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2 | Avila Beach Life — April 2021

Through Print

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CONTRIBUTORS Betty Hartig Dr. Cindy Maynard Jean Wilson John Salisbury Mary Foppiano Rick Cohen

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pring has sprung! And we are feeling good. Flowers are in bloom, the weather is warming, daylight hours are getting longer, and you can feel the healing begin. The human spirit is resilient. We celebrate that resilience with you. Spring flowers are a wonderful reminder that the wildflowers were once seeds in the soil, buried out of sight, working on a dream. It’s the same for those who realized their business, toiling for hours alone to craft their skills, talents, prototypes, and designs. Our California state constitution declares, “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.” Everyone deserves the opportunity to create and serve their community through business. By this right is how we approach each issue we publish with joy and gratitude for all those who are a part of the journey. Over the past decade, we have spent countless hours volunteering with nonprofits, cleaning up trash in our city’s, contributing to the public events where everyone is invited, and going the extra mile to make the community a better place. It is our home, just like it is yours. With each issue, we strive to remind you that no matter what we all are going through, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with beaches, mountains, hills, rivers, and trails all around that are free for all of us to enjoy. We may not know you personally, but we care about you and appreciate you. We hope that what we do brings you a sense of belonging because each issue is delivered as a labor of love to our community. We are hopeful that you will see the good in your community, and if you don’t see the good, then maybe the world is waiting for you. Be the good. Be the kindness. Be the renewal of spirit spring brings us this year and take the first turn toward building a better community. We thank you for your continued love and support and hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Avila Beach Life.

BLOOM Bloom where you are. Bloom despite the weeds and grow tall and beautiful anyways. Take in all of the light when the sun is shining and know that the rain is necessary when it’s not. Know that everything you need to bloom is right inside you – you already have the strength and capability to grow. Nourish your body and take care of your mind. Keep learning and growing. Let your true colors shine. Bloom. ~ Nikki Banas

Much love, N ic and Hayley

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Avila Beach Life — April 2021 | 3 FOUNDATION NEWS AND VIEWS

Easter, Taxes and Ever-Escalating Property Values

Rick Cohen



reetings, fellow Avilones. Daylight savings has finally arrived, meaning more time outdoors and warmer temperatures enjoyed by those of us who don’t thrive in the cold dark months. And to those of you who celebrate the holiday, let me wish you a happy Easter. By the way, did you know that ALL chocolate-covered bunnies have been banned this Easter to help protect the species from abuse? Haha, just kidding, April Fools! Of course, we all look forward to April 15 as the deadline to file personal income taxes. And speaking of taxes, isn’t it super that the government stimulus checks we received in 2020, and forthcoming again, are tax-free? I hope these financial gifts are being put to good use and back into the economy to help the many charities, businesses, and their employees who have struggled of late. In case you haven’t noticed, the long-awaited replacement of the Avila Beach Lifeguard Tower #2 mural panel was installed by artist Colleen Gnos and her team on March 5. I have written several times about the theft of the original panel, which occurred in late 2019. It was a long and arduous road to restore this beautiful artwork, but the end product looks great. Be sure to look for some photos and a

related story in this month’s issue of the Avila Beach Life print publication mailed to your home. If you are new to the community, take a trip down to the beach and see both Lifeguard Tower murals. They have become a cherished Avila asset. Next, I would like to be among those to welcome our newest SLO County District 3 Supervisor. Dawn Ortiz-Legg was chosen to replace former Supervisor Adam Hill and has been busy getting up to speed on all aspects of the job. Dawn has been present at Zoom meetings of the Avila Valley Advisory Council for a few months, and I also had the opportunity for a personal “get to know you” Zoom meeting with her last month. My initial impression of Supervisor Ortiz-Legg is that she brings a lot of enthusiasm to the position, arrives at meetings highly prepared, and is up to the task of representing Avila Beach interests, along with the other communities in her district. You may be aware of recent concerns expressed by members of the community regarding the homeless encampment up at Cave Landing. It has certainly been a hot topic discussed at recent AVAC meetings, where representatives of various SLO County agencies have been tasked to address the situation. To no one’s surprise but of great consternation, there are no easy

resolutions to the situation. It is said that as many as 100 persons occupy the homeless encampment, which is not equipped with any supervision, waste management, or sanitation, thus presenting a dangerous and unhealthy environment. Among the present obstacles are a lack of County resources, both funding, and personnel, to say nothing about the biggest hurdle being the Coastal Commission and that agency’s insistence that all public beach areas be 24-hour accessible. While enforcing restricted hours, or installing a gate during hours of closure, seem a common-sense approach to the problem that may never come to fruition. Don’t get me wrong. I have great compassion and sympathy for people lacking housing the result of poverty, mental health issues, or by choice. Better alternatives must be made available to provide safer quarters for not only the homeless but also other members of the community who just want to enjoy our public spaces. We did learn at the M a rc h AVAC meeting that the S LO C o u n t y Parks and Recreation Department is pursuing grant money to help ameliorate the Cave Landing problem. L et ’s keep our fingers crossed. I wonder how many of you have noticed the ever-escalat-

ing value of homes in Avila Beach and our surrounding areas. As a sometimes hobby in times of boredom, I log onto websites showing listings and sales in Avila and Shell Beach. Homes don’t stay on the market very long before they are sold, especially those under $1 million, of which there are few. And the growing number of multi-million-dollar properties listed is mind-boggling. While I am aware that low-interest rates, the arrival of retirees, second homeowners, and relocation by professionals who can work remotely from anywhere have contributed to the scenario, I am still left in amazement by the soaring property values on the Central Coast. I fear that the economic divide will become even greater, and fewer young people will be able to afford to live in SLO County. I worry that downtown Avila is succumbing to the influx of vacation rental homes, packing in multitudes of visitors that can stretch our capacity and resources beyond management. It seems that the train has left the station when it comes to controlling growth. I thank my lucky stars for the 25 years my wife, and I have resided in Avila, but I feel nostalgic for the slower-paced Avila of days past. There is still much positive about life in Avila, so I guess I should stop complaining, “smell the roses,” and enjoy what we have. In closing, I bring to you the seasonal reminder from CAL Fire Chief Paul Lee that it’s time to once again check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in working order and replace the batteries if needed. It’s nice to have Chief Lee looking out for us. That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!


Artist Colleen Gnos Installs Replacement Lifeguard Tower Mural STAFF REPORT


ack in December 2019, during a routine visit to check on the status of the lifeguard tower murals, artist Colleen Gnos noticed that one of the panels on tower no. 2 was missing. She reported to the Avila Beach Community Foundation, the agency that initiated and arranged for the project’s funding. The theft occurred at a time of the year when the towers are not manned, so no one was able to pinpoint when the panel was stolen. The Foundation then reached out to the Port San Luis Harbor District, as well as Arts Obispo of SLO County, both of which were project partners, to seek information about the existence of any insurance that might cover the loss. During the process, the 2020 pandemic struck. Communications with Arts Obispo were interrupted, as was the process to file a claim. After several months the Foundation learned that the Arts Obispo insurance carrier would indeed cover the loss. Once this was known, artist Colleen Gnos was commissioned to create and install the replacement panel when her schedule permitted. Due to extenuating circumstances, it wasn’t until January of this year that she was able to begin work on the panel. After several months the Foundation is excited to share that the project is finally completed, and the new panel was installed on March 5.

Colleen Gnos created and install the replacement Lifeguard Tower mural after the original was stolen back in 2019. After a year of COVID the Foundation is excited to share that the project is finally completed, and the new panel was installed on March 5. Contributed Photos.

4 | Avila Beach Life — April 2021 A VIEW FROM THE BEACH

Our Community Gardener

Mary Foppiano

Avila Beach Civic Association


i All – One day at the end of last October, three young women saw our very generous and wonderful Betty Woody working in one of the gardens along Front Street. Betty has been planting new plants, removing overgrowth, and putting her painted rocks in these gardens for over 17 years…and she is in her 90s. These young women started to talk with her and said that they wanted to help and stayed for several hours working with her. Betty was very grateful and has continued to work in the gardens when her health permitted. Well, this is a great story, but it continues. Last month, Betty was again working in one of the gardens, and one of the ladies came by and spent the next few hours helping Betty. I only tell you about this because Betty can always use help to enhance our Front Street so, if you have a little extra time on your hands (no pun intended, of course), let’s all pitch in and help her beautify Avila!


By MARY FOPPIANO for Avila Beach Life


am sure you have all heard of the six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. This, of course, can apply to anyone… and does to Dawn Ortiz-Legg and me. I was surprised to learn that Dawn’s parents lived in the house directly behind mine here in Avila Beach. Even though they lived here years before I moved in, it still is neat to know who my neighbors would have been. Dawn’s parents met at a game when her dad was a basketball player and her mom a cheerleader. Her dad was awarded a scholarship to the Catholic high school and went on to become an optometrist, as was one of his brothers and her mom’s father. Her dad ran his eye care clinic for 30 years and was a co-founder of the non-profit I CARE International. Dawn grew up in the small agricultural




is our Pet of the Month

eet LucyLu, Avila’s newest retiree! LucyLu, a 20 lb. Labradoodle completed her “motherhood commitment” in February by giving birth and nurturing three litters of beautiful, healthy pups. Her pups continue to bring much love and companionship to


many in our community. LucyLu is a loyal walking companion and friend to Judy Ivarie and loves her Friday morning Avila Beach run with other area dogs. LucyLu enjoys meeting new dogs…people too. So, Judy says stop them to say “Hi” when you are out and about in Avila!

NEXT MONTH’S ‘PET OF THE MONTH’ Please send me your pictures and a short paragraph about your pet to avilabeachcc@gmail.com. Thanks, and introduce us to your furry friend next month!

Midwest community of Morris, IL. That is where she began her love of the small community feeling. She graduated from Pepperdine University, where she studied organizational communication and nutrition. She went to DC and lobbied on hunger issues, both domestic and international. After working for 15 years in the export tech industry, she examined her life and what she wanted to do next. As a young girl, she was always interested in politics and history. Seeing the peace activists during the War in Iraq reminded her of the Vietnam War and other world events. She even said that she watched all Watergate hearings and every convention since she was in the fourth grade. In 2007, Dawn decided to get a master’s degree in international public policy and studied in Bologna, Italy, through Johns Hopkins School. There she studied with 220 students from 21 different countries. In Belfast, Ireland, from 2007-2008, Dawn studied conflict resolution, where it was the IRA vs. the Loyalists. She listened to all sides and quoted Sen. Howard Baker, “You might want to listen to the other guy because he might be right”. During the Great Recession of 2008/2009, Dawn worked two jobs. After that time, she ended up working for six different solar farm

companies to create enough energy to offset the energy needs of 500,000 average homes in Monterey, Kerns, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties. She believed in and was engaged in working for clean energy to build for a better future. In 2018, Supervisor Adam Hill appointed Dawn to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission. Adam was very supportive of her. They shared many beliefs and values even though their styles were different. They both always cared very much about our community and the environment. I asked Dawn what her goals are for Avila Beach. She said her first goal is to help our community move through the decommissioning of the Diablo plant, especially for the safety of the community and its economic viability. Her second goal is to handle the Front/First Streets flood area with a five-year plan. Dawn wants to collaborate with area agencies and provide our community with grants. Since she enjoyed growing up in a small community, she wants to see Avila Beach keep its charm and small-town flavor. I look forward to working with her in the future… and it isn’t just because she has attended our Spaghetti Dinner/Bingo Night event and liked my spaghetti sauce!

Avila Beach Life — April 2021 | 5 COMMUNITY NEWS

25 Million Years of Geology By BETTY HARTIG For Avila Beach Life


id you know that the Bob Jones Pathway is within a syncline? The trail is a perfect location to view local earth science. You can witness 25 million years of geology by simply walking the trail. Fortunately, you will not encounter any dinosaurs! Let us discover exactly what that means. The inland area of Avila Beach is an ancient arm of the sea. Ten million years ago, the land was completely submerged. The present-day rock formations were created from marine deposits. The landform in our region is a complex geology where you will find rocks and materials of various ages. There are three geological formations along the Bob Jones Trail. The Pismo Formation, Monterey Formation, and the Obispo Formation. A syncline is a structural feature defined as a fold formed long ago by layers with the youngest rocks closest to the center. Synclines are concave in shape like a bowl. The lay of the land defines the structure of rock. The so-called young rocks are about 2 million years old and located in the Pismo Formation. The Pismo Formation is a thick series of marine sediments. This formation can be found from the entrance of the pathway (Ontario Road) to See Canyon Creek Bridge. Simply glance up at the rock located along that section of the pathway. Notice the multiple layers, the color variance, and their angle. The direction of movement in rock strata can be noted. You are seeing years and years of rock building along with uplift. The layers were originally horizontal. Slowly, very slowly, the terrain repositions and bends. What was once horizontal may eventually

become nearly vertical. Due to the massive activity in this locale, there is extraordinarily little continuous bedding that remains. The Monterey Formation, which is the second oldest, can be viewed along Blue Heron Drive, especially noticeable across from the Marre Weir. The Monterey Formation consists of siliceous marine sediments. The wave-like lines that you see in the rock are examples of motion that continuously occurs. The layers or folds are designated by color or texture. Their surface can sometimes feel grainy from sand deposits. The process of building, uplifting, and moving is evident. Geological forces are happening all the time, mountains are building, the sea level is changing, but like the rotation of the earth, we are generally unaware. Normally one does not feel any activity unless there is an earthquake. When that happens, a surprise jolt is experienced that provides a keen reminder that the land beneath us does indeed move. The third formation is the roughly 20-million-year-old Obispo Formation. The Obispo Formation lithology varies but is dominated by lavas and tuffs. Tuffs are hardened volcanic ash. Just like the other previously mentioned formations, the Obispo Formation is comprised of marine deposits. If you venture off the Bob Jones Trail for 50-60 yards on Blue Heron Drive, the high road that leads to Mulligan’s restaurant, an excellent ancient rock sample is found on the north side. A reddish-orange rock structure is clearly visible. Stroke your hand along that rock, notice the smoothness of the surface. The slab appears to have been polished. That slick surface was formed by shifting land, better known as a fault. There are numerous faults in the area that all trend in the same direction. Fortunately, we have not had a significant earthquake in recent times.

Rock layer, strata. Photos by Betty Hartig

Rock fault evidence.

Rock color variance.

Rock movement nearly vertical.

The topography of Avila has been significantly studied because of the proximity to the nuclear plant. A detailed geology map colorfully indicates the makeup of the land. However, simply being on-the-lookout for stratified rock

will create curiosity; no map required. The possibilities of what can be observed as you walk the Bob Jones Pathway are endless. We can go back in time by simply lacing up our hiking shoes.

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6 | Avila Beach Life — April 2021 POINT SAN LUIS LIGHT STATION

Have You Visited the Point San Luis Light Station?

Jean Wilson

resident of pelican point, point san luis light station volunteer bookkeeper


his 130-year-old Historic Landmark sits high on a bluff just around the point from Whaler’s Island and the breakwater. She has served as a beacon guiding mariners into San Luis Bay since her light first shown on June 30, 1890. The original Station consisted of 5 buildings, the Fog Signal Building, the Head Keepers Quarters with attached Lantern Tower, The Assistant Keepers Duplex, the Coal House, and the Oil House. Four of the original buildings remain, but unfortunately, the Assistant Keepers Duplex fell into disrepair and was replaced with a barracks-style building by the Coast Guard during the WWII era. Our coastal gem is the only survivor of 3 identical Lighthouses built in the Prairie Victorian Style on the Pacific Coast and is maintained today by the Coast Guard as an automated light. The original Fresnel Lens from the Lantern Tower is on display in the Fog Signal Building. The Light Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. In 1995 a group of dedicated volunteers formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation to restore, preserve and operate this 30-acre

Rainbow photo of the Lighthouse taken by Missy Lintner who resides at the light stations Caretakers House with her husband and son.

preserve for the education and recreational enjoyment of the public. In conjunction with the Port San Luis Harbor District and PG&E, 2 Million dollars in grants and donations, over 80,000 volunteer hours, and an additional 1.3 Million dollars to rebuild the one-lane access road, the Light Station was ready for visitors. We hope to resume our scheduled docent-led van tours and docent-led hikes up the Pecho Coast Trail, along with special events, private

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events, summer concerts, and weddings in the near future. Since the safety of our visitors and volunteers is of primary importance, we will follow all state guidelines. In the mean-time, water enthusiasts may paddle out to Whaler’s Beach and enjoy our free self-guided walking tour of the grounds. Bring your cell phone as there are QR codes posted on each building for the enhancement of your tour.

Visit our Website, pointsanluislighthouse.org, for further information about on-line virtual tours, upcoming events, on-line gift shop, make donations, become a member of the Keepers, and much more. All donations go toward further restoration of the site. If you haven’t visited, be sure to put a visit on your Bucket List; if you have visited, be sure to come back and see what’s new.

Avila Beach Life — April 2021 | 7

“Eat less sugar; you are sweet enough already.” ~ Anonymous

‘Everything in Moderation’ gobbled up the rest. The result of the yeast feasting until dead is ethanol (alcohol) kicked off as a byproduct. When the yeast eats all the sugar, you have a dry wine that is higher in alcohol and low in sugar. When a winemaker stops the yeast from working, usually by rapid chilling and killed off by sulfites at bottling, some sugar remains, and the alcohol is lower. Hence, sweet wines have less alcohol. An example, German Reisling, which has about 8-9 percent alcoJohn Salisbury hol by volume (ABV) if it is sweet and 10-11 contributor percent if dry. Now a little mathematics: residual sugar is s there sugar in wine? Good question. The measured as grams per liter sugar, or g/L RS, and answer is yes in most cases. How much is shown in one of three ways - as grams/liter, in sugar is what we are talking about today grams/100ml, or as a percentage. A 10 grams per with some of the information gleaned from liter (g/L again) of residual sugar is equal to one Madeline Puckette’s Wine Folly and others percent (1 percent) alcohol in the wine bottle. because I am just a farmer and want to get this A regular bottle of wine is 750 milligrams or right plus my two-bits in doing the calculations. three-quarters of a liter, so the listing of g/L RS RS in wine lingo stands for Residual Sugar. It is in a bottle of wine is 25 percent less. The range the leftover sugar unfermented in the finished can be from 0 to 220 g/L, depending on style. wine. Some wines have 0 percent sugar, where Bone dry has less than 1 sugar calorie per glass, others could have twice as much as the ten sugar Dry has 0-6 sugar calories per glass, Off-Dry cubes in a can of Coca-cola! has 6-21 sugar calories per glass (most popular Grapes themselves contain natural fruit wines are in this category), Sweet has 21-72 sugars – fructose and glucose, and the sugars sugar calories per glass (Moscato, sweet Riesleft in wine are what is left after the yeast has ling), and Very Sweet (Tawney Port, Ice Wines,


Sauternes) has 72-130 sugar calories per glass. To put it in layman’s perspective, a sugar cube is 4 grams of sugar or a level teaspoon. The daily added sugar limit for men is 9 teaspoons, 36 grams, and 150 calories. For women, it is 6 teaspoons, 25 grams, and 100 calories from sugar. Say your wine is 15 g/L RS, a 750-milliliter bottle is .75 percent of a liter; there are five glasses (5 ounces) in a 25-ounce bottle, ¾ of liter equals 11.5 g/bottle divided by 5 glasses is 2.25 grams per glass. A woman could drink ten glasses of wine only per day, and a man could drink 16 glasses for the man’s recommended maximum of 36 grams, but obviously not a good idea. So, I guess that bottle of Lodi Old Vine Zin on the table that I grew up with was not a big deal in the sugar department, and my two glasses a day, my doctor-approved heart medicine, is only adding a little over a sugar cube to my pretty low sugar intake diet. The USA and many other countries are not required to put on wine bottles the actual sugar calories per glass, which is strange, and I hope my winery buddies do not get upset with me because pretty much everything else in the grocery store shows Total Sugars by grams and how much of Added Sugars as a percentage per serving.

This is something consumers, I, for one, usually look at pretty closely. Do you ask why I would be shopping? Well, on our 25th wedding anniversary, I asked Maridel what would she like for our anniversary. After a quick thought, she said, “Well, I cooked for the first twenty fives; you cook for the next twenty-five!” So, we are now approaching our 57th, and I am still cooking – go figure! Maybe alongside the alcohol content, an RS number might work because if you put the full information on a label, it would mostly be zeros, take up space, and take away from the ascetics of the label. Now, this is not to say that you can’t get the information of how much RS is in your favorite wine. Most good wineries will have tech sheets available. For example, wineries that make available their RS known include Alta Vista Classic Malbec 2.8 g/L RS, Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 3.4 g/l RS, Menage a Trois California Red 12 g/L Rs, Gallo’s Apothic Red 15 g/l RS, and Jam Jar Cape Classics ( a sweet Shiraz) 57 g/l RS. Remember, low sugar equals higher alcohol, and the reason why many of the Old Vine Zins are in the 14.5 percent alcohol range. So, I guess it is alright to drink wine when worrying about sugar. Again, the old motto, “Everything in moderation.”




By DR. CINDY MAYNARD For Avila Beach Life

The effects of caffeine are measured by its half-life, which typically lasts about 4-6 hours. Thus, the 6-hour half-life of the s many as one in three older adults caffeinated beverage you consumed in the suffer from some form of insomnia afternoon could potentially be keeping you ranging from difficulty falling asleep up at night. to waking up in the middle of the night, often because of painful ailments or other medical HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS RECOMproblems. MENDED?


But some over-the-counter medications commonly used to relieve aches and pains may compound the problem (caffeine is often added to analgesics because it helps decrease pain and other aches). That’s because these top brands of pain relievers may contain more caffeine than a cup of coffee – a definite problem for someone who’s having trouble sleeping.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended dosage/day is approximately 400 mg/day. If you have an espresso or a large cup of coffee, analgesics with caffeine, or other caffeine-containing products, this adds up fast. Take a look at the chart below. Some of the medications have well above the milligrams of caffeine (@100 mg) found in a regular cup of coffee. If you’re swallowing these pain relievers on According to Tufts University, a study an average of six-hour intervals, you could be from the National Institute of Aging showed getting as many as six cups of coffee without that more than 20 percent of adults using even realizing it. caffeine-containing medications reported having difficulty falling asleep compared to If you struggle with insomnia or have only 13 percent of those who didn’t take the a difficult time falling asleep or staying medication. asleep, this might be a sign of caffeine overuse. Look at your intake of coffee or other HOW CAFFEINE WORKS caffeine-containing products, and you may find a little tweaking here, or there can give Caffeine works by stimulating the central you those restful zzzzzzzzzzz’s your mind nervous system and increasing our heart rate. and body are craving. In the brain, it blocks adenosine (a sleep-promoting chemical) receptors. Normally, adenosCindy Maynard, Ph.D., RD, is a health ine builds up during our waking hours until psychologist, a registered dietitian, and eventually, we become sleepy. Caffeine blocks a nationally published health and f itness this process making us more alert. Caffeine writer. She is passionate about promoting also blocks our circadian melatonin rhythms, health and wellness. You can contact her at delaying sleep if consumed close to bedtime. drcindymaynard@live.com



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8 | Avila Beach Life — April 2021

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Avila Beach Life • April 2021  

Local News...Beach Views

Avila Beach Life • April 2021  

Local News...Beach Views