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Photo by photographer Janine M.Moore








2 | Avila Beach Life - November 2020

Through Print

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CONTRIBUTORS Betty Hartig Dr. Cindy Maynard John Salisbury Kathy Mastako Mary Foppiano Rick Cohen Tom Swem Contact Us 805.466.2585

Visit our website! avilabeachlifenews.com avila beach life is published monthly. all rights reserved , material may not be reprinted without written consent from the publisher . avila beach life made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this publication , but assumes no responsibility for errors , changes or omissions . avila beach life is a product of 13 stars media .


hanksgiving hangs in the air here, although the weather has not caught up with us yet. We took a trip to Jack Creek Farms a few weeks ago, and it just wasn’t right to pick out pumpkins in 97-degree heat. So we picked up some refreshments and headed to the coast. It’s a great time of the year as fall sets in. Our corner of the world hits with perfect evenings most days, and it is time to kick back and reflect on all we have to be grateful for. Actually, it is a tried and true method for happiness to take some gratitude time every day, it is also said to bring good fortune and success, and we can certainly attest to the correlation in our lives.

top. Let’s work together on the community level to realize our local potential for greatness with an open ear. Of course, none of this could be possible without the best of the best — our loyal and faithful advertisers. THANK YOU. For many of us, this was the most challenging year ever. Never had we seen mandated business closures. But here we are, and we did it together, and we are not stopping now.

It is a family here in all of our small towns, and as they grow and We also would like to say a big thank as things change, it you to our veterans! The sacrifice is real, and is up to us to keep so many local men and women have served o u r c o m m u our country, and we extend a loud and nity spirit alive proud thank you to them for their service. through thick and thin. Our elected officials also serve our nation and community. As we head to the We hope you polls for the culmination of the 2020 elec- enjoy this month’s tion year, we can all agree that we can do issue of Avila Beach much better and possibly agree that social Life, and we wish you all media platforms can do much better as well. a very Happy Thanksgiving. If 2020 has offered us anything, it is an eyes-wide-open look into some real issues we should not merely stick a bandaid on

Please stay safe, share love, and be a good human. Hayley & Nic

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Avila Beach Life - November 2020 | 3 FOUNDATION NEWS AND VIEWS

Greeting, Fellow Avilones Avila Valley Advisory Council - avac-avila.org Port San Luis Harbor District - portsanluis.com Avila by the Sea Resort - avilabythesearesort.com Concerned Citizens for Avila - concernedcitizens4avila.org

Rick Cohen


Avila Beach Foundation

ere, once again, I sit at my keyboard, contemplating just what I should write for my next column, due on the 15 of each month. What is current, what is relevant, what will you care to actually read about? As I’ve mentioned in recent columns, answering those questions has been made more difficult because of present circumstances that do not require further explanation. But before I forget, let me wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving. Hard to focus on that looming late November holiday while I pen this column on a day when the temperature is over 90 degrees. Hot turkey and gravy are just not appealing today….LOL Most often, I write about the “Foundation” and the various organizations and projects we support. Even though some of those remain on hold, it doesn’t mean nothing is going on in Avila. I receive regular email updates from other Avila entities and interest groups with whom you may or may not be familiar. While there is collectively too much information provided by them to include in my column, I can encourage you to visit their websites and learn what you can about what is going on in your community. Much of what is published on these websites present various current projects or future developments that could change the character of Avila Beach. While the “Foundation” does not take a stance in support of or against what is coming down the pike, I do feel it’s important for all Avilones to self-educate on such matters. When you have some time to spare, visit the websites of:

Getting back to “Foundation” business, I want to share with you something that came up a few months ago and has not yet been resolved. Most of you are aware of and have enjoyed the beautiful mural panels on the Avila Beach lifeguard towers for about four years. This public art installation, with funds raised by the “Foundation,” came to fruition in partnership with ARTS Obispo (AO), a county non-profit that has been around for decades. Through this arrangement, AO became the legal owner of the artwork and contracted with Port San Luis Harbor District to have the panels appear on the towers for 5 years. That initial 5-year period concludes early in 2022, and discussions are underway to extend that arrangement. The problem is that AO has been severely struck by the pandemic’s financial crisis, reducing its resources and perhaps threatening its future existence. Thus, AO wants to divest itself of the artwork ownership. We are actively seeking ownership alternatives while at the same time hoping to keep the murals just where they are. Stay tuned. Coming to a conclusion on October 12 was this year’s seasonal beach clean-up project, contracted with PathPoint, and funded by the “Foundation,” Chevron, and the late County Supervisor Adam Hill. This was the second year PathPoint provided the service, but with a distinct difference from last year. PathPoint provides employment opportunities, training, and support for clients with developmental disabilities. Last year it was their clients who diligently worked areas of the beach boardwalk, sidewalks, and curbs to reduce the amount of sand and debris. Due to pandemic related restrictions, these same client workgroups were not allowed to function this year. So, it

was PathPoint team supervisors who stepped forward to perform the clean-up duties. Kudos to them! Foot traffic was incredibly high this season, and we believe the project made a difference. Be on the lookout for something coming down the road soon. You may know about those cool interpretive signs along the Bob Jones Trail, created and installed by Avilones Saul Goldberg and his team. The original signs succumbed to wear and tear, so new ones have replaced the old. There is now being developed a “walking quiz” that will encourage you Avilones to take a leisurely stroll along the trail, stop at the signs, and provide answers to a series of multiple-choice questions. All who answer the questions correctly will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to the Avila Beach restaurant of your choice. Keep your eyes open for more information coming soon. That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!

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6482 Twinberry Cir. Avila Beach

Rare single level 3 bedroom 2 bath home located behind the gates of the San Luis Bay Estates in Pelican Point. Featuring vaulted ceilings, hardwood flooring throughout, and large picture windows to let in the natural light. A spacious great room featuring a fireplace with marble hearth and access to the back patio. Awesome end unit location provides a private and peaceful atmosphere to enjoy the natural surroundings.



2555 Lupine Canyon Dr. Avila Beach

Single level living in Quail Canyon. Wonderful floor plan with 3 bedrooms / 3 bath with amazing views of the Oaks. Enjoy all of the wonderful amenities that San Luis Bay Estates has to offer. Plus great access to the Bob Jones trails and the golf club.

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2865 Rock Wren Ln. $1,550,000

2275 Cranesbill Pl. $777,000

2820 Loganberry Ln. $878,900


4 | Avila Beach Life - November 2020 LOCAL NEWS

Native Plants on the Bob Jones Pathway By BETTY HARTIG For Avila Beach Life


rimson red fall foliage intertwined within shrubs and mighty coastal oaks can be seen amongst the Bob Jones Trail vegetation. Let us take a better look at those autumn colored leaves. Are you familiar with Toxicodendron diversilobum? Most likely not. The more commonly recognized name is Pacific poison oak. During the fall, the green, smooth, waxy plant leaves change to an inviting reddish color. Do not let the color fool you; they are still poisonous. Perhaps, during early scouting days, you heard the helpful reminder, “leaves of three, let them be.” The leaflets of the plant are rounded like an oak leaf, usually in a group of three. People often get poison oak confused with wild blackberries, which have coarse, hairy leafage. “If it’s hairy, it’s a berry” is a short phrase that helps distinguish the two plants. By the way, poison oak is still poisonous even when it has no leaves. Poison oak grows prolifically on the Central Coast, and the Bob Jones Trail is no exception. The plants have a sticky, potent, long-lasting oil called urushiol that causes an itchy, blistering rash after it touches your skin. Chances are a vast majority of outdoor enthusiasts have encountered this menace. Even slight contact like brushing up against the leaves can leave oil behind, causing you great misery. The resin can stay on your clothes or other materials for months. When using the Bob Jones Pathway, stay clear of poison oak. Remember to keep fido away too. A dog’s fur usually protects its skin from urushiol. However, it can stay on the fur and rub off on you. To ensure pleasant hikes and walks, learn how to spot the poison oak leaves. You will be glad you did! Poison oak gives you the itches, but many other plants along the trail have great value, espe-

cially during prior times. An interesting, intricate, ghostly looking material can be seen dangling from the coastal oaks near the 0.3-mile mark of the Bob Jones Trail. Contrary to belief, it is not Spanish moss. This pale grayish-green perforated substance may look like moss, but it is a lichen, specifically lace lichen. Take a few minutes to exam the lace closeup, and you will see a beautifully designed pattern. Lace lichen is not harmful to the tree. This plant-like organism, which has a mildly antibacterial quality, had many uses by the early American Natives. The lichen was soaked in seawater and used to wrap seafood, such as clams and fish. This process helped prevent spoiling while traveling back to villages. Lichen was also used for diapering infants, packaging protection for necklaces, as well as for feminine hygiene. Besides human uses, wildlife greatly benefits from lichen. It provides excellent camouflage, nesting material, and food for birds and animals. Interestingly, lace lichen is a staple in the mule deer diet. Today, lichen extracts are being studied for their antibacterial properties. In July of 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill designating lace lichen, Ramalina menziesii, the California State Lichen. California was the first state to recognize a lichen as a state symbol. This designation is an important step in increasing public awareness of the significant roles lichen plays in our natural environment. Lichens are known for their sensitivity to air pollution and climate. Lichen absorbs just about everything in the air, including beneficial nutrients, moisture from fog, and even harmful pollutants. Scientist can extract absorbed toxins and determine the levels that are present in our atmosphere. It is no wonder that they are used across California to monitor air quality and climate change. Another abundant plant you will see along the trail is arroyo willows, which thrive near-permanent freshwater sources, such as the San Luis

Arroyo Willows are an indicator species for freshwater marshes. They spread by sending out root runners and will tend to fill in moist areas.

Lace Lichen hangs from bark, branches, twigs and can grown up to a meter long. Contributed photos

Obispo Creek. Willows were heavily utilized by the California Native Americans. The branches were cleaned, sharpened, and bent to create a shelter frame. The plant had traditional medicinal uses as well. The willow plant contains salicin, an active aspirin like ingredient. The bark was steeped for

Beware of Poison Oak as you trek along the Bob Jones Pathway!

use as a pain-relieving tea to reduce inflammation and fever. Additional items made from willows were baskets and ropes. It is not only interesting but important to recognize plant values from the past. Let us consciously make well thought out decisions regarding the care and protection of our ecosystem so that plants can continue to flourish in the future.


Avila Pier Repairs Update By TOM SWEM For Avila Beach Life


he 501C(3) Non-Profit Corporation “Friends of Avila Pier” (FOAP) had been very active in enlisting the community for their help to get Avila Pier fully open to the public through this past February; then COVID-19 hit us. As with most of the other Non-Profits in the county, we all went quiet (some more than others). Well, I’m here to tell you that, almost eight months later, we are alive and well, and living in beautiful Avila Beach. And we will succeed with your help. This past few months, you have seen the pier opened about halfway out, then closed due to social distancing, and now opened again out to “Bent 58”. The area around “Bent 58” is significant given the amount of damage there is to the pilings in that area. This is where the initial work will begin to enable full access to the pier. When that is completed, the less damaged areas can then be repaired. One of Pier’s most functional areas is the “Landing” out towards the pier’s end. This was completed years ago with the help of the San Luis Yacht Club. The Landing is the place where boaters can either anchor or tie up to the mooring and then easily come ashore. The Landing is in need of substantial repair with damaged metal structure and missing pilings. As you may know, PSLHD and the FOAP are effectively a Public-Private partnership where the Port will be raising municipal funds via Grant Applications. The FOAP was created to raise the tax-deductible community funds. In the next couple of months, watch for us participating in community interviews and updates dealing with how Port San Luis Harbor District has been successful in their Grant Writing campaign and how the FOAP has been successful in our community outreach. As many in the community know, the FOAP has been moving forward with a Capital Campaign to generate funds through the participation of “Angel Donors.” This program gives significant acknowledgment to the Donors who contribute $15,000 or more. This can be done in one donation or via pledges over a period of time. To date, the FOAP wants to thank the following Angel Donors for helping us move

towards our initial goal: • Chevron Environmental Management Company • The James P Sargen Family Trust • The Harold J Miossi Charitable Trust • Gretchen Flicker and Douglas Twisselmann • and a special thank you to the Estate of Archie Mclaren With your help, we can reach our goal, which will allow the repairs and renovation of Avila Pier and therefore ensure the marine heritage and character of the local port for future generations. As we approach the end of 2020, PLEASE CONSIDER a Tax-Deductible contribution to the FOAP. You can do it in many ways, including; • direct donation of funds • the development of a “Planned Giving” program • directing “Required Minimum Distributions” from IRA’s • and/or other tax sheltering concepts In closing, we need all of your support to get this accomplished. If you are interested in learning more about the FOAP or if you wish to DONATE, please contact us by visiting our website at avilapier.org or call and leave a message at (805)595-1005. For information and larger donations, you can contact us at Friends of Avila Pier, PO Box 685, Avila Beach, CA 93424. Also, if you or your organization would like a personal meeting with us to learn more about the pier and its history, let us know. We would be happy to meet with you. You can contact me or any member of our Board of Directors; Ron Pigeon, Judy Kaatz, Mary Chiu, John Hrdlicka, Patrick Corrigan, Eric Fernandes, and our PSLHD liaison Mary Matackovich. Please thank them for all their hard work over the past months. Tom Swem is the current President of “Friends of Avila Pier (FOAP), Inc. and can be reached at (805)595-1005 or friendsofavilapier@gmail.com.

Aerial view of Avila pier damage. Contributed photos

Damage of the landing.

Damage to one of the pilings.

Avila Beach Life - November 2020 | 5 PORT SAN LUIS LIGHTHOUSE STATION

SS Roanoke on a steel cradle at the Hall Brothers Marine Railway and Ship Building Co., Eagle Harbor, Winslow, Washington. Contributed photos

Point San Luis and the S.S. Roanoke Kathy Mastako


For Avila Beach Life

n 1916, for three days in May, newspapers across the nation ran front-page stories with the dateline San Luis Obispo. The keepers at Point San Luis had spotted a lifeboat drifting near the breakwater. They assisted in preventing the boat from breaking apart on the rocks and rescuing three men, still clinging to life inside. The lifeboat they spotted came from the steamer, Roanoke. What happened to the Roanoke is unsettled to this day. On May 8, 1916, the Roanoke set sail from San Francisco, bound for Valparaiso with 600 tons of dynamite for the Chilean mines, 1,300 tons of wheat, and several hundred drums of gasoline and oil. On May 10, 1916, Keeper Smith reported: At 4 p.m. today, a boat was seen drifting south of the station with two men visible and making a feeble attempt at signaling. The Union Oil Company launch crew was notified at once and with the second assistant went out and brought the boat in, which in the meantime had drifted to within about 100 yards of the breakwater. The boat was from the Roanoke with eight men, five dead, and the other three nearly unconscious from exposure. Nothing has been heard so far at this place from the other three boats leaving the wrecked ship at 3:30 p.m. on the 9th. Rescued were the ship’s 23-year-old quartermaster, Joseph Elb, and crewmen Manuel Lopez and Carlos Robino. The local paper noted that assistant keepers Silva and Greene were “entitled to much credit for the part they took” to rescue the three survivors and recover the five bodies. So was John Neilson, a Union Oil Company foreman. Silva and Greene sighted the lifeboat adrift in the breakers near the breakwater and, in a small skiff, went to the port and notified John Neilson, who went out with Mr. Greene and…brought in the dead and living. The paper went on to report that Dr. McGovern happened to be at Port San Luis at the time. The three men still living were taken to the Marre Hotel at the land end of Harford Pier, where the doctor set to work

reviving them. A special Pacific Coast train was run from San Luis Obispo to the port to get the bodies and assist Dr. McGovern in his efforts. The three survivors were taken to the city’s Pacific hospital. The Survivors Speak While in the hospital, the survivors spoke about their ordeal. Robino said he was asleep and rushed on deck, clad only in his underclothing. The men in his lifeboat picked up Elb, whose boat had capsized. They rowed around trying to find others, but neither saw nor heard anyone. Lopez said the Roanoke’s crew was made up almost entirely of new men and that the work of lowering the lifeboats was bungled. Three boats, as I remember it got away…I pulled Elb into our boat and saved his life. But then he more than squared accounts, for had it not been for him none of us would have reached the shore alive… Elb spoke about trying to get the attention of other ships. A red shirt belonging to one of the men was tied to an oar as a distress signal. All hands took to the remaining oars, but one by one, the men became exhausted. Elb was still trying to row when his lifeboat was rescued. The ship was thought to have gone down near Point Buchon. The Roanoke was seaworthy, they believed, but was overloaded, cargo being stowed in staterooms and even in the officer quarters. A Second Lifeboat Among the 47 persons on board, the Roanoke was second officer John Dennis. Capt. McKinnon, master of the Pacific Mail liner, City of Para, radioed on May 11: At 2 p.m., picked up boat 5, “Roanoke.” One body, probably John Dennis; height five feet ten inches, weight about 170 pounds; baldheaded and clean shaven; full set of teeth; monogrammed ring engraved, “J.G.D.,” and inside, “From Susie.” The Investigation A federal investigation began May 13 in San Francisco. Dennis’s widow made charges that the Roanoke was overloaded. The “Roanoke’s” interior was sawed away to make room for an unprecedented cargo. All day Monday, a gang of carpenters was busy aboard. My husband told me they were removing everything to get more room. He said he did not believe the “Roanoke” would get further than San Pedro, and he promised to quit her there. Elb, too, testified the steamer was overloaded and said the crew entertained fears for

its safety. Part of the cabin had been cut away to make room for the cargo. The Findings In the end, investigators concluded the freighter was, indeed, overloaded and her cargo improperly stowed. Alternate Theories On May 17, the L.A. Times reported Umberto Dardi, manager of the Italian Bank in Santa Barbara, had returned there from San Luis Obispo, where he had been directing patrols watching for Roanoke wreckage. Dardi, the paper reported, “states there are so many mystifying circumstances about the affair that he has almost concluded the vessel did not founder” after all. Our patrols found only an oar, life preserver, and a hat. No other wreckage came ashore. The only survivors are three men who tell a strange story. The only dead are five found in the boat that brought the three survivors ashore and one found at sea. A rather bizarre article appeared in an Aug. 12, 1917 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. It reported the Roanoke was the victim of a German plot and of German raiders, and not the victim of a mysterious wreck off Port San Luis. The assertion was made by “unnamed wireless operators.” They are emphatic…that the vessel was seized and towed to a foreign port with its rich cargo of dynamite powder and wheat. The fact of the “Roanoke’s” known seaworthiness and the weak story of Elb…and the Mexican sailors who claimed to be the sole survivors of the disaster, that the ship foundered in heavy seas… do not jibe. Elb Even after his close brush with death, Elb was anxious to be back sailing again. I know the sea, and I don’t think I’d care to learn a new line now. I don’t know what I could do ashore. I’d croak if I had to work in an office. Besides, a fellow takes his chances on land as well as on water. Indeed, Elb did return to the sea. He became a master mariner.

Joseph Elb, 23-year-old quartermaster, one of only three S.S. Roanoke survivors. This sketch of Elb appeared in the May 12, 1916 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Antonio J. Silva, longest serving assistant keeper at Point San Luis (1906-1933). Silva and 2nd assistant Wheeler Greene helped rescue the only three S.S. Roanoke survivors.

Image of the S.S. Roanoke docking in Seattle in 1898 with four tons of gold from Alaska aboard. She foundered in heavy seas off Point Buchon around 3 p.m. May 9, 1916, with a crew of 47 and a cargo of explosives, wheat, oil, and gasoline.

6 | Avila Beach Life - November 2020 A VIEW FROM THE BEACH

A Different Year, Still Grateful so supportive of the Avila Beach Civic Association and a number of other local non-profit organizations. As I mentioned in a previous column, the Foundation recognized the hardships many of us are suffering with the closure of our facilities. Allowing us to receive the remainder of 2020 grants and 2021 grants when we open next year without going through Mary Foppiano the application process is a great way to Avila Beach help us during these trying times. Civic Association • Pacific Gas and Electric Company – The i all – Each year, I write about all Pacific Gas and Electric Company has the many wonderful things for supported the ABCA since 2011 through these fires were put out quickly instead which I am thankful. This year, their Charitable Donation Program. This of spreading out-of-control. my list is a bit different, as you might guess. year, they continued to provide grant • Board of Directors – I want to thank However, living and working here in Avila funds to assist us with operational costs. our Board of Directors for their dedicaBeach, I must say that I am still very grate- • Avila Beach Post Office – Cindy, Mary, tion and support as needed. Even though ful for all that I have and the generosity of and Julie are the best postal workwe have been closed since mid-March our sponsors and volunteers this past year… ers anyone could have. They are always because of the pandemic, they have been • To begin, I must express my gratitude friendly and helpful no matter how stressavailable to assist with activities and guidfor good health of my family and friends. ful their jobs may be due to overwork ance. Our current board consists of: With so much sorrow throughout the because so many people are ordering ▷ Robin Weed-Brown, President world, I cannot stress enough how very online…and now the election ballots. ▷ Raul Cavazos, Vice President fortunate we are here on the Central • Cal Fire – Station 62 firefighters and all ▷ Lori O’Connor, Secretary Coast. In addition, I appreciate the freethe other firefighters who saved us during ▷ Sylvia Remmenga, Treasurer dom to vote for our leaders who underthe “Avila Fire” and “Meadowbrook Fire” ▷ Anne M. Brown, Board Member stand and champion the needs of our in See Canyon cannot be thanked enough. ▷ Jim LaMarca, Board Member community and nation. With so many homes and residents in ▷ Mary Matakovich, Board Member • Avila Beach Community Foundaclose proximity to the surrounding dense ▷ Tom Sparks, Board Member tion – The Foundation continues to be coverage, we are so very fortunate that I am very hopeful that the Avila Beach


Community Center can open in the near future, with restrictions, of course. If we all continue to wear our masks and keep social distance until a vaccine is available, perhaps it can be sooner rather than later. I keep getting calls from people wanting to use the Center for weddings, parties, meetings, and other social gatherings in addition to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, San Luis Coastal Adult School yoga and strength training classes, Peace Lutheran Church Lifetree Café, Cuesta Emeritus College classes, and our fun activities and fundraisers…and Doggie Parades. I will keep you updated and invite all of you to the Center just as soon as I can! Stay well and be kind to each other.


Say Hello to Pete Kelley By MARY FOPPIANO For Avila Beach Life


n 1968, Pete Kelley came to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly and major in History and was able to enjoy his love of surfing and swimming in the ocean in Avila Beach. After graduation, Pete became a cook at Olde Port Inn and moved to See Canyon in 1973. In 1977, Pete rented space to open Pete’s Seaside Café from Miss Barbara and lived below her bar. From 1980 – 1986, Pete was a volunteer firefighter in Avila Beach and a board member of the Avila Beach Civic Association. He also helped organize the Mile Swim, and Run Swim Run when they came to Avila Beach. In 1991, he swam from Catalina to San Pedro in 13 hours 45 minutes as the 69th person to do so. Pete opened Pete’s Southside Café in San Luis Obispo in 1987 and lived in Los Osos. In 2001, he moved back to Avila Beach and opened Pete’s Pierside Café and Fish the best of their characters into the true spirit of what Market on the Harford Pier until he retired in 2007. Avila Beach is all about. Pete joined the SLO County Historical Society Board • The Long Road South: Vagabond Diaries 1971-1972 by and volunteered in the Research Room for 10 years. He was Pete Kelley discusses his travels from the Central Coast also the Chair of the Exhibit Committee for many years. to Southern Chile through his journal of his two years Pete is in the process of writing a cookbook and has in South America. written or co-written several books, including: • The Quick and the Dead: Resistance, Banditry & Vigilance • Avila Beach by Terry J. San Filippo, Jack Filippo, and Revisited on the Central Coast by Pete Kelley is about Pete Kelley tell the story of Avila Beach and its many local San Luis Obispo history. transformations throughout the years and of the people For many years, Pete has collected pictures and artiwho lived in Avila Beach and made it home…melding cles about the history of Avila Beach, many of which were


Pet of the Month: Lexi By MARY FOPPIANO


exi is a sweet little 5-1/2-year-old Maltese who may be tiny but has a big personality and thinks that she is bigger than she really is. According to her mommy Jeri LaMarca, she loves to dress up for pictures…or perhaps she just enjoys posing for them and being the center of attention. In fact, she won the “Best in Show” ribbon at our 2019 Santa’s Doggie Parade.

I invited Lexi to be my “Pet of the Month” because my boys Buddy and Bugz wanted to share the spotlight with their friend. Lexi is always ready for long walks, play dates with her friends, and, of course, tummy rubs. She is always happy and loves her treats. Walking in the door and being greeted by your PAW can turn any day into a good one!


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!

on display in the Avila Beach Community Center for a number of years. The Avila Beach Civic Association gave Pete its Community Service Award for his extensive commitment to providing support to multiple non-profit organizations over the years. He started the Avila Beach Fish and Farmers Market and donated his time, food, and expertise to many events, including the Albacore Feed, which was started by the Avila Beach Community Foundation when he was a board member. This event was then taken over by the Avila Beach Civic Association for several years. Pete joined the board of directors of the Avila Beach Community Services District in 2001 and has been their president for the past 10 years. He has been a member of the San Luis Yacht Club for over 40 years and remains their Historian. When I asked Pete why he has spent so many years as a volunteer for Avila Beach, he said it was because he wanted to preserve Avila Beach’s history and be able to have some decision making on the redevelopment of Avila Beach after the “Big Dig.” I then asked him what he loved about Avila Beach, and he said: • Love of the ocean and being able to swim there most days • Microclimate and sunny spot on the Central Coast • Village atmosphere where you run into friends and neighbors every day Pete had many stories to share with me, but I will save them for another day…or he will!

Avila Beach Life - November 2020 | 7 AVILA VALLEY GRAPEVINE

The Aftermath of California’s Fire Season

John Salisbury



t this writing, a mid-month deadline, it is still too early to assess the total damage from the smoke and fire for the winegrape industry. I am sure from the reports you know it is going to be bad. Almost a whole vintage may be lost in the Napa/Sonoma region, to include parts of Oregon and Washington. Smoke taint lingering over grapes that act like sponges will affect the taste, dirty ashtrays, of a lot of wine produced this year. The few labs are overwhelmed with requests to check for smoke taint in wines with results up to a month away while winemakers are waiting to make decisions on whether to continue the costly process of perfecting the wine before it is bottled or dump it. It is estimated that only less than 38% of the Napa area crop was harvested before the fires, and maybe at best, only 20% will get bottled. Monterey, Santa Cruz, and parts of the San Joaquin Valley vineyards may also show signs of smoke tainted grapes. There were a lot of filled wine tanks at the begin-

ning of the year as a result of oversupply with calls to take out vineyards to reduce the amount of winegrapes available because a lot was left on the vines the last couple of years, but that is not going to happen now. More about this “Wine Pandemic” next month when we can get a clearer picture and how we faired here in the county. Now for a little bit of good news for those that drink wine and eat table grapes of all colors plus other fruits and vegetables found from a study published in the Scientific Journal of Neurology that in doing so resulted in a 48% decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Dementia. This is along with a study by Tufts University in an article in Science News which states that eating your fruits and vegetables and enjoying a glass or so of wine can help reduce Alzheimer’s risk and related dementias (ADRD). I am switching to the initials because I keep mis-spelling Alzheimers for some reason and wearing out spell check! The study found that the higher amount of flavonoid intake found in plant-based foods, including grapes and wine, your basic Mediterranean diet, is associated with a much lower risk of ADRD than a diet without. Flavonoids help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body. In other words, it helps your body function more efficiently while protecting it against everyday toxins and stressors. They are powerful antioxidant agents that also reduce inflam-

mation, which I would assume is good for the brain. Tuff ’s study followed 2,800 participants for 20 years. Other very beneficial foods in the study also included tea, especially green tea, berries – blueberries and strawberries, plus apples and pears – canned are alright also. An extra bonus is that dark chocolate is another great source of flavonoids. Those in the study who did the best in preventing ADRD consumed at least an average of 7.5 cups of blueberries and strawberries, eight apples and pears, 19 cups of tea per month, and a glass or two of wine, red for me, per

day. This is a case where more is better and enjoyable except maybe not an excuse for any more wine per day, although the wineries would love you for it. It looks like it doesn’t take much to improve the levels of flavonoids, just a cup of green tea a day plus a healthy helping of berries and fruit three or four times a week and a monthly supply of a small box of See’s Dark Chocolates – plus the wine of course! Instead of coffee, I enjoy daily a couple of glasses worth of Bigelow’s Green Tea, hot and in iced tea, with ginger and probiotics – can’t hurt, right?

The fire could be seen from Merus Wines’ vineyard above St. Helena. Photo courtesy of SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images


Eat to Beat Holiday Stress By DR. CINDY MAYNAR For Avila Beach Life


et’s face it. If we weren’t before, we definitely have entered the Age of Anxiety. What a year. And no one is immune—adding to our anxiety levels are the upcoming holidays when stress levels are on over-drive. You want to achieve stress resiliency, but you don’t know-how. Here’s something that can help: Your nutritional intake can increase your stress-fighting ability, boost your mood, and help improve your mental well-being so you can enjoy your holidays in peace. What Exactly is Stress? When I Googled the word stress, I got over a billion hits. The fields of psychiatry, theology, medicine, and anthropology define stress as a loss of emotional control, the inability to cope with problems, the absence of inner peace, or any change you may encounter in your life. Stress comes in all kinds of packages. Research shows it’s not the stress that’s so bad, but rather how we handle it. Some is actually good and keep us on our toes, like jumping out of the way when a moving vehicle gets too close or ducking when a flying object comes our way. Even laughing can be a good stress! The problem arises when the body is in a constant siege and prolonged state of tension. Stress is not a disease, but if un-arrested, it can lead to disease. Over time, chronic stress reduces your ability to sense trouble, deal with conflict, or problem-solve. Stress Takes Its Nutritional Toll Nutritionally, stress robs the body of important minerals and nutrients such as vitamins B, C, D, E, and selenium by increasing excretion and reducing the absorption of these nutrients. Stress hormones such as cortisol drains nutrients from the system, which further raise stress hormone levels and escalate the stress response. Many people respond by emotional eating and turn to candy, cookies, chips, and other high-fat, high-sugar foods, or even alcohol to relieve their anxiety, which further depletes the system. That’s why it’s so important we replace these nutrients with food. It’s hard to eat smart when you’re under stress, but that’s the time your body and brain need it the most. Although you can’t avoid stress, you can prevent the devastating side effects by honoring your body and learning to eat smart.

Stress Robbers and Brain Boosters In our fast-paced society, we have learned to love stressor foods. But stressor foods tear down rather than replenish the body. If they are the main staples in your diet, you’re contributing to the problem rather than solving it. How well your body is nourished prior to and during a stressful event will affect how well you handle the stress. High-octane, nutritious food is the best fuel to combat your stress. During the holiday season, you may want to take particular care and compensate by making sure your intake of Brain Boosters is optimal. Brain Stressors

Brain Boosters

• Caffeine (in amounts greater than 2 cups) • Refined Sugar, found in items such as cookies, cakes, soda, syrup • Alcohol in excess (Recommended intake 1/day for women; 2/day for men) • Fast Foods with high amounts of saturated fat • Skipping Breakfast • Processed & Fast Foods

• Fresh fruits 1- 2 ½ cups • Whole Grains or Complex Carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, bagels, or pasta • Water 8 cups or more • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables 2-3 cups • Low-fat Dairy Products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk • Essential fats, such as olive oil, avocado

Stress Down Nutrition alone can’t solve all the effects of stress of a person’s lifetime, but it sure goes a long way in building up your system and protecting it against the onslaught. You can design your own stress reduction program with a balanced approach. An emphasis on nutrition, fitness, fun activities, and tapping into your spirituality give your body the tools it needs to combat stress. Lastly, surround yourself with people who make you live, laugh, and love. They’re the best antidote to stress there is. And then have yourself a healthy and peaceful holiday season. Cindy Maynard, Ph.D., RD, is a health psychologist, a registered dietitian, and a nationally published health and fitness writer. She is passionate about promoting health and wellness. You can contact her at drcindymaynard@live.com.

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Avila Beach Life • November 2020  

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Avila Beach Life • November 2020  

Local News...Beach Views