Atascadero News Magazine • #43 • January 2022

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vision ATASCADERO MAYOR LOOKS AHEAD TO 2022

people CLARK GUEST SHARES RECOVERY

championship AHS BOYS WATER POLO WINS CIF

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fe at ures

January 2022

Issue No. 43

21

16 24

Mayor’s Vision by heather moreno

Atascadero City Mayor looks back on the city’s accomplishments in 2021 and looks forward to the fresh start of 2022.

Taste of Americana by Barbie Butz

These recipes are perfect for our cold January days when a warm cup of soup will definitely bring the family to the table with no hesitation.

21 28

Clark Guest by camille devaul

After over 18 years with San Luis Obispo County, Clark Guest moves to Idaho to continue his work in substance recovery.

AHS Boys Water Polo by christianna marks

Atascadero Greyhounds are celebrated with a hometown parade after bringing home a historic CIF championship.

On the Cover

The Atascadero Boys Water Polo Team stood in front of City Hall after being honored in a parade to celebrate their historic victory. Contributed photo 20,000 PRINTED | 17,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY!

3,000 DROPPED AT HIGH TRAFFIC LOCATIONS

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 @ 13starsmedia.com, or contact one of our advertising representatives.



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12 14 15

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How to GUIDE

Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter Round Town Atascadero Chamber of Commerce | Cross Talk with Josh Cross Santa Margarita: Clementine Cupcake Company The Natural Alternative: 2022 Reset

2 0 2 1 FA L L E D I T I O N A Special Supplement to The Atascadero News & Paso Robles Press

HOW TO GUIDE MARCH 2022

WHAT’S INSIDE: How to Guide is back; need assisOur bi-annual H&R Block

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Natural Alternative

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Sierra Pacific Materials

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Beyond Speech Therapy

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Solarponics

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Hamon Overhead Door

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Five Star Rain Gutters

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Diane Cassidy - Re/Max Success

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tance on how and when to buy a home or pick your next heater or home appliance? We have you covered. The How to Guide is designed to give you informative information straight from the experts in North County. To advertise call us at (805) 466-2585 or email office@13starsmedia.com. A Heavenly Home

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Atascadero People Nate Abate: Nate the Barber Gordon Sisters: Top 30 Under 30

Taste of Atascadero

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Business Spotlight JUICEBOSS: A Fresh-Squeezed Dream Come True

Tent City SLO County Office of Education: Education—Opportunities & Challenges Health & Fitness: The Power of Positive Thinking Another Rick Evans Photo: A Special to the Atascadero News Magazine

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Sip & Savor: The Art of Amphora-vinification

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Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home

Last Word “I Have a Dream:”Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Directory of our Advertisers

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HAVE A NEW BUSINESS? NEED TO FILE YOUR FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME, LEGAL NOTICE OR CLASSIFIED AD? Contact The Atascadero News at (805) 466-2585 or office@13starsmedia.com your local hometown newspaper since 1916. We are here to help!


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atascaderomagazine.com | 7


Something Worth Reading

Publisher’s Letter

A

s we welcome 2022, we take time to stop and reflect on the past year, and although it was another challenging year, there is so much to be grateful for. Starting with our loyal and dedicated advertisers that have supported us while they navigated, keeping their businesses open, and adhering to the continuous changes in regulations throughout the pandemic. Because of our incredible community, which continues to “do something worth writing,” our pages are filled with feel-good stories that share our “can-do” attitude that makes our community incredibly special. A big thanks to the professionals around town we work with, who play an intricate role in putting all of this together. Without them, we would not be able to bring the Atascadero News Magazine to you each month. We are truly blessed to be the stewards of this publication and appreciate all the support. In this month’s edition, Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno shares a look back at 2021 and how the City of Atascadero thrived amidst uncertainty and her vision for 2022 (page 16). Clark Guest, a longtime community member, shares his journey of overcoming addiction and helping others throughout San Luis Obispo County for the last 18 years (page 21). Then we spent some time with the Gordon sisters from Templeton as they share their journey becoming professional hot rod racers, and both named Illustrated Top 30 under 30 (page 23).

publisher, editor-in-chief

publisher, editor-at-large

Hayley Mattson

Nicholas Mattson

assistant editor

layout design

Melissa Guerra ad consultants

Michael Michaud ad design

Dana McGraw Jamie Self

community writers

Jen Rodman

Camille DeVaul Christianna Marks

office administrator

Cami Martin | office@13starsmedia.com

Barbie Butz

contributors

Josh Cross

Dr. Cindy Maynard

Mira Honeycutt

Heather Moreno

The Natural Alternative

James Brescia, Ed.D.

Simone Smith

OUR NEXT ISSUE: HEALTH, FITNESS, & WELLNESS February 2022

PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE January 31, 2022 ADVERTISING DEADLINE* January 10, 2022 * 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 atascaderomagazine.com/advertise

A huge Congratulations to the Atascadero High School Boys Water Polo Team who won CIF! The community came out in full support, with the police and fire departments hosting a parade through town and ending at City Hall (cover and page 28). These are just a few stories that are among the other incredible tales we get to share in this month’s issue. We believe that our community represents the quality that can continue to reflect a pursuit of the highest ideals in making our town a wonderful place to live. Therefore, our magazine will continue to deliver quality content that makes it a valuable part of our community. We want to thank all of you, our readers, for your continued support as we head into 2022; we are determined to make this the best year yet. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine. Hayley & Nic

ATASCADEROMAGAZINE.COM office@13starsmedia.com • (805) 466-2585 OFFICE 5860 El Camino Real Ste G, Atascadero, Ca 93422

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EDITORIAL POLICY

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.

PROUD TO BE LOCAL!

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.

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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Round Town

Chamber of Commerce

talk

W I T H

J O S H

C R O S S

CEO/President | Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

BUILDING BRIDGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

FOR OUR COMMUNITY W

elcome, 2022! Here at the Chamber, the team and I are excited about what we have for this new year. We’re building bridges to connect our community to fulfilling work. Our goal is to ensure that every remote worker, freelancer, entrepreneur, and small business owner has the space and tools they need to work and thrive. That’s why we’re beginning our expansion on the construction of 13 new private offices at BridgeWorks Coworking Space this year. If you’re unfamiliar with our BridgeWorks Coworking Spaces & Offices, here’s a quick breakdown. It’s a space right here in downtown Atascadero, with private offices, coworking desks, a kitchen, conference rooms, access to high-speed internet, and printing services. Every day folks come into BridgeWorks Coworking Spaces & Offices and do incredible work. Here they’re surrounded by passionate, hardworking peers, creating a supportive and strong community. So, this space truly is helping bridge the gap between our community and work.

There are several options for working at BridgeWorks, with prices for using the space starting as low as $25 per day or as low as $200 per month. In addition, you can opt for a daily pass, an unreserved or reserved desk in the coworking section, or a private office. You can even rent out the conference room or have a virtual office here. To learn more about the offerings here, visit atascaderochamber. org/bridgeworks/. If you haven’t seen the space, I’d like to invite you to come by the Atascadero Chamber for a tour. Just give us a quick call ahead of time so that we can set up a scheduled tour time. It’s 2022, and if you’re ready to have your own office for your business or your remote work, there are a few vacant private offices available now just waiting to be filled! To reserve office space, you can email me at Josh@AtascaderoChamber.org or call (805)466-2044. Join a supportive community and get connected with the tools and space you need to do great work at BridgeWorks Coworking Spaces & Offices. 

New Chamber Members Bravo Pizza Plus bravopizzaplus.com Central Coast Moving and Storage Company centralcoastmoving.com El Pollo Loco ElPolloLoco.com Gaby Romo Realty gabyromo.com Indigo Clothing facebook.com/indigochild19/ John Paul Drayer, Commercial Real Estate Investor Legends Hair Salon (805) 461-5207

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ood for all of 2022! For only $75, you can enjoy complimentary tastings at wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries. You will also receive complimentary corkage fees at participating restaurants and discounts on local hotel stays. A portion of the proceeds will help support the Atascadero Charles Paddock Zoo.

Art, Wine, and Brew Tour February 11, Downtown Atascadero

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elebrate the new year with the Art, Wine & Brew Tour! Sip and shop your way through beautifully decorated downtown stores lit up to celebrate the holiday season. Enjoy some phenomenal wine, beer, coffee, and other treats from 15 to 20 businesses. Earlybird tickets are $20 in advance through February 4, $25 from February 5-10, and $30 at the door; every ticket comes with a complimentary wine glass.

To Purchase: Visit AtascaderoChamber.org or call (805)466-2044

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Santa Margarita

SANTA MARGARITA GETS A LITTLE BIT SWEETER WITH THE ARRIVAL OF

CLEMENTINE CUPCAKE COMPANY

Photos By Kari Freitas and Simone Smith

Simone Smith

I

s it true that if a person likes sweets, their personality reflects their taste preference? True or not, Santa Margarita has gotten a little bit sweeter with the addition of Clementine Cupcake Company. Today, as I write, is December 15 and actually National Cupcake Day, a day dedicated to the celebration of those personal cup-sized treats. A brief look into the history of the cupcake tells us that this little bit of deliciousness was an American creation. The first description was found back in 1796 in a recipe for “a light cake to bake in small cups” by Amelia Simmons in “American Cookery”The actual term “cupcake” didn’t appear until 32 years later in 1828’s “Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats” by Eliza Leslie. Although the name came from the pottery cups the original cakes were baked in; it stayed with the small personal-sized cakes even after the invention of the muffin tin became a more popular means for baking larger quantities. Enter Clementine Cupcake Company. Santa Margarita was first introduced to Clementine’s delicious cupcakes and cookies a few years ago when a selection was offered for sale at Caliwala’s Market and Deli. An ever-changing parade of deliciousness was there, ready to be snapped up. Baked with all-natural, fresh, pure, organic, and locally sourced ingredients with options of gluten and dairy-free, Clementine’s cupcakes and cookies were not too sweet but oh so beautifully perfect. If you were lucky, sometimes an end-of-the-day surprise of extras would even show up in the Community Share Box. Yum! What a way to make someone’s day and put a smile on their face. I got the chance recently to speak to Kari Freitas, the owner of Clementine Cupcake Company, at her new physical location off the parking lot, next to

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Ancient Peaks Winery at 22720 El Camino Real Suite “A” in Santa Margarita, to learn more about her business. Although Kari has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and no formal training in baking, she was ready for a career change to something a little lighter that didn’t continue to occupy her mind after the workday ended. A mother of two young girls, she was looking for something a little more fun, creative and flexible. Kari and her husband were thinking of starting some type of food truck business when the opportunity came up a few years ago to buy Clementine Cupcake Company & Mobile Cookie Cafe from original owner Sadie Agueda. With memories of growing up baking with her mom and having a major sweet tooth, buying the cupcake business sounded like the perfect move. Along with the name, reputation, and various business assets, Clementine’s came with a lineup of award-winning cupcake and cookie recipes which Kari has added to over the years. In the beginning, the business was run out of a Health Department approved kitchen which they had built in their garage, baking and delivering made-to-order cupcakes and cookies for parties, weddings, special events, and businesses. They later added a larger, cheery, tangerine, and white vintage trailer, which was decked out to become their mobile cookie cafe to serve happy customers at larger events and festivals. Fast forward to this past September 1, 2021, the date that Kari signed the lease on the old Just Baked spot, vacant after the business closed to concentrate on their Paso Robles location. Opening day for Clementine Cupcake Company’s new location was Thursday, October 28, in time for Halloween, with display cases filled with an array of spooky and tasty treats. The recent sale of the mobile cafe allows for more family time and lets Kari and team concentrate on

special order baking and the new location. So, is it true that if a person likes sweets, their personality reflects their taste preference? Is Santa Margarita now a little sweeter? Research has shown that, YES, in a study published in the 2011 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “results suggest there is a real link between a preference for sweets and pro-social behavior.” Also, according to a 2015 article in Psychology Today by Judith J. Wurtman, PHD, just “a tablespoon of real sugar makes the stress go down” and “all carbohydrates (except fructose) will trigger a process that ends with the brain making serotonin, the good mood chemical.” Don’t go overboard though, a little is just enough. So, what will it be? A Unicorn, Plain Jane, Lemon Drop, Chai Spice cupcake, Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodle, or gluten-free Oatmeal Toffee cookie?  Clementine Cupcake Company is there for you Thursday through Saturday 11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.


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ith the start of a new year and the cold weather settling in, our bodies seem to be a little more sluggish, we’re more prone to colds and flu, and reaching your weight loss goals is becoming more difficult. What can you do to “jump start” your body into health and wellness (and weight loss) for the New Year? There’s no better way to jumpstart your way to a healthier new you than with a whole-body cleanse. From Thanksgiving through the New Year festivities, we tend to indulge in sugary foods and drinks, leaving us feeling bloated, cranky, and maybe a few pounds heavier! Why Cleanse? Your liver, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal-tract, and skin all work to eliminate toxins that you take in from the environment as well as toxins made internally. Toxins can come from many sources: foods that have been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hormones injected into livestock and poultry; chemicals and synthetic fragrances used in common household cleaners and personal care products; air pollution caused by burning of fossil fuels in cars and power plants; and treated wastewater that Dlows into rivers, lakes, and streams that contain unwanted pollutants. How many foods consisting of white flour, sugar, and bleached oils do you consume weekly? Just about everything boxed

or packaged, including fast food, falls into this category. Think about it— doesn’t it make sense that your liver can become tired, and your intestinal tract can become toxic over time? This can lead to constipation, fatigue, skin problems, headaches, sleep problems, digestive difficulties... and the list goes on!

After the New Year I was feeling fatigued and sluggish, had horrible sugar cravings, and suffering from skin hives. The 21 Day Cleanse sounded like just what I needed. I was NOT hungry, my energy returned, and my hives cleared up in a week! I have lost a total of 27 lbs.! Thank you! ~RW

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Mayor’s Vision

A Look Back & A Vision Forward for

2022

By Heather Moreno, Mayor of Atascadero

W

hen asked about my vision as we move into 2022, I inevitably reflect on what’s brought us to where we are today. I met a gentleman recently who moved here 18 months ago for his job. When I asked what he liked most about Atascadero, he spoke about the friendliness of everyone he meets. Then he said, “I really like the Sunken Gardens and City Hall.” What made both of those possible were Councils willing to take risks. City Hall was, in essence, mothballed for seven years before the 2009/2010 Council committed to a $30+ million renovation. Sunken Gardens was aging and uninviting before the 2005/2006 Council decided to restore it as a centerpiece of our downtown. Last year I received rave reviews from residents and folks Countywide about how much improvement they’ve seen in Atascadero the past two years. But think about it. How can so much enthusiasm be felt when for 22 of those 24 months, we dealt with COVID? It’s because this momentum was in the works for over a decade. The Council in 2009 guaranteed a loan to get Galaxy Theatre, and Colony Square started. I’m pleased to have served the last nine years with Councils that moved forward with selling and incentivizing use of the Creekside building (now with Wild Fields Brewhouse, BridgeWorks Co-working, and more), building the Centennial Plaza, approving La Plaza, and constructing the adjacent public square, building the Zoo Garden Event Center, and bringing signature and community events to our downtown. It took work and investment, over many years,

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by the City, private individuals, and developers, and small business owners for Atascadero to look on the outside how we envisioned it long ago. And while we’ve made substantial progress, there’s always more that can and needs to be done. In 2021, through a process of numerous community-wide virtual meetings, discovery, collaboration, and taking all the input into account, our City Council and Staff developed our 2021-2022 Strategic and Action Plans, identifying strategic priorities and goals. This community collaboration revealed that we must continue to focus on making Atascadero’s downtown area a thriving city center where community members and visitors want to come. Our vision embraces assisting in the development of new restaurants and investing in infrastructure to increase pedestrian safety, walkability, and access downtown. We must enhance broadband infrastructure throughout town, including continued involvement in regional efforts to improve broadband access to residents and businesses. Through sustained focus, determination, and follow-through, we will achieve a reimagined downtown that is a safe and inviting location for residents and visitors, as well as a welcoming and productive business and work environment. We continue to place a top priority on ensuring public safety and providing exceptional services to our community. This includes having resources to locate, hire and retain high-quality staffing, which can be accomplished with more competitive staff salaries and benefits. The City also established an Outreach for Underrepresented Residents (OUR)

Team and is continuing our successful partnerships with community service organizations such as ECHO, Community LINK, and the School District. One of the primary attractions of living in our community is quality of life. Atascadero is all about being a small, welcoming community of wonderful, caring individuals. We are Atascadero, where everybody knows your name and is willing to lend a hand. The Council is committed to preserving and enhancing what makes Atascadero so special by embracing our warm, friendly atmosphere and building on our sense of community. We believe this will be achieved by providing attractions, open spaces, outdoor interactions, and a variety of things to do for all. Lastly, we also need to be a place where people can live and work. Placing attention on maximizing the resources along our business corridor, incentivizing property owners and developers, and attracting quality businesses to Atascadero is a long-term effort that can bring about a cohesive use of our seven-mile stretch to maximize the benefits to both property owners and the public. Our community is already a place where there is more: more to do, more places to shop, more things to see, and more reasons “to be” in Atascadero. My personal vision is that the days and years to come will truly be the best of times for Atascadero. I firmly believe that the key toward the gains we have made and the successes we will achieve is having a focused vision with everyone working in concert toward achieving our goals. With that, we are unstoppable. 


Across the country on January 9, citizens take the lead on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities and for that we are deeply grateful.

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Calendar of

JANUARY

EVENTS

DUE TO COVID-19 ALL EVENTS ARE TENTATIVE AND DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CALL AHEAD OR CHECK ONLINE FOR MORE DETAILS.

JAN. 1

JAN. 15

Stay up on all the events and happenings in North San Luis Obispo County! SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: office@13starsmedia.com

JAN. 23

JAN. 27 VIRTUAL ART AND CRAFT SERIES

AVILA BEACH POLAR BEAR PLUNGE/DIP

ATASCADERO’S 6TH ANNUAL TAMALE FESTIVAL

ABIGEL KRALIK VIOLIN RECITAL

AVILA BEACH PIER & PROMENADE

SUNKEN GARDENS, ATASCADERO

TEMPLETON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PASO ROBLES LIBRARY

TIME: 12:00 p Dip | 11:30 a Pictures DETAILS: 10th Annual dip into freezing waters of Avila Beach. Join in the fun of fitness, nature, and a new year!

TIME: 11:00 a - 7:00 p DETAILS: FREE! Over 25 Tamale Vendors will be on site, as well as, a variety of entertainment for all ages!

TIME: 2:00 -4:00 p DETAILS: Hungarian-American violinist Abigel Kralik performs live! Visit festivalmozaic.org for tickets.

TIME: 6:00 - 7:00 p DETAILS: Create January’s cross-stick robin in a winter garden. Register before Jan. 13. Call (805) 237-3870 to register.

FEB. 11

FEB. 4 - 5 FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE

ATASCADERO’S SWEETHEART STROLL

PAVILION ON THE LAKE, ATASCADERO

DOWNTOWN ATASCADERO

TIME: Fri. 6:30 -9:30 p ( Ages 11 and under) | Sat. 7:00 - 10:00 p (12 & up) DETAILS: Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, or anyone with a special girl is invited to spend a semiformal evening full of music, dancing, refreshments & more! Go to visitatascadero.com/events for more details.

TIME: 5:00 - 8:00 p DETAILS: Stroll with a wine glass, over 15 different tasting spots while enjoying bands, entertainment and more!

North County Farmer’s Markets TUESDAYS

WEDNESDAYS

SATURDAYS

PASO ROBLES

ATASCADERO

TEMPLETON

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Clark Guest

People

LIVING PROOF THAT ADDICTION CAN BE OVERCOME

By Camille DeVaul

F

or years, Clark Guest struggled with substance abuse. His battle started while in junior college, playing basketball in Fullerton in the early 80s, and didn’t stop until he was thrown into jail for the last time in 1999. Clark attributes becoming sober to something much bigger than himself, “When I was in jail at that moment, I was able to get on my knees and accept Jesus Christ in my life. On December 1, I have been saved for 22 years, and for 22 years, I have been clean and sober.” Soon, Clark found his way and was able to put his life back together. For over 18 years, he dedicated his life to helping people manage their substance abuse. Specifically, he worked as the coordinator of the San Luis Obispo County Drug and Alcohol Services Adult Drug Court Program—a treatment program for nonviolent defendants that allows a second chance rather than incarceration. In November 2021, Clark retired from SLO County after 15 years and moved to Idaho. Making a move there was something he and his wife had been planning for years. Originally, he planned to move after 20 years with SLO County and retire in Idaho, but earlier this year, they decided why wait. Although Clark has retired from his position in SLO County, he isn’t done helping people recover. He is currently working as a clinical supervisor for the Lake City Counseling Center based in Hayden, Idaho, and overseas programs in Hayden and Post Falls. It hasn’t taken Clark much time to adjust to his new life, “I’ve got my sights on being able to develop a juvenile drug court program up here. I’ve already identified some gaps, and my new boss January 2022 | Atascadero News Magazine

Jennifer is amazing, and her husband, Ben. I’m sort of off and running. Doing many of the same things I was doing down there.” He continues, “I’m really enjoying it now. The people are wonderful, the clinics are wonderful. I’ve hit the ball rolling.” In his new position, Clark works on mental health, and substance abuse treatment programs in adults and adolescents, including a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for the Post Falls clinic. Working closely with youth is new for Clark, but he says he’s learning quickly. While in SLO County, Clark was known for his ability to understand the real struggles of substance abuse and develop effective programs, “When I became supervisor, I was able to develop programs because I definitely had a knowledge of what works for the people that are suffering.” Clark’s road to recovery is a well-known one, and for a good reason. He isn’t afraid to share his journey, and he is living proof that addiction can be overcome. For nearly two decades, Clark lived two lives. Half of him was a star athlete with a full-ride scholarship to Cal Poly and then a firefighter for Vandenburg Air Force Base (VAFB) with top-secret clearance. The other half was committing petty theft crimes to keep up with his drug habits. His addiction took a turn for the worse after a spring break trip in Mexico. After a night of heavy drinking, Clark’s friend died after falling off a steep cliff. Mexican authorities threw Clark and his friends in jail on murder charges. Thanks to a friend’s family member, Clark was let go and sent back to SLO. Later, Clark dropped out of school

and then discovered meth while working at VAFB. Clark didn’t decide to work on his addiction until he was arrested in 1996 for forging a check at a bank in Arroyo Grande. Stolen property was then discovered on his property. He faced felony charges and up to 30 years behind bars—he pleaded guilty and served six months in jail before finding treatment through the Adult Drug Court. “The struggle for mental illness and substance abuse is real. Be the light in somebody’s darkness— If I didn’t go to prison, I would be dead by now,” says Clark. When asked which clients stood out to Clark through his years, he says it was “The ones that were severely institutionalized and able to step away and don’t go back to prison or jail and are able to have families. In turn, they get involved with the recovery community and end up helping people that are still struggling.” Of his time in SLO County, Clark says, “When I was working directly with clients, all the different lives that I was honored to be in touch with and help guide people onto the right track and help step away from the destructive nature of opiates—I was able to leave a legacy behind me with the County, which is really cool.” Clark fully attributes his recovery to finding religion and looks forward to hopefully sharing that light with others in Idaho, “It [recovery] was hard work but not as hard work as keeping my addiction going, keeping the two different lifestyles going. And that’s one of the first things we tied in up here was a religious group. We’ve been looking to make this move for a while, and everything just fell into place.”  atascaderomagazine.com | 21


So Fresh & So Clean

Nate Nate the the

Barber Barber By Christianna Marks

N

ate Abate didn’t always plan on becoming a Barber. In fact, he originally went to school for photography but quickly realized that turning it into a profession would ruin it as a hobby for him. That’s when his then Barber, Sammy from The Ritual in San Luis Obispo, stepped in. “I guess Sammy must have gotten tired of hearing me complain about all my odd jobs and eventually was like, ‘why don’t you just go to Barber School?’ And I thought, ‘oh, I could do that.’ It just clicked. So I quit my job, took out a loan, and went to Barber school and never looked back,” Nate shared. “I was fortunate enough that the guy who convinced me to go to school hired me at his shop. I had a place to work when I got out.” Nate, who grew up in Atascadero, attended SLO Barber College in 2013 before starting work at The Ritual and a few other Barbering gigs. He then opened Nate’s Barbershop three-and-a-half years ago, in May of 2018. The Barbershop oozes retro vibes with its minimal, vintage decor and a large window, featuring the shop’s name in bold print. The shop is at home on 5920 Entrada Avenue in Atascadero. “It’s one of the oldest professions in the world. You know, it’s been around forever,” Nate stated excitedly about Barbering. “The culture, the community aspect. You get so many different types of people in your chair. And so many different members of the community that you would normally not speak to. I did a little stint, like a day or two, in a shop in Orcutt. It’s been there since the 60s. And the guy made it a point, in the middle of the shop, when it was busy to ask, ‘what do you think that guy does? This guy’s a priest; this guy maybe isn’t in the most professional sorts of ways of making a living.’ All those different people can sit in the shop together and converse. And nobody thinks twice about it. And I thought that was pretty cool.” On top of working at The Ritual and before returning to Atascadero to open up shop, Nate worked a short stint at Pistons and Pearls in Monterey, California. He also went out of the country to work at a Barbershop in Toronto, Canada. “I went there twice,” Nate says of his Barbering days in Canada. “When I was working at The Ritual in SLO, I got an offer from Brian Hurson, who owns The Night Owl Barbershop in Toronto. It’s a shop that’s been there since the 40s. And it’s pretty well known in the industry. He had reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to do a guest spot. And so I went up there for a month, and I did it. And then I was like, ‘wow, this is

22 | atascaderomagazine.com

awesome,’ and he invited me to come back full-time. They were opening up another location. And so I went up there to be in that shop. I was able to learn a lot from him because he’s from Ireland, and he learned in a shop over there that’s a staple in Dublin. So it was a good experience, and I just wanted to bring all of that knowledge back to my hometown.” Over the last two years, Nate has been looking to hire Barbers who share his passion for the trade, but he’s had no such luck. “I can’t just put up a “help wanted” sign. I have to have someone who has their Barber’s license. So that’s a requirement, which is harder to fill than you think,” Nate said about finding fellow Barbers to work at Nate’s. However, Nate has seen a growth in clientele over the last year, with people coming to the area from LA and San Francisco, but it’s his local, loyal customers who are his bread and butter.

“If you do 15 people in a day, in a city, you might see those people again. Whereas here, it’s the same group of guys month in month out. Those are the guys who pay the bills, Nate explained. Nate’s love for Barbering is highly evident, and he’s excited about younger generations finding the profession in the future. “Younger kids, you can do a trade. You can become a Barber. It’s a cool profession, and arguably, especially if you don’t know what you want to do, you get to meet so many different types of people.” To make an appointment at Nate’s Barbershop, visit natesbarbershop.resurva.com. 


Top 30 Under 30

Gordon Sisters Right on Track

BOTH NAMED IN DRAG ILLUSTRATED'S 30 UNDER 30 M

By Camille DeVaul

addi and Macie Gordon are living their lives Right on Track, just like the 2003 Disney Channel movie, which follows American drag racer Erica Enders start in the hot rod racing world. The sisters each began drag racing when they were eight years old—both inspired to get into the sport by their dad, world champion drag racer Doug Gordon. This year, Maddi and Macie were both named in Drag Illustrated's 30 Under 30. Since 2015, Drag Illustrated has compiled an annual 30 Under 30 list which highlights drag racing’s most accomplished and promising young ambassadors. Honorees are then recognized at a press conference during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Thousands of submissions are sent in to the magazine. This year, the Gordon sisters were chosen out of 7,000 nominees. Nate Van Wagnen, editor-in-chief for Drag Illustrated, says the 30 Under 30 list is "About more than showcasing what the sport’s young racers, tuners, manufacturers, track officials, and media personalities have already accomplished.” He continues, “It’s also about shining a light on the future stars and encouraging them to keep forging ahead. Many of the honorees from the first couple lists have gone on to do extraordinary things like set records, win world championships, and move up classes.” Getting nominated for the list wasn't something Maddi and Macie were expecting. But after learning what the list was all about and the values the magazine's editor held, they felt privileged to even be considered. The sisters share the list with some of the sport's top up and coming racers. They were able to travel to Indianapolis on December 9 through 11 to personally receive their nomination at the convention. Both of them note it as a highlight of their still new career. Maddi and Macie each have their own cars and have been making their mark in the Division 7 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Junior Dragster League. Between the two of them, they have four championships. Both attending Templeton High School, Macie (16) is a sophomore and

January 2022 | Atascadero News Magazine

won her age group in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Maddi (17), a Senior, won in 2016 and nearly stood in the winner circle in 2018 and 2019, losing just by a few points due to car troubles. In 2020 the sisters were able to go on the road with their dad, working as his pit crew. The two are able to take down and rebuild the engine. "We've always wanted to do this but never realized it could happen. It's such an opportunity to learn more and get more involved with it," said Maddi. "It's actually really exciting because we started Covid year working on Dad's car, but if you see other crews, they are grown men. You don't see teenage girls." Racing for the Gordons is a family affair. Doug is a six-time regional/divisional champion and won the 2020 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, making him a world champion. Doug's car, the Top Alcohol Funny Car, was originally owned by his father. He started in the racing industry just like his daughters, helping work on the car and learning the mechanics. Then in 1993, Doug got his chance to race the funny car himself. Maddi says their dad loves having them as part of the crew, "He obviously wants his family to be involved, but he never realized it would be like this. He loves it, though, and now our mom is starting to do more on the car too." The sisters racing careers have only just started. In a few years, Maddi will be handed the reigns to the Funny car—something she has dreamed of since she could remember. In fact, when Maddi was 11 years old, she wrote in a time capsule that she wanted to drive the Funny car one day. Top Alcohol Funny Cars are capable of performances in 5.3 seconds at more than 270 mph. Macie looks forward to following her sister and moving up to Super Comp dragster in 2023. Super Comp is the quickest of the heads-up Super classes and cars in this class are capable of running racing times in the 8.90 index. These cars typically hit 165 to 175 mph. Three generations of Gordons are hitting the racetracks together, none of them afraid of a bit of adrenaline. The sisters, their parents, and grandparents are all on the road together—each of them with their own part to play. Maddi and Macie describe it as a family hobby and one they are grateful for every day. 

atascaderomagazine.com | 23


Taste

Taste of Americana

Soup-er Recipes From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz

I

remember hearing cooks in the family announce that “soup’s on” when dinner was ready. The meal was not necessarily soup and could be anything from pot roast to fried chicken, and still, the expression was used to call the family to the table.

However, for today’s recipes, you can safely say, “soup’s on!” These recipes are perfect for our cold January days when a warm cup of soup will definitely bring the family to the table with no hesitation. Served with salad and a slice of hearty bread, any of these soups make a satisfying meal. The recipes are from our Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County’s cookbook, Recipes From the Heart of the Central Coast, published in 2001. Proceeds from its sale were used to benefit our philanthropic projects, including Operation School Bell, providing new school-appropriate clothing for students in grades K-12. Remember that the new year offers opportunities for fresh ideas. Don’t dwell on the past, but look forward to what can be an exciting future. If you like to cook, make a resolution to try a new recipe each week. Be creative and enjoy the process. Happy New Year! Cheers! 

24 | atascaderomagazine.com

Red Onion Borscht

This first recipe is from Pat Cairns, an Atascadero resident and a popular and talented artist in the area. She commented, “This soup is a glorious color and, like most art, requires a bit of a mess to create a masterpiece!” Ingredients: • ¼ cup butter or margarine • 4 large red onions, thinly sliced • ½ cup red wine vinegar • ½ pound beets, peeled and shredded (this is the messy part) • 2½ tablespoons flour • 6 cups chicken broth • ½ cup Port wine (optional) • Sour cream for garnish

Directions: Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add onions, vinegar, and beets; stir often until onions are very limp (25 to 30 minutes). Stir in flour. Add broth. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Add Port. Ladle into 4 to 6 bowls and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream.

Carol’s Minestrone Soup

Another Atascadero resident and a former president of Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County, Carol Porter, offered this recipe for Minestrone Soup. Her comment was, “Don’t let a lot of ingredients turn you off on this soup. This is well worth it. Yummy!” Ingredients: • 5 cloves garlic, sliced • Olive oil • Crushed red pepper • 2 small cans tomato sauce • 6 cups beef broth • 2 cans drained or 1 package frozen green beans • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 green peppers, chopped • 1 pack sliced mushrooms • 1 small head broccoli,

chopped • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped • 2 packages ground hot Italian sausage • 2 packages three cheese tortellini • 1 teaspoon garlic salt • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning • 1 teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme, and oregano

Directions: Cover bottom of large soup pot with thin layer of olive oil. Add sliced garlic and one pinch of red pepper. Saute garlic and red pepper until garlic is golden brown. Add tomato sauce and mix together. Mix in beef broth. In another pan, brown sausage, breaking it into small pieces. Drain fat from sausage and add to soup pot.

Add all spices. Season to taste. Add all vegetables. Let soup come to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1½ hours. Add tortellini. Simmer about 20 minutes more. The longer the soup simmers, the better the taste!

Hot Broccoli Soup

This next recipe from Dawn Turner is a “great way to eat your broccoli!”

Ingredients: • 1½ tablespoons butter • 2 tablespoons oil • 2 cups diced onions • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli • ½ cup flour • 4 cups canned chicken broth

• 1 quart half and half • ½ teaspoon black pepper • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional) • 3 cups grated white Cheddar cheese

Directions: Melt butter and oil in large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add broccoli and mix well. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring frequently. Slowly blend in broth; continue stirring. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in half and half and seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cheese and turn off heat. May be served immediately or refrigerated and reheated later. Best if served the same day. Makes 6 generous main course servings. Note: When I serve soup for dinner, I like to also serve a small bowl of homemade applesauce or fresh fruit, along with a green salad and hearty bread. Of course, there’s always room for dessert!


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The Art of Amphora -vinification

Sip & Savor

P

aso Robles’ nonconforming winemakers are so ahead of the curve they have circled back some five millennia to an ancient vinification system in the theory that everything old is new again. In recent years local winemakers have embraced winemaking in amphorae producing textural and nuanced wines. These large egg-shaped clay vessels tapering to a flat bottom were historically used in Georgia, its birthplace, and then spread globally from China to the Mediterranean area. So, I guess it’s no coincidence that the Paso Robles History Museum downtown is staging an informative exhibit, “6,000 Years of Winemaking in Clay Amphorae,” curated by the San Luis Obispo-based Wine History Project. The comprehensive exhibit, which runs through February 28, 2022, includes maps, historical timelines, a selection of clay vessels, and an Amphora Wine Trail map. In 2011 Paso’s Ambyth Estate, a winery focused on Rhônestyle wines, was the first winery to import amphorae from Italy. What started with a couple of amphorae has morphed into 20-some vessels mostly from Italy and a few from Australia and California, ranging in size from 350 liters to 750 liters. Founded in 2003 by Phillip and Mary Hart, Ambyth is also Paso’s first Demeter-certified biodynamic vineyard and winery. The amphora’s renaissance began in Italy’s northeastern region of Friuli, mostly by a group of winemakers drawn to organic and biodynamic farming and natural winemaking practices. These non-intervention style winemakers saw many benefits to amphora-vinification, such as its superior insulation, which gives wines its freshness, and the porous vessel that allows oxygen into wine twice as fast as wood barrels. Gelert Hart, Phillip’s son and currently Ambyth’s winemaker, calls it happy oxidation. “It’s the most neutral aging vessel that still allows the wine to breathe age into a classic old-world style,” Gelert explained in an email. He uses both amphorae and barrels for fermentation and aging red, white, Rosé, orange wines, and cider. Indeed, it was Ambyth’s introduction of amphorae that sparked interest among locals. Winemakers such as Giornata Wine’s co-founder and winemaker Brian Terrizzi got his first amphorae from Ambyth’s second Italian shipment in 2012. Terrizzi began using amphorae for some of his white Italian varieties. “It’s part of the natural movement, and we don’t add yeast or nutrients,”Terrizzi asserted. “Barrels give wine a lot of flavor and amphorae don’t, and the shape helps ferment wines faster.” Many of Terrizzi’s whites are tinted in pastel colors of orange and pink. These “Orange Wines” (made by leaving skins of white wine grapes

26 | atascaderomagazine.com

to ferment with the juice) are all the rage among millennials and popular with winemakers using amphorae. We sampled 2020 vintages of Giornata’s orange-hued Falanghina, expressing a fresh cidery flavor; a citrusy Fiano; a peachy Friuliano; and a surprising Rosé of pinot grigio. Sherman Thacher of his namesake winery is another true believer in non-intervention. “We practice super low intervention; we bring in the grapes, and they follow their own path,” said the winemaker, who tends to favor neutral oak and therefore likes the neutrality of amphora. “The wines retain a freshness.” For chenin blanc and cinsault bottlings, Thacher will use multiple vessels like amphora and neutral oak barrels for vinification. Dave McGee, owner of Monochrome, also uses multiple vessels for vinification. For the 2018 Analog in a Digital Age marsanne blended with grenache blanc and viognier, McGee used both amphorae and stainless steel for vinifcation. “It lends more complexity,” he said. While the 500-liter size is most popular, at Denner Vineyards, I came across two extremely large 7.5 hectoliter vessels, which Anthony Yount uses for Sixmilebridge and his label Kinero, wines that are produced at Denner winery. From Denner, I savored two iterations of the Dirt Worshipper syrah. The 2013 vintage was fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barrels for five months. Then the wine was split — half into amphora and the other half remained in oak. Both versions aged another 17 months. The amphora-aged showing herbal and olive tapenade notes against the voluptuous oak version lush with fruit and expressive tannins. Epoch’s Jordan Fiorentini admitted she’s still in the experimental stage with the one amphora she acquired for Epoch Estate in 2013. “Amphora can be more oxidative, and my style is reductive winemaking,” she noted. She has tried making mourvèdre, aged 12 months in amphora and eight in oak barrels, and loves the wine’s earthy characteristics. So how do these local winemakers access their amphorae? Enter Manu Fiorentini, Jordan’s Italian-born husband and founder of Itek Wine, launched in Paso in 2010. Fiorentini was already importing oak barrels, concrete wine tanks, and other stainless-steel equipment. By 2012, he added amphorae when he saw them at Ambyth. His winery customers are located all over North America, but his largest clientele is here in Paso. “People here are more experimental with these vessels,” Fiorentini remarked. Plus, being local helps in terms of servicing the vessels. Other local wineries using amphorae include Clesi, Indigené, Desperada, Lone Madrone, Thibido, Derby Wine Estates, Pelletiere Vineyards, and Edna Valley’s Chamisal. 


Business Spotlight

By Christianna Marks

A

my Einolander's love of feeding people is infectious. You can feel it as soon as you walk up to her JUICEBOSS storefront at 5940 Entrada Avenue in Atascadero. "I love making juice and soup for people. I've done it for 30 years. And a few years back, I thought, I would love to go for it," Amy reminisced about opening the shop. Customers are served at the store's Dutch door Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With doorbell service starting at 7:30 a.m. Amy and her amazing employee Brooke are already there juicing away, making their daily batch, and will bring fresh juice to the door for anyone who rings before 10 a.m. "It's my home away from home. I love it. It's a little dream come true, that's for sure," Amy says of the adorable shop. JUICEBOSS didn't originate as a storefront. Amy started off selling juice at Farmer's Market and doing deliveries straight to her customer's doors in November of 2019. "I have a delivery van, and I would go around every day and deliver to customers," explained Amy. "I started in a commercial kitchen that I rented in the south end of town." Amy's original dream didn't include a storefront, but her customers had a different idea. "They put the ball in motion," said Amy. "I opened this shop November of 2020." Amy, a North County local of 25 years, is excited to be part of Atascadero's growing community. "Somebody asked me how I chose Atascadero, and I really feel like Atascadero chose me. I just really took a liking to the people and the area. Everyone's been so welcoming." Recently, JUICEBOSS's spotless kitchen received a five-star rating from the county. The kitchen is where all the magic happens. January 2022 | Atascadero News Magazine

A Fresh Squeezed Dream Come True

"We use a top-of-the-line, commercial, cold press juicer. With the cold press juicer, all the vitamins, enzymes, and minerals stay alive and active. There's never enough friction in the juicing process to cause any heat to kill anything," Amy said. Everything that comes into JUICEBOSS's kitchen is certified organic, and all the produce is locally sourced. From Santa Barbara County up to the Bay Area. No water, sugar, or fillers are added to the juice. "It's all pure juice," exclaimed Amy! The shop has ten juices available all the time and adds a seasonal selection that switches out. This winter, it's a juice called Christmas Punch! The juice options are displayed adorably on a wall under the shop's slogan, "The Secret Ingredient Is Love," created by Amy's grandkids. "When I would create recipes at home, they would sprinkle imaginary love into the juice," Amy said proudly. And the juice pulp, that doesn't go to waste either. Instead, it's given to a different local farmer each morning. "We're very, very happy that we get to feed the farms," added Amy. Though juice is JUICEBOSS's number one seller, they've also added a weekly soup to the menu. Each soup is made from scratch and is vegan, organic, and glutenfree. Amy even picks up a couple of loaves of bread every morning from The Back Pourch Bakery to go with it. On top of the JUICEBOSS storefront, you can find Amy's soups at the Atascadero Farmer's Market on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and starting in the new year, Templeton's Farmer's Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. "It warms my heart. I love to feed people and for people to be happy!"  To find out more about juice selections and January's juice cleanse special, visit juicebossdelivers.com. atascaderomagazine.com | 27


Tent City • Champions

ATASCADERO GREYHOUNDS

Water Polo CIF Champions

BOY ’S WATER POLO TEAM HISTORIC CIF WIN By Christianna Marks

T

he Atascadero Greyhound Boy’s Water Polo Team brought home a historic win on Saturday, December 11, with the school’s first-ever CIF Central Section Division III Championship! They won against Golden West in Visalia, CA with a score of 11-5. “This is actually the first time in school history that our water polo [team] has won CIF,” said Head Coach Jon Conrad. “They’re just a phenomenal group of young men that put in a lot of hours early in the morning and late into the evening to be at their best performance. They stepped up really big for this game. It was great,” he continued about his winning team. The Greyhound Water Polo Team is a Senior led team this year, with a total of ten Seniors. “Only one of my starters is a junior. His name is Ben Strohl. He led the team with goals this year with 126. Which was Nate Benedix Morgan Jones Conall Brown Casey Jones Logan Chubon Caleb Newby Dylan Clark Leo Pan Aiden Garrett Philip Ramsdell James Hazelwood Traise Rodriguez Luke Heckman Brandon Snyder Greg Hider Ben Strohl Curran Hoxie Vince Vega the school record,” boasted Coach Jon. THE WINNING TEAM “As a parent, it has been such a joy to watch these boys grow and come together as a team. During the last couple of years, these players have really become a family. When one player is

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successful, the entire team celebrates. And I know the parents feel the same-we feel pride in every player’s accomplishment; these are all ‘our boys.’ At the final game, while we were cheering and celebrating, there were also tears. The emotion of this triumph was simply overwhelming,” said team mom Nicole Hider. On Wednesday, December 15, The City of Atascadero, along with Atascadero High School’s Athletic Director, Sam DeRose, organized a parade to celebrate the team’s big win! Atascadero’s Fire and Police Departments were both heavily involved. Giving the players rides along the parade route. “They organized a short little parade from the school, the high school, over to City Hall. And then, all the boys got to be honored in front of friends and family. The school band was there, and the cheerleaders. It was a fun time,” said Coach Jon of the parade. “It was neat to get a ride in the fire engine and the old school, Chevy cop car. It was fun for the kids.” The parade was attended by proud parents of the team, the team’s classmates, and a large array of locals who came out to support their Water Polo CIF Champions. “It’s just awesome being part of a town that really just appreciates the work that these kids put into athletics,” continued Coach Jon. The Greyhounds are gearing up to go up against Palo Alto for state playoffs. Congratulations to our new CIF Champs! 


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San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

James Brescia, Ed.D.

COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

EDUCATION

OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES

F

orbes magazine reported that 2021 and beyond would present challenges and opportunities for businesses. A quote from the magazine says, “We can learn a lot from the last year. New opportunities will present themselves that either didn’t exist before the pandemic or are the result of an accelerated trend created by the pandemic.” Another quote from Albert Einstein says, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Schools can take a page from these insights to begin a new year. School leaders, educators, students, and communities desire classrooms that are safe, welcoming, and inspire success. The pandemic presented us with the daunting challenge of providing academic support and facilitating school spirit under conditions made necessary by safety precautions. However, this new year offers opportunities to start anew as we continue to scale up in-person learning opportunities while perfecting hybrid offerings made possible through technology. School communities must also balance the well-being of students with academic assessments. In my career spanning many roles as parent, teacher, principal, district superintendent, college instructor, and county superintendent, I observed firsthand the opportunities and challenges of boosting school spirit under varying circumstances. I learned the importance of planning for both the present and the future. This article highlights a few strategies to help our community leverage opportunities and meet challenges in building positive school culture. When building the culture of any organization, it is vital to engage everyone in the process and listen to all views. We must rally the team together in full support of goals and objectives. We can ask ourselves several questions. Are the students, families, teachers, support staff, and community informed, involved, and engaged in school success? How frequently do we facilitate feedback about making school a place where students are invested? We need to listen, respond, and modify offerings appropriately while openly stating limitations if we solicit feedback. The entire community deserves to know what is possible and what is not possible. As we continue, additional questions come into play. What did we learn from our experience with online engagement that we can continue or modify during in-person activities? What is best completed in person, and what can be accomplished in a virtual environment? How can we strengthen engagement with what we have learned during the pandemic? Are we prepared to address the avoidance issues associated with increased in-person services, including large-scale meetings, sports events, drama

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“If OPPORTUNITY doesn’t knock, BUILD a door.”

- Milton Berle

productions, music performances, and other activities? The enthusiasm and anxiety accompanying expanded in-person events and activities offer opportunities and challenges. Do we promote a fuller engagement or more engagement? Regular review and reflection of equity and access present additional opportunities and challenges for schools. The pandemic highlighted economic and academic disparities that exist in every community. What do we observe as we walk the school hallways and review online environments? We should notice the pictures on the walls, trophies in the cases, art displays, sports banners, materials available, and facilities. Are the opportunities accessible to all students? How do we address the challenges? Are multiple cultures represented in our materials, activities, and displays? Child and adolescent development experts profess the goal of belonging no matter the interests, abilities, family origin, economic level, or ethnic background as a tool in building positive community environments. Law enforcement experts have identified belonging as a significant deterrent in school violence and disruptive behaviors. As we contemplate what it means to be part of a school community, we should regularly review a school’s core values. What does it mean to be an Eagle, Triton, or Banana Slug? When the entire community provides input on an institution’s guiding principles, we leverage opportunities and better address challenges. Research indicates that higher student and community support levels emerge when schools highlight community-generated pillars such as self-advocacy, perseverance, integrity, engagement, responsibility, and citizenship. With the genuine involvement of community members, our schools can thrive and better meet the needs of our changing society. Finally, we must acknowledge the work of key members of our school communities. Bus drivers, cafeteria workers, office staff, yard duty personnel, business office teams, administrators, coaches, assistants, and teachers are dedicated individuals providing service to students and the community. Most people enter public service to make a difference for the good of society. Covid-19 forced these public service employees to rapidly change how services were delivered to keep operations moving forward. There were mistakes made and lessons learned during the pandemic. As we continue to move forward, our public service employees will serve the community. Whatever 2022 brings, I sincerely thank the entire community for your continued support of our students, families, employees, and schools. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools. 


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Health & Wellness

The Power of POSITIVE Thinking Dr. Cindy Maynard

I

used to be a non-believer in positive thinking. I guess I thought it was pollyannish or unrealistic. But I’ve since learned that positive thinking doesn’t mean we keep our head in the sand or gloss over negative situations. It just means we explore and approach life in a more productive way to enhance our wellbeing. But whether you’re a person whose “glass is half full” or “half-empty,” it might surprise you to learn the benefits of positive thinking might be greater than you think. Positive thinking is a newer field being studied in the realm of positive psychology, which literally studies happy people, and what makes them happy. Like previous topics I’ve written about, such as social connection, humor, and forgiveness therapy, the benefits are similar; lowering of stress, improved mental health, and increased neuroplasticity in the brain are some examples. Others include: Greater Physical Health: When we have a positive thought, the “happy” hormone, serotonin, is released, which makes us feel good. Optimism is linked to better heart health, a more robust immune system provides protection against diseases such as the common cold or the flu, and may promote longevity. Improved Social Life: It’s truly hard to be around a negative person who complains all the time. People naturally gravitate to positive people who are more cheerful and see life in an upbeat way. Positive social connections are a defense against disease. Better Brain Health: In an article by Dawson Church, Ph.D., he discusses the research by scientists at the University of London who studied cognitive

function in people aged 55 and older looking for markers for Alzheimer’s disease. Amazingly, they found that lifestyle factors didn’t matter as much as attitudinal thinking. In other words, the build-up of plaque found in Alzheimer’s patients was greater in those people who were negative thinkers and who had regrets about the past and fear about the future. The way we use our minds literally determines our brain health. Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. I think one of the main reasons I decided to specialize in the area of Health and Wellness was so that it would make me practice what I preach. One area I needed to work on was my self-talk. Negative selftalk usually arises from thoughts or mis-perceptions due to lack of information and can be very painful, especially if those thoughts keep us awake at night and cause us undue stress. Here are a few examples to help change negative thinking through a process called re-framing. Re-framing is the cognitive process by which situations or thoughts are challenged and then changed. For example, try changing the first sentence below to the following sentence instead. • “It’s too hard.” “Help me see this differently.” • “I’m not able to change.” “Maybe I’ll learn something new.” • “It won’t work.” “I’ll try it.” • “He never talks to me.” “I’ll make the first approach.” • “This traffic is driving me nuts.” “There is absolutely nothing I can do about the traffic.” • “I failed.” “I did the best I could and that is enough.” What are other ways one can change the inner critic to one of an advocate? First, identify those areas

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that cause you concern. Ask yourself what you can realistically do to change the situation. Challenge your pessimistic thoughts. Have zero tolerance for the critical inner voice. Talk with a trusted advisor or friend. Journal. Highlight the positive aspects of the situation. Gratitude journaling literally changes our brain chemicals (it boosts the “happy” hormone) and our perspective. Practice smiling more. Even fake smiling reduces blood pressure and generally makes us feel better. Or get physical or playful. Just taking a time out from a negative situation can turn the negative brain off for a while. Lastly, focus on your strengths, like creativity, resiliency, or kindness. We very seldom do this, and it helps by boosting positive brain chemicals. You might not be a positive thinker overnight but start cultivating an attitude of positivity by noticing your self-talk and take compassionate action that moves you more towards your authentic self. Start the New Year off right. Be relentlessly positive. 

Cindy Maynard PhD, RD, is a health psychologist, registered dietitian and a health/fitness writer. She is passionate about motivating people towards better health. You can contact her at drcindymaynard@live.com.


A Special To Atascadero News Magazine

January 2022 | Atascadero News Magazine

atascaderomagazine.com | 33


Last Word

“I Have a Dream”

Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Hayley Mattson

“I

say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of thousands at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. King’s most important work applied America’s Founding ideals to the cause of civil rights. The last best hope for true racial progress, King realized, was solidarity: For people to see and treat one another as equals, they had to feel the tugs of a bond far stronger than either race or politics, and for King, that bond was America. After all, there are two words in the phrase “civil rights,” and King grasped that both are crucial. Civil rights are about the fair and equal participation of all citizens in the American community. For those rights to have any power, the bonds of that community must be close-knit and resilient. “I criticize America because I love her,” King said in a speech about the Vietnam War, “and because I want to see her to stand as the moral example of the world.” 1800 El Pomar - Weddings Events & Vineyards........................... 13 76 Gas Station.................................. 13 A Heavenly Home............................ 29 American Barn & Wood.................... 17 American West Tire & Auto........... 9, 17 Avila Traffic Safety............................. 31 Blake’s True Value............................. 17

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All American’s alike can learn from King’s example. “In the United States of America, every citizen should have the opportunity to build a better and brighter future. United as one American family, we will not rest, and we will never be satisfied until the promise of this great nation is accessible to each American in each new generation.” The premise and promise of King’s dream is that we don’t need to replace or transform our nation’s shared ideals to make our country a better place. We simply need to live up to them. Martin Luther King Jr. lived an extraordinary life and left the nation yearning to do better. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John F. Kennedy. At 34, King galvanized the nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech. At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Then at the young age of 39, he was assassinated. King left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues on today. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 17, will mark America’s 37th celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., life. Honoring King with the sacred status of a federal holiday, of which there are only ten, none other named for a 20th-century figure, is a testament to the unifying power of his legacy. 

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

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