20 PM

Illustrated Life of

Helen K. Davie

By Christianna Marks


ocal artist and children’s book illustrator Helen K. Davie has been creative ever since she can remember. She started painting at the young age of 4 and hasn’t looked back since. “My mother especially was very supportive,” stated Helen. “She made sure that I had paints and supplies and nurtured me that way.” Years later, Helen attended junior college, knowing she wanted to do something with art, and thus began her journey toward illustrating books. “As I kept taking the art classes, I began to realize how much I had loved illustrated books as a child, and I still love reading, and it just seemed to be a real natural fit for me,” she said. Helen graduated from Cupertino High School but decided against attending San Jose State University because it only offered a degree in graphics with an illustration emphasis, which didn’t push her toward children’s book illustration. So, she stuck with her gut and attended Long Beach State, where she learned from a slew of fantastic instructors. “At the time, you left with your portfolio, and that gave you a clear idea of where to go next. So, I did what a lot of art students do I sold art supplies [after college],” Helen joked. That’s where she met her first husband, who was also an artist. He was the one who first suggested that Helen start illustrating greeting cards. So, she sent some samples to an art director, who, by happy circumstance, had just become an instructor at Long Beach

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State. And with that, her greeting card career started. “Having these greeting cards in my portfolio made it so much easier for me when my first husband and I went to New York City,” added Helen. When they headed to New York, both had dreams of getting their artwork into the hands of publishers. “We made appointments at publishing houses, and at others, we dropped our portfolios off and then came back,” Helen said. “It’s an experience you just wouldn’t have today. It’s all done electronically [now].” After their New York trip, Helen and her first husband decided to leave California and move to Connecticut. Helen began looking for an art rep, and she landed one who got her started with illustrating children’s textbooks. “Not glamorous. Not necessarily fun. But it paid the bills,” stated Helen. “The rep took my portfolio to Little Brown, and at that time, they had a manuscript and were looking for someone who did borders. A lot of my greeting cards had borders on them. So, I was given the opportunity to look at the manuscript, and I just loved it, and that’s what I call my first real book.” The book was “The Star Maiden: An Ojibway Tale” by Barbara Juster Esbensen. The book features a story about a star that comes to earth. “After that, I had more books with the same author, which is unusual,” Helen continued. “We formed a friendship, and then the editor we’d been working with moved to Orchard

Books. So I have a book there. And then this author, Barbara Juster Esbensen, she was a poet, and we collaborated on a book together about patterns in nature. And her poems were under contract with Harper Collins, so now I had books at Harper Collins. So a fun progression.” Helen and her second husband moved to Atascadero in 1996 before moving to their current residence in Templeton in 1998. “I was born in Los Angeles and then grew up in Cupertino, so you know this is right in the middle. It’s poetic,” stated Helen. “A funny thing, as kids, you know you’re bored in the car, and we would be traveling for holidays down to relatives in Los Angeles, and on the way, we’d look for landmarks. And there was this one we always looked for; it was the giant milk bottle. It has since been relocated to Main Street in Templeton, and I just found that so ironic. Here I ended up about a mile or so away, living from the milk bottle.” While looking for ways to make new friends in San Luis Obispo County, Helen met a woman at The Art Center (now SLOMA) who was about to start taking print-making classes at Cuesta. A print-makers group was formed, and Helen was invited to participate. “I was hooked, and was like, this is so fun, and it’s so graphic,” she stated. In 2009, when Anne Laddon got Studios on the Park up and running, Helen and a group of artists started working out of one of a studio there, and Helen has been a part of Studios on the Park ever since, displaying her block-printing art for the whole county to see.  Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM

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The Atascadero High School Pool: Where Are We Now? By Christianna Marks


ver the last few years, plans for the Atascadero High School pool have been a hot topic and, at times, in the middle of what some say is a point of contention between parents of athletes towards the Administration and the Board of Trustees. Recently at the Facilities Study Session held by the Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) after its board meeting on June 14, the Aquatics Plan was addressed. The pool, which has been an item of speculation from the community, was talked about in detail during the study session. "Our high school pool, [which] I'm going to call the journey; the journey began in February 2019," Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jackie Martin said. "We did prior to...have some failure: The heater, and some [other] things broke at the pool, so it [was] highlighted. Back in February 2019, the board did approve the district to move forward with seeking architectural services. So that [is now] three years ago. It was quite a process; we had a pandemic in the middle...but we did bring to the board in June of 2020 an actual architectural agreement that the board did approve." Martin went on to explain that there were updates from February to March of 2020 and even after regarding the process the district was at with the pool. "To date, we have expended about $530,000 on planning, architectural, testing, surveys, all those things that you need to do to develop plans," added Martin. According to Martin, the district has committed, in total, $670,000 to date on a pool replacement. "Our plans are done, and they're up at the

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Department of State Architects (DSA)," Martin explained. "October 4 [2021] is when they [the plans] were submitted," said Executive Director of Bond/Facilities Brant Lloyd on how the process works. "They went into the initial readthrough period, and they [the DSA] look that over, and then make some comments and send it back to us for what is called a 'fact-check.' Then [we] identify all of the comments, answer the questions, and then resubmit so that they evaluate our comments." The DSA has three pillars when addressing new builds, according to Lloyd. It weighs in on Structural Safety, Access Compliance, and Fire Life Safety. "Fire Life Safety is approved. Access Compliance is approved. Structural is where we're stuck," Lloyd explained. "So they reviewed initially, they've been fact-checked reviewed, and then they've issued more comments based on that fact-check review, and now we are trying to identify the answers." Though the school district is past the formal submission stage, the plans will not be approved until the questions between the DSA and AUSD are completed, and the DSA is satisfied. The plans currently submitted are for the exact pool that would be built down the line. Once the approved plans are back and in the hands of AUSD, the next step will be going to bid, which is the only way to know what the final cost of building the pool would be. According to Martin, the district will not move forward without board approval on the final contractor bid for the project. Some board members stated their apprehension about growing inflation rates. "Our obligation is to go out and get a competitive bid from a reputable contractor

and then inform you of what that looks like," Superintendent Tom Butler stated. "As well as making sure you [the board] feel confident in securing the funds for anything that you're going to consider." Katy Pollington, a mother of an AHS student, addressed the trustees. She asked the board if the pool was already funded or if the AUSD has funds committed to the project and asked for them to explain the difference. "At a regular board meeting, when the board votes, that's when something becomes funded," Butler said. "So they [the board] have already funded the architectural portion of this pool project. When we talk about the construction of it, if you heard Mrs. Martin talking about going out to bid, securing information from contractors about the cost. That [portion of the pool] won't be funded until the board takes another formal action at a formal board meeting." Jon Conrad, the head coach of the boy's water polo program at the high school, also addressed the board regarding the pool. "I'm here to express my hope that the new pool, even though money is significant, is a top priority for facilities in Atascadero," said Conrad. "I've been involved in aquatics for over 40 years, I started when I was 5, and I've been to countless pools. I've never seen a pool in greater need of being replaced than our own pool at the high school." He went on to say that there would be nothing but benefits to the community in having a new pool and that without one, it's hard to teach water safety to the students in the AUSD and other Atascadero locals. According to the district, the AHS Aquatics Plan is a top priority; The Atascadero News will bring updates as the process continues.  Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM

Cruisin' Weekend Classic Cars Return to El Camino for the 29th Year

By Christianna Marks


he Mid State Cruizers 31st Annual Lake Car Show is back. Returning for the first time since the 30th annual show in 2019, the Mid State Cruizers Car Club has been anxiously awaiting its return, but on Saturday, August 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the wait will be over. “We classic car enthusiasts are revving up our engines and are ready to get on with the show,” said Mid State Cruizers Car Club President Roy Barba. The Mid State Cruizers got together in 1989 as car enthusiasts who wanted to serve the community. “The main reason for our car show is to give back to the community,” Roy said. “It is written into our by-laws that we donate all the profits from the show to local charities. After everything is tallied, we vote for 10 local charities to receive donations. After our last show, we were able to donate $8,000-plus.” Not only will there be classic cars to check out at Atascadero Lake, but there will also be food and drink vendors and merchandise being sold. Everything from women’s clothing to automotive-inspired art. The car show will also feature a DJ playing classic rock tunes to go with the classic cars on display. The car show also includes over 50 trophies being handed out. And every winner is chosen by the car owners participating, except for the Officer’s Pick, in which the Mid

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State Cruizers Car Club members vote. “One thing we have done for many years is try to encourage interest from the kids,” added Roy. “We have a ‘Kids Choice’ trophy, which happens to be the largest trophy we hand out. It is chosen exclusively by the children attending our show.” The Mid State Cruizers Lake Car Show brings in classic cars from all over. The show in 2019 boasted vehicles from over 32 cities. “We always attract large numbers of spectators of all ages at the car show. For Cruise Nite, chairs are lined up along El Camino Real early in the day,” Roy said. The 31st Annual Lake Car Show is presented by the Mid State Cruizers with the support of local businesses. “[The local businesses help with] everything from donating raffle prizes, gift baskets, gift certificates, and merchandise for our All Day Gift Giveaway and Raffle. They, along with the public and our members, sponsor the trophies we hand out. The City of Atascadero provides a huge assistance to us. All of us together make this Cruisin’ Weekend happen and help support our local charities,” stated Roy. Atascadero’s Cruisin’ Weekend starts with the 29th Annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite, which will take place on Friday, August 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Then on Saturday following the 31st Annual Lake Car Show, the classic cars will cruise downtown at 5 p.m. to park in a VIP area next to City Hall and kick off the 6th Annual Dancing in the Streets. Dancing in the Streets is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. The City of Atascadero presents both the El Camino Cruise Nite and Dancing in the Streets events, and all three (including the car show) are free and open to the public. This year’s musical acts will all play from 5 to 7 p.m. at various locations downtown. The lineup includes: • Steppin’ Out • Vibesetters • Burning James & the All Stars The evening will be filled with community entertainment, food trucks, beer, wine/cider, and distillery

vendors who will be ready to celebrate a fun evening of music and dancing. This year’s event is sure to have a wide variety of music for everyone’s enjoyment and entertainment, whether you want to dance or just enjoy the music and engaging atmosphere. In addition, the downtown merchants and restaurants will be open, providing your favorite food and drink to serve hungry guests. “We are looking forward to seeing all of you at Cruisin’ Weekend in Atascadero, August 19 and 20,” concluded Roy. For more information on the club or to register for the show, head to Or for more information on the two-day schedule of events, visit events.  August 2022 | 23

7/20/22 6:20 PM

California Farmers

Preparing for State Water Curtailment Orders


armers up and down California are once again facing an uncertain season ahead of them as a state water curtailment order issued in August 2021 continues to take its toll on farming and ranching families. In July 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order calling a drought emergency and asking for water conservation. Soon after, farmers and ranchers in California received curtailment orders from the California Water Board (CWB) to either immediately or prepare to suspend their senior water rights. Water rights are a complicated and century-long system that farmers and ranchers are all too familiar with — because water is their lifeline. A water right is a legal entitlement authorizing water to be diverted from a specified source and put to beneficial, nonwasteful use. Water rights are property rights, but their holders do not own the water itself. They possess the right to use it. However, one cannot sell water rights without selling the land attached to it. In June 2022, Newsom announced a $1.5 billion proposal to use taxpayer money to buy out farmers' water senior rights to benefit endangered fish species in the state. California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) Executive Director Mike Wade, who is familiar with the proposal, expressed concern that buying the water right means farmers would have to sell the land attached to the water right. Selling their water right could mean a permanent end to the farms and ranches attached to it. There are several different forms or levels of water rights one can possess. Senior water rights holders are those who established the water claim before 1914, when California created its formal water rights system. There are also appropriative and riparian water rights. Riparian rights refer to the use of naturally flowing water such as land touching a lake, river, or stream. An appropriative right exists regardless of the land's relationship to the water. An appropriative right is generally based upon physical control and beneficial use of the water. The emergency curtailment orders issued on Aug. 3, 2021, by CWB required farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds to immediately stop diverting water from waters and streams because the drought is rapidly depleting the California reservoirs and killing endangered species of fish. The curtailment orders are resulting in a significant economic impact with the loss of jobs and food, putting many in fear of an impending food shortage. According to data CFWC collected based on current drought conditions, water district's supply availability, and curtailment orders, the state is facing up to an estimated 691,000 acres of fallowed farm ground compared to 395,100 acres in 2021. The loss of farm grounds results in an estimated loss of nearly

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25,000 jobs compared to just over 14,000 jobs lost in 2021. And that ends up leading to an estimated loss of nearly $3.5 billion from the economy. "It's kind of a domino effect that ends up hurting rural communities," says Mike. This year is looking no different for California farmers when it comes to water and food security. The drought still exists, and there are added hindrances from the events in Ukraine — the world's bread basket, iron, steel, and fertilizer supplier. And don't forget inflation and the rise in gas prices. The idea of a food shortage is constantly on the minds of even world leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who warned in June of a "catastrophe" from a global food shortage. "When we see things happening in eastern Europe with Ukraine and Russia and the pressure that it is putting on the global food supply, is it a good idea to be doing things in California to take land out of production?" asked Mike. Back in August 2021, farmers with riparian water rights in areas like Scott's Valley near the Oregon border were asked to sign an agreement from CWB agreeing to cease pulling water when they deemed it appropriate to. Those who did not sign the contract are now receiving notices stating if they do not sign the agreement, the water right holder will face a "potential fine up to $500 per day per water right for each day the certification(s) is/are not filed." Essentially, farmers and ranchers relying on the water for their crops are being left with two options: Sign the agreement and wait for their water rights to be suspended, potential in the middle of farming seasons. Pay $500 per day of diverting water essential to grow their crops and keep their farms and families alive. Neither option seems very bulletproof for the farmer. "From our organization's perspective, we don't like to see farmland taken out of production when it's taking water from a community that is dependent on agriculture," explained Mike. In a February 2022 article in AgAlert, farmers and ranchers living in the Scotts Valley shared their worries about what the curtailment order could bring in its second season. Some were already considering selling out. "There's a lot more thought among some landowners of getting out while the getting is good if this is the way it's going to be," said Siskiyou County cattle rancher and hay grower Rick Barnes of Callahan, who relies on Scott River water. "Selling the ranch has been a topic. It's a thought of mine. I know there's a lot of first, second, and third-generation people who are thinking maybe it's time to head for the exits." In June, Scotts Valley water rights holders received orders under their curtailment order that required them to cease pulling water from Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM

By Camille DeVaul Serving the Paso Robles and Atascadero area for over 30 years!

the Scott River and underground wells. According to the CFWC, "The water in the Scott River and underground wells is the sole supply for these farmers on their 30,000 acres of irrigated land, located within a 512,000-acre watershed. This mountain valley primarily produces alfalfa and grass hay, pasture, grain, and cattle. Besides two organic dairies, beef production is either organic or conventional pasture-based for popular markets." According to CWB, 12,600 out of 16,700 curtailment compliant certifications have been filed. Of those, 795 water rights/claims have filed for health and safety exceptions, and 805 have filed for non-consumption use exceptions. Fifteen have submitted a petition for reconsideration, and 16 submitted proposals saying the curtailment has been inappropriate since August of last year. All petitions for reconsideration have been denied by the CWB. Only one proposal saying the curtailment is inappropriate has been approved. The rest are pending. "The drought is showing how unprepared we are with our water supply system," says Mike, who implores that improving the state's water storage and infrastructure is the only way to avoid losing more farms in the future. Mike tells Paso Robles News Magazine/Atascadero News Magazine of orchards using the water they have now to pull out plots of trees. They do this now, because the high probability of their water being restricted later in the season will make for a less than profitable harvest. "The state and the federal government have to step up and invest in our water supply system," said Mike. "And some things are happening, we aren't saying nothing is happening, but we have to do some big things to stabilize California, our agriculture industry, and our ability to grow food for people because this isn't a farm issue or a farmer issue or a rural community issue. It's an issue for American consumers." Regardless of politics, the end result is the same — no water, no farms, no food. 


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August 2022 | 25

7/20/22 6:20 PM

Business • Farron Elizabeth Anniversary

Farron Elizabeth


7th Entrada Year on


By Christianna Marks


2015, on the then sleepy street of Entrada Avenue in Atascadero, Farron Elizabeth opened its doors for the first time. Seven years later, owner Farron Walker and her clothing boutique are a much-loved part of the community. “It wasn’t an easy start, to say the least, because when I opened, there was not much on this street. Street Side wasn’t even here,” Farron said about the store’s opening. “It was pretty dead, but I had a vision for this street, and I had a lot of faith in what I thought was to come.” Farron, who’s been a part of the fashion industry since she can remember, started out with a retail job before heading off to and graduating from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles. She had her own fashion line in LA but decided to go back into retail when she moved to Atascadero, opening Farron

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Elizabeth, which was also the name of her original clothing line. “At the time [Farron Elizabeth opened], I did still have my line, so I sold; when I first opened, I had a lot of my own stuff. From time to time, I do make my own stuff, but it’s rare,” said Farron. The retail boutique features styles and clothing for all body types, price ranges, and age groups. Creating an inclusive and affordable shopping experience for everyone who walks through its doors. “We have girls in high school that shop here, and we have women in their 70s that shop here,” Farron said of her clientele. “So it really is pretty vast.” Farron Elizabeth brings in 15 to 20 new styles a week at an affordable price point, so the clothes are constantly changing, which gives shoppers new options weekly. “That’s kind of how I made it work in the beginning, because this wasn’t like a high tourist area, so I realized by bringing in new stuff

every week, the same ladies would come in every week,” Farron added. On top of clothing items, Farron Elizabeth also carries local products from The Body Bean, Red Road Leatherworks, Blueberry Jewelry, Glasshead Studio, Templeton Olive Oil Company, Queen Bee Caramels, and Life Elements. Farron also represents artist Adam Eron Welch, and his pieces not only decorate the walls of Farron Elizabeth but are available for purchase. “I think that sustains the community. We tell people to shop local, but we should carry local products,” Farron said. “Especially in this area, there’s so much available to us.” But Farron Elizabeth isn’t just a retail store: For the last couple of years, Farron Elizabeth has raised money for Jack’s Helping Hand on Sundays. Five percent of the store’s total sales every Sunday go directly to the foundation, which helps children with cancer and disabilities. Farron and both Farron

Elizabeth and Bloke (Farron’s men’s boutique) are also affiliated with the Emilio Velci Aloha Project, which brings fentanyl awareness to the county. “The main thing about this store and my love for it is, being a part of the community and investing in the community because they invest back. That’s a big part of it for me because I feel like this town, we are a community. I think that’s the thing I love most about it, to be honest,” said Farron. In November of 2020, Farron decided to expand her retail options on Entrada and opened Bloke, the male version of Farron Elizabeth, across the street. Following the same formula as Farron Elizabeth, the men’s shop has been a success, but Farron will always remember where she started seven years ago. “I have the same ladies that came to my opening that still shop here today,” she said. “Costumers, they’re literally like family to us, and the community is really important to us.”  Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM

The Show Must Go On Atascadero’s movie theater reopens as Colony Cinemas By Christianna Marks


n the afternoon of July 1, around 24 hours after Sanborn Theatres officially took over as operator of Atascadero’s only movie theater, it reopened as Colony Cinemas. “We took possession of the keys around 2 [p.m.] on the 30th [of June], and we were open at 4 [p.m.] on the 1st [of July]. So, just over 24 hours is kind of unheard of in this business,” said Colony Cinemas General Manager Jerry Kane. The theatre’s former operator, Galaxy Theatres played its final movie on Thursday, June 23. “I came up here today for really one reason, and that is to address all of you and say thank you,” said CEO and co-founder of Galaxy Theatres and the managing partner of Galaxy Theatre Atascadero, Frank Rimkus, at the June 28 City Council meeting. “It’s bittersweet that we’re leaving. We’re not leaving because of our decisions, but other decisions,” Rimkus said. “But I would say reflecting on a positive note, we’ve had 11 years of a wonderful experience here in Atascadero with the people. We made a lot of friends, we’ve got a lot of stories, we’ve got a lot of support. I want you to know we really appreciate the love and the support for that theater over the years.” Sanborn Theatres, who’ve been operating the Downtown Centre Cinemas in San Luis Obispo for the last 30 years, reopened Atascadero’s

theatre in slightly over a week. “The new owners [Sanborn Theatres] have been in the business; they have the SLO theater,” Kane stated. “They’ve been in the market and this field for over 100 years, so we didn’t have to reestablish connections with the film studios, and marketing, equipment, and all that stuff was kind of somewhat established.” Bruce Sanborn of Sanborn Theatres added that the theatre’s quick turnaround could not have happened without the help of Mayor Heather Moreno, other Atascadero city officials, and the Chamber. Bruce added that he couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of Atascadero’s growing community. “I’m really happy to be able to do this and want to invest in it [the theater] and invest in the community,” added Bruce. While things will initially look a little different for moviegoers’ return to the cinema in Atascadero, many of the familiar faces from Galaxy Theatres are still working at Colony Cinemas. “I was one of the many that stayed on. I think we retained like 95 percent of our staff,” Jerry said. “That’s helping the transition, I think, and it’s making it easier with our guests as well. Because people are coming and still seeing all of our faces, it’s just a nice transition.” Colony Cinemas is in the process of getting its beer and wine license for the brand new theatre, and it’s working on being able to prepare hot

The former Galaxy Theatre reopened July 1 as Colony Cinemas, under its new operator, Sanborn Theatres. Photos by Christianna Marks food on-site, but in the meantime, all the favorite staples are available. “We have movies; we have popcorn; we have soft drinks; we have candy. So we’re kind of back to the basics,” stated Jerry. “The hot food and the beer and wine are all coming. That was something that we were known for, but that’s all in the works.” The theater is also planning on bringing back favorites like the summer children’s movie series and the Fathom Events the community has come to know and love. In the meantime, Colony Cinemas is back with lower ticket pricing that matches that of the Downtown

Centre Cinemas, discounted prices on Tuesdays for all, and the option to rent out an entire auditorium (minimum of 50 people) for an even higher discount. “People are coming in happy, and they’re there once again to support the theatre,” Jerry said. “It’s just a good thing. I mean, the theater is an important thing to the community. We’ve heard that from a lot of people, and we’re just happy to see those folks coming back, and we’re happy to be there for them.” You can see ticket pricing, check showtimes, and buy tickets at atascadero.themovieexperience. com/. 

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August 2022 | 27

7/20/22 6:20 PM

Tent City • 805 AG Kids

805 AG Kids Expands To


By Camille DeVaul


fter successfully supporting youth agriculture organizations in Ventura County, 805 Ag Kids is expanding its efforts to San Luis Obispo County. In June, the nonprofit organization announced its expansion to now include support for local ag kids in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, in addition to continuing its fundraising efforts in Ventura County. 805 Ag Kids is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocating and supporting 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, Grange organizations, and Independent exhibitors. The nonprofit was started in 2019, advocating for supportive policies and education on the show kid and agriculture life. “There was no one that was bringing these kids together collectively and working in their best interest as a whole,” said 805 Ag Kids CEO Megan Hook. Then in 2020, their support for kids in agriculture grew. With the Ventura County Fair canceled and replaced with an online auction, the people behind 805 Ag Kids knew the prices would be devastating to the kids auctioning livestock. With help from the community, the organization raised $92,000 to help the kids — many of whom get bank loans to fund their livestock projects — with their bottom line. The funds raised amounted to about $431 per kid. The Ventura County Fair, held in August, was again canceled in 2021. So 805 Ag Kids made the move to host their own two-day livestock show in August at the fairgrounds with an online auction. “We had record-breaking sales thanks to the community really stepping up and helping these kids,” said Megan. Hosting livestock shows was not the organizations goal, but as they saw it, if they didn’t do it then no one would. With participation and members declining in 4-H and FFA chapters, having another canceled show would not be an option. “As an organization who prides itself on supporting the next generation in agriculture, it’s upsetting to see kids lose interest and fall out of these

programs and clubs and chapters close because there’s not enough interest,” said Megan. “Our job is to try and keep kids interested, help support them financially, and do whatever we can to make sure that they have every opportunity available and that these programs continue,” she continued. As fairs return to normal, the organization still sees a need to support and re-engage the kids back into the agriculture programs. Megan, like many of the kids their organization supports, did not come from an agriculture background. It wasn’t until she took an agriculture class and joined FFA in high school that she found her love for the industry and way of life. Many of the FFA and 4-H members don’t come from a generational farm family or don’t have either disposable income or a place to keep their livestock animals. Megan and the organization’s goal is to make sure all the students and members have the opportunity to participate in the agriculture programs. “It’s a good life lesson, of course, but it’s also a matter of these are kids, and we need to do what we can as a community to foster their love of agriculture,” says Megan. Offering support in any way they can and garnering children’s interest in agriculture is ultimately the organization’s goal — which they are now expanding to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. The expansion of the 805 Ag Kids organization has garnered immediate support from the community. As the result of a $90,000 donation from the Gold Coast Toyota Dealers, the Ventura County Fair, the Santa Barbara County Fair, and the California Mid-State Fair will each receive $30,000 to support 805 Ag Kids by way of providing needed improvements and upgrades in the youth livestock departments at each respective fair. “We thought it just made sense that we expand our support to help the ag kids in those areas too,” said Megan. 805 Ag Kids is now accepting donations and sponsorships on their website with 100 percent of all online donations going directly to benefit local tri-county area Ag Kids. Learn more about 805 Ag Kids at 

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( 805 ) 466-7744 8420-A El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422 HOME  AUTO  LIFE

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Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM


CINDER Comes to


By Christianna Marks


eenage girls ages 14-18 from all over Southern California came to the Central Coast to participate in Camp Cinder from June 22 through June 26. The fiveday/four-night firefighting camp included an exciting stop at Atascadero’s Fire Station 1 on Friday, June 24. During their afternoon stop at the Fire Station, the group of 20 girls had the exhilarating experience of climbing the 100-foot ladder on Atascadero Aerial Ladder Truck 7545. “They [the girls] stay in the Cal Poly dorms, and we take them out to different stations over the week and introduce them to basic firefighting skills, showing them that this is something that they too could do,” said Camp Cinder Director and Cal Fire SLO Fire Captain Eva Grady. The camp, which is led by female firefighters and created for girls interested in the field, was

developed by Cal Fire Capt. April Mangles. With fundraising and a team of local firefighters, Mangles put on the first Camp Cinder in both 2014 and 2015. The camp, which was supposed to take place in 2020, has officially made its return after a seven-year hiatus. “This is the first year Cal Fire has adopted the program and sponsored it,” added Eva. The girls learned about things like structure fires, personal protective equipment, ladders, handling fire hoses, and the tools used while fighting woodland and structural fires. The campers also learned about surf rescue, helicopter rescue, and extracting people out of automobiles. Camp Cinder’s female instructors came from all over California, and the campers who joined came to San Luis Obispo County from Southern California. Another sector of Camp Cinder takes place up in Shasta and caters to the teenage girls interested in firefighting in the Northern half of California.

“I have to brag about my staff because they are incredible firefighters from all over the place,” Eva said. “This is the first time that we’ve come together. Just being around such a diverse group of women in the fire service has been amazing. And the campers are pretty cool too. They are great.” Camp Cinder and the female firefighters behind it are already making plans to host the camp again next year. They also hope they’ll be able to expand the activities and excursions that campers get to be a part of. “What’s really fun is, the staff, it’s something that we all wish we had when we were young ladies trying to figure out what we were going to do with our lives. There’s such a time investment to even get to where you can apply for a job in firefighting. It takes a lot, and this gives girls a little taste of it and a little confidence that ‘hey, you have a place in the fire services too,’” concluded Eva. 



5940 Entrada Avenue, Atascadero  (805)423-2338 

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August 2022 | 29

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Taste of Americana •

With Barbie Butz

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Barbie Butz


’ve always thought of August as the “wrap-up” of summer. It’s a time to take a mini-vacation before school starts or gather friends and family for one more picnic in the park, at the mountains, or by the ocean. The weather is usually warm and dependable, allowing you to make outdoor plans without a “plan B.” So enjoy this month, and to help you keep cool, think “lemon.” The flavor of lemons enlivens the taste of food, adding a lively, refreshing tang. Try these recipes and see if you don’t agree. They are simple yet delicious and will be a great addition to any picnic or August party menu.

Strawberry Watermelon


Ingredients: 1 (6-pound) watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks 2 pints strawberries, hulled

1⁄2 cup sugar 1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice Fresh lemon slices, for garnishest

Directions: Purée watermelon in batches in food processor until smooth; strain juice through sieve into large bowl or 2-quart pitcher. Process strawberries with sugar until

smooth. Add strawberry purée, lemonade concentrate, and lemon juice to watermelon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

Lemon Mint


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Ingredients: A very large handful of fresh mint leaves 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons; grate the zest before juicing the lemons) 2-2/3 cups 1% or whole milk

11⁄2 teaspoons grated lemon zest Extra mint leaves for garnish 2 pints strawberries, hulled 1⁄2 cup sugar 1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice Fresh lemon slices, for garnishest

Directions: Stir sugar, lemon juice, and handful of mint leaves together in medium bowl. Let stand for 1 hour. Stir milk into lemon juice mixture. Strain mixture through sieve into bowl, pressing lightly on mint leaves; discard mint. Add lemon zest. Mixture will thicken slightly and may look curdled, but is okay. Pour mixture into shallow pan, cover, and freeze until hard, 3 to 4 hours. Break frozen mixture into chunks with a fork. Process in food processor or blender until mixture is smooth and color has lightened. If some

of frozen chunks are still not broken up, continue processing; extra processing only makes smoother, creamier sherbet. Serve immediately as a slushy spoon drink, garnished with extra mint leaves, or transfer to an airtight container and refreeze until hard enough to scoop, 3 to 4 hours. If sherbet freezes too hard, let it soften in the fridge for 15 minutes or longer, or carefully soften in the microwave on defrost setting, a few seconds at a time. Atascadero News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM



*All events are subject to change. Please call ahead or check online for more details.

Month of AUGUST








6:30-8:30pm Band Line Up Includes: Aug. 6: Soundhouse Aug. 27: The JD Project

6-8pm Band Line Up Includes:

6-8pm Band Line Up Includes: Aug. 04: Los Gatos Locos Aug. 11: Unfinished with the Beatles Aug. 18: Joy Bonner Band

8-10pm Movies are FREE to the public and will begin at approximately 8:15pm. Movie Line Up Includes: Aug. 06: Encanto Aug. 13: Dog Aug. 27: Sing 2

Aug. 03: Santa Cruz Family Band Aug. 10: Joy Bonner Band Aug. 17: Garden Party Aug. 24: Monte Mills & The Lucky Horseshoe Band









6:30pm Join the Printery to see the amazing talents in the North County. To purchase tickets and more info visit





7-8pm: Aug. 2, 9, 16 & 23 Bring lawn chairs and a picnic and enjoy the Atascadero Community Band Free at the Lake Park









10am - 3pm Join the zoo animals for a day of fun arts & crafts, face painting, workshops, local art for purchase & more! For more info visit










Friday: Join the classic cars for Cruise Night on El Camino Real starting at 6:30pm. Saturday: Mid State Cruisers present the 31st Annual Car Show held at the Atascadero Lake Park from 10am-3pm. Saturday Evening: 6th Annual Dancing in the Streets in Downtown Atascadero from 5-9pm.

2:30-3:30pm This class will demonstrate the process of print making using styrofoam to not just create a stamp but a beautiful bouquet of flowers. For more info and to register visit

6-7pm Beginning and intermediate crafters can create this month’s embroidery project of summer fruits, flowers, and friendly insects. Practice coloring with thread using several stitch techniques to create your own version of this summer garden. Register by Aug. 10th at Paso Robles Library

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11-3pm Barrelhouse’s 4th annual car show is free to the public and registration is required to show off your ride. Enjoy vintage & modern vehicles and live music. For more info visit


10am-5pm Bring the family to a fun day of vintage market, activities, and active safety learning experiences in the downtown City Park! For more info visit pasosafe. com





Paso Robles






Paso Robles: County Farm & Craft Market

9am - 11am

3pm - 6pm

9am - 12:30pm


9am - 1pm August 2022 | 31

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Events • Service Listing

At The Library

Health & Wellness

Service Organizations

Atascadero Library

Cancer Support Community

Optimist Club

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 • Cancer Support Helpline • (888) 793-9355, 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. PST. • Visit: for more info

August Programs:

Upcoming Events An Evening in Capri • August 20, 2022 • Silent & Live Auction at Rava Wines. • For more info call 805-238-4411 • or email:

Special Programs Storytime at Sunken Gardens Email for Zoom links and more info: Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.- Join Ms. Sally at the Sunken Gardens for an outdoor • Every Wednesday storytime! • Tai Chi Chih | Virtual via Zoom• 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Outreach Team at Atascadero Library • Mindfulness Hour | Virtual via Zoom • Every Wednesday in August at 10 - 11:30am 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Get connected with Primary care, recovst • 1 & 3rd Wednesday of each month ery, clothing, food, Medicare, shelter, mental • Grief Support Group | Virtual via Zoom • health, showers, health insurance, and more. 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Storytime with Ms. Sally • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month August 5, 12, 19 at 10:30 a.m. - Join Ms. Sally • Adv. Cancer Support Group | Virtual for story time to read books, sing songs and • 10:00 a.m - 11:00 a.m. have fun! • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month • Caregiver Support Group | Virtual • Lego Club at the Atascadero Library 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. August 20 at 2pm - Create and build with nd • 2 & 4th Thursday of each month Legos at the Library! For kids age 6-12 • Cancer Patient Support Group | Virtual • Family Movie at the Library 11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. August 25 at 2pm - Scoob • 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month August 12 at 2pm - Sing 2 • Grief Support Group (Templeton) | Virtual via Zoom • Register for these virtual programs online at: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. • Explore Cancer Support Community’s Virtual Home: •

Creston Library

6290 Adams St. • (805) 237-3010

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

San Miguel Library 254 13th St. • (805) 467-3224

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

• 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

Business &


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 News Magazine

7/20/22 6:20 PM

Over 1,300 community members enjoyed the wine and entertainment at the 2022 Lakeside Wine Festival at Atascadero Lake. Photos by Rick Evans

Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival is Back By Christianna Marks


overs of wine headed to the Atascadero Lake on Saturday, June 25, to enjoy the 25th Annual Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival. With 47 wineries pouring and over 1,300 community members in attendance, Atascadero’s evening wine fest is back. “After a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to see the park filled with vendors and happy attendees enjoying the only evening wine festival on the central coast,” said Gail Kudlac, the event’s coordinator. The festival, which was put on by the Atascadero Chamber along with the festival’s committee members, including Kudlac, Dawn Smith, Rosey Parks, Gina Lutz, Carol Porter, Josh Cross, Julie Mathews, Terrie Banish, Mark Dariz, and Erin Fintan du Fresne, didn’t only feature wine. There were also craft beer, distilleries, and cider houses featured. Some of the distillers and wineries present were Ancient Peaks, Ballast Point, BarrelHouse, Eberle, Lone Madrone, Opolo, SLO Cider, Stilson Cellars,

Tooth & Nail, Wild Fields Brewery and many more. There was even an art wall timeline for everyone attending to paint that featured the 25-year history of the fest. Twenty-seven years ago, Atascadero local Barbie Butz helped organize the first Lakeside Wine Festival. Originally named “Cabernet and Cousins,” the inaugural committee’s goal was to put Atascadero on the map with a wine festival that would bring people to the community. To celebrate the festival’s success this year, Butz created two cocktails using liquors featured at the festival from Willow Creek Distillery. Those recipes can be found in her column on page A12. “The addition of a live painting by fine artist Patrick Dennis, an art wall, and the opportunity to paint a wine glass as a fun souvenir was well received,” said Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce CEO. The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival also included live entertainment from Chris Beland, Erin and the Earthquakes, and Déjà Vu.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Charles Paddock Zoo to support its new sloth and alpaca exhibit. “There were three vibes this year. In the Charles Paddock Zoo, there was a relaxed vibe led by guitarist Chris Beland with a unique experience of tasting beverages amongst the animals after hours. Live music by Erin and the Earthquakes set the perfect atmosphere for sipping and shopping in the serene setting by the lake. From the bandstand, Déjà Vu inspired people to party and dance. There was a vibe for everyone,” added Cross. The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival will be back next year and will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2023. “This extraordinary event was made possible by many sponsors, including Gold Standard Mortgage, Caliber Collision, RE/ MAX Success, the City of Atascadero, and the Charles Paddock Zoo, an active and engaged planning committee, and 108 volunteers,” stated Chamber Director of Communications Dawn Smith. We’ll see you next year. 

7 I have found Patricia to be the most knowledgeable and compassionate editor I have ever known. All her students fall in love with her! Her Zoom meeting is invaluable for anyone with a writing project. ~Patty Hansen, Avila

Propane ® Car Wash

Hwy 41 & 101 Exit 219

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E85 Diesel

Atascadero, CA 93422 August 2022 | 33

7/20/22 6:20 PM

Last Word • Atascadero Oaks Baseball


Oaks Baseball:

Wins 14u Gold Bracket By Christianna Marks


ver Father’s Day weekend ( June 18 and 19), the Atascadero Oaks Baseball 14u team competed in the Surf ’s Up Tournament held in Pismo Beach. The tournament, which has been held for the past six years, saw over 90 teams play who entered under multiple age brackets. “We had ten teams in our 14u division. The first day you play two games to get your Sunday bracket seed,” stated Oaks Coach Erik Wanner. “Our first day was quite memorable as we lost the first game on a walk-off home run with two outs in the last inning and then won the next game on a game-ending triple play — endings you don’t see back-to-back too often.” The Oaks Baseball team is made up of 13 local high school players, all aged 14, with 10 of them coming from Atascadero High School and three from Templeton High

76 Gas Station.................................. 33 A Heavenly Home............................ 12 American West Tire & Auto..................7 Atascadero Optimist Club................ 13 Brad's Overhead Doors.................... 25 By The Sea Productions.................... 27 Cancer Support Community............ 35

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Central Coast Casualty Restoration.. 17 City of Atascadero......................... 5, 19 Club Pilates....................................... 21 Dancing With Our Stars......................3 Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners............................................ 17 Dr. Steve Herron OBGYN.................. 21

School. The team was created a year ago with the goal of competing locally in travel-ballstyle tournaments. “The Central Coast is a prime destination spot for teams to travel to and compete while enjoying a nice getaway,” Wanner said. “For us, this provides a great opportunity to play competitive teams from outside the area while minimizing the travel aspect. Most of these tournaments are based out of Pismo Beach and the Five Cities area. We had a competitive summer last year but not many wins to show for it (lots of one-run loss games). We began this summer with a goal to not only compete but also win.” On Sunday, June 19, the Oaks were the sixth seed of the tournament’s Gold Bracket, which is made of the top-tier teams. In total, the team needed to win all three of their games on June 19 to win. Playing as the visiting team in all three games, the Oaks won their games against Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, and Bakersfield to take the 14u Gold Bracket. “We had some special performances throughout the tournament. Zach Savino won the tournament MVP with incredible hitting and catching. Damon Mitchell won the championship game MVP with a complete-game win pitching performance,” Wanner said. “Our defining moment came in the semifinal game DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by Educated Gardener.......................... 32 Five Star Rain Gutters..........................9 Greg Malik Real Estate Group....10, 11 Hearing Aid Specialists Of The Central

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against the Santa Barbara Stingrays. A gutsy relief performance from Steven Ernst had kept the game close, yet we trailed in the last inning by two runs. Clutch hits from Miguel Zepeda, Evan Wanner, and Weston Witt tied the game up, and we went ahead on RBIs from Uly Kaul and Charlie Dahlen, and we never looked back. Our defense was also a driving force for our team, and it is an area of emphasis which the team worked very hard on.” The Oaks team is comprised of the following athletes: Weston Witt, Ulysses Kaul, Damon Mitchell, Zach Savino, Charlie Dahlen, Will Capaci, Wyatt Litten, Steven Ernst, Isaiah Rodriguez, Evan Wanner, Reid Gearhart, George Bowman, and Miguel Zepeda. Erik Wanner and Jeremy Gearhart are the coaches. “This Oaks team has truly become a closeknit family with all the players genuinely pulling for one another while also pushing each other in a positive manner to help reach each one’s potential,” continued Wanner. “It was highly rewarding to see each and every player’s fingerprints evident on this championship effort. Myself and Coach Jeremy Gearhart could not be more proud of the way the boys carried themselves on and off the diamond. We look forward to a full summer of competitive baseball, and we also look forward to the player’s futures as young men.”  Services, Inc...................................... 28 JUICEBOSS ...................................... 29 Kenneth's Heating & Air................... 28 Masterpiece Framing & Gifts........... 13 Nick's Painting.................................. 15 North County Pilates........................ 25 O'Conner Pest Control...................... 29

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Atascadero News Magazine

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August 19-20

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