Atascadero News Magazine #37 • July 2021

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July 2021

fe at ures

Issue No. 37


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July 4, 1776

by hayley mattson

Fourth of July traditions of Independence Day celebrations go back to the 18th century and the American Revolution, however, they look very different today.

CMSF Livestock & Auction by camille devaul

FFA and 4-H members will be dusting off those blue corduroy jackets and white for inperson shows and auction at CMSF!

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California Mid-State Fair by camille devaul

On July 21, the California Mid-State Fair kicks off its 75th Anniversary after nearly two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and they "Can't Wait to See You!"

AHS Celebrates In-Person for the 100th Graduation by connor allen

On Thursday, June 3, the Atascadero High School class of 2021 celebrated their graduation and walked into their next phase of life.

On the Cover

"Can't Wait to See You!" — The California Mid-State Fair's theme could not be more fitting after one of the most challenging 15 months in our history due to the coronavirus pandemic. It time to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! See you there! Photo by Brittany App for the California Mid-Sate Fair 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

Melissa Mattson ad design

ad consultants

community writers

Dana McGraw Jamie Self Jessica Segal

Denise Mclean Jen Rodman


Michael Michaud Connor Allen Camille DeVaul

office administrator

Cami Martin |



Barbie Butz

Josh Cross

Donn Clickard

The Natural Alternative

James Brescia, Ed.D.




32 Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter


Round Town Cross Talk with Josh Cross The Natural Alternative: Power up with Electrolytes Greyhound Foundation: All-Comers Track & Field Meets Returns in July


ECHO: District 17 Non-Profit of the Year

Taste of Atascadero

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Taste of Americana: Food Brings Us Together to Share Love on the 4th of July Tent City Senior Project: Cal Poly Senior Project Benefits Paso Robles Police Department


Atascadero High School: Valedictorian & Salutatorian


SLO County Office of Education: Future Careers, Locally Grown

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Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto Directory of our Advertisers

PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE July 29, 2021 ADVERTISING DEADLINE* July 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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Annual subscriptions are available for $29.99 Subscribe online at


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


Atascadero News Magazine ©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.

Like and Follow us: FB/IG: @atascaderomagazine | TW: @atascaderomag designed & printed in california

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Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 7

Something Worth Reading

Publisher's Letter


ummer Solstice has past and the warm summer months are upon us. This year our 4th of July Celebrations are back in full swing after the state of California officially reopened after 15 long months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year we welcome back the annual Templeton 4th of July Parade, along with the Atascadero 4th of July Music Festival at the Lake Park.

The Ravine Water Park opened in Paso Robles along with the Children’s Museum, and the City of Atascadero is hosting its Saturday in the Park Summer Concert series in person! One of the main events that keep Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County thriving is the California Mid-State Fair. After the devastating hit last year having to cancel the annual event, the committee and the Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to bring the community and beyond a fair, for all to enjoy! And who are we kidding? Just getting out and seeing people’s smiling faces, laughing, and making new memories will be enough for most of us. It has been quite the journey this last year and a half. We cannot understate the losses we faced as a community. We are all excited at some level to return to activity we consider normal yet realistic that we live in uncertain times. With that, we also have our most trusted and stable resources nearby. The past year tested the network of friends, family, and community members we have relied on for our hierarchy of needs. Even the most secure among us should have seen some areas in need of improvement. Let’s take a dedicated and honest effort to shore up those areas that will make our lives more stable and secure and more prepared for crises in the future. Last year was as much a lesson in physiological needs as a test of relationships and connectivity. We celebrate Independence Day on Sunday, but we are interdependent on our network connections and relationships that make our world go around. As always, when celebrating and enjoying your life, be safe, sane, and cherish every moment. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine. Much love, Nic & Hayley

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years.

~ Unknown

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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July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 9

Round Town

Chamber of Commerce

Back On The Upswing & The Opportunities Ahead





CEO/President | Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

REFERENCES: Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP) April 2021 - Preliminary. (2021). Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division. SLO County Monthly Labor Market Information - May 2021. Workforce Development Board County of San Luis Obispo. (2021, May). Social-Services/Workforce-Development-Board/SLO-County-Monthly-Labor-Market-Information.aspx.


reat news, our community’s on the upswing with unemployment levels falling. Our county has the 6th lowest unemployment rate, trending at 5.6 percent in April, in California. According to The San Luis Obispo County Monthly Employment Report, industries like Government, Construction, Logging and Mining experienced the most significant job growth, followed by sectors like Trade, Transportation, Utilities, and Professional Business Services. All other industries roughly stayed the same in our community. Specific to Atascadero, our estimated number of employed individuals, as listed by the Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP), is 13,200, and the number of unemployed individuals is 700, giving us an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. What do these numbers mean for our community? Well, I believe it presents us with both opportunities and challenges. First, with a high level of employed individuals, we have a community that can afford to shop, support, and contribute to local small businesses and nonprofits

more than they could previously. There’s a significant opportunity to connect with eager shoppers and residents ready to enjoy their 2021. This is why the Chamber’s working harder than ever to connect our business community to local shoppers through our online business directory, community calendar, newsletters, social media, and more! Throughout 2021 and beyond, you can continue to expect the Chamber to spearhead new programs, events, and workshops to help our business community thrive. On the other hand, low unemployment is a challenge for employers who are looking to attract workers. Over the past month, the Chamber has received an increase in the number of calls and emails from business owners who are desperate for help. This is why the Chamber team and I are working on ways to assist with this regional challenge. Locally, we are planning on hosting one or more job fairs, we are publishing job postings on behalf of our members, and are working with our businesses, so they understand where to look for applicants. We’ve had a challenging previous year, and I’m beyond thrilled to see a positive rebound. We faced the obstacles of 2020 together, and now we can move forward together into 2021. It really does take an incredible community, like what we have, to make our city Atasca-mazing. 

New Chamber Members

Upcoming Events For July

• Ancient Owl Beer Garden & Bottle Shoppe

Chamber Mixer Thursday, July 15 Mixers are back! Our first networking event of 2021 will be held in-front of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. This will be an opportunity for the business community to meet Josh Cross (the new CEO), tour Bridgeworks Coworking, and sample food and beverages from local members. Attendance is complimentary, however, registration is required. Register for this do-not-miss-event at

• BB’s Fashion Boutique • BLOKE • MEA Wine • Renee Rose Photography

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Atascadero Lakeside Wine Passport Saturday, June 26 – December 31 Purchase a passport to enjoy complimentary tasting at 18 wineries, 4 breweries, 2 distilleries, and 1 cidery! More information is available on our website or follow us on Facebook at @atascaderochamberofcommerce for updates about the event.

To Register: Visit or call (805)466-2044

Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021




o you feel drained, lightheaded, or sluggish after a day in the sun or after an extreme workout? Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. They support heart and nervous system function, fluid balance, oxygen delivery, acid-base balance, and much more. Depletion of these important minerals, especially sodium and potassium, will cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and muscle cramps. Before you reach for sports drinks such as Gatorade (full of sugar and artificial colors), treat yourself and your soccer-kicking kids to a healthy sports drink! Ultima Replenisher is an easy-to-fix high-performance energy drink with no caffeine or artificial stimulants. Ultima contains all major electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium), plus trace minerals which accelerate assimilation and absorption of vitamins and nutrients. Revitalize and recharge your body’s natural energy with Ultima Replenisher. This easy mix powder comes in many tasty flavors, including cherry pomegranate, grape, orange, raspberry,

and lemonade. Mix with water, and you’re good to go! Kids love it too! For those that prefer to replenish essential electrolytes in capsule form, we have that option as well. Fireworks Cause Anxiety in Pets Does your pet exhibit restlessness, pacing, and whining around the 4th of July fireworks? The loud noises, flashes, and unpredictability may be triggering your pet’s fight-or-flight response. First and foremost, be sure to provide a quiet, safe haven where your pet can hide. In addition, consider easing your furry friend’s suffering with CBD, which promotes relaxation and eases anxiety. We offer a variety of CBD products for pets, including tinctures (drops) and convenient, yummy treats for both dogs and cats. Fireworks stress can also be ameliorated by Bach Rescue Remedy, a natural flower-based stress relief for pets. Rescue Remedy provides comfort and calm for pets in stressful situations. If fireworks have your pets running and hiding in fear, consider an all-natural pet relaxation formula or treat from The Natural Alternative. Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July! Bobbi & the Team at The Natural Alternative



July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 13

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation When: Wednesdays in July ( July 7, 14, 21, 28) Open field events start at 5:30 p.m., running events begin at 6 p.m., Invitational Discus at 3:30 p.m., Open Discus at 4:30 p.m.

A L L- C O M E R S

Track & Field

Events: Discus, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Long Jump, High Jump, Turbo Javelin, 100/110m High Hurdles, 4X100m Relay, Kids (6 & under) little hurdles, 400m, 1500m/ Mile, 100m, 800m, 200m, 3000m some nights. See the website for age restrictions and distance race variations.


Entry Fee: $5 per person, $15 max per family. Please bring exact change. Registration: Pre-registration is not required; register the day of the event.

By Donn Clickard, Executive Director of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation


hen people think of track and field, they usually associate the sport with the highest-level athletes aiming to break world records every time they step onto a track. However, for the Atascadero All Comers Track Meets, all ages are welcome to come out and participate. The meets are put on by the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation every Wednesday evening in July, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Atascadero High School track and field facility. From ages 5 to 85-years-old, competitors of all ages participate in events ranging from the 100-meter dash to the 1500-meter run. The meets also offer discus, long jump, triple long jump, shot put, pole vault, in addition to featuring six-year-old and under hurdles, and turbo javelin for kids twelve and younger. “It is All-Comers, and it truly means ALL COMERS,” says Robyn Schmidt, long-time director of the meets and


Volunteers: Looking for volunteers. Please contact Robyn Schmidt at if interested.

a Greyhound Foundation Board member. The Atascadero, All-Comers Track and Field Meets, were started by a long-time college and USA National Other: We will be following SLO County track coach, Harry Marra, and local youth track coach, COVID-19 safety measures. At Dina Coppo. All-comers track and field meets are typithis time, plan to wear a mask, cally small town, local events and can be found across the bring your own water bottle and United States. Each Atascadero All-Comers Meet attracts snacks (concessions may be open athletes of all ages. For the participants, this is a chance to compete for fun, set a record, and participate with family but not sure yet), and maintain and friends while having some good, healthy fun. social distancing. Over the nineteen years of summer fun, the meets have Most Important: brought many wonderful experiences for the athletes and Let’s have some fun! the many volunteers who have participated in the events. Donations can be made through There have been world records and personal bests, side many youth and family accomplishments. The Atascadero Greyhound Foundation Board of or by check to Atascadero Greyhound Directors is proud to continue this long tradition of Foundation, P.O. Box 3120, All-Comers Track and Field Meets this year.  Atascadero, CA 93422.

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July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 15

Non-Profit of the Year



By Hayley Mattson


n Saturday, June 19, at the El Camino Homeless Shelter in Atascadero, located at 6370 Atascadero Ave, a few key individuals joined together to witness a special award being presented to the organization. El Camino Homeless Organization’s (ECHO) Executive Director Wendy Lewis, alongside Kandy Noel, ECHO’s Board Chair, and Amy Freeman, board member, was awarded the 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year by Senator John Laird. “We are deeply humbled to be recognized by Senator John Laird as a 2021 Nonprofit of the Year,” Lewis shared as she accepted the award. Laird represents District 17 of the California State Senate, which includes Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties, as well as parts of Monterey and Santa Clara Counties. “Out of all the nonprofits, ECHO was an easy choice, and it is wonderful to be here in San Luis Obispo County,” Senator Laird explained. Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno and Councilmember Susan Funk were also present. “To pick ECHO as the nonprofit of the year from the entire district which encompasses multiple counties says a lot about ECHO,” Mayor Moreno stated. “There are so many good nonprofits from which to choose, and we here, I think, I can be biased, certainly, and think they do such a wonderful job, but I think we have really seen the growth in ECHO in the last several years, the investment from Must! Charities, how they have expended not just here in Atascadero but to Paso also here with the warming center... not at all surprised that they won nonprofit of the year.” Traditionally, honorees and legislators are invited to a celebratory luncheon on California Nonprofits Day. This year, like 2020, the luncheon was canceled in response to pandemic restrictions.

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Pictured from left to right: ECHO Board Member Amy Freeman, ECHO Board, Kandy Noel, ECHO Board Chair, Wendy Lewis, ECHO President/CEO; Senator John Laird, Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, Atascadero City Council Member Susan Funk. Photo by Hayley Mattson

Lewis shared, “It is pretty amazing to be on someone at that levels radar, out of the thousands of nonprofits in his region he could have chosen, to select ECHO and really highlight the work we have been doing and highlight the growth we have had and really help bring awareness to our work to help sustain us...we are super excited.” Since 2001 ECHO’s mission is to empower people in San Luis Obispo County to make positive change by providing food, shelter, and supportive services. Currently, ECHO operates three facilities in North County that each provides meals and a safe and secure overnight shelter to meet the immediate needs of families and individuals in the community who are facing hunger and homelessness. “I think what is so special about this is addressing homelessness is a whole community effort...” Councilmember Funk said. “...we are so proud of ECHO’s leadership in bringing the whole community together both here and in Paso Robles; ECHO also serves people from around the county when this is the right space for them and gives people that period of time to get their lives back together again so that they can rejoin the house community and enjoy the things the rest of us all take for is hard work.” ECHO’s residents are provided individual case management services to assist them with securing a job and finding permanent and sustainable housing. While staying at ECHO, residents are taught life skills for employment, financial literacy, health care management, and parenting. For a little over six months, ECHO has been in full swing in Paso Robles, now offering the same services as ECHO Atascadero. “At Paso Robles ECHO, we are a full service just kinda like we are here in Atascadero, so within our six months, we have been able to have a meal program that operates in the evening just like it does here in Atascadero, we have services like case management, financial literacy, medical

support, behavioral health support, we are really trying to bring those life-changing resources that really help get people back into housing. In our first six months up there [Paso Robles], we have almost helped 40 individuals and families find permanent housing going from no options six months before that. So it has been a big challenge, and I am so proud of our team for stepping up and doing the right thing and doing it so fast. We are full almost every night, and with here, we have such a great resource, but there is more need out there.” Senator Laird expressed that one of the key factors in choosing ECHO as the nonprofit of the year was due to the organization not only sustaining during a pandemic but also expanding. Lewis explained, “[Senator Laird] shared that during a pandemic that he saw us not only maintaining what we did but actual to expand our services and thought that was just pretty awe-inspiring that here we [ECHO] during a pandemic where a lot of folks were just trying to stay steady, we said no, there is work that needs to be done, and there are people that are really suffering, so let’s step up and let’s really expand and in that time frame we opened a second shelter in Paso Robles, and we operated an emergency winter shelter here in Atascadero so not just staying kinda steady but really growing to meet that critical need out there.” All who attended the special recognition on Saturday shared the same sentiment; for a nonprofit not only to thrive during unprecedented times says a lot about the organization, but it also says a lot about the community as well. Senator Laird shared what impressed him about ECHO was, “Part of it was the community support, I know no other homeless shelter in a district that is near a school, in a residential neighborhood that has the mayor volunteer regularly, that just doesn’t happen.” After the presentation, Lewis expressed her deep appreciation, “We just want to thank Senator Laird as well as all of our community supporters who have made us the organization that we are today.”  For more information, please visit our website at Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

HAPPY Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness

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July 4, 1776 T

By Hayley Mattson

he Fourth of July traditions of Independence Day celebrations go back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. However, the celebrations today look nothing like they did back then. Amid the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2, 1776. Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historical document like none other drafted by Thomas Jefferson that would shape the nation we are today. The Revolutionary War began in 1775, arising from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown. Tension between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 ignited the armed conflict. By the following summer, the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence. France entered the American Revolution on the side of the Americans in 1778, turning what had essentially been a civil war into an international conflict. After French assistance helped the Continental Army forced the British to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans effectively won their independence, although fighting did not formally end until 1783. The strained relationship between Americans and the British authorities began more than a decade before the outbreak of the American Revolution. The French and Indian War, or Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), brought new territories under the crown’s power, but the expensive conflict led to new and unpopular taxes. Attempts by the British government to raise revenue by taxing the colonies — notably the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, and the Tea Act of 1773 — were met with heated protest among the colonists, who resented their lack of representation in Parliament and demanded the same rights as other British subjects. In response, a group of colonial delegates (including George Washington of Virginia, John and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, Patrick Henry of Virginia, and John Jay of New York) met in Philadelphia in September 1774 to voice their grievances against the British crown. This First Continental Congress did not go so far as to demand independence from Britain; however, it denounced taxation without representation, as well as the maintenance of the British army in the colonies without their consent. In addition, it issued a declaration of every citizen’s rights, including life, liberty, property, assembly, and trial by jury. The Continental Congress voted to meet again in May 1775 to consider further action, but by that time, violence had already broken out. On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord, Massachusetts, in order to seize an arms cache. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began mobilizing to intercept the Redcoats. On April 19, local militiamen clashed with British soldiers in the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, marking the “shot heard round the world” that signified the start of the Revolutionary War. When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many additional colonists

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had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776. “Common Sense” was a pamphlet setting forth the argument in favor of American independence. Pamphlets were an important medium for the spread of ideas and information in the 16th through 19th centuries. “Common Sense” played a remarkable role in transforming a colonial squabble into the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, an event that eventually led to the formation of the United States of America. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later known as Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” The 13 colonies included New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It was those colonies that came together to form the United States of America. Though the movement for American independence effectively triumphed at the Battle of Yorktown, contemporary observers did not see that as the decisive victory yet. British forces remained stationed around Charleston, and the powerful main army still resided in New York. Though neither side would take decisive action over the better part of the next two years, the British removal of their troops from Charleston and Savannah in late 1782 finally pointed to the end of the conflict. British and American negotiators in Paris signed preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, Britain signed separate peace treaties with France and Spain (which had entered the conflict in 1779), bringing the American Revolution to a close after eight long years. After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities. As we look back on our history, we as Americans continue to fight for our independent freedoms. As history shows, we evolve, grow, and become better. At times, however, we can regress and move backward. That does not equal success; that is not progress. You cannot measure success in reaching the top of the mountain but in continuing the climb. If it was going to be easy, someone would have already done it. What are you doing today to make a difference? As you celebrate your independence and that of our nation, please think about what good and honest work you will commit to ensuring freedom for the next generation. We wish you a very safe and meaningful Independence Day. 

Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

t i a W t ’ n Ca ! u o Y e e to S


n July 21, the California Mid State Fair kicks off its 75th Anniversary! It has been nearly two years since Paso Robles put their boots on for “The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Back in February, the CMSF Board of Directors said they were “cautiously optimistic” on whether or not the fair would happen in 2021. But on May 12, the CMSF announced they would be back in July 2021 and said they are getting ready to make up for lost time as they will be celebrating their 75th Anniversary a year later due to COVID-19. CMSF spokesman Tom Keffury expressed the difficulty of planning the fair with so many changing regulations put forth by the State of California. “One week, you put together a certain type of plan, and you get your head around it thinking okay this is what the fair might look like, and then something would change,” Keffury explained. In May, California seemed to change its plan and begin reopening rapidly. That was when the CMSF board decided to go through with their plan to make the fair happen. Interim CEO Colleen Bojorquez said, “It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotion. We have always wanted to do, at least, the livestock portion, so we were trying to figure out how we were going to support our 4-H and FFA and how they can show in person.” Since then, the CMSF board has had about six weeks to put together their finalized plan. “We had a lot of different ideas, but they were all based on what we thought might happen--I don’t think anybody thought California would open up as quickly as California had,” Bojorquez shared. Of course, planning a fair that usually takes six months and doing it in

only six weeks has its challenges. “With people not expecting California to be open, a lot of entertainers and a lot of performers already made plans for the summer to be in other parts of the country,” Keffury said. According to Keffury, the CMSF accounts for nearly 90 percent of the event centers profits, so canceling the fair was detrimental for the center and Paso Robles local economy. “We need to have the fair. We need to have our events back, and we are ready to welcome them with open arms,” Bojorquez explained. The CMSF will be following State and County guidelines for COVID19 regulations. “We’re going to operate, but we’re going to operate safely. That is very important to us,” said Keffury. Bojorquez and Keffury explained fairgoers will see all the events they are used to seeing, just maybe at a smaller capacity. Because of California’s unexpected and rapid reopening, some vendors and entertainers made plans in other states during the CMSF’s usual time slot. But that hasn’t stopped the fair board from putting on the best fair they can. “It will be a lot of fun to see a lot of people come out and support and support our fair, which is great because we feel like we have this little niche in our community that only our community can appreciate,” Bojorquez said. Keffury says, “We can’t wait to see you. We’re going to put on the best fair we can—We’re excited to bring the community together.” So San Luis Obispo County, dust off your boots and get ready for some good ole fashion fun that is long overdue! We can’t wait to see you!

Discover “The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere!”

July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 21

California Mid-State Fair



oung women of San Luis Obispo County will be competing in the 2021 Miss California Mid-State Fair Scholarship Pageant. This year the pageant will be held on the first day of the fair, Wednesday, July 21. Contestants will compete in four categories: Interview, Talent, Final Question, and Evening Wear. On Tuesday, July 20, contestants will be conducting the interview portion of the competition at the judges’ luncheon. Contestants will receive swag, with the Queen receiving a $1,000 cash prize, 1st Princess $500, 2nd Princess $250, and receiving prizes from local businesses. This year’s contestants are: • Cassidie Banish (18) from San Miguel • Shelby Degnan (19) from Paso Robles • Yvette Florentino (21) from Arroyo Grande • Megan Moffatt (23) from Paso Robles • Sydney Morgan (19) from Templeton • Dana Rasmussen (19) Arroyo Grande • Elizabeth Umphenour (17) from Atascadero • Gillian Umphenour (22) from Atascadero • Kaitlyn Ward (20) from Grover Beach This year’s judges are: • Christa Sabin • Courtney Meznarich • Brett Christensen • Danna Stroud • Katylin Kaney A special thank you to this year’s sponsors: • Cattaneo Bros. • SRY Coaches LLC • Boot Barn • Yogurt A Fair The 2021 Miss CMSF Scholarship Pageant is Wednesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. at the Fort Frontier Stage, the event free event with your admission ticket.

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alling all cowboys and cowgirls because this year, the California Mid State Fair will host its Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst Finals on Saturday, July 24! The top six in each rodeo event starting July 21 will compete in the Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst Finals on Saturday. Teams and contestants will be competing for a First Place All-Around Buckle and $500 at the finals. Rodeo events participating in the finals are: • Barrel Racing • Team Roping • Team Penning • Double Mugging • Mixed Ribbon Roping • Ranch Rope/Brand • Ladies Breakaway Roping (NEW) Barrel racing contestants will compete on Wednesday, July 21. Team ropers will compete on Thursday, July 22. The rest of the events will compete the morning of Saturday, July 24, with the rodeo finals starting that night at 7 p.m. The Wrangler Junior Gymkhana presented by Hearst will take place Friday, July 23. A special thank you to all the Golden Horseshoe Award Donors: • Allgood Custom Leather • Best Ever Pads Bitterwater Outfitters Benchmark • C&N Tractors • Cactus Saddles-Dustin Noblitt Central Coast Barns Central Coast Trailers Container Stop Creekside Vet • Pete & Elena Clark • The Derose Family Cassie Graves • Chris Hanniken • Hearst • Hogue Knives • Javadi Farm Labor • J.B. Dewar Jennings & Lane Families • Lori Crow Quarter Horses Mark’s Tire Service

• • • • • • • •

Parkfield Cafe Plasvac Ravine Waterpark RCR San Juan Ranch San Luis Obispo CattleWomen Shadle Insurance SLO County Quarter Horse Spurr Construction Joel Switzer Mark & Cindy Switzer Nola & Darrell Twissleman Vintage Cowboy Winery Visalia & Templeton Livestock Market Wrangler • Carla Young If you are interested in becoming an award sponsor, call the CMSF at (805)239-0655. For details on the horse show and rodeo events, call (805)238-5098.


// CHUMASH GRANDSTAND ARENA | 7:30 P.M. // July 22 - Dwight Yoakam with Niko Moon Dwight David Yoakam is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor known for his pioneering style of country music. The opening act will be Niko Moon who is an American country pop singer and songwriter signed to Sony Music Nashville/RCA Nashville. He has written songs for Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, and Morgan Wallen. He was also a member of the group Sir Rosevelt with Zac Brown and Ben Simonetti. July 23 - Big & Rich Big & Rich is an American country music duo composed of Big Kenny and John Rich, both of whom are songwriters, vocalists, and guitarists. Before the duo’s foundation, Rich was bass guitarist in the country band Lonestar, while Kenny was a solo artist for Hollywood Records. This is the group’s first-ever performance at the California Mid-State Fair. Opening act to be announced. July 30 - Little Big Town Little Big Town is an American country music group. Founded in 1998, the group has comprised the same four members since its founding: Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook. They have won numerous awards, including Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year, Country Music Association Award Group/Duo Video of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Duo/Group, and so many more. This is the group’s second-ever performance at the California Mid-State Fair. Opening act to be announced. At the time of going to press, the California Mid State Fair was still in the process of confirming 3-4 more main acts. Visit or, for more information. Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

Can’t Wait to See You! MID-STATE FAIR ANNOUNCES FREE STAGE CONCERT SCHEDULE The California Mid-State Fair is pleased to announce the following performers for the Frontier Stage and Mission Square Stage. All shows are free with your paid admission to the Fair.


// MISSION SQUARE STAGE | 7 P.M. // July 21 – Mark Adams Mark Adams is either a musical winemaker or a winemaking musician, depending on who you ask. He was raised on the Central Coast of California, where he returned after stints in Northern and Southern California to farm grapes, make wine and play music in and around his hometown of Templeton. His recordings enjoy national airplay and have accompanied numerous films and television shows. July 22 – Monte Mills and The Lucky Horseshoe Band 2021 marks the 45th anniversary for Monte Mills and his Lucky Horseshoe Band, playing mostly country music, but they can just as easily slip into some old ’50s & ’60s rock and roll, 1940’s big band music or Gospel. July 23 – Bear Market Riot Bear Market Riot is a “Power-Folk” duo from the California Central Coast. Four-time recipients of

July 26 – Hilary Watson Santa Barbara-based roots artist Hilary Watson, also known as vocalist and guitarist in the duo Hilary and Kate, has been grabbing attention with her recent solo debut. This nuanced and powerful July 24 – Wild The Coyote Aretha Franklin-meets-Patsy Cline artist is not to Templeton-born and LA-based singer/songwriter be missed. Wild the Coyote is a rising star in outlaw country music, trailblazing his own lane with a dark July 27 – Kenny Taylor and roaring sound rooted in country, blues, and Kenny Taylor is a Singer-Songwriter from Minnerock n roll. apolis, MN. He has been in California since 2007 and can be seen touring around the central coast July 25 – The Taproots and playing venues every weekend! A steady feature at concerts, wineries, and private events in California since 2016, The Taproots are July 28 – The Turkey Buzzards best known for their creative songwriting, strong Much like the duo themselves, the songs range near harmonies, and innovative guitar work. The band and far. From the sticky humidity of North Caroperforms a unique blend of original contempo- lina to the dusty cellars of the West, The Turkey rary Americana music incorporating rock, folk, Buzzards tell simplistic stories that unravel and jazz influences, along with fresh renditions through gritty vocals and thoughtful harmonies. of cover songs. Best Band in San Luis Obispo’s New Times readers’ poll, Nick Motil and Kirk Nordby blend harmonizing vocals and guitars with a romp and stomp beat you’re sure to love.

July 29 – Erin and the Earthquakes The rhythm section of Wayne Gamble (bass) and Dan Robba (drums) joined forces with rock “power couple” Erin Montgomery (vocals) and Chris Roullard (guitar) to form the Earthquakes. They quickly established themselves as THE premier event band in San Luis Obispo County. GET UP AND DANCE to our mix of Rock, Funk, Blues, and Jazz for any occasion! July 30 – Shawn Clark Shawn Clark writes music from the heartland. Attend a Shawn Clark Family Band show, and you’ll hear a Hank Williams, Sr. tune or an obscure Marty Robbins song. Primarily, you’ll hear Shawn Clark’s original tunes, delivered in his confident baritone. July 31 – Noach Tangeras Noach Tangeras Band is an Americana group with roots in folk/rock/country/ blues. Powerhouse vocals with vintage guitar lines, bass, keyboard, ukulele, and drums.


// FRONTIER STAGE | 8 P.M. // July 21 – The Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant Come see the best and brightest young women of San Luis Obispo County compete in four challenging categories: Interview, Talent, Final Question, and Evening Wear. The special show starts at 7 p.m.

July 24 – Blue Öyster Cult For over four decades, Blue Öyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent, hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. BÖC’s canon includes stone-cold classic songs that will waft through the cosmos long after the sun has burned out, such as The truly haunting “(Don’t July 22 – We Are Messengers Fear) The Reaper” from 1976’s Agents of Fortune, The acclaimed Irish American band We Are and many more. Messengers are a ragtag group of friends consisting of Darren Mulligan (lead vocals), Kyle Williams July 25 – Sound Investment (guitar), Drew Kerxton (drums), and Raul Aguilar Sound Investment’s mission as a band is simple: To (bass), who still believe that it’s possible to change play great music that sets the course for a memorathe world. Best known for songs like “Maybe It’s ble evening. Whether it’s singing along to Old Time OK,” “Magnify,” “My Victory,” and “Point To You.” Rock’ n’ Roll or Uptown Funk, swaying to At Last, or even line dancing to I Feel Lucky, our audience July 23 – High Voltage (AC/DC tribute) feels as much as part of the entertainment as the A Tribute to AC/DC has been playing sold-out band itself. shows throughout California since 2010. High Voltage has a well-deserved reputation as the July 26 – Truth About Seafood premier high-energy, authentic AC/DC tribute Truth About Seafood is a longtime favorite of the act. Don’t miss such classics as “You Shook Me All Central Coast. With their high-energy live show Night Long,” “Highway To Hell,” and “Back In Black.” and a mix of original music and modern/classic Follow them on Facebook @highvoltagetribute. rock cover tunes, TAS is a party band that always brings a good time to their audiences. July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

July 27 – Kenny Lee Lewis & The FrenZ The FrenZ is a group of like-minded San Joaquin Valley-raised musician/singer/songwriters who enjoy coming together and paying homage to the Golden Era of ’60s-’70s Classic Rock, R&B, and mild Prog. July 28 – Joe and Martina Like the Country music royalty before them, Joe and Martina possess a mutual respect for their craft, and the love held for each other is evident whether on or off the stage. Their music unfolds as communicative storytelling through complementary harmonies. July 29 – A Thousand Horses At the crossroads of dyed-in-the-wool country, Southern soul, and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll, A Thousand Horses kick up dust and ride forward. The two-time ACM Award-nominated Nashville quartet— Michael Hobby [vocals], Bill Satcher [guitar], Zach Brown [guitar], and Graham DeLoach [bass]—has quietly emerged as a Platinum phenomenon with 100 million+ streams, sold-out shows, and acclaim by Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Boot and more.

July 30 – Yellow House Orchestra Yellow House Orchestra is an original Latin Jazz & Salsa band with roots in New York City, San Francisco, and right here in Paso Robles. The band blends Afro Cuban percussion foundations with Salsa horns and pop melodies. Together it’s a combination that’s sure to make your toes tap. July 31 – Journey USA (Journey tribute) Journey USA is the closest thing to ’70s & ’80s Journey music you’ll ever hear! The most talent-packed Journey tribute band available captures the signature sound of the supergroup with hits like Don’t Stop Believing, Open Arms, Separate Ways, and Any Way You Want It, every song executed with stunning precision! August 1 – Dante Marsh & The Vibe Setters The Vibe Setters, a mixture of Island, Soul, Funk, and RnB, with colorful melodies and heavy grooves. The Vibe Setters have been together for two years and consist of some of the top musicians in San Luis Obispo County. | 23

California Mid-State Fair

EVENTS Wednesday, July 21 - Opening Day • 8:00 a.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst Barrel Racing • 3:30 p.m. - Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting • 7:00 p.m. - Miss CMSF Pageant Thursday, July 22 - Cattlemen & Farmers Day • 8:00 a.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst - Team Roping • 4:00 p.m. - C&F Day Social Hour • 5:00 p.m. - C&F Day BBQ Steak Dinner • 6:30 p.m. - C&F Day Awards Presentation • 7:30 p.m.- Dwight Yoakam with special guest Niko Moon Friday, July 23 - Kids Day • 8:00 a.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst - Junior Gymkhana • 5:00 p.m. - Wine Industry Awards & Gold Medal Tasting • 7:30 p.m. - Big & Rich Saturday, July 24 • 8:00 a.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst • 7:00 p.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst - Finals Sunday, July 25 • 9:00 a.m. - Wrangler Country Rodeo presented by Hearst • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena) Monday, July 26 • 1:30 p.m. - Breeding Sheep Show • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena)

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Tuesday, July 27 • 8:00 a.m. - Market Hog Show, Market Goat Show, Market Sheep Show • 3:30 p.m. - Market Beef Show • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena) Wednesday, July 28 • 8:00 a.m. - Breeding Beef Show • 1:30 p.m. - Ladies and Lads Lead/Costume Contest • 5:00 p.m. - Replacement Heifer Show, Craft Beer Awards and Tasting • 7:30 p.m. - Uncle Kracker (FREE with paid Fair admission) Thursday, July 29 • 8:00 a.m. - Swine Showmanship • 8:30 a.m. - Meat Goat Showmanship, Market Sheep Showmanship • 3:30 p.m. - Beef Showmanship • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena) Friday, July 30 - Seniors Day • 10:00 a.m. - Livestock Judging Contest • 5:30 p.m. - Replacement Heifer Sale • 7:30 p.m. - Little Big Town Saturday, July 31 • 8:00 a.m. - Junior Livestock Auction • 8:30 a.m. - RSNC Sorting • 12:30 p.m. - Sale of Champions presented by Granite Construction • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena) Sunday, August 1 • 8:30 a.m. - RSNC Sorting • 7:30 p.m. - To Be Announced (Chumash Grandstand Arena)



his year’s annual California Mid State Fair event will include carnival rides, shopping, exhibits, food, and more! As safety continues to be the top focus during this time, the fair will be following all state and local health COVID-19 regulations. It is also possible that certain attractions will need to have reduced capacity, depending on state and local health guidelines in place. As in years, prior, Helm and Sons Amusements will provide this year’s carnival. Helm and Sons specialize in providing amusement rides and attractions to fairs, festivals, events, corporate rentals, and movie productions throughout the state of California. Since taking over the role of providing the annual amusements for the fair, fairgoers have noticed the change in cleanliness, rides offered, and great prizes! Presale Wristband specials are on sale now by visiting Pre-Sale June 18 - July 20 • 1-day Youth (6-12) - $9 • 1-day Adult (13-61) - $12 • 1-day Senior (62+) - $11 • Season Youth (6-12) - $30 • Season Adult (13+) - $60 • Unlimited (1-day) Carnival Pass - $30 During Fair July 21 - August 1 • 1-day Youth (6-12) - $10 • 1-day Adult (13-61) - $14 • 1-day Senior (62+) - $12 • Season Youth (6-12) - $35 • Season Adult (13+) - $70 • Unlimited (1-day) Carnival Pass - $40 Kids Day - Friday, July 23 • Everyone 12 and Under - FREE Seniors Day - Friday, July 30 • Everyone 62 and Over - $6 Ride Height Restrictions Apply, No Refunds. Note: Unlimited ride wristband does not include fair admission. Fair admission must be purchased separately. The CMSF hours this year will be Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Friday through Sunday from noon to midnight. For more information, visit Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

Can’t Wait to See You!

We are truly grateful that we can once again invite our community to celebrate one of the great traditions of our area. From the entire staff and Board of Directors, we can’t wait to see you! ~ Interim CEO Colleen Bojorquez



FA and 4-H members will be dusting off those blue corduroy jackets and white pants to head back into the ring for in-person shows and auction! Livestock kids were hit hard in 2020 with the unpredicted cancellation of the CMSF and the announcement of the Wood-Claeysons Foundation not returning to the fair. While there has been a decline in livestock entries from FFA and 4-H members due to hesitation from last year’s experience, there are still a good amount of members still participating. To help fill the shoes left by the foundation, the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund created the “Buyers Coalition.” “The Buyer’s Coalition will serve as a tangible opportunity for our community to support our 4H and FFA youth and to give back to the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank.” Find more information on the coalition and learn how to donate by visiting uploads/2020/07/JWBYLF-Buyers-Coalition-Informationfor-Donations.pdf The livestock auction will be once again in person at the fairgrounds but with the added benefit of virtual bidding. Access and more information on virtual bidding will become available on under the Livestock department closer to auction day. Auction dates are as follows: Friday, July 30 • 5:30 p.m. Replacement Heifer Sale Saturday, July 31 • 8:00 a.m. Junior Livestock Auction • 12:30 p.m. Sale of Champions Bidders can make add ons to 4-H and FFA livestock animals virtually through August 8.

July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

We’ll See You There! As you can see, this year’s California Mid-State Fair will have a great lineup, a carnival everyone loves, lots of fun to be had by all, and all the fair food you can eat! After almost two years, we are ready! Be sure to look for the California Mid-State Fair Planner in the July 15 issue of the Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News. You can also pick up a copy with your entry to the California Mid-State Fair!  | 25

s r e b m e FFA M mal’ California r o ‘ N a re for


By Camille DeVaul


chool is officially out for summer, but the work is not done for FFA and 4H members. FFA and 4H members across the county are gearing up for the California Mid State Fair (CMSF), back in full force for 2021 now that California restrictions have been lifted. Like almost everything else in 2020, the CMSF was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than showing in person, students entered a 90-second video which was then sent to a judge. The livestock auction was then held virtually. Many of the students decided to opt-out of submitting a video and tried selling their animals on their own rather than taking a chance in the virtual auction. Not only was the fair canceled, but the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation also announced they would not be returning to the CMSF livestock auction. Since 2012, the foundation has been responsible for purchasing nearly half of the FFA and 4-H livestock animals up for bid at the CMSF. Each animal purchased by the foundation was also then donated to local food banks. In 2014, they donated nearly 90,000 pounds of meat to the

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Mid State Fair & Livestock Auction

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. Fortunately, the CMSF is back, and with it, the livestock shows and auction will function as they normally did before COVID. To fill the shoes of the Woods-Claeyssens Foundation, the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund “Buyer’s Coalition” was formed. The new coalition says, “After the cancellation of the California Mid-State fair due to COVID-19, and the change in years of support from the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, it is essential to step in with a community-led group aimed at making a difference. Our group will assist youth exhibitors by purchasing projects and local families in need by putting student-raised protein right back into our food supply.” But, just because the fair and livestock shows are back doesn’t mean all the students returned. Paso Robles (PRHS), Templeton (THS), and Atascadero (AHS) High Schools have all seen a decline in students showing animals this year. Chris Hildebrand, THS welding teacher and livestock advisor said their chapter had seen a 50 percent decline in kids showing this year. “It’s partly due to all the unknowns when the kids had to get their Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

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animals, and also part of it is due to the fact that the foundation won’t be coming back again. So there is no safety net for prices,” Hildebrand explained. Kyle Dadson, AHS livestock advisor and AG teacher, also said their chapter had also seen a 50 percent decline in students showing livestock. Dadson says their decline is also due to uncertainty and because advisors have not been able to build a connection with the incoming freshman class. “We haven’t built a connection with the freshman class, so I’m having a little bit of a hard time developing the relationships, talking to the kids about ‘hey, it’s not just about inside the classroom. Through FFA, there is a tremendous amount of opportunities,” Dadson shared. Justin Pickard, welding teacher and advisor for PRHS, echoed what Hildebrand and Dadson experienced. This year the livestock auction will be held in person and virtually, allowing more buyers to participate. Ways people can support the livestock kids is to donate to the Livestock Awards Program or James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Project. Another way is to “add on” to a student’s price per pound of their animal. Buyers will be able to purchase add-ons virtually through August 8. Across the board, students are hesitant to sell livestock animals based on what happened in 2020. “The kids are working hard, and we’re trying to rebuild the steam. They’ve had so much taken away—show them there’s an end goal, work hard, and you get what you get,” said Dadson. The 2021 CMSF starts July 21 and ends August 1 with the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, July 31.  July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

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Taste of Americana

Apricot Glaze

This is an easy-to-prepare dish. The sweetness of the apricot glaze complements the pork tenderloin. Ingredients:

From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz


have special memories of growing up in Southern California in the 40s and 50s when life was much simpler. The 4th of July was a really big holiday for our family, and I remember picnics at Griffith Park in Glendale, the community park in Arcadia, and backyard gatherings at our home, or the home of my grandparents, with lots of relatives and friends in attendance. The meals were pot luck, so naturally, there was a great variety of food. I especially remember Grandma O’Haver’s fried chicken, mother’s potato salad, and Aunt Maxine’s chocolate cake. There are just some things we never forget. After the picnic, the family headed to locations providing fireworks. I will never forget the display at the Los Angeles Coliseum, which was so magnificent for that time. Of course, it was nothing like we see today, but it certainly left an impression on me as a child. Somehow, food brings us together to share love and laughter. I searched for simple food choices for this 4th of July and summer menu to leave plenty of time for the cook to enjoy the event. When you are gathered together, be sure to relive some memories of past times with family and friends. Enjoy summer and 4th of July! 

▷ ▷ ▷ ▷

1 cup apricot preserves 2/3 cup apricot juice ¼ cup honey 2 tablespoons white vinegar (also try white balsamic vinegar)


Combine preserves, juice, honey, and vinegar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick and bubbling for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in mustard, and set aside.

▷ 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Pork Tenderloins

There is nothing like pork tenderloin. It’s so easy to make and I feel like this is the easiest cut of pork to take on whatever flavors you fancy. In the slow cooker, the Instant Pot, on the grill, there is really no way to mess up a pork tenderloin Ingredients:

▷ Two 1½ pound pork tenderloins ▷ Coarse salt and white pepper for seasoning ▷ ¼ cup whole-grain mustard ▷ Vegetable oil for brushing grate


Season tenderloins with coarse salt and white pepper; rub all over with mustard. Brush grate liberally with oil. Grill tenderloins indirectly over medium heat, turning once, brushing often with glaze until center is barely pink and reaches internal temperature of 150 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to a platter and let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions Lately, I have seen more recipes for sweet potatoes, and this next recipe intrigues me. I have a passion for potato salads, and this one may be added to my collection. It is an unusual combination but will go well with any pork dish. Ingredients: ▷ ▷ ▷ ▷

4 large sweet potatoes Vegetable oil Coarse salt 1 medium onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (with the grain)

Dressing Ingredients:

▷ 3 strips thick-cut bacon ▷ 1/3 cup vegetable oil ▷ 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard ▷ 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ▷ 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and adjust rack to center of oven. Scrub sweet potatoes and dry with paper towels. Prick each with a fork two or three times across top and place on a baking sheet; rub with oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to preheated oven. After 25 minutes of baking, scatter sliced onions over and around potatoes. Continue to cook until potatoes are done, but firm and onions are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow potatoes to cool; peel away the skin and cut into small cubes.


Brown bacon strips and drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside. To the bacon grease left in the pan, add vegetable oil, mustard, cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Whisk together thoroughly.

Salad Components: ▷ ▷ ▷ ▷

Diced sweet potatoes Caramelized onions Crumbled bacon ¼ cup diced green bell pepper ▷ Salt and pepper to taste


Assemble the salad by folding the diced sweet potatoes and roasted onions in a mixing bowl with crumbled bacon and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over mixture and toss gently. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve. Serves 8.

For dessert, finish with blueberry/strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream. You can’t go wrong.

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Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

Cal Poly Senior Project


s a part of their senior project, four Cal Poly students chose to complete the remodel of the Paso Robles Police Department (PRPD) Outdoor Training Facility. Gavin Abraham, Nic Petri, Zach Stellini, and Cole Berkeland, all Cal Poly Professor Dan Knight students, completed the project in roughly 400 man-hours. And they did so on time and under budget! “Our main goals were to transform the existing facility into what is not only an effective training tool, but also a place that police officers enjoy visiting, and to provide the Paso Robles Police Department with a modern, functional facility that allows its officers to be properly equipped to protect the community,” Abraham said. The four students completed the project back in April, free of charge, to the City of Paso Robles for labor. Funds for the facilities remodel came f rom the newly passed Measure J-20 funds. Measure J-20 was passed during the 2020 election as a one-cent sales tax. Funds from the tax prioritize funding towards maintaining essential City services, such as fire and public safety/police services, emergency response and preparedness, road safety, and other city services. The students completed the remodel under their 20,000 dollar budget. “Without the generous help from the community of Paso Robles, we would have never been able to succeed,” said Abraham. Local companies Calportland, Alliance Ready Mix, Savage Concrete, and Quinn Caterpillar helped the students complete the project, for which they are immensely thankful. “And thanks to the generous hands-on instruction and expertise of Dan Knight and Michael Bridgman, we were able to learn about construction in ways that can never be taught in a classroom. Without them, this project would have never been possible,” Abraham said. When manpower was a little short, off-duty officers were there to offer their help with the facility. July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

Tent City

Cal Poly Senior Project Benefits Paso Robles Police Department

Four Cal Poly Seniors completed the Paso Robles PD Outdoor training Facility Remodel as a part of their Senior Project. Pictured from Left to right: Sergeant Joshua Hermanson, Gavin Abraham, Nic Petri, Dan Knight, Cole Berkeland, Commander Caleb Davis. Photos by Melissa Mattson

By Camille DeVaul “In addition, the Paso Robles PD was fantastic in supporting us throughout the process. On concrete pour days, Cal Poly students and off-duty Paso Robles officers teamed up to get the job done. We put our hearts and souls into this project, and I can’t think of a better way to finish my education than to learn by doing and give back to the community I’ve been blessed to call home for the past four years.” PRPD Commander Caleb Davis said, “After meeting with the Team from Cal Poly, I was initially very impressed with their eagerness to begin the project. The team was very responsive to our concerns

and provided options to meet our needs. The team from Cal Poly was professional and informative. They remained within budget and provided us continual updates.” Commander Davis continued, “The most impressive attribute of the Cal Poly Team was their dedication to finishing the project on time. The team, primarily Gavin, Zack and Nic worked tirelessly to finish the project. The team spent their evenings and weekends on-site to ensure deadlines were met. The team also did a good job of maintaining a clean job site. On behalf of the City of Paso Robles, we are grateful for the partnership we have established with the Cal Poly

construction management program and look forward to continuing that partnership in the future.” The soon-to-be graduating Cal Poly seniors are going off to their next adventures. Still, they have prepared upcoming seniors to take on the next phase of projects for the training facility. The next phase of the facility is still in the works, and Commander Davis will be meeting the next group of Construction Management students to define their next set of goals. A presentation of the senior project and facility was presented during the June 15 City Council meeting.  | 29


Atascadero High School Graduation

AHS Celebrates In-Person for 100th Graduation By Connor Allen


n Thursday, June 3 spread out across Memorial Stadium, the Atascadero High School (AHS) senior class of 2021 celebrated their graduation and walked into their next phase of life. The class of 2021 is the 100th graduating class from Atascadero, with the first one being held in 1921 when the school was then called Margarita Black High School. It was a picture-perfect afternoon with barely a cloud in the sky as 277 graduates donning long grey gowns, decorated caps, and their Sunday best clothing made their way into the stadium and into their seats with the band of their own peers playing lightly behind them. It was an efficient ceremony, but still a powerful one as many took time and reflected upon the especially difficult 15 months this senior class has endured with the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior class President Mia Perry kicked off the ceremony thanking family

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and friends and welcoming a nearly packed house to enjoy the proceedings. Principal Dan Andrus, who took over as AHS Principal this year following Bill Neely’s retirement, came to the stage next and honored Aziz Basil, the Valedictorian, and Sean Reagan, the Salutatorian of the 2021 class. Only three points separated the two boys at the tip-top of the academic leaderboard as Basil finished his high school career with a 4.62 GPA while Reagan earned 4.59. Next senior Moselle Stieler took the stage to deliver her commencement speech. “100 years ago Margarita Black Communion High School first graduating class for students. Today in 2021, we, as what is now known as Atascadero High School, are the 100th graduating class, will now walk and receive our own diplomas. Of course, the school has seen great changes in the last century, yet I feel not nearly as many as the ones we have faced in these Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

Class of 2021

last four years alone,” Stieler opened. “We have had to learn to navigate an entirely new platform [online learning] while dealing with screaming siblings in the background, forgetting to turn off your microphone, and sometimes just getting out of bed. Yet, somehow, despite it all, we have not only survived these hectic times, but we have managed to thrive. In these past few years, I have been amazed by the resilience my peers have shown in the face of instability and unknown.” Stieler touched on some of her favorite memories from her time at AHS and reminisced about a few of her favorite teachers, and beautifully wrapped up her speech with an inspiring message in “embracing the struggle.” Following Stieler, it was Andrus’ time to address the graduates and families and took everyone on a delightful journey in his first graduation as the AHS Principal. Andrus spoke of natural laws, Newton, and even quoted Shakespeare while at the podium. July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

“Graduates, I hope that your choices bring you success and happiness and joy. I hope that you get to suck the marrow from life and find fulfillment in the path that you pursue,” Andrus said in closing. “Two of you recently taught me that simple pleasures are important, that sometimes the best choice is just to make a snowman. The world is yours; you will determine how your lives go as you make the choices and reap the rewards. Class of 2021, choose well and be happy.” Once every graduate had their diploma and a customary photo with one of the School Board of Trustees, the students returned to their seats as Perry returned to the stage for the moment everyone was waiting for. “Move your tassels to the left, and we did it, guys!” Perry shouted with excitement as caps flew into the air, and a crowd began barking like a pack of wild dogs in celebration of their newest crop of Greyhounds entering the beginning of the rest of their lives.  | 31

Atascadero High School Graduation

AHS GRADUATION Valedictorian & Salutatorian By Connor Allen

Aziz Basil



tascadero High School (AHS) held its 100th graduation ceremony last Thursday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, honoring its 277 graduates for the class of 2021. The ceremony features music from the school band, performances by the choir, a speech by Moselle Stieler, and, of course, recognition of the class Salutatorian Sean Reagan and Valedictorian Aziz Basil. Just a few moments after the graduates took their seats; Principal Dan Andrus asked the two top students at AHS to come to the stage to accept their awards and to be acknowledged by their peers. While the two boys ended up on the stage separated by just a few decimal points, they took different paths in the way they got there. Basil, who finished as the top student at AHS with an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 4.62, moved to the United States from Syria in sixth grade with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. At first, earning the title of Valedictorian was not something Basil coveted but only because he didn't know that it existed. However, once he found out, he put it at the top of his list of high school accomplishments and worked towards it every day. "Honestly, it was a goal [Valedictorian]," Basil shared. "I came here from Syria in sixth grade, and I didn't really know what Valedictorian meant, so I was just getting into American culture because, in Syria, we didn't have Valedictorians. In high school, I started hearing people say stuff about Valedictorian, and I asked what it meant and was told that it meant that you are ranked number one in your class. From that point on, freshman year, I just tried to take as many classes as I could. I really tried; I

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Sean Reagan Salutatorian

would check my Aeries and check to see if my name is still at one, and, you know what, I did it. I kept my name at one all these years." For one to earn a GPA over four, they must take Advanced Placement (A.P.) or Honors courses but to earn a GPA over 4.6; one must dedicate nearly their entire course load to the school's best and most challenging classes. In his final two years at AHS, Basil only took two regular classes, one of which was still upper level in Spanish 3. However, even with the significant workload, Basil did not let that stop him from being an athlete as he also played three sports for the Greyhounds in football, soccer, and tennis. Even with all his preparation and hard work, Basil was unsure he had earned the no. 1 spot and waited eagerly for the announcement. "I was so happy," Basil said on the moment he heard his name. "It was a moment of relief; I finally did it. I got into my college. I got Valedictorian. I really achieved what I wanted as a freshman. I remember in Health Science; actually, we had to write a note to our future self, and in my letter, I said that I hope I end up getting Valedictorian and I hope you got into a super good four-year university." Basil could have chosen from several good schools, including Harvard, where he was waitlisted, but decided to become a Bruin and will attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the fall in pre-med. While Basil spent much of his high school years working towards and thinking about being the Valedictorian, the man right behind him was not as worried about it.

"I planned out all of my high school classes really early on because I knew what I wanted to do," Reagan explained. "I wasn't really focused on doing that; I just kind of wanted to take the hardest classes that I could." Reagan finished his four years in orange and grey with an overall GPA of 4.59 and back-loaded his high school education with A.P. courses, including six in his senior year. Unlike many at the top of academia, Reagan has a more relaxed, calm demeanor, which explains his reaction to finding out he earned Salutatorian. "I really just checked my Aeries one day and saw that I was number two and was like, 'What happened?'" He explained. "Then, I was talking to the guys, and they told me I was in second place now. When I heard that, I was like, that's cool, but it wasn't something that I focused on." Like Basil, Reagan also participated in athletics and is still playing even though he has officially graduated from high school. Reagan played baseball and was on the basketball team that went to the CIF Semifinals this year. When it came to choosing a college for Atascadero's Salutatorian, the choice was relatively easy and practical as options were narrowed down to just the state of California. "I am going to UCSB, and I was deciding between U.C. San Diego and UC Irvine," Reagan said. "I decided to go to UCSB because it was closer, and I didn't want to drive all the way down to those schools when it is basically the same for all of those." Next year Reagan will change from a Greyhound to a Gaucho and will study statistics and data science.  Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

James Brescia, Ed.D.



Future Careerslly Grown

ccording to RealtyTrac, San Luis Obispo County ranks 6th in the nation for housing costs (Holden & Bizjak, 2018). However, this situation is somewhat exaggerated because the county’s average wage is below state averages (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). These factors make recruiting employees to the county difficult, necessitating a “grow your own” approach. A question facing local leaders is how to grow the economy and wages to match the high cost of living in San Luis Obispo County. One successful response is SLO Partner’s educational programs that train local citizens in skilled jobs presenting high wage potential in the local market. SLO Partners is an initiative of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. Local leaders face the challenge of growing a skilled workforce to meet the demand of local technology, software, and manufacturing businesses and industries. One identified and proven strategy to address this regional challenge is to upskill and train the workforce for head of household jobs in technology-related fields right here in our county. Over the past three years, 47 local employers have requested the San Luis Obispo Career & Technical Education (CTE) Foundation and SLO Partners increase the pipeline of qualified workers with Information Technology (IT) and Precision Manufacturing related skills. Employers understand the importance of diversity in their workforce and consistently request qualified female candidates because of the high degree of success of previous female apprentices. Employers are asking us to grow the pool of female applicants and support their entry into these head of household careers. SLO Partners apprenticeships provide an alternative path to connecting qualified talent

July 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine


from diverse backgrounds and teams with employers looking to hire hard-to-fill occupations. Local employers recognize that gender diversity on teams creates a well-rounded team better able to collaborate and problem-solve. One local success is Marlena, who secured a spot in the program and, after graduating, received three job offers. “The SLO Partners team helped me communicate how to let companies know I was interviewing elsewhere,” she said. “I wouldn’t have known how to do that otherwise - it was an interesting experience saying ‘no’ to really good jobs. I accepted a position at Trust Automation because I liked the culture and diversity. Marlena’s job prospects before completing the program were very different. “All of the positions I was qualified for either weren’t hiring, weren’t willing to pay more than the minimum wage, or had no career path. Trust Automation has a career path for me. There is the opportunity for advancement in my current position as well as various technical certifications.” CTE, pre-apprenticeships, and apprenticeships have become vital components in our local workforce and economic recovery. Local Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham and State Senator John Laird are positive voices for CTE, Strong Workforce, and recovery grants as we leverage the potential of these programs to address our workforce challenges. In addition, our local school districts, Cuesta College, local trade unions, and local businesses are all innovating to thrive in the post-COVID-19 economy. Creating future careers that are locally grown is a hallmark of our SLO Partners program. Another recent SLO Partner graduate, Stephanie, believes one of the challenges many women in the tech industry face is impostor syndrome. “Impostor syndrome is very real for all Software

Developers, but I think it can be particularly challenging for women. When you feel like a minority, feelings of insecurity are amplified. There are many talented people in this field with so much knowledge achieving great things, so gaining confidence in yourself can be tough. It’s really important that we learn to push past those feelings of inadequacies, so we can be role models for other women we need women in leadership roles to look up to. It’s certainly made me feel more comfortable and confident.” Stephanie also recommends networking and getting involved with women in tech groups. “I’ve met so many women in the industry because of these opportunities. We get together, we motivate each other, and we build each other up. More women need to know there’s a much-needed place for them in the tech industry.” SLO Partners is dedicated to promoting employment upskilling and opportunities for the local community. Highlighted in two recent workforce studies, Early Childhood Education (ECE) is also an essential component of our economic recovery. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education’s SLO Partners program, Cuesta College, First 5 SLO County, Trust Automation, CAPSLO, Paso Robles Bearkittens, the SLO County Child Care Planning Council, and several other organizations have joined forces in leveraging our ECE apprenticeship program, impact funds, pending state grants, and shared programming. Our goals include creating local multi-agency programs that serve the community, meet the changing needs of childcare, and have sustainability that benefits our entire community. Together we will continue to adapt, innovate, and thrive. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools.  | 33

Last Word

We Believe in

Partnerships We believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe small business is a state of mind. We believe in our history, and our future. We believe that all ideas are big ideas when they matter to you. We believe in getting it right, the first time, every time. We believe culture eats strategy for breakfast. We believe everything looks better on high-gloss pages. We believe in homemade lemonade and local honey. We believe main street is more powerful than wall street. We believe in family, friends, and sharing warm bread. We believe in partnerships. We believe in people.

We believe in the magic of teamwork, hard work, and high fives. We believe handshakes and hugs are better than likes and shares. We believe in lighting each other's candles. We believe in the story of us. We believe in organic food, a healthy planet, and doing our part to preserve it. We believe in holding the door, smiling, waving, and greeting strangers as new friends. We believe in art, music, sports, education, and kids. We believe in being the most fun. We believe to change anything, create a new model that makes the old model obsolete.

Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto adopted 2018

13 Stars Digital................................. 35 76 Gas Station.................................. 27 A Heavenly Home...............................9 American Barn & Wood.................... 17 American West Tire & Auto........... 7, 17 Blake's True Value............................. 17 Central Coast Casualty Restoration.. 15

City of Atascadero............................. 36 Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners................. 15 Educated Gardener.......................... 33 Five Star Rain Gutters..........................9 Frontier Floors................................... 27 Greg Malik Real Estate Group....10, 11

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DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by Hearing Aid Specialists of The Central Coast.............................3 John Donovan Insurance & Financial Services, Inc................... 27

Megan's CBD Market..........................9 Nick's Painting.................................. 14 O'Conner Pest Control...................... 27 Odyssey World Cafe......................... 15

Optometric Care Associates................7 Paso Robles Main Street.....................5 Robert Fry M.D.................................. 14 Robert Hall Winery..............................2 Sierra Pacific Materials..................... 17 SLG Senior Care................................ 13 Solarponics....................................... 15

Thank you for being #atascaderostrong

Susan's Antiques.............................. 15 The Human Bean................................9 The Natural Alternative..................... 13 Upbeats & Accents............................ 13 Writing Support Group.................... 33

Atascadero News Magazine | July 2021

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