Atascadero News Magazine #36 • June 2021

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Business • Shopping • Dining • Events • Arts • People


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June 2021

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Issue No. 36


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Detective Luca Benedetti by camille devaul

A candlelight vigil was held in honor of the late detective at the Mission Plaza San Luis Obispo. Supporters from all over lined the streets with blue line flags, and signs of love, thank you and rest in peace.

A New Disneyland Adventure by camille devaul

Wishes came true for many on April 30 when Disneyland California reopened its gates after 412 days of closure.

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by nicholas mattson

Juneteenth is culturally significant to all Americans as the announcement of the end of state-sanctioned slavery following the end of the most deadly war in American history.

Bloke Outfitters by camille devaul

Farron Walker, owner of Farron Elizabeth on Entrada Avenue, in downtown Atascadero opened Bloke during the pandemic in 2020.

On the Cover Cover inspired by honoring San Luis Obispo Detective Luca Benedetti who lost his life in the line of duty on May 10 with a photo of a San Luis Obispo County resident (who wished not be mentioned by name) and his son attending the candlelight vigil on May 14. Photo by Camille DeVaul 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.

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 5

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 |




16 Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter

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Event: California Mid-State Fair


ECHO: Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser


Mr. Putters: Bringing Paddle Boats Back To Atascadero Lake

Atascadero People


Abigail Reinstedt: Local Teen Wins Best Picture at Christian Youth Film Festival Callie Twisselman: A Rising Star

Taste of Atascadero



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Sip & Savor: The Stoller Portfolio: One Family, Two Wineries Taste of Americana: Summer, Bar-b-ques, and Father’s Day Tent City Templeton Hills Community Farm: Celebrating Its First Anniversary


SLO County Office of Education: Opportunities & Challenges

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Grass Roots: ‘Moms for Liberty’ Start First California Chapter in SLO County Photography: Another Rick Evans Photo


Athletes of the Week: Sports Stars of the North County

Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto Directory of our Advertisers

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Mira Honeycutt

James Brescia, Ed.D.

The Natural Alternative

Josh Cross

Simone Smith


Round Town Cross Talk with Josh Cross The Natural Alternative: Safer Fun in the Sun Santa Margarita: Details Make all the Difference


Barbie Butz


PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE July 1, 2021 ADVERTISING DEADLINE* June 10, 2021 * Ad reservation deadline is the 10th of each month preceding the publication. For more information about advertising, upcoming issues and editorial themes, contact our advertising representatives above, or see our media kit at

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


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

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Something Worth Reading

Letter fRom tHe EditOrs Community is about doing something together that makes belonging matter. ~ Brian Solis dom Day: A Day of Observance.” The holiday is culturally significant to all Americans as the announcement of the end of state-sanctioned slavery following the end of the deadliest war in American history.


We love the resilience of the North SLO County; we love the people who continue to show up even when it is hard and support each other even when they do not have a lot themselves. We lock arms, give our support, create barbeque fundraisers, line the streets with flags and signs, and feed t is in times like these that we truly understand how exceptional those in need, whether emotionally or physically. and unique our community is. Over the last few weeks, our We do that because we genuinely care, and you can see that in the beaucommunity has been deeply impacted by the loss of San Luis Obispo Detective Luca Benedetti, who lost his life in the line of tiful faces that show up in the most difficult times of need, and for that, we are all truly better humans for it. duty (see page 18).

He was a 12-year veteran of law enforcement who lived in our community and, along with his wife, was raising his two precious daughters here on the Central Coast. He was a husband, father, son, brother, and friend to many. We honor Detective Benedetti and his family, and we will continue to show our support and appreciation for our good law enforcement officers who put their lives in harms way for our community peace.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine. Much love, Nic & Hayley

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” — Coretta Scott King

We are honored that our publications are able to highlight those in our community that make it the best place to live, raise a family, work or own a business. As you travel around the world and experience different cultures, climates, governments, and opportunities, our Central Coast community is unmatched. This month we highlight the reopening of businesses, welcoming back traditional annual events that we lost out on due to the pandemic, and sharing the stories of local people doing extraordinary things. June showcases our dads, fathers, and husbands with Father’s Day, and this year we get to welcome back old traditions that were on hiatus due to pandemic. In June, we also celebrate Juneteenth; the California legislature recognizes Juneteenth as the third Saturday of June, “Juneteenth National Free-

Happy Father’s Day

to the man that gives me strength and loves us beyond measure.

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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New Chamber Members • Francesco Pierini Real Estate (805)286-1178 • Camp Natoma (805)316-0163

Upcoming Events For June Atascadero Lakeside Wine Passport Saturday, June 26 The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Passport program kicks-off with a live event on Saturday, June 26 at the new Atascadero Lake Park Zoo Garden. The event will include live music by Emily & The Hurricanes, tastings from Ancient Peaks, Mea Wine, Wild Fields, Dead Oak, Bristols Cider, and other fun activities. Admission is free with the purchase of a Passport or $10 without. A passport allows the holder to experience complimentary tastings by visiting 15+ wineries, 6 breweries, and 1 distillery anytime between June 26 and December 31, 2021. Passport holders will also receive complimentary corkage fees at participating restaurants and discounts on local hotel stays. As is the tradition, a portion of the proceeds help support the Atascadero Zoo. Purchase yours today at

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

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Common Challenges Faced By Businesses . . . and How To Solve T hem

unning your own business isn’t easy – throw a crisis into the mix like the COVID-19 pandemic, and you have a recipe for chaos. It seems like every challenge small businesses were dealing with only grew! That’s why our Chamber has made it our mission both now and in the future to help equip you with what you need to overcome these three frequent obstacles faced by local entrepreneurs. 1. Problem One: Lack of Connection and Support The global pandemic made it glaringly evident that we all need a sense of personal connection, and businesses need a way to connect with new and old customers in a meaningful way. Meeting and establishing relationships face-to-face with community businesses to explore ways to collaborate and enhance each other’s businesses is key to fostering B2B partnerships. That’s why the first and arguably the most important benefit we offer is that of connection. Members of our Chamber maintain a strong relationship with each other and with the larger community. Even during a pandemic, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other businesses, customers and build strategic relationships. For the past year, we’ve been hosting virtual mixers, virtual workshops, and drive-through events for our community. Our goal is to provide opportunities for businesses who want to connect with each other and new customers. 2. Problem Two: Staying Visible In A Busy Online World Not only did the pandemic limit the amount of shopping in-person at local stores, but it also sped up the interest in online shopping and browsing1. Online shopping is a trend that isn’t going away any time soon, making it incredibly challenging for local businesses to suddenly compete and stand out in a space that may be very unfamiliar with them. You could have the best service, products, and food in the world, but if you don’t have the visibility to help you spread that information, you’re missing out on sales. That’s why another one of our goals here at the Chamber is to make sure you stay visible! Putting aside the visibility you gain for your business just by showing up and connecting at mixers and events, there are other ways your Chamber ensures that your business is visible online. As a member, you’re highlighted in our local online business directory. Your events can go up on our virtual community calendar. We’ll share your social media posts on our page and your flyers in our newsletters. We also regularly give shout-outs and features to our business community on our social media pages. Our team is always on the lookout for ways to increase the visibility of our local stores! (If you’re currently a member and would like to share your events and flyers with us, please email 3. Problem Three: Lacking A Voice As a small business owner, it can feel like you’re standing alone with no one listening to your ideas or your challenges. When you’re a member of the Chamber, you’re connected, and your voice is louder because you have a community on your side. You have the opportunity to participate in councils that engage in all different facets of life here in Atascadero. We have a Diversity Council, Women in Business Council, Economic and Legislative Council, and an Ambassadors Council that you can join and contribute your ideas to regularly. Did you know that the Chamber advocates on behalf of members of their business community? Your voice matters, and we’ll help you share it. Here at the Chamber, our number one priority is that of OUR business community. The team and I work hard to ensure that your Chamber is helping you face and overcome challenges as a business. Because what you do as a small business owner makes a positive difference in our community! As always, your Chamber team is here for you. If you’d like to learn more about membership or about the upcoming opportunities you have as a member, give us a call at (805)466-2044 or email 1 — Charles Riley, CNN Business. (2020, October 13). Online shopping has been supercharged by the pandemic. There's no going back. CNN.

Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021


Safer Fun in ! n u S e h t


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Santa Margarita

Photos provided by David L. Curry

Simone Smith

e k a M s l i a Det e c n e r e f f i All the D A

rt, some people find it unnecessary, disturbing, disruptive, or annoying, causing a little jolt, a wake-up poke to your brain to say, “Hey, what’s this? This is different, unusual, out of the ordinary. What does it mean? What does it do? How do I respond?” With so much in our modern world being easy to mass-produce and quick to construct, it’s the creative details, unique perspectives, and unusual combinations of materials that stand out and make us take notice. Art enriches our lives, piques your curiosity, and gets us thinking in different ways. One such creator of the extraordinary is David L.Curry of Santa Margarita. For years David Curry has been busy beautifying and adding interest to homes, gardens, businesses, and communities through his artistic talents in functional design and custom metalwork. With works in place from Phoenix, to Palm Desert, to the Bay Area, most of his work can be found here in SLO County, including some favorite locations right here in Santa Margarita. Dave officially began gaining professional experience after graduating with a degree in Architecture from Cal

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Poly SLO in 1993 but chuckled when looking back at early indications of his life’s direction. “I was that kid who was always playing with Legos and the one building elaborate forts only to lose interest when it was time to play.” It’s really no surprise that Dave is creative because the desire for design looks to be part of the Curry DNA as his father taught High School Graphic Arts, his Uncle obtained a degree in Architecture and worked in the field, and his cousin Stephen P. Curry is a talented fine artist. Post-graduation, Dave’s first year was spent working for a local Architect and briefly for a framer before being hired to do design work for Allen Root of Ferromobius. It was during the years with Allen that Dave really got to hone his skills and grow as an artist and craftsman. From 1995 until a slowdown in the economy in 2012, Dave worked on many collaborative projects of all scales and complexities from small, steel garden gates to large scale public art pieces, furniture to fountains, elaborate interior railings to sculptural bus stops, with

clients ranging from private homeowners to wineries, small businesses to corporations to cities. Although specializing in the use of metals, some collaborative works with Ferromobius also incorporated materials such as glass, wood, or cast concrete depending on the site and overall design concept to seamlessly blend while adding richness to the finished project. “Wind Dance” is a stunning example of mixed materials used in the creation of an interior stair railing for an Avila Valley remodel incorporating steel, copper, and glass with a cherry wood cap. Examples of Dave Curry’s collaborations during the years with Allen Root can easily be seen locally, including two large sculptures in San Luis Obispo: “Family Tree,” located on Broad St. at Cole Motors, and “Perpetual Hope,” a 28’ tall by 8’ in diameter SLO Public Art Project located in Mitchell Park. Other examples include the powder-coated steel and aluminum sconces and decorative window screens on an office building at 755 Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, and the painted steel patio gate and trellis for The Range in Santa Margarita. Since 2012 Dave gained experience in fabrication while working for Architectural Iron Works of SLO, where he was in charge of building all the window and door units on a $30M remodel in San Francisco but most recently has been enjoying working for himself on projects for his brother in the Bay Area or for local friends. Although many in his field use CAD systems for designing, Dave says he “thinks with his pencil” and is inspired by nature leading to more natural creations, as seen in his drawing for a client’s “Sun Gate.” Last month, the home of a friend won the Santa Margarita Beautiful Home award for the complete update to house and yard, including a suite of beautiful modern gates by Dave using naturally finished steel and Ipe wood. More exciting works by Dave are underway, and the collaborative dream team with Allen Root is getting back together. The details DO make the difference!  Discover more on Instagram @davidlcurrydesign or at Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

California Mid-State Fair

Can’t Wait To See You! Paso Robles Event Center Announces 75th Annual 2021 California Mid-State Fair is scheduled for July 21–August 1 By Camille DeVaul


fter a year of a devastating pandemic that led to numerous cancellations of the county’s most beloved annual events, the Paso Robles Event Center announced on May 10, that the 2021 California Mid-State Fair is happening as scheduled! The theme...“Can’t Wait To See You!” which is quite fitting for the year we have had shelter in place for most of 2020 on into 2021. This year’s Mid-State Fair is getting ready to make up for lost time as they will be celebrating their 75th Anniversary a year later due to COVID-19. The annual event will have animals, agriculture, live perfor-

mances (more information to come), carnival rides, shopping, exhibits, and food… all happening during the originally planned dates of July 21 through August 1. As safety continues to be the top focus during this time, the fair will be following all state and local health mandates regarding COVID-19. It is also possible that certain attractions will need to have reduced capacity, depending on state and local health guidelines in place at the time of the 2021 fair. In March, Tom Keffury, Mid-State Fair spokesperson, explained that the public’s safety is their top priority. “We have to do it safely, it is our priority, but if we can do that and we are allowed to do it, we want to do it because we feel there is a demand from the public and from our vendors who want to do it,” said Keffury. Keffury explained that Plan A for the Mid-State Fair was to have a fair, with all California’s safety measures in place. However, at the time Plan, A could only happen if the county moves into the yellow tier. Governor Gavin Newsom announced in March, then again in May, that most restrictions, mask mandates, and the colored tiers would be lifted as of June 15. This will be a welcome change for Californians and allow more attractions and events as the Mid State Fair Committee planning get underway. Staff at the Mid-State Fair have been looking at large-scale open venues like Disney World for methods of operating a COVID safe event with carnival and food vendors. Disneyland California recently reopened on April 30 after being closed for over a year. Food, carnival, and shopping vendors have already been contacted by Mid-State

Fair staff. According to Keffury, vendors are unanimously in support of the fair. The annual Mid-State Fair accounts for 90 percent of Paso Robles Event Center’s revenue. Not having the 2020 fair meant millions of dollars of revenue lost for the event center and Paso Robles businesses, according to Keffury.

While the event center has received numerous donations and some income from the county who rented two buildings on the property for COVID vaccine clinics and testing, the revenue was not enough to sustain the event center in the long run. “People want to get back and do it...they know they have to do it safely, they want to do it safely,” said Keffury. At the time of going to press, specific programming elements, including live performances, are still being developed and will be released at a later date. Fairgoers will need to check the website for the most up-to-date information. Admission tickets for the 2021 Fair will go on sale in early June and be sold exclusively online at Interim CEO Colleen Bojorquez said, “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!” 


June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 15



Volunteers and “Local Celebrities” greeted the hundreds of supporters that were excited for the annual events return after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. Photo by Hayley Mattson

n Thursday, April 29, the El Camino Homeless Greeting community members at the entrance were two Shelter (ECHO) hosted their annual Empty local Starbucks Baristas Natasha Schlitz, and Riley Benado, Bowls fundraiser, and this year they were back who both came to support the annual event. in action. “We are both volunteers [ECHO] and work at the local Starting at 11:30 a.m., cars lined the up in the Atascadero Starbucks and wanted to give back to our community… Bible Church parking lot off of Atascadero mall ready to we are out here having fun and appreciate the opportunity greet all the volunteers and ECHO support staff to pick up to support,” Schlitz said. their handcrafted one of a kind ceramic bowls and “to-go” Following the early shift, The Atascadero News and Paso soups that were beautifully presented in brown bags with Robles Press Columnist Barbie Butz, the owner of Idlers Home, Don Idler, and Atascadero Fire Chief Casey Bryson the ECHO logo. The bags included various soups from local restau- joined the serving team. rants, including Niner Wine Estates, Dan’s Grub Shack, Idler shared, “I know what an awesome effort this is, McPhee’s Grill, Pacific Harvest Catering, Wild Fields and I was asked to be here, and I would be glad to come Brewhouse, Giovanni’s Fish Market, Street Side Ale House, here every year. We [Idler’s Home] have always supported Woodruff Family, Red Scooter Deli, Odyssey World Café, it… we have done a lot with ECHO, and we serve there Caiwala Food Market, Longbranch Saloon, The Range, sometimes, and we just know what a good thing this is for Novo, Hofbrau Morro Bay, Granite Ridge Christian Camp, our community. It is what we do.” Don Q, Brian’s Bread, Back Porch Bakery, Sugar + Spoon Multiple volunteers shared how wonderful it felt to be Carmel’s, Templeton Donuts Plus and Mr. Pickle’s Paso able to serve the community once again in a way that was Robles. not available over the last year due to the pandemic. “We are so excited about this year’s Empty Bowls; for one, Chief Bryson explained, “I have done this for a couple we were able to have it. Last year because of the pandemic, of years, obviously not last year, it’s always a great event, we could not hold this much-beloved event. So just to nice to see such a big section of the community come out have the community come out in a safe way to support and support ECHO because ECHO does amazing things ECHO and the people we are serving... it felt so good to for the town, so it is nice to show some support and give see some of those faces that have been helping our organi- back a little bit to them because they do take care of the zation for now 20 years. This is our 20th anniversary, from community and quite a few things…. nice to be out and see the celebrity servers to all the restaurants and bread places people come through and see people you know. It would that came together to make all of this possible. One of the be good to get the crew to come through the line next and best parts of our community, it just really supports us and bring the engine next year would be a good idea.” After the event, Lewis shared, “We are thrilled to the people that were trying to help trans- announce that with a record number of caring sponsors form their lives; we and selling our tickets out, we exceeded our $40,000 goal, sold out two weeks raising over $50,000!” before the event; All funds raised remain within the North County who could ask for and helps ECHO continue to operate three safe and that much support!” secure overnight shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles. Wendy Lewis, the ECHO’s unique residency program provides case manageExecutive Director ment services to assist them in securing a job and finding of ECHO, shared. permanent and sustainable housing within three months Throughout the of entering the shelter program. While enrolled in the morning into the program, clients are taught life skills for employment, early afternoon, budgeting, health care management, social communicaseveral “local celebri- tion, and interaction. The goal and the result of this practies” joined the serv- tical support is the empowerment of residents to move in ing line. The early shift included support from Atascadero a positive direction while assisting them in acquiring the Mayor Heather Moreno, SLO County Supervisor Debbie skills and services they need to become self-sustaining, Arnold, and Atascadero Police Chief Bob Masterson. including secure housing.  For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit With the rainbow of blue balloons and volunteers all in blue aprons, the welcome wagon was a friendly sight to see.

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Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

ECHO Hosts Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser By Hayley Mattson



By Connor Allen


ne of Atascadero’s oldest family traditions is coming back this summer as Mr. Putters’ Putt Putt has officially taken over as the new stewards of the Atascadero Watercraft concierge at the Atascadero Lake. Starting on Memorial Day Weekend, families will once again be able to venture out into the calm, murky waters on power generated from their own elbow grease. The new boathouse will be named “Mr. Putters’ Pedal Boats” and will not only provide access to the water but other fun activities also. “We are already operating in a soft opening on Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s,” Co-Owner Grayson Dole shared. “Each one of those days, people can come out from about 10 a.m., and the last boat goes out at 5 p.m. Then it is $10 for each person that is over 16 and $5 for anyone that is under 16. Children under four are free.” The official Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday, May 29 of Memorial Weekend, so by the time you are reading this, “Mr. Putters’ Pedal Boats” will be fully operational. As of now, the boats will have no time limit restrictions as the owners of Mr. Putters want to encourage a family atmosphere and continue to embrace the quirky, goofy, fun side that is present inside every family.

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

In March, the City of Atascadero announced that they were looking for a single firm as the sole recreational service provider at the paddleboat location for a period “not less than three years.” Seeing that it fit nicely into the business plans and vibe of their miniature golf course, the father-son combo of Dirk and Grayson Dole jumped in. “My father and I built out Mr. Putters,” Grayson explained. “Whenever our family would go traveling, we would love to hit up miniature golf courses and all those kinds of fun tacky tourist activities. So, we were really excited when we started Mr. Putters to be able to bring that locally to everything that North County and San Luis Obispo County has to offer. Being able to expand that to the Atascadero Lake and the whole boathouse over there has been a really exciting opportunity for us. It fits in that same demographic really well. It fits with our same family-focused environment, so we are excited to expand our offerings and continue to see people enjoy both the Lake Park, the Zoo, and our fun family activities.” Not only will families be able to rent boats for the lake, but Mr. Putters’ Paddle Boats is also bringing in bikes that can be rented for trips around the lake as well as other family-friendly activities like gem mining and Jenga.  | 17

In Memoriam

Candlelight Vigil

San Luis Obispo County Mourns the Loss of Fallen Officer By Camille DeVaul


n May 14, a candlelight vigil was held in honor of the late detective Luca Benedetti at the Mission Plaza San Luis Obispo. The 12 year veteran of law enforcement was killed in the line of duty as a result of a shooting that occurred while officers were serving a search warrant at an apartment on Camellia Court. Prior to the vigil, caravans from organized groups Protect Paso, Protect Atascadero, and Protect SLO drove from Paso Robles through Templeton and Atascadero to Higuera and Osos Street. Vehicles were adorned with flags and decorations in support of law enforcement. Supporters also lined the streets with blue line flags, cheering on the honking vehicles. Afterward, supporters walked to Mission Plaza to pay their respects during the vigil. Former Chaplain with Atascadero Police Department (APD), Rick Comstock, recited a Paul Harvey narration, “Policeman.” Comstock had a chance to go on a ride-along with Det. Benedetti when he was with APD. “Policeman. A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity. What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is ‘sir’ to his face and ‘fuzz’ to his back. The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy, and a gentleman. And, of course, he’d have to be genius. For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.” District Attorney Dan Dow spoke and shared a story from local resident Noah Briley. “My arresting officer that saved my life by arresting me is the officer that passed away. This is very sad to me. He treated me with so much respect and humanity. I was too unhealthy to get booked into jail, so we sat at the hospital for 18 plus hours together. We talked mostly about our kids and IPA’s. I ran into him at a Mexican restaurant about five months ago, and he obviously didn’t recognize me. I was able to thank him for saving my life. I told him I had 18 months clean and happiness in my life. He told me he was proud of me. I feel for his family. Rest In Peace, Officer Benedetti.”

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Dow also shared that while Det. Benedetti served at APD; he helped a mother deliver her baby in the parking lot after her family drove to the APD since they could not make it to the hospital in time. The newly appointed San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott then said a few words, “I didn’t get a chance to meet him, I didn’t get a chance to get to know him, but I am doing that now. I am learning who he was through the stories of the incredible men and women that served alongside him.” Detective Steve Orozco was injured during the shooting and was returned home to continue recovery with his family. He is expected to fully recover from his injuries. A gofundme page has been started for Det. Orozco recovery and has raised over $29,415 as of May 20. To donate to Detective Orozco Relief Fund, visit and search Detective Orozco Relief Fund. The police cruiser that Det. Benedetti drove has been parked on the SLO Police Department lawn in front of the station on Santa Rosa Street. The cruiser and lawn have been adorned with balloons and flowers as residents pay tribute to the fallen officer. The San Luis Obispo Police Department Police Officer Association and the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT team set up a GoFundMe page for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to Det. Benedetti’s family. More than 3.7 thousand people have donated to the fund, and more than $584,891 has been raised. Here is some of what they shared: “Luca left behind his beautiful wife and their two precious young daughters. As a community, we cannot fix this loss, but we can provide love, prayers, and financial support to those left behind tasked with picking up the pieces of this broken family. Luca, age 37, was born in San Francisco to his Italian immigrant parents and raised in the Bay area. Luca moved to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly, where he studied engineering, but his true career passion was found in law enforcement. Following his graduation from the Allan Hancock Police Academy, Luca began his career with the Atascadero Police Department in 2008 and was an officer with the San Luis Obispo Police Department since 2012. Luca was a proud member of the

San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT team, and his brothers and sisters in blue could not be prouder of his accomplishments as a sworn officer, SWAT Operator, and, more importantly, as the man, he was to his family and friends. Luca loved cooking, organic gardening and displayed his Italian heritage proudly around his neck. Luca lived for his family, and now that he has passed, we will do our best as a community, both far and wide, to help his family in any way we can. All generously donated funds will go directly to Luca’s family as they navigate this very difficult time.” To donate to Detective Benedetti Relief Fund, visit and search Luca Benedetti Family Relief Fund. A public service was held at the Cal Poly Performing Arts center on Thursday, May 20. A first responder procession followed the service to the Paso Robles Cemetery. 

Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021


Best Picture


By Camille DeVaul


ixteen-year-old Lockwood teen Abigail Reinstedt won Best Picture at the 27th Annual Christian Youth Film Festival in Bakersfield for the film “Designing Lies.” On May 2, Abigail’s film won Best Picture in the Teen Division and Best Application of Scripture. Abigail wrote, directed, filmed, acted, and edited the film. “I knew I wanted to enter a film into the festival, but it took me a long time to come up with an idea that I was happy with. That I thought was reasonable with what was around me,” Abigail shared. The requirements for entry were 11 minutes or less, including credits, and conforms to the Biblical worldview. The youth must do all primary crew, editing, cinematography, and writing. Penny Riley, a junior at King City High School, played the lead actress and won Best Actress for the film. Morgan Hancock, a seventh-grader at Atascadero Middle School, and Lochlan Drinkwine and eighthgrader at San Antonio School in Lockwood) helped with sound. All four students are members of the True Life Youth Group in Lockwood.

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

All of “Designing Lies” was filmed in the Lockwood and Bryson-Hesperia region of South Monterey County. “Designing Lies” wasn’t Abigail’s first experience in filmmaking. In 2019 Abigail and her older sister Bethany entered their film “Chosen” at the festival. The film won second place as well as Best Application of Scripture, and Abigail won Best Actress. Filmmaking started as a family hobby for the Reinstedt’s. What began as home movies have turned into small films with a big meaning behind them. Bethany, who is now twenty, is finishing her second year at Cuesta College in film and is an intern for the marketing department handling video filming and editing. Both Bethany and Abigail were homeschool by their mother, Mary Ann, and belong to the Calvary Christian School homeschool group in Paso Robles. Abigail’s growing interest in film led her to take a cinematography class through her homeschool. Abigail has also taken it upon herself to learn how to use a drone for filming. Some of the drone scenes are used in the scenic scenery of “Designing Lies” and were completed in one take.

Abigail Reinstedt (far left) won Best Picture after writing, directing, filming, acting and editing a personal film that starred Penny Riley. Contributed photo

“Thankfully, before the bus came by, we got there a little bit early, and I was able to practice that drone move first, just one time—I just tried to make my movements steady without jerks. Tried to stay calm because you only have one shot on that unless you’re going back another day,” Abigail explained. It took Abigail almost 40 hours of filming plus many more hours of editing and preparations for the 11-minute film. “It’s a lot of work that goes into it, but it’s all worth it,” Abigail said. Abigail and her family have made their own equipment and worked with the resources available to them. Recently, Abigail was able to purchase some new equipment using some prize money from a previous film. On top of film editing, writing, and directing, Abigail has developed a strong love for acting in films. While right now, Abigail has a whole world of opportunities at her feet and hasn’t decided which path she will go down, it is safe to say cinema will be in her future one way or another. “If I don’t go into it as a career, then I hope that I still stay with it as a hobby—I hope that I stick with it for a while.” Most importantly, Abigail shared, “My first hope is that any of the films that I direct or act in just be honoring to God. Point people to him and serve a purpose.”  You can watch “Designing Lies,” “Chosen,” and other films done by the Reinstedt family on their YouTube page | 19

Atascadero People

Rising Star


Local Songwriter Callie Twisselman Releases First Music Video By Camille DeVaul

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ocal singer and songwriter Callie Twisselman recently released her debut single, “Two Hands,” and on May 12, Callie released her first music video featuring her debut single. Callie shared, “Two Hands is a song that is about a girl who can be a handful at times, but her man loves her and accepts her anyway, and that was the message that I hoped people took from it. That you can be who you are, and the right person will love you for it.” Growing up on her family’s ranch in Cholame, Callie was surrounded by family. And with a family like hers, it would be impossible to ever forget them or where she came from. Not that I think she would ever want to. Callie’s music video was filmed at her family’s ranch and the Jack Ranch Cafe on Highway 46 East. “I had all my family in it [music video] as the cast members, which made it even more fun,” Callie explained. One of Callie’s biggest inspirations in life was her mother, Junis Twisselman. “She had a beautiful voice like Patsy Cline, and I always would practice outside with my fake microphone, pretending I was performing like she was. She inspired me to have the same career,” Callie shared about her mother. She continued, “My mom shined on-stage. It was a happy escape for her. She always told me that if this is what I wanted to do, that I had to enjoy myself and not try to be something I’m not.” Callie made the move out to Nashville almost four years ago after she met Danny Nozell, Dolly Parton’s manager. Nozell told Callie that Nashville was where she needed to be. Under his guidance, Callie spent the next year and a half honing her skills in songwriting by recording and demoing her music. Her hard work paid off when she signed her first publishing deal with Vintern Songs and eOne Music Publishing. Callie explained that she wrote more music in one month in Nashville than she ever did in one year in California, saying the Country Music Capitol was inspiring for her. Now, Callie is working with Grammy Award-Winning producer Aaron Pearce and Copperline Music Group on releasing her debut single “Two Hands.” Callie’s “Two Hands” single was written by a publishing friend, and she felt the lyrics fit her personality. The single was originally planned to be released in 2020. But the 2020 setbacks are not stopping Callie now, “It’s exciting to get music back out there again. I’m also looking forward to the live shows. We are hoping to get some festivals going by the fall of this year. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most.” She continued, “All the hometown has been supportive. It’s a hard business that takes a long time, so when it finally comes together, it’s pretty exciting.” Fans of Callie Twisselman can look forward to more music being released later in the year.  Keep up to date on Callie’s musical endeavors by following her @callietwiss and visiting Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021


he warm month of June is home to a holiday that some say deserves much more national recognition and local celebration than it has received since it was first recognized. Juneteenth marks the final stop on June 19, 1865, of Union Maj. General Gordon Granger, arriving in Galveston, Texas, to announce, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States with a clear mandate to act in some way on the existence of state-sanctioned slavery—which violated both the inalienable human rights emblazoned in the Declaration of Independence and principles vested in the Bill of Rights. The conflict was inevitable, and the Civil War was a long and bloody war that cost 620,000 American lives on both sides of the battle. Juneteenth is the celebration of the June 1865 announcement in Galveston, Texas — little more than a month after the final battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Palmito Ranch on May 13, 1865. Approximately 300 miles north, Maj. Gen. Granger rode into Galveston with his announcement less than 40 days later, and the day would live on as the marked day of celebration for the end of state-sanctioned slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation is far more famous, ringing the words of President Lincoln in the heart of the nation, it was Granger’s announcement that inspired the Juneteenth holiday. June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine


By Nicholas Mattson

According to the National Archives, “Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.” With new vigor, Union soldiers battled against a ferocious Confederacy for two and a half years following Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Ironically, the Second Battle of Galveston also happened on January 1, 1863. The Civil War waged on with 257 more battles in 29 months following the Emancipation Proclamation, according to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission. The end of the Civil War came not with a bang, but a whimper, as 800 soldiers on both sides fought the Battle of Palmito Ranch. But the final battle was of little to-do, as the announcement by Maj. Gen. Granger was a proclamation of victory for the Union and the end of the practice of slavery in the United States. The California legislature recognizes Juneteenth as the third Saturday of June, “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance.” Juneteenth stands as the day in history when the proclamation that “all slaves are free” was made in all corners of the nation. While Juneteenth celebrations remain concentrated in the south, especially in Texas, where it has been celebrated for more than 150 years, the holiday remains culturally significant to all Americans as the announcement of the end of state-sanctioned slavery following the end of the most deadly war in American history.  | 21


Disneyland Reopens By Camille DeVaul

ishes came true for many on April 30 when Disneyland in California reopened its gates after 412 days of closure. On March 14, 2020, Disney Parks closed its West Coast doors after California went into its first COVID lockdown. So after the longest closure in the park's history, cast members and guests were more than thrilled to return to the "Happiest Place on Earth." The Disneyland Resort has closed only two previous times since its opening on July 17, 1955. The park closed for one day after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and then on September 11 after the terrorist attacks. The unexpected and prolonged closure led the Disney Company to layoff over 30,000 employees. A closed crown-jeweled attraction like Disneyland affected more than just the Disney Company. The City of Anaheim suffered tremendously from an economic standpoint. Hotels, businesses, and services were boarded up and shut completely down. Even after the park has reopened, some businesses are still playing catch up and have yet open shop. Anaheim officials said in September 2020 that the COVID-19 closures of Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center had led to a $100 million shortfall in city offers. Meanwhile, in Orlando, Florida, Disney World reopened on July 11, 2020, operating above the Floridian requirements for safety protocols. Disneyland Resort was ready to reopen in California on July 17, 2020, but California ended up withholding approval for theme parks to reopen when Governor Gavin Newsom introduced the Blueprint for a Safer Economy's Colored Tier Program. Currently, the park is only open to California residents and at 25 percent capacity, equivalent to about 21,250 visitors in Disneyland Park. Disney told guests to keep their form of identification or proof of California residency on them for random verifications at the ticket booth. The State set these guidelines, which recently changed theme park restrictions to allow out-of-state guests to visit the parks if they are fully vaccinated. Disneyland California has said they will not be allowing out of State visitors as of yet and have not confirmed any requirements regarding vaccinations to enter any of their theme park resorts. On March 9, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced Disneyland Resorts' reopening date, and the company stated they recalled 10,000 furloughed employees. Needless to say, the reopening of Disneyland Resort

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Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

is bringing back more than magic. The resort is bringing back jobs and hopefully fueling an economic recovery for many. My family happened to be one of the lucky guests to enter the Disneyland gates on opening day, and what a historic day it was! Here is what that first day was like and what you can expect if you decide to have a magical day of your own.

Opening Day

One guest I spoke to said she lined up outside the park at 3:30 a.m. on that Friday, April 30 morning. Opening day was sold out and fully booked for both parks. Despite the line in the morning looking enormous, the process went very smoothly and quicker than imagined. While guests lined up at the ticket booths, some Disney officials walked around asking guests if they were excited for opening day. After the crowd counted down together, guests were let into the park about an hour early. Cast members lined Main Street, greeting and waving guests back into the magical kingdom. Former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, and present Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Product Josh D'Amaro both were present. Happy tears were everywhere, coming from cast members excited to be back to work and guests who were grateful to be "home."

Know Before You Go

Should you decide to venture into the "Happiest Place on Earth" know, that patience is vital. Employees and the Resort are also dealing with ever-changing COVID restrictions and guidelines. Trial and error are evident, so keep this in mind and be kind. While the resort is getting back into the swing of things, park hours have been reduced. The park first opened from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. but starting May 14, the park changed the hours to be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Disneyland Resort and California Adventure are currently using a

reservation system, meaning you first need to purchase a ticket then make a reservation for the day(s) you want to visit the parks. This ensures the park does not go over its visitor capacity. You need to do a few things prior to entering the "Disney Bubble," which includes everything from both parks to Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotel. Health workers from Hoag Health Network quickly scan guests' foreheads with a non-contact forehead thermometer. Guests are then walked through two security checks, one including walking through an area with specially trained dogs. Head to the resort's website and read up on the latest rules and COVID safety protocols at Like everything else in the world of COVID, rules are subject to change.

My Tips and Tricks

Masks must be worn at all times except when eating or drinking in a designated seating area. I suggest bringing extra reusable masks to rotate throughout the day. I found the disposable masks more breathable in the hot weather and got extras to change when I felt it necessary. Bring a refillable water bottle, preferably an insulated one, to keep the water cold, especially if you are going during the hot summer. There are water fountains specifically made for your water bottles throughout the park. You can also ask any restaurant for free cups of water and ice. Bring snacks! Due to limited capacity and employees, not all restaurants and food carts are open yet. I found it helpful to have some protein bars on me when hunger pains strike at inconvenient moments. While Disneyland does not have all its magic back yet, many are grateful that they have finally opened up the gates.  Note: Due to COVID restrictions changing and the state opening back up on June 15, be sure to visit disneyland. for the most up-to-date information.

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 23


Sip and Savor

The Stoller Portfolio: One Family, Two Wineries


aso Robles wine region takes pride in its diversity, with more than 40 different grape varieties planted throughout 11 sub-appellations. At any given winery, it’s not uncommon to see a spectrum of wines ranging from Bordeaux and Rhône style varieties to Spanish and Italian and, of course, Paso’s heritage grape, zinfandel, all produced under one roof. There are a few exceptions, such as Windward, exclusive to pinot noir, or Clesi and Giornata, both focused on Italian varietals. Even in such a landscape of variety, winegrower Craig Stoller stands apart, establishing two wineries and a vineyard estate, each one dedicated to a specific style of wines expressing the spectrum and essence of the wine spanning the counties of San Luis Obispo (SLO) and Monterey with a collective planting of 500 acres under vine. In SLO County’s Paso Robles region, Stoller captures the best of Bordeaux varieties at his east side Paris Valley Road Estate winery. On the westside, Rhône style blends and zinfandels blossom at Sextant winery. Then further south in the Edna Valley appellation, Windemere’s Burgundian style wines showcase the best of pinot noir and chardonnay in tiny lots that are produced at Sextant. So quietly, without the fanfare and flash of many California wine operations, Craig Stoller has cobbled together an impressive portfolio of Central Coast wines

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from A to Z — from arinarnoa to zinfandel. Let’s start with 100 acres under vine planted to no less than 24 different varieties at RBZ vineyard in Paso’s El Pomar district, predominant source for Paris Valley Road Estate and Sextant wines. All this has developed since Stoller’s first vineyard was planted over 20 years ago at Chalk Knoll in Monterey County’s San Lucas appellation with a planting of 320 acres. On a sunny spring afternoon, I met Stoller at Sextant winery and tasting room located along Highway 46 West. “I grew up in a nursery,” remarked Stoller. His parents Glen and Terrie, founded the Sunridge Nurseries in Bakersfield, specializing in propagation and grafting of grape nursery stock. Sunridge has established a connection with ENTAVINRA, a French alphabet soup designating the Establissement National Technique pour l’ Amelioration de la Viticulture and Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique. France’s Ministry of Agriculture certifies these agencies to maintain a national repository of accredited clones and to oversee administration of the trademark to protect the official clones internationally. Sunridge is among five nurseries licensed to sell ENTAV-INRA trademarked products in the US. Sunridge’s vitis vinfera catalog contains some 30 grape varieties and over 100 clones.

Sextant Wine Crafted by winemaker Alex Frost, Sextant wines are produced from RBZ vineyard fruit, and the entire portfolio boasts some 23 different wines that are rotated on its 6-wine flight tasting. The focus here is on Rhône style wines such as Caverio, a GSM blend (grenache, syrah mourvedre) with hints of spice and fragrant with rose petals, and Passage, another GSM blend with a touch of muscle-flexing petite sirah. There’s an impressive selection of zinfandels and various iterations of Rhône style blends. Paris Valley Road Estate Winery Inspired by their memorable travels to France, the Stoller family decided to dedicate their next winery to Bordeaux-style wines. The fortuitously named Paris Valley Road Estate is a nod to a little-known two-lane road where the family planted their first vineyard Chalk Knoll which was predominantly planted to merlot. A significant amount of the fruit was originally sold to Robert Mondavi Winery. Under the craftsmanship of winemaker Doug Hidinger and produced from RBZ vineyard, these wines are well structured and reflect the complexity of Paso’s terroir. The red wine lineup includes cabernet franc, petit verdot and L’Entente, a classic Bordeaux style blend. Windemere Wines The Windemere portfolio includes pinot noir and chardonnay produced from the 12-acre historic MacGregor vineyard, which was planted in 1975. The vineyard is part of historic Old Edna, a postage-size town-site that is a step back in time. The tasting room offers a variety of Sextant wines for sampling, but the minuscule production of Windemere is available only for purchase. Both Craig and his wife Nancy run their vast wine empire like a tight ship. “She’s the glue that holds us together,” Stoller expressed. While he oversees the financial and production side, she handles HR and hospitality. 

Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz


Taste of Americana elcome the first day of summer on June 20. On that same day, we will celebrate Father’s Day. It’s a time for Bar-b-ques, picnics in the park, and simple patio dining. No matter the style you choose, you will want to end the gathering with something “cool.”

This recipe for Chocolate Mint Sundaes is remarkably easy but is still elegantly flavored and wonderful for a hot summer’s night. You can make the mint-scented chocolate sauce up to a week ahead of time.

Chocolate Mint Sundaes

Ingredients: • 1 cup water • 1 cup sugar • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder • 4 Tbs (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature • Mint chocolate chip ice cream • Fresh mint sprigs

Directions: Stir 1 cup water and sugar in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves; bring syrup to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in thinly sliced fresh mint leaves. Let stand 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, remove mint leaves from syrup. Whisk cocoa into syrup. Bring to boil. Add butter and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate sauce uncovered until cold. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. To serve, place 2 scoops of the ice cream in 6 bowls. Drizzle the sundaes with sauce and garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 6 servings.

This next recipe teams up lemon and lime with ginger in a cooling sorbet. It makes a light ending for a heavier meal, especially those famous barbecues we have here in the North County.

Fresh Ginger & Citrus Sorbet

Ingredients: • 5 cups water • 2 cups sugar • 3 Tbs finely chopped peeled fresh ginger • 2 tsp finely grated lemon peel • 2 tsp finely grated lime peel • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice • 3 Tbs fresh lime juice • Fresh mint sprigs

Directions: Combine 5 cups water, sugar, and ginger in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain into a large bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to same saucepan. Add lemon and lime peels. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in lemon and lime juices. Cool completely. Pour mixture into 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover and freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight. Transfer mixture to processor and puree until smooth. Return to same glass dish; cover and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours or overnight. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.) Scoop sorbet into glasses or bowls. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 8 servings.

Now, for the Dads in your family, consider this next recipe for sirloin strips. Let Dad sit and enjoy a “glass of brew” while someone else does the grilling. Serve with a potato side dish and a fresh green salad. Don’t forget some grilled sourdough bread. End the meal with one of the dessert recipes included above, and Dad will be a happy man!

Tangy Sirloin Strips

Ingredients: • ¼ cup vegetable oil • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce • 1 clove garlic, minced • ½ tsp onion powder • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tbs pepper • 1 lbs boneless sirloin steak (1" thick) • 4 bacon strips • Lemon-pepper seasoning June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

Glaze Ingredients: • ½ cup barbecue sauce • ½ cup steak sauce • ½ cup honey • 1 Tbs molasses Directions: In a large resealable bag, combine the first six ingredients. Cut steak into four wide strips; add to the marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight, turning once. Drain and discard mari-

nade. Wrap a bacon strip around each steak piece; secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with lemon pepper—coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill steak, covered, over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until meat reaches desired doneness (for rare, a meat thermometer should read 140 degrees; medium, 160 degrees; well-done, 170 degrees). Combine the glaze ingredients; brush over steak. Grill until glaze is heated. Discard toothpicks. Serves 4. | 25

Business Spotlight


Men's Fashion


By Camille DeVaul

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here is a new clothing boutique in town--and it’s dedicated to men. Bloke Outfitters on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero carries modern and timeless pieces that are attainable and affordable for young bucks in their teens to men aged like fine wine and anywhere in between. Farron Walker, owner of Farron Elizabeth on Entrada Avenue, opened Bloke during the pandemic in 2020. Bloke embodies an industrial/mid-century vibe that is inspired by her and her father’s love for 1950s era train stations. Adding to the nostalgia, Farron has curated a vintage section with the help of her friend Tiffani Pryor, owner of Black Sheep Finds, located next to Farron Elizabeth. The vintage corner offers high-quality pieces from brands like Levi, Carhartt, and Dickies. For years, Farron noticed the North County was lacking something, a men’s store. When space opened up on Entrada, Farron decided to take the plunge. “I think the guys are so left out when it comes to shopping in retail in this area, and it’s not fair to them--so I felt like we needed to have a spot for them,” Farron explained. Farron has created a clothing store for men with a laid-back vibe with affordable items with quality in mind. “The idea of the store is to embrace all ages-we’re offering really good quality at a good price point,” Farron said. Not only can Bloke customers find quality clothing for men, but plenty of local gifts too! “We always ask people to shop local, but I think it’s our responsibility as store owners to carry local products,” Farron shared. Farron takes an extra step in supporting local artists and business owners. Local artists make all the fixtures in the shop, including clothing racks and the register table. Local artist Theron Moses Enterprises does all metalwork. See more of his work by following @mosesenterprises_metalwork Another local artist, Lauren-Ashley, made a beautiful mosaic wood installation in the shop. More of her work can be found @45_ Degree_Angle. Shoppers can find local goods like jerky from Cattaneo Bros. and SLO Coast. Other goods in the store are Paso Almonds, Root Elixirs, Bren’s Seasonings, The Body Bean, Gold Coin Candle, and Hillman’s Custom Car Essence. A new local addition to the shop is handmade leather wallets from Red Road Leatherworks who is based in Atascadero. The new men’s store partnered with their

friends across the street at Dark Nector Coffee to create the Bloke Blend coffee beans, which are now being sold in the store. There is even a collection of vintage monogrammed coffee mugs for sale in the shop to go with your new coffee! Another great gift idea for men in the store is the USA-made Buck Knives. Buck Knives are a family-owned and operated business. Al Buck made the first Buck knife back in 1902, and now his grandson CJ carries on the legacy. Who doesn’t need a well-made knife on hand at all times? But one of Farron’s most cherished collections in her shop is the one inspired by the late Thomas Robert Jordy (December 31, 1997 September 14, 2019). Thomas, who grew up in Atascadero, was an outstanding artist. His medium of choice was detailed stencil art. Farron has taken some of Thomas’s designs and printed them on t-shirts. Thomas even made an A-Town stencil which Farron has embroidered in 3-D on hats. A portion of the proceeds from Thomas’s collection goes back towards his parents, who are still seeking justice for their son. In addition to art, Thomas loved cactus. He even began growing his own cactus and started selling them when he was twelve. Outside of Bloke is a cactus garden dedicated to Thomas’s memory. For more information on Thomas, visit Each week, shoppers can look forward to the Style of Friday sale at Bloke. Every Friday, a style is chosen, and customers can get 20 percent off any item in that style! For example, button-down shirts were previously selected as a style, and customers received 20 percent off any button-down shirt in the store. Farron Elizabeth, Bloke’s sister store, is known for their excellent customer service, which has undoubtedly carried over to Bloke. Bloke has become an excellent addition to the growing Entrada Avenue community. Couples can come together for Friday date night and get something for him at Bloke and her across the street at Farron Elizabeth, both of whom have Friday sales. Bloke Outfitters is a one-stop shop for men, with gifts and affordable clothing that doesn’t sacrifice style or quality. And with Father’s Day coming up, Bloke is the perfect place to get the father in your life a unique and local gift.  Find Bloke on Facebook @blokeoutfitters or by visiting Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

Community Unity

By Camille DeVaul

Templeton Hills Community Farm celebrated its one year anniversary. What started as a way to produce local vegetables has grown into a place where people come to harvest and build strong relationships. Contributed photos


Celebrates First Anniversary

n Sunday, April 18, the Templeton Hills Community Farm celebrated its one-year anniversary! Anyone within the community was welcome to enjoy the fresh air at the farm. Homemade blueberry pancakes were served along with other refreshments and produce from the farm. "It was a great day on the farm! We enjoyed harvesting, the tour, and amazing blueberry pancakes! They were so healthy with freshly ground flour, flax, and chia seeds! Thanks so much for everyone’s effort to make it amazing!" Templeton Hills church member Joy Chalker shared. Farm manager Matt Giese gave farm tours throughout the day showing new guests around and answering any questions. Zac Page, Pastor of Templeton Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church, said, “We had a great turnout for the farm's first anniversary. Quite a few people came by for the first time, expressed their excitement at discovering the farm, and said they would be back. Others who had not been up to the farm recently were excited to see how much progress has been made over the past year. Everyone who wanted was able to go home with fresh produce. The blueberry pancakes were also a big hit. It was a lot of fun to see people of all ages milling around the farm. We are excited that people are learning how to grow healthy food and are getting to enjoy healthy outdoor community activity on the farm.” Matt explained that they plan to have more events like this in the future. On the tours, Matt let people know that they plan to offer gardening classes, and in July, there are plans for their volunteer beekeeper to share with the community about beekeeping. The farm is located on Templeton Hills Road in Templeton, between the Templeton Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church and school. What started as a way to produce healthy and affordable vegetables for their community has grown into a place where people can learn how to grow and harvest their food while building memories and strong relationships. In 2019, church members wanted a place where people could gather, a community center or maybe a garden, they thought. Matt, the part-time groundskeeper for the school and church, suggested, why not build a farm? With the help of a grant from the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the farm started with one hoop house, a small greenhouse, and some outdoor row crops. In early 2020 the farm was ready to open to the public, just a month before the pandemic shutdowns. But amid pandemic lockdowns and woes, the Templeton Hills Farm became a place of peace for many people. Steve Mulder, a regular at the farm (and avid lover of microgreens), said, “God has blessed this place--this is not here to make money, this is not a commercial operation. This is a community operation.”

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

Matt, who now manages the farm, happened to have a passion for gardening already. For the past ten years, he, his wife, and children have loved gardening together as a family hobby. “We love being outside and harvesting, getting your hands dirty. It’s an awesome experience for kids, for the family,” Matt shared. For Matt, growing their food was one thing, but introducing his children to life's hard work and seeing their rewards come harvest time was something quite special. Growing one's food is a lost art that did seem to develop some traction during 2020 lockdowns. Matt hopes to inspire his children and others to get involved with farming and reignite the age-old trend. “I want to get kids and people, the younger generation inspired in farming,” Matt said. Since the farm opened to the public, it has gained another hoop house, and more plans are in the works for expansion. A washing system for produce and a storage container for root vegetables like potatoes and garlic is something the farm is looking forward to. Steve says their goal now has become to “Expand the footprint and the impact on the community. We want to keep broadening the impact.” Improvements and growth of the farm wouldn’t be possible without the outpouring of support it has received from the community and local businesses. Bay Laurel Garden Center donated 60 fruit trees to the farm, and another community member donated a beehive. Glenn’s Repair and Rental in Atascadero is also a big supporter of the farm along with Orchard and Vineyard Supply Paso Robles, Holloway Gypsum in Lost Hills, and many others. Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., people come to the farm to volunteer their time. Throughout the week, Matt manages the farm and creates a list of chores to be done on Sunday. After produce has been harvested, volunteers get to take home their portion of goods. Sometimes extra items like grapefruit are donated and added to everyone's pick up of goods for the week. On Sundays, volunteers operate the Farm Stand, which sits by the curb of the farm parking lot where bundles of produce are often available for pick up! The Templeton Hills Community Farm is open to all members of the community. Anyone can offer their time or give a donation in exchange for harvested goods, but no one in need will ever be turned away. “I'm just impressed by how God has led in the process of this-I'm really grateful to be a part of it for that reason,” Steve shared. Zac said, “Seeing what has happened over the past year in the midst of a pandemic gives us a lot of excitement for what can take place to benefit the community through the farm in the coming year!"  Join the fun at the farm! Contact Matt Giese at (805)458-7808 or by email at | 27

Tent City

San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

C H A L L OPPORTUNITIES N G E S James Brescia, Ed.D.


u‧ni‧ty /ˈyōōnədē/ es plural noun: uniti le. a complex who g in rm fo g in th a

Through hard work and education, we can deliver a strong economy and opportunity for all. ~Julia Gillard


ducation has been adapting to the challenges of distance learning and return to in-person learning. One student, Brooklyn Brown, shares some experiences from the past year in Leadership magazine. “Over the last few months, like everyone else in the world, I have been living through tons of new experiences. I have started virtual schooling, which is a challenge in itself. What a way to start 7th grade! At first, I struggled with handling new assignments every day. I had to memorize the information given in lessons, and there were a lot of lessons to complete. It was a little overwhelming, and my grades were not gratifying.” Brooklyn’s comments are a similar narrative heard across the education community and present us with an opportunity to examine our practices as we exit COVID conditions to better leverage technology resources moving forward. What has history taught us? The 17th century did not require a formal education because most children assisted the family at home or on the farm. Education was a luxury reserved for a select few teaching how to read the bible and remain aligned with puritan morals. Harvard was established as the first college in 1636, with the first academy for girls opening in 1787. During the 19th century, education shifted from a religious-based system to a standard, state-sponsored system. The first U.S. public school opened in 1821, and President Andrew Johnson signed legislation creating the first Department of Education in 1867. Over the years, the office remained relatively small, operating under different titles and housed in various agencies, including the U.S. Department of the Interior and the former U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services). Political and social changes during the 1950s increased federal funding for education. The Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957 spurred nationwide concern that led to increased aid for science education programs, today’s Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” created several programs designed to improve education. Education expansion continued in the 1970s with national efforts to help racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, and non-English speaking students gain equal access to education. In October 1979, Congress passed the Department of Education Organization

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Act (Public Law 96-88) which formalized the Department of Education under President Carter. Technological changes over the years presented challenges and opportunities for education, much like those we have experienced because of COVID. My father showed me one of the first portable calculators in 1971. This four-function marvel of technology was a Busicom LE-120 “Handy” featuring a 12-digit red LED display and retailing for $395, which is about $2,500 today adjusted for inflation. Questions were raised in education circles at the time about how this new tool would change mathematics instruction. During the 1980s, computer-aided teaching was emerging in both K-12 and higher education classrooms. Little did I imagine as a new teacher making use of an Apple II computer lab that we would spend an entire year applying technology-based learning platforms because of a pandemic. What lessons have we learned in response to Brooklyn’s struggles and requests that education addresses the needs of today’s youth? “There may be an opportunity to reimagine what schools will look like,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told The Washington Post. “It’s always important we continue to think about how to evolve schooling, so the kids get the most out of it.” Few education stakeholders suggest that distance education is for everyone. But many are examining how distance or virtual platforms can meet the educational needs of students with jobs, certain medical conditions, or those who prefer virtual learning. The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, reports that 2 in 10 school systems plan to adopt virtual platforms post-COVID. Considering the coronavirus rescue package signed into law by President Biden, schools have an opportunity and challenge to proactively spend federal funding on evidence-based interventions to address learning loss. This pandemic presents us with an opportunity and challenge to adapt, innovate, learn, and improve how we provide for the education of our future. What technological lessons can we apply to serve the public better? We observed the entire community meet the challenge of COVID, and I have confidence that this human can-do spirit will continue as we move forward together into a brighter future. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools. 

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Grass Roots

First California Chapter Started in San Luis Obispo County Yes! Parents Can Have a Say! By Connie Pillsbury


he battle for who controls our children’s education has heated up to the level of a raucous bullfight all across America. Fueling the fire is the juxtaposition of opposing cultural philosophies, all wishing to impose their beliefs on the minds of our youth. In the 20th century, there was a general consensus of cultural values based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, the importance of the family unit, a love of country, honesty, integrity, and hard work. Education as a means of upward mobility and opportunity was a shared goal as beloved as baseball. School was the key, and public school was the vehicle. Americans, in general, trusted the school boards and state departments of education to design a curriculum, provide textbooks and teachers that would build educated, capable contributing citizens for the future. As time went along, these bureaucracies, especially at the state level in California, became top-heavy with the trust and power given to them carte blanche by the parents. This resulted in parents gradually losing influence on the content, values, and viewpoints being taught to their children. Teachers unions, academia, and special interest groups corralled control of the educational system at the state level through political influence of the languid one-party government with only a few observant parents taking notice and exiting the system. Until COVID-19, the educational wake-up call. What was already a beginning resistance to the imbalance of power

perceived by the parents became a torrent, with groups, movements, recall petitions of governors, and school boards reflecting the discontent. There is the 51,000-member Informed Parents of California, whose motto is “We will stop at nothing to protect our kids.” The group went to Sacramento and succeeded in the deletion of four highly offensive sex education books for K-12 last March. Another example is EdChoice, which has been promoting school choice since founder, the late Milton Friedman, Nobel-winning economist, stated, “Instead of requiring that tax dollars and students follow a single path to public schools, funds earmarked for education and generated by taxes should be directed by parents to the school of their choice.” This has become known as the ‘voucher’ system and is now being implemented in seven states with ‘education savings accounts.” The impetus for these programs has been accelerated by the interest in alternative forms of learning sought during the pandemic, as well as by teacher-union self-serving refusal to return to the classroom. Locally, a group of moms have joined “Moms for Liberty,” launched in January 2021 by two moms, both school board members, in Florida. This is a non-profit, non-partisan group promoting a return of power to the parents and the freedom to choose in what manner their children will be educated. There are more than twenty new chapters of “Moms for Liberty” across the country, with the first California chapter right here in San Luis Obispo County. The group already has members from all areas in the county. Under the leadership of Jennifer Grinager of Templeton and a board of directors, their local short-term goal is “Full in-person school in the fall with no masks.” Grinager says, “There is no reason to mask children. They are not carriers, they rarely transmit the virus, and children have a 99.94 percent recovery rate. Children need to breathe.” The long term goals of this dedicated group are consistent with parent groups across the country who are committed to strengthening the role of the parent in choosing what system of education works for their child, whether it be a charter school, pod school, homeschool, and in promoting the parents’ right of being solely responsible for medical decisions for their child, including vaccinations, masks and in reforming existing public education to be more responsive to the input from parents at a local level. San Luis Obispo County parents interested in Moms for Liberty can request to join the private Facebook group by going to Moms for Liberty San Luis Obispo County. With a monthly meeting and information sharing, the group is looking for more interested local moms to start sub-committees, attend school board meetings, meet with board members and work toward getting the word out that parents truly can have a say and a choice in how their children are educated. Yes, it’s a bullfight, and it will be an uphill battle, but Moms for Liberty are willing to stay in the arena to get the power back where it belongs – in the hands of the parents. 





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Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

A Special to Atascadero News Magazine

Another Rick Evans Photo



6 4

3 1.

Granddaughter Millie cooling her feet on a warm summer day

2. Hot Rod Cruiser Meet-up at Atascadero Lake Park

3. A lost Scrub-Jay on the corner of 5. Atascadero High School Marchant Way and Santa Rosa Ave. Greyhound Cheerleaders and mascott cheering 4. Cruise Night in Atascadero on the football team on El Camino Real

June 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine


7 6. Atascadero Greyhound Football vs Morro Bay Pirates 7. Sweet grandson Archer enjoying the beautiful California Sun | 31

Prep Sports




Athletes of the Week




A j a i# D a n er

Templ eton senior Charl otte Fornis s is The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press Athlete of the Week for her performance in Templeton’s series against Atascadero High. Stats

Atascadero High School senior recei ver/defensive back Ajai Daner is the Athlete of the Week for his performance against Morro Bay High. Daner racked up 141 receiving yards, inclu ding a 30-yard touchdown and one interception.

SCHOOL: Templeton High School SPORT: Softball STATS: 3/15 Game 1: 1-for-4, 3 RBI, HR, 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3H, 5k’s 3/15 Game 2: 4-for-4 3 RBI, HR, 5.0 IP, 1ER, 4H, 1k


Le o # K em p

Paso Robles High School sophomo re running back Leo Kemp is the Athlete of the Week for his performance against Templeton High , where he carried the ball 40 times for 164 yard s and three touchdowns, resulting in a 34-20 victo ry.


SCHOOL: Paso Robles High School SPORT: Football STATS: 40 CAR, 164 YDS , 3 TDS



SCHOOL: Atascadero High School SPORT: Football STATS: 8 REC, 141 YDS , 1 TD 4 Tackles 1 INT


T y le# r K a s c h ew s k i Templeton High School senior quarterback Tyler Kaschewski is the Athlete of the Week for leading the Eagles offense in rush ing, passing and total touchdowns scored agai nst Wasco High School.


SCHOOL: Templeton High School SPORT: Football, Quarterb ack STATS: 20 CAR., 164 YDS ., 3 TD’s


#n m er ra gr in dl ey


Templ eton High Schoo l senior strike r Merran Grindley is the Athlete of the Week for her performance against Pioneer Valley on April 22. Grindley recorded an astounding five goals, resulting in an 8-1 victory on home turf.

Paso Robles High Scho ol juni or slug ger Drew Wade is the Athlete of the Week for his offensive performance against Sant a Maria. Wade went 4-for-5 at the plate, including a home run.


SCHOOL: Templeton High School SPORT: Soccer STATS: 5 goals

32 |


SCHOOL: Paso Robles High School SPORT: Baseball STATS: 4-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 HR

Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021



D ev in#

03/25 04/01

Hannah Chambers SPORT: Softball STATS: 2-for-3, 6 RBI, 2HR (including grand slam) in one game vs Mission Prep

Isabella Sanchez SPORT: Tennis STATS: Undefeated in singles and doubles against St. Joseph 6-2,6-1/ 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 - singles 6-2, 7-5/ 6-4, 7-6 - doubles


Tyler Kaschewski SPORT: Football, Quarterback, STATS: #25 21 CAR 372 YDS 5 TDS 2-for-3 49 YDS passing

mia perry SPORT: Softball STATS: 6.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 11 K’s vs Mission Prep


Robbie Lardner SPORT: Baseball STATS: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 K’s 2-1 win over Santa Maria

Stella Gidcumb SPORT: Softball STATS: 4-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB 15-1 win over Pioneer Valley


Bella Valentine SPORT: Soccer STATS: 1 goal vs PRHS - 4/15 1 goal vs RHS - 4/20

Lucas Hamor SPORT: Soccer STATS: Hat Trick (3 goals) vs SMHS - 4/13


Martin Anguiano SPORT: Soccer, Forward STATS: 6 goals this season Key contributor to 1st place Hounds

Wesley Bennett SPORT: Football, Center STATS: 6 Pancake blocks this season Most consistent lineman for PRHS this season

Alyssa Moore SPORT: Softball, 2nd Base STATS: First game: 3-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 dbl, 2 runs Second game: 4-for-5, 6 RBI, HR, 2 dbl, 2 runs

Olivia Wright SPORT: Volleyball, Outside Hitter STATS: vs. SLO: 21 kills, 5 aces, 6 blocks

Austin Wright SPORT: Volleyball, Outside Hitter STATS: 18 kills vs Righetti 34 kills in entire week

Drew Ardouin SPORT: Basketball, Shooting Guard STATS: 5/6 - 22 PTS/ 5 RB/ 2 AST/ 1 STL 5/7 - 11 PTS / 4 RB

Hannah Chambers SPORT: Softball, Pitcher STATS: 3/15 Gm 1: 1-for-2 RBI, 2BB 5.0 IP, 5H, 0ER 3/15 Gm 2: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, HR, BB

Julio Lopez SPORT: Soccer, Midfielder STATS: 2 assists vs Mission Prep


SCHOOL: Paso Robles High School SPORT: Basketball STATS: May 6: 22PTS / 7 AST / 5 STL / 1 RB May 7: 17 PTS / 6 AST / 3 STL / 11 RB



Tem ple ton Hig h Sch ool jun ior run ner Maddie Bobbitt is the Ath lete of the Week for leading the Eagles against St. Joseph, coming in first place with a time of 20:2 3. This was the sixth consecutive racing victory for Bobbitt.



Atas cade ro High Scho ol fresh men hitte r Carmen Burell is the Athlete of the Week for her performance in a double header again st San Luis Obispo High. Burell not only gave the Hounds the lead in the second game with a 2-run double in the fifth, but followed it with a grand slam in the sixth. Stats

SCHOOL: Atascadero High School SPORT: Softball STATS: GAME 1: 2-fo r-3, 1 RBI, 2 DBL GAME 2: 3-for-4, 7 RBI, 2 Runs, Grand Slam, 2 DBL



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SCHOOL: Temple ton High School SPORT: Cross Co untry STATS: 1st place, 6 consecutive wins

Katie Burson SPORT: Girls Golf STATS: Shot 42 at Chalk Mountain Golf Course Monday against PRHS. Medalist in two of first four matches this season


Paso Robles High School senior point guard Devin Perez is the Athlete of the Week for his performance leading the undefeate d Bearcats over Santa Maria.

Kaitlyn Hebrard SPORT: Girls Water Polo STATS: 18 Saves against Santa Ynez


P er ez | 33

Last Word

g n i e b n i e v e i l e b . e n u W f t s o the m

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

Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto adopted 2018

76 Gas Station.................................. 28 A Heavenly Home...............................7 American West Tire & Auto..................5 Avila Traffic Safety............................. 17 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 30 Central Coast Casualty Restoration............................9

Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners....................9 Educated Gardener.......................... 17 Five Star Rain Gutters..........................5 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................... 28 Megan's CBD Market..........................5

Monica Galli Soul Coaching............. 15 Nick's Painting.................................. 30 O'Conner Pest Control...................... 29 Odyssey World Cafe............................7 Optometric Care Assoc........................7

Orchard & Vineyard Supply.............. 24 Parents for Joy.....................................2 Pasadera Homes.................................9 Robert Fry, M.D................................. 13 Robert Hall Winery........................... 36 RoCoco Luxe Resale Boutique......... 23 San Luis Obispo County

Thank you for being #atascaderostrong

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Atascadero News Magazine | June 2021

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