Central Coast Journal • #12 • November 2022

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‘The Biggest Meal of the Year’ Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings

Paderewski Festival Polish-Born Composer’s Local Legacy

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Avila Valley Barn owners Bruce and Debbie Smith take a walk down memory lane

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21 Santa Rosa Street, #100 San Luis Obispo

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110 E. Branch Street Arroyo Grande

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PASO ARTS ‘I CAN RELATE’ by Jordan Hockett




by Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl



by Barbie Butz

Something Worth Reading 06

Publisher’s Letter



Among the Carrizo Plain | The Blur of the Grassland Biome

Calendar & Events


Behind the Badge | Tip-A-Cop Dinner




Farm Bureau | Thanksgiving Indigestion & Inflation


November Calendar


Service Listings & Resources


Photo of the Month

Arts & Education 11

SLO County Office of Education | Teaching Reading


SLO Arts | California Creative Corps

Lifestyle, finance & Health 14

Mental Health & Wellness | Building Resilience

TaSTE of Slo 21

World of Wine | Effects of Climate Change

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Last Word 30

Paderewski Festival | Polish-Born Composer Local Legacy


Advertiser Directory

On the Cover Debbie and Bruce Smith of Avila Valley Barn Photo by Hayley Mattson Central Coast Journal

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Something Worth Reading

FROM THE PUBLISHER publisher, editor-in-chief hayley mattson

Business & Product Development

A Year Full of Gratitude

nic mattson


he November chill is in the air as we head into our second to last month of 2022. Looking back over the last year we have so much to be grateful for. A lot of hard work, dedication, and grit has been put into the previous three years. So much of it was learning how to be flexible, creative, and resourceful so that we could get where we are today. This month we celebrate Armistice Day, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — one hundred and four years ago — World War I ended with an armistice signing between the Allies and Germany. It was 20 years later, on May 13, 1938, that November 11 was anointed as Armistice Day and proclaimed as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.” This November, we remember all those who served in “the war to end all wars” and every war since. Armistice Day was set aside as a day to remember the cost of war, the treasures of freedom, and the purpose of peace. Take time to attend one of the Veteran’s Day events in remembrance of the cost of war and the peaceful purpose of Armistice Day these 104 years ago. Our cover story this month, husband and wife team Bruce and Debbie Smith, owners of Avila Valley Barn, take us for a walk down memory lane and how they got to where they are today. We had the honor to spend a few hours with them, along with their two sons and their beautiful families, who have now taken the reins of the farm (page 16). As we take the time to gather with loved ones this Thanksgiving, we can remember what it truly means to be thankful for all that we have, for the place we get to call home, and the people we hold dear. We are grateful to each one of you who read our publications and support the wonderful people we have in our community. We wish you all a very warm and plentiful Thanksgiving and November. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of the Central Coast Journal, your magazine of the Central Coast. Hayley & Nic Mattson

if 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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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.

Central Coast Journal

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Keep on Trucking.

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Tip-A-Cop Dinner for the Special Olympics Raises Over $100,000 BY IAN PARKINSON, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF

I have also volunteered my time at many other Special Olympic events, including the annual Tip-A-Cop Dinners. Recently we had two Tip-A-Cop dinners. One in San Luis Obispo and one in Paso Robles. For those of you who don’t know, Tip-A-Cop dinners are where local law enforcement officers trade in their badges for aprons and serve dinner to you. We work for your tips. And when I say we work, I really mean it. Police officers, deputies, police chiefs from all over the county including yours truly hustle to serve you a tasty dinner. This year we raised more than $75,000. That’s a major accomplishment considering it was the first year back in person after COVID. And 100 percent of the proceeds raised at the dinners benefit local Special Olympics athletes. It is an awesome event. You get a great meal. You get to see law enforcement work up a sweat. And you get to help a great organization. This event has a long and proud tradition. More than 25 years ago, then-San Luis Obispo Police Chief Jim Gardiner started the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the state of California. The Sheriff ’s Office was one of the first supporters of the event and soon became one of the strongest. I’m proud to say the Sheriff ’s Office and all the other supporters of Special Olympics have helped raise over $1,000,000,000! The Sheriff ’s Office has been involved every year they’ve had TipA-Cop dinners, so for the last 17 years. Through those years, we often ere’s something we could all use more of … good news. I took part in all the dinners Special Olympics has held and even hosted want to talk to you about something that never fails to bring our own stand-alone events in Los Osos and Cambria. a smile to my face. And I hope it will bring one to yours as well. I’m talking about Special Olympics. I am so very proud of my The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundassociation with this organization and its volunteers, but most of all, raiser for Special Olympics. The Tip-A-Cop dinner brings the comwith the athletes who participate. munity together for a fun and unique event. The athletes that get to be involved in the event are thrilled to interact with law enforcement I really like what this organization represents. What they achieve and they love being a part of the program. All funds raised benefit is so very inspirational. In their own words, they describe what the athletes in our local community and allow them the chance to they do. “Through the power of sports, people with intellectual take part in healthy activities, learn new skills, make friends, and go disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills, and success. for the gold! The athletes really remind me every day about things The athletes find joy, confidence, and fulfillment — on the playing like; unconditional love, how to overcome challenges, how to support field and in life.” others around you and how to never give up. We forget about these lessons from time to time, but these athletes never do. That’s why I’m proud to say I’ve been involved with Special Olympics for some 30 years. Part of that involvement has been with the But it’s not just Tip-A-Cop and Torch runs. Special Olympics has Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. In fact, in 2019, so many opportunities for you to get involved. If you want to help, I was honored to have been selected as one of 96 law enforcement all you have to do is contact the local chapter of Special Olympics officers worldwide to serve as part of the Final Leg team, serving as at (805) 544-6460. By helping out, I’m constantly reminded of the Guardians of the Flame as we ran the “Flame of Hope” throughout Special Olympics motto. And hopefully, it will be a source of motithe United Arab Emirates (UAE), which led up to the start of the vation for you, too, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. in the attempt.” 


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ndigestion at this year’s Thanksgiving may not entirely be from overindulgence. Economists at American Farm Bureau are forecasting that 2022 will be the most expensive Thanksgiving meal in history. The two factors driving high prices for turkey and eggs are an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza this year and like everything else we’re buying today – inflation. What may come as a surprise though, is how much of our rising food costs are USDA Economic Research Service, 2020 self-inflicted by policy decisions. coming from all levels of Farm Bureau, we spend The 2018 Cal Poly study government fail to con- much of our time trying “A Decade of Change: A sider the toll they take to bridge the ever-growCase Study of Regulatory on people who produce ing divide between food Compliance Costs in the our food. Far too often, producers and policymakProduce Industry” brings the voices of farmers and ers. We’re further removed this stark reality to light. ranchers are drowned out from the farm than ever For vegetable growers in by activist groups who’ve before, yet we’ve never the Central Coast, pro- never stepped foot on a had more non-farming duction costs increased by farm, people who certainly people who think they’ve 24.8 percent from 2006 to have every right to advo- got the simple solutions to 2017, but the cost of regu- cate their cause, but who the complex labor, climate latory compliance rose 795 have failed to understand change, supply chain, wathe plight of today’s food ter, and profitability chalpercent. producers. Regulations hit lenges plaguing us today. I We should absolutely our smaller family farms don’t care how compelling take pride in having high the hardest, and I fear the that Netflix documentary environmental standards. next addition to the en- you watched was — ain’t We should absolutely con- dangered species list will nobody got all the answers. tinue to become more ef- be the California farmer Any policy conversation is lacking a diverse cast ficient by producing more and rancher. of full-time farmers and food with fewer inputs like To say things are tough ranchers — people who water, fertilizer, pesticides, and labor. But far too of- in agriculture right now is actually depend on farming ten, laws and regulations a gross understatement. At income for their livelihood

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insurance, 2.9¢ advertising, and 4.3¢ other. Though it was said 62 years ago, a speech by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy may have captured it best: “Here is a concept which strikes to the heart of the farmer’s problem. It does not concern itself directly or solely with prices — with what the farmer receives — but with his net income, his return, the only figure which is meaningful in determining his standard of living ... For the farmer is the only man in our economy who has to buy everything he buys — will inevitably drive-up at retail — sell everything food prices and make it he sells at wholesale — and harder for local farms to pay the freight both ways.” stay in business. As you fellowship with When you see high food friends and family this prices at the grocery store Thanksgiving, be thankful during your Thanksgiv- for the people who work ing shopping, understand in agriculture that put food what that really means for on our plate. farmers and ranchers: we’re feeling the pain with you. Brent Burchett serves as For every one dollar you the Executive Director of spend on food, produc- San Luis Obispo County ers receive about 8 cents. Farm Bureau. He can be Here’s a U.S. Department reached at bburchett@ of Agriculture breakdown slofarmbureau.org or (805) of the food dollar as of 543-3654. 2020: 8.0¢ goes to farms, 16.7¢ food processing, Brent Burchett serves as 3.1¢ packaging, 4.1¢trans- the Executive Director of San portation, 11.9¢ wholesale Luis Obispo County Farm trade, 14.2¢ retail trade, Bureau. He can be reached 27.9¢ food services, 3.6¢ atbburchett@slofarmbureau. energy, 3.3¢ finance and org or (805)543-3654.  Central Coast Journal

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arts & Education




recently listened to an EdSource Podcast report on why so many kids struggle to learn to read. Some reports indicate that nearly one-half of California third-graders do not read at grade level. Academic journals publish brain research suggesting that most children should learn to connect sounds with letters (Phonics), yet many children struggle with this approach. Others claim that Whole Language is the only approach and phonics are old school. Since becoming a teacher in 1986, I have wondered why so many children struggle to read. Today I question why we are still debating over how we teach reading and if there is genuinely a uniform strategy for every learner. The EdSource Podcast described a child excited to learn to read and a Bay Area teacher creating a vibrant environment for literacy. As parents in Paso Robles, we too experienced our daughter’s teacher providing a classroom library, welcoming parents to read to children, and messaging parents about the joy of reading. Our two daughters were fortunate enough to have the same kindergarten teacher, and each learned to read at a different pace in step with what research reveals about first and second-born children. The EdSource Podcast describes the child feeling sick and complaining of stomach aches, and going to the nurse’s office. The contextual


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teaching challenged the child in the Bay Area classroom. The child was stressed about reading and perceived unable to keep up with the others in the class. As an elementary school principal, I observed different learning styles, parenting styles, teaching styles, and interests in school. What I found as a common thread in my practice and supported in the research is that contextual learning (similar to the Bay Area classroom) and phonics-based learning (similar to my daughter’s classrooms) are both essential strategies in learning to read.

and skips the decoding process by learning to say the word as recognized in written form. Reading via this method is somewhat automatic and often called sight-reading. This approach is one of the reasons words that are repeated often (high-frequency words) are focused on in spellers and on spelling tests.

The Language Experience Method is more of a personalized approach where the words taught differ for each child. The premise is that learning to spell familiar words is a more manageable approach with a higher retention potential. Teachers and One aspect of our daughters’ parents create unique stories that elementary experience in Paso use words familiar to the child. Robles was that multiple teachers over multiple early elementary We acquire literacy through grades varied and balanced the ap- various everyday classroom, home, proaches to reading with phonics, and community activities. Similar a whole-word system, and the to learning another language, exLanguage Experience Method. posure to spoken words, written words, short stories, novels, and The Phonics Method focuses even telanovelas facilitate language on helping children learn to break comprehension. Young children words down into sounds, translate learn about literacy when describsounds into letters and combine ing a drawing, writing words as letters to form new words. Pho- they can, and reading stories even nemes and the corresponding if they make up some of the terms. letters are often taught based on their frequency in English words. The San Luis Obispo County Typically 40 English phonemes Office of Education tailors supare guided through different in- ports to address the specific needs structional approaches. based on the student group’s performance, including ethnic and raThe Whole-Word Approach cial groups, low-income students, teaches reading at the word level English Language Learners, foster

youth, and students with disabilities. As my staff works with school districts across the county, I try to remember the young physician in the parking lot with her daughter. I remind my team, stakeholders, and the community of the importance of treating everyone with respect and dignity and considering that we all learn differently. We have many reasons to give thanks in our county. Examples include: more students completing high school, school attendance rates increasing, more students entering career pathways during high school, more students receiving college credits while in high school through Cuesta College’s dual enrollment, and test scores improving. We have much work ahead of us to continue teaching and learning. Improving outcomes for all students will depend on proven methods and new ideas coming from many voices. Success occurs when we empower local communities to work together for the greater good. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lonbardi “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” — Arthur Conan Doyle.  NOVEMBER 2022 | 11

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arts & Education



series “It’ll be OK” depict people in different relatable scenarios pertaining to anxiety and depression. The people are represented by stick figures and placed in flat geometric environments. Even though these people have no features, you can recognize them as people and can place yourself in that scenario and recognize the feelings the figure is experiencing. His goal was to make archetypal images that anyone could relate to regardless if they liked the style in which they were created. One piece in this series shows three figures. The main focus of the picture is a person holding flowers as to present them to one of the other figures. Unfortunately, their feelings are not reciprocated as their love interest is in the arm of the third individual. The composition is completed with an anvil being suspend over the main figure’s head in proper animated “Looney Tunes” fashion. This piece is very relatable and is a very human experience. Regardless of age, race or sexual orientation, it is highly likely that you have felt what the main individual in the painting is feeling in that moment. It feels like a ton of bricks is coming down, crushing you when you put yourself out there and express your feelings for another person and they don’t share those feelings.


ach and every person in this world has a different personality, different values, and different political views, to name a few things. If you watch the news for longer than two minutes, you are told how different we are from the other team. The extreme tribalism that has become more of the norm divides us as human beings. We are continually told that “It’s us or them.” “We’re good, and they’re bad.” “We’re normal, and they’re wrong.” Even though it’s clear that we have many things that differ among us, Jordan Hockett tends to create art that focuses on the things that most people can relate to and connects us.

Jordan’s work isn’t supposed to be sad. In fact, most of his work is very colorful and funny. When he does tackle an issue like anxiety or something more serious or on the political side. He intends that his art comments on different scenarios with thoughtfulness but also humor. He hopes that The work brings people together and can laugh at how that the same thing happened to them but now they can look back on it and reflect on how they got through something or just look at the absurdity of a situation. The fact is people are very strange and imperfect. Hopefully looking at some art can make us look at things a little differently and realize that shared human experiences are what keep up together.

As an artist, it’s your job to observe the world around you then create art that reinterprets and comments on what you observed. This holds true if you are painting a tree, photographing an individual’s portrait or building a monolithic abstract sculpture. Jordan, a Paso Robles artist, finds that people are endlessly fascinating and the most basic human interactions are the most important and the ones in which we can find common ground. You can see Jordan Hockett’s work at Studios on the Because of his training as a graphic designer, many of his acrylic Park at 1130 Pine Street, paintings are simple and graphic in style. The compositions in his Paso Robles.  12 | NOVEMBER 2022

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California Creative Corps comes to the Central Coast BY CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER


ix county-designated arts agencies, including the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, have been awarded a collective $4.75 million grant to oversee the California Arts Council’s economic and workforce recovery program, the California Creative Corps (CCC), on the Central Coast. The California State Budget included $60 million in a onetime General Fund allocation to establish the new pilot program.

California Creative Corps Regional Map

Information on applying for CCC funds, which will be implemented in multiple phases over two years, is set to be released this fall. Applicants will be asked to propose projects that support the health, safety, and resiliency of Central Coast communities through the arts. An example of the kind of project that might be supported is a muralist working in a community to design and install a mural to communicate messaging around civic engagement or another of the program’s stated outcomes.

The collective grant represents an unprecedented collaboration among six counties, including Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Ventura, and Santa Barbara in addition to San Luis Obispo. The agencies will work together to administer the program and serve as primary partners, service providers, and communication conduits in their respective geographic regions. The responsibilities of the collaboration include: • Implementing culturally-specific engagement strategies to priority communities


Central Valley & Eastern Central


Central Coast

Bay Area – Other

South – Los Angeles & Orange

Bay Area – San Francisco

Inland Empire

Far South

• Managing the application pro- grams and development manager • Mentoring — through processes for artists and sub-grant- of the SLO County Arts Counfessional development, workee organizations cil. “Currently, we have hired a shops, or other opportunities third-party representative to assist — individual artists, cultural The funds are scheduled to be us in finding clarity and alignment practitioners, and nonprofit or- re-granted over the next two years across all six partners. The intention ganizations to individual artists, nonprofit is that we can shape a collective organizations, and government vision for successful implementa• Increasing visibility of the work agencies in support of pandemic tion, and that each partner is clear of artists, cultural practitioners, recovery and environmental, civ- on their roles and responsibilities.” and nonprofit organizations ic, and social engagement in California’s most disproportionately Modeled on the Works Progress • Engaging in robust outreach impacted communities. Administration of the 1930s, the to ensure comprehensive geofunds will support a media, outgraphic reach for sub-grantee “I am proud to be working with reach, and engagement campaign organizations, artists, and cul- regional partners to administer this that uses a variety of art forms, tural practitioners grant,” says Jordan Chesnut, pro- including visual, performing, and CentralCoastJournal.com

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traditional arts, to advance positive community outcomes by creating locally-focused, contextually and culturally sensitive public messaging and work.

The CCC was developed by the California Arts Council in partnership with the State legislature. Projects are intended to cultivate trust, belonging, community cohesion, and interdependence — particularly in communities that are in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index (HPI). Neighborhood by neighborhood, the HPI maps data on social conditions that drive health — like education, job opportunities, and clean air and water. This data is used by community leaders, policymakers, academics and other stakeholders to compare the health and well-being of communities, identify health inequities, and quantify the factors that shape health. Areas to be targeted include public awareness of COVID prevention, climate mitigation, water and energy conservation, and emergency preparedness, as well as civic and social justice engagement.  NOVEMBER 2022 | 13

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lifestyle, finance & Health


Building Resilience to

Stress and Anxiety BY DR. CINDY MAYNARD


tress and anxiety are the two biggest factors that keep us from realizing our fullest happiness and joy quotient in life. Some of us downplay stress by saying, “Oh, I’ve always been an anxious person” “I get easily stressed” or “I’m not sure how to change.” But as I mentioned in my article on Neuroplasticity back in May, thankfully, we aren’t stuck with our old brains or way of thinking. We can change our brains. And that includes building resistance or immunity to anxiety and stress.

A quick review: Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability

to create new neurons or neural pathways and connections in response to learning something new or thinking or behaving in a different way. Just as we can turn a stovetop burner up or down, we can amp up or turn down our anxiety levels. If we’ve created stress pathways in the brain, we can alter them. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (roughly 19.1 percent of the population) every year.” Anxiety can manifest itself as rumination, chronic worry, insomnia, tiredness, fear of losing control, or fear about the future. It’s OK to feel stress or anxiety occasionally. It’s the chronic or long-term stress that can impact our psychological and mental well-being. Chronic stress can compromise our immune system and severe anxiety can be debilitating.

The more we think or worry about things, the more we continue to hardwire stress pathways in the brain. Conversely, if we focus on positive events happening in our life (good health, positive relationships, practicing kindness, etc.), we hardwire our brain to be more resilient and adaptive. By focusing our thoughts on gratitude or more loving experiences, we release positive neurochemicals like oxytocin and serotonin (rather than stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol) and build new neural circuits and pathways which become woven into our brains. This takes practice and repetition. Practicing mindfulness is another way to re-wire the brain. Mindfulness (focusing on the present moment) helps us develop nonjudgmental awareness and acceptance of our thoughts, feelings, or worries without analyzing or ruminating about them. This helps separate ourselves from the angst or anxiety surrounding our feelings. Susan Swadener, PhD, RD, former dietetic internship director at Cal Poly shares, “When I was going through a divorce, I saw a therapist and put my energies into designing a new dietetic internship at my job. When Covid hit, I took up knitting, joined a new gym, and talked to close friends and family to help keep me sane.” There are many other practices that help us achieve resilience to stress. Some include yoga, prayer, meditation, Zen, tai chi, deep breathing, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Journaling is another effective way to get negative, ruminating thoughts from the brain onto paper where their impact is lessened. Talk to your healthcare provider or licensed therapist if needed. There are many podcasts and classes on the Internet that can help. One of my students in a class I taught online introduced me to laughter yoga. Not only does laughter boost the immune system and lower stress, but it brings out our inner child and cultivates happiness. You can’t help but be lifted up after laughing at yourself and others. As a last resort (or maybe as a first resort) move your body. Exercise is the gold standard to help us reduce stress and increase positive “happy” neurochemicals in the brain. Experiment to find your niche and what works best for you.

What are some ways we can develop resilience to stress and anxiety? First and foremost, acknowledge your feelings. Covid is a great example. We’ve all experienced angst and stress due to the pandemic and had to find ways to cope. Rather than judging yourself have compassion, never condemnation, for yourself. Give yourself the same support you would a loved one. I’ll never forget the time I was asked to sing at my dad’s wedding. I used to sing professionally and went through so much angst and stress before any singing event, it almost wasn’t worth it. So, rather than say no, I made modifications to make me feel more comfortable. Rather than face the audience, I made sure the pianist and myself were tucked away in the back balcony behind the audience. They We can all develop a mental armor against anxiety and stress and heard my voice but didn’t see me. I think I sang my best that day move our anxiety-producing brain towards a healthier, happier because I was no longer worried about it. brain. Take time for your mental health. 

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Farming Full of Love Avila Valley Barn owners Debbie and Bruce Smith walk down memory lane BY BLAKE ASHLEY FRINO-GERL PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAYLEY MATTSON

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Central Coast Journal

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or decades Avila Valley Barn has been somewhat of a landmark for locals, as well as tourists coming to San Luis Obispo County. Visitors know what to expect — a fun time at the farm, with many goods to purchase and take home. The farm has grown over the years, especially from when it began. Going down memory lane with the owners, Debbie and Bruce Smith, provides a farming journey full of love. Growing up in Lancaster, where Debbie’s grandparents farmed alfalfa and hay, is where “the love of agriculture” started, according to Debbie. It wasn’t until she and Bruce, along with their four boys — Dean, Rick, and twin toddlers Jacob and Jesse — moved from Bishop, California, to the Central Coast in 1987 that she was able to further her passion. While settling in, Debbie was able to raise their sons while Bruce worked in the welding field. As she says, “One morning an ad in a SLO paper caught my attention, reading: Wanting person who loves the country and loves agriculture.” Being very interested in those two, she felt that “it couldn’t have been more clear that this was just written for me.” Local orthodontist Dr. John DeVincenzo and his school board president wife, Roberta, offered Debbie and Bruce the position of helping them start a U-pick and hay rides at their farm in Avila. It was very smart of the DeVincenzos to give them the job as not only were the Smiths fitting to farm, but also, as Debbie says, “we had all these boys” to help. The farm had no name at the time, but it was Debbie’s idea to name it “Avila Valley Barn” as it was “in the middle of a beautiful coastal valley near Avila Beach with a great looking barn.” At the beginning, Debbie worked a little table in the front of the barn, sending people on hayrides to pick olallieberries, taking care of her “four busy boys,” and all the while “thinking we need to create more,” she says. After the first season, they grew more vegetables, and the orchard grew vastly, so much that the leftovers after U-pick were immense, and Debbie decided she wanted to utilize their produce and not let it go to waste. That is when she had her “light bulb moment” to “make pies.”


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Central Coast Journal

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It took a year — working on recipes, the equipment, a bakery, and to SLO and is working in the bakery at the farm. permits. As with each season, the fruit became more abundant, which allowed for making jams, jelly, and the production of honey from Just a few changes are being made for improvement. hives for pollination, which initiated selling packaged goods. “We have been updating all of the buildings, landscaping and petting Debbie included “Bonnie and Buster, a Belgium draft horse team” zoo animals/pens for the last year,” Raven says. to pull the U-pick wagons. Then while they built a corral for horses, the Smiths decided have cows, goats, pigs, miniature donkeys, ponies, They have also started making hard cider with their apples. and chickens. The family was truly turning the Avila Valley Barn into the ideal farm. “Next, we are working to obtain our event permit to host weddings, music events, and farm dinners,” she adds. The Smith boys assisted with the pony rides and steering the draft horses for U-pick, but they knew more employees were needed as While Avila Valley Barn keeps growing, the owners understand their endeavors were increasing — the farm stand, fields, bakery, that visitors want to see what they have always enjoyed in the past kitchen and home goods, a second barn, and sweet shoppe. and come back for. “Who eats pie without ice cream?” Debbie asks.

“Over the years, we have tried to keep much of Avila Valley Barn the same for our customers since it is a generational tradition for many Once the DeVincenzos passed on the business to the Smiths, who families,” Raven said. “When someone feels nostalgic about a place also adopted three of their great-niece (Theresa) and nephews (Roger they want to return and find much of it how they remembered.” and Russell), having children in their home again allowed a new generation to begin helping on the farm. With everything that goes on in the world, “people can set aside all the serious things in life and just enjoy time with their family in a The Smiths bought Gopher Glen, and then during COVID, they beautiful setting,” Raven continued. “The only politics we talk about decided it was a good time to retire. Thankfully, the family-run busi- around here involve goats, cows, and chickens!” ness would stay in the family. Debbie and Bruce created what Avila Valley Barn is today and began Debbie told her kids, “You were raised on the farm and have lived it.” a journey that not only is profound for their family, but also for the many visiting families coming to enjoy it together. Taking over as the second generation owners of the business are farmers and Cal Poly graduates Jacob and his wife Raven, along with “We always wanted a place for our wonderful community to enjoy culinary chef Jesse, who runs food operations, including the sweet agriculture down on the farm,” said Debbie. shoppe and bakery. The other siblings live locally and gather at the farm when the time calls. Recently the only sister, Theresa, returned They have succeeded in that and more.  CentralCoastJournal.com

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taste of slo




hen I was growing up, Thanksgiving dinner was truly one of the biggest meals my family prepared all year. I say family because we often rotated the location. My grandparents and my aunts and uncles all lived in and around Arcadia in Southern California, so it was easy to get the family together without much travel time. We always had turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh cooked green beans, candied sweet potatoes, a relish platter with black olives (so the little boys could pop them on the tips of their fingers), a molded raw cranberry salad, homemade hot rolls with homemade


6 large sweet potatoes (about 41⁄2 pounds) 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1⁄2 cup butter, cubed 16 maraschino cherries Ground cinnamon

jam, and of course “Ocean Spray” Cranberry Sauce. Desserts were pretty traditional, like pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie. When our son Dan was born in November of 1964, my mother added Dan’s favorite cake, a Chocolate Potato Cake with gum drops, raisins, and chocolate fudge frosting, so we could celebrate his birthday with everyone. Through the years, I have seen changes in the recipes for the sides we serve with our turkey that help us branch out. As Martha S. used to say, “It’s a good thing!” For instance, try this next recipe for sweet potatoes, using pineapple instead of the traditional marshmallows.

Pineapple Sweet Potato Bake Directions

Place sweet potatoes in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Peel and cut each potato lengthwise into quarters; cut each quarter into two or three wedges. Place in a greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Sprinkle pineapple over potatoes. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the reserved pineapple juice until blended. Add butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over potatoes and pineapple. Top with cherries; sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yields 8 Servings You might eliminate the sweet potatoes and replace them with this next recipe. Some markets offer packages of butternut squash already peeled and cubed, saving you time.


5 large carrots, cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces (about 3 cups) 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (1-inch pieces) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder


11⁄2 cups sugar 11⁄2 cups water 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (1 pound) 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) pitted tart cherries, drained

Spiced Carrots and Butternut Squash Directions

Place carrots and squash in a 3-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat. Cook, covered, on low for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Gently stir before serving. Serves 6

Cherry Cranberry Sauce Directions

In a large saucepan, cook sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cherries. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until cranberries begin to pop, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat; cook 20 minutes longer or until thickened. Pour into a serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Yields 3 1⁄2 cups

Cheers! 20 | NovembER 2022

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Effects of Climate Change On Wine Grape Farming BY MIRA HONEYCUTT


lobal climate change is not a future problem. It’s here now. Changes to Earth’s climate are being driven by increased greenhouse gas emissions. Glaciers are shrinking, plant and animal geographic ranges are shifting, and plants and trees are blooming sooner. So, what is the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the wine industry? Wines will certainly be different in the future. Drought and heat will result in lower yields in warmer regions; there will be elevated sugar content and reduction in acidity, which will influence the aromatic components, changing the wine’s taste profile; and we might see less color concentration due to lack of anthocyanins which impart color to red wines. But wine grape growers are already adapting to drought, hotter summers, warmer winters, and sudden temperature changes, as was experienced in September when growers were caught off guard by the early and continued heat spike in Paso Robles, ushering in a very early harvest. For Bill Gibbs, it’s not just the increased oneto-two degree rise in temperature, it’s the erratic weather changes that present a challenge. For example, in Paso Robles, the frost this spring occurred later than normal. “That was bad,” said Gibbs, owner of his three vineyards, G2, G3 and Heartstone, located on Paso’s cooler westside. “Then in September, we had 10 days of heat wave where every day was well over 100 degrees; it wasn’t only the worst heat wave in Paso history, but it also occurred later in the farming year than we normally have,” Gibbs emphasized. CentralCoastJournal.com

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“That causes the most structural problems. We lost a lot of crop to that damage, lost to desiccation and [fruit] just being lighter than usual.” Farmers have learned to adapt to global warming and Mother Nature’s fury. Combatting the heat, for instance, shade cloth on sensitive varieties, helps. Gibbs mentioned a recent report by the University of California at Davis. “They advise growing fruit on higher wires which protects it from reflective heat radiated from the ground,” he said. Such practices can save 10-15 percent of the crop, but none of them solves the problem, Gibbs commented. “Sometimes it feels like we’re doing a battle with Mother Nature,” he said. Santa Maria-based Wes Hagen, who has been growing grapes for thirty years, asserts that Santa Barbara County’s wine region has shown less impact of climate change than interior regions such as Paso Robles or Napa Valley. Estate host and wine educator at Paso’s LXV Wine and Santa Maria Valley’s Native 9Wines, Hagen credits this to the Santa Barbara region’s maritime influence responsible for cool summers, which mitigate the heat spikes and warmer temperatures most vineyards have experienced elsewhere in California in the past two decades. Those regions that are experiencing higher “degree day” vintages, such as Oregon, the East Coast and certainly most of Continental Europe, are seeing bigger, riper vintages and more options for picking and determining style visà-vis more ripening options. “I expect the Old World to take on a more

New World sense of bright and ripe fruit,” noted Hagen. “Whether that will rob some of the finest wines of their depth and complexity is to be seen as we always grow the greatest wines on the edge of ripeness,” said Hagen. What will happen, wondered Hagen, if, say, France’s cooler Burgundy region ripens its pinot noir and chardonnay far more easily and quickly than the historic average — and the wines become much jammier and fruitier? How will it impact cellar potential and style? “At the least, the terroir of fine wine will be rewritten in many regions in the next few decades,” Hagen noted. Bordeaux has already begun its adaptation. The Portuguese warm climate variety, touriga nacional, is now officially introduced as part of the traditional five-variety Bordeaux blend. Sparkling and even still wines are being produced in Southern England and increased Rhône-style grapes are being planted along the Coastal AVAs of our West Coast. So, there’s a silver lining for some regions. Global warming can be beneficial for cooler areas like France’s Burgundy and Champagne regions and Germany’s Mosel and Rhine Valleys. And regions like England’s southern coast of Dorset and Cornwall are now noted for sparkling and still wines. There’s also a cabernet sauvignon wine made in Shangri-La. In recent years, Moët Hennessy has begun producing Bordeaux-style Ao Yun wine from their vineyards perched high up in the Tibetan mountain. Will these conditions change the way of farming and the taste profile of wine as we know it? “Gradual change is acceptable to people,” commented Gibbs. “Palates will gradually adjust.”  NovemBer 2022 | 21

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The Blur of the Grassland Biome BY CHUCK GRAHAM


hey crept out of the morning shadows of the Carrizo Plain National Monument, leaving the sanctity of a narrow ravine in the rolling foothills of the Caliente Mountains. Lured to a reliable water source, an old cattle trough left over from the grassland’s ranching era, six pronghorn antelope tiptoed forward for a sunrise drink.

Sauntering in a single file, the thirsty herbivores gradually approached the cattle trough brimming with frigid water. It was late spring, but a winter chill still hovered over the Carrizo Plain with a few sheets of ice floating on the surface of the trough. I was close enough to clearly see their big black eyelashes batting as they enjoyed their morning watering hole. I could also hear them lapping up the frigid water, as I barely moved, not wanting to disturb what Camped nearby, I slowly peeked my head out of my tent. I could I believed to be their daily ritual. hear their hoofs crunching across low-growing tan grasses that were begging for moisture. My tent was cloaked with a green rainfly. It was After they drank their fill, they browsed for several minutes before ideal for melding into the landscape, watching and photographing wandering southward. Eventually, they were swallowed up into the North America’s fastest land mammal. austere, semi-arid grassland biome, one of the last, best bastions for pronghorn antelope in California. Open Space Believe it or not, it’s been estimated in the 1800s that pronghorn antelope populations in California’s San Joaquin Valley once outnumbered the great herds of buffalo on the Great Plains. Unfortunately, like many other iconic species, such as grizzly bears and wolves, pronghorn antelope were hunted out of the San Joaquin Valley by the 1920s. Over the decades, their habitat has been absorbed by agriculture and urban sprawl, with only a few pockets of habitat remaining and little or no corridors for a land mammal that needs open space to roam, but also display that ability to reach speeds up to 55 mph, sustaining that pace longer than a cheetah can on the African savannah. Following the ranching, era pronghorns were reintroduced to the Carrizo Plain in 1998 before it was deemed a National Monument in January 2001. About 100 pronghorn antelope were released. Despite decent habitat on the grasslands, wildlife corridors are few, and recruitment is low. Solar and marijuana farms surround the northern fringe of the Carrizo Plain, limiting pronghorn movements into the National Monument, those grasslands offering the best viable habitat in California’s Central Valley. “There aren’t many pronghorn,” said Brandon Swanson, an environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). “There are less fawns. Habitat is good, but water resources have gone derelict.” The few fawns born on the Carrizo Plain are susceptible to predation, mainly marauding coyotes. Aerial surveys performed by CDFW are producing less and less pronghorn every year. “Pronghorn are on a downward trend,” continued Swanson, who does research in ecology, wildlife biology, and environmental science. “Captive breeding is super intensive, but a possibility if we want to keep pronghorn on the Carrizo Plain.” 22 | NovembER 2022

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In the meantime, there are other solutions on the table. One of those is enhancing reliable water sources across the grasslands. “Revitalizing old grazing water sources,” he said. “It’s a big undertaking, but pronghorn stick real close to water sources in the summer. There’s more dispersal in the winter.” Another solution is drilling for more water sources and adding more appropriate animal water troughs. This would not only benefit pronghorn herds, but all wildlife throughout the National Monument. There’s also talk of increasing cover for pronghorn, especially for fawns. They are vulnerable as soon as they are born, wobbly on unsure, unstable legs. “We want to create more plantings to provide cover for fawns,” said Swanson. “Saltbush planting structure will provide more habitat for them.” Effortless They accelerated with utter aplomb. A steady trot increased into a full-on sprint as a small herd of pronghorn hoofed across the grasslands for what appeared to be, just for the hell of it. They were not being pursued by a pack of coyotes. They simply just wanted to run. I was sitting in my truck enjoying the sunset sinking west beyond the Caliente Mountains. I spotted the pronghorn in my rearview mirror. The band was trotting to my left, but once they were parallel with my truck, they picked up the pace, tufts of dry grass kicked up in their wake, hurtling behind them. Once they passed the vantage point of my truck, they turned in front of me, now circling between me and sunset. They were sprinting into a 360-degree arc, as I was thoroughly enthralled with their breakneck speed around my truck, that is perpetually encrusted in alkali loam. I was now gazing at them again in my rearview mirror, nostrils flared, and a plume of dust wafting in their wake. A pair of opportunistic ravens took advantage of the insects; mostly crickets churned up by the pronghorn, nothing wasting away out on the grasslands. CentralCoastJournal.com

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Wading Through The sweeping hillside daisies were just one of many California wildflowers splashed across the Carrizo Plain during the Super Bloom of 2017. What made this specific stretch of the grasslands so special was that there were five pronghorn antelope browsing and frolicking in those vibrant, yellow blooms. The hillside daisies swept westward from Soda Lake Road almost to Painted Rock. The pronghorn grazed closer to that sandstone cathedral than Soda Lake Road, so I wasn’t too confident that the small band of pronghorn would turn and walk towards where I stood hopelessly waiting with my camera on the paved road honeycombed with potholes. It was dawn on the Carrizo Plain, and as I drove off Simmler Road and headed south onto Soda Lake Road, the grasslands were quiet. I was consumed by the stunning, yellow, native flora to the southwest, and as I always do on the Carrizo Plain, I drove slowly. When I saw the pronghorn in the hillside daisies, I pulled off the road and sat silently, watching the pronghorn enjoying the fleeting wildflower display. Patience settled in, and so I waited. I’ll never know what it was that engaged the pronghorn to do an about face, but I sure was grateful when they did. As I waited by my truck, the pronghorn gradually strolled straight towards me. As they did, the younger pronghorn sort of pranced, high-stepping through the 4-foot-tall wildflowers. There were also two large bulls in the band of five pronghorn. One of them became playful, dipping its antlers into the throng of tall, spindly stalks of hillside daisies, the blooms flung skyward by the animated pronghorn buck. Before I knew it, a couple of them filled my entire viewfinder. However, when it comes to wildlife viewing, there’s no set agenda. It’s their schedule. So, after affording me some time to photograph their natural moment in the wildflowers, they veered northwest. Before I knew it, I was watching them through my binoculars again. They were getting smaller, in what was maybe a fleeting, once in a decade phenomenon, one natural wonder consumed by the other.  NovemBer 2022 | 23

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"Table Talk*


1. Overly theatrical 6. Go by 10. Meat and potatoes concoction 14. Prohibited 15. Women's chorus voice 16. Black and white ocean predator 17. Mournful poem 18. Arc on a musical score 19. Conglomerate heads (abbr.) 20. *Eternal 22. Hole in a board 23. Self-pleased 24. Do some brainstorming 26. 50% 30. Don't just seem 31. Arid 32. Poet Khayyám 33. Shirt size, briefly 34. Quartz variety 38. Difficult opponent 40. Fortress 42. Get down 43. ___ Aykroyd 44. Neighbor of Earth 45. Medic 47. Colony member 48. Jane Austen novel 49. One of the Hemingways 52. Had on 54. Clothes presser 55. *YMCA amenity, often 61. Word that's often a subject 62. Seasonal illness 63. Smell 64. This, in Spanish 65. Part below the ankle 66. Jeweler's ring measurement tool 67. Does and bucks 24 | NovembER 2022 68. In addition 69. Correct for errors 00-CCJ012-NOV22.indb 24






















24 30











































23 26



1. This-and-that dish 2. Ankle bones 3. Help out with a heist 4. Vincent van ___ 5. Goes up and down 6. Grazing places 7. Maintained 8. Shock 9. Unpleasantly immoral 10. *Rink activity 11. Concert site 12. "Amscray!" 13. Undue speed 21. Taste found in tomatoes 25. "Shoot!" 26. Horn sound 27. "Right on!" 28. Unsatisfactory 29. *Offer sometimes made to lure a group in for a sales pitch 35. Eden figure


36. Period 37. "Frozen II" sister 39. Berry used in some liqueurs 40. Hug and kiss 41. Foreword, for one 43. Fools around aimlessly 46. Hackneyed phrase 49. Dug for coal 50. Got out of bed 51. Letter carrier's assignment 53. Take away 56. Wassailer's song 57. Overly proper 58. Exude 59. Black cat, to some 60. Fat

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NOVEMBER Calendar of Events

*Event dates and times are subject to change. Please call ahead or check online to confirm details.



Through: NOV




Alyssa Monks’ Layered Paintings

Live Music At The Canteen


11am - 5pm Alyssa Monks layers spaces and moments in her paintings as she flips background and foreground using semitransparent filters over shallow spaces





7pm - 10pm Brass Mash is playing every first Friday at Liquid Gravity Brewing Company


6pm - 9pm Free music night hosted inside The Canteen every Wednesday at Oceanpoint Ranch

4pm - 8pm Big Ditch Market brings together local artists, handmade makers, music, and food.

5pm - 7pm Enjoy live music while sitting on a blanket or low-back chair, with the entire family on a nice fall evening.





9am - 12pm Junior and High School marching bands from around the area compete in several divisions in this annual event. Awards will be given at the Pismo Beach Promenade

5pm - 8pm Merchant open houses, live mannequins in windows, refreshments, entertainment and drawing for original artwork

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11am The Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial will be hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony that includes a fly-over by Estrella Warbirds, the National Anthem by Atascadero Fine Arts Academy students, laying of a memorial wreath by the VFW Auxiliary, and TAPS. BBQ lunch provided by the Atascadero Kiwanis



11am Program features an invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, welcome, guest speaker, patriotic songs, fly-over, closing prayer, honor guard and Taps. Flags are placed at all identified veteran’s graves by American Legion Post 50 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10965





Elegant Evening in Paso Robles






Veterans Day Ceremony










Old Town Orcutt Certified Farmers Market MARCUM STREET, ORCUTT

4:30pm - 7:30pm Local farmers, vendors, and food trucks. Live Music and great fun

Active Duty Armed Forces Holiday Boutique Free Admission in Zoo PAVILION ON THE LAKE, ATASCADERO CHARLES PADDOCK ZOO, ATASCADERO

10am - 4pm All active duty armed forces men, women, and their immediate families receive free admission to the Charles Paddock Zoo with valid military ID


10am-3pm Kick off the holiday shopping season with over 50 craft vendors

18 -20



Friday, 4pm - 10pm. Saturday and Sunday, 12pm - 10pm. The 2nd Annual Atascadero Fall Festival will be a three-day, free admission event with carnival rides, games, over 30 bands on two stages, over 40 street faire vendors and food trucks, craft beer, wine and seltzer

Central Coast Journal

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Stay up on all the events and happenings


SLO County!

SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: editor@13starsmedia.com




Community Thanksgiving Dinner

17th Annual Turkey Trot



1pm - 3pm Presented by Morro Bay Lions Club, all are welcome and no reservations needed. Free home delivery is available from 12-1:30pm for those who are unable to come

7am check-in Presented by the 2021 Boys CIF Wrestling Champions: 1st place medals for 10K run for each division (6). Divisions: Men, Women, High School, Middle School, Open, Masters, Tee shirts for the first 100 Runners, Best Turkey Costume Contest. Register online raceroster.com or day of






24- DEC 25 sun




Holiday Lighting Ceremony Paso Robles

Santa’s House/Holiday Plaza

Shop Small Business Old Town Orcutt

Small Business Saturday





5:30pm - 7pm Annual holiday lighting ceremony – candlelight caroling, greetings from City officials, Mrs. Claus and the Elves and more

TBD check out the amazing decorations and activities in the plaza including an evening light display, carousel, Santa's Mouse Scavenger hunt, write letters to Santa, and more!

11am - 3pm Local vendors, music, and great raffles. Shop all the amazing merchants in Old Orcutt to win great raffle prizes. Support Small Business

This event encourages shoppers to get out and support the stores and restaurants that make San Luis Obispo stores and cuisine options unlike any other


FA R M ER S M A R K E TS MONDAYS Baywood / Los Osos




Paso Robles


9:30am – 12pm

3pm – 6pm



2pm – 4:30pm

WED + SAT Arroyo Grande

Thursdays San Luis Obispo




6pm – 9pm

WED: 8:30am – 11am

Sat: 12pm – 2:30pm



Morro Bay


2pm – 4:30pm

2:30 – 5pm



Fridays Avila Beach: Starting May 6 AVILA BEACH PROMENADE

4pm – 8pm

Saturdays Templeton


9am – 12:30pm Morro Bay


1st Sat of NOV Paso Robles: County Farm & Craft Market 11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES

9am – 1pm

2pm – 4:30pm CentralCoastJournal.com

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Government and Business San Luis Obispo *Visit slocounty.ca.gov for virtual & up to date meeting info. Chamber of Commerce All meetings below meet at the Phone: 805-781-2670 County Government Center, Board of San Luis Obispo Regional 895 Monterey St. Supervisors Chambers, 1055 Monterey Transit Authority San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 St, Room D170, San Luis Obispo. Phone: 805-781-4472 Visit: slochamber.org •Subdivision Review Board • first 179 Cross Street, Suite A Monday, 9 a.m. Cambria San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Board of Supervisors • first and Visit: slorta.org Chamber of Commerce third Tuesday, 9 a.m. Phone 805-927-3624 Parks & Recreation Commission San Luis Obispo County Open Monday through Friday 9 • fourth Tuesday, 6 p.m. Office of Education to 5 Airport Land Use Commission • Phone: 805-543-7732 Please call first on weekends. third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. 3350 Education Drive 767 Main Street Air Pollution and Control Board • San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Cambria, California 93428 fourth Wednesday of every odd Visit: slocoe.org Visit: info@cambriachamber.org numbered month, with some Clerk-Recorder Cayucos exceptions. 9 a.m. San Luis Obispo Office Chamber of Commerce Local Agency Formation Phone: 805-995-1200 Commission • third Thursday, 9 Phone: 805-781-5080 Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 Mailing Address: a.m. PO Box 106 Planning Commission • second PM, excluding holidays 1055 Monterey Street Suite Cayucos, CA 93430 and fourth Thursday, 9 a.m. D120 Visit: cayucoschamber.com County Phone Directory: 805San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 781-5000 County of San Luis Obispo

Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce


695 Harbor St Morro Bay, CA 93442 Phone: 805-772-4467 Visit: morrochamber.org

Avila Beach Community Services District

Phone: 805-595-2664 100 San Luis Street Avila Beach, CA 93424 Mailing address is: PO Box 309, Avila Beach CA 93424 Visit: avilabeachcsd.org Point San Luis Harbor District

Phone: 805-595-5400 3950 Avila Beach Drive P.O. Box 249 Avila Beach, CA 93424 Los Osos / Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce

Phone: 805- 528-4884 781 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402 Mailing: P.O. Box 6282, Los Osos, CA 93412 Visit: lobpchamber.org Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce

Phone: 805-773-4382 Visit: pismochamber.com 649 Dolliver St Pismo Beach, CA 93449


SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: office@13starsmedia.com

GET MORE EYES ON YOUR AD Promote your business throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Starting at $275/month! MENTION THIS AD AND GET 10% OFF YOUR 1/8 PAGE AD FOR 12 MONTHS

(805) 466-2585 28 | NovembER 2022

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH Soon-to-be parents one month before welcoming their baby girl in Pismo Beach on May 13, 2022 by Carly Grace carlygracephotography.com 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.


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Last Word


Polish-Born Composer Paderewski’s Local Legacy BY CHRISTIANNA MARKS


he Paderewski Festival makes its return to Paso Robles and this year’s event will feature three days of live performances from classical musicians (most from Poland), bringing the magic of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and other well-known composers and music-makers to Paso Robles November 4-6. Performances include award-winning Cracow Golden Quintet and their woodwind instruments, the Paderewski Festival’s 2022 Youth Piano Competition winners, and virtuoso pianist Jakub Kuszlik, who won not only the Paderewski but also the Chopin International Piano Competition. Born November 6, 1860, Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish musical prodigy who took the world by storm with his compositions and star-power performances. As a young boy of 12, he studied music at Warsaw Conservatory and went on to study in both Berlin and Vienna before shooting to international fame in 1888. “He [Paderewski] was one of the premiere performers of his day, which was right around the turn of the century,” said Paderewski Festival President Marjorie Hamon. “He had written some music, but he was primarily known as a performer, and literally, women would go to concerts and embroider the first measures of his famous little minuet on their bloomers. Women would swoon.” During one of his 20 tours across America in 1914, Paderewski sprained a tendon in one of his fingers. Not wanting to let down his fans, he continued his concert circuit, playing every show with nine of his 10 fingers. When Paderewski’s tour landed in San Francisco, the stress of playing with his sprained finger finally got to him, and that is when a musician friend told him about the healing properties of the mud springs in Paso

Robles and how he must go and soak his hand in them. So, Paderewski made the trek, stayed in the original Hot Springs Hotel, and soaked himself and his sprained finger in the healing mud. Dr. Frank Sawyer was not only a hotel owner and Paderewski’s physician while in Paso, but also a realtor. Though Paderewski owned property in Poland, Sawyer ended up selling him 2,864 acres of Paso Robles land on which he would later plant almonds and wine grapes, producing Zinfandel at York Mountain Winery that became almost as famous as the man himself.

nitaries while staying in Paso Robles over the years. Paderewski was also a philanthropist, freedom fighter, and in 1896 helped establish a trust fund to back American-born composers by donating $10,000.

Paderewski dreamed of one day creating a music conservatory for students and youth in Paso Robles. Sadly, his dream never came to fruition. Still, the Paderewski Festival has kept his dream alive in its own way, creating a cultural During his years coming to Paso Robles, be- exchange program and the fan-favorite Youth tween 1914 and 1934, Paderewski never built Piano Competition. a permanent residence. He had plans to, but after his second wife, Helena, died in 1934, he The cultural exchange program exists to blend couldn’t make himself return to Paso without her. young pianists from Paso Robles, Poland, and So when Paderewski visited (he liked to stop for Ukraine since Paderewski’s birthplace is now a couple of weeks during his US tours), he always a part of Ukraine territory. The exchange gives stayed at the El Paso de Robles Hotel, now the two winners from the Youth Piano Competition Paso Robles Inn. the chance to go to Poland and play music at Paderewski’s manor house out in the country While at the hotel, Paderewski would practice on even years. On odd years youth performers on the piano in the ballroom. To this day, you from Poland and Ukraine come to Paso Robles. can still see the Weber he practiced on displayed. The exchange program has been put on hold due However, the famous musician never once played to covid and now the unrest in Eastern Europe, an official concert for the residents of Paso Ro- but they have plans to start it back up in 2023. bles. This year’s winners of The Paderewski Festival’s Around town, he was simply known as Mr. 2022 Youth Piano Competition will perform Paderewski, and he would explore downtown for the community during the festival, carrying Paso while wearing a white walking suit. While on Paderewski’s legacy. The students competed in Paso, he was very much a part of the local earlier in October, and the winners were chosen. scene, and most fanfare was left behind as soon as he stepped off the train. “Watching the kids is one of my favorite parts because they’re just amazing,” added Marjorie. Paderewski, who was also the first prime minister of the newly independent Poland in 1919, To purchase tickets, see the weekend’s enand signed the Treaty of Versailles, which ended tire program, or for more information, visit World War I, also met with many foreign dig- paderewskifest.com. 

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Enroll your child in Music and Band!!

Give your child the edge!

SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL BAND! OUR COMMUNITY IS BETTER WITH MUSIC!! “Students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary and continued playing in high school, not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, Mathematics and Science skills,” Published June 24, 2019 edition of “Journal of Educational Psychology”

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