LOCAL NEWS ... BEACH VIEWS • OCTOBER 2021
I m’ so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
Anne of Green Gables
BOLTABOUT’S RIBBON-CUTTING PAGE 4
THE CURIOUS CASE
OF A POINT SAN LUIS KEEPER PAGE 6
ON THE GOOD LIFE PAGE 7
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ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
utumn is one of our favorite times of the year, with a cool chill to the air, changing colors to the leaves, warm clam chowder, trips to our local farms to pick out pumpkins, and pulling out the sweaters for evening walks on the beach. As with last Halloween, this year will look a bit different once again. But with that comes the opportunity to start new traditions and allow for fresh ideas to enjoy the ones we love and the time we have together on this earth. This month we are proud to support the first Annual Avila Beach Children’s Business Fair taking place on October 16, at the Avila Community Center starting at 10 a.m. A local Avila Beach family, along with a community of passionate entrepreneurs, mentors, and parents, came together to find a way to teach children about entrepreneurship in a practical and fun way, and the Business Fair was born! The Fair allows the opportunity for children to launch their very own startup businesses. According to the organization, the kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at the one-day marketplace. The event is hosted by the McKiernan family, and the Avila Beach Community Center donates the space. The McKiernan’s believe that principled entrepreneurs are heroes and role models for the next generation. Be sure to go and support the event and the kiddos; we look forward to sharing about all the events’ success in next month’s issue. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our small towns allow us to support one another in a way like none other. As our community grows and changes, it is up to us to keep our community spirit alive.
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2 | Avila Beach Life — October 2021
October 2021 — Avila Beach Life | 3 FOUNDATION NEWS & VIEWS
On the Bright Side Rick Cohen
AVILA BEACH FOUNDATION
reetings, fellow Avilones. Well, here we go again. I guess you can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Yes, chapter two of the Pandemic has arrived, and restrictions on our activities are back. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is running rampant, so much so that SLO County has returned to masking up status in all public places. How discouraging to those of us who were enjoying the rewards afforded the vaccinated populace. It was so nice to have a few months of non-masking normalcy, which now seems like a cruel tease. However, the main difference is that we can still shop, dine out, go to the gym, movie theaters, and other indoor entertainment, albeit with the renewed safety precautions. And, in most cases, the kids are back in school. Of course, expert opinions vary greatly about just how long all these viruses will continue to disrupt our lives. But it is what it is, so lets all muster up the collective will to combat the spread and keep folks out of the hospital. Speaking of masks, we are only a few weeks away from Halloween. Ironic that facial coverings are so popular among trick-or-treaters and party-goers, but not so much as a safety measure. I’m just sayin’. On a sad note, I bid a fond farewell to my associate, Stephanie Rowe, who has served as the “Foundation’s” Project Support Specialist for the past three years. Stephanie was a valued member of our team and will be missed. On the bright side, I am pleased to introduce our new Project Support Specialist, Kymberly Fazzio, who began her new role on Sept. 1. Kymberly and her husband Frank moved to the Central Coast from Northern California in 2004 to be closer to family and enjoy a better quality of life. Prior to living on
the Central Coast, Kymberly held high-level administrative support positions for various Big Four accounting firms and other technical corporations. She recently retired after 16 years at Cal Poly, including five years in the Office of the President. Welcome, Kymberly! When meeting new Avilones, I find it interesting to learn how they landed in this jewel of the Central Coast. Let’s face it, most of us arrived here from other parts of the state, or from further regions, for a variety of reasons and paths taken. My wife and I, for example, were living in the bustling/sprawling Orange County enclave of Irvine in the 1980s. It was a fun place to be with so much to do and enjoy in the surrounding areas. The problem was that population growth in Orange County made it increasingly difficult to access the abundance of activities that attracted the multitudes. It seemed that much of our existence was spent in traffic or in lines waiting to get into theaters, restaurants, banks, etc. So in 1988, we decided to explore other areas to live in, and without getting into great detail, ended up initially in Los Osos in 1989, then here in Avila in 1995. I offered the above personal tidbit to invite others to share their journeys to Avila Beach, which I could then include in future issues of this publication. If you are willing to do so, write back to me by finishing a sentence or two that begins thusly. “I/ we ended up in Avila Beach in (year) after having lived in (location), and came here because...” This sounds like a fun exercise, and I hope some of you will humor me by playing along. With summer now in the rearview mirror, Avila Beach should become less congested, though it will be interesting to see how busy it gets during the upcoming holiday season. Last year, at the height of the Pandemic, travelers tended to stay closer to home, and much of what we experienced were locals enjoying our seaside sanctuary. However, I suspect things will look different
this season, especially with the opening of the new Flying Flags Avila Beach Camping Resort. You might want to check out the site, which will have spaces for tent camping, RVs, and cabins. Speaking of the holiday season, it’s time to start thinking about your annual year-end donations to support local non-profit organizations serving our community. All have been financially challenged the past two years and are doing what they can to stay afloat. As you know from past columns, the “Foundation” has already committed to providing our grantees with funds equal to what they received the year before the Pandemic, with no strings attached as to how these dollars are spent, be it special projects, programs, or general operating. Along that line, I want to thank the Rossi Foundation for its recent, generous grant to the Avila Beach Community Foundation, which will enable us to invest more funds in our service area. That’s it for now. See you at the beach!
Join Us At Avila Bay Athletic Club - Lunch/Dinner Event US stock markets have risen dramatically since the Feb/March 2020 selloff. As stock markets rise, risks may increase considerably. Yet, few people have rules or a method to reduce potential losses should we get a large downturn. If you don’t want to live on the edge, come to lunch/dinner on us to learn how to protect your retirement assets while still investing for the future.
When: October 27th / 1:00-2:30 // 4:30-6:00 Where: Avila Bay Athletic Club - Conference Room This is a friendly “round-table” discussion – not a long seminar. We will talk about:
Simple rules to reduce stock market risk Critical questions to ask one’s advisor Using “buffers” and/or “floors” to protect from stock market losses The “new” inflation and it’s effect on the markets and your money Your questions regarding tax/estate planning for possible congressional legislation * Due to health/safety reasons, we are limiting each discussion to 6-8 people and we may hold them outside if protocol requires. All guests must be vaccinated.
Thomas B. Paine Paine Financial Services 6627-A Bay Laurel Pl (Avila Village) Avila Beach, CA 93424 805-473-6679
Rules Based Investing for all stock market conditions
Advisory Services and Securities offered through Centaurus Financial, Inc. member FINRA and SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. Paine Financial Services and Centaurus Financial Inc. are not affiliated. Branch office: 1186 E. Grand Ave., Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
4 | Avila Beach Life — October 2021 A VIEW FROM THE BEACH
We All Have One of Those Days
Avila Beach Civic Association
i all! Have you ever had one of THOSE days…it seemed that everything that could go wrong would! Well, today was one of those days that started late last night when I got the call that the Community Center’s front door jammed. My day started off with rushing to get out
the door to my office, and I knocked over my hole puncher, and all the little circles of paper dumped all over the carpet…and I had to pick them up one by one. That wasn’t so bad until my laptop fell on the floor as I was trying to put it in my briefcase…no worries, it didn’t break! Next, my husband Jimmy had to temporarily fix the Center’s front door so that the election materials could be removed. So far, everything was fine. However, don’t jump to conclusions. After I got to the Center, the heating/air conditioning system repairman came so that the Post Office staff wouldn’t roast any longer; the elevator repairman came to get the lights turned back on since it is a bit scary to ride in a pitch-black elevator, the locksmith (after a bit of begging) came to fix the front door so people would be able to enter/leave…oh, and Raul Cavazos,
our Board Vice President, came yesterday to make plumbing repairs. Everything turned out okay, but what a 24-hour period…was there a full moon last night??? As COVID-19/Delta Variant etc., continues to rear its ugly head, we decided to postpone our Bingo Family Fun Night until a later date. I am hopeful that things will get better, and we can host our Fall Harvest Spaghetti Dinner/Bingo Night on Nov. 5, but I will let you know sometime next month. No worries, though, because Santa’s Doggie Parade is still scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. For information on our events, rental of the Center, volunteering, or becoming a member, please contact me at (805)627-1997 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I still have faith that this will be a great year for all of us…and look forward to seeing each of you in our beautiful Avila Beach.
Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg Office Hours: Supervisor Ortiz-Legg will begin hosting her office hours every 4th Thursday at the Avila Beach Community Center from 1-3 p.m. She will be available to talk with constituents about current issues regarding the County of San Luis Obispo or their other concerns or questions. For more information, email email@example.com or call 805-781-4336.
By MARY FOPPIANO For Avila Beach Life
oltAbout started in 2016 while Matt Maxwell and his co-founders were students at Cal Poly. They joined the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Summer Accelerator program to jumpstart their business. Through the Accelerator, they were provided $10,000 in seed funding and a vast network of investors and mentors. Their lead mentor Lucia Cleveland (founder of Spice Hunter), helped guide them through the early days of building a business from the ground up. Their mission is to help reduce barriers for customers to experience fast, fun, and sustainable transportation that electric bikes and scooters have to offer. Their initial concept was a monthly electric bike leasing program, primarily marketed to Cal Poly students. For $79 per month, students would get their own electric bike, lights, lock, and helmet, to get where they needed to go quickly without ever having to pay for parking. BoltAbout grew their fleet to over 200 electric bikes with customers in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, and Avila Beach. During the Winter of 2020, while the COVID19 pandemic was raging, BoltAbout made the tough decision to end their college student ebike leasing program and shift focus to their new electric bike and scooter rental/retail store in Avila Beach. They signed their lease for their new store
in late January, not knowing about the looming challenges of stay-at-home orders and nationwide lockdowns. Those first five months after signing the lease for their new retail and rental store were scary times. Avila was a ghost town because California mandated businesses remain closed until further notice. Matt and his team were so uncertain of what the future held that they almost closed the business entirely in April 2020. However, their mission of providing customers with fun experiences on electric bikes and scooters prevailed. BoltAbout opened their Avila Beach store in late June 2020 as COVID lockdowns began to ease. Business swiftly came roaring back to Avila beach and has continued to soar. Matt, as CEO and Jordan Merrill, co-owner, are thrilled to offer locals and tourists alike incredible experiences on their electric bikes and scooters. They know that Avila Beach is a hidden gem where families continue or start new annual vacation traditions in our beautiful, funky beach town. The Avila Beach locals and vacationers have strongly supported BoltAbout. Their team loves working at the beach with their primary job responsibility of helping customers have fun… what could be any better than that! On Sept. 13, we welcomed BoltAbout with a belated ribbon-cutting…and know that all of you are as happy as we are that they have come Their initial concept was a monthly electric bike leasing program, primarily marketed to Cal Poly students. BoltAbout grew their fleet to over 200 electric bikes with customers in San Luis to Avila! Obispo, Atascadero, and Avila Beach. Photo courtesy of Mary Foppiano
Buddy and Bugz
are our Pets of the Month By MARY FOPPIANO
ver the past few years, I have been telling you about so many of our wonderful furry friends. It has been brought to my attention that I haven’t told you about my two boys, Buddy and Bugz. Both are rescue dogs…and I really think that they rescued me rather than me rescuing them. They bring so much love to Jimmy and me and make coming home each day special. Buddy was found wandering in Visalia five years ago and was slated for death since their animal shelters are so overcrowded. Luckily, the local rescue chose Buddy, and he was brought to PetSmart to be adopted. Looking at his sweet little face, I couldn’t
NEXT MONTH’S ‘PET OF THE MONTH’ Please send me your pictures and a short paragraph about your pet to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and introduce us to your furry friend next month!
walk away. Buddy was named Bobo by the Rescue staff, but he really seemed like a buddy, hence his name. Three years ago, Bugz was rescued from Woods Humane Society by two of my neighbors, one of whom, unfortunately, passed on shortly after that time. The other, after seeing how attached Buddy and his Bugz became as we walked past his house each day, generously allowed us to adopt Bugz. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs…especially my boys. They are friendly, energetic, excitable, and bring us so much joy…not to mention photogenic…yes, I am a proud pet mom, in case you haven’t noticed.
October 2021 — Avila Beach Life | 5 NATURE
Fall Sightings on the Bob Jones Pathway By BETTY HARTIG For Avila Beach Life
utumn is a perfect time for a stroll or ride on the Bob Jones Pathway. There are plenty of active critters to observe. The path from Ontario Road to See Canyon Creek bridge is heavily populated with furry tree squirrels, Western Gray Squirrels to be exact. Their favorite habitats are oak and walnut woodlands, both of which are found on the Bob Jones Trail. D uring the fall, the tree squirrels are particularly active, zipping to and from using rather spastic moves. They almost brush your shoes as you walk or run by, often causing you to put on your brakes to an abrupt halt as the squirrel figures out his route. These tree squirrels will dart out with no fear or hesitation, oblivious to trail travelers. Their mission is to gather as many acorns and nuts as possible along with tree buds, fungi, insects, and fruit. Often you can hear their chirping-like sound as they navigate through the trees. Tree squirrels are masterful climbers. The trees along the Bob Jones Trail are firstrate jungle gyms. Squirrels jump from branch to branch and often cross from one side of the trail to the opposite without ever touching the ground. No, they are not flying squirrels, like Rocky the flying squirrel, but their swift moves make it seem like they glide. They use tree branches like trampolines, boing, boing, then up and away. Let us not confuse ground squirrels with tree squirrels. Ground squirrels burrow in the ground, and therefore, cause erosion problems. Tree squirrels live in the trees, no ground tunnel digging. They build their nests, which are called dreys, high in the trees. There is also a difference in appearance between the two. Tree squirrels have fluffy bushy tails, whereas ground squirrels have narrow straight tails. The bushy tail helps the tree squirrel camouflage its body against creatures of prey, such as raptors, coyotes, raccoons, and mountain lions. They simply spread their tail, creating an umbrella shield that covers them from predators. Another busy resident that finds the treelined trail a prime real estate zone is the acorn woodpecker. The acorn woodpecker has a brownish-black head, back, wings and tail. Bright white adorns the woodpecker’s forehead, throat, belly, and rump. The adult male has a red cap starting at the forehead; females have a black area between the forehead and the cap. The bird’s distinctive markings, along with their rapid tree pecking, make it easy to identify. Woodpeckers can peck a tree up to 20 times per second! Amazingly, a woodpecker’s anatomy is designed to absorb the force and prevent the avian from injury. Their distinctive, loud, repeated, laugh-like voice can be clearly heard throughout the footpath. The call sounds just like the classic cartoon character Woody Woodpecker, which is believed to have been patterned after the acorn woodpecker’s call. Acorn woodpeckers depend heavily on acorns for food and are well known for their habit of stockpiling acorns, but they also eat nuts, insects, sap, and fruit. Why do they store acorns? They harvest acorns in the fall and stow them in drilled holes to be eaten in the winter. During the fall, acorns are abundant, and the woodpeckers wisely take advantage of this time. In California, woodpeckers bore holes in trees or
branches to create acorn granaries; surprisingly, these holes do not harm the trees. Granaries can have as many as 50,000 nuts stored in them. Holes are used year after year, and new ones are always added. Sometimes they can be seen puncturing holes in the utility poles along the Bob Jones Pathway. Are they trying to gain free power access? No, they are creating holes to store their food source. Unfortunately, woodpeckers often select other types of structures to house acorns, which causes conflicts with humans, but this article’s focus is on the environment along the Bob Jones Trail. After the woodpeckers drill holes, they collect acorns to place inside. However, they do not randomly select a hole. They find a hole that is a perfect size for the acorn. The acorns are tightly wedged so that it is difficult for other creatures to remove them. As time passes, acorns in the holes dry out and shrink in size, so the woodpecker must remove the acorn and locate a smaller hole to house the acorn. Acorn warehouses require lots of work for the red-headed bird to maintain. Woodpeckers do not take kindly to other species that try to rob their stores. They fiercely defend their pantry. Not all the active autumn creatures on the trail are swift movers or easily seen. A slow-moving arachnid can occasionally be seen crawling on the Bob Jones Trail. During the early fall, a hairy, brown, 8-legged, fang-spouting spider is out looking for a mate. You guessed it, tarantulas. It is best not to mess with these spiders, they are not poisonous to humans, but they can bite! Its powerful jaw can be quite an unpleasant experience; if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. The spider’s venom, which is in their fangs, is used to paralyze prey. Tarantulas are interesting to watch, that is, if you can tolerate their eerie appearance. Their body is about
2 inches; however, their leg spread is around 6 inches. The tarantula’s legs can be used to flick barbed abdomen hairs when disturbed, causing discomfort and irritation to predators. Tarantulas, like most creatures, are designed for survival and are well equipped with resourceful tools. Capturing and feasting on insects and arthropods such as centipedes and millipedes relatively causes no problems for the eight-eyed, ground burrowing character. The anatomical structure of the tarantula makes it appropriately featured in many scary movie scenes, but they are not considered aggressive. In fact, California tarantulas are considered docile. Be on the lookout for these large not so attractive creepy crawlers on the Bob Jones Pathway. You might see one just in time to put you in the Halloween spirit.
Western Gray Squirrels, Woodpeckers, and Tarantulas are just a few of the species of wildlife found along the Bob Jones Pathway. Photos courtesy of Victoria Morrow
6 | Avila Beach Life — October 2021 POINT SAN LUIS LIGHTSTATION
The Curious Case of a Point San Luis Keeper
Board of Directors, Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers
magine learning you were not the age you thought you were. That, in fact, you were four—or maybe even five—years younger. How would it make you feel? Elated? Buoyed by newfound youthfulness? Or confused and somewhat unsettled as to just how this could be—how you had managed to live much of your life thinking you were several years older? John Robert “Bob” Moorefield, Keeper at Point San Luis when the Coast Guard took over responsibility for the nation’s aids to navigation, was born in December 1891. Or so he thought. Why he understood 1891 to be his birth year is not known. He joined the Army in 1913. He registered for the draft in 1918. He applied to be a lighthouse keeper in 1925. Neither the Army, nor the War Department, nor the Lighthouse Service ever asked Moorefield to prove his age. Moorefield served with the Army in the Philippines as a private with the engineer corps and in California with the quartermaster corps at Fort McDowell. After his discharge in 1920, he married and settled in San Francisco. Just before applying for a keeper job, he was an assistant engineer at San Francisco’s Steinhart Aquarium. Moorefield started his lighthouse service career in April 1925 as second assistant keeper at the Alcatraz Island light. A year later, in April 1926, he was transferred to Point San Luis. At the time of his transfer, the head Keeper was George Watters, the first assistant Antonio Silva. Moorefield divorced his wife in 1928, receiving custody of John Robert Moorefield, Jr., nicknamed “Sonny,” their five-year-old son. In 1929, Moorefield married Mary Elizabeth Studle and became stepfather to Lucy, her seven-year-old daughter. In 1933, Moorefield was promoted to first assistant keeper when Antonio Silva retired. The Keeper then was Fred Saunders, who replaced Watters in 1929. In 1936, Moorefield was promoted to head Keeper when Saunders transferred to Carquinez Strait. In 1939, shortly after President Roosevelt’s Reorganization Order #11 consolidated the Lighthouse Service with the Coast Guard, his daughter Judith was born. It wasn’t until 1940, as he was approaching his forty-ninth birthday that his age came into question. An ardent ham radio enthusiast, Moorefield operated a low-powered amateur radio station, W6OBV, at the lighthouse in his spare time, having converted the station’s coal shed—no longer needed—into a radio room. In June 1940, ten months after World War II broke out in Europe; the Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling requiring all radio operator license-holders—amateur as well as commercial—to prove their United States citizenship. Moorefield didn’t have a birth certificate, so he wrote to the Registrar of Vital Statistics in Virginia, the state where he was born, to obtain a copy of the registration of his birth. What he got surprised him. On Aug. 4, 1940, he wrote to his Coast Guard superiors:
Circa 1925 photo of Bob Moorefield and his son John Robert “Sonny” Moorefield, Jr. taken at the Alcatraz light station. Photo courtesy of the Point San Luis Light Station archives
I have obtained a copy of the registration of my birth from the State Registrar at Richmond, Virginia. And have discovered that I was born Dec. 6, 1896, and not Dec. 6, 1891, as all previous records show. I do not know when the mix-up in my age occurred; for more than thirty years, I have been under the impression that I was born in 1891… The certificate of registration of birth has been forwarded to the F.C.C. in compliance with the Commission order...
Circa 1932 photo of Bob Moorefield, fourth from left, his wife Mary Elizabeth, third from left, his stepdaughter Lucy, second from left, and his son “Sonny” held at the shoulder by an unidentified man. The man on the left is Mrs. Moorefield’s brother Ted Studle; the man holding the dog is family friend Albert Proteau. Photo courtesy of Curt Brohard
data for this certificate appears to have been taken from a family Bible record which, if it meets the requirements outlined under paragraph 3 of Form 2473, may be considered as proof of his date of birth. It will be necessary, therefore, for Mr. Moorefield to submit either the original record or a photostat copy of it to this office, being certain that the date of publication of the Bible is included, in the event that he is not able to furnish a Baptismal Certificate which is a preferred form of proof.
If Moorefield thought that would put an Moorefield obtained the family Bible and end to the matter, he sorely underestimated sent it to the Coast Guard, but the Civil Service the government’s tenacity. Commission rejected this evidence stating: The Coast Guard fired back: The family Bible record was not acceptProof of the date of your birth must be able because date of birth entered several years established in accordance with inclosures after the birth occurred. The record from his [sic] (1) and (2). If you can obtain a copy of grandfather’s Bible clearly indicates that the your birth certificate, this must be furnished. date of birth was changed from 1895 to 1896. You are directed to comply with instructions contained in the inclosures [sic] at the earliest Paragraph four of Form 2473 allowed a statepracticable date. ment of a practicing physician certifying that he attended the birth to be given as evidence, What the two “inclosures” were is not known, but an affidavit from Moorefield’s sister stated but one of them was most likely Civil Service that the doctor who attended the birth and the Commission Form 2473. minister who baptized Moorefield were both Moorefield replied: deceased. Therefore, the Civil Service Commission concluded none of the forms of proof listed My birth certificate was sent to the Federal under Form 2473’s paragraphs one through four Communications Commission…about Aug. were available. The last resort was to rely on 5, 1940. As soon as it is returned to me, it will Form 2473’s paragraph five, and Moorefield be forwarded to the District Office. was asked to sign a release and fill out a form authorizing the Civil Service Commission to I had a photostatic copy of the certifiobtain his census records. cate made but did not receive it in time to But the release hit a snag. Moorefield had have it notarized before the original was only a general idea about where he lived on Jun. sent to Washington; the copy is inclosed [sic] 1, 1900, the first census taken after his birth. as it may be acceptable and a possible delay He wrote: be avoided as I do not know how long the Federal Communications Commission will I have made every effort to establish the hold the original. correct address of my parents as of Jun. 1, 1900, but I have been unable to locate the Could the government accept the photostat exact address with certainty. As near as I copy? The Coast Guard asked the Civil Service have been able to determine, my father lived Commission, only to be told: on a farm near Abingdon, Va. The owner of the farm was probably Milton Moore. In view of the fact that this certificate was not filed with the Registrar of Vital StatisFortunately, this explanation appeared to tics at or near the time of the birth of Mr. satisfy the Census Bureau, and his 1900 census Moorefield, it is not acceptable proof…The record was located. The government determined
his date of birth to be Dec. 6, 1895: Enumeration in the Census of 1900 of John R. Moorefield, age 4, month and year of birth given as December 1895, the 6th day claimed by appointee, accepted in the absence of the more preferred forms of proof. Moorefield was advised of his new date of birth on Jan. 30, 1941, when he officially became forty-five years old instead of forty-nine, turning four years younger. Having now an official age, the path was cleared for Moorefield to join the Coast Guard. He resigned as Keeper, Point San Luis, on Jul. 6, 1941, and enlisted in the Coast Guard the next day. Now a boatswain’s mate first class, Moorefield continued to serve as Keeper at Point San Luis until his retirement on Feb. 1, 1947, at the (new, younger) age of fifty-one. A version of this story first appeared in the March–April 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest magazine.
Circa 1942 photo of Bob Moorefield with daughter Judy beside W6OBV radio transmitter in the radio room at Point San Luis. Photo courtesy of the Point San Luis Light Station archives
October 2021 — Avila Beach Life | 7 AVILA VALLEY GRAPEVINE
Tough Harvest This Year John Salisbury contributor
orldwide, this year is shaping up to be a huge winegrape growing problem and an upcoming shift in growing areas with the changing climate resulting in long-term winners and losers. The heatwaves, frost damage, smoke taint, wet summer, and drought will result in a tough harvest this year. France is expecting a crop loss of 24 to 30 percent because of heavy spring frosts and a wet summer that brought on a heavy mildew season, and a lot more expenses in fungicide applications. The hard frosts impacted 80 percent of France’s main wine-growing regions to include Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, resulting in an esti-
mated two billion dollars lost, and that is before the rains and a superhot summer pushing the expected loss even higher. Experts, back in April, were predicting it could be the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century and maybe well before. Some were saying the worst season in the last 40 years. Italy also suffered from a scorching summer heatwave that ramped up harvest early in the north, and heavy rains have held back the harvest in the south. They expect a drop of over 10 percent but big worries about quality, especially in the mid-section of the country where hail and frost followed by cool summer has affected the crop. They are also having a problem with sea water intrusion with rising sea levels along the coast. As for the USA, wildfires, especially up north in Oregon, Washington, and Canada after an abnormal early heat season, have ruin many a vineyard as was seen in northern California last year. This year the industry holding its breath with the usual worse fire season now upon us. The smoke travels hundreds of miles and probably tainted this and last
year’s wines in many wine appellations. Grapes are like a sponge. The berries can pick up smells from all sorts of sources like from nearby eucalyptus trees, noxious-smelling weeds, and especially smoke which can change the taste and smells in the wine—smoke-tainted wine taste like, as you would expect, ashy, burnt, or a chemical. The problem is you won’t really know until well into the processing of the wine because the chemicals in the wine change with aging. You can still get a good wine, but in most worse cases of smoke, tainted wines are undrinkable. We all know our situation here in California that the whole lot of the western states are suffering with a long-term drought situation. Droughts in the state have been common in the last couple of centuries, but now more so pushed by record-breaking hot weather, agriculture and municipal demands, and the plain lack of irrigation water. Much of it in areas that may no longer be able to grow the expected quality of grapes they are known for because of the higher heat changes if the trend continues. That would include Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Oregon’s
Pinot Noir. Growers are experimenting with heat-resistant varieties and rootstocks, but that takes years, even decades, to come up the right combination, plus the expensive cost replacing existing vineyards. You can also include much of Australia and New Zealand as hot spots. Mother Nature has a way of taking from one and giving to another. Call it Ying and Yang, or that she abhors a vacuum, but something is afoot. While major old-time wine areas are in jeopardy of sustaining top-quality wines, others are emerging. Places that were too cold to grow quality winegrapes are starting to show promise, thanks to a warmer change in their weather. Those spots include those established wine regions on the edge of the recognized worldwide winemaking belt like China, Canada, and even Patagonia are expected to increase production and produce some great wines. One of the biggest winners of potential shift in wine production, if the trend continues, is in the southern part of soddy and wet Merry Old England. Also, include the Scandinavian countries where vineyards
are being developed and with longer summers have produced some great vintages. Japan is getting some notice internationally for some of their wines. But looking at the main suppliers of the world production of wine, it would take a lot to make up for losing regions in the four main wine-producing countries Italy, France, Spain, and the United States, in that order. Locally, we are having a fairly stress-free normal year with the exception of the perennial problem of finding pickers. According to our local weather guru, John Lindsey, no rain likely through October. That is good because harvest is running a little late, but the crop looks to be about average. We did have that heat spike in June when the grapes started maturing and a long foggy summer which has prolonged the growing season on this side of the Grade. Pretty hot on the other side, but they are used to it. Their well-publicized problem is there are too many “straws” in the aquifer to sustain vineyards during a long-term drought. Compared to the rest of the world, we are still very fortunate to live in a pretty balanced environment.
Building on The Good Life
Dr. Cindy Maynard contributor
t may seem as though stress and spirituality don’t go together, but where there is stress, there is an opportunity for soul growth, especially during stressful times such as we’ve experienced with Covid. In his stress management workshops, psychologist Brian Luke Seward, Ph.D., says that the evolution of our soul typically involves a journey where there is a beginning or a departure from the familiar, the middle is a set of trials, and the end is a return home to the old life but with a fresh perspective. Call it a pilgrimage or the hero’s journey. You’ve probably noticed it in your own life. In fact, if you were to talk with anyone who has gone through difficult times, they might say that the resources they used to help them included patience, humor, forgiveness, optimism, and love. Seward calls these “muscles of the soul” or the inner resources we use to overcome roadblocks in life. Like physical muscles, these muscles will never disappear; however, they can atrophy if we don’t use them. In her class on The Good Life, Dr. Laura Santos, a psychologist, and professor at Yale University discusses building up these soul muscles. You can google her lecture on YouTube, and you’ll get the quick crash course. Here are 6 of her insights on what happy people do to live The Good Life. They practice gratitude. Literally, writing down a list of things we’re grateful for can change our brain chemicals. Yet, our brains typically default to the negative. But we can re-train the brain. When we look for the positive in life,
we start attracting this, and let’s face it; we can our happiness than we think. writer. She is passionate about fitness, wellness and all use more positive energy in our lives! At the Cindy Maynard, Ph.D., RD, is a health psychol- motivating people towards better health. You can end of the day, list ten things you are grateful ogist, registered dietitian, and health and fitness contact her at email@example.com. for and see if your perspective changes. Happy people help others. If we had extra money, you would think we would spend it on ourselves, and it would make us happy. But research shows we’re happier when we spend it on others rather than ourselves. Whether it’s paying it forward for the person behind you in the coffee line or paying someone’s toll on the toll road behind you— it makes us happy! Happy people connect socially. They make time to be with others. And it doesn’t have to be friends or family. Research shows we can boost our happiness just by striking up a conversaKids develop a brand, tion with a stranger on the bus or the person create a product or who rings up our groceries. Social connection is service, build a thought to be one of the most powerful influences on our mood and health. marketing strategy Happy people practice healthy practices. and then open for What do I mean by that? Examples are exerbusiness in this one-day cise, sleep, and diet, which boost our immune marketplace systems and mental health. Dr. Santos says just 30 min. of cardio is equivalent to taking an Experience young minds anti-depressant daily. So, by making time for marketing, selling, counting these healthy practices, we become happier. money and feeling Happy people stay in the moment. I’ll admit, accomplished! Come be this is a tough one for a lot of us. We’re not a shopper and help Avila paying attention to what we’re doing and totally Beach’s young entrepreneurs miss out on the present most of the time. Being launch their in the present moment simply means noticing the feel of the warm sweater you are wearing, the smell of fresh coffee as it’s brewing, or watching a sunset. Practicing mindfulness 16, 2021 | 10am – 1pm boosts mental health, cognitive ability and reduces stress. Avila Community Center Lastly, happy people become wealthy. You’ve 191 San Miguel St, Avila Beach, probably guessed I’m not talking about money. CA 93424 In fact, Dr. Santos explains that we think if only I had this or that, it would make us happy. But research shows that promotions, new relationBOOTH APPLICATION DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 15TH! ships, or winning the lotto only temporarily boost happiness before we return to baseline. Thank You to our Incredible Sponsors So, the takeaway from these six insights is that internal, not external, factors make lasting changes. It’s up to us to change our culture of negativity. Remember, we control a lot more of
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