Central Coast Journal • April 2023

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VOICE OF SLO 56 | FARM BUREAU Paradise on Earth in SLO County 57 | BEHIND THE BADGE Sheriff's Detective Clint Cole Retires 58 | COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION SLO County Art's Outreach Programs 59 | REALTY REPORT Spring Brings Changes to the Market THE JOURNAL 10 | PUBLISHER'S LETTER 14 | CCTRVLR INSTAGRAM 60 | CALENDAR OF EVENTS 62 | CROSSWORD 66 | PHOTO OF THE MONTH FOOD & WINE 20 | SEASONAL EATING Easter Menu with Spring-Inspired Recipes 24 | WORLD OF WINE An Ode to Pinot Noir CENTRAL COAST TRVLR 30 | SEA OTTER KITS AT THE HARBOR & Elephant Seal Weaners on San Simeon Row 36 | ARTSY OASIS Joshua Tree: The Best of Glamping & Nature COVER STORY 42 | RESILIENT PROJECT Inspiring Hope & Change HISTORY 50 | CHARLES NORDOFF Central Coast Almonds, Olives & Walnuts 42 April 2023 CONTENTS 36 8 | CentralCoastJournal.com
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The Central Coast of California is a special place, filled with breathtaking scenery, delicious food and wine, and a unique community that is passionate about its culture and heritage. California is a young state, relatively, but has a spirit all its own. With so much to offer, we felt that Central Coast Journal needed a new look and feel, aimed at highlighting the beauty of the region and everything that makes it so special. With this first issue of the new CCJ, we aim to capture the spirit of California, and take it all to new heights.

As lifelong residents involved in our community where we work, live, and play, we are excited to share the unique charm and appeal of this region. The new Central Coast Journal will serve as an insider's guide to the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and beyond.

At the heart of this redesign is the focus on comprehensive articles that share what makes the Central Coast so unique. From the stunning coastline to rolling hills and vineyards, each article will showcase the beauty of the region, giving readers a glimpse into what makes this area of California so special.

Travel is also a key focus for the new Central Coast Journal, with regular features from Central Coast TRVLR on the best places to visit throughout the Central Coast and the state. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, readers can expect to find plenty of inspiration for their next adventure.

Of course, no publication about the Central Coast would be complete without a focus on events, spotlights, and inspiration. From exploring the wildflowers out at the Carrizo Plain to visting the traveling "Wall that Heals," there's always something happening in the region. And for those looking for a little inspiration, our publication will highlight local entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators who are making a difference in our community.

Central Coast is also filled with amazing local food and wine. From farm-to-table restaurants to world-renowned wineries, the region is a foodie's paradise. Each month, we will showcase seasonal recipes that utilize fresh produce sourced from local farmers markets. Additionally, we'll delve into the world of wine, exploring its rich history and uncovering the top spots favored by locals.

The redesign of Central Coast Journal marks a new era for our publication. With a emphasis on the stunning scenery and distinct characteristics of the area, readers can anticipate feeling motivated, amused, and educated. Our beloved monthly columnists will also be returning, bringing their signature flair in a refreshed and reimagined format.

Whether you're a lifelong resident or a first-time visitor, Central Coast Journal will be a useful companion on your journey through the heart of California's Central Coast.

We hope you enjoy this first edition of a brand new Central Coast Journal.

Hayley & Nic

CENTRAL COAST letter Publisher's Letter if
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thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727
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camille devaul


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christianna marks


michael chaldu


dana mcgraw

kaleb rich-harris


jen rodman


barbie butz

brent burchett

chuck graham

Elyse Glickman

ian parkinson

Jaime Silveria james brescia, ed.d mira honeycutt


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Annual subscriptions are available for $29.99. Inquiries concerning subscriptions, advertising, etc. can be made by emailing Cami Martin at office@13starsmedia.com, or by calling (805) 466-2585. Central Coast Journal is a free monthly publication distributed to over 600 locations throughout the Central Coast and is also available at centralcoastjournal.com.


Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed within are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Central Coast Journal Our Local Business section spotlights select advertisers. All other stories are determined solely by our editors.


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Love to travel? Follow Central Coast Journal's travel section on IG @CentralCoastTRVLR for stories, in-depth looks around the Central Coast.

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Beauty of California's Superbloom

Exploring the Carrizo Plain National Monument Wildflowers and Nature

The Superbloom of 2019 in California was a phenomenon that captured the attention of people all over the world. With hillsides, meadows, and open spaces covered in colorful displays of wildflowers, it was a sight to behold. The best place to experience this natural beauty is in Santa Margarita, which is an officially designated Gateway to the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

The superbloom occurs thanks to trillions of tiny seeds of mostly annual plants, which have a life cycle that is completed within one year or season. These seeds can remain viable for up to 70 years, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

However, it's important to be respectful of the plants and to follow designated paths and parking areas. The usually thin soils can become compacted or destroyed due to the weight of tires and footsteps, which can cause dead zones and barren trails next to roads. Each crushed plant or picked flower results in the loss of seeds for future generations of flowers.

To make the most of your wildflower viewing experience, it's recommended to avoid weekends and holidays, if possible, to avoid the crowds. Sunny days are best for viewing flowers such as poppies, and it's important to bring water and fill up on gas before heading out as there are no services in wildflower areas.

For those who can't get enough of the superbloom, there are many ways to learn more. California website at bloomcalifornia.org provides information on how to plant, maintain, and grow a California native garden. Joining or donating to a local organization that helps preserve these special places is also a great way to contribute to the preservation of this natural beauty.

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The 'Wall That Heals'

Replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington visits Madonna Meadows

The "Wall That Heals," a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., made its first stop of its 2023 tour in Madonna Meadows in San Luis Obispo. The wall, which stands 375 feet long and 7.5 feet high, displays the names of 58,281 men and women who lost their lives serving the country in the Vietnam War. Despite the wet weather, over 100 people showed up to escort the wall from Camp Roberts in San Miguel to the Madonna Inn, treating it as a memorial service.

The visit coincided with the 50th anniversary of the removal of American combat troops from Vietnam, which was a highly debated conflict aimed at preventing the spread of communism. Templeton resident Rodney Dykhouse, a former Army helicopter pilot who served in the war, visited the wall and expressed his disappointment in the lack of a plan to win the war by the American government.

The SLO County Veterans Resource Center played an important role in supporting local veterans by connecting them to their accredited benefits. The center was responsible for bringing in $9.668 million to local veterans last year with a nine-person team and is known for its efficiency in helping veterans navigate their benefits.

The "Wall That Heals" has been on display in over 700 U.S. communities since its debut in 1996 and serves as a tribute to the sacrifice and service of those who lost their lives in the war. The wall provides a space for veterans and their families to remember and honor their fallen comrades and is a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served in the Vietnam War.

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Easter Menu with Spring Inspired Recipes

April is a lovely month. Think Spring! Spring actually arrived at the end of March and is now well-established and if you planted bulbs, they should be blooming. Now, Easter celebrations observing Holy Week, will bring families and friends together for food and fellowship. Traditionally, ham will be on the menu accompanied by flavorful side dishes made with produce from our popular Farmer's Markets.

To help you plan your Easter menu, the following recipe came from The Junior League of Pasadena cookbook, titled The California Heritage Cookbook, published in 1976. I know that many hams come with a package of glaze, but it's smart to venture out and try something new. Don't ever be fearful of being creative – that's how new recipes are born!

Brandy-Glazed Ham

The glaze adds a sweet and savory flavor to the ham, making it a delicious centerpiece for any festive meal.


A 10- to 12-pound smoked ham, bone in 6 cups dry red wine

6 cups water

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 ounces currant, pomegranate, or other tart jelly

1/4 cup scotch

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup brown sugar, well packed


Place ham in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven with a cover and cover the meat at least halfway with the equal parts of wine and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, turning ham after 1 hour to cover the other side with the liquid. In the meantime, in a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients and heat until thickened, stirring well to blend. Remove the ham from the pot and trim off all but 1/4 inch of fat. Score the ham well and place it on a rack in a baking pan with the scored side up. Cover with 1/3 of the glaze and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour, basting twice with remaining glaze. Let ham stand approximately 30 minutes before slicing.


Do not let the ham cool between the simmering and the baking steps. Simmering the ham in the wine gives it a nice color and delicious taste, eliminating most of the saltiness.

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Spring Salad

If you're looking for a light and refreshing side dish to add to your Easter menu, a spring salad is a perfect choice.


4 cups mixed salad greens (such as spinach, arugula, and lettuce)

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Salt and pepper to taste


Begin by washing and drying the mixed greens. Place them in a large salad bowl. Slice the strawberries and add them to the salad bowl. Strawberries are a great addition to salads as they are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that support your immune system.

Crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle it over the salad. Feta cheese adds a nice tangy flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the strawberries.

Chop the walnuts and sprinkle them over the salad. Walnuts add a satisfying crunch and are a great source of healthy fats and protein. Thinly slice the red onion and add it to the salad. Red onions add a mild spice and texture to the salad that complements the sweetness of the strawberries.

Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Balsamic vinaigrette is a classic salad dressing that brings all the flavors together.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve immediately and enjoy your fresh spring salad

You can also customize this salad by adding other fresh ingredients such as sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or avocado, depending on your preferences. The possibilities are endless, and this salad is the perfect canvas for your creativity in the kitchen.

In conclusion, this fresh spring salad is a tasty and healthy way to welcome the new season. It's simple to make, packed with nutrients, and bursting with flavor. So, whether you're enjoying it as a meal or as a side dish, this salad is sure to be a hit at any springtime gathering or dinner table.

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Strawberry Sorbet

Consider that this next recipe using fresh strawberries, will become one of your favorite desserts for Spring and Summer serving.


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 large egg white at room temperature, beated with 2 tablespoons of sugar until medium stiff


In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Complete the dish by putting strawberries and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth. Put puréed strawberries through a sieve into a large bowl and stir in cooled syrup. (Makes about 3 cups of purée). Put strawberry mixture in the bowl of an ice cream machine, and process, following manufacturer's directions, for about 20 minutes. add the egg white and run the ice cream machine until sorbet is ready. Serve in chilled glasses. Makes about 1 quart

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An Ode to Pinot Noir

What is it about Pinot Noir that drives its aficionados to ecstasy? What is it that causes this seduction of silkiness, the textured, velvety mouthfeel that makes wine lovers wax poetic?

Such is the power and mystique of Pinot that a popular Hollywood movie was crafted around its elusive persona. The 1994 multi-award-winning film “Sideways” was not just a pean to Pinot, it dramatically impacted the US wine industry raising its sales to stratospheric heights and cultivating a tribe of “pinotphiles.”

“There’s a mythology and reverence about Pinot — it’s like angels singing,” remarked Adam Lazarre, Paso-based winemaker who among his large portfolio of wines makes Pinots from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. “There’s a tactile sensation. It hits parts of the brain that other grapes don’t.”

Pinot Noir, the French words for pine and black, is so named for its grape cluster resembling a pine cone. Pinot is a black grape variety, temperamental, fickle and one of the trickiest of all wine grapes to grow, harvest and vinify due to its thin skins, tightly packed clusters, light colors and low tannins. No wonder it’s dubbed the Heartbreak Grape.

Yet there are legions of winemakers who dedicate their lives to pouring their passion into it. As much as Pinot reflects its terroir, it also expresses the passion of the grower and winemaker who shepherds this variety into ethereal nectar. Older vintages may express earthy characteristics and younger ones can be redolent of cherry, rose petals and strawberry aromas.

World of Wine
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Pinot Noir, the French words for pine and black, is so named for its grape cluster resembling a pine cone. Pinot is a black grape variety, temperamental, fickle and one of the trickiest of all wine grapes to grow, harvest and vinify due to its thin skins, tightly packed clusters, light colors and low tannins. No wonder it’s dubbed the Heartbreak Grape.

Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) are native to France’s Burgundy region where Benedictine and later Cistercian monks, beginning in the 10th century, planted vineyards on limestone soils that geologists believe date back some 150 million years to the Jurassic period. Over time, these monks came to identify numerous sites they believed would make exceptional vineyards, planted along Burgundy’s renowned corridor of Côte d’Or, dubbed the holy grail of Pinot. This is where the grape’s fussiness is fully explored. Wines from different villages express such individuality that they are given their own appellation status.

Other global regions noted for Pinot are Germany’s Pfalz and Baden regions, the variety known here as Spätburgunder; and New Zealand’s Central Otago and Marlborough regions.

In the US, Pinot thrives, both in California and Oregon. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is one of two US wine regions (the other one being Napa Valley) to receive formal recognition and protection by the European Union (EU) through Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status approval. (The PGI system protects iconic names of agricultural products, spirit drinks and wines with a link to their geographical origin.)

This distinction received in 2021 proved a breakthrough in global brand awareness and a milestone for Willamette Valley’s vintners dedicated to Pinot. Protected from cold Pacific Ocean air and rainstorms by the Coast Range Mountains on the West, Willamette is home to more than 700 wineries spread around eleven appellations — they include Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, Laurelwood District, Lower Long Tom, McMinnville, Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Ribbon Ridge, Tualatin Hills, the Van Duzer Corridor and Yamhill-Carlton.

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Along California’s Central Coast enjoying the cool marine layer, the noted regions are Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. In Northern California, the big three are Sonoma Valley’s Sonoma Coast, Fort Ross-Seaview and Russian River Valley AVAs, the Los Carneros AVA (which straddles both Napa and Sonoma Valleys) and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley.

The fog-shrouded Fort Ross/Seaview and West Sonoma Coast clinging to coastal ridges and jutting above the fog line occupy a unique eco-system that is dryer, sunnier and warmer and present many challenges. Yet a handful of Pinot-loving growers have courageously gone where not many would venture to plant vineyards

Santa Barbara County is blessed with two renowned AVAs, each with distinctive expressions: the cherry-loaded, spice-laced Pinots from Santa Maria Valley, known for the famed Bien Nacido vineyard, and the earthy dark fruit Pinots from Sta. Rita Hills.

San Luis Obispo County’s laid-back SLO Coast AVA lies on the seafront side of the coastal Santa Lucia Mountain range and encompasses the two contiguous AVAs of the inland Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande as well as coastal vineyards along Avila Beach, Pismo Beach and Cambria corridor.

Monterey County’s 18-mile stretch of Santa Lucia Highlands appellation is a seriously wind-swept region. The region’s 50 East-facing vineyards are tucked around mesas and arroyos reaching out like fingers on the benchland, some perched on hillsides scaling up to 2,300 feet in elevation.

This is our Pinot country along the Central Coast.

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and Photographed
While Contrasting the Grueling Path of Northern Elephant Seal Weaners at San Simeon Rookery
Otter Kits
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A mother otter swims with a 10 day old sleeping kit on her belly

Amongst all the foot traffic, squawking western gulls, northwest winds, and cooing pigeons, we could hear the distinct, precious mewing of a baby southern sea otter calling out while resting on the tummy of its doting mother.

When my girlfriend Holly and I pulled up along the boardwalk overlooking the harbor, we could see several onlookers gawking at the calm waters where southern sea otters congregate each day. It was a dead giveaway that southern sea otters were resting easy in those tranquil waters surrounded by fishing boats, and people walking along, and day-tripping at the harbor.

There was quite a large raft of otters that morning, 26 in all doing what otters do best during their downtime, grooming fastidiously. Southern sea otters possess the densest fur in the animal kingdom. Their fur contains between 600,000 to 1,000,000 hair follicles per square inch. It’s why their fur was highly sought after during the fur trade of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Unlike most other marine mammals, otters aren’t insulated with blubber. Instead, they depend on their dense, water-resistant fur to provide that insulation. To stay warm, sea otters spend many hours per day grooming and conditioning their thick fur. This relentless grooming traps air and heat next to their skin.

This kit was just born within 10 days, and it needed all its mother’s attention.


After watching those 26 otters grooming while rafting, Holly texted me and said, “Little baby here.” She was just 100 feet south of me, where I watched her taking pictures of a sow with her fuzzy kit.

Southern sea otters breed and pup year-round. Amongst those 26 otters just nearby, there were a few moms with their pups, but those pups were older and almost as large as their mothers. The mothers take care of their young for up to 6 months. However, this kit was just born within 10 days, and it needed all its mother’s attention.

The sow seemed intent on keeping her kit away from all the other otters. She sought out the calmest waters in the shadow of the wharf. She repeatedly groomed her newborn and its thick fur. The sow lifted her kit up repeatedly like a wet noodle and cleaned every inch of her pup. The kit mewed and nursed while being bathed.

Then it was the sow’s turn. Because the kit’s fur is so thick and it was too young to dive, she placed it in the water where it floated on its back and napped, while its mother thoroughly bathed in the shadows of the wharf.

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That’s what baby northern elephant seals are called. Their path to potential adulthood is a lot more grueling and arduous than the southern sea otter. Whereas the southern sea otter kit spends the next 6 months with its mother, the northern elephant seal mothers nurse their pups for a month, and then leave their offspring on the beach for good.

Another 40-minute drive north along Highway 1, the northern elephant seal rookery just above San Simeon is the second largest breeding and pupping colony in the world for this marine mammal. Northern elephant seals are the second largest seal on the planet. Their cousin, the southern elephant seal in the far Southern Hemisphere, holds the distinction for being the largest. The northern elephant bull can reach 16 feet long and weigh from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.

As soon as they exit their mother’s womb, 70-pound weaners are in for a real fight to survive. Turkey vultures constantly soar overhead searching for dead weaners to scavenge upon. Western gulls are also waiting. They closely huddle near the rookeries. They crave the afterbirth, which is high in protein, but they will also go after weak pups if they become separated from their moms. Separation also occurs if and when a 3,000 to 5,000 northern elephant seal bull plows through throngs of other elephant seals either to mate or fend off a potential rival. That Central California beachfront is at a premium from December through March when the bulls are there.

During January and February, the weaners are exposed to the forces of nature. This winter, King Tides coupled with powerful storms didn’t allow for much sandy real estate for the elephant seals to haul out on, so pups were swept out to sea. Pups that did survive those big tides also lost track of their mothers. Some pups that get lost and lose their mothers will cling to other moms and try to nurse off of them. Some females that have lost their pups for good, will sometimes adopt a needy pup.

With 25,000 northern elephant seals utilizing the San Simeon colony throughout the year, there’s never a dull moment north and south of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. There’s lots of sights, sounds, smells and drama taking up all the available space along this craggy, rugged coastline.

In the animal world, some babies have it tougher than others. The tenderness is visible, but so is the harshness of nature. It’s on full display along the Central Coast.

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Female elphant seals lay sprawled out on the beach as two bulls battle for attention
Experience the Best of Glamping and Nature, Where Style and Comfort Meet Adventure and Inclusivity
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At AutoCamp Joshua Tree, 38 miles outside of Palm Springs and a six-hour drive from San Luis Obispo, the great outdoors is cooler and more inclusive than ever. The interior design and layout puts travelers front and center in the midst of the Coachella Valley’s natural wonders while providing creature comforts associated with better hotels. While the premises taps into the glamping phenomenon, it’s also an inclusive affair where newborns, kids, teens, grandparents, and family dogs are welcome as trendsetting young adults.

Lodgings at AutoCamp Joshua Tree for two are neatly arranged in gleaming Airstream trailers that feel much larger when one steps inside. The same

holds true for a handful of “Vista X Suites,” slightly scaled up to accommodate three adults or a family of four. A lot of style and function are packed into each Airstream. Playful design elements include 1970s-inspired wall accents, contemporary dark hardwood plank flooring in the main room, and geometric tiles in the bathroom. The shower in each unit is surprisingly roomy, and outfitted with unisex Ursa Major skincare amenities and brushed black metal hardware. The compact bedroom is airy and cozy, and elevated with earthy, soft bed linens. Streamlined storage areas hold such essentials as towels, two plush bathrobes, and other useful supplies, but also easily accommodate clothing and small sports gear brought from the outside.

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This bold, modern structure is the hub of this ultimate base camp for campters of all ages, physical abilities, tastes and interests.

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The kitchenette adjoining the living area is immaculately appointed with a small refrigerator, microwave oven and cabinets with plates, glasses, cookware and barbecue supplies as well as a barbecue grill and mini-patio immediately outside their trailer door. French press coffee, artisanal teas from local producers are available for an additional fee. There’s also complementary wifi available, though the views and the attentive and knowledgeable staff will remind you that it’s probably best to unplug to take full advantage of the surroundings.

Inside the main “tree clubhouse,” which resembles an airport hangar, one can easily access the check-in and concierge desks, lounge seating, and a large retail space. In addition to necessities for hikes and other outdoor pursuits, the shop offers an eclectic selection of goods ranging from AutoCamp Joshua Tree souvenir tees and hoodies for the whole family to educational toys, books, sunglasses, and bottle shop provisions from regional wineries, breweries, and soft-drink makers. Fresh coffee, tea, and granola is set out every morning free of charge to all guests, and there’s a hearty menu of baked goods and full-sized meals as well as lunch and dinner fare offered later in the day from a local caterer. There are also outdoor seating areas, a bar area and lounge areas that can be specially outfitted for special family gatherings or corporate retreats.

The attentive and knowledgeable staff will remind you that it’s probably best to unplug to take full advantage of the surroundings.

On-property activities include a fire pit sitting area (perfect for s’mores, with kits available for sale in the shop), pool, complimentary bikes, and a cornhole court. There are also free yoga classes staged on some mornings, as well as live music nights from time to time. The concierge service offers special activities and custom tours for guests to discover the larger area protected by The Mojave Desert Land Trust, an accredited non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of 100,000 acres of prime desert habitat that weave through national parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, and wildlife linkage corridors.

Other specialty activities at this base camp and nearby include a Sunset Wine Tasting with the Joshua Tree Bottle Shop, a Herbal Medicine Making & Desert Ecology Hike, Live Music Nights with local performers, half-day adventure hikes, and rock climbing excursions coordinated by AutoCamp and MojaveGuides at Joshua Tree National Park. Through the concierge, one can put together a customized expedition or sign up for the daily highlights expedition led by Bernard Leibov, Director of BoxoPROJECTS, who openly shares his insider’s view of the local culture.

If you’re planning a more ambitious road trip in California, AutoCamp has similarly equipped outposts in the Sequoia Forest, Yosemite National Park, and the Russian River Valley. There are also two East Coast locales in the Catskills (New York) and Cape Cod, with AutoCamp sites in Texas Hill Country, Utah’s Zion area, and Asheville, NC near the Blue Ridge Mountains set to open in 2023. Each AutoCamp is designed to reflect the natural geology and geography of each location.

AutoCamp Joshua Tree’s rates begin at $229/night for Airstream accommodations and $379 for the Vista X Suites. For more information about availability, resort events, and AutoCamp locations across the U.S., visit autocamp.com.

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Resilient Project


In the midst of the battle with covid-19, as lockdowns swept across the California in April of 2020, the Resilient Project emerged as a light in the darkness. During these trying times, Farron Walker, owner of Farron Elizabeth—a clothing store in downtown Atascadero— found herself contemplating the indomitable human spirit and its remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Inspired by the stories of two courageous women facing tremendous hardship, Walker joined forces with artist Adam Eron Welch to create a clothing line and a series of painted portraits that celebrate the incredible strength and resilience of women.


In the early days of the pandemic, as the world seemed to spiral into chaos, Walker found herself reflecting on the various challenges that life presents to each individual. From the heartache of loss to the struggles of illness and the harsh reality of tragedy, she realized that no one is immune

to hardship. She felt a deep empathy for two women in her life who were going through particularly trying times, and this emotional connection drove her to seek a word or a mantra that could offer solace, strength, and inspiration.

The word that spoke to her most powerfully was “resilient.” It encapsulated the essence of hope, strength, endurance, and the promise of a brighter future, even in the face of adversity. Walker felt a calling to share this message of resilience, and she envisioned printing this word on clothing items so that people could wear and spread this inspiring message.

Determined to bring her vision to life, she enlisted the help of Adam Eron Welch, her favorite living artist, and a person she deeply respects for his thoughtfulness, integrity, and passion in every project he undertakes. Together, they embarked on a mission to create a tangible representation of resilience, a project that would serve as a constant reminder that the human spirit is capable of overcoming even the most daunting challenges.

Farron Walker and Adam Eron Welch join forces to create a clothing line and portrait series that celebrates the resilient spirit of women
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Their collaboration, born from empathy and a shared desire to inspire others, became a powerful symbol of hope and resilience during one of the most difficult periods in recent history. Through their creative efforts, they reminded people everywhere that, even in the darkest times, the human spirit is capable of rising above adversity and emerging stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever before.


In May 2020, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, local fashion designer Farron Walker and street artist Adam Welch joined forces to launch the Resilient Project. The collaborative venture aimed to celebrate the strength, determination, and unwavering spirit of the women in North County. To achieve this, they combined their unique talents and perspectives to develop a clothing line and a series of captivating painted portraits that embodied the essence of their subjects’ resilience.

Adam Welch, a renowned street artist in the area with no formal training, wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to transition into women’s fashion for the first time. He viewed this as an intriguing intersection between the raw, expressive nature of street art and the world of fashion. As a result, he brought his unique perspective and artistic sensibilities to the collaboration, ensuring that the Resilient Project would be unlike anything the community had seen before.

Together, Walker and Welch designed a clothing line featuring the word “resilience” prominently displayed in an Old English gothic font, a creation of Welch’s. The clothing items, which included t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses, were then worn by inspirational women from the community who had demonstrated immense strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

Following an empowering photoshoot, Welch took the images and infused them with his artistic flair. He meticulously focused on capturing the subjects’ grace, beauty, courage, and bravery in his paintings, resulting in a series of evocative portraits that showcased the resilience of the women they represented.

The Resilient Project is a testament to the power of creative collaboration and a celebration of the incredible strength and resilience found within the women of North County. Through their unique combination of fashion design and street art, Farron Walker and Adam Welch have created a visual tribute to the unwavering human spirit that continues to inspire and uplift the community.

CENTRAL COAST cover 44 | CentralCoastJournal.com
APRIL 2023 | 45
CENTRAL COAST cover 46 | CentralCoastJournal.com


Welch’s artistic philosophy is centered around the themes of contradiction, polarity, and contrast, not only in style but also in the subjects themselves. His goal is to convey emotions through the eyes of his subjects, capturing the power and vulnerability present in a woman’s gaze.

In the Resilient Project, Welch aimed to strike a balance between silk and steel, chaos and control within his paintings. This artistic contradiction, which he also perceives in his favorite wines, music, and food, is the ultimate goal of his art — to embody both strength and elegance.

The creative process for designing the clothing line included numerous brainstorming sessions between Welch and Walker. They explored various ideas and concepts to effectively communicate the message of resilience, experimenting with color palettes, fabric materials, and clothing styles. The final result was a minimalist and elegant design that allowed the word “resilience” to be the focal point.

Welch’s portraits for the Resilient Project depict a diverse range of women, each with their own unique story of strength and perseverance. Hailing from different backgrounds and walks of life, these women embody the universality of resilience and the human spirit’s capacity to triumph over adversity.

The paintings in the Resilient Project often feature bold, expressive brushstrokes, highlighting the emotional intensity of the subjects. This approach is evident in the raw emotions and experiences captured in each portrait. The contrasting colors and textures in his artwork further emphasize the dichotomy between vulnerability and strength, showcasing the complex nature of human resilience.


Understanding that purchasing art can be daunting for many individuals, Welch and Walker aimed to make the Resilient Project both accessible and affordable. To achieve this, they offered a diverse selection of clothing items and prints, such as t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, and canvas prints. This variety ensured that there was something available to cater to everyone’s tastes and budgets, allowing more people to engage with the project’s inspiring message.

In addition to making art more accessible, Welch and Walker were determined to use the Resilient Project as a means of giving back to their community. They decided to allocate a portion of the project’s proceeds to charity, focusing on local organizations that provided support to women and families in need. Through their philanthropic efforts, the duo emphasized the significance of resilience, not only as a personal attribute but also as a collective force that can drive positive change in society.

By committing to these objectives, together they have created a project that resonated with a broad audience and fostered a sense of community involvement. Their dedication to making art accessible and providing support to those in need has helped to amplify the message of resilience, inspiring countless individuals to embrace this powerful quality in their own lives. The Resilient Project serves as a reminder that resilience is not just about personal strength, but also about our ability to come together and uplift one another in the face of adversity.

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The Resilient Project has made a significant and far-reaching impact, not only in the local community but also in other regions, inspiring countless individuals with its powerful message of hope and resilience. The clothing items have gained popularity among those who want to make a statement about their personal strength and determination, while the portraits have received widespread praise for their evocative representation of the resilient spirit.

Furthermore, the project has ignited conversations about the crucial role of resilience in overcoming life’s challenges. These discussions have encouraged people to share their own stories of perseverance, fostering a sense of community and solidarity that allows individuals to support one another during difficult times. This sense of unity is particularly meaningful in light of the global crisis that originally inspired the Resilient Project.

In addition to its impact on individuals and communities, the Resilient Project has also inspired other artists and designers by showcasing the potential for creative collaborations to address and raise awareness about significant social issues. The project exemplifies the power of art in promoting empathy, understanding, and ultimately, resilience in the face of adversity.

By inspiring others to embrace resilience and fostering a sense of community, the Resilient Project has created a lasting impact that transcends geographical boundaries. Its message of hope and strength resonates with people from all walks of life, serving as a reminder that we all possess the ability to overcome adversity and grow stronger through our experiences. As the project continues to inspire and empower individuals around the world, its message of resilience will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those it touches.

The Resilient Project is a beautiful tribute to the strength and resilience of women, born during a time of global adversity. Farron Walker and Adam Welch, through their heartfelt collaboration, have crafted a powerful and inspiring collection that not only celebrates the unyielding human spirit but also gives back to the community. Their project shines as a beacon of hope, gently reminding us that no matter how challenging life may become, we can always rise up, stronger, wiser, and better.

As the world perseveres through the ongoing struggles and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, the message of resilience encapsulated by the Resilient Project is more pertinent than ever. In a time when hope and strength are of utmost importance, the project serves as a reminder that the human spirit is equipped to conquer even the most formidable obstacles.

Moving forward, the Resilient Project ignites inspiration for future collaborations between artists, designers, and community members. It showcases the potential for creativity and empathy to spark positive change. As the project continues to evolve and flourish, it will undeniably keep inspiring and empowering individuals from all walks of life, spreading its uplifting message of resilience far and wide.

For more information on the Resilient Project, visit farronelizabeth.com.

In a time when hope and strength are needed most, the Resilient Project stands as a reminder that the human spirit is capable of overcoming even the most daunting obstacles.
48 | CentralCoastJournal.com
- Farron Walker
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Central Coast almonds, olives, and walnuts

Santa Barbara County has a long, narrow strip of sea-coast, fronting south, [. . .] which is believed to be peculiarly fitted for the culture of the almond.” So wrote Charles Nordhoff (August 31, 1830–July 14, 1901) in “California: For Health, Pleasure, and Residence – A Book for Travellers and Settlers” (1872). Nordhoff began his travels through California in 1871, and reported on the agriculture of the Central Coast.

Nordhoff was born in Erwitte, Prussia (Germany), and emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1835. After schooling in Cincinnati and newspaper work in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, Nordhoff joined the U.S. Navy and sailed around the world. Following three years in the Navy, he worked as a fisherman and in merchant service. Nordhoff turned to journalism in 1853, writing for Harpers, the Evening Post, Tribune and Herald — all in New York. For his California project, he crossed the country by train and sent dispatches of his findings back to New York. The articles, revised and combined with additional material, became Nordhoff’s book on the Golden State.

50 | CentralCoastJournal.com

One of the most notable journalists of his time, Nordhoff crusaded for equal rights for the newly freed slaves and for working-class people. His fascination with farming seems to have at least partially stemmed from his Germanic work ethic, which placed a premium on industriousness. Carol J. Frost, Ph.D wrote in “The Valley of Cross Purposes” (2017): “Agriculture was the measure of a land’s value to Nordhoff, commerce and urban pursuits seeming only to fatten the ‘non-producers’ of the world.”

During his explorations on horseback, Nordhoff stayed at ranchos but sometimes roughed it; sleeping, he wrote, “on the green grass, with my horse staked out, my feet near a fire, and my body wrapped in overcoat and blanket.”

“Agriculture was the measure of a land’s value to Nordhoff, commerce and urban pursuits seeming only to fatten the ‘non-producers’ of the world.”
– Carol J. Frost, Ph.D
APRIL 2023 | 51
Color digitally restored from original black and white photo San Luis Obispo
CENTRAL COAST history 52 | CentralCoastJournal.com
Steel’s Ranch, San Luis Obispo

As you’d expect from his forays on the Central Coast, Nordhoff mentioned the cultivation of oranges, lemons, citrons and limes. But his agricultural reportage focused on almonds, olives and walnuts — crops which are almost nonfactors in Santa Barbara County today.

In San Luis Obispo County, however, there are currently nut orchards in Atascadero, Paso Robles, San Miguel, Santa Margarita/Pozo, and Templeton, while olives are grown in Atascadero, Templeton, and especially Paso Robles, where the Paso Robles Olive Festival is held each year in May.

Nordhoff noted the success of the Languedoc almond — imported from France several years previously — on the Central Coast. He reported that the Languedoc tree’s advantages were that it blossomed late, produced prolifically, and that the nut had a reasonably soft shell. Farmers planted 108 trees per acre, with each tree yielding about 12 pounds of nuts at five years, and 20 pounds of nuts at eight years. With almonds selling at 20 cents per pound, the groves would produce about $260 to $430 ($5,115 to $8,460 today) per acre. One farmer could single-handedly maintain 20 to 30 acres of almond trees.

The author told of groves of fine young olive trees growing in Santa Barbara County. Planted at 60 trees per acre, at 10 to 12 years old each tree yielded an average of 25 gallons of olives. Olives went for 60 cents per gallon, while pickled olives sold for 75 cents per gallon. Mature olive groves would produce $900 to $1,125 ($17,705 to $22,130 today) per acre. Nordhoff considered the area’s pickled olives better than those from France and Spain, and he predicted that the Central Coast would become the center of olive culture.

Also growing in the region were English walnut trees. Nordhoff described the trees as having “clean, grayish bark, and wide-spreading branches.” Properly cultivated and irrigated, the trees each produced 50 to 75 pounds of nuts at 12 years, and 100 to 150 pounds at 15 years. Farmers planted 30 walnut trees per acre, and one grower could care for a 30-acre orchard. With walnuts selling for 12.5 cents per pound, an orchard of walnut trees 15 years old earned $375 to $560 ($7,380 to $11,700 today) per acre.

Nordhoff’s glowing writings about the Central Coast earned him the affection of its residents. In early 1874 real estate broker Royce Gaylord Surdam laid out a Ventura County town, now known as Ojai. At the urging of local hotel proprietress Mrs. Blumberg, Surdam named the town “Nordhoff” in honor of the author who had written so much about the region. Nordhoff’s official founding occurred on April 6, 1874. The name was changed during the First World War due to the anti-German sentiment of the time.

Nordhoff’s grandson Charles Bernard Nordhoff also earned fame as a writer: He co-authored the novel “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1932).


In “California: For Health, Pleasure, and Residence — A Book for Travellers and Settlers,” Nordhoff rhapsodized about journeying along the Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Hollister, “through so fine a country, and under such brilliant skies.” He noted that he “slept three hours at the little town of San Luis Obispo,” one of the stage stops on his route. Nordhoff wrote:

“California has certainly the finest climate in the world. At Santa Barbara I left my horse, on February 20, and rode in the stage through parts of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties, over the mountains through the long and magnificent valley of the Salinas.”

PASO ROBLES From Almonds to Olives

In the latter 19th century, Paso Robles was known for its wheat production, but by the early 20th century grapes, fruit, and nuts were the district’s main crops. Almond trees, in particular, thrived in the region’s well-drained soil of clay, sand and silt, and the local annual rainfall was ideal for the watering of non-irrigated nut orchards. The quality of the area’s nut crop was highlighted at the 1906 World’s Fair, where Paso Robles pioneer and farmer Michael Gerst was awarded the prize for the world’s best almonds.

The Paso Robles Almond Growers Association was established in 1910, and commercial almond growing began in the region in 1912. The area’s almond industry exploded to the point where in the 1920s, it had the highest concentration of almond orchards in the United States, and Paso Robles came to be referred to as the almond capital of the world.

Paso Robles’ dominance in almond growing continued into the 1960s, when its output began to be outstripped by producers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Although almond trees are still cultivated in Paso Robles, the district is known today more for its olives and grapes than for its almonds.

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Paso Robles' Ken & Marilyn Riding

How Do You Become an Art Collector?

“Not at all,” says Ken … “Sometimes it is just a feeling you get when you look at something, a painting, a serigraph, a sculpture that is indescribable … that makes you feel something that even you may not recognize.”

In the case of Ken Riding of Paso Robles it was a surprise Valentine’s Day gift from his wife Marilyn.

At the time Marilyn had received her college degree and was earning her elementary school teaching credentials while doing her student teaching at UCLA. Ken was also a student there. They had met while waiting in the cafeteria line. This first piece was a serigraph by the renowned artist Sister Mary Corita Kent and purchased in installments of $29 a month.

From such a small beginning a large collection of contemporary art began.

Ken and Marilyn started their lives together in 1962 in Southern California. Marilyn taught second grade and helped Ken through UCLA Law School. After passing the bar, Ken took a job with a small firm in Ventura. Early believers in equality, they lived in Thousand Oaks, so they each had a 26-mile commute: Marilyn back to the San Fernando Valley and Ken to Ventura.

After several years there, and with the addition of their son Jim, they moved to Irvine, where Ken could expand into corporate work with a large national home builder Ponderosa Homes. Marilyn’s family responsibilities grew with the birth of their daughter Kendall.

When handling corporate responsibilities between offices in San Jose, Phoenix and Irvine grew too taxing, they decided to simplify

and moved to Saratoga, where Ken continued his work for Ponderosa. Marilyn then returned to school to study interior design.

In the early ’90s Ken bought his first sculpture, a wire piece by Brad Howe. However, after struggling for several hours to install it he contacted Brad, who came and had it up in 30 minutes. From this a friendship grew, and this piece still is displayed in their beautiful hilltop home. It is one of some 25 sculptures which range in size from this first one to a magnificent 17-foot tall sculpture by Esmoreit Koitisier that marks the entrance to their property.

About this time Marilyn talked Ken into buying her piano with the convincing agreement that it costs less than a Porsche! They both share a love of music and have supported several local organizations: the Paderewski Festival, Symphony of the Vines, Festival Mozaic, etc.

Having had many friends acquire second homes in the Napa-Sonoma wine country, Ken and Marilyn started looking for a more affordable location with an eye toward future retirement. After a few visits, including a lovely 108-degree summer day, they fell in love with a property that has spectacular views over the Adelaide countryside west of Paso Robles. There they built a contemporary Mexican-style home where their extensive art collection, purchased from all over the U.S. and several countries from France to South Africa, is beautifully displayed.

So, from small beginnings, Ken and Marilyn have become wonderful supporters of the Arts, serving as a founding member of the Museum of Crafts & Arts in San Francisco and currently a director at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, where Ken heads up the Studios Winery Partner program.

CENTRAL COAST arts & music
by Jim Irving 54 | CentralCoastJournal.com
APRIL 2023 | 55

Paradise on Earth in SLO County

That’s a prayer that stuck with me. I heard it about four years ago, just a few weeks on the job at SLO County Farm Bureau, when one of our board members led an invocation before dinner. It wouldn’t take long to understand what he meant.

Born and raised in Kentucky, never before had I been surrounded year-round by fields of strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, avocados, and wine grapes stretching out as far as the eye can see. Few places on the planet produce crops like our Central Coast region. We have a dozen certified farmers’ markets, and countless roadside stands in SLO County. We grow enough fresh produce here to feed every county resident with 7.5 pounds of vegetables a day, but I’ve come to see that living amongst such a bounty blinds us to appreciate just how special SLO County agriculture is.

We forget our local farms feed communities across the nation. If you ever drive by Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE) in Oceano, notice how the facility backs up to a railroad track. Tom Ikeda and other local Japanese farm families have marketed their crops through POVE for generations, and one of my favorite stories, Tom tells us how, in the old days, railcars packed with ice would stop at POVE to be loaded with the latest harvest. As the train headed out, shippers were under pressure to find buyers for that produce as they went along or be responsible for the cost of unsold produce once it reached the end of the line. Today, semitrailers drive POVE’s Napa cabbage, broccoli, Bok choy, and other vegetables to markets in the Eastern U.S.

As much as we love our smaller farms, having farms able to grow food at scale is important. Domestic food production is essential to our national security. Much of the U.S. has a limited window for growing produce. In Kentucky, for example, we count on California farms to keep our grocery shelves stocked outside the few months of the year we have local produce.

SLO County is fortunate to have a diversity of farms – from small-scale production by a single farmer selling through a field stand, to larger farms that employ 100 people. Perhaps it’s the same as any industry, but I get frustrated when I hear a farmer

denigrate a farm that produces food differently than they do. Occasionally, that’s a farming operation dismissing a smaller one trying out some new crop or technique, but by and large, I hear consumers and smaller farms talking about “big ag” or “corporate farms.” No doubt, consolidation in any industry is bad, but it is largely a product of the regulatory burden the California government places on farmers and ranchers. When a new, often well-intended but ill-informed law or regulation is passed, it’s our larger farms that are better able to comply.

The decline of the small family farm both here in SLO County and across the nation is tragic, and it’s what motivates us at Farm Bureau to fight to make things better. These days, most Farm Bureau members cannot afford to rely solely on their farming income. About 25% of California Farm Bureau members gross under $10,000 from farm income each year, 45% are under $50,000, and about 55% are under $100,000. After expenses, most of our farmers and ranchers are lucky to break even. Many years, depending on market prices and weather volatility, the same can be said for larger farms.

Farmers and ranchers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain; it’s a tough time for a lot of businesses. Writing this monthly column is time well spent because most folks are removed from the realities of producing food. Most may not appreciate the “clear and present danger” we face in agriculture. Farmland is being lost to urban development. Over 750,000 acres of California farmland was followed last year due to the drought. High land prices, input costs, labor shortages, and the ever-growing complexity of environmental regulations are a barrier to beginning farmers and fuel the decline of small family farms.

CENTRAL COAST voice of slo
San Luis Obispo County Farm Farm Bureau
56 | CentralCoastJournal.com

Sheriff’s Detective Clint Cole Retires

We begin this month’s column with an ending — the end of a storied career in law enforcement. I don’t often single out people from my department because I feel like everyone at the Sheriff’s Office is worth mentioning, but I’m making an exception in this case. After a 32-year career in law enforcement, Detective Clint Cole is retiring.

Clint’s last official day was last month. The exact date was March 10. Why is that important? Because that’s also the same day that Paul Flores was scheduled to be sentenced for the murder of Kristin Smart. Detective Cole became the lead investigator in the Smart case in 2019 and is credited with leading that investigation to a successful conclusion with the arrest of Flores on April 13, 2021, and his conviction on October 18, 2022.

Clint was hired at the Sheriff’s Office as a Correctional Officer in 1990. He started as a Patrol Deputy in 1996. From 2002 to 2014, Cole worked in the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit as a School Resource Deputy and as a Sexual Assault investigator. In 2014 he was promoted to Senior Deputy. In 2017 he was selected to be the first investigator assigned to the newly created position of Cold Case/Unsolved Homicide Detective. And then, in 2019, he was assigned to the Kristin Smart case.

We’ve had many investigators over the years work on this case. It was not an easy case to solve. That’s why it took so long. I always believed we had the right suspect. But I always reminded the public, it’s not what you believe; it’s what you can prove. And we were finally able to prove our case.

Much of that was due to the tireless efforts, tenacity, and diligence of Detective Cole. I think Clint said it best.

“It is very satisfying to see Paul Flores convicted for the murder of Kristin Smart. I hope I’ve been able to give the Smart family some measure of justice for Kristin.” Typical Clint. Unassuming, humble, and down to earth.

But it wasn’t just this case; there were others as well. Detective Cole is also credited with solving three other high-profile homicides in San Luis Obispo County. Two of those homicides involved the 41-year-old murder cases of Jane Antunez and Patricia Dwyer in Atascadero. Using DNA evidence gathered from the scene in 1977, Detective Cole was able to match it to the suspect, which we later learned had died in prison on an unrelated case.

Clint also assisted with another high-profile case, the 2018 murder investigation of Nancy Woodrum in Paso Robles. That resulted in the arrest of the suspect who last year was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cole credits his family, girlfriend Kay and daughter Audra, and his father John for all their support during the long hours he worked on cases. So, what does Clint plan to do now, with all his newfound free time? He plans to relax and spend more time with his family.

Good for you, Clint. You’ve certainly earned your retirement. I thank you. And the community thanks you for helping keep our little corner of the world safe.

voice of slo CENTRAL COAST
Behind the Badge
APRIL 2023 | 57

SLO County's Arts Outreach Programs

San Luis Obispo County enjoys many avenues of arts outreach for our schools. However, these organizations depend upon the support of residents to thrive and grow. If you are in South County, the Clark Center Arts in Education Outreach Program provides programming for the students of the largest school district in our county, Lucia Mar Unified. The Poly Arts for Youth (PAYF) program is Cal Poly Arts’ education enrichment program for students of all ages throughout the county.

Partnerships exist between Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, the Paso Robles Youth Arts Center, Wine County Theatre, Opera San Luis Obispo, and Symphony of the Vines, which provide arts programs for youth. These are just a few examples of arts nonprofits that stoke the embers of San Luis Obispo County’s creative spirit in our schools.

According to a recent Arts and Economic Prosperity Survey, San Luis Obispo County arts and arts-related activities enhance our local economy with approximately 27 million in funding and expenditures. Exploring the arts is one of the most popular Career & Technical Education (CTE) pathways selected by San Luis Obispo County students. The Central Coast Economic Forecast refers to the arts’ positive impact on our local economy. Our county is growing in cultural and artistic vibrancy because of the dedicated individuals that make the central coast their home. Creative outreach is the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Arts Partnership with arts organizations has afforded every school in the county opportunities. This outreach intends to provide another

arts-based partnership supporting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the 2001 “No Child Left Behind Act.” Fundamentally, the intent of this iteration, first signed into law under the 1965 Johnson Administration, remains the same: to provide supplemental funds and programs for low-income students and to enable State and Local Educational Agencies to improve access and quality of elementary and secondary education.

Students who participate in the performing arts build a sense of community, communication skills, collaboration skills, public speaking experience, empathy, and compassion. In many studies, researchers link involvement in the arts to better child development and overall higher student achievement. Providing students access to the arts results in higher academic achievement, a medium for self-expression, improved confidence and self-presentation skills, problem-solving and perseverance skills, empathy, and compassion. Today more than ever, we need to foster positive, peaceful avenues of self-expression in our schools.

My top reasons for supporting the arts in our community include: the arts unify communities, the arts improve well-being, the arts strengthen local economies, the arts encourage tourism, the arts improve academic achievement, the arts spark creativity, and the arts provide joy. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent. I hope this article will spark discussion among all educational stakeholders about the power of becoming involved in arts outreach as a volunteer, patron, or participant.

CENTRAL COAST voice of slo 58 | CentralCoastJournal.com

Spring Brings Changes to Housing Market

When spring is in the air, we look forward to new beginnings and are reinvigorated after the long, cold winter months. Though still a few weeks before the official shift from winter to spring weather, we can anticipate positive real estate market changes in home inventory based on historical increases for the same time period year after year.

The Central Coast market for 2022 started strong, and as the months went on, it started to reflect the markets prior to pre-pandemic. This is not a bad thing since the real estate market prior to COVID was strong. And, because change is as much a given as death and taxes, proverbially speaking, we are already seeing another small shift as first quarter 2023 closes. Interest rates have come down. Freddie Mac (freddiemac.com) has March 23, 2023, rates at 6.42 percent. This is well above the 3 percent and 4 percent rates we saw in 2021 and early 2022, but it is down from peak rates of 7.08 percent in November 2022. Experts are even predicting that we should be seeing the rates fall into the 5’s by the end of 2023.

Though hopeful, the increase in showing numbers can only be sustained if there is a healthy supply of homes. You may have heard someone in the real estate field say, “we have two months of supply in our market.” But what does that mean? To break it down, it means that if the real estate market was to receive no new listings, how long would the current inventory of homes take to sell? This number is based on the current sales pace. If you take the total number of homes for sale (inventory) and divide it by the number of closings for the past month, you would get the market’s number of months of inventory.

Does that inventory number make any difference? It absolutely does! It determines if we are in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. It determines the number of closings possible in the future months.

Today, a buyer is lucky to have one, if not two, properties to look at. Continuing this abundant supply trend, in 2009

San Luis Obispo, there were 9.5 months of inventory, 2010, saw 7.3 months of inventory. A notable change was apparent as we came out of the foreclosure and short sale era; the number of months of inventory continued to drop. From 2013 to 2019, we had been hovering between 2.3 and 3.6 months of inventory. Fast forward through COVID, and we were seeing inventory around 0.6 to 2.8 months. Can you guess what month and year had the lowest amount of inventory in San Luis Obispo? December 2021 only had 0.6 months of inventory. That’s not even a month of homes available!

With the holiday season behind us, the trees are starting to bloom, the hills have turned green, and the feeling of hope that inevitably fills the air during spring has started. It may be time for people on the “to sell or not to sell” fence to focus and lean one direction or the other.

Starting your home buying or selling process now will set you up to be able to move by early summer. Should you be using your time now to prepare and ready your home for the real estate market if you plan on selling?

Absolutely! Now is the time to devise a strategy to figure out how you are going to make your home stand out and capture a buyer’s attention, and, more importantly, their qualified offer to purchase. With the demand in our area starting to pick up again, both buyers and sellers would greatly benefit, and appreciate, an increase in home inventory.

voice of slo CENTRAL COAST Real Estate
APRIL 2023 | 59

*Event dates and times are subject to change. Please call ahead or check online to confirm details. To submit a calendar event email editor@ centralcoastjournal.com

APR 1-3



11 am-5 pm

Beginning with monoprints and photography from the 1980s, this exhibition follows the lineage of Nixson Borah’s practice towards his recent digital composites.





Gain a deeper understanding of the artwork on view with SLOMA’s docent tours. Join trained guides for interactive and engaging tours of SLOMA’s current exhibitions.




1–4 pm

Enjoy a relaxing acoustic series headlining local Paso Robles musicians including Nataly Lola and Kenny Taylor. Starting every Saturday in April through October, enjoy a tasting flight or sip on a glass of Midnight wine under the sunshine and in the outdoor tasting garden.

APR 1-3




The exhibit showcases artists who capture the exhilarating sensation of the sea through a wide array of ocean themed artworks, offered in a wide variety of media including the sculptures of Anne Grannis.y. Visit artcentermorrobay.org

APR 5, 12, 19 AND 26




6–9 pm

Join Piadina outside in the courtyard on Wednesdays. Born and raised in Arroyo Grande, Dustin is a newly emerging local talent - a one-man band, singer-songwriter whose style ranges from blues to new country, rock to folk.

APR 7 - MAY 1



Sun. Noon-4pm, Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm, and Sat. 10am-5pm

"Flowers and Flutterbys” exhibit showcases various art mediums of critters and carnations. Spring open exhibit runs April 7-May 1. Art Central's mission is to promote and support the visual arts of San Luis Obispo County. For more information visit artcentralslo.ccom





SLOMA’s Second Saturdays program encourages intergenerational learning and creative expression for children of all ages. Families are invited to SLOMA’s lawn to learn about the visual arts together using unique activity kits and create an art project inspired by current exhibitions.





For all dog-lovers who support the Mutt Mitt Project throughout Cayucos, the parade benefits the Cayucos Lioness Club who supply the Mutt Mitts for all beach accesses, beaches and downtown Cayucos. The event is free but welcomes donations of $1 per dog and $1 per person.

APR 15-16



Sat. 10am-5pm.; Sun. 10am-4 pm. Art in the Park offers artists and crafts people a high quality outdoor setting to display and sell their wares to an appreciative audience. There will be 130 booths representing 145 independent artists and craft workers. Visit pasoroblesartinthepark.com

APR 15







Family Day: Hunt times: 3 and under at 10:10 am, ages 4-6 at 10:40 am, ages 7-9 at 11:10 am, and ages 10-12 at 11:40 am. Visit pismobeach.org for more information or call the recreation division at (805) 773-7063




The team at Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office welcomes you to bring the family for a fun-filled day with educational experiences, raffle prizes, live music, food, games clothing swap and more. Bring the whole family. For more information vist visitsyv.com.

CENTRAL COAST calendar of events
60 | CentralCoastJournal.com

APR 15



With over 50 breweries slated to participate, The Lagerville Beer Fest, the nation’s premier beer festival celebrating lagers, is returning to Figueroa Mountain Brewing on Saturday, April 15. For Lagerville tickets and a full listing of participating breweries, visit Lagerville.beer

APR 22




The show will offer onlookers to see sidecars, vintage motorcycles, recycled treasures and electric cars.

APR 22




Community members, families and friends are invited to come out for a day of environmental education, music and fun.

spirits, and the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their best food, winery, distillery, and brewery to help their favorite win the "Best of" trophy. Purchase your tickets today at pismochamber.com

APR 28-30




Daily (visit morrobaykitefestival.org for possible times)

Discover one of the most fun events on the Central Coast at the Morro Bay Kite Festival. Hosted on the beach just north of Morro Rock find kites of every size and color soaring in the abundant wind. Local nonprofit, Central Coast Funds for Children, will be giving away 500 free kites for kids to decorate and fly. Visit morrobaykitefestival.org for more information.

APR 29-30




400 SANTA BARBARA ST., SAT. 11am-7pm and SUN. 11am-6pm


MAY 18, 19, 20, 21



Multiple Days and Locations

The event weekend offers visitors the chance to explore Paso Robles Wine Country with four days of wine tastings, winemaker dinners, live music, and more. Visit pasowine.com for more information and tickets.

and craftsmen sell and display their work, including paintings, sculpture, pottery, glass, textiles, jewelry, wood and metal furniture, and more. The event also features live music, hands-on children’s activities. For more information, visit artintheparkshellbeach.com.

MAY 14



Time: TBD

Mother's Day Concert in the park featuring the Damon Castillo Band. Bring your family, low back chairs and/or blankets and pinic lunch and enjoy the day with your mom. Visit experiencepismobeach.com

MAY 20




The Olive and Lavender Festival will be a great opportunity to discover all the ways olives and lavender can be used. The day will feature olive oil, olive, and lavender vendors both locally and outside the county, We Olive will be bringing back its popular and unique olive oil ice cream alongside some lavender specialties. Visit pasoroblesdowntown.org

MAY 24

APR 29




Event features the best chefs in the area, exquisite wines, brews, and

This festival is the longest-running and most consistently held public Earth Day celebration in the U.S. and is thought to be one of the largest on the West Coast. Santa Barbara’s environmental reputation attracts national media, celebrity attention, and local crowds. The festival will be featuring sustainable, local foods, a beer and wine garden, and over 200 eco-conscious exhibitors. Visit sbearthday.org or email earthday@ cecmail.org





Art in the Park is a once-a-month event taking place on the first Sunday of every month May through December. Over 100 local artists





Art in the Park offers artists and crafts people a high quality outdoor setting to display and sell their creations to the attendees. There will be 108 booths representing 125 independent artists and craft workers. Visit morrobayartinthepark.com

calendar of events CENTRAL COAST APRIL 2023 | 61

April Crossword

61.Texas A&M student


1.Sovereign symbol

2.Prefix with cortex or classic

3.Buffalo-to-Atlanta dir.

4.Sushi fare

5.Emulates a majorette

6.Waffles in a box

7.Electric unit

8.Frat letters

9.Bert Bobbsey's twin

10."Get going!"

11.Where love is not a good thing

12.Planet's path

13.Spiritual center of Islam

18.E or G, e.g.

23. Money, casually

22.Computer key

24. Heavenly hunter 25. Mason's employee 26. Golf champ Ernie 27. "To Sir With Love" singer 29. Not so bold 30. Helpful hints 32. --- Canaveral 34. Shade of green 35. Taxi ticker 37. Hold one's ground 38. Toddler 42. Carrier

23.Money, casually

24.Heavenly hunter

25.Mason's employee

26.Golf champ Ernie

27."To Sir With Love" singer

29.Not so bold

30.Helpful hints

32.--- Canaveral

34.Shade of green

35.Taxi ticker

37.Hold one's ground


42.Carrier to Oslo

45. Thumb condition?

44.Color range

46. "Shoulda listened to me!"

45.Thumb condition?

47. Luggage attachment

48. Callow

46."Shoulda listened to me!"

49. Goes ballistic

47.Luggage attachment

51. Identifies correctly


52. Cut out the bloopers

55. Bigger than med.

49.Goes ballistic

56. Tease

51.Identifies correctly

57. Turner or Eisenhower

52.Cut out the bloopers

58. Old hand

59. Half a figure eight

55.Bigger than med.




57.Turner or Eisenhower

58.Old hand

59.Half a figure eight

Across 1. Beginning or attack 6. Levels 11. Male turkey 14. Darn again 15. Alluded to 16. Before, once 17. Tenpins' path 19. Johnny s network 20. Memorable TV miniseries 21. Certain button 23. Early assembly-line items
Classic Nabokov novel 28. Ultimatum ender 29. Publicity seekers' acts 31. Olive and palm, for two 32. Cook-off dish 33. Web address ending 36. E-mail chuckle 37. Sit tight 39. Accolade for a bullfighter 40. Santa --- winds 41. Uses a Smith Corona 42. Spades or clubs
Object of Jimmy Buffett's search 45. Go on a hunger strike
Properly pitched 49. Nature's alarm clock
Called one's bluff
It may be stranded
Make a knot
"--- Maria"
Texas A&M student
They're held for questioning
Aids in crime Down
Sovereign symbol
Prefix with cortex or classic
a majorette
in a box
Bobbsey's twin
"Get going!"
Where love is not a good thing
Planet's path
Spiritual center of Islam
E or G, e.g.
3. Buffalo-to-Atlanta dir. 4. Sushi fare 5. Emulates
6. Waffles
7. Electric
8. Frat
9. Bert
Computer key
to Oslo 44. Color range
Across 1 Beginning or attack 6. Levels 11. Male turkey 14.Darn again 15.Alluded to 16.Before, once 17.Tenpins' path 19.Johnny​s network 20.Memorable TV miniseries 21.Certain button 23.Early assembly-line items 27.Classic Nabokov novel 28.Ultimatum ender 29.Publicity seekers' acts 31.Olive and palm, for two 32.Cook-off dish 33.Web address ending 36
chuckle 37.Sit
tight 39.Accolade for a bullfighter 40.Santa --- winds 41.Uses a Smith Corona 42.Spades or clubs 43.Object of Jimmy Buffett's search 45.Go on a hunger strike 47.Properly pitched 49.Nature's alarm clock 50.Called one's bluff 51.It may be stranded 53.Make a knot 54.Fund-raiser 60."--- Maria"
63.Receive 64.They're held for questioning 65.Aids in crime Down
62 |
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April is Month of the Child & Child Abuse Prevention Month

Join the family fun celebrating our youngest population and honoring their value to our communities!

April 1st 11am-2pm

Nipomo Kids’ Day and Egg Hunt

Nipomo Community Park

April 2nd 9am-4pm

Family Fun Day at the SLO Botanical Garden

3450 Dairy Creek Road, SLO

April 8th 10am-3pm

Children’s Day in the Plaza

Downtown Mission, SLO

April 28th 1pm

Memorial Flag Raising for Child Abuse Awareness

Virtual Event

All Month Long

SLO County Public Libraries

Visit www.slolibrary.org for a calendar of programs and activities.

The fun continues...

May 20th 10am-4pm

Atascadero Children’s Day in the Park

Part of LakeFest

Additional event details can be found at first5slo.org or follow us on social media!


64 | CentralCoastJournal.com
APRIL 2023 | 65

Winter Sun Setting in Paradise...

The Pier, Pismo Beach

To submit your Photo of the Month, send a high resolution (300 dpi) jpeg photo by email to editor@centralcoastjournal.com, along with where in SLO County the photo was taken and the photographer’s name.

CENTRAL COAST photo of the month 66 | CentralCoastJournal.com
Photo by Daniel Garza

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