Atascadero News Magazine #32 • February 2021

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Business • Shopping • Dining • Events • Arts • People

Formerly known as Colony Magazine

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February 2021

fe at ures

Issue No. 32


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Health & Wellness

by hayley mattson and camille devaul

Check out this whole section of inspiring stories coupled with tips and tricks to help make your mental and physical health a priority in 2021.

Taste of Americana by barbie butz

White traditionally Valentine’s Day is celebrated with greeting cards, flowers and chocolates, nothing say ‘I love you’ more than a homemade dessert.

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Coach Kiah by camille devaul

From cattle rancher to life coach, ‘One bit, don’t quit!’ is the mantra adopted by Kiah Twissleman after losing over 125 pounds and dedicating herself to helping others.

Richard ‘Dick’ Nock by camille devaul

Local cattle rancher, beef industry advocate, livestock entrepreneur, and Army Veteran leaves behind a legacy as a good-natured man, a mentor and a friend to all.

On the Cover “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Unknown Photo by Rick Evans “Another Rick Evans Photo” 20,000 PRINTED | 17,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY!


Atascadero 93422 • Santa Margarita 93453 • Creston 93432 Hotels • Wineries • B&Bs • Waiting Rooms • Restaurants • High-traffic Visitor Hotspots for advertising inquiries and rates email office @, or contact one of our advertising representatives.

co nte nts publisher, editor-in-chief

Hayley Mattson

publisher, editor-at-large

Nicholas Mattson

assistant editor

layout design

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Denise Mclean Jen Rodman


Michael Michaud

community writers

ad consultants

Connor Allen Camille DeVaul

Dana McGraw Jamie Self

office administrator

Cami Martin |




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Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter Round Town Cross Talk with Josh Cross: Feeling Hungry? Chief of Police: Welcoming Robert Masterson Did You Know? The History of the Printery Atascadero Lake: 500 Pounds of Catchable Trout

Atascadero People Wheel of Fortune: Rebecca Berg Wins Big

Features The Natural Alternative: Cholesterol and Heart Health Jake Eyre: Walk Across America Healthy Lifestyle: Tips to Elevate your 2021 Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle: Make 2021 the Year of Smart Choices


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Taste of Atascadero Sip & Savor: For Valentine’s Day, Uncork the Other Red Wines Tent City SLO County Office of Education: A Year Like No Other Education: Virtual Learning Tips at Home and Local Resources The Writing Support Group: Five Helpful Writing Tips Society: Social Media and Human Trafficking Literature: Carol Freed Gobler Authors ‘Lighthouse: Weapon of Rescue’ Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto Directory to our Advertisers

Barbie Butz

Josh Cross

James Brescia, Ed.D.

Mira Honeycutt

The Natural Alternative


PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE March 4, 2021 ADVERTISING DEADLINE* February 10, 2021 * Ad reservation deadline is the 10th of each month preceding the publication. For more information about advertising, upcoming issues and editorial themes, contact our advertising representatives above, or see our media kit at

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


Atascadero News Magazine ©2021 is a local business owned and published by local people — Nicholas & Hayley Mattson No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without written consent from Atascadero News Magazine.

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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

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February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 7

Something Worth Reading

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi


s we head into the second month of the new year and the sun starts to warm our souls once again, we take time to reflect on the darkness of the winter that we all endured. Remaining optimistic comes very natural to us, as does believing the best in others and allowing individuals to prove otherwise. 2020 was particularly challenging but enlightening; however, we remain optimistic, and for the most part, people have proven to be genuine, generous, and kind. Our goal will always be to look at the brighter side of life and celebrate the good, the progress, and the successes we are blessed with in the communities we love. For many, 2020 was a true test of character. From a novel health crisis to a significant blow to the economy and school system that has extenuating impacts on children and families to a particularly tumultuous presidential election, most people have proven reasonable. The contrast and comparison between what most people are like in real life versus what we might see on social media or cable news networks is a stark reminder that we need more in-person activity. People are helpful, good-hearted, and personable. We know that and believe that. We have a lot to be thankful for, and we are going to continue to focus on that which makes our communities better. People have a variety of opinions, and we think the more, the merrier. Nobody should ever take away your right to have your own opinion. Nor should anyone take away your right to change your mind. The idea that health and safety is somehow a partisan issue is deeply flawed. The Constitution of California has no party lines. The first item in the California bill of inalienable rights includes the right to acquire, possess and protect property, which consists of a person’s livelihood. There is a

stirring of the wild west spirit of personal responsibility and self-determination on the air. These values created the world around us and will guide us as we move ahead. We support our local businesses with absolute loyalty. We did not see one local business in the past year that did not rise to the occasion to provide quality service with higher health and safety standards than were required. We commend our friends, neighbors, and local loved ones who battled the arbitrary regulations California is famous for to serve their communities and provide for their families.

As we march toward spring, we find natural revival and restoration come to the world around us, and we hope that brings some peace to us all. After all, if the earth still sees fit for the wildflower to persist, it is a gentle world with great opportunity for the right seeds to bring life to those who seek it.. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine.

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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February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 9

Round Town

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Upcoming Events For February: Harassment Prevention Training | Ongoing Did you know that California mandates harassment training for companies of five or more employees every two years? The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Diversys Learning, Inc. to provide ongoing Harassment Prevention Training. This service will be available throughout the year, so if you add new employees, they can be certified easily or be recertified when due. Food Handler and California Responsible Beverage training is available as well. Sign-up at Design Thinking For Entrepreneurs/Workshop Wednesday | Wed., Jan. 6, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Discover how to create a collaborative environment where everyone is responsible for design. You will go through design challenges and sprints that can be incorporated into any workplace or startup to unlock creativity and innovative thinking. Make Your Website Work For You / Workshop Wednesday | Wed., Jan. 13, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Learn how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports their goals. Whether launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help. Register for virtual events at, or call (805)466-2044 Resources: 1. American Express. (2018, November 13). Small Business Economic Impact Study. Business Wire. home/20181113005356/en/, 2. SCORE. (2019, April 8). Infographic: Small Business Charitable Giving - Big Impact on Local. infographic-small-business-charitable-giving-big-impact-local-communities

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eeling hungry? I certainly am for small, local restaurants! Not many people know that our local dining establishments play a significant role in creating a vibrant community. We’re talking more than just providing tasty food (They definitely do that!). According to the Small Business Economic Impact Study by American Express, two-thirds of every dollar spent in local eateries and businesses stays in the community. That means that the cash you use for dining locally is money that our restaurants will put back into our community, supporting jobs, non-profits, and donation drives, while building a robust community. Let’s take a look at how local restaurants support jobs in Atascadero. Local families own local restaurants, so right off the bat, you’re supporting a family when enjoying that fresh, juicy burger. It doesn’t stop there; most eateries hire a team ranging from high schoolers looking for their first job up through experienced adults with culinary or hospitality education. Community investment continues when local restaurants source their food and ingredients from local farmers. This helps keep small farms productive, creates jobs, and improves our economy. That one tasty burger that you ordered

will help countless families in the community. To top it off, it tastes great too! Our community restaurants support non-profits and donation drives. According to SCORE, small business owners donate 250 percent more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes. That means that basket of fries you just ordered to go with your burger will help fund local charities, youth organizations, first-responder organizations, aid and service groups, and food pantries. You’re inadvertently giving back, just by having a good meal – now that’s a win-win! Finally, our small, local restaurants help build and support a strong sense of community. Graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, promotions, business partnerships, and friendships are made over a good meal. Food brings people together, period. We celebrate happy memories over a meal, and then we create new memories with the ones we’re with. Our local eateries are social hubs that enhance our quality of life. They help us maintain and strengthen the relationships we have with one another. Together, let’s make one of our 2021 resolutions to help support our local, small restaurants. After all, their food is not only fueling us; it’s fueling our community. 

Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 13

Chief of Police


By Connor Allen

Robert Masterson M

New police chief Bob Masterson stands with his wife Leane, son Cohen and daughter Kinsley

onday, January 4, marked the first official day in charge for new Atascadero Police Chief Robert “Bob” Masterson. The new chief is taking over for former chief Jerel Haley whose last day was in October of 2020 after serving the Atascadero Police Department for nine years. Chief Masterson began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Tulare County Sheriff ’s Department. He was hired to serve as a Deputy Trainee and worked his way through the ranks to the position of Police Lieutenant in 2001. After seven years as a Lieutenant, Masterson left the Tulare County Sheriff ’s Department to become the director of a faith-based non-profit organization that provided gang prevention to at-risk youth before becoming the Chief of Police for the College of Sequoias Community College. For the past five years, Masterson has worked as the police chief in King City, making tremendous strides in reducing violent crime. He was a crucial component in the City’s comprehensive plan to end youth violence. Masterson was so successful he received a Congressional commendation letter for violent crime reduction in King City as well as commendations from the State Assembly and Senate. Masterson is no stranger to the Central Coast and attributes our special piece of California as one of the main reasons he decided to put his name in for the Atascadero position. “My wife and I came over to the San Luis Obispo area because it was where we decided we wanted to raise our children,” Masterson said. “What drew us to Atascadero was the connection at ABC [Atascadero Bible Church]. I knew quite a few people over here

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already that moved from the valley working for the Sheriff ’s department, and they actually all live in Atascadero, so I started hanging around here.” One thing that has been very apparent in all his stops in law enforcement has been the relationships that he has been able to foster with the community around him, which is something he hopes to start in Atascadero. “I believe to foster a relationship with the community, you have to become part of the community,” the chief explained. “So, that is just up to me being out and about a lot and being at events and being visible when we can have them, but popping into local businesses and saying, ‘’Hi’’ to people and talking to service groups. Really just becoming part of the community is how you get to know them.” When it comes to making any changes within the department, Masterson says it is too early to know as he has only been in charge a short time but plans to continue the special enforcement unit that helps work with the homeless population in Atascadero. Former chief Haley brought the program back in August 2020 to help with the City’s growing problem of unhoused neighbors. “We will absolutely keep the special enforcement unit in place,” Materson said. “It is a good tool to assist the homeless in dealing with any issues they may encounter, but I would also like to look at expanding our outreach to the homeless population and get the services they can really benefit from and perhaps find them a permanent place to live.” When it comes to the topic of COVID-19 and State restrictions, the new chief explained that he believes in educating the public and working towards voluntary compliance. 

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February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 15

Atascadero History

History of the Printery By Connor Allen

Photos courtesy of Rick Evans and The Printery Foundation


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here are many old, statuesque buildings throughout Atascadero but perhaps none as impressive and mysterious as the Printery Building located on Olmeda Avenue. It now sits quiet and abandoned since the earthquake of 2003 shook its foundation and jeopardized the integrity of the structure. Yet still, in its silence, the building has many secrets to tell as it was a hub for Atascadero for nearly half a century. Atascadero’s founder, E.G. Lewis, built several large civic buildings during the City’s formation, but the first finished was the Printery Building in 1915. Lewis had acquired a small fortune while living in University City, Missouri, through his Women’s National Weekly publication. In total, the brick structure that we see today cost only 34,000 dollars to build, not including equipment. However, once it was fully furnished and up and running, the entire printing facility came with a price tag of $250,000, according to the Atascadero Historical Society’s records. The Printery Building was designed by the San Francisco based firm Bliss and Faville and boasted 19,354 square feet. At its completion, the Printery was one of the most beautiful buildings west of Mississippi. Not happy with merely a beautiful structure, Lewis brought in renowned artist Ralph Holmes, formerly of the Chicago Art Institute, to paint large, vibrant murals that would captivate each person that entered through the front doors. Marguerite A. Travis is quoted in L.W. Allan’s Book “Atascadero the Vision of One -- the Work of Many” saying, “The walls of the entrance hall and giant staircase were beautifully decorated with elaborate murals painted from local scenery by Ralph Holmes, noted artist of Chicago who came to make his home in Atascadero.” Luckily, some small portions of the murals have been saved and relocated for safekeeping. Today, only specs of paint can be found as you enter the building. The illustrations have been worn off over the years and become victim to graffiti by vagabonds and skaters looking for a place out of sight and supervision. Not only was the building itself pristine, but so was the machinery inside. Lewis installed the first and largest rotogravure press complex on the west coast, and the first Atascadero News was published on January 2, 1916. In its prime, between the years of 1916 and 1920, the Printery employed up to 125 people and had publications on newsstands from California to Time Square in New York.

At its printing peak, the Atascadero News wasn’t the only publication being printed in Atascadero. For two years, the Sunday rotogravure supplement to the San Francisco Chronicle was produced at the Printery as was a rotogravure magazine for the Los Angeles Sunday Times. Eventually, the reign of the mighty Printery came to an end with massive layoffs in 1924. The next year the Atascadero News was sold to Ted Bishop when Lewis went into involuntary receivership by a group of creditors. In 1928 the Printery building was sold to Frank G. Moran of Seattle, who turned it into Moran Junior College. The Printery took on a magical transformation inside, adding a full gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, classrooms, and dorms for 28 as it became a prep school for boys. According to Allan’s text, it cost $1,400 to attend school for the year. The most renowned of the graduates was American artist Robert Burns Motherwell, who is now considered to be one of the founders of the abstract expressionist movement. Eventually, Moran Junior College dissolved into the Miramonte School and Junior College in 1935. Several years after the two schools’ folded, the Printery building was leased by a federal program called the National Youth Administration. The new governmental program was designed for “at-risk” youth. The boys would be provided with some money each week in exchange for community service and their education. In 1941, the NYA brought in one assistant athletic director by the name of Jackie Robinson. Yes, that Jackie Robinson. Just barely out of college at UCLA, Robinson took a job in Atascadero and stayed in the Printery for a short time. While Robinson was only here briefly, it was long enough for tales of his athletic feats to make their way through the generations. There are legends about Robinson crushing home runs into the Atascadero Creek and leading the staff team to a 14th consecutive victory over Camp Roberts. The Printery was retired again before it was brought back during the war when it was leased to the U.S. Army to serve as a barracks for men assigned to Sherwood Air Field in Paso Robles. In May of 1950, the once palatial Printery Building was sold to a group of Masons for $25,000 and took on many different forms over the next 50 years, including Karate studios, District school offices, and Sheriff substations. Sixty-seven years later, on May 15, 2017, the Atascadero Printery Foundation won the building for 300,000 dollars at a tax auction. Since that time, the Printery Foundation has worked tirelessly to bring back one of Atascadero’s iconic buildings and restore it to its former glory. The Foundation is currently working to raise money to restore and revitalize the building, starting with a performing arts center where the former basketball court now sits. Those interested in volunteering time and/or money to refurbish an iconic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places should visit  Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

Atascadero Lake


Catchable Trout PLANTED IN ATASCADERO LAKE By Connor Allen


ocal anglers can rejoice as The California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted 500 pounds of full-size catchable fish into the Atascadero Lake three times in the last two months. The first was on December 22, just-in-time for the Holiday weekend and end of the year festivities, the second on January 12, and a third on January 26. The fish drop-offs came from the San Joaquin Hatchery in Fresno and contained up to 1000, half-pound or bigger, rainbow trout. The latest plant was the second of 2021 and only the fifth since 2008. A welcome sight after the Jewel of Atascadero went over a decade without being stocked before 2020. For years, the Department of Fish and Wildlife refused to stock the Atascadero Lake for fear that the rainbow trout would swim their way out of the lake and into the Atascadero Creek, where they could potentially affect the native steelhead. In February of 2020, the Friends of the Atascadero Lake organization paid for a fish screen to be installed near the tributary, allowing the fish to be brought back. “There are two things that go into the lake being stocked,” Dennis Mitchnick of Fish and Wildlife explained. “The first one, the conditions have to be right, the water has to be cool enough, the water quality has to be good, and then it comes down to if they have fish available.” While the fish are planted for fish-and-eat, there are laws governing how many fish a person can take from the lake at one time. The limit is five fish per person and reserved for people carrying a fishing license unless he or she holding the pole is under 16 years of age. Since the latest plants, residents from all over the county have been visiting the Atascadero lake to take advantage of a day of fishing. People are encouraged to get out and enjoy the sunshine and a relaxing day on the lake.  For more information on the Friends of Atascadero Lake organization or how to get involved, contact Nancy Hair at (805)674-3850 or visit

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 17

© 2021Quadra Productions, Inc., photographer Carol Kaelson. All rights reserved.

Atascadero People

By Connor Allen


n January 13, Atascadero resident Rebecca Berg made an appearance on the popular national game show Wheel of Fortune and proceeded to decimate her competition, winning the game and bringing home more than $67k in the process. Rebecca, who works locally as a bookkeeper, developed her love of word games at a young age while playing with her grandparents. “My grandparents used to watch it a lot, and I used to go over to their house all the time and watch it with them,” Rebecca shared. “My grandfather passed away when I was 17, so it is kind of a bittersweet memory of the good times I had with my grandparents.” After decades of following along at home, Rebecca finally decided it was time to put her knowledge to the test and submit an application. With her husband Troy’s help, she created a 20-second submission video and sent it in. Not long after, she was invited for a round of questioning and then notified that she had earned a spot on the fabled Wheel of Fortune. Once the bright lights came on, Rebecca was nearly unstoppable, solving all but two puzzles in the show’s 30-minute duration. Wheel of Fortune starts quickly with two “toss-up” puzzles worth $1k each, and the Atascadero local wasted no time winning both. Hiding behind her radiant smile and glowing personality, she began her gentle annihilation of the competition. Following the first two puzzles, Rebecca was finally able to spin the show’s iconic wheel, with the next category being “song lyrics.” After a few spins, the puzzle began to take shape, but then disaster struck as her spin landed on the bankrupt wedge and brought her winnings back down to zero.

“I actually knew the answer,” Rebecca explained. “But you are only on the Wheel of Fortune once, so I wanted to keep spinning and guessing letters. I knew that there were three ‘r’s and really wanted those, but then I landed on the ‘bankrupt.’ So, I was mad right off the bat, but at the same time, that is why you play the game, it was all fun.” Rebecca would have one more misstep in her next puzzle, and then it was all over for her two fellow competitors. With her confidence growing each passing moment, Rebecca answered the game’s last five puzzles, winning a trip to Costa Rica and $67,350 in the process. Heading into the “Triple Toss-Up” round, Berg trailed her opponent Erica $14,049 to $12,950. “I actually don’t like what they call the ‘toss-ups,’ when I am playing on the couch, but those were what I was best at that night.” Rebecca shined even brighter with the pressure on, answering each of the three toss-up puzzles before her opponents even had a chance to ring in. Heading into the final round, her winnings total sat at $22,350. In the final round, she relied on her experience and all those evenings sitting with her grandparents, and in return, it brought her an additional $45,000. “In the bonus round, I knew it was a local shop [category name], but I didn’t know the middle word. I just guessed my normal go-to letters that I use when I am playing at home, and thankfully that worked.” Rebecca solved the final puzzle, which was “local hobby shop,” and the celebration began as the joyful dings and bings of the game show world alerted everyone that a champion had been crowned. “It was such a surreal experience,” she said. “Standing next to Pat [Sajak], winning. It was the fastest 30 minutes of my life.”  Valentine’s Day Specials all Day

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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

Health &

WELLNESS Inspiring stories to help make your mental and physical health a priority in 2021


February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

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A Different Look at

Health and Wellness

By Camille DeVaul


his year instead of New Year’s resolutions, I propose we do something a little different. I propose we break the cycle of failed diets and fitness goals, which almost always ends in disappointment and being much too hard on ourselves. Instead, let’s create healthy, long-lasting changes that will stick with us for years to come. Bobbi Conner, CNC, ACN, MH, and owner of The Natural Alternative Nutrition Center, shares, “As we start a new year, let’s consider “changing your diet” instead of “going on a diet” for long term results!” By implementing one habit change at a time, we are more likely to stick with that change for the long run. For example, add drinking more water to your daily routine. You can do this by setting a goal of ounces of water to drink in a day. Make the new change fun by getting a cheerful water bottle to drink from! After one or two weeks into this new habit of yours, try adding another habit change to your routine. Andy Sverchek, general manager and coach at Athlon Fitness and Performance in Paso Robles, says, “Really focus on your habits. Things that you can change so that you can have long term results.” If you want to add exercise to your life, Andy suggests, “getting into a program that fits into your lifestyle and is going to fundamentally change some habits.” There is a reason more exercise is one of the most popular resolutions. It is because exercise does wonders for our health! Bobbi says, “Exercise daily. Not only does the fresh air and sunshine boost Vitamin D naturally, which supports mood and the immune system, but it also helps slow down the aging process.” Jenna Baird, owner, and instructor at Dharma Yoga Loft Health Food Stores Paso Robles in Paso Robles, offers some advice on letting go of the idea of • Paso Robles Health Foods obligations and putting the joy back into exercise and fitness. • Natural Alternative “Put the heart into exercise; pick a form of movement Atascadero you love to do. The body doesn’t know the difference from • Harvest Health Foods the stress that comes from general pressures of life to the • Gather Natural Market kind of stress of doing a form of exercise you feel obligated • Naturalypure Health or pressured to do,” Jenna continues, “Your biology responds Products in a more optimal way by doing what you love. Give yourself Fitness Centers/Gyms: permission to try something until it truly lights you up, and Paso Robles you feel excited and look forward to it.” • Athlon Fitness & For your overall health, Bobbi suggests, “Practice disease Performance • Crossfit Ergo prevention. Avoid processed and fast food, manage stress by • Crossfit Paso Robles scheduling in “fun” time and get more restful sleep!” • Dharma Yoga Loft By changing our approach to health and wellness from • Iron Jungle the traditional obligation style of diet and exercise to a • Kennedy Club Fitness self-caring approach, we can create healthy changes that • Park Street Pilates stick. • Thrive Training Center “Real change comes from mindset. According to yoga, Templeton an ancient science, the mindset is more than half of the • Templeton Tennis Ranch exercise. Fuel your mind properly. For lasting benefits and Atascadero results for health, mental fitness is a requirement. Upgrade • FHF Training Center your mindset cultivating empowering daily routines and • Fit Republic beliefs,” Jenna explained. • Give Fitness Health Club You don’t have to do cycling and keto because the blogger • Headstrong North you follow does cycling and keto. • Pit North Eat what makes you feel your best. Move the way that • Kennedy Club Fitness best serves you. • North County Pilates Bobbi reminds us, “These are not “New Year’s Resolu• Rev SLO Fitness tions,” but lifestyle changes to achieve optimal health and Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please be sure a strong immune system!”  to call ahead for hours of operation

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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021


Cholesterol & Heart Health


mericans currently spend billions each year on cholesterol-lowering medication without addressing one of the main causes of an elevated lipid panel. Before I get into that discussion, let’s talk about cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential to rebuild cell membranes as well as make hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. Cholesterol is not the enemy! What most don’t realize is how critical diet and lifestyle are to maintaining a healthy balance. Let’s start with diet. If you are avoiding eggs or tossing the yolks, hear me out. When you remove eggs or egg yolk from your diet, you also remove an excellent form of protein which supports a healthy weight, as well as the nutrients lutein, zeaxanthin, choline, and Vitamin A. Lutein & zeaxanthin are important in reducing risk of cataracts & macular degeneration, Vitamin A important for vision health, and choline for brain function and fatty liver. Eat those organic eggs (unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to eggs). Though they contain cholesterol, they won’t necessarily raise your numbers! One cause of high cholesterol is eating sugars and refined carbs (cookies, bread, crackers, candy – anything

man-made, basically!). Excess sugar consumption leads to excess insulin production, which leads to an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides. Refined sugar also leads to increased inflammation, and the LDL (lousy cholesterol) number skyrockets! In addition to dietary changes (which are essential!), we have a very effective supplement, Bergamot, from a quality practitioner line that has proven itself as a leader in heart health!

Dr. Vincenzo Mollace at the Univ. of Catanzaro has championed several clinical trials that demonstrated specific fractions in Bergamot supported healthy levels of every blood lipid marker by targeting the source of cholesterol production. If you are looking for a safe and effective way to reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and improve cardiovascular wellness, Bergamot is a winner. Buy Bergamot from The Natural Alternative, proven to work with so many customers! If you need help with sugar cravings, insulin resistance, weight loss, or any other ongoing health issue, schedule an appointment with our clinical nutritionist today and start feeling better tomorrow! Bobbi & Team @ Natural Alternative






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Walk Across America

Air Force Veteran Jake Eyre’s Walk Across America Ends in Morro Bay By Camille DeVaul


tarting in January 2020, Jake Eyre and his furry companion Bella began their journey in Miami, Florida, on foot to eventually make it to the West Coast. Twelve months later, Jake and Bella made it to Morro Bay as their end destination in late December, where they reunited with their family just before the holidays. “It’s kind of a bittersweet thing. This has been a great chapter of my life. This past year has been full of so many great experiences, but I’m also really excited for the next chapter,” Jake shared. While in the Air Force, Jake met people who had completed their walk across America. From there, the idea stuck with him. “Something just rose up inside and said okay, if this is something you want to do within the year of getting out of the air force, do it, I just made it happen,” Jake explained. After serving four years in the Air Force, Jake and Bella drove down to Miami, Florida, sold his car, and prepared for their exciting adventure. At first, Jake’s family was a little skeptical about his plan, but after watching him go through with what he wanted to do, they were all on board, “I am extremely blessed to have the family that I do. They are so supportive.” As Jake and Bella continued their journey, the pandemic was hitting hard in the U.S. At a point, he decided not to go through Virginia because he had heard they had strict stay-at-home orders and did not want to run into any potential roadblocks. As he ventured on, he explained that COVID-19 did not affect him or his journey much. Jake said his roadmap included states that were less restrictive and was welcomed with open arms. Instead of taking a straight shot to the West Coast, Jake went up the East Coast, eventually making his way along the American Discovery Trail. At a certain point, he decided to make his own trail. “I hit some roads that were just in the middle of nowhere, just rural roads in the country that hardly anyone ever sees and just got to see a lot of raw beauty out there,” Jake said. Utah easily sticks out as his favorite

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state because of its beautiful terrain and kind people. Jake’s walk started just like that, a walk. His own adventure with Bella. Early on in Jake’s trek, people wanted to donate money to him. They asked why he was doing this walk? Did he have a cause he was sending a message for? After doing some research, Jake asked people to donate to the “Back on My Feet” Organization. “I realized how much people wanted to give. I was set, I had everything I needed, I’m happy that ‘Back on my Feet’ could play a part in the whole thing,” said Jake. “Back on My Feet” operates in 14 major cities, coast to coast “using running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence” per their website So far, Jake has raised over $5,000 for the organization! Now that Jake’s journey has come to an end, he plans to move to Arkansas, where he has family and attend massage therapy school. Throughout Jake’s travels, he has met a lot of people. He said, “My perspective on humanity has changed. There’s no shortage of people who care. If I had to tell someone what I learned from this is that people are pretty amazing.” And Bella, the husky cross, has enjoyed every step of their journey too. “She’s a high energy dog, and she loves to walk. She’s as happy as can be. My only worry is when we stop; I’ll have to figure something else out, start running with her or something. But she’s doing great. She’s my buddy,” Jake shared. It’s not surprising that this chapter in Jake’s life has impacted him. “It’s definitely something that’s empowered me a lot. If there’s something you want to do, you owe it to yourself to make it happen. That’s how I want to live the rest of my life-your the one in control of your whole life.” What started as a walk for fun has turned into more than Jake and his family could have ever imagined. And yes, he has heard all the Forest Gump jokes.  To see more of Jake’s Walk Across America, visit @jakeswalkacrossamerica on social media .

Starting in January, Jake Eyre and his furry companion Bella began their journey in Miami, Florida, on foot and came to a historic end on December 23, in Morro Bay after 12 months of walking across America. Photos by Jake Eyre

Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

From the Cattle Rancher to Life Coach,


ne bit, don’t quit! Those are the words that have become Kiah Twisselman’s catchphrase after losing over 125 pounds and becoming a full-time life and weight loss coach. Born and raised on her family’s cattle ranch in Carrisa Plains, Kiah has a deep love for the beef and agriculture industry. After graduating from UC Davis, Kiah worked on the Kentucky Beef Council in charge of their nutrition program. “I felt very conflicted in that role. Not because I didn’t believe in what we were sharing in terms of beef and protein’s role in a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle,” Kiah shared. She continued, “I grew up on a cattle ranch, I believe in the beef industry with all my heart and soul, but I felt like such a hypocrite standing up in front of the room telling-the general public, ‘yeah, beef is so great for your health’ without being a vision of health myself.” Before boarding a plane to a conference for the beef council, Kiah picked up Rachel Hollis’s book ‘Girl, Wash Your Face.’ That’s when she had her ah-ha moment, if you will, after having to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane for the first time. After that moment, Kiah decided she needed to make some changes, but this time things were going to be different, “I feel like I knew this time

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

that something felt different, and I think that really started within me.” Kiah began to follow Rachel Hollis’s ‘Five to Thrive’ in October 2018. Hollis’s ‘Five to Thrive’ is a list of five things she does every day that has drastically changed her life, energy levels, and how she shows up for her family. It wasn’t her first time trying to make a change in her health, but this time she knew it was different and she was determined. “I think that I knew this time when I made the commitment; it was a real commitment to myself. It wasn’t a commitment to a diet; it wasn’t a commitment to keto; it wasn’t a commitment to weight watchers. It was a commitment to myself, and that felt different,” Kiah explained. Early in her health journey, Kiah began documenting her experience. For the first few months, she kept those videos and photos to herself. But after she started to see changes happening and knew she would follow through, Kiah began to share her story with the world. “The way I was approaching it felt different this time it was more from a place of ‘I’m going to learn to love myself and show up and care for myself the way I deserve instead of starting a diet from I hate myself, so I’m going to fix the problem.” Soon, women from all over the country began contacting Kiah asking if she was coaching others on weight loss.

In August 2019, she began coaching people one on one in life and weight loss, and in July 2020, she became a full-time life coach. “It was completely unexpected to me that I would be here, one day being an example to other people, being in a place where I can empower so many other women that are that are walking their own journey, and I am so grateful that I’m able to say I’m here to help you because I did it myself and I have all this proof of what it takes,” Kiah shared. Since October 2018, Kiah has lost over 125 pounds and has been featured on national television and magazines like Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, People Magazine, and Women’s Health. Kiah never went to the gym. She learned how to exercise from home and make small changes in her habits one bit at a time. When it comes to dieting, Kiah says, “The problem is I think our society and our culture feeds us this belief that diets are what are going to solve the “problem” and I think that’s why the diet culture perpetuates itself and its because we never get to the core of what the real issue is which in my opinion has to do more about our relationship with ourselves than it does the diet or foods that we eat or whether we do the exercise.”  You can follow Kiah Twisselman on her continuous health journey on Facebook @coachkiah and learn more about her coaching opportunities at | 23

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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

Steps Toward A Healthier Lifestyle Make 2021 the year of smart choices. Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

There isn’t a better time than now to start getting fit with health information and products so easily accessible. Simply incorporate the basics into your daily routine, good nutrition, adequate exercise, and a daily supplement, and start down the path toward better health.

Plan A Nutritious Diet

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, Set Your Health Goals eggs, nuts, whole grains, Setting your health goals is the first step but keeping and fat-free or low-fat milk them is another. Look for ways to make it easy to stick products. It should be low in with your plan so you can celebrate victories when you saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar. reach your goals. • Warm weather makes fresh produce more easily The first step in achieving your goals is setting youraccessible. Eat more fruits and vegetables by setting self up for success. Arm yourself with the resources you freshly washed and prepared produce on the kitchen need to eliminate obstacles. That might mean findcounter or at eye level in the fridge. Make sure half ing the right gear, like exercise equipment or cooking your plate is made up of fruit and vegetable servings supplies, or using tech tools to learn about certain foods’ at every meal. benefits for better health. • One-fourth of your plate at every meal should be Making your new routines easy and convenient can made up of grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, cornhelp convert unfamiliar actions into habits in nearly meal, or barley. People who eat whole grains as part no time at all. of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic Be sure to set realistic milestone goals so you can diseases. reward yourself for progress toward your end goal. If you • The remaining one-fourth of your plate should be find yourself slipping along the way, take a look at what’s lean or low-fat cuts of meat, plant-based protein, or pushing you off your path and make adjustments. Keep seafood. your focus on the end goal and allow yourself some flexibility as you figure out the best way to get there. Get Regular Exercise The Department of Health and Human Services Meal Prep recommends an adequate amount of exercise every day. Preparing healthy meals ahead of time makes it easier This guide can point to the right amount of exercise to to avoid less nutritious choices when your days get busy. add to your schedule: Use a couple of weekend hours to prep meals for the • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activentire week and keep your healthy eating goals on track. ity every week. For best results, spread the time out The right tools can make the job even easier. Look for over several days. meal prep containers with dividers that help you control • Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. portions. Also, look for options that stack neatly in the Lifting weights builds muscle, which means the body refrigerator and are microwave and dishwasher-safe for burns more calories – even at rest. extra convenience. • It’s important to keep in mind that when people are active, they produce more free radicals. The antioxiBoost Health with Lemons dants found in supplements can help buffer the negaLemons and their peels can deliver health benetive effects of the workout. fits like the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease, Improving your diet, exercising regularly, taking diabetes, and even cancer. You can easily incorporate a daily supplement, and getting enough restorlemons into your menu to help solve health problems ative sleep are all important steps to overall wellor achieve desired outcomes like improved skin, hair, ness. Work to incorporate each step into your daily nails, and more. routine until you reach your goal of good health.  Medical Disclaimer: The above recommendations are for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have before undertaking a new health care regimen.

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 25

Taste of Atascadero

Sip and Savor

For Valentines:

Uncork The Other Red Wines


alentine’s Day is fast approaching, and most of you may be ready to serenade your amour with a bottle of Rosè or sparkling wine. Hold that thought! This year why not venture into the world of The Other Red Wines and give traditional varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, and grenache a rest — if only for a day. How about sampling esoteric reds such as marselan, caladoc, carignan, négrette, or cabernet pfeffer? Or Italian and Spanish varietal wines. (Variety signifies a species of grape, whereas varietal is a wine made from a single variety, which could be 100 percent or up to 75 percent of that variety with the balance blended with one or two other varieties). Take Dubost Winery’s dark and brooding négrette (native to Toulouse, France) and cabernet pfeffer (a hybrid of cabernet sauvignon and trousseau) produced by winemaker/vineyard manager Zachary Raines, who sources the grapes from San Benito County. The purple-hued négrette is a wine that is lush on the palate, laced with violet aromas and backed with supple tannins. “It’s at its prime right now but can age for five or more years,” Raines commented on the 2016 vintage. The 2017 is just as lush, however, with less oak and revealing pronounced acidity. Cabernet pfeffer, as the name suggests (pfeffer in German means pepper), is a jolt of pepperiness on the palate balanced with delicious cherries and plums on the palate. A mere 50 acres of each of these varieties are planted in the US, mostly in San Benito County. Raines also poured a carménère, a medium body wine redolent of cherries and woven with soft tannins. “People now seek us out, and we are getting known for this,” commented Raines on these under the radar wines. The same could be said of Thacher Winery. “We’re enjoying making these wines that have been pushed aside,” remarked Sherman Thacher as I savored another deep-colored négrette, a 2019 vintage also sourced from San Benito County. We also tested Thacher’s 2018 valdiguié, which expressed pomegranate freshness, and a 2019 cinsault showing vivid

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spiciness and hints of white pepper. More obscure varietals can be found at Sextant in its X Series, the cherry-loaded marselan (a hybrid of cabernet sauvignon and grenache), and the medium-body caladoc (a hybrid of grenache and malbec). Brecon estate produces a good half dozen varietals such as cabernet franc from 40-year-old vines, an intense petit verdot, an approachable petite sirah, a smoky mourvedre, and a deep-hued structured tannat. Other local wineries producing tannat include Bushong Vintage Company, Vina Robles, Tablas Creek, and Barr Estate. At Jada Vineyard & Winery, I sampled two versions of the dark and brooding tannat: a gamey 2017 and the earthy 2018. Dirk Neuman, owner/winemaker of Absolution Cellars, sources his tannat fruit from Jada and crafts it in a bold rich style expressive of muscle-flexing tannins. Derby Wine Estates is another winery with a large portfolio of varietal wines, some 29 labels, although not all are produced every year. The varietal-focused black label series ranges from a violet-laced graciano and a plum-loaded petit verdot to a perfumey cinsault and a counoise effusive of strawberries. (More delicious counoise is produced at Sans Liege and Paix Sur Terre). Carignan was little known as a varietal until Amy Butler of Ranchero Cellars made it her signature, a wine that coats the palate with a rush of plum and berry fruit backed with hints of Paso garrigue (wild hillside shrubbery). I savored the Spanish iteration, cariñena, the 2017 Reserva that was redolent of cranberries at Circle B Vineyard & Cellars. For mourvèdre fans, check out this varietal at Paix sur Terre, J. Dusi, Thacher, and Seven Oxen. And for cabernet franc lovers, you can’t go wrong at LXV Wine, Four Lanterns, and Paris Valley Road Estate Winery. Among the Italian-focused wineries, Giornata, Caparone, Pelletiere and Clesi are producing exceptional varietal wines ranging from nebbiolo and montepulciano to aglianico, barbera and sangiovese. In the Spanish portfolio, Bodegas Paso Robles, Diablo Paso and Bodega de Edgar offer brilliant selections of tempranillo, graciano and monastrell. 

Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

Taste of Americana Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry-Orange Compote This recipe is sure to please chocolate lovers. It’s just one tall, super moist layer.

From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz


ebruary is a special month. We celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln with President’s Day on the 15th. But, don’t forget that on the 14th, it’s time to celebrate the “sweet” people in our lives who love us and support us. Traditionally, we celebrate by sending Valentine greeting cards, bouquets of flowers, chocolates, and other sweets. Nothing says, “I love you” better than a homemade dessert. So here’s a recipe that is certain to please all of your “special” people.

Ingredients For the cake: • 2 cups fresh raspberries • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided • 2 tablespoons water • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature • 1 cup brown sugar • 3 eggs, room temperature • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream • For the compote: • 1 large orange • 3 tablespoons brown sugar • 2 tablespoons honey • 1 teaspoon orange zest • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt • 4 cups fresh raspberries • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur 1. To make the cake, combine the raspberries, 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the raspberries until they break down into a sauce. Push the raspberry pulp and juice through a fine-mesh strainer. Cool the puree to room temperature or chill before using. 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom of a round 10-inch cake pan and line with a circle of parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan. (this cake releases easily from the sides, and greasing the sides means the cake doesn’t have anything to hold on to while it rises during baking. 3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and ¾ cup of granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes), scraping once. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. Mix in the melted chocolate. 5. Combine the yogurt and raspberry puree in a medium bowl and set aside. With the mixer on low speed, mix half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until almost combined. With the mixer running, add the raspberry mixture. Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients until almost combined. Scrape the bowl again and mix an additional 30 seconds on low speed until the batter is smooth. 6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Cool to barely warm before removing the cake from the pan. Cool the cake completely before serving. To make the compote: 1. Peel the orange and clean off the white pith and webbing. Cut the segments into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Combine the orange pieces, brown sugar, honey, zest, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the raspberries and the Grand Marnier. Cover and refrigerate the compote overnight. 2. If you’ve made the compote the day before, about 2 hours before serving, remove the compote from the refrigerator. Cut the cake into wedges, and serve the compote alongside the cake. Hold leftover cake covered at room temperature and put the compote in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Happy Valentine’s Day. and Enjoy!

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 27

Tent City

San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

2020 James Brescia, Ed.D.


“Hope is being able to see there is light despite all the darkness.” Desmond Tutu


ccording to Google, the three most highly searched words/phrases during 2020 were election results, Coronavirus, and Kobe Bryant. A quick review of the Google Trends for 2020 will inform historians that 2020 was a year like no other to this generation. COVID-19 enveloped all aspects of life and education in California. The pandemic uprooted families, forced the conversion of bedrooms into classrooms, restricted in-person social gatherings, and prevented the daily student interactions we traditionally embraced. Today we measure the daily rhythms of school in learning loss and screen time. Along with the distance learning challenges 2020 presented, we faced fires, public protests, election challenges, new California higher education leaders, and the repulsive violent actions against the United States Capitol. This month’s article is my review of how 2020 disrupted and transformed California schools, focusing on our dedicated public servants. On March 5, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency, a few California schools stopped in-person instruction, which was the start of California schools transitioning to distance instruction. During the early hours of Sunday, March 8, our home phone rang, and all 58 county superintendents were summoned to Sacramento to meet with the Governor for a briefing on COVID-19 specific to schools. On Friday, March 13, while hosting our monthly superintendent’s council for the district, charter, college, and university leaders in our county, mobile phones began to vibrate throughout the room. Each school leader was being called back to emergency meetings with their governing boards, almost as if we were characters in a science fiction or thriller movie, all receiving the same message. “REPORT BACK TO HEADQUARTERS IMMEDIATELY.” What followed were disappointments and missed timelines as school leaders struggled to follow COVID-19 protocols, continue providing educational services, adapting to a shifting landscape, and preparing for mid-year budget reductions. NOW OFFERING TELEMEDICINE CONSULTS

2020 began with Governor Newsom’s optimistic budget projections that drastically changed in June, with billions in budget cuts to higher education and state funding deferrals for K-12. This news was followed by larger than expected tax revenues and a strong stock market that lessened the education blow. Additionally, Congress passed COVID-19 relief legislation in March and again in December, helping education start 2021 on a more stable fiscal footing. Unfortunately, districts across California, including several in our county, face a future of growing austerity and have reduced program offerings because of prior budget shortfalls compounded by the pandemic. The savings from reduced travel and building operations have lessened the cuts, and many of our districts will adapt practices to maintain fiscal stewardship moving forward. 2020 presented the world of higher education with two new leaders taking charge of the state’s university systems. In July, the University of California regents named Michal V. Drake to succeed Janet Napolitano as president of the University of California. In September, the California State University trustees selected Fresno State President Joseph Castro to replace the retiring Chancellor Timothy White. Together with Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California Community Colleges, and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, for the first time, all four of California’s public education systems will be led by people of color. 2020 also impacted our childcare centers that operate on thin margins, with underpaid staff. Childcare has continued to provide services throughout the pandemic at reduced capacity with the support of donations and emergency funding. Childcare centers and all other educational agencies received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and assistance with ongoing COVID-19 testing practices. We are hopeful that with the additional funds Congress and our state budget have added, childcare may not only maintain services but implement long-term gains. Locally, First 5 SLO, CAPSLO, Cuesta College, Trust Automation, the Childcare Planning Council, several cities, county government, my office, and several other agencies are continuing the dialogue about childcare’s economic importance. During the first month of 2021, schools across San Luis Obispo County implemented additional in-person services and continued to plan to increase operations as conditions permit. One parent described in a detailed email the first month of distance education feeling like an “explosion at the kitchen table.” Understanding these sentiments, families, educators, support staff, and community members have all stepped in to assist during these difficult times. Our community manifests a “Can Do” spirit and is rising to meet the challenge. Everyone hopes that we can return to schools, friends, and normalcy as soon as possible. As our community vaccination continues, I am confident that we will move forward, continue to increase in-person services, and look back on 2020 as a year like no other. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools. Thank you, San Luis Obispo County, for doing your part. 

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805-434-4848 Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021


Virtual Learning Tips at Home and Local Resources


earning remotely from home is now the norm for many families across the country. Kids and caregivers alike have settled into a routine, though keeping children engaged can still be challenging. While kids have had to be resilient and adapt to learning away from their school buildings, there are ways to make the adjustment easier. These ideas can help infuse more fun and moments of inspiration into school days to keep kids engaged and excited about learning. Create a Reward System Children typically respond well to positive reinforcement, and a thoughtful reward system can help incentivize them to stay on task. Try to align the rewards with the structure of your day, so everyone wins. For example, you can reward the completion of a long assignment with a play break. Giving kids the ability to choose the reward from a set of options can also increase their level of investment in learning. Seek Support From Local Resources Many familiar kids’ programs have expanded their services at no extra charge to help families through the pandemic. The Atascadero Library is offering free online programs in both English and Spanish such as: • Storytime Monday at 10:30 a.m. • Preschool Storytime Wednesday 10:30 a.m. • Toddler Time Friday 10:30 a.m.

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

• Gems in the Stacks Book Group 1st Tuesday 11 a.m. • Mixed Minds Book Group 3rd Thursday 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit them online at The San Luis Children’s Museum offers two “Experiment with Donna” lessons free to all. Your kiddos can learn about Photosynthesis and Magical Water Flowers. Visit them online at onlinestudio. Want to learn about Point San Luis Lighthouse in Avila Beach? Schedule your Virtual Lighthouse Tour. The cost is $10, which goes directly to supporting a historical treasure here in San Luis Obispo county. A live docent hosts the Tour via Zoom for an interactive virtual tour of the Point San Luis Lighthouse. This is a treat for all lighthouse enthusiasts and a chance to get all your questions answered live! Visit my805tix. com/e/point-san-luis-lighthouse-virtual-tours-2. Maintain Social Ties Connections with friends are hard to establish without in-person interaction. However, with a little creativity, you can find ways to build new connections with educational value. Coordinate with other parents to start a book club and bring kids together virtually to talk about the stories or start an old-fashioned penpal exchange with kids from your school. 

5 Homeschooling Tips 1. Use familiar toys to add playful elements to schoolwork. Building blocks and modeling clay can be used as part of lessons on colors, shapes, and letters. 2. Laminate a password cheat sheet and keep it within easy reach, so you’re always able to log in quickly. Also, create a list of bookmarks and desktop shortcuts to save time accessing online learning tools. 3. Add some cheerful color to dry-erase sheets by using pompoms as erasers. Bonus tip: Slide a page protector over a worksheet so kids can practice with it again and again. 4. Get creative with household supplies. A dishrack easily doubles as a file sorter or book display. Cookie sheets can be used for working with magnets or as a hard surface for writing or coloring if your child needs a break from his or her desk. 5. Repurpose old puzzles by putting learning content on the back. Math facts, spelling words, and shapes can make for easy puzzles. | 29

Local Legend September 3, 1931 -


- December 28, 2020



By Camille DeVaul

n a chilly morning in Cayucos, some long time friends sat around a fire on their friend’s ranch. With polenta being stirred and stew warming in a pot, they laughed and shared memories of a man who will never be forgotten. On paper, Richard “Dick” Leo Nock was a cattle rancher, a beef industry advocate, livestock entrepreneur, and Army Veteran. For those who knew him personally, Dick was a lover of splitting eggs, having a horn, handing out nicknames, and most of all, cattle. There were also many things Dick wasn’t a fan of. For instance, half-empty soda cans or slamming the door on his Jeep Cherokee-because it wasn’t a ranch vehicle! But when it came down to it, Dick was a good-natured man. Jo-Ann Switzer shared, “Since Dick passed, there’s been lots of phone calls from people all over saying how much he did for them, and they would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for him helping-he really had a heart of gold underneath.” Dick was born and raised on the Phelan Ranch in Cambria, California, where his great-grandfather, Jeffrey Phelan, settled in 1858 after immigrating from Ireland. Growing up, Dick worked on the Fiscalini Ranch. And for a short time, when Dick was 14, he worked at Hearst Castle for the big man himself, William Randolph Hearst. However, his time at Hearst didn’t last, and long story short, it ended with a broken nose! After graduating with a B.S. in Economics from the University of Santa Clara in 1953, Dick served in the U.S. Army as an Army Aviator from 1953-1957. It was then that Dick served with the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea and next as a flight instructor in the U.S. Army Aviation School in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Dick then returned home and served as a Logistics Officer for the United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO) at Camp San Luis from 1959 to 1966. Under his father-in-law Henry Gilardi’s guidance, Dick started his cow/ calf operation in Cayucos in 1957 and created his T-Diamond Cattle brand. In 1966, Dick went headstrong into the livestock industry with the purchase of the Templeton Sales Yard, the epitome of livestock and everything he loved. “We’ve all had something to do with the sales yard at one time in the last 20 years-he’d find something for us to do,” said Dick’s long time ranch manager, Jessie Renteria. Then, Claude Loftus laughed, saying, “If you were involved with Dick, you were forced to work at the sales yard at least one weekend.” Dick could almost always be found at the sales yard, whether in the “crows nest” or splitting an egg in Hoover’s Beef Palace. Pete Clark said, “Dick’s other major passion was the Templeton Sales Yard. When they decided to tear that down, that next to killed him.” Ahead of his time, Dick established the SLOCO Fed Beef in 1974, a first of its kind cattlemen to consumer type operation. The operation was the first and only in California with a fully integrated beef production and marketing facility.

In 1989, Dick joined the Clark Company in Paso Robles, where he worked closely with Pete Clark. “When Dick was with me in the real estate deal, we would get a ranch sold, and somehow he was always the first in line to lease it,” Clark said with a laugh. While Dick worked for the Clark Company, his cow/calf operation continued to grow, consisting of 4,500 acres on three ranches in Cayucos, Morro Bay, and Cambria, CA with grow and feed cattle in Colorado and Nebraska. Dick’s passion for the beef industry led him to serve on many boards, including the California Cattlemen’s Association and the historic “Osos Club.” He even advocated for beef on a national level with good friend John Lacey. “He loved telling people why they needed to eat beef, and this is where it came from-that was his passion, convincing people that beef was the way to be,” said Loftus. In 1979, Dick was named Cattlemen of the Year by the San Luis Obispo Cattlemen’s Association, and the list of all his accomplishments is almost endless. But one of his proudest endeavors was organizing the Jr. Livestock Support Club in 1970, which served as a price balancing device for 4-H and FFA kids auctioning livestock at the California Mid-State Fair (CMSF). Along with the support club, Dick was instrumental in establishing the fair’s first Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Day and the replacement heifer project. “That was Dick’s passion, 4-H kids and cows. It kinda brought everything together for him,” said Loftus. Because of Dick, CMSF was the first to implement the replacement heifer project, which many fairs across the state followed in suit. Dick was a past President of the National Livestock Marketing Association. In 1980 he held the national convention on the Central Coast, and for the first time, the World Champion Auction was held on the West Coast at the Templeton Livestock Market. The event pulled in people from around the world, and 4500 head of cattle were auctioned on contest day! For many years, Dick was partners with John Lacey on the Santa Margarita Ranch and other ventures. He was fortunate enough to run cattle on some of the largest and most elite ranches in the area, including the Chimineas Ranch off Highway 166. Dick was a mentor to countless cattlemen and cattlewomen locally and across the nation. He impacted countless generations, and to the date of his passing, many of the SLO County Cattlemen’s Association kids flocked to Dick when they saw him. Dick Nock was a unique man and true to himself. With a cigar, he seldom smoked, in his mouth and scotch in his hand, Dick never failed to put a smile on friends and family’s faces. His bewildering nicknames and even more interesting euphemisms are only part of what Dick Nock leaves behind. Dick is survived by his wife of 65 years, Yvonne Gilardi Nock, his daughters, Brandelyn Tronstad (Tom) Marque’ Nock Molodanof ( Jack) and Bretta Nock, granddaughters, Nicole Tronstad (Adam), Olivia, Sofia, Yvonna; a great-grandson Julien, his sister, Patricia Marlo, nieces Kimber Collins, Kami Davis, Bridgit Karo, and nephew Jock Marlo. 


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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

The Writing Support Group

Helpful Writing Tips By Patricia Alexander

Part 2


’m back with another five writing tips for anyone who needs some encouragement and direction, no matter what their project. Here is some practical wisdom from my 45 years of writing and editing:

1. Allow Your Inner Writer a Voice. Writing is just talking, but with a specific purpose

and personality. Getting published doesn’t make you a writer; being a human with thoughts, feelings and the ability to learn does. Your willingness to allow your inner writer out - or not – is what makes the difference. 2. Choose the Tool That Works For You. Computer? Pad of paper? Dictation? Don’t waste time letting this choice stop you; if it gets ideas out of your brain, it works. Paper or dictation may require more steps to ultimately get it on a computer and edited, but so what? It’s worth it! 3. For Clarity, Organize Your Thoughts. Organizing doesn’t dampen creativity; it frees it. You may start out with just a concept or paragraph, but eventually, you’ll want to start a casual outline or at least working chapter titles. This will give you an overview that you can change or rearrange as you go…or return to if you lose your way. 4. Do Your Homework. If you’re writing fiction, start writing character backgrounds with abundant details, even though they may never be in the final piece. As a creator, you need to understand your characters’ motivations, relationships, and backstories. If you’re writing non-fiction, you need to understand who your readership is and how what you’re writing will enhance their lives differently than other books/essays/articles out there. 5. Don’t Freak If Other Writers Got There First. If your chosen genre is full to bursting or someone else has your title or concept, relax and look at it this way: You have your own unique spin and style that can never be duplicated. Other writer’s successes prove there’s an audience for your version, while if there’s nothing like your concept, your project’s time has come. Follow your passion, not your fear… and go for it!  Patricia Alexander has led limited-attendance Writing Support Groups for decades in her home and now on Zoom. A local writer, editor, columnist, and the award-winning co-author of The Book of Comforts: Simple, Powerful Ways to Comfort Your Spirit, Body & Soul, Patricia follows her passion to encourage and guide other writers.

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 31

Social Awareness san luis obispo count y

Human Trafficking Task Force



ocial media is a double-edged sword that Deceptive behavior can be a significant red has become a central and consistent theme flag that is worth paying attention to, particin human trafficking and exploitation related ularly if other warning signs are present. It is investigations. On one hand, social media unites us. a good practice to have a child’s internet and It connects us to loved ones near and far, helps us social media access in open, accessible rooms, stay in touch, and keeps us engaged in the twenand not behind closed doors. Having access to ty-four-hour news cycle. On the other hand, social a child’s account and knowing passwords can be media has become an area of the internet where a good way to supervise a child’s online activtraffickers and exploiters have a seemingly endless ity. This allows for more consistent supervision supply of potential victims to contact, groom, and and can help mitigate any potential problems manipulate for their personal and financial benefit. that may arise. In San Luis Obispo County, there have been • A child receiving gifts or coming into possesmultiple instances in 2020 alone where exploitsion of items that they either should not have ers have contacted victims via a variety of social or were not purchased for them by loved ones media platforms and engaged in criminal activor friends. ity that have led to criminal investigations into Some very common grooming tactics include human trafficking, pandering, and solicitation of showering a victim with gifts or providing elecchild pornography. Social media is a very real threat tronics or other items they would not normally to our children, and as stated in previous columns, be able to afford. In addition, predators and there is more danger to our local children of being traffickers are masters at providing praise and contacted by a trafficker on social media than on showering a child or victim with verbal affirour local streets. mation. Traffickers are master manipulators and There are some common signs that parents and are well versed in finding a person’s weaknesses guardians can be attentive to in order to minimize and vulnerabilities and exploiting them to their the likelihood of their children being contacted and benefit. This often includes finding a person’s groomed by a trafficker or exploiter on the internet. perceived emotional or physical shortcomings These signs or red flags include: and filling that void with feigned affection, • A child being secretive about the content verbal support, and affirmation, all in an effort of their internet searches or secretive about to manipulate a person into complete allegiance their social media accounts and “followers” to a trafficker or exploiter. or “friends.” • A child using terminology that is not age-apIt is a good practice to only ”follow” or be propriate. “friends” with someone that is personally known If a child has a vocabulary or uses terminolto us. Being connected to someone on social ogy that is not age-appropriate and is primarily media that is not actually known to the child sexual in nature, it may be a red flag that is worth and parent(s) opens the opportunity for predainvestigating. Often, traffickers or exploiters will tors to establish unhealthy and unwanted inapuse terminology that is specific to the illicit sex propriate contact. industry or may be some sort of code. As in most • A child wanting to spend unhealthy and illicit subcultures, there is terminology that is unreasonable amounts of time on the interspecific to the human trafficking world. One net or on social media platforms. aspect of this language is seen through the use While it is not necessarily out of the ordiof emojis. The illicit sex subculture has turned nary for a child to want more screen time, when otherwise innocent emojis into a nefarious the demand to be online becomes obsessive manner of communication. A simple internet and leads to unreasonable reactions, it may be a search query for secret emoji language can be concern worth paying attention to. The sad realhelpful in deciphering the more sinister nature ity is that predators know our children are online of what could appear as an otherwise innocent more these days because of COVID concerns communication through the emojis we all see and distance learning, and as a result, predators every day on our electronic devices. are using it to their advantage. It is important to know that there is no single • A child quickly switching the computer screen social media internet platform that is solely used when a parent or adult approaches them. by traffickers and exploiters. In San Luis Obispo

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County, detectives from the Counter Human Trafficking Team have investigated human trafficking-related cases on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and the gaming platform Fortnite. While these platforms are some of the bigger names in the social media world, it is important to know that there are many more platforms in use daily by traffickers and exploiters. Some lesser-known applications such as Mocospace, Kik, WhatsApp, Discord, and others are just as dangerous to our children as they provide an avenue for exploitation if not properly supervised. Just as it is incumbent on law enforcement investigators to stay on top of social media trends, it is equally important for parents, guardians, educators, and anyone with a stake in raising children to be aware of the ever-evolving world of the internet, social media, and gaming platforms. Traffickers and exploiters have an endless supply of internet platforms to recruit, exploit, and sell victims, and it is important that we stay in step with the traffickers to protect our children and loved ones. It is critical that we are aware that there is danger on the internet and generally know the signs of the type of behavior a trafficker or exploiter may engage in. Aside from being aware of a trafficker’s tactics, it is just as important that adults have an open dialogue with the loved ones in their lives and have a frank discussion about the dangers of social media and the internet. It is necessary that we, as adults, are aware of the true danger that the internet can pose and relay that to our loved ones in an accurate, informed manner. It is vital that we are not only aware of the dangers but also monitor and supervise our children while they are on the internet. Our children should be trained not to share sensitive information online, particularly with people they do not know. We need to teach our children to never meet up with someone they met on the internet and that any suspected abuse or suspected criminal activity should be reported to law enforcement or a trusted adult. Education on the issue of internet safety followed up with meaningful engagement can make all the difference in the world. Meaningful engagement and staying on top of the ever-evolving world of the internet and social media can help stem the tide of exploitation before it gets a foothold on one of our loved ones. Education and engagement partnered with vigilance can go a long way. Until next time.  Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021


Lighthouse: Weapon of Rescue

One Town's Battle Against the Monster of Drug Abuse By Connor Allen


he Lighthouse Atascadero, a local non-profit organization, founded in 2011, was formed in effort to combat drug and alcohol abuse among the youth in Atascadero. Over the last ten years, the Lighthouse has focused on bringing awareness, prevention, and intervention, and now, a book has been published chronicling the fight of several local families with the help of a supportive community against an unseen evil like addiction. Lighthouse: Weapon of Rescue: One Town's Battle Against the Monster of Drug Abuse is written by local first-time author Carol Freed Gobler and is now available in paperback on "This story is true and proof that pain, sorrow and loss can be the very thing needed to unite a town," an excerpt reads. "The narrative unfolds at the beginning, as the town first begins its battle against the monster of illicit drug abuse. The war then broadens as it becomes waged, as well, on

February 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

the subsequent devastation of its many treasured young people." Carol spent 30 years working in the Atascadero School District as a music teacher and has become an author in her retirement. "I retired and started working with Donn Clickard down at the Lighthouse," Carol explained. "The more I learned, the more I interviewed the people involved, I was deeply drawn in and so moved by the stories of how their boys died, how the families coped, and how they have decided to help other families not experience the same situation. That is how Lighthouse grew." Carol conducted many interviews with local community members, police officers, firefighters, City Council members, social workers, and more and tells their compelling story in just under 200 pages. The book, which costs $14.99 on Amazon, will use the proceeds generated to continue to help Lighthouse Atascadero fund the programs they support. "As it says, it is one town's battle against the monster of drug abuse," Lighthouse President

Donn Clickard said. "And it is truly, truly that and more." The book tells the stories of Lighthouse and serves as a beacon itself as it shows step by step how one small community can make a difference with the proper care and education. ď Ž For more information on Lighthouse Atascadero, visit | 33

Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto 13 Stars Media

We believe in people. We believe in partnerships. We believe in organic food and a healthy planet. We believe in getting it right, the first time, every time. We believe in our history, and our future. We believe culture eats strategy for breakfast. We believe to change anything, create a new model that makes the old model obsolete. We believe that all ideas are big ideas when they matter to you. We believe in art, music, sports, education, and kids. We believe in being the most fun. We believe handshakes and hugs are better than likes and shares. We believe Main Street is more powerful than Wall Street. We believe in holding the door, smiling, waving, and greeting strangers’ new friends. We believe small business is a state of mind. We believe everything looks better on high-gloss pages. We believe in the magic of teamwork and high fives. We believe in homemade lemonade and local honey. We believe in family, friends, and sharing warm bread. We believe in lighting each other’s candles. We believe in the Story of Us.

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Atascadero Pet Hospital................... 15 Avila Traffic Safety............................. 31 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 21 Five Star Rain Gutters..........................9 Greg Malik Real Estate Group.....10-11 Hearing Aid Specialists of The Central Coast.............................3

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Atascadero News Magazine | February 2021

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