Atascadero News Magazine #35 • May 2021

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Business • Shopping • Dining • Events • Arts • People

Formerly known as Colony Magazine

Kristin Justice Begins for

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Issue No. 35


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Memorial Day by hayley mattson

Remembering those who have fallen for the freedoms and liberties we hold dear today by honoring their memory and sacrifice

Kyndal Gottfried by camille devaul

Community Comes Together in Support of Local Five-Year-Old Diagnosed with Cancer

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Atascadero Chamber Annual Gala by hayley mattson

Annual Gala and Awards were held virtual due to the pandemic and it turned out to be a ‘Huge Success’

Justice for Kristin by camille devaul

After 25 years a arrest is made and the Smart family releases a statement to honor their daughter, sister and the community

On the Cover Cover inspired by the life and beauty of Kristin Smart and the Foundation her family created in her honor. May this be the beginning of finding Justice for Kristin after 25 years. Cover design by Mike Michaud 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

Michael Michaud

community writers

Denise Mclean Jen Rodman

Connor Allen Camille DeVaul

ad consultants

Dana McGraw Jamie Self

office administrator

Cami Martin |





Barbie Butz

Mira Honeycutt

James Brescia, Ed.D.

The Natural Alternative

Josh Cross

Neil Farrell

Kathy Mastako

Patricia Alexander



Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter

Round Town Cross Talk with Josh Cross Santa Margarita: AgriCULTURE Fun on the SLO County Farm Trail The Natural Alternative: Natural Skin Care


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Taste of Atascadero Taste of Americana: Happy Mother’s Day Sip & Savor: Daou Sisters, The Next Generation Tent City Writing Support Group: Why I Think You Can Write SLO County Office of Education: Look For The Silver Lining! Morro Bay: Famous Puzzle Artist to Immortalize Morro Bay Port San Luis Light Station: The Summer of ‘56 Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto Directory to our Advertisers

* Ad reservation deadline is the 10th of each month preceding the publication. For more information about advertising, upcoming issues and editorial themes, contact our advertising representatives above, or see our media kit at

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


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

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Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

HARASSMENT OF ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST STOP What we allow is what will continue. sit on the sidelines? The

mix of the digital era, pandemic isolation and growing partisanship provides a powder keg ready to explode.

including death threats, rape threats, sexual harassment, misogyny, disparagement, and sexist and racist abuse. These tactics attempt to silence and to force compliance. They aim to undermine our democracy by preventing true representation. A razor blade in a tire, an intruder at a City Hall, a public commenter spewing misogynistic accusations, a letter to the editor containing a veiled death threat, a social-media poster slinging sexualized tropes. These are moments of abhorrent action, and they have lasting effects. Every generation is responsible for strengthening our democracy with equity, respect and fairness. It is up to us to be the change we want to see. We can be passionate but respectful in our dissent. We can be courageous but non-violent in our disagreements. What we cannot do is accept that political violence comes with the territory. Instead, we must make this behavior unacceptable. When we do, we will be able to encourage true dialogue, welcome diverse ideas, make space for underrepresented people, and ultimately grow the number of participants in our democracy. How can we make a difference? Demonstrate respectful public discourse. Be a constructive contributor in person and online. Call out abusive to share a word of praise. And when your representatives share what is happening, make a public display of your solidarity. You might even Above all else, engage. Don’t let the absence of your voice be your complicity. Women’s March SLO Organizers Dawn Addis, Andrea Chmelik, Jen Ford, Terry Parry, Pat Harris, Rita Casaverde, Gail Bunting ELECTED OFFICIALS:

Salud Carbajal, U.S. Congressman (CA-24) John Laird, California State Senator (SD-17) Bruce Gibson, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor (District 2) Dawn Ortiz-Legg, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor (District 3) Jimmy Paulding, Arroyo Grande Mayor Pro Tem Lan George, Arroyo Grande City Council Member Kristen Barneich, Arroyo Grande City Council Member Keith Storton, Arroyo Grande City Council Member Susan Funk, Atascadero City Council Member Mariam Shah, Grover Beach Mayor Pro Tem Karen Bright, Grover Beach City Council Member John Headding, Morro Bay Mayor Dawn Addis, Morro Bay City Council Member Maria Garcia, Paso Robles City Council Member Marcia Guthrie, Pismo Beach City Council Member Heidi Harmon, San Luis Obispo Mayor Erica A. Stewart, San Luis Obispo Vice Mayor Andy Pease, San Luis Obispo City Council Member Jan Marx, San Luis Obispo City Council Member Christine Womack, Los Osos Community Service District President Cynthia Replogle, Oceano Community Service District Director Sandra Sarrouf, 3rd District Elected Representative, Los Osos Community Advisory Council


Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund Indivisible: Rapid Response Team SLO Allies for Immigration Justice, SLO County R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County Atascadero Democratic Club Jane Lloyd and Marie-Christine Mahe, Stonewall Democratic Club of San Luis Obispo County

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine Harassment Must Stop.indd 1


Ann Bollay Vicki Bookless Kayla Brachear Cindy Marie Quinn Brady Absey Valerie Breese Laura Albers Wendy Brown Stephanie Allen Quinn Brussel John Allen Shawn Burn Nick Andre Alicia Busa Ruth Ann Angus Michelle Call Mark Arnold Katie Carrillo Melinda Avila Karen Carson Gina Axsom Lori Caudill Odile Ayral Cynthia Chaillie Barbara Babka Nancy Badrigian Marchant Kevin Clark Michael Baird Jeanie Class Jessica Baker Gerri Clemens Kathleen Baker Donna Clipperton Tina Ballantyne June Cochran Marisa Balmana Christina Coffman Jennifer Baltes Tom Comar Susan Balthasar John Alan ConErica Flores nerley Baltodano Jody Cook Larry Barnes Daniel Cook Chrys Barnes Sarah Coplen Cheryl BarMary Lynn ton-Petrie Crandall Meredith Bates Karen Croley Kathryn Bay Gayle Cuddy Dawn Beattie Jesse Cutburth Susan Belany Kathleen Benedict Rev Dr Donald J Dallmann Dayna Bennett Ellen Beraud Robert Fuller Judy Berk Diana Bertinuson Davis Jenine Davison Susan Biesek Jane Davison Audrey Bigelow Victoria De La Mary Blackler Samson Blackwell Rosa Georganna Dean C. Jordan Letri Deedon Blaquera Rita Delkeskamp Suzan Boatman Nancy Dickenson

Travis Higgins Galadriel Bree Highhouse Dorothy Hines Kristin Horowitz Lizabeth Horton Heather Howell Sandee HuntBurns Chuck Intrieri Scott Jenkins Shelly Johnson Rochelle Johnson Arya Jones Judy Jones Kelsey Jones Marti Jorgensen-Lindholm Cameron Jung-Fagan Evy Justesen Ruth Kalin Winifred Kang Leslie Kasanoff Candia Katich Karl Kempton Robin Guittard Carol Kenyon Jessica Guthrie Clare Kennedy Montes - Sharon Kimball Angie King ver Ashley Hain Julie Kliegl Marilyn Hamilton Kelly Knox Laura Knutson Dona Hare Price Brian Kragh Robyn Harris Catharine Krupp Ann Havlik Barbara Hawkins Carol Lake John Lamb Margaret HeinJennifer Lane richs Elizabeth HelJanice Langley Meredith Larson gerson Randee LaSalle Yvonne Helms Stephen Heraldo Johnathan Lau Denise Leader Douglas J. Stoeber Heumann Laura Leary Amy Hewes Cheryl Dove Rebecca Drake Susan Dressler Sari Dworkin Judy Ellis Laura Emerson Valerie Endres Ronald Epping Britt Fairchild Janine Fallon Marcianne Fast Michelle Feldman Travis Ford Amy Freeman Sheree Garcia Pam Gates Don GerBracht Dreima Gingg Chelly Glancy Tara Gonzales Gayle Goodman Marilyn Gordon Kimberly Gravell Heather Gray

Christina Lefevre Latner Lucy Lo Carolyn Long Jude Long Carol Lopes Martha Lozano Diane Ludin Evan Manning Jamie Maraviglia Sandra Marshall Don Maruska Tess Matthews Charles Matthews Brenda May

Sandra Pendell Lee Perkins Janice Peters Marie Peters Douglas Pillsbury Jackie Pope Barry Price Susan Quinones Vickie Rabourn Gary & Gizella Raymond Kathy Reid Nancy Reid Paul Reinhardt Bill and Lana Richmond Carol McBirnie Amena Roalman Rosanna Robinson Paula McCamSusan C. Robinbridge Laura McCarley son, MD Sandi McClung Vicki Rogers Nicole McDerVirginia Roof Phyllis Rosenfeld mott-Rivera Andrea Rule Marty McGrath Athena Meisheid Nina Russo Melanie Sachs Karen Merriam Lynda Merrill Tamarra Salazar Jan Meslin Janet Salem Vita Miller Monica Schechter Nancy Schonfeldt Jenna Mitchell Kate Montgomery Debora Schwartz Kim Murry Michelle Shoresman Betsey Nash Glenn Silloway Laurie Niblock Robin Noble Julie Smith DC O’Brien Christopher Smith Cristine Smith Aaron Ochs Dian SousaBarbaEileen O’Grady ra Spagnola Thomas Ogren Leslie Spoon Kathleen Oliver Lori Olson Stephanie StackLaura Parker house Christine ParkMary Stallard Erma Stauffer er-Kennedy Gary and Vallerie Marta Peluso

Steenson Jill Stegman Susan Stenovec JoAnne Stoddard Cheryl Storton Mary Strobridge Suzanne Sullivan Carol Swain Vicki Tamoush Sasha Taus John Taylor Caroljean Teuffel Kathleen Thorne Terry Throop Mike Toppe Dee Torres-Hill Manon Tree Charles Tribbey Kathryn Tribbey Joyce Tseng Darlene Tunney Rosene Carolina Van Stone Charles Varni Jane Viles Kathryn Voice Phil Wagner Lorraine Waldau Allie Walter Danielle Wheeler Gina Whitaker Whitefeather Kayla Wilburn Constance Winstead Sharon Wood Kara Woodruff William Worger Rosemary Wrenn Bonnie Young Priscilla Young Mary Young Jill ZamEk

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Something Worth Reading

Letter fRom tHe EditOrs


ay is usually a month of celebration around these parts. It’s a month packed with love for moms, swap meets for dads, tractor shows for the whole family, and ending with Memorial Day gatherings in thanks to all those who gave their lives so we can appreciate our annual celebrations. This year, spring has brought us hope, but we have yet to see the full bloom of life in California we are accustomed to after a rough year of 2020. But we still have cause to celebrate. We have a strong fabric in our community that has survived the stresses and tensions of the past year to remain fixed on what makes our community remarkable. You know who you are, and we honor you. As always, our purpose is to make communities better by shining a light on the people and things that make it great — writing something worth reading about a community doing something worth writing about. We look forward to people doing great things in our community as we close chapters on the past. This month, we honor Kristin Smart and her family (page 30) as a 25-year saga begins to find resolution with the case against Paul and Ruben Flores. All people deserve a fair trial and just defense. We hope the facts lay bare the truth in the case in order to close a painful chapter for her family and our community that has remained in our hearts since we were juniors at Templeton High School.

On May 5th we celebrate 9 years of wedding bliss.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” We believe that. We are creative people with creative power. We hope our creation of this magazine has inspired you to create something today. It is a magazine we continue to have elevated goals for amidst a culture that needs print more than ever. A big thank you to our advertisers who keep this magazine mailing to you every month and to our hometown team who work so hard to put it all together. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Much love, Nic & Hayley

~ Nelson Mandela

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

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Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 9

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Round Town

Chamber of Commerce

LET’S MEET THE COWORKERS At BridgeWorks Coworking






ave you heard about the hub for entrepreneurs, budding small businesses, and remote workers right here in Atascadero? It’s a little something called BridgeWorks Coworking, created to support the entrepreneurial and small business spirit in Atascadero! We want to give you an introduction to some of the phenomenal individuals working out of BridgeWorks Coworking.

Upcoming Events For May & June

New Chamber Members

Interim CEO/President | Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

• Cancer Support Community CA Central Coast • Shiffrar Grading & Excavating • SLO Safe Ride • Templeton Tennis Ranch

May A-Talks Wednesday, May 5 from 5 to 6 p.m. Join us for a virtual community event that’s all about Atascadero! Mingle and network virtually with others, get the latest updates from the Chamber and the City of Atascadero, and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at a local business and more. (Fun Tasting Kits will be available for purchase for the event). June A-Talks Wednesday, June 2 from 5 to 6 p.m. Join us for a virtual community event that’s all about Atascadero! Mingle and network virtually with others, get the latest updates from the Chamber and the City of Atascadero, and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at a local business and more. (Fun Tasting Kits will be available for purchase for the event). Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival - Passport Saturday, June 26 Purchase a 6-month or 12-month passport to enjoy phenomenal local wines, beers, and spirits! More information is coming soon – follow us on Facebook at @atascaderochamberofcommerce for updates about the event.

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

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LAUREN STEELY FROM NEW LOOKS GOOD ON YOU Lauren is an ontological coach who helps people understand what living a truly fulfilling life means. Working with her clients, she assists them in seeing who they currently are in the world compared to who they want to be. Once the client establishes the vision, Lauren provides them with the tools, knowledge, and support that empowers them to close the gap and move forward, closer to who they want to be. For more information, visit MELISSA SHIFFRAR FROM SHIFFRAR GRADING & EXCAVATING As one of Shiffrar Grading & Excavating owners, Melissa works with both homeowners and business clients. She also works remotely as a Controller for a farming company in Santa Maria. In her free time, she is starting a financial coaching business for small business owners and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit MIGUEL CASTRO FROM RAZORFISH Miguel is a local from Atascadero who is the VP Sr. Group Creative Director at Razorfish in San Luis Obispo. Miguel has been with the company for over 14 years and has worked with large clients like Blackberry, Samsung, Apple, UPS, and more. He manages a team of creatives here in SLO County and in places like Los Angles and New York. Due to COVID-19, their offices have been closed. So, Miguel appreciates the opportunity to rent a space right here in downtown Atascadero that provides needed workspace so he can continue to engage with his clients and team members. RUBEN ESCOBEDO FROM WORKWORLD LAW Ruben works for WorkWorld Law, an employment counseling and litigation law firm offering services primarily to employees across California. They provide access to quality lawyers, justice, and there’s no fee for court filling unless you win. They also offer WorkWorld 365, which has pioneered access to affordable legal services to employees at less than $10 a month ($99 annually). For more information, visit If you’re interested in joining our BridgeWorks Coworking community and want to schedule a tour, give us a call at (805)466-2044 or email us at Vicki@ Prices start as low as $200 a month for an unreserved desk or as low as $400 for a private office! Enjoy amenities like high-speed WiFi, conference room space, kitchen access, 24-hour access, and more. Our goal is to support local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and remote workers in our community with affordable workspace and a strong coworking community in the heart of Atascadero! If you’d like more information about BridgeWorks Coworking, visit  Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 13

Santa Margarita

Simone Smith


AgriCULTURAL Fun on the SLO County FarmTrail Slow Down, Reconnect, Enjoy and Learn along the SLO County Farm Trail through FARMstead Ed

oom, virtual, telecommuting, self-driving, robotic, remote, quantum computing, push a button, overnight, maximize, lab-grown, instant, high tech, Google, factory farms, e-commerce, data-driven, corporate, the cloud, buy now, automation, artificial reality, artificial intelligence, Alexa…stop… It seems like humanity is speeding ever faster away from itself, from personal hands-on experiences, and from connections we have with each other and the natural world. To make matters worse, the combination of our immediate lifestyle with the recent isolation caused by the pandemic has further compounded our collective disconnect by creating a strange time-warping effect on our psyche. What can we do? Enter Lynette Sonne, founder and “Herd Boss” of FARMstead Ed and creator of the SLO County Farm Trail map, who just might have the antidote we need.

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The “COVID time warp” has been spoken about by Psychology Today, Wired, Vox, and other publications and basically refers to a warping of our senses by simultaneously having too much time while being stressed by not having enough time. Spending time without having meaningful, immersive events to mark its passing takes a toll. What’s the difference between celebrating a birthday with friends and family virtually, watching a movie at home, or playing a game on the computer? How engaged are you with each of these experiences, and how memorable are they? Also, with the ability to order just about anything at any time and receive it within hours by the press of a button or a word to Alexa, do we know where it actually comes from, what’s involved, or who even made the product? The human experience is multisensory; we are tied to each other and the natural world by millions of bits of information coming to us through sight,

sound, touch, smell, taste, and movement but one by one, we have been cutting our connections and suffering the consequences. Meet Lynette Sonne, who, since founding FARMstead ED in 2014, has been making connections, creating awareness, and providing experiences for “tourists and townies” to learn about the importance of sustainable practices and craft through SLO Counties farms, ranches, purveyors, and partners. From Vicarious Ranch in San Miguel at the north to The Luffa Farm in Nipomo to the south, you will find 27 locations along the SLO County Farm Trail map for workshops, farm tours, tastings, “agriCULTURAL” experiences, pop-up markets, farm stays, “Table-to-Farm” dinners and much more! Over the years, Lynette Sonne has rounded up talented, knowledgeable, and caring professionals who are excited about what they do and happy to share their passions with others. As “Herd Boss,” Lynette is talented in matchmaking FARMstead ED businesses to offer memorable experiences throughout the county. A typical workshop example would be the recent “Grow Your Own Beneficial Garden” held at The Educated Gardener in Santa Margarita, which included a tour, talk by Simone of The Educated Gardener and Megan from Clearwater Color about the importance of how to attract beneficial insects to your garden, a hands-on take-home project and a delicious lunch by Thomas Hill Organics. Interested in Alpacas, cheese making, or how to make goat’s milk soap? Check into the Private events available at Santa Margarita’s Giving Tree Farm. Look for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend Farm Trail Pop-up Market at SLO Provisions or find many more opportunities to slow down, reconnect, enjoy and learn by picking up a SLO County Farm Trail map or by visiting  Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

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Beautiful & Healthy Skin


Natural Skin Care


id you know that your skin is your largest (and thinnest) organ? As your skin is highly permeable, what you apply to your skin accesses your bloodstream (and the rest of your body)! Although the supplement industry is regulated through the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, the cosmetics industry is largely unregulated. The Environmental Working Group estimates that 99 percent of the skincare products on the market contain one or more ingredients that have never been evaluated for safety! The amount of chemicals that you place on your skin and ultimately get absorbed into your body is not only appalling but can disrupt your delicate hormonal balance. There is a better way to have beautiful and healthy skin!! DermaE is the 2nd largest skincare company in the US with an amazing line of products that are 100 percent vegan, GMO-free, cruelty-free and eco-ethical. They believe in providing quality formulas with only safe, natural ingredients and recyclable packaging to

give you great skin without harming your well-being or the planet! Harmful ingredients (found in most skincare products) such as parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, acrylamide, propylene glycol, dioxane, and toluene will NEVER be found in DermaE! One of my favorite DermaE products is Microdermabrasion Scrub. This fine-textured crystal blend buffs away dullness and smooths fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars for a healthier, more youthful appearance. Follow that with either Radiant Glow Face Oil or Anti-Wrinkle Treatment Oil. These beautiful oils absorb quickly to soften and nourish dry skin for a natural glow! DermaE’s product line includes anti-acne, hydrating, Vit C, anti-wrinkle, skin restore, and firm+lift categories. In addition to skincare, we also carry DermaE’s hair care and sunscreens – a topic for next month!! TIPS TO CREATE CALM Bobbi’s Favorite Things! Try an end of day soothing bath with “CBD Better Bath” salts & Young Living lavender essential oil (add the candles!), turning on my salt lamp for a beautiful calming energy (yes, we have those too!), and my daily chocolate “Exhale,” a creamy dark chocolate that contains GABA & L-theanine for an emotional “calm!” Pick up your favorite calm support at The Natural Alternative! We Appreciate You! The Team @ The Natural Alternative Bobbi, Victoria, Megan, & Moriah


Happy Mother’s Day

To mothers and those that share maternal bonds, we celebrate you! From all of us at the Atascadero News Magazine

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Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

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Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021


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“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” – James A. Garfield May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery By Hayley Mattson


s we reflect on 2020, Memorial Day was our first national holiday after the coronavirus washed across our country. Since then, our entire world changed, our nation has become divided, but on this day, our continued reflection and admiration for the servicemen and servicewomen will always remain. Over the years, Memorial Day weekend brings us together and marks the beginning of the warm summer months ahead. It is important, however, now more than ever that we take time to reflect and to remember those who gave their lives in service, both here on American soil and abroad. As we honor the servicemen and women this year, we do so in a country that longs for healing, peace, and unity. We do so at a time that when the pandemic is still among us and the war that we are experiencing is like none we have ever seen before. The holiday itself originated in the years following the Civil War and officially became a federal holiday in 1971. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered remarks, which later became known as the Gettysburg Address, the official dedication ceremony for the National Cemetery of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, on the site of one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles of the Civil War. Lincoln’s address is remembered as one of the most important speeches in American history. In it, he invoked the principles of human equality contained in the Declaration of Independence and connected the sacrifices of the Civil War with the desire for “a new birth of freedom,” as well as the all-important preser vation of the Union created in 1776, and the ideal of selfgovernment. It is documented that more than 620,000 men died in the Civil War, more May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

than any other war in American history, even when combined—a war where the United States fought against itself in order to abolish slavery and won in April 1865. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation issued in all Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” The Civil War raged on until the major Confederate armies surrendered to the United States in April of 1865. Two months later, in June 1865, after the war ended, General Granger’s final stop was in Galveston, Texas, which signaled freedom for Texas’s 250,000 enslaved people, and Juneteenth was born. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Today, 47 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, with continued efforts to make it a national federal holiday by Congress. The sacrifices during that time are unmeasurable, and hard to fathom a nation more divided. Today, our country continues to face an invisible enemy, which has us divided once again and evaluating where we have come from, how our nation was formed, what our future holds, and how our grandchildren will remember this time in history. Taking the time to remember the brave men and women and the ultimate sacrifice they made and continue to make on behalf of the American people by their own free will, is debt that we will never be able to repay. We can, however, honor them, recognize them and choose to set aside our differences and come together for the good of our nation and for future generations to come. | 19


Annual GALA & Community Award Winners By Hayley Mattson


he Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala was held virtually on April 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and what an incredible celebration it was. Nina Lozano, co-anchor with KSBY News, hosted the event as the Master of Ceremonies with a backdrop that transported the viewers back to a 1920s Speakeasy, however without the boot-legging. Nina started the evening by acknowledging that almost 200 people along with local dignitaries were attending the virtual event. In attendance were Senator John Laird, SLO County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, Atascadero Councilmembers Susan Funk, Mark Dariz, and Charles Bourbeau. The Gala had an active online auction while virtual presentations from John Laird, outgoing Chairman of the Board Tom Jones,

along with incoming Board Chair Maria Kelly, who wore a sparkling red dress that fit the Speakeasy theme. Josh Cross, the Interim President / CEO of Atascadero Chamber, presented in a dapper classic tux and shared that the goal of the Atascadero Chamber is to help further the interest in small businesses within the community. Cross explained that they are focused on investing and giving back to local businesses by offering support and guidance as we continue through these challenging times. "I could not be more proud of our Board and our Chamber of Commerce. Our bold and robust strategic plan includes policies, goals, and programs that are going to launch this Chamber into the 21st Century. As business owners and residents, this means that you will have additional resources and tools that will help your business thrive," Cross explained. Keeping with the 1920s Speakeasy theme, DJ Manny Medina

broke out a jam session with his turntable moving vinyl records back and forth, creating percussive, rhythmic sounds which surely moved viewers off the couch to do the foxtrot or tango. Additional presentations included an overview of the BridgeWork Co-working space by Mayor Moreno and Cross. Jill Glover, the Ambassador Council Chair, shared why the ambassador program is such an asset to the members. Charles Matthews, Co-Chair of the Diversity Council, and Christina Lefevre, member of the Woman in Business Council, provided information on how the community can support the ongoing efforts. The Gala wrapped up the evening by presenting the awards for Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Each awardee took advantage of the Speakeasy theme and dressed in 1920s apparel that persevered the event's synergy full of warmth, community, and togetherness.

Citizen of the Year



ver the years, Brenda May has volunteered her expertise and service to numerous non-profit organizations, including Coats for Kids, the Atascadero Printery Foundation, the Atascadero Performing Arts Center Committee, Quota of Atascadero, the Colony Days Committee, and Dancing With Our Stars. For Dancing With Our Stars, Brenda was spotlighted as a community dancer; in addition, she also decorates the Atascadero Lake Pavilion and has sewn several of the costumes. Brenda has also organized many events for these groups, such as murder mystery plays for the Atascadero Printery Foundation and Quota. She is an active council member of the Community Church of Atascadero, which has housed a warming center for the homeless. Brenda has lived in Atascadero for more than 35 years with her husband David and two children Michael and Jamie. Recently she retired as a hairdresser, after more than 50 years, most recently at Heart and Soles day spa. Brenda is also a senior fitness instructor and was formerly a coach. Anyone that knows Brenda would say that she is very generous with her

time and resources, even when they are limited. She has a genuine, kind, and loving spirit that adds great value to our community. She is always ready to help friends, non-profits, her church, and community. Brenda cares deeply for her family and friends. Her personal integrity and energy is positive, helpful, and plentiful. She is a delightful person and is someone Atascadero can look to as a model citizen. When accepting the award, Brenda shared, "I want to thank everyone for this honor...I am very humbled by it to be a Citizen of the Year for 2020." She continued, "I have always felt the priorities that my family and I believe in are family, church, and community...those are the values that I have strived for and raising our kids here. Being involved at the very start with PTA, PTSA, and the Junior High and then PTSA at the High School. It is a very important community, and the schools here are fantastic...we are privileged to be here in Atascadero and to have raised our children here. Even though I have retired after 50 plus years of hairdressing, I will not retire from my goals, I will not retire from what I believe my priorities should be, and I thank you all very, very much for this opportunity. Thank you."

Next Award

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 21

CHAMBER OF COMME Business of the Year



our months before the pandemic hit, Ryan and Jacque Fields opened Wild Fields Brewhouse after renovating the old bowling alley in Atascadero. Ryan shared, "We put so much of ourselves into this company, and we just see so much potential for Atascadero and a bright future ahead of us." The dream of having a place where the community would come together and enjoy some old fashion family time with some good food, paired with Wild Fields beer, was quickly called into question when they were ordered to close last March at the start of the pandemic. Jacque explained, "when we envisioned Wild Fields, we knew we wanted it to be a part of a community, and Atascadero spoke so loudly and clearly to us." Holding back tears, she continued, "with everything this community invests in each other, and we knew at some point Wild Fields could be a part of that. We didn't dream of the hand that would be dealt in the 20s that we

have had...but we are grateful that you all saw us for who we are, and it really means a lot to us to be a part of this community." Throughout the pandemic, Wild Fields continuously pivoted to meet ever-changing regulations and economic conditions. They moved up their timeline of distributing Wild Field Brew throughout California and organized and hosted pop-up movie events giving residents a way to get out of the house during the pandemic while keeping safe. They also serve as a location for blood drives on a continuing basis. "... whether it was helping us get our footing at the beginning, coming in and enjoying our space having some delicious beer or food. Helping us get through this pandemic, or helping spread the word about our business, and all the other ways we support each other in this community. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this award and the Chamber of Commerce as well," Ryan shared with gratitude.

Entrepreneur of the Year



ver the few years that Anna has been a part of the downtown business community, and she is well-known as a small business advocate and friend to all. When the pandemic hit, and she was forced to close her doors in March of 2020, Anna made the decision to connect immediately with her clients and began a daily "live" event on social media that brought her store into the homes of the community and beyond. At a time when people felt alone and scared, Anna, with her joyous smile, friendly laugh, and keen sense of style, live-streamed into homes each day—offering tips for staying at home with kiddos to sending memorable Mother's day gifts to supporting our "quarantined" graduating students. In the middle of the pandemic, Anna moved into a bigger space on Septem-

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ber 1, 2020, and now hosts people by appointment. It is impressive to see a business pivot and thrive during a pandemic which is why Anna was selected as the Entrepreneur of the Year. Anna sets an example of what a first-class business looks like in Atascadero. Her store is a big draw for the downtown core and has been a true bright spot during a rough year. Anna shared with a deep sense of emotion, "I am forever thankful for a supportive City and a Chamber. Fellow business owners who have become mentors, for clients who have become friends, and for friends who have helped me run the business, who stayed in my small circle and protected my clients and family during completely uncertain times. Your support has meant the world to me and helped me make my dream of owning a successful boutique a reality. Thank you." Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

ERCE GALA & AWARDS Community Organization of the Year



ane Pomeroy, the Executive Direcone in Atascadero and the other in Paso tor of RISE, accepted the award for Robles. Services are available to all indiCommunity Organization of the year viduals and are offered in both English on behalf of the Board and the Organiand Spanish. zation. Over the years, they have collaborated RISE is a non-profit organization with Atascadero schools and students to whose mission is to transform the lives educate about teen dating violence and of sexual and intimate partner violence healthy relationships. RISE has held survivors, their families, and the commuevents to raise awareness about the local nity through services and education that impact of violence, to promote violence promotes safety, healing, and empowerprevention, and to engage the Atascadero ment. community in tackling this multifaceted RISE provides programs to the challenge together. community such as a 24-hour crisis line, case management, restraining "We could not do what we do without the support of our community... order assistance, accompaniment, and advocacy. As well as two safe houses, so thank you so much this is a real honor," Jane shared.

Michael Latner and wife Christina Lefevre (left photo) DJ Manny Medina (center photo) and Gala hosts (right photo) from left to right, Maria Kelly, Nina Lozano, Terrie Banish and Angela Cisneros enjoy the Speakeasy event.

Following up with Cross after the event, he stated, "the Chamber's Gala was a smashing success! We honored our awardees, heard from engaging speakers, and raised nearly $30,000!" Needless to say, the entire team at the Chamber of Commerce and the community came together for a much needed evening full of entertainment and delicious food, and as Board Member Charles Matthews shared, "we thank you for taking the time... to join us for the 2021 virtual annual Gala and awards...may this be the only year we have to do this virtual."  For more information on the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, visit

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 23

Community Support

l Gott a d

ed fri


Atascadero People

A Community Comes Together in Support of a Five-Year-Old Diagnosed With Cancer By Camille DeVaul


yndal, five years old, and her mother, Raquel Gottfried of Atascadero, received heartbreaking news during a trip to visit family in Texas for spring break. On Friday, March 12, Kyndal and her mother arrived in Texas. Kyndal appeared to be extremely lethargic and not like herself. The family thought perhaps she was jet-lagged and tired from traveling. But the following day, Kyndal showed no interest in playing with cousins, had no appetite, and didn’t want to walk. That was when Kyndal’s mother, Raquel, took her little girl to the Texas Children’s Hospital, and their world flipped upside down. Within one hour of arriving at the hospital, Kyndal had a CT scan which revealed a tumor in the back of her brain. The following day, Kyndal went in for surgery. After six hours, Kyndal’s neurosurgeon and his team were able to remove a three-centimeter tumor attached to her brain. Unfortunately, two smaller tumors were located in Kyndal’s brain, and a third was found at the base of her spine. Oncology results showed Kyndal has medulloblastoma, the most common malignant tumor found in children. On March 31, Kyndal had a lumbar puncture to see if the cancer has spread to her spinal fluid. Luckily, the test results came back negative, meaning there is no cancer in her spinal fluid. Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s hospital in America. They are currently ranked number four overall in the top five specialties. Cori Julian, Raquel's friend since elementary school and fiance to her brother, said, “It's a blessing that they caught it in Houston, and she was able to be seen there--she couldn't have waited. She was getting so sick.” A few weeks before making their trip to Texas, Kyndal was showing some odd symptoms. She

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began complaining her neck was hurting and told her grandpa that sometimes, everything was still dark when she opened her eyes. Raquel brought Kyndal to the doctor, who referred her to have an MRI done but that it wouldn't happen until after their trip to Texas. But on their way to the airport, Kyndal began to throw up repeatedly. There were thoughts that Kyndal was lactose intolerant, with milk being her favorite drink, so maybe she was having reactions. Then after arriving in Texas and seeing family, Kyndal seemed drained and a little confused at times. “There was always a reason that made sense as to why she was acting like this,” Cori explained. According to Kyndal’s doctor at the children’s hospital, the tumors had been growing no longer than a few months to a few weeks before the surgery. Kyndal’s road to recovery will be a long and strenuous one. She already had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat and do all the usual things she was doing just a few weeks ago. On Mon. April 19, Kyndal began six weeks of radiation, five days a week. Specifically, according to Raquel, Kyndal will be receiving proton therapy, a method used in children for more precise treatment and allows doctors to avoid long-term damage to her brain. Once completed, Kyndal and Raquel will be able to fly home to Atascadero on May 31 for four weeks. When Kyndal and Raquel return to Texas, they will begin prepping for chemotherapy. Originally, Kyndal was anticipated to be in chemotherapy for six weeks. Then on April 15, Raquel learned from doctors that Kyndal would need to undergo treatment for seven months. Because a tumor was found on Kyndal's spine, doctors advised that the first treatment needs to be aggressive and is her best chance at ridding the cancer. As Kyndal has been receiving radiation, she and

Raquel moved into a one-bedroom furnished apartment with help from the Chance for Hope Foundation. When Raquel and Kyndal return to Texas in June, she will need to find new living arrangements. The two were accepted to live in the Ronald McDonald House, but if living there, Kyndal and Raquel would not be able to have any visits or any help from family. Having no visits would be hard on the two, especially Kyndal. Raquel, who grew up in Atascadero, is a single mother and currently works as one of the managers at the In-N-Out Burger in Atascadero. Raquel graduated from Atascadero in 2005. During her senior year, Raquel was awarded Female Athlete of the Year. She had been on varsity soccer and tennis since her freshman year. After graduating high school, Raquel went to Azusa Pacific University on a tennis scholarship. “She is such a good mom--she gives Kyndal such a good life. That’s her world. They are best friends,” Cori said. To help Raquel with out-of-pocket expenses, the family has set up a Go Fund Me page. As of April 16, $49,275 has been raised. The page has a current goal of $90,000. However, it has been estimated that Raquel will have to pay out of pocket more than $350,000 for current and future expenses. A little over a month ago, Kyndal was an energetic little girl. She was athletic and loved gymnastics and horseback riding. Kyndal is also resilient and strong and lights up the room with laughter. Raquel shared, "We have a long road to recovery, but the prayers, love, and encouragement we have received have been such a blessing. Our community is filled with amazing people, and I am so thankful everyone has come together to support us during this traumatic time. Kyndal is strong and resilient. We have faith that she will be healed."  Stay updated on Kyndal’s recovery or donate at "Help Kyndal Fight Brain Cancer." Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

Taste of Americana

ay 9 will be a special day for all of the mothers out there. It will be a day to recognize and appreciate motherhood and all that it means. Why not serve brunch in an outdoor setting like a park or even in your own backyard. Make it simple, easy to prepare, and to clean up. After all, it will probably be a mother who puts it together! Start with quiche, add baked honey-mustard salmon, and a tossed green salad. End with a flourish by serving a lemon-lime meringue pie. Every mother present will love the menu! Happy Mother's Day!

From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz

Asparagus and Gouda Quiche Ingredients: ▷ 1 prepared 9-inch piecrust ▷ 1 tablespoon butter ▷ ¾ cup thinly sliced spring onions ▷ 4 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

▷ 1½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided ▷ 4 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded (1 cup) ▷ 4 large eggs ▷ 1 ¾ cups half-and-half ▷ 2 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, divided ▷ ½ teaspoon black pepper ▷ 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll piecrust and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim excess dough and finish the edge. Freeze for 20 minutes. Place parchment paper over frozen piecrust and top with pie weights. Bake until lightly golden and set, about 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; continue baking until crust is dry, about 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add spring onions, asparagus, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, until very soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, cool 5 minutes. Spoon onion-asparagus mixture into cooled piecrust, sprinkle with cheese. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 2 teaspoons tarragon, pepper, chives, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over vegetable mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until the middle is set, about 40 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon tarragon. Note: If you do not have pie weights, use dried beans or rice.

Honey-Mustard Salmon Ingredients: ▷ 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard ▷ ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ▷ 1 teaspoon honey ▷ ½ cup panko breadcrumbs ▷ 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme ▷ 1 tablespoon olive oil ▷ ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ▷ 4 (5 ounces) skin-on salmon fillets

Directions: Combine whole-grain mustard, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and honey in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together panko breadcrumbs, chopped thyme, olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Arrange salmon fillets, skin side down, on a plate. Spread mustard mixture over tops of fillets. Sprinkle evenly with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Bake at 425 degrees until salmon is flaky and opaque, about 10 minutes.

Directions: Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a medium bowl, whisk together ▷ ¼ cup fresh water, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lime juice. Gradually lemon juice whisk the yolk mixture into the sugar mixture until (separated from zest) combined. Cook over medium-high, whisking often, ▷ 1 tablespoon until filling thickens and just begins to bubble, 6 to 8 lime zest minutes. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute more. ▷ ¼ cup fresh lime juice Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, lemon zest, and (separated from zest) lime zest. Cool 30 minutes before pouring into crust. ▷ 2 tablespoons Prepare meringue and spread over filling. Spread to unsalted butter the outside of the crust to seal in filling and prevent ▷ Meringue shrinkage. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is for a 9-inch pie golden, 14 to 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie Ingredients: ▷ 1 9-inch graham cracker crust ▷ 1 cup granulated sugar ▷ 6 tablespoons cornstarch ▷ ¼ teaspoon salt ▷ 1 cup water ▷ 5 large egg yolks ▷ 1 tablespoon lemon zest

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 25


Sip and Savor



The Next Generation

Daou sisters from top to bottom Lizzy Daou, Anna Gabrielle Daou, Katherine Daou. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEVENFIFTY AND DAOU FAMILY ESTATES

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he Daou brothers, Daniel and Georges, continue to rack up high scores from U.S. wine critics as producers of distinctive wines from Paso Robles’ Adelaida District and for offering an unparalleled Paso wine experience to visitors. Now get ready for Daou Sisters - Katherine, Lizzy, and Anna Gabrielle - Daniel’s daughters, poised to follow the family’s lineage. Although they all started working on the premise of Daou Vineyards & Winery, the sisters continue their responsibilities from different locations. Currently, Lizzy, 27, is in Portugal; Katherine, 30, in San Diego; and Anna, 24, the youngest of the trio, is based in Paso. In a phone conversation with Daniel, I asked if he had a vision for his daughters or did their involvement grow organically? “My vision for them is to follow their vision,” Daniel replied. “Follow your heart and passion. I’m here to support you.” When Lizzy started at the winery, Daniel recalled, “I was impressed,” so he put her in charge of winemaking operations. After working the 2017 harvest, Lizzy decided to explore other regions and gather experience. “‘I want to fly my own wings,’ she said,” noted Daniel. “I don’t tell my kids what to do.” The sisters take on different aspects of the business, complementing each other’s workload. With her love for chemistry, Lizzy’s calling was in winemaking. Katherine transitioned from fashion and found her niche in social media marketing. Drawn to agriculture, Anna became a vineyard manager. The sisters grew up in San Diego along with two younger siblings, Joseph and Julia, and the family moved to Paso while they were all in their teens. Tall, blonde, and blue-eyed, Anna looks like a cover girl, yet she’s comfortable getting her hands dirty in the vineyards. “I always loved agriculture,” Anna remarked when I met her at Daou estate on a crisp spring afternoon. After obtaining a degree from Cuesta College, she worked in all aspects of the winery, from sales meetings to cleaning barrels. “But always loved the vineyard,” said Anna, who also serves as co-manager for Daou’s Reserve program. Anna looks up to her father as the role model watching his interaction with growers and wine industry profession-

als. “I learned the work ethic from him and how to love the vineyard.” Also, uncle Georges has been an influence too. “I learned the business side from him.” And their mother Robin inculcated the importance of family values, she said. Drawn to the fashion industry, Katherine graduated from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise in San Francisco. She moved back to San Diego to work in retail and launch her denim line, Daou Denim, manufactured in Los Angeles. But ten years in the fashion left her unfulfilled. “I felt the industry too shallow,” Katherine said in a phone conversation from San Diego. At age 25, Katherine was on a path of self-discovery. She couldn’t ignore the inner voice and decided to quit the profession. “Dad was so supportive and invited me to the winery,” she reminisced. “I’m super grateful.” Katherine started in Hospitality at Daou estate and moved on to building Daou’s digital community as Social Media Manager and Brand Ambassador in 2019. “I’m taking my knowledge and making it approachable for the millennial generation and trying to nurture current consumers and future,” Kathrine remarked. Currently located in Portugal, Lizzy and I communicated via emails. I recall meeting the petite brunette a few years ago when she was the director of winemaking operations at Daou. Lizzy discovered her love for chemistry early on and enrolled at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) to pursue her interest. She had no intentions of joining the family business then until she tried Daou wine with her sister Katherine. “I fell in love,” she noted in her email. “I remember texting my Dad telling him that I discovered this passion for wine, and he was thrilled.” Within a few months, she transferred to Cal Poly to study Enology and spent one year at Daou estate. Last year Lizzy worked harvest in Burgundy and is ready for 2021 harvest in Bordeaux this year. “I hope to take all of my knowledge and experiences I’ve gained and one day bring them back home to Paso.” For the past three years, Lizzy has been studying in the prestigious European Erasmus Master’s program at universities in Tarragona, Spain; Bordeaux, France; and Porto, Portugal. Distance notwithstanding, the tight-knit Daou family stays connected via Sunday group chats. “Zoom keeps us together,” mused Anna. 

Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021



think it’s fascinating to learn that fleas can actually be trained. Picture the little critters in a jar with a lid on it. At first, the fleas will jump up and down, bopping their heads on the lid. Ouch! Eventually, an interesting thing happens: They figure out they can avoid the pain if they just shorten their jump. Now the lid can be taken off because they’ll never try to leap so high again. Sometimes we humans are just like those fleas. Many people think they can’t write because of some comment that made them feel criticized; usually, something said when they were young by a teacher, parent, sibling, or peer. That moment acts like that jar lid and causes pain. They decide they’re not writers and never will be – and they’ll never try again. Having been a writer for over 45 years, I have been dismayed to learn that there are more people than we realize who have this poor self-esteem about their ability to write. All it takes is being criticized or teased, being a bad speller or somewhat dyslexic, knowing someone else who is obviously gifted, or just not having the patience to rewrite first drafts. Besides being sensitive to comments, we are also affected by another dynamic. We are receiving a subtle but constant message from our culture that talent is innate and obvious and thus cannot be nurtured into blossoming. After all, aren’t we the society of instant everything? Even children have accepted this false premise that we must be instantly good at something to pursue it. As a child, my brother was clearly gifted as an artist, so I was teased about anything I tried to draw. I stopped drawing. Later in life, just out of curiosity, I got some instruction. I was delighted to learn I wasn’t bad, just slow. Now think about seeds. Even smaller seeds can grow into a vibrant plant, given sunlight and water, an accomplishment we accept as the seed’s nature. I maintain that it’s not the size of the seed of talent in us when we start. Rather, it is accepting that humans are creative by nature. Just like seeds, we all house a divine spark that can blossom in surprising ways if nurtured - and not crushed by self-judgment. In the long run, it’s as Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Can you talk? Writing is the same as talking. Writing is simply words sculpted to a specific purpose and personality. It’s a process you learn and improve upon over time. However, that’s only if you can embrace the excitement of learning and allowing that leads to growth. We have all accepted lids in our lives. But when was the last time you checked to see if that lid was actually there? After all, we’re smarter than fleas. Aren’t we?  Patricia Alexander has led limited-attendance Writing Support Groups for decades. A local writer, editor, columnist. Patricia follows her passion to encourage and guide other writers. She welcomes your comments to


Writing Support Group

By Patricia Alexander

“I'm so pleased with the effectiveness of each Zoom meeting with Patricia: easy, face-to-face connections coupled with helpful feedback has encouraged more creativity. I am grateful!” - Audrey Hooper

Encouragement Kindness Truth...and a Deadline.

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 27

Tent City

James Brescia, Ed.D.


San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

Look for the Silver Lining!


uring the pandemic, many of our evenings include watching old shows on Turner Classic Movies. A recent film I watched, “Look for the Silver Lining,” 1949 biographical musical of singer-dancer Marilyn Miller, caused me to reflect on how we interact during times of pandemic conditions. In one scene, a public health officer tacks a “Quarantine” sign to the family door because of a mumps outbreak. This scene made me appreciate today’s technology as Miller’s family could only talk through the door to each other. The pandemic has changed the way we interact, perform services, and connect. Today unlike the early 1900’s we can still connect with the outside world because of technology. Periodically during the pandemic, I needed to unplug because of information overload from the news, Internet, and technology. There were times when dozens of calls and hundreds of emails were sharing challenges, requesting information, and simply connecting. If we could travel back in time to 1918, the flu outbreak of those days was strangely like today’s COVID conditions. Local 1918 leaders shuttered schools and saloons; quarantines restricted interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. One significant difference from today’s pandemic was that in 1918 only 35 percent of homes in the U.S. had a telephone and the Internet was not even a fictional concept. Even without the Internet, some 1918 schools made use of technology for education. In Long Beach, students quarantined at home were participants in early forms of remote education.

“The pupils in the high school there were doing home study work and holding regular telephonic conversations with their instructor,” reported the Oakland Tribune. To provide additional public safety and increase in-person education services, our local public health officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein, prioritized education employees for vaccination. During the first few weeks of education employee vaccinations Raechelle Bowlay from the Childcare Planning Council, her staff, and my office coordinated the nearly 8,000 education sector employees’ appointments. Childcare and K-12 employees from all districts, charters, early childhood centers, private and parochial schools were offered vaccination appointments. Today’s technology-enabled the immediate creation of reservation phone lines to schedule appointments.

gratifying aspect of scheduling appointments was the genuine appreciation expressed by the callers. Several people recognized my voice, and I even received a few handwritten thank you notes. I considered this a “Silver Lining” moment during the pandemic. After we scheduled between 80-90 percent of the education sector employees, I received a vaccination myself. Standing in line at the Paso Robles Events Center, I observed dozens of volunteers supporting our community. Off-duty nurses, doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, EMTs, and anyone with medical training was welcomed into the medical reserve corps alongside other volunteers. Because my appointment was scheduled with the education sector, there were employees from most of the north county schools waiting in line. Everyone I spoke with was thankful to be vaccinated and excited about increasing in-person services for students, another “Silver Lining” moment. The community spirit, human connection, and concern for others are part of my vaccination experience. My wife has served as an RN at Twin Cities Hospital for 32 years and is one of our vaccination center volunteers. I have enjoyed Carolyn’s stories about vaccinating people from our community and how we are moving forward together in protecting our neighbors and the most vulnerable. This pandemic has been challenging for the entire world. If we continue to demonstrate flexibility, patience, and kindness, those “Silver Lining” moments will materialize. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools. 

Our happiness is certainly mixed in with the tragedies of life. You have to find the lemonade. You have to find the silver lining in the middle of everything that happens in life. ~ Chandra Wilson Our offices were transformed into call centers enlisting anyone with strong phone skills and the ability to perform data entry while wearing a telephone headset. I worked the reservation line for several days to observe the process and provide breaks for my staff from the non-stop calls. A


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Seeking Justice


By Hayley Mattson & Camille DeVaul


n April 13, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson held a press conference on O’Neill Green in front of the Orfalea College of Business on the campus of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. The press conference came just before the 25th Anniversary of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart who went missing on May 25, 1996. Before Sheriff Parkinson began, large photos of Kristin Smart, Paul, and Ruben Flores’s arrest, a chronological timeline of the case were unveiled. As Sheriff Parkinson and officials walked to the podium, the clock tower echoed deep chimes, and the crowd fell silent. Tony Cipolla, the Health Information Officer for the SLO County Sheriff, started the conference by stating, “Today is a day that many have hoped for, wished for, and prayed for. We have major developments in the Kristin Smart investigation.” Before turning the conference over to Sheriff Parkinson, Cipolla acknowledged the President of Cal Poly, Jeff Armstrong, sign-language interpreter Robin Babb, Cal Poly Police Chief George Hughes, and Undersheriff Jim Vogue. Parkinson started by recognizing Unsolved Cold-Case Detective Clint Cole, who was not introduced by Cipolla so that he could make a special introduction--along with acknowledging several members of his team in the audience. “We are beginning here today because this is where it all began, on the campus of Cal Poly University. On May 25, 1996, this is the last place that Kristin Smart was seen alive. It has been 24, almost 25 years since Kristin went missing. 24 years without a resolution, until today. I am here this afternoon to announce the arrest of Paul Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart. The Arrest of Ruben Flores as an accessory to the murder,” Sheriff Parkinson said as he started the press conference. As the conference continued, Sheriff Parkinson went through a few details of the case that he could share, along with an overview of the investigation. Parkinson stated that he had been in touch with the Smart family several times throughout that day, and shortly after the conference ended, the Smart family’s spokesperson John Segale released the following statement on their behalf: “For over twenty-four years, we have waited for this bittersweet day. It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family; we pray it is the first step to bringing our daughter home. While Kristin’s loving spirit will always live in our hearts, our life without her hugs laughs, and smiles is a heartache that never abates.

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The knowledge that a father and son, despite our desperate pleas for help, could have withheld this horrible secret for nearly 25 years, denying us the chance to lay our daughter to rest, is an unrelenting and unforgiving pain. We now put our faith in the justice system and move forward, comforted in the knowledge that Kristin has been held in the hearts of so many and that she has not been forgotten. We honor Kristin today and those who worked with unparalleled tenacity and dedication to bring us to this day. Without Kristin in our life, there will never be justice, but we will pray for peace. Unfortunately, the indifference and lack of resolve we experienced early onset the course for many years. However, when Sheriff Parkinson took office in 2011, he made a promise that Kristin’s disappearance would be one of his top priorities. We are here today because he has remained true to his word. We have kept the faith, never given up, and fully placed our trust and support with him and his team. The task he and his team accepted was unprecedented in volume and scope, yet they met every setback and challenge with resolve and an unequaled commitment to Kristin and our family. Our gratitude to Sheriff Parkinson and his department for their professionalism, compassion, and perseverance is without measure. We are forever grateful for Detective Clint Cole, who joined ‘Team Kristin’ in 2017 and brought new oxygen to Team Kristin, and kept our hopes alive. We would not be here today without his professionalism, perseverance, and dedication. His heart and commitment are without equal. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the exceptional skills, indefatigable work, and unselfish dedication of Christopher Lambert, who produced Your Own Backyard Podcast. Chris, along with four incredible angels (C, J, J, and J), balanced Kristin on their shoulders while lightening our burden and held our hearts and hopes with fierce resolve and commitment. There simply are ‘no words’! We also wish to extend our deepest gratitude for all those on the SLOSO team, including Commander Nate Paul, Detective Cole, and their incredible and dedicated support staff. To each law enforcement agency that assisted the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff ’s Department with their extraordinary efforts, our gratitude is immeasurable. Each gave 110 percent to ensure that this day would come. We are pleased that Kristin’s case has now moved to the district attorney’s office, where we know we will be in good hands, and look forward to the day when there will be ‘justice’ for Kristin. To HEAL, we must REMEMBER not only Kristin but also every heart that carried Kristin and our family in theirs! Kristin’s story is ultimately one of unwavering commitment, resilience, and immense gratitude.” – The Smart Family In the following days, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow held a press conference on April 14, reviewing the charges in the case and outlining what will transpire going forward. A candlelight vigil was held in Paso Robles on Saturday, April 17, where the community came together in Kristin’s honor. The family was not in attendance; however, they shared gratitude to the community with the following statement: “While we are not able to join you for the candlelight vigil, we are with you all in spirit. Your love for Kristin and your unwavering support for our family for the past 25 years has been amazing and deeply appreciated. Many became involved more than two decades ago, like the relentless Dennis Mahon and our outstanding legal team, Jim and Garin Murphy and Mark Connelly. You all have filled our hearts, helped pick us up, and powered us forward to this point in time. The day of reckoning is coming, and soon we will all gather together to celebrate Justice for Kristin.”  To read the details of the case, timelines, and updates, visit our news website at Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

Morro Bay

Famous Puzzle Artist to Immortalize Morro Bay By Neil Farrell


orro Bay could be joining a long list of universities, National Parks, and cities the world over that have been "immortalized" by folk artist and jigsaw puzzle maker extraordinaire Eric Dowdle, who recently visited our sleepy little fishing village, hosted by the town's oldest non-profit, beautification group. Ann Reisner with Morro Bay Beautiful has been working on creating a Morro Bay-inspired folk art puzzle by the world-famous Dowdle that would initially be sold exclusively in Morro Bay at select outlets for a year and then marketed to the world. Ann explained that she and her husband Ron have been working a couple of jigsaw puzzles a week for entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic. She has several of Dowdle's collectible puzzles and started to formulate an idea to have one made of Morro Bay. The Dowdle Puzzle Co., she explained, specializes in puzzles of tourist destinations. Places like Rome, Paris, and London, as well as Denver, Washington, D.C., Huntington Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Solvang, and countless others, have been produced. Dowdle also produces custom puzzles of just about anything or anyone; just send him a photograph (see: He also hosts a blog on Amazon discussing his work. Ann said at first they had trouble getting the company to pay any attention. "At first, they wouldn't call us back," Ann recalled. "We sent them pictures of what we thought represented Morro Bay and got no response. Then they called us." The original painting by Dowdle himself runs $40,000, she said, and then they need another $17,000 to get the puzzles made. She's been going around town visiting businesses that might help sponsor the project and be included in the image, which could be described as a layered series of snapshots. Indeed, Dowdle's puzzles of other famous places are colorful and extremely detailed. It's the sort of image that you see something different every time you look at it. A bio on the Dowdle website describes his work, "His whimsical, patriotic art stirs nostalgic and cheerful emotions for what makes our vast world

May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

Ann Reisner with Morro Bay Beautiful has been working on creating a Morro Bay-inspired folk art puzzle by the world-famous Eric Dowdle that would initially be sold exclusively in Morro Bay at select outlets for a year and then marketed to the world. Contributed photos

intimate and extraordinary. Rich rural landscapes of homes and farms, cityscapes featuring customs and foods, playful families and the traditions that keep them together are all common features in a Dowdle painting." They said Morro Bay had reached its Sesquicentennial Anniversary in 2019, something Ann said she hadn't known. (According to reports, Morro Bay was founded by Franklin Riley in 1870 as a port for the export of dairy and ranch products.) So their initial interest in the puzzle was in celebration of that milestone. Reisner said the company decided to do a Morro Bay puzzle whether they could commission the painting or not. Morro Bay Beautiful is putting up the money for the artwork, and Ann said they are amassing the rest through business sponsors, a $5,000 allocation from the Tourism Business Improvement District or TBID, which promotes lodging businesses in town. She hopes the City will chip in as well. Ann explained they hope to have the puzzles ready for sale sometime in July. The puzzles normally retail for $24.95, and they will be available at several locations in town (to be announced later). Ann said Morro Bay Beautiful would get a percentage of those first-run puzzles. Morro Bay Beautiful will have exclusive rights to sell them for the first year, and then Dowdle will market them to the world. "This is going to be big," she said. They will be available in stores like Costco and everywhere Dowdle Puzzles are sold, including on the company's website. And readers should also be able to buy Giclee, canvas, and poster prints in different sizes of the Morro Bay artwork through the website's fine art section. Ann explained they took Dowdle and his creative people on a grand tour when he came to town in mid-March, including a harbor tour on the water with the Harbor Patrol. There he should see the rich marine life — sea lions and otters — Morro Bay is famous for, and that is sure to make the puzzle's final image. Ann stated that when the painting and the puzzles are completed, they would hold a grand unveiling and again host the artist. For more information, call Reisner at (805)772-8117.  | 31

Point San Luis Light Station A Special to Atascadero News Magazine

The Summer of ’56 By Kathy Mastko

board of directors, point san luis lighthouse keepers


oast Guardsman William “Bill” Colagross, his wife Sharon, and daughters Debbie and Cheryl were stationed at Point San Luis during 1956 and 1957. At age twenty-four, Colagross was the officer-in-charge. His younger brother Curt spent two summers staying with them; he was around thirteen years old during the summer of ’56. Curt’s brother and his family lived in the Victorian duplex, demolished in 1960: “That front porch had a beautiful view of the ocean. I can remember on warm afternoons, the whole family sitting out there over lunch, also sitting out there with Bill while he polished his shoes. [My bedroom] was over the dining room…I can still remember waking up to the sound of the foghorn, but soon turning over and back to sleep I’d go. Some nights I’d lie in bed watching as the beam from the beacon reflected off the bedroom walls as it passed through the window sheers.” Curt remembers the Keeper’s dwelling, now restored but at the time unoccupied and in a state of disrepair.

1957 photo of RACON (short for Radar and Beacon) tower built circa 1945 to hold navigation equipment and later to hold equipment for early missile research. Courtesy of the National Archives.

“The lighthouse Keeper’s house wasn’t boarded up or even locked. Several times, and by myself, I’d walk from room to room, looking at the wooden floors and wallpapered walls, always looLighthousehat “secret room” that I knew had to be there. And, of course, listening, wishing the walls could talk. Wondering what it must have been like [for the keepers], out in the middle of nowhere with no one but themselves to depend upon…”

As we approached the adobe, Bill gave me its history, which he must have gotten, I’m thinking, from Mr. Marre. Because I found out later that Bill (very outgoing), after meeting Mr. Marre, was offered employment on his days off. He was paid to drive Mr. Marre around in his Jeep, so he could check on his ranch and cattle. To this day, it amazes me that nothing was done to preserve this adobe.”

Curt recalls a tall white building on stilts at the light station. He was told it was used during World War II to house a radar system. At the time he was visiting, the building was empty of any equipment and was used just for storage. Curt remembers that when his folks came to take him back home, he hid up there. He didn’t want to leave. Another building Curt recalls was an old adobe on the adjoining ranch:

(The abode Curt Colagross saw was most likely the Pecho Adobe, also called the Rancho Pecho y Islay Adobe. It was adjacent to Pecho Creek and probably dated from the 1840s. The adobe had fallen into ruins by the 1960s.) Curt and his brother’s family would spend their free time at the lighthouse beach, hiking on the surrounding ranchlands, crabbing or fishing off the breakwater and Whaler’s Island, and visiting the town of Avila. The only access to the lighthouse, other than by boat, was a narrow footpath from Avila. (The private road to the lighthouse wasn’t built until 1962.) The Guardsmen, Curt recalls, always used the boat. It was much easier, he said, especially if you had to bring something back.

“I can remember being completely awestruck when I first saw the adobe, especially after learning its history. It was in the middle of nowhere! The only way to get to it was by Jeep—it was pretty far from the lighthouse. It was built very close to the coast and was in very poor shape. If I remember correctly, there were no windows or doors. The only reason for it being built where it was had to have been (besides the beautiful view) fresh water, which was needed to make the adobe bricks. By the looks of the exterior and the inside, it had to have been abandoned for a number of years. The critters and the cattle had definitely taken over.

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“It was a 20-foot boat, double ender with an inboard motor. I can even remember being allowed to raise and lower the boat by boom, from the water to the dock and back into the water. Under supervision of course. I was also allowed to operate that boat, away from other boats or docks. Coming close to either, [Bill] or one of the GuardsAtascadero News Magazine | May 2021

Point San Luis Light Station

men would take over. [Once] getting ready for inspectiondouble-endershort-handed, Bill asked me to repaint the numbers and lettering on the exterior of the boat. I guess it passed!” Curt remembers that every time he and his brother would “motor through the harbor,” they’d get

waves and smiles from the fishermen and pleasure boat owners. And every once a while they’d get a signal to approach a fishing boat where fresh fish was offered. Sometimes fishing boats would come to the light station’s dock: “A ‘ship to shore’ call would come in at the watch room desk

when a fishing boat decided to share their catch. The Guardsman closest to the Jeep would then be notified, drive down to the dock, pick up what was left (before the birds and critters could get to it), and then divide it among the families. Bill was a pretty good cook, and fixing salmon was one of his specialties.”

Circa 1954 photo of the Victorian duplex built in 1890 as quarters for the two assistant keepers; demolished in 1960. Courtesy of Robert L. “Lucky” Jackson/Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers archive.

The small grocery store in Avila was a place “where my brother and his family were always greeted with a smile.” It was while shopping at the grocery store that Curt’s brother and the other Guardsmen would get invitations to parties, holiday celebrations, and other festivities around town. “The overall experience was unbelievable. It was like living on an island…An experience a young kid only dreams about. Something you’d see at a theater on the big screen, and then that night, visualize yourself there in your dreams. But to think that I was that “lucky” kid, I got to live it, thanks to the love of an older brother. The smell of the ocean, the fishing, the sun setting off in the distance…The light from the beacon as it crawled its way along the ground, over the ocean, rocks, and through our windows. The foghorn with its mournful cries while only being able to see a couple of feet in front of you. Lying in bed, wondering about those out on the ocean. But soon, and getting used to the call of the foghorn, turning over, and falling back to sleep. The long rides in the jeep to the adobe and beyond. In the boat, checking this, checking that. Walks along the boardwalk in Avila Beach, the shops, and of course, the smell of fresh taffy being made. The one movie that still brings back these memories of the ‘old’ Avila Beach is the ‘Summer of 42.’”  About The Point San Luis Lighthouse is open once again for shuttle bus tours! Starting May 1st, tours will run every Saturday at noon and 1 pm. Starting June 1st, tours will also run on Wednesdays. Tickets can be purchased at

Circa 1956 photo of Curt Colagross, brother of Coast Guard officer-in-charge William “Bill” Colagross, on light station dock with Coast Guard boat and Jeep. Courtesy of Curt Colagross. May 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 33

Last Word



believe in people.


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. our future.

We believe in homemade lemonade and local honey.

We believe in our history, and

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 high-gloss pages.

We believe

in the magic of teamwork, hard work, and high fives.


believe in homemade lemonade and local honey.

We believe in family, friends, and sharing warm bread. We believe in lighting each other’s candles.


believe in the

S to ry


Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto adopted 2018

Us. 76 Gas Station.................................. 29 A Heavenly Home............................ 15 American Barn & Wood.................... 18 American West Tire & Auto........... 9, 18 Blake's True Value............................. 18 Educated Gardener.......................... 27 Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 13

Frontier Floors................................... 26 Greg Malik Real Estate Group....10, 11 Hearing Aid Specialists of The Central Coast.............................3 John Donovan Insurance & Financial Services, Inc................... 29 Megan's CBD Market....................... 15

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DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by Nick's Painting.................................. 28 O'Conner Pest Control...................... 15 Odyssey World Cafe......................... 15 Optometric Care Associates............. 13

Parents for Joy.................................. 36 Pasadera Homes.................................9 Paso Robles Wine Ctry Alliance...........5 Rick Cook.......................................... 15

Robert Fry, M.D................................. 28 Robert Hall Winery..............................2 San Luis Obispo County Office of Education........................... 29 Sierra Pacific Materials..................... 18 Solarponics....................................... 13 The Natural Alternative..................... 16

Thank you for being #atascaderostrong

TRVLR................................................ 35 Upbeats & Accents............................ 26 Women's March..................................7 Writing Support Group.................... 27 Wyatt Wicks Finish Carpentry, Inc.... 29

Atascadero News Magazine | May 2021

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