Atascadero News Magazine #40 • October 2021

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October 2021

fe at ures

Issue No. 40


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Santa Margarita Celebrates by simone smith

The Santa Margarita Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its 100 years with a fun family event.

Colony Days Grand Marshal by patrick patton

Colony Days Royalty Committee announced Joan Rexroth as the 2021 Colony Days Grand Marshal.

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Colony Days Reception Tea by patrick patton

The 43rd Annual Tea was the first official event of the Colony Days, to celebrate the founding of the Colony of Atascadero.

Colony Day King & Queen by patrick patton

Mike Byrne and Charlotte Byrne named this year’s Colony Days King and Queen of the 2021 Colony Days.

On the Cover

2021 Colony Days Royalty King and Queen Mike and Charlotte Byrne with this years Grand Marshal Joan Rexroth in front of the iconic City Hall. Photo by Hayley Mattson 20,000 PRINTED | 17,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY!


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Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter

Round Town Atascadero Chamber of Commerce | Cross Talk with Josh Cross The Natural Alternative: Hormone Roller Coaster A World Entranced: J.P. Saxe Hosts an Intimate Covid-Era Concert Jon & Dayna McConnell: Local Authors Release Young Adult Sci-Fi Novel Art, Wine & Brew: Atascadero’s First Tour of Tasty Businesses


12 15 16 17 18


Taste of Atascadero Sip & Savor: You Had Me at Merlot


Taste of Americana: Hello Gourd-geous


Business Spotlight North County Pilates: Celebrating 15 Years Helping People Feel Their Best Hedges Insurance: Serving the North County for 33 Years

Tent City



Choosing Your Words Wisely: Two Words

Events Calendar of Events: Happenings in the North County ECHO: A Long Walk Home


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Delivered direct to every address in the Atascadero area. Pick up the latest copy at the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.

SLO County Office of Education: Motion, Second, Discussion and Civility



Covering the best of the people, places, and things to do in Atascadero.

Last Word Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto Directory of our Advertisers

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Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 7

Something Worth Reading

Publisher’s Letter


publisher, editor-in-chief

publisher, editor-at-large

Hayley Mattson

he cool crisp in the air has finally arrived, and we are ready for all the holiday events to start filling up our calendar and enjoy warm apple cider, changing colors in the leaves, and trips to local pumpkin farms.

Nicholas Mattson

assistant editor

layout design

Melissa Guerra ad consultants

ad design

Dana McGraw Jamie Self Jessica Segal

October starts with us celebrating the birth of our small town with Colony Days (pages 20-22). This year, the committee was able to have the Colony Days Reception Tea, where they crowned this year’s King and Queen Mike and Charlotte Byrne along with the 2021 Grand Marshal Joan Rexroth.

Michael Michaud community writers

Jen Rodman

Camille DeVaul Patrick Patton

office administrator

Cami Martin |


The Art, Wine and Brew (page 18) event hosted by the Atascadero Chamber was a huge success! It was so lovely to see everyone out and about enjoying our beautiful late summer nights and catching up with old friends. Santa Margarita’s Volunteer Fire Crew celebrates 100 years serving the community (page 14) and looks forward to seeing everyone at the centennial celebration on Sunday, October 24. Barbie Butz shares her love of pumpkin season (page 25), and Melissa Barton, owner of North County Pilates, celebrates 15 years of helping people feel better in the North County (page 26). This was the first month in over a year that we were able to follow the annual theme, with some certainty, highlight some of the much-loved events and see the community come together again, which genuinely fills the soul. Boo at the Zoo is taking place this year, on October 23, so be sure to go and see all the kiddos running around enjoying the spooky time with treats and the animals. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, which does not mean that it does not come with its own challenges. However, as we continue walking through this time in all our lives, we are reminded that each day it is up to us on how we react and how we treat others. We are so grateful to all of the local businesses who continue to advertise with us and support our team. Please be sure to tell each of these locally owned businesses that you saw them in Atascadero News Magazine and thank them for bringing you all the stories of our community. Our media company has some big changes in the upcoming months that we are very excited about that will help us continue to support hyper-local news. We believe in our communities, and we believe in our team, who love sharing all the stories of you, your friends, family, and neighbors. If you have a story that needs to be told, email us at we would love to hear it! We do this for you, and we are humbled by all your love and support. Please stay safe, share love, and be good to one another. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Atascadero News Magazine. Hayley & Nic

Barbie Butz

Josh Cross

James Brescia, Ed.D.

Mira Honeycutt

Jennifer Scales

The Natural Alternative

Simone Smith


PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE October 29, 2021 ADVERTISING DEADLINE* October 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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his summer, the Atascadero Chamber partnered with businesses in our community to launch the Shop Local Bonus program. The goal was simple: to help support our #Atascamazing community during a challenging time and reward those who shop at local, small businesses. Ultimately, I hope that we can continue to build on programs like these to create a stronger culture that encourages, celebrates, and rewards supporting OUR local businesses. Once the Shop Local Bonus program concluded, the team and I were blown away by the results! I’ll share the outcome in a moment, but first, here’s a quick recap in case you’re unfamiliar with the Shop Local Bonus program. Our Shop Local Bonus program took place from June to the end of August. During that time, 26 local businesses stepped in to partner with us. We were thrilled at the excitement from our business community for this new initiative. This program rewarded customers that spent $100 at participating businesses and submitted their receipts with a $20 gift card

to a participating business of their choice. This was a big hit, as indicated from social media posts and the positive feedback we received from shoppers! Don’t just take our word for it; here are some statistics that support the impact of this new initiative. The Shop Local Bonus program generated approximately $18,000 into our local economy (which is a muchneeded boost). For every $20 gift card awarded, the average spend was $209. Also, while not calculated, the possibility of shoppers spending more than just the $20 gift card upon return is highly likely, thereby increasing the total impact even further. The success of the Shop Local Bonus program demonstrates how beneficial it is when our business community partners together to foster a culture of intentionally shopping at small businesses. The Chamber plans to launch a similar program in early 2022. Please reach out to me if you would like to contribute towards this economic recovery program by sponsoring one or more businesses. Together, I know that we can continue to do great things in our #Atascamazing community! 

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osted in conjunction with the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce, get ready to connect with other local businesses while mingling with the zoo wildlife! This is your chance to meet other incredible businesses in our community and visit with over 20 business vendors. Don’t forget to bring your business cards! Drinks and bites will be available to enjoy during the event. Tickets for the mixer are complimentary, and everyone is welcome to attend; however, early registration is encouraged. Register at

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et into the cheerful holiday spirit with Art, Wine & Brew Tour - Light Up The Downtown! Sip and shop your way through beautifully decorated downtown stores lit up to celebrate the holiday season. Enjoy some phenomenal wine, beer, coffee, and other treats from 15 – 20 businesses (it’s one of our favorite ways to go shopping for Christmas gifts!). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door; every ticket comes with a complimentary wine glass. Go to Atascadero City Hall or Central Coast Distillery on the day of the event to claim your wine glass and wristband for tasting.



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or only $50, you can enjoy complimentary tastings, one per location, at eighteen wineries, four breweries, two distilleries, and one cidery. You will also receive complimentary corkage fees at participating restaurants and discounts on local hotel stays. A portion of the proceeds will help support the Atascadero Charles Paddock Zoo. In addition, those that visit all participating tasting locations and complete their passport can submit it to the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce for a 25 percent discount coupon for 2022’s in-person Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival! Purchase your passport at Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

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Santa Margarita

I Santa Margarita Celebrates! Simone Smith

Photos by Simone Smith and Courtesy of Santa Margarita Fire.

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t’s morning; there’s a bit of that early fall chill in the air, a rooster is crowing in the distance, and people are starting out with their daily lives, breakfast, coffee, getting the kids off to school, driving to work… The news has been filled with COVID stories, world drama, city trauma, climate change and fires, seemingly endless fires. As the rest of us go through our regularly scheduled days there are those who rise to the occasion, jumping into action at a moments notice when suddenly life takes a turn and first responders are needed. As of August, the Santa Margarita Fire District volunteers have been heeding that call for over 100 years. The town of Santa Margarita officially came into being with the sell-off of lots from Patrick Murphys Santa Margarita Rancho lands at a Grand Auction on April 20, 1889. However, over the years, as the town grew in population and filled in with homes and businesses, it became apparent that emergency response was not possible from the cities of San Luis Obispo or Atascadero, and on August 2, 1921, the formation of the Santa Margarita Fire District was officially declared in a Resolution adopted by the County Board of Supervisors. Being surrounded by the Santa Margarita Ranch, the special Fire Protection District is funded by and designated to serve the properties on the 307 acres within the boundaries of the town proper. Since its inception, the Santa Margarita Fire Protection District has been served by volunteers in the community willing to come to the aid of those in need. It has evolved throughout the years from neighbors helping neighbors to the days of the “Claud Proud Fire Department” in the late 1950s and early 1960s to its current configuration spearheaded by Mr. Vernon Stewart and Mr. Herb Brazzi in 1963 to establish a Fire Board, build the Santa Margarita Fire Station located in the heart of downtown and recruit volunteers to fill staff positions. Recent years have seen a significant turnover of the town’s population with the loss of old-timers and an influx of many new young families from larger cities attracted by Santa Margarita’s small-town atmosphere and friendly community. However, many may not realize that the Santa Margarita Fire Department (SMFD) is still an all-volunteer organization. A visit to the website at explains, “All firefighters are volunteers and are trained in techniques

including fire suppression, search and rescue, and BLS emergency medical skills. “The primary mission of SMFD is to “provide safe, effective and timely service to the citizens of Santa Margarita, including but not limited to: emergency medical aid, wild-fires, structure fires, and large-scale emergencies such as natural and man-made disasters.” Response time matters, and with Santa Margarita Fire Department located in the heart of town, volunteers with prompt turnout time are able to respond to any number of emergency situations within its district in a 7 minute response time in addition to providing automatic aid with Cal Fire and providing mutual assistance to outside areas as needed such as seen with a crew sent to help battle the recent Caldor fire in the Tahoe area. Being members of the community, Santa Margarita Fire Department volunteers are actively involved in many community events. Notably, with their participation in 4th of July Parades, putting on an annual Easter Egg Hunt for the town children, participating in the Friends of the Library “Evening in Santa Margarita” event, and providing Fire Safety public outreach to the school, among other things. To commemorate its centennial of existence, the Santa Margarita Volunteer Fire Department is planning to hold a 100 Year Celebration Event on Sunday, October 24, 2021. This fun, family-friendly, and informative event will start at 4 p.m. at the Santa Margarita Fire Station at 22375 El Camino Real in Santa Margarita. It will include a barbeque, music, and tours of the station and its equipment. Meet Fire Chief Bob Murach or talk to Santa Margarita’s firefighters to see what it’s all about. Commemorative 100 Year T-shirts will be available for purchase, and donations will be accepted to help fill department needs. SMVFD staffing generally consists of 1 part-time Fire Chief, 1 part-time Deputy Chief, 1 Paid Call Firefighter (PCF) Captain, 1 PCF Lieutenant, Paid Call Firefighters, and new recruits. Chief Bob Murach says they always need new volunteers who must go through the Firefighter Academy, taking a one-year minimum of training before becoming a PCF. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to show up and go through a drill held at the station every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. You must be 18 to join and 21 to drive.  Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021


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A World Entranced

Intimate Covid-Era Concert Reaches Paso


n the heart of wine country, at a winery ranked number two most beautifully designed in the world by Architectural Digest, with wine from San Luis Obispo County’s Winemaker of the Year, Jordan Fiorentini, a small group gathered to enjoy the sounds of GRAMMY® Award-nominated JP Saxe at an intimate, outdoor concert. The perfect weather, combined with the intimate experience, including a meet and greet with the artist, created an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity. Guests were able to request songs and share stories of how Saxe’s music had impacted their lives, including me, as I walked down the aisle for my wedding to his song “The Few Things” last month. Saxe himself stated that he planned on trying to keep things classy for wine country but that through the requests of songs, it was clear that guests didn’t mind some cheeky vibes. This event was brought together by 88 Vines Entertainment, created by Danny Cooper, who has over 30 years of experience in both music and wine and was looking for ways to bring the two together. 88 Vines Entertainment promoted and marketed the artist and the winery throughout the LA and OC metro, as well as SLO county areas. “Our goal is to make more people aware of Epoch Estate Wines and Paso Robles wine country in general, as well as to help promote the artist’s new album and upcoming Fall tour,” Cooper shared. The caterer for the event was Field to Table Catering, a central coast company created by Tracy Labastida in August 2013. Labastida started in the produce fields before his passion shifted from growing the produce to cooking it. The company maintains strong relationships with local farmers to complete Labastida’s vision of using fresh, local ingredients to craft amazing, mouth-watering menus to complement local events. The wines served at the dinner were all Epoch Estate wines from winemaker Jordan Fiorentini. Fiorentini oversees all the wine and vines decisions as well as day-to-day operations in the winery. Dedicated and not afraid to push the envelope, Fiorentini brings an enthusiastic and experienced spirit to Epoch wines and creates tasting notes to help guests pair them perfectly with their food. The night started with a welcome pour of Rosé, and the tasting room was open for guests to sample other wines from Epoch

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throughout the night along with the dinner. After the meet and greet dinner was served, JP Saxe took to the stage and began the informal performance, which suits his style of lyrics that always present heartfelt authenticity. “My favorite music has always been the songs that make me feel closer to myself, and I want to make that kind of music. In order to do that, I have to be as close to myself as possible when I write these songs. So, it feels like you get to hear what I’m thinking,” the artist shared. Saxe’s life has always revolved around music from a young age, and after quitting piano as a young kid, he picked it up again to accompany his own vocals. His songwriting career began for other artists but shifted when he first started creating “The Few Things” while sitting at a piano. The shift to telling his own stories in his songs was when he learned to start listening to his instincts and trusting his own taste above all. He found that playing music for someone else was always a moving target, but playing music for himself ended up touching so many people who could relate to the lyrics. Saxe gained momentum with his song “If The World Was Ending,” featuring Julia Michaels, and continues to keep the world entranced with his songs that allow intimate looks into his emotions.  You can follow JP Saxe through his website,, and watch 88 Vines for more artists they plan to bring to the Paso Robles area at

Left photos by Melissa Guerra. Feature photo courtesy of

By Melissa Guerra

Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

Literature L o c a l

A u t h o r s

Atascadero People

R e l e a s e

Young Adult Sci-Fi Novel

By Patrick Patton


on McConnell graduated from Atascadero High School in 2000, and Dayna McConnell graduated from Morro Bay High School in 2005. Each ended up working at Mervyn's Department Store, Dayna in the shoe department, and John in the men's department. Little did they know that they would be married with two kids less than a decade later, and both published authors of a YA sci-fi novel. “We were just friends at first,” Dayna said, “truly just really good friends,” Dayna said that their friendship lasted for about 2-3 years before it became something more special. They are now in their sixth year of marriage with two young children and both teachers living in Orcutt. Dayna teaches 3rd grade, and Jon teaches high school. The idea for The Time Trials was something that the couple had talked about and slowly developed over the years. “The spark that started it was the idea of competitive teams that travel back in time and accomplish certain tasks,” Jon shared. Jon described writing until he came to a point where he felt stuck, at which point Dayna sat down and decided to give it a shot. “It happened kind of naturally,” Jon explained. “The experience of having a co-author was really valuable for me,” Dayna shared. “Yeah, it could have been a disaster,” said Jon, “but it worked out really well.” Jon explained that there were some really great benefits to writing with your partner, including how fun it is to bounce ideas off of someone else who knows the story. For most writers, crafting a novel is a notoriously solitary and isolating process. “You also have someone to write for,” Jon said. “Instead of trying to write for an audience, I found

myself thinking, 'oh, Dayna's really gonna like this.” “There's a bit of an 'opposites' thing happening,” said Dayna. “He's just a more fun person than I am! Jon is really good with the plot and the world-building, and I tend to be better with the more poignant aspects and character development.” As far as the actual process goes, Dayna shared that she would write the more emotional scenes while Jon would write more of the action scenes, but when it came to the scenes with the actual time trials, the couple spent hours upon hours researching and developing those chapters together. Jon and Dayna described the book as a PG-13 YA sci-fi novel intended for teens, though many adults would probably enjoy it. It is chock full of nineties throwbacks, heavy on teen angst, and has a YA relationship aspect. “It's not hard sci-fi,” Dayna said, “so it's meant for teens and those who have never read sci-fi before.” The story revolves around protagonist Finn Mallory, a boy who arrives to the Time Trials on scholarship. He's dealing with the trauma of losing his parents and ends up at this high-end school, feeling like an outsider in a world of elites, clinging to the image of his parents, who were musicians and deeply involved in the 90's grunge scene. “Finn is a bit stuck in the past,” Jon said, “which is one of the major themes of the story.” “The major themes we deal with are redemption, classism, and found family,” Dayna added. The two are already finished with the second installment of the series, which is due out in July 2022. They expect there will be four books in this series. Make sure to pick up your copy of The Time Trials by Jon McConnell and Dayna McConnell, released in September.  For more information on the authors and their work, visit

MONDAY Pumpkin Ravioli TUESDAY Shrimp Skewers WEDNESDAY BBQ Pork Sandwiches

October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 17

Downtown Atascadero

Atascadero Holds the First Art, Wine & Brew Tour of 2021

By Patrick Patton


n the last Friday evening in September, the Atascadero Downtown businesses participated in the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce's first Art, Wine & Brew Tour of 2021. Patrons sipped and shopped their way through the downtown stores, enjoyed beautiful artwork, and tasted wine, beer, juice, and other treats. Participants arrived at the front steps of Historic City Hall on the day of the event to claim their wine glasses and wristband for the tastings. Then, starting at 5:30 p.m., they were able to utilize those in order to taste wine, beer, coffee, and cider from approximately 15-20 local businesses. Each local business partnered up with a local winery/brewery/cidery as well as an artist whose work was showcased at the store. The event is a favorite of Downtown businesses, and the evening's event did not disappoint! Amy Einolander, owner of Juice Boss on Entrada Ave., said the Downtown was buzzing all day, even before the event. She was sold out of juice by 4 p.m. and had to start making more juice for the event. Einolander made her “Melonhead” watermelon juice and handed it out to anyone passing by in order to make sure everyone was staying hydrated.

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“This is the first time I've done it,” said Einolander, “and I'm really glad that I am participating. It's nice as a neighborhood to get out and support each other and walk around and have good drinks and shop and support each other's businesses. That is the most important thing these days because we're not going to be here if it's not for each other.” The biggest common thread between participating businesses was that same sense of community and the importance of supporting one another. “It's been really fun for me having Hoyt here because I know them,” said Roxy Bragg of Indigo Clothing, also on Entrada, who partnered with Hoyt Family Vineyards and showcased art by Burch for the event. “It's fun! It's fun to see everybody's faces out. For me, as a newer shop on the street, it's really big for exposure. It's my first year in this location. When I was in my old location, I only participated in the event one time before COVID hit, and at that time, my business was literally a week old. So for me, this is about exposure. Other than that, it's just fun! I think it's really fun for me to be able to share my friend's artwork and to have Hoyt here pouring!” Farron Walker, owner of Bloke and Farron Elizabeth, agreed with the importance of exposure for newer businesses, as her newest shop, Bloke, opened up right in the middle of the lockdown. “It's bringing people out from even Paso and

Templeton, coming to Downtown Atascadero, a lot of new people that don't normally explore the area, and this year we have so many new businesses that have opened in the past year, so it's great for the community to be able to check out all the new businesses for the first time. That's really important because people might not know what's going on here.” So many community members showed up to support our local businesses, including Atascadero's Mayor Heather Moreno. “This is something that we've done for a long time in Atascadero,” said Moreno. “Having gone through the lockdown and all of that, I think everybody's really anxious to get back to some semblance of normal and really enjoy seeing people, and being outside—we have the perfect weather for it—and so this is just a typical Atascadero Downtown event where the community comes together.” It was a truly beautiful thing to see the community indeed coming together to support local businesses, to see local businesses partner up and support each other, and to stand in the midst of a bustling crowd of smiling faces and joyful conversation. Mayor Moreno may have summed it up best when she said, “things happen because people come together.”  Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021
















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October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 19



Rex Hendrix recalled having built at least a couple hundred of the housn Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 es currently standing in Atascadero, p.m., the 43rd Annual Colwhile Matt Sprock recalled working ony Days Reception was on the fountain which had been dampresented by Quota of Atascadero. aged and presenting it back to the City The Tea is the first official event of at Colony Days 25th Anniversary. Colony Days, the week-long series of Diane Gouff shared memories events celebrating the founding of the of riding horses around town with Colony of Atascadero. friends, visiting Charles Paddock's resThe invitation-only event took cued animals which would later evolve place at Atascadero Bible Church into the Charles Paddock Zoo, and (ABC) Fellowship Hall on Atascadewas unable to fight back tears as she Pioneer Day Royalty top photos from left to right: 2021 Grand Marshal Joan Rexroth ro Ave., which is reportedly the sec- with 2019 Grand Marshal Flora Adams. 2019 Queen Bonne Scott, 2021 Queen Charlotte shared that her husband had died this ond oldest building in Atascadero. Byrne, 2019 King Jack Scott and 2021 King Mike Byrne. Photos by Jeannie Malik year, making it difficult for her to come The event was attended by men and to the event, though she said that she women age 55 years and older who was very glad she did. have lived in Atascadero for at least 40 After everyone had a chance to years or attended Atascadero schools share their fond memories, the new and lived in San Luis Obispo County Queen Charlotte Byrne was crowned for 40 years. by outgoing Queen Bonne Scott. Dyann Shepard, the event's chairThen, outgoing King Jack Scott person, welcomed the audience and pinned the new King Mike Byrne, thanked Judy Bloom for arranging and outgoing Grand Marshal Flora the flowers, Vons Grocery Store for Adams pinned the new Grand Mardonating over $200 worth of flowers shal Joan Rexroth. to the event, and ABC Church for setKent Kenny thanked and recting up all of the tables and chairs and ognized the ladies of Quota of for opening their Fellowship Hall for Atascadero for hosting the event, and the event. She also recognized Mayor recognized Atascadero's Citizen of Heather Moreno, as well as Mayor the Year, Brenda May. Pro Tem Heather Newsom, Council Member Charles Bourbeau, and Council Longtime residents visited, sipped on tea, and immersed themselves in Member Susan Funk, who were all in attendance. nostalgic conversations with old friends. Deena Pangborn then recognized and thanked all past members of Royalty Many of the attendees remarked on how nice it was to have the event back and Grand Marshals. again after having to cancel in 2020 in response to COVID-19. The Dexter Family COVID Consort entertained the crowd by performing a "It was really hard," said chairperson Dyann Shepard. "I mean, people brief and lively set of classical musical pieces, during which attendees enjoyed were so sad because this has been a tradition for 43 years, so I literally got their tea and snacked on sandwiches and cookies. calls the night before the tea asking, 'are you going to have it?' and I had to After the music came the highlight of the evening—the sharing of memories say 'no, we can't,' so for us, just to see the excitement on people's faces when and stories of growing up in Atascadero. we get together is wonderful. A lot of people don't see each other except for Dave May shared his tale of moving to Atascadero and experiencing an this event, so it's a really big deal to them. In fact, we used to have a man eventful first 24 hours in town, including hearing a lion roar, his then-girlfriend who drove every year from Kentucky. He grew up in Atascadero, moved to leaving town out of fear for the lion, searching for the lion, and discovering the Kentucky, and every year he would come. I remember one year, he called Charles Paddock Zoo, a flooded baseball field, and a near fistfight. me and said, 'I can't make the trip,' and I was so sad." Many of the residents shared memories of being baptized and married Shepard has been working on this event for somewhere between 15-20 in the very building. One resident recalled a Christmas presentation he had years. taken part in as a three-year-old. "I love doing it," said Shepard. "It's my favorite thing to do in Quota." 


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Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021



he Colony Days Royalty Committee announced Joan Rexroth as the 2021 Colony Days Grand Marshall! Joan Rexroth was born in Alberta, Canada, and eventually lived in Saskatchewan and British Columbia as well, before moving back to Alberta after high school. Joan's family then moved to Dawson Creek in Northern British Columbia, where she worked for two years in pursuit of a nursing career, a passion that Rexroth says began with animals. "We had a goat with a deformed leg," Joan said. "We splinted it with a stick, and it healed. I said right then that I wanted to be a nurse." In 1953 Joan entered a threeyear nursing program in Calgary, Alberta. A nursing diploma presented an opportunity to travel anywhere. At the time, when one wanted to move to the United States, Joan recalls the requirements were to present three references from professionals, a clean health record, a sufficient amount of money, and a proof of employment letter. "We carried our chest x-rays as part of the entry," Joan explained. "Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield was the first to respond with a job offer, and it was there that I met my husband." Joan married her husband, Bob Rexroth, in 1959. "He whisked me off to his ranch 60 miles from any town," Joan shared, "of which 10 miles was a dirt road." October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

Joan recalls quickly learning to cook and to live the farm life. The couple had three daughters, Andi, Alison, and Abby. Joan now has three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. In 1985 the Rexroths sold their ranch and moved to Atascadero, leading Bob to join the Colony Days Committee. Unfortunately, Bob later suffered a fatal heart attack in 1992. "I was then recruited by Barbie Butz," said Joan. "My first job was to write numbers on cards for the parade lineup, and Maggie Rice Vandergon told me she hadn't ever had such a great number cards. I was hooked! I loved the meetings, the camaraderie, making all the cards, and all the people on the committee." Joan went on to become the recording secretary, as well as arts and crafts co-chairman. She served seventeen years on the committee before resigning in 2002. Her hobbies are quilting, gardening, writing, and cribbage. She is currently taking a Cuesta College class on writing "your life story." Joan has quilted 138 quilts, and her quilting club, the Almond Country Quilt Guild, has donated 40 quilts during the North Fire. Joan was surprised to be named Colony Days Grand Marshall. "I wouldn't have expected it," Joan shared. "People have been living here longer and have done more for the community, but it's going to be fun. I am honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal for Colony Days 2021. Thank you!"  | 21


Colony days King & Queen JOHN & CHARLOTTE BYRNE By Patrick Patton


ike Byrne and Charlotte Byrne have been named this year’s Colony Days King and Queen. John Michael Byrne and Charlotte Byrne are originally from Tujunga in Southern California. The couple met and then married after graduating from college, and in 1971 they moved to Atascadero with their three sons. According to Mike, they were attracted to Atascadero because of “the clean air, small community, and great people.” “You can’t raise kids in the smog,” Charlotte said. They purchased the only house for sale at the time from Pat Nimmo, and to this day, they still live in and love that home on Tranquilla Avenue. “We came here to visit two friends, Ken and Signa Schmidt,” explained Charlotte. “Little beknownst to us, as soon as we left, they called Pat Nimmo and said ‘find a house for our friends. We’ve lived in that house ever since.” Charlotte began the first parent-education preschool in town, and Mike coached boys and girls on the high school cross-country teams. They both taught in local public schools, and after retiring, began volunteering at Loves and Fishes in Atascadero. It was there that they became aware of the many people struggling to get by without housing. “We discovered that many of the people coming to Loaves and Fishes don’t have housing,” said Mike. “It was eye-opening.” Along with six friends, Mike and Charlotte established the first homeless organization in the area and named it “El Camino Homeless Organization” (ECHO). Using church buildings and mainly church volunteers, the shelter rotated each month until ECHO bought a permanent building below the Atascadero High School located at 6370 Atascadero Avenue. ECHO now has an Executive Director, Wendy Lewis, and professional staff with locations in both Atascadero and Paso Robles, which allows them to service North County with the capacity to house 150 people. The Byrne’s explain that they have always had an outpouring of community support. “From the very beginning, [the Atascadero] City Council was always happy to support us,” Mike shared.

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“Once a year, the Mayors from Paso and Atascadero would volunteer to spend the night as overnight chaperons,” said Charlotte. The couple are proud of their three sons, Kevin (Nadja), Chris, and Greg (Tran), four grandchildren Josh, Natalie, Jen, and Brendan, and one great-grandchild (Camden, 2). Their hobbies include skiing, hiking, and visiting national and state parks. They have attended St. William Catholic Church since 1971. Mike is proud to have completed eight AIDS Life Cycle rides from San Francisco to Los Angles, and the couple will always remember their hike from North Rim to South Rim at the Grand Canyon in 2002. Mike and Charlotte expressed their gratitude for being selected as this year’s Colony Days Royalty. “I thought they [Atascadero Colony Days Royalty committee] were kidding,” said Charlotte. “We were shocked.” “It means the community of Atascadero has really included us,” said Mike. “It really means a lot to us, and it makes me feel like I’ve got my bags unpacked.” Mike and Charlotte look forward to seeing many old and new friends along the parade route.  Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

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Sip & Savor


he much-maligned wine is long past its identity crisis. Not only is merlot trending and here to stay, but it’s also a verb, joining the likes of Google, Zoom, and Instagram. Such as — shall we merlot for lunch? Or are you merlot-ing tonight? I’m ready to merlot. Possibilities are endless. Seemingly, the hex on merlot has lifted from the 2004 film “Sideways,” especially the seminal phrase that caused much damage to this medium-bodied pleasurable wine. (If you don’t get the reference Google it!) Enter #MerlotMe movement, now kicking off its ninth year in October. Thanks to the efforts of Napa Valley’s Duckhorn family, noted for its high-end luxury merlots, and other Napa merlot producers, bloggers, and influencers are jumping on the merlot bandwagon. According to the 2020 MerlotMe stats, social media awareness racked up a whopping 18,724,611 impressions. The month-long ode to merlot which culminates on November 7 as National Merlot Day, will be celebrated by more than 100 merlot producers, wine merchants, restaurants, and consumers as they taste and toast online (#MerlotMe) and at events, homes, and restaurants around the World. For the past three years, I’ve been corralling Paso merlot winemakers to gather around a lineup of local merlots. This year a tasting hosted by Paris Valley Road Estate Winery brought together Paso winemakers and merlot aficionados, among them Doug Hidinger, Adam and Angie Lazarre, Don Arndt, Neeta Mittal, and Chris Kern. “Merlot is the reason I became a commercial winery in 2012,” declared Don Arndt of Arndt Cellars. “It’s my number-two selling wine.” Ardnt poured his 2016 vintage, sourced from Penman Springs Vineyard, a deep garnet-hued wine effusive with black cherries and just the right amount of oak. On the other hand, Hidinger, winemaker at Paris Valley Road (PVR) Estate Winery, noted that they bring out the merlot as a surprise wine in the tasting room. “People can’t identify it,” he said. Produced from its RBZ Vineyard, the medium-bodied 2017 vintage was a rush of red fruits and tart cherries anchored with firm tannins. “Ours is a dark horse that’s coming along,” announced Angie Lazarre. The Lazarre merlot was launched in 2010, and at the time, they couldn’t get people to try it; Angie recalled a wine that is selling fast

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now. Luxurious on the palate and insanely seductive, the 2017 rocked with ripe blackberries, revealing traces of Paso garrigue. Hidinger admitted that till the narrative changes, winemakers are going to use it in blends. “It brings something to the table in blends Agreed, it’s popular as a blending wine, but a varietal merlot can reveal its opulence and decadence, bursting with ripe red fruits and soaring with savory notes. And it’s these characteristics that got Écluse owner-winemaker Steve Lock, who was making merlot as a blending wine for the past 15 years, to switch to varietal merlot beginning with the 2017 vintage, a wine that was lush with waves of ripe cherries and firm tannins. Laura Kramer, on the other hand, has been producing varietal merlot all along. “It’s one of my favorite wines we grow on the estate,” said the winemaker of Kramer Estate Wines. Yet, her current 2018 release is a 50/50 blend of merlot and petit verdot, a bold and sassy muscle-flexing wine. J. Lohr’s three styles of merlot ranged from fruit-forward 2018 vintages from El Pomar and Creston Districts to the luxurious merlot-driven 2017 Cuvée Pom, a nod to Bordeaux’s Pomerol region. The 2019 Ancient Peaks was a silky and exuberant merlot crafted by Mike Sinor from its Santa Margarita Ranch, the 2018 Donati Family Reserve, lush with blueberry flavors and smoky accent, and a deliciously supple 2018 Madeline’s. Merlots from Paso’s different enclaves, while true to their flavors of cherries and plums, expressed a broad spectrum of characteristics. The eastside merlots from wineries such as Stillwaters, Sculpterra, Robert Hall, Broken Earth, and Hearst Ranch were bold and fruit-forward, whereas the westside representation from wineries like Rangeland, Castoro Cellars, Four Lanterns, and Justin were full-bodied with complex structure. There were a handful of 2018 Napa merlots in the lineup: the signature Duckhorn, vibrant and effusive with ripe cherries; an elegant and perfumy Seavey; the Peju Legacy Collection, ringing with Bing cherries and traces of white pepper; and the silky 2017 St. Supéry, a carousel of black plums backed with hints of mocha. When tasting Paso merlots alongside Napa, the consensus was that Napa merlots showed consistency in profile and texture while the Paso merlots revealed a maverick style, ranging from herbaceous to overly worked and everything in between. Isn’t that characteristic of Paso? Its diversity that defines Paso’s varied winemaking culture. “Embrace it and celebrate it,” said Hidinger, in the true spirit of merlot’s approachable profile. Check out other Paso merlots from Fratelli Perata, Midnight Cellars, Mitchella, Opolo, Le Vigne, Pear Valley, Penman Springs, Bianchi, and Tobin James. Merlot responsibly.  Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

Taste of Americana

From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz


The Right Time for Pumpkin Time

here’s nothing like “pumpkin-time.” From growing them to carving them and cooking them. I simply love pumpkins, and I know I’m not alone, as proved by the many pumpkin stands, festivals, and recipes for its use. In most collections of family photos, you’ll find young children sitting on pumpkins or standing in a field of pumpkins. When our boys were little, we lived in Santa Barbara, and our favorite pumpkin patch was between the Mira Mar Hotel and Santa Claus Lane on the west side of 101 Hwy.

New England is known for pumpkin festivals where you can sample pumpkin cooked in every possible way, from pumpkin stew to pumpkin pancakes. Naturally, pumpkin pie is an all-time favorite. Pumpkins are a symbol of our colonial heritage and the ability of the cooks of those days to use the gourds in more than one recipe. Leftover Jack O’Lanterns are not the preferred pumpkin for pies, but small, sweet pumpkins known as “sugar” pumpkins are available in all of our markets today and are the best for pies. Enjoy! 





Ingredients: • 2½ to 3-pound sugar pumpkin (or one 16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin) • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar • ½ cup molasses or maple syrup • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • ½ teaspoon ground ginger • 1¼ teaspoons nutmeg • 1¼ teaspoons ground cloves • 2 eggs • 1 cup heavy cream • Pastry for 1 (9-inch) pie crust Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover jelly roll pan with foil and place pumpkin in the center. Pierce pumpkin about a dozen times with a fork. Bake until flesh is tender and most of the moisture has evaporated, 1 to 1½ hours. Cool. Split the pumpkin in half and discard the seeds. Measure out about 2½ cups pulp, place in a mixing bowl, and mash with mixer or potato masher. Blend in brown sugar, molasses, and spices. Beat in eggs and cream. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Ingredients: • 2½ cups all-purpose flour • 2½ teaspoons baking powder • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon • 1 tablespoon ground ginger • 2 eggs • One 15-ounce can puréed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just unsweetened puréed pumpkin) • ¾ cup olive oil • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper for good measure and set the pan aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Crack eggs into another large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add pumpkin, olive oil, and brown sugar and whisk to mix well. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined. Us a rubber spatula to scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth surface, so it is even. Bake cake until golden brown, barely firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack to room temperature. Use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cake from pan sides and then invert the cake onto a work surface. Peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake one more time onto a serving platter, Cut into wedges and serve.

Preheat oven again, this time to 425 degrees. Place pie on baking sheet in bottom third of the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer. Move pie to the center of the oven and continue baking until filling is set, another 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a light sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 25

Business Spotlight

Health & Fitness

North County Celebrating 15 Years Helping People Feel Their Best

Pilates By Camille DeVaul


n October 6, North County Pilates (NCP) celebrates 15 years of helping their clients feel their best! Owner and Pilates instructor Melissa Barton fell in love with Pilates over 15 years ago when she found it relieved her chronic pain from an injury when she was a teenager. Melissa has combined her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Cal Poly with training from the prestigious BASI Pilates training with Karen Clippinger at Cal State Long Beach. Needless to say, she knows how the body works, and she knows how to help her clients get their movement back or improve. "I love being able to see people get back into all the things that they've always loved doing," Melissa shared. She explains pilates is an effective workout that helps clients live painfree, whether that pain comes from new or previous injuries like herself or simply from age. Melissa found NCP while she was at Cal Poly. She ended up interning at the studio and then worked there for four years as an instructor. Six years ago, she bought the studio and today continues its legacy of being a unique and welcoming environment. All of NCP's instructors are well knowledgeable in Pilates, the movement of the body, and other various forms of exercise. Melissa continues to share why Pilates is so effective, "It works all your small muscle groups. It helps with the dexterity of your body—that fine motor control."

The team at NCP offers group or private sessions and even classes through Zoom. They also know the importance of everyone, and every body is different. That is why they don't offer "cookie-cutter" workouts. Before joining a group session, Melissa has clients go through five private sessions. This gives clients one-on-one attention to learn how pilates works and gives the instructor a chance to understand how the client's body works. "We are attentive, and we build everything around who that person is and what their goals are--but we want to make each person feel important," Melissa explained. NCP is located on Traffic Way in Atascadero. The studio is nestled in a light-filled brick studio that was once the home of the original Atascadero Fire Station, built in 1926. Current clients and anyone curious about pilates are welcome to visit the studio on October 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for NCP's anniversary celebration! There will be wine and knowledgeable Pilates instructors there, so it's the perfect time to learn more about the studio and the art of Pilates. "I want people to know how beneficial Pilates is and how it helps us continue doing all the things we love doing as we age or after we get injured. It's a great time to learn about your body and get to know yourself and how to be more self-aware of our bodies," Melissa stated.  Anyone wanting to learn more about classes offered or to sign up can visit the North County Pilates websites at

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Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

Health & Security

Hedges Insurance Services Serving the North County for 33 years

By Patrick Patton


edges Insurance Services has been serving our community since 1989 and is heading into its Annual Election Period, which will be open from October 15 through December 7. Hedges sells health and life insurance with an emphasis on Medicare and employee benefit plans. “The real enjoyment is being able to save people money,” owner Mike Hedges shared. “I love being able to save seniors money.” For many, the world of health insurance can be a daunting labyrinth of strange terminology and excessive paperwork. It can be intimidating and overwhelming. “There are so many nuances and rules of Medicare,” Mike explained, “and people are paying too much because this is not like buying an airline ticket or a hotel room online, so we don’t charge anything for our service. The companies pay us. Our allegiance is to the client only, and never to a company.” This time of the year, just before the open enrollment period, Mike concentrates on getting the word out that there are opportunities for people. “One of the benefits that we’re really excited about now is that we have a product where you get free membership to Kennedy Club Fitness,” Mike explained. “If you’re a couple, that’ll save you a thousand bucks a year!” Mike grew up in Covina and enjoyed sales even as a child. He sold World’s

Finest Chocolate at his Catholic school, mowed lawns, and threw newspapers as a youth. After High School, Mike moved to Dana Point, where he had a business refurbishing furniture. In addition, he spent time working in home improvement, which included remodeling kitchens as well. Eventually, he began selling health insurance to self-employed people and found success by simply knocking on the doors of businesses. “The whole point of sales is doing a good job for your customer,” Mike said, “with good follow-through and providing the right product for the right situation.” Hedges Insurance is a family business with a four-person staff. “We are successfully insuring thousands of people in the North County alone only because of the quality of our staff,” Mike shared. “It’s family-run, so everybody has a vested interest in the quality of service our company provides. We have four agents, and we treat our clients like we treat our parents and friends by doing a good job for them and helping them get what will work best for them in their situation. One size doesn’t fit all, and far too many people have agents who will sell a job and forget about them. Our staff collectively, between four agents, has over 80 years of experience selling Medicare, so we’ve run into a lot of situations.”  To learn more about Mike and his team at Hedges Insurance Services, visit or call (805)466-9048. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW BOOKKEEPER OR TAX PREPARER?




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Tent City • San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

James Brescia, Ed.D.




ecause of the pandemic, I have attended most local school board meetings virtually and observed local governance in action. Previously, when I mentioned an upcoming local board meeting requiring my attendance, some people would joke, “You mean a bored meeting, don’t you?” I’m afraid I have to disagree with anyone considering local school board meetings boring, irrelevant, or a waste of time. Today more than at any time in my nearly 40-year career, I find local boards important, relevant, and crucial in navigating turbulent times. Locally elected school board members or “trustees” are non-partisan members of our community that ideally reflect the diversity of the Central Coast. According to the National School Boards Association, a nationwide organization, 44 percent of school trustees are female (more than the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate). Nearly 25 percent of elected school board members are from underrepresented ethnic populations. Every school district in the country has an elected board of trustees. Approximately 95,000 school board members make up the largest group of elected officials in the country. In addition to parents, teachers, staff, and administrators, school board members directly influence the quality of education provided within the communities they represent. Most school boards convene one-to-two times per month, are open to the public, and provide governance for the schools they represent. A subtle but significant note is that these are meetings of the board in public, not public meetings. Trustees serve four-year terms with staggered terms to prevent large vacancies from occurring all at once. A trustee must be a registered voter who is at least 18 years old, a citizen of the state they represent, live in the jurisdiction boundaries, and eligible under the ~ Andrew Zimmern state’s constitution to be elected to public office. Depending upon the school district’s size, most trustees are unpaid or receive a small stipend and possibly health insurance coverage. School districts are complex, multi-million dollar organizations. Board members can work from 10 to 40 hours per month on

“I’d be very happy serving on a local school board. I just know that I have a responsibility to give back.”

school district governance matters. Governing boards oversee the needs of students, the needs of families, budgets, and provide solid stewardship for the nation’s schools. Highly functional school boards fill a vital role in maintaining local districts by always keeping the best interests of students first. Boards should model civility when celebrating successes or dealing with challenges. Successful school boards understand that boards govern while the superintendent, district administrators, teachers, and staff manage their schools. Five critical components of effective school boards are setting a vision, advancing policy, demonstrating accountability, playing a leadership role in the community, and forging civil consensus. The last component is often one of the most difficult to maintain in today’s media-drenched political atmosphere. The title of this article is “Motion, Second, Discussion & Civility,” not “my way or the highway.” An effective board is secure with differing votes that reflect the community they represent. Confident boards often encourage diverse opinions while building a consensus that moves items forward with a majority vote representing the people who elected the trustees. Experienced school board members know that true consensus is not about winners and losers. Motion, Second, Discussion asks all participants to consider and eventually affirm the key points: 1. “Are all voices heard?” 2. “Is the item understood?” 3. “Is it clear that the will of the group has emerged around the proposal?” When a motion is made by a trustee and another trustee seconds the motion, the board then discusses/listens/votes on the action. True democracy exists when civility is maintained, authentic dialogue occurs, and a majority vote takes place. I encourage everyone reading this article to thank our locally elected trustees, attend a school board meeting, and engage in the civic process with civility. The Institute for Local Government reminds us that local officials are grappling with complex issues. Bringing as many perspectives on the best solution to a given problem increases the likelihood that the solution will be successful and enduring. Please contact your local school district or the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education for additional information. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools. 

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Choosing Your Words Wisely

Jennifer Scales

Two Words

“It was a beautiful Saturday morning; the sun beamed in through the kitchen window as Trey Collins read his morning newspaper. He looked up from the newspaper for a moment as Brooke entered the room. He stopped, and he glanced at her again; something was different. Her hair, “Hum, shorter, looks good,” he thought. He went back to his newspaper without mentioning his thoughts to her; he continued reading the newspaper where he left off. Trey and Brooke met after college, got married, and settled into their lives together. A decade had passed, and they had fallen into a holding pattern that left them minimally satisfied in their relationship. But they settle into their day-to-day existence, like roommates. Trey put down his newspaper and took a moment to look at Brooke. For the first time in a long time, he really saw her. It wasn’t her hair change that stood out to him. There was something in her green eyes that was stunning. That “something” had likely been there all along. He smiled. “You’re beautiful.” Then, like a thunderbolt of lightning, she looked up surprised and puzzled. Not knowing how to respond, she just stared back at him. They had been all about the work, and they had forgotten why they were a couple. In an instant, her puzzlement changed to acceptance and adoring eyes. She finally responded, “Thank you.” Her eyes and smile shined with gratitude. At that moment, things were suddenly different between Brooke and Trey. They had rekindled the bond between them that had dim through the years of neglect. All Saturday morning, plans went out the window. Instead, they spent the rest of the day together, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. Two words in one unexpected moment changed everything.


ur fictional story is an ordinary day, nothing special, a routine Saturday, probably like most Saturdays. On this day, only two words were exchanged between them. But those heartfelt words changed the course of their day and renewed their love for each other. Our words have that kind of power. Words can do so many things; they can destroy, they can hurt, or they can uplift and encourage. What we say matters, and appreciating those we love is so important in cultivating a healthy relationship. I am no expert on relationships, but I grew up with parents who loved each other deeply and openly displayed their affection. Unfortunately, my mother has recently passed away, and my father is living through loss and grief that only someone married for 63 years can understand. Their love and words made their relationship so strong. It was beautiful to see what amazing friendship they shared and how much they meant to each other. Can you think of two words right now that may make or change someone’s day? Simply saying, “Love you” can change someone’s dark to light. Feeling appreciated and loved is a basic instinct and, even more importantly, is being able to express appreciation and love to others. This is not as instinctual or easy for some individuals to display. If you are one of those people that can express themselves openly, you are blessed. Share your gratitude and love to those around you. For those who struggle, keep trying. You’ll get there. Each day is an opportunity to express truth and kindness. In the midst of chaos and uncertain times, our words can give clarity and support to those around us. Our expressions and heartfelt words can provide hope and light. Choosing words that heal and encourage can make the difference. Keeping in mind, words are easy to say but harder to take back. Let us all strive to choose our words wisely and share love freely. Live life with intention, expressing kindness and love in all you do. Live with purpose. 

( 805 ) 466-7744 8420-A El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422 HOME  AUTO  LIFE

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Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

Calendar of


EVENTS October



Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday THE HAUNT IN ATASCADERO 5805 EL CAMINO REAL TIME: Your Choice DETAILS: All tickets are now timed ticketing. You'll need to choose a time period to visit us. Visit for tickets and for up to date info.

Every Tuesday (5th, 12th, 19th, 26th)


TIME: 9:00 - 11:30 a

Every Wednesday (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)

OCT. 2

TIME: 3:00 - 6:00 p

Every Saturday (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th)


OCT. 7







TIME: 10:00 a -3:00 p DETAILS: • Parade runs along El Camino Real

TIME: 7:00 a - 4:00 p DETAILS: $45 to enter a car, $10 spectator. 12 and under free.

TIME: Registration Open DETAILS: TTR's bocce complex is now open. Register at

OCT. 9

OCT. 16







TIME: 10:00 a DETAILS: Bring your lawn chairs, hats and sunscreen. This year’s Pioneer Day marks 91 years.

TIME: 5:00 - 9:00 p DETAILS: Self-guided art walk gives an opportunity to experience art in galleries and other venues. Visit for up to date info.

TIME: 1:00 p DETAILS: Tickets now on sale for $10 per person. Available for purchase at the gate and online at


Stay up on all the events and happenings in North San Luis Obispo County!

OCT. 23 ZOO BOO AT THE CHARLES PADDOCK ZOO 9100 MORRO RD, ATASCADERO TIME: 5:00 - 8:30 p DETAILS: Get your best costume ready and bring the entire family out to a not-too-scary evening at Zoo Boo!

OCT. 31





TIME: 10:00 a - 5:00 p DETAILS: Free event featuring antiques, arts, crafts, food, children’s activities, a spelling bee, and more!

TIME: 4:00 - 6:00 p DETAILS: Join in on the spooky fun this Halloween at this safe, familyfriendly event.


October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine | 31

Community Services

At the Library

Business & Networking

6290 Adams St.,• (805) 237-3010

Santa Margarita Library • (805) 466-2044 6907 El Camino Real, Suite A, Atascadero, CA 93422

9630 Murphy Ave • (805) 438-5622

Templeton Chamber of Commerce

San Miguel Library • (805) 434-1789 321 S. Main Street #C, Templeton, CA 93465

Creston Library

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

254 13th St. (805) 467-3224

Shandon Library 195 N 2nd St. • (805) 237-3009

Atascadero Library 6555 Capistrano • (805) 461-6161 • Wood Painting: Art Class with Amy Wicks • Friday, Oct. 1 @ 3:30 pm • Parent Place: • Learn to the Music with Nathalia • Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 @ 10:30 am • Parenting from the Inside Out - A Whole Brain Parenting Class • Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20 @ 6:00 pm • Mexican Ranchos: A Chapter of California History at Petaluma State Historic Park • Thursday, Oct. 7 @ 11:00am • Spooky Art • Halloween Kitty: Thursday, Oct. 7 @ 6:00pm • Coffin Box: Thursday, Oct. 14 @ 6:00pm • Hispanic Heritage Month: Pio Pico State Park • Friday, Oct. 8 @ 12:00pm • The Writer's Process: Online Workshop • Wednesday, Oct. 13 @ 6:30pm • TeenTober Author Meetups • - E. Lockhart: Thursday, Oct. 14 @ 1:00pm • - Ruta Sepetys: Thursday, Oct. 28 @ 1:00pm • DIY Soap Making Demo • Saturday, Oct. 16 @ 4:00pm • Teen Virtual Games on Jackbox Games • Saturday, Oct. 30 @ 4:00pm • Ongoing Programs • Live Zoom Storytime Thursdays @ 10:30am • Teen Advisory Board Meetings • Atascadero: Oct. 9 @ 3:30pm • Monthly Book Groups • Oct. 14 @ 10:30am, Oct. 15 @ 10:00am, Oct. 19 @ 3:00pm, Oct. 21 @ 2:30pm Register for these virtual programs online at

Government Atascadero

• Planning Commission 1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:00 p City Hall Council Chambers, 6500 Palma Ave. • City Council 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 6:00 p City Hall Council Chambers, 6500 Palma Ave. For general info, call City Hall M-F, 8:30 a - 5:00 p at (805) 461-5000. Visit

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Health & Wellness

Cancer Support Community Providing support, education and hope 1051 Las Tablas Road, Templeton • (805) 238-4411 • Cancer Support Helpline • (888) 793-9355, 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. PST. Special Programs

• 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month • Adv. Cancer Support Group | Virtual • 10:00 - 11:00 a • 2nd Tuesday of each month • Young Survivor Support Group | Hybrid • 6:00 - 7:30 p • 2nd Wednesday of each month • Caregiver Support Group | Virtual • 10:00 - 11:00 a • 2nd Thursday of each month • Cancer Patient Support Group | Virtual • 11:00 - 12:00 p

Email for zoom links

• Every Wednesday • Tai Chi Chih | Virtual • 10:00 - 11:00 a • Mindfulness Hour | Virtual • 11:30 a - 12:30 a • 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month • Grief Support Group | Virtual • 1:30 p - 2:30 p • 1st Thursday of each month • Breast Cancer Support Group | Virtual • 11:00 - 12:00 p

Service Organizations Elks Lodge

1516 El Camino Real, Atascadero, Lodge 2733• (805) 466-3557 • Meeting — 2nd, 4th Thursdays of the Month

Kiwanis International 7848 Pismo Ave., Atascadero • (805) 610-7229 • Meeting — In person or Zoom every Thursday, 7:00 p.m.

Rotary International Atascadero • Springhill Suites by Marriott, 900 El Camino Real • Meeting — Every Wednesday, 12 p.m. at

County of San Luis Obispo All meetings below meet at the County Government Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers 1055 Monterey St, Room D170, San Luis Obispo • (805) 781-5000 • Subdivision Review Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Monday, 9:00 a • Board of Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st and 3rd Tuesday, 9:00 a • Parks & Recreation Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4th Tuesday, 6:00 p • Airport Land Use Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3rd Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. • Air Pollution and Control Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4th Wednesday of every odd month, with exceptions. 9:00 a • Local Agency Formation Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3rd Thursday, 9:00 a • Planning Department Hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st and 3rd Friday, 9:00 a Visit for virtual & up to date meeting info. Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021


Long Walk Home Fundraiser Raises Ov er $43,000

By Hayley Mattson


n Saturday, September 25, the community came out to support the Long Walk Home fundraiser for El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO). The annual fundraiser engages the community to bring attention to homelessness that impacts our local people. The organization serves North County with three safe and secure overnight shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles. "The community amazes us each time; this is our 10th annual long walk home, and just by looking at the numbers and the people, I would guess that 200 to 300 people came out to support the community that we are serving, so it was pretty amazing," said Wendy Lewis the Executive Director of ECHO. Participants walked from ECHO Atascadero, located on Atascadero Ave., to the Rotunda building in Sunken Gardens off of El Camino Real, where the traditional group photo was taken on the steps of the City Hall. Participants then routed back to ECHO, where volunteers were cooking a take-home BBQ meal. Some of the participants included Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, Atascadero City Council Members Charles Bourbeau, Mark Dariz, and Susan Funk, along with ECHO founders and this year's Colony Days King and Queen Mike Byrne and Charlotte Byrne among many others. "This is our 10th annual, and we had a goal of $40,000, which was kind of stretching what we used to do [prior to COVID], but we had so many amazing sponsors that came on board, and with the turnout today I think we are going to meet that or even exceed it," Lewis explained. And exceed the goal is precisely what they did with a total of $43,000 raised and over 200 people participating in the walk. "The community is just incredible, and if anyone wants to support [ECHO], they can just visit and donate right there," Lewis explained. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards ECHOs housing and meal programs and supportive services in North County. "This was a North County walk to support all of our efforts, our expansion, our recent move to Paso Robles, and heading into winter; it will go to the emergency winter shelter, so today's support will help our entire organization meet the capacity that we have grown to and really make sure that it all keeps October 2021 | Atascadero News Magazine

happening at least for a while," Lewis said. A Long Walk Home Sponsors included: • Founding Sponsor Howard Products, Inc. • Presenting Sponsor Pacific Premier Bank • Silver & Bronze Sponsors Perfect Union SESLOC Federal Credit Union Community West Bank Gerber Automotive Solarponics Don & Elaine Witmer SoCalGas Atascadero 76 Brezden Pest Control Stifel Nicolaus SLO County Board of Supervisors • In-Kind ECHO Partners Dimes Media KSBY ECHO is celebrating 20 years of service this year to San Luis Obispo County. What began as a grass-roots effort in 2001 has turned into a multi-facility full-service organization helping those facing homelessness in our community. Fundamental to the growth and continued service to the community is the support of donors, volunteers, and sponsors.  For more information, please visit | 33

Last Word

We believe in organic food, a healthy planet, and doing our part to preserve it. We believe in people. We believe in partnerships. 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 in the magic of teamwork, hard work, and high fives.

We believe that all ideas are big ideas when they matter to you. We believe to change anything, create a new model that makes the old model obsolete. 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 everything looks better on high-gloss pages. We believe in being the most fun. We believe small business is a state of mind. 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.

adopted 2018

We believe handshakes and hugs are better than likes and shares.

Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto

We believe in art, music, sports, education, and kids.

We believe in the Story of Us.

Atascadero News Magazine Manifesto | Adopted 2018 76 Gas Station.................................. 29 A Heavenly Home............................ 23 Ali McGuckin Re/Max Success................................ 13 American West Tire & Auto..................7 Avila Traffic Safety............................. 29 Birch Fabrics...................................... 13 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 27

Brad's Overhead Doors.................... 19 Central Coast Casualty Restoration......................... 19 City of Atascadero................................5 Deep Steam Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners................. 19 Educated Gardener.......................... 30 Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 23

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DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Atascadero News Magazine is brought to you by Greg Malik Real Estate Group........................10-11 Hearing Aid Specialists of The Central Coast.............................3 Hedges Insurance............................ 36

House of Moseley............................ 23 John Donovan Insurance & Financial Services, Inc................... 30 Kathy Rogers - Mortgage House..... 28 Kenneth's Heating & Air................... 28

Thank you for being #atascaderostrong

Megan's CBD Market....................... 23 Nick's Painting.................................. 26 North County Pilates...........................9 O'Conner Pest Control...................... 17 Odyssey World Cafe......................... 17 Optometric Care Assoc........................9 Orchard & Vineyard Supply.............. 15 Pasadera Homes.................................7

Robert Fry, M.D................................. 29 Robert Hall Winery..............................2 San Luis Obispo County Office of Education........................... 29 SLG Senior Care................................ 26 Solarponics....................................... 19 The Natural Alternative..................... 15 Upbeats & Accents............................ 27

Atascadero News Magazine | October 2021

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