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FEATURES

c ontents JULY 2019

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'LET'S HAVE S'MORE FUN' AT THE 2019 MID-STATE FAIR 12 DAYS OF FUN BEGINS ON JULY 17

MID-STATE MEMORIES

REMEMBERING FAIR DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

18 FRONTIER STAGE AND INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES

FREE FUN THINGS AT THE FAIR

DEPARTMENTS

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TOWN HALL 21 Atascadero City Council SOMETHING WORTH READING 06 Publisher’s Letter ROUND TOWN 08 Colony Buzz: Born on the 4th of July 09 Santa Margarita: Small Town, Big Heart COLONY PEOPLE 12 John's "Die Hard" Video Palace 13 Mrs. E.G.: Mabel Lewis EVENTS 20 Tips on Taking the Kids to the Fair

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TASTE OF COLONY Taste of Americana: Packing a Picnic 24 entrée: LaDonna's with Anna & Mom 25 entrée: Side Dish with Anna Pecharich 22

BUSINESS Solarponics: Making the Future Brighter 27 Templeton Beauty Salon Celebrates 22 Years 26

TENT CITY 28 Atascadero Historical 4th of July 30 SLO County Office of Education: Our Community, Our Schools

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TIDES 31 Rock to Pier Run 32 Morro Bay High School STEAM 33 Fourth of July in Morro Bay LAST WORD 34 Project Surf Camp

ON THE COVER 2018 Draft Horse Show at the California Mid-State Fair Photo by Brittany Anzel App

Colony Magazine, July 2019



Something Worth Reading ATASCADERO • SANTA MARGARITA CRESTON • MORRO BAY

THE STORY OF US • ISSUE NO. 13 PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicholas Mattson PUBLISHER, OPERATIONS Hayley Mattson LEAD AD DESIGN Denise McLean

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“We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence

fter midsummer, we turn our attention to our upcoming national holiday, Independence Day or 4th of July. Although we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence as our nation’s birthday, it is something to celebrate with dignity as a human being, not just as an American. It holds in its ink the demand for human decency, and promises such from its government. The ideals are not uniquely American, but universally human. They are rich and deep. They refer not to dignity, or power, or property, but spiritual gifts we share with all our neighbors. The inalienable rights are not something we deserve as Americans, or are blessed with as US citizens, but something endowed by our Creator and therefore not something a human constitution can establish or a human invention can deliver. Yet, without recognition and exercise of our rights, they can be defeated. Home of the Brave. Land of the Free. Bravery leads, and I believe that is because it takes bravery to exercise our inalienable rights. It takes bravery to speak out as Samuel Adams did, or Martin Luther, or Martin Luther King, Jr. It takes bravery to take action against the norm, when comfort and bliss is promised in trade for compliance. Hunger, thirst, poverty, lonliness ... these were of no concern to the founding fathers and the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Feeding, clothing, or housing others were of no concern. Charity was not the purpose. The inalienable rights are there for the taking — among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. There are more, but the theme is clear — it is a celebration. Thousands of years of history led those men to find each other and share new ideas with each other in the search for a "more perfect union," and in defense of their own sovereignty. I'm just as excited about what is happening today as any time in history. When I celebrate Independence Day, I do it not as a recognition of something that happened almost 250 years ago, but as a reminder not to become satisfied with what we have as humankind. We are still in our infancy in understanding what Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness means to us and to the world. Less than 100 years ago, women were restricted to a life less than whole. Other groups are still restricted to a life less than whole. When you celebrate 4th of July, you celebrate something that is happening, more than something that happened. Please enjoy this issue of Colony Magazine. Nicholas Mattson 805-239-1533 nic@colonymagazine.com

Editorial Policy

Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Colony Magazine. Colony Magazine is delivered free to 22,000 addresses in North San Luis Obispo County. Our costs are paid entirely by advertising revenue. Our Local Business section spotlights select advertisers. All other stories are determined solely by our editors. For advertising inquiries and rates email publisher@colonymagazine.com, or contact one of our Adversting Representatives listed above.

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If thou wouldest win Immortality of Name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727

Colony Magazine, July 2019


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July 2019, Colony Magazine

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| Colony Buzz

Born on the 4TH OF JULY By Nicholas Mattson

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ou didn’t know? The Colony of Atascadero as we know it has it’s origins on July 4, 1913. Buried under a century of world wars, women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, strategic (or not-so-much) installation of US 101, and the rubble of a devastating earthquake, is the historic origins of a master plan that has never come to pass. That doesn’t change the facts, however. On July 4, 1776, delegates from 13 then-British colonies adopted a Declaration of Independence that has stood for almost 250 years as one of the most significant and powerful documents of all time. It is no coincidence that Edward Gardner and Mabel Gertrude Lewis signed legal ownership over 23,000 acres of Atascadero from J.H. Henry to Mrs. Lewis and the Women’s Republic. Social norms are transient. That which is radical today may be the norm in a generation. That which is the norm today may be radical in a decade. On the 137th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when the Anglo-Saxon patriarchs of 13 colonies declared that “all men are created equal,” the Women’s Republic made a signature statement with revolutionary implications — leading a growing call for women to be recognized as created equal, and a demand for equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Men and women are not at all equal by any qualifications — different, and special each, but I digress … the fact that women were fighting for social recognitions and the right to participate in government nearly 130 years after the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights is a testament to the fragility of laws applied with deeply flawed ideologies and dogma — and decades later another round of civil rights battles would take place. There has been a lot of dust kicked up and settled domestically and internationally since the Colony of

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Atascadero was born by the Lewis’ pen, but the dream was written in stone by four quotations still towering over Atascadero’s Civic Center. Engraved in the Atascadero Colony Administration Building: "THE MOST VALUABLE OF ALL ARTS WILL BE THAT OF DERIVING A COMFORTABLE SUBSISTENCE FROM THE SMALLEST AREA OF SOIL." — Abraham Lincoln "FOR LASTING HAPPINESS, WE TURN OUR EYES TO ONE ALONE, AND SHE SURROUNDS YOU NOW. MOTHER NATURE.” — George Sterling "LET US KEEP OUR FACES TO THE SUNSHINE AND WE WILL NOT SEE THE SHADOWS." — E.G. Lewis "GREAT NATURE, REF UGE OF THE WEARY HEART AND ONLY BALM OF BREASTS THAT HAVE BEEN BRUISED." — George Sterling

The choice by Lewis to choose two quotes from contemporary poet Sterling — a founding member of the Bohemian, counter-culture, artist enclave community of Carmel-bythe-Sea — should be more revealing than it is puzzling; especially when placed in context. Lewis was from the midwest, and placed two quotes from a play Sterling wrote named “The Triumph of Bohemia,” written in 1907 — less than a decade before Lewis decided to etch a phrase from the play in two parts on the centerpiece that still stands in the center of Atascadero … two phrases from Sterling, alongside one attributed to himself, and another from one of the most notable icons of American human rights and the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

I compel you to hold these truths to be self-evident, that the unalienable Rights, including Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness were not lost on the founders of Atascadero. The Colony of Atascadero was a defiance, not of the policies of the postal service or one political party or another, but it was a defiance of a corruption of the pure ideals that brought 13 delegates together in the 1700s, and a misguided progression since, including a long train of abuses and usurpations of the rights of all those not “men” as it was defined in 1776. I can’t tell you that the Lewis’ knew what their defiance meant in 1913, or what it would mean in 2019, but I can tell you that our opportunity to recognize what it means in this day of freedom, independence, and equality for the character and identity of the city of Atascadero and what it meant to be a colony on the coast of California in 1913, is an opportunity to embrace with passion and patriotism. Celebrating the birthday of the USA, and celebrating the birthday of Atascadero (and the United States) as we know it, is less about the “how” it began and more about the “why.” So, happy birthday USA. Happy birthday Atascadero. Happy birthday to that which has yet to be born of the spirit of freedom and independence that has been the catalyst of revolution and progress throughout time. Join us on the 4th of July for the Atascadero Bluegrass Freedom Festival to enjoy the Declaration of Independence, the birth of the U.S.A., Atascadero, Great Nature, food, music, and fellowship of our citizenry at the Atascadero Lake Park, from 2 to 7 p.m. more info at atascaderofourthofjuly.com

Colony Magazine, July 2019


Santa Margarita |

SMALL TOWN Big Heart

Photos contributed by Hailey Rose Switzer

By Simone Smith

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hat’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the fair? Cotton candy and hotdogs on a stick, carnival rides and games, music and entertainment or exhibits and competitions? Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s all about the exhibits and competitions — seeing the latest, greatest, most perfectly grown, most creative, most delicious, most interesting, most talented, best in show, Grand Champions and everything in between. Some people visit the fair, some participate and some get hooked for years or continue to dedicate their lives to the fair and its ideals of sharing the passion, pursuit of excellence, education and advancement in their area of interest… This is what happens when the Fair gets in your blood. If you’ve ever run into Hailey Rose Switzer you’ll know what an energetic and positive whirlwind of activity she is. Quick talking, organized and sharp, there’s probably nothing she can’t do, from breaking out the saw, hammer and nails to build her daughter a lemonade stand to overseeing 150 Cal Poly students for the Cal Poly Western Bonanza, the largest student run livestock show in the Western United States. Are you surprised? Growing up in Santa Margarita, Hailey Rose Switzer is the third daughter of Joel and Terri Switzer and the Granddaughter of Jo Ann Arnold Switzer and if you’ve been in this area very long, or are involved in the agricultural world at all, yes, THAT Jo Ann Switzer. People say that Jo Ann Switzer is “kind of a big deal” (that could easily be an understatement) but you’d never guess it by meeting her with her smile, twinkling eyes, easy laugh and modesty. Jo Ann Arnold Switzer grew up on her parents’ cattle ranch in Pozo and was bitten by the fair bug when she showed her champion lamb at the very first California Mid-State Fair in 1946. I guess it was all over from there. The fair got into her blood. Jo Ann has continued to participate in every California Mid-State Fair since and to this day still

July 2019, Colony Magazine

WHEN THE

FAIR IS IN YOUR BLOOD

holds the record for the most Grand Champion Cattle. Her list of involvement and achievements could fill a novel and include being the Livestock Superintendent and a member of the Mid-State Fair Board of Directors, the first woman to be honored as Cattleman of the Year, induction into the Cal Poly Animal Science Department Hall of Fame and into the Mid State Fair Hall of Fame as well as the honor of being Queen of the 2018 Pioneer Day Parade. Jo Ann’s passion for the fair continues and has been passed down through generations with each of her four sons raising and showing market cattle and as soon as she could, her granddaughter, Hailey Rose was there to help hand out ribbons to the winners of the livestock shows. Hailey first started showing rabbits at the fair as a 4-H mini member, continuing on through 4-H and FFA, but her passion for the fair and livestock didn’t stop there. She steadily progressed, gaining organizational and administrative experience assisting in the fair office with livestock entries and working her way up while studying Ag Science with an emphasis on Ag Ed at Cal Poly. As a junior in college Hailey became the Livestock Superintendent at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair in Bishop, a position she still holds. Since her graduation from Cal Poly, Hailey has become

part of the faculty, teaching in the Animal Science Department, serving as the Faculty Advisor for Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Livestock Show and teaching Ag Business centering on the fair industry. If that’s not enough, she is the current Coordinator of Special Programs, putting on the Rancho Frontier interactive area for the Mid-State Fair while also working in various capacities for six other fairs, including the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair, the Monterey County Fair, the So Cal Fair, the Salinas Valley Fair, the Merced County Spring Fair and the Blythe-Colorado River Fair. Thanks to technology and the telephone, Hailey is now able to do much of her work from home answering questions and using the Show Works program to handle entries and award payouts, allowing her to spend more time with family and her young daughter Holley Faye, the fourth generation involved, ready for her third year showing rabbits and placing entries in the Arts and Crafts division. When the fair is in your blood there’s no stopping and Hailey Rose Switzer can see herself continuing to work for the fair long-term and focusing more on our local area. She says she would like to continue to grow the Western Bonanza, adding and modernizing with the times and hopes to see her students succeed out in the Ag and fair industries.

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JOHN'S 'DIE HARD' VIDEO PALACE Local business continues to defy the odds

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By Mark Diaz

fter nearly 30 years of operation, John’s Video Palace almost became another casualty in the video rental wars, but in classic movie fashion, the business dodged a bullet when a hero showed up in the nick of time. The locally owned and operated video rental store (yes, they still exist) came close to shutting its doors for good but then another local business pitched in a helping hand. Jodi Bloom, the owner of the florist shop Bloom N Grow, reached out to John Taft after learning about the Palace’s plight on Facebook and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Bloom, who owns the property located at 9955 El Camino Real near the Atascadero Post Office, reduced her shop’s floor space and rented the remaining space to another business. Bloom said the adjacent spot has stood vacant since September 2018, but not for lack of interest. She passed on a lucrative deal to rent out her entire property to a “smoke shop,” a business that specializes in tobacco products and smoking equipment. With the plaza being filled with mom and pop shops, she felt that the store would not be a good fit. Instead, Bloom decided to take months in lost revenue and hold out for a more suitable business to take up residence. “I couldn’t, in any good conscience, move them in here," said Bloom. “So I’m glad that I held out and waited.” Bloom believes businesses should

In his typical comedic fashion, John Taft signs the new rental agreement presented by George Enriquez of WCJ Property Management. support one another and recalled a time when local owners came to her aide. After 9/11, when her sales dropped dramatically, business owners came in and shopped to help her stay afloat through what she thought was her last Christmas season. The whole scene originated when the time came to renew the Palace's lease. Taft, who has not raised the price of video rentals in 15 years, felt the consistent raising of rent from an outside party was unjustified. He pointed out that another rental on the property owned by the same people has stood vacant for an extended length of time. Instead of renewing his lease, Taft hung an ‘out of business sale’ sign but soon took it down after accepting Bloom's offer. He joked that he should put it up every few months to garner more publicity. Taft made the arrangement official by signing the agreement on May 30 and told Colony Magazine

that the new store will open at the beginning of July, just in time to mark its 31st anniversary. Taft said he has wanted to move the Palace toward Atascadero’s south side because the demographics better suit his business model. The prospect of moving into a much smaller space does not daunt the business owner. Taft said that a 1,000-square-foot facility is plenty of room for the Palace. He plans on reducing his inventory of an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 movies to 4,000 at the new location and purge the “B-movies” that never move off the shelf. He will continue to be well-stocked in the most popular sellers, new releases and G-rated family movies. There is also a John’s Video Palace located at 124 Niblick Road in Paso Robles with a larger inventory that he can swap videos between stores per customer request. “There’s about 1,000 movies that

I don’t need,” said Taft. “I have rare movies that I keep, because I know it’s a movie people will need.” For instance, during the interview, a customer came in asking for a series of movies featuring Tom Selleck playing a character named Jesse Stone. Taft, of course, owned the entire series. The interaction illuminated the point of Taft keeping movies that are good but are impossible to find through digital renting or box renting sights that only contain the newest movies. Taft also provides his own entertainment to his customers. His quick wit and faux hair visor that he flips and spins for his customer’s amusement are a trademark to his resilience. Taft suffered a car accident in the ‘80s that broke his back and left hime temporarily paralyzed from the chest down. It also gave him a pronounced limp but it does not slow him down. In fact, some may find it hard to keep up with him.

Reliable Power. Performance you can trust!

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business of the Year

805-466-2218 • 5025 El Camino Real • www.glennsrepair.com 12 | colonymagazine.com

Colony Magazine, July 2019


Mrs. E.G. By Heather Young

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hile many people know of E.G. Lewis, the founder of Atascadero, less is known about his wife, Mabel. E.G. and Mabel G. Wellington married in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1890, according to Lon Allan’s book “Atascadero: The vision of one - The work of many.” They moved to Nashville, Tennessee soon after. Together the Lewises owned and operated publications geared toward women. “The Lewises were all for women to get the right to vote,” Atascadero Historical Society member Kent Kenney said. Lewis formed the American Women’s League, which included individual women’s organizations and others uniting together to get subscribers and renewing subscriptions for cooperating

publishers of popular periodicals of that era, according to Allan’s book on Atascadero. According to Mabel Lewis’ obituary published in the April 26, 1935, issue of the Atascadero News, she was president of the league around the time they moved to Atascadero in 1913. “While not much is known about Mabel Lewis, what we do know is she formed the music club, she encouraged the fine arts,” Allan said. “She was a gardener, she loved animals,” Kenney said. “She laid the cornerstone of Atascadero’s City Administration Building.” Allan and Kenney said that Mabel Lewis started Atascadero’s first zoo behind their home, which stood where Vons shopping center is today. “She had a petting zoo behind

MABEL LEWIS: Founder's wife was a lover of animals & gardening

Headquarters,” Allan said, adding that she had deer, sheep, owls, raccoons and more. “Whatever the workers found as they were working in the Colony. They would find [the animals] and bring them to her to give them a home.” According to Mabel’s obituary, she was born in Massachusetts in 1869. She also devoted her time to the artistic side of planning and developing the planned community of Atascadero in 1913. She laid

Mabel Lewis tends to an indoor grow.

July 2019, Colony Magazine

Photos courtesy Kent Kenney

out extensive private gardens in the new community. At the start of Atascadero, she was also the president of the American Woman’s Republic. One of her crowning achievements, her obituar y said, was her founding the Atascadero Music Club, which had music lovers all over the county in membership. In “Order No. 10” by E.G. Lewis, Lewis writes about his agony at being separated from his wife. “The strain has been too much for her this past year. Now she is away. If there is a larger, more empty, vacant, miserable, howling wilderness of a vacuum void than this particular neighborhood, I hope something will fall into it and fill it quick. You can have the mile square of real estate, the bank, the house, automobiles, horses, cats, even the publishing company, if you will just give me back my everyday sweetheart, and no questions asked.” If you have images or information about Mabel Lewis, please contact us at editor@colonymedia.us.

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CALIFORNIA MID-STATE FAIR “LET’S HAVE S’MORE FUN!” JULY 17-28

Photo by Luke Phillips

Paso Robles’ biggest event of the year offers something for everyone

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his year’s theme of “Let’s Have S’more Fun!” at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles Event Center promises a good time for all from July 17 to 28. Mid-State Fair staff and faithful community volunteers are working hard to make the fair this summer’s go-to destination for families and friends. PANCAKE BREAKFAST The fair wouldn’t be the same without the Annual Pancake Breakfast in City Park on Thursday, July 26 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

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By Melissa Chavez

Get your grub on and enjoy pancakes sponsored by chef Chester Rougeot, the El Paso de Robles Grange #555, and other local organizations. Enjoy entertainment by Pacific Animal Productions and rides through the park on Cowboy Ken’s train or Harris Stage Lines. The best part? All the pancakes are free! KIDS’ DAY AND SENIOR DAY On Kids’ Day, Monday, July 22, children age 12 and under are admitted to the fair for free. On Tuesday, July 23, visitors age 62 and older pay just $9.

CARNIVAL RIDES In 2017, Helms and Sons Amusements became the official carnival provider to Mid-State Fair by offering improved quality and lower ride prices. Last year, the fair brought in more than $1.2 million in revenue from ticket presales and door admissions. For 2019, onsite purchases of single-ride tickets cost 50 cents apiece, $25 for a sheet of 50 tickets, and $50 for a sheet of 100 tickets. Unlimited Ride wristbands are also available for $40 (each day). For fast entry into the fair, WOWXpress wristbands ($15) are available only at the Carnival Ticket Booths and enable guests to bypass crowds via special entrances on every ride.

ZOO ANIMAL FUN Admission to the Petting Zoo is free and feed for the animals is just $1 a cup. Bring the children (or yourselves!) to see adorable, small animals at the fair, including llamas, pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs, miniature donkeys, deer, wallabies, and domesticated goats and sheep. Zoo to You will provide an interactive display in a swampland complete with alligators and a beaver exhibit where visitors can watch a beaver building its lodge. Open daily from 12-4 p.m., the shows

FREE CARNIVAL RIDES For the first time in Mid-State Fair history, the main carnival rides are free for all fair-goers with paid fair admission on opening day, Sunday July 17! Some conditions apply.

Colony Magazine, July 2019


Opening Day 2018

include grey and red foxes, the North American porcupine, raptors, monkeys, and lemurs. PONY RIDES Every day during the fair, pony rides will be available for children in the Rancho Frontier pony ring for just $7 per ride and an additional $10 for a photo souvenir. KIDS ART SMART PROGRAM Open to children of all ages, the Kids Art Smart program by Studios on the Park brings hands-on art fun to visitors through daily printmaking sessions in the Pop-Up

finalist contestant from Orcutt, sold out quickly, and headliner Cardi B’s concert sold out within hours. The Bud Light Concert Series lineup in the Chumash Grandstand Arena includes:

July 17 • Miranda Lambert July 18 • Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with Melissa Etheridge July 19 • Billy Idol July 20 • Cardi B July 21 • Blake Shelton July 22 • Why Don’t We July 23 • Lynyrd Skynyrd July 24 • Zac Brown Band July 25 • Old Dominion July 26 • Music & Wine with Smokey Robinson July 27 • Country Rodeo Finals July 28 • Monster Trucks with Bikes & Bulls

CMSF BARN DANCE Just outside the Headliner Stage, radio station 98.1 KJUG will host dancing for the public from 9 p.m. until closing.

Studios at the fair. Go to StudiosOnThePark.org for info. LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Since 1969, the demand for live entertainment has grown at the California Mid-State Fair, and 2019 opened with a bang. Tickets for Blake Shelton and Pryor Baird, “The Voice”

July 2019, Colony Magazine

PUBLIC CONTESTS One of the most satisfying ways to enjoy the fair is through the many contests available to the public to showcase everything from artistic ability to fashion design to culinary talents. Mark your calendars for the pre-entry deadline on Tuesday, July 16, and fill out your application from midstatefair.com. The contests are separated into age divisions for adults (18

and over) and youths (17 and younger). Categories include:

July 19 • Direct to Draw (the “director” tells the “drawer” what to draw July 21 • Locally Grown Salsa July 23 • Pet Costume Contest July 25 • Apple Pie Contest July 18 • Summer Camp obstacle course fun July 20 • Cupcake Challenge decorating contest July 22 • “Face the Marshmallow” children’s game July 24 • Junior Fashion Show July 26 • Nail Drive July 28 • Watermelon Easting Contest.

MONSTER TRUCKS WITH BIKES & BULLS This year’s fair is guarantees thrilling, non-stop action in the Chumash Main Grandstand Arena on Sunday, July 28, when Monster Trucks with Bikes & Bulls begins at 7 p.m. StraightUp Racing will unleash

three beasts inside the arena. They include: the legendary Titan, with a ’72 Chevy body style driven by Donald Ependindio. Next is Spitfire, with a custom 3-D Dragon body that shoots fire driven by Dwight Matthews. And third is Wild Flower, with a ’34 Ford truck body style driven by Rosalee Ramer. Fans will have a chance to walk into the arena and get up close to the Major Payne Monster Tank and the Zombie Tracker Monster Ride Truck. And everyone will be treated to motocross by Brett Butterfield, featuring Pee Wee & Pros and professional bull-riding by Flying U Rodeo Company.

All photos by Brittany App except where noted.

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Mid-State MEMORIES A look back at the fairs of yesteryear By Melissa Chavez

A GRASSROOTS EFFORT

I

t was 1941 when the San Luis Obispo County Fair Association was formed. Paso Robles pioneers Rega D. Freeman and his wife Dovie Freeman, who founded the Estrella Grange and later funded the El Paso de Robles Grange. When the Freemans sought approval in Sacramento to begin the first fair, it was the Freemans who also supplied the seed money to kickstart it. Paso Robles city officials got tactical approval from the State Department of Agriculture to stage what was originally named the San Luis Obispo County Fair in 1942. Because of the demands of World War II, the opening was delayed several years. The fair debuted on September 13, 1946, under the direction of George Stephan. Fair board members included Herbert C. Sutton, Ed R. Biaggini, Dovie Freeman, Pauline Dodd, Rubie Alberti, John Ruskovitch, Otto M. Kuehl, and James M. Douglas. Larry Lewin served as office manager. “The fair was in two large tents and located across the street in what is now the parking lot,” said CMSF marketing spokesman Tom Keffury. “Admission for the three-day event

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was $3.60 for Western the Cavalcade of Hollywood, concerts, riders and ropers – free entertainment to the public that cost the fair $3,000. “Twenty-thousand visitors entered the fair under the banner that displaying the motto, “The Unwritten Law - Supply & Demand, and listened to Cal Poly University president, Julian McPhee, give a welcome speech,” Keffury said. “Each day had a theme - the first day was Youth Day, the second day was Farmers Day, and the third was County Day.” The Grange, 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America chapter membership throughout the county supplied plenty of young members who entered their livestock in the fair. In 1952, a champion 4-H steer sold by JoAnn Arnold from Pozo 4-H Club sold for just 95 cents a pound.

THE GROWTH OF ENTERTAINMENT

B

y 1969, fair manager Maynard Potter brought live music entertainment act to the Fair. The first major performer was Buck Owens, known for his trademark “Bakersfield Sound.” The winner of the first pageant contest was Paulette Paylour, who was named the 1969 Maid of San

From left, Rick Evans, Sally Gaines and Brad Humphrey on stage at the fair talent show, in 1973.

Luis Obispo County. From 1981 to 1994, the pageant became known as the Miss California Mid-State Fair. For two of those years, the contest was a preliminary event for the Miss USA Pageant. In 1981, the San Luis Obispo County Fair was renamed the SLO County Mid-State Fair and then the California Mid-State Fair in 1986. By the end of the decade, the population in Paso Robles more than doubled to 18,600 people and annual attendance began to increase dramatically. Ironically, in 1989, Buck Owens’ popularity and that of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash had cooled in recent years, and that year, all three artists agreed to performing on the free stages. Meanwhile, Randy Travis, whose career was peaking, headlined the Grandstand Stage and two-time Grammy winner, K.T. Oslin, was the opening act. In 2006, a record 361,662 admissions were counted. That same year, the fairgrounds was renamed the Paso Robles Event Center. In 2017, more than 428,000 attended the fair and more than 91,000 tickets were sold for concerts featuring Garth Brooks, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band and others. From livestock exhibits. horse competitions, and concerts, to car-

nival rides and deep-fried Mac & Cheese, the California Mid-State Fair is committed to delight, inspire, thrill audiences at “America’s Favorite Fair.”

REMEMBERING ‘THE BIGGEST LITTLE FAIR ANYWHERE’

W

e asked Roblans to share their fond recollections of attending California Mid-State Fair:

“When I was 10 or so (1968) the Fair was three days long. There was only one gate that had one ticket booth and two turnstiles. My dad would drop me off at 9am with money for admission. I made friends with people that had horses and helped them around their stables for carnival money and worked at a friend’s food booth for lunch. – Lori Osman Morgan “When I was growing up, my dad, Larry Wood, was a Paso Robles Fire Department volunteer. They used to let them drive through the back gate and park by the barns in case there was a fire. He would pick up my sisters and I at lunch time and we’d ride in with him. Then he’d go back to work and we’d enjoy the afternoon.” – Kathy Blackburn

Colony Magazine, July 2019


July 2019, Colony Magazine

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FREE ACTIVITES at the MID-STATE FAIR This is just a sample of the great free-with-admission activities and entertainment at the California MidState Fair. For more free activities and shows, go to midstatefair.com

PETTING ZOO

Free admission! Get up close with adorable young and small animals like llamas, pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs, miniature donkeys, deer, wallabies and domesticated goats and sheep. Admission is free every day and feed for the animals is available for $1 a cup.

ROBOTICS FOR KIDS Have your child be a part of the hands-on activities using scribbler robots that have been programmed

by elementary through high school age youth! The activity is being put on by the San Luis Obispo County 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Committee in the Hearst Equestrian Center.

VEGGIE ART

Albertsons and CMSF let your child turn fruits and veggies into playful objects at Ponderosa Pavilion. Imagine creating animals, vehicles or buildings out of food. Maybe a fun tractor made of carrots, zucchini and red peppers?

TRACTOR RACES

Coastal Tractor provided the MidState Fair with pedal tractors where your child can race against others.

FREE CONCERTS

The following concerts are free with paid Fair admission. Seats for these shows are available on a “first-come, first-served” basis and all concerts take place at the Frontier Stage.

MASON RAMSEY

Toll Free Phone—855.586.7660 Toll Free Fax—844.200.0103 Please bring a picture ID and insurance card. If a fasting test has been ordered, do not eat or drink anything except for plain clear water for 12–14 hours prior to blood draw. Accepting orders on any laboratory’s form.

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At only 12 years old, Mason Ramsey is a viral sensation after a video of him yodeling surfaced on social media. As one of the biggest Country stars today, Ramsey has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, Coachella and Stagecoach, as well as scoring a tour with Chris Lane and Las Vegas residency with Florida Georgia Line at the Planet Hollywood in December 2018. Hot off his first, sold out headlining tour, Mason released his new, original song, “Twang,” accompanied by a music video. The internet has fallen in love with the singer as evidenced by his 1.9 million followers on Instagram. With his families support, the young star hopes to become “the Steph Curry of Country Music.”

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• • • • • •

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Smash Mouth’s debut album “Fush Yu Mang” was certified Double Platinum and set the table for what most consider their masterpiece, 1999’s brilliant follow-up album “Astrolounge.” Boasting three top-ten hits (“AllStar,” “Then The Morning Comes,” and “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”), sales for “Astrolounge” are nearly double those for their debut, approaching Quadruple Platinum status. Smash Mouth’s third album featured the ecstatic first single “Pacific Coast Party” and the smash hit “I’m A Believer.”

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Wednesday, July 17 6:30 & 8:30 p.m.

Announcing the New

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Located in The Crossing Shopping Center next door to See’s Candies. Dignity Health Laboratories The Crossing Shopping Center 2307 Theater Drive, Suite 500, Paso Robles Monday–Friday, 7AM–5PM

Arroyo Grande Community Hospital

French Hospital Medical Center

Marian Regional Medical Center

Additional shows can be found at midstatefair.com.

Colony Magazine, July 2019


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July 2019, Colony Magazine

colonymagazine.com | 19


Your guide to the

MID-STATE FAIR with Kids! Y

ou’ve arrived at the California Mid-State Fair with kiddos in tow. You’ve probably memorized your hands-down favorite fair eats or where to nab the cheapest beer, but do you know the best spot to wash your toddler’s sticky hands? Or, where to grab some free drinking water? Well, you’re in luck, my friends, because I have all the 411 for navigating the Mid-State Fair with kids. Read on for our favorite stops, stroller rentals, child-height handwashing station and best place for sippy cup refills. Is it sad that these are the things that excite me these days? Also exciting is fair officials tell me that for the first time ever, carnival rides are free for everyone (not just kids) on opening day, July 17 with fair admission. Height restrictions still apply, but fairgoers ride free in the main carnival including the Big Splash water ride - and in Cub Country with no wristbands required. The promotion doesn’t include attractions in the Fun Zone, Rancho Frontier or carnival games. STOP #1: STROLLER RENTALS Directly adjacent to the main gate, you’ll find Funrider Rentals. It’s a total lifesaver if you didn’t want to haul a stroller onboard the free shuttle. Daily rental costs are: double stroller, $20; wagon, $20; wheelchair: $20; electric wheelchair-type scooter, $50. We’ve rented the stroller before and it was great. I’d love to try a wagon this year. STOP #2: BUY FORGOTTEN ESSENTIALS From the stroller rentals, head south through Frontier Town toward the south gate. To your left, the Albertsons/Vons General Store

July 2019, Colony Magazine

By Tonya Strickland

is your stop to buy forgotten essentials like sunblock, hair ties, Tylenol and even a little sewing kit. STOP #3: RANCHO FRONTIER AREA, SOUTH GATE Keep heading south to find the entire tot-friendly Rancho Frontier area on the fairgrounds’ southwest side. This is your new homebase with enough stuff to do with animals and rides without all the sensory overload of the rest of the fair. Not only is this area home to the Cub Country kiddie carnival (for children 32” to 38” tall) but it also has pony rides (extra $), the Great American Petting Zoo (extra $), shade] and boasts close proximity to three separate restrooms. The popular Pig Races are also relocating to Rancho Frontier this year.

1

Why We Love It: Free Drinking Water Location: The Chill Zone, Frontier Town

Now called The Chill Zone, located where Rancho Frontier meets Frontier Town inside the former Good ‘ol Burgers restaurant, our favorite place ever is an industrial-sized system of ice and spouts for free drinking water. Boasting a new name this year, the area features multiple large blocks of ice, an eight-ton ice cube and something called an “ice campfire.” There will also be a 30-degree enclosed area called the Ice Bar. Fancy.

2

Hand-washing Station for Kids Location: Under the big white Farm Fresh tent Are you even a parent if you haven’t struggled to hoist your

PRO Mom Tips Sandals: Don’t wear them. I almost always forget this! You and your kid can’t ride some of the rides if you’re wearing open-toed shoes. I’d recommend everyone in the fam wear sneakers. Bring empty sippy cups to fill up at the free drinking water station (more on that below). Pack wet wipes. Even if your diaper changin’ days are over, wet wipes are key to fair sanity. Those mercilessly small napkin squares from food vendors do nothing to save you from the melting ice cream down your kids’ arms. Bring coins. Last year, you could buy petting zoo food for way cheaper once you were inside the pen from one of those candy dispenser things. child up to those plastic foot pump hand-washing stations while simultaneously fighting them from squirting soap everywhere? Head on over to the Farm Fresh Exhibit’s hand-washing station, your new BFF. Think multiple spouts, soap AND paper towels all at kid height. No foot pump required! Make sure to use it after you eat (or before you eat post- petting zoo experience).

3

Speaking of the Farm Fresh tent... Location: Rancho Frontier near South Gate The Farm Fresh Exhibit is a kid oasis of much needed tented shade, hands-on activities and animals. Fair officials tell me that it’s returning this year featuring

a baby calf-feeding demo and a butter-making exercise. Other years, the tent had a photo-op with a baby chick and a dried corn-filled sensory play area featuring toy trucks and scoops.

4

Easy Logistics

The area is home to some handy logistical things — ATMS, a quieter pocket of food vendors, a handwashing station at child height, actual seating and THREE choices of bathrooms: my fave in the former Good ‘ol Burger restaurant, another directly across Frontier Lane in the Ponderosa Pavilion and a third option on the east end of the Frontier Stage. Elsewhere for kids, the new Camp Rattlesnake in Edna Valley Barn promises to be super cool. Open daily from noon – 9 p.m., kids can see, touch and learn about captive-raised reptiles, amphibians and arthropods in the “Indiana Jones Laboratory.” Science artifacts, nature field stations, hatching snake eggs, nature videos and even an alligator are included in this new exhibit. There’s also a live snake pit! Eek!

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ATASCADERO CITY COUNCIL REPORT Key family shares foster care experience with Council

T

COUNCIL RECOGNIZES NATIONAL FOSTER CARE AWARENESS MONTH

By Mark Diaz

he Atascadero City Council recognized May 2019 as Foster Care Awareness Month. The proclamation, read by Mayor Heather Moreno, stated there are more than 350 youth and teenagers in the County of San Luis Obispo currently in the foster care system. The City wishes to bring awareness to the need for workers, volunteers and resource family homes for children. Christopher Key spoke to the City Council about he and his wife’s experience in the Foster Care system. The Key family began fostering children in 2014 and in that time they have housed five separate children with ages that ranged from 3 months to 5 years. The length of stay for the children also varied greatly from as short as one month to as long as 5 years.

Raised in a family that supported foster care, Key was no stranger to having strangers come and stay in his home. He explained that, like his parents, he and his wife “felt called also, because of our faith in Jesus Christ, that we are to care for the orphans.” “All of these children have been an incredible blessing to our family and

'

July 2019, Colony Magazine

I hope in return that we have been a blessing to them as well,” Key told the council. Key addressed comments that he says he hears frequently concerning his foster care work. People will often give him various reasons why they could not be involved in such a program, reasons that involve the impact on their own children or

facing the daunting task of giving the children back after caring for them. Though valid fears, Key said that the reason someone gets into foster care is not for the ease of it or the benefits it may bring but for the good of the child so that they may have a safe place and a loving home while they are in foster care. “Foster care, I would say, is not for everyone but it is for a lot more people that are currently doing it now,” Key said, “… and there are many other ways to get involved in foster care other than having children come into your home.” Key also said he believes that through helping the foster care system, people would help “stem the flow of people who fall through the cracks and become homeless.” For more information on volunteering or becoming a resource family, visit slofostercare.com.

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TASTE OF AMERICANA

By Barbie Butz

S

chool’s out, summer’s here, and we’ll soon celebrate the 4th of July. I say it’s time for a picnic. You choose the location — the beach, the mountains, a shady park, or your own backyard, but for you to really enjoy the event, keep the food simple. However, top it off with something everyone will flip over, like this Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Skillet Cookie that they can eat with their fingers. If you really want to impress your family and friends, serve a slice with homemade vanilla ice cream you prepared “on site.” That will bring on a “WOW” reaction for certain! If you love chocolate this cookie will meet all of your chocolate requirements — rich, gooey chocolate morsels and a double hit of fudgy flavor. The side prize of this recipe is that all the ingredients can be stirred up in one bowl, for a quick clean-up.

CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE-CHIP SKILLET COOKIE Ingredients: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon coarse salt 1 ½ cups (10 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

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PERFECT

PICNIC TREATS

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Stir in egg and vanilla, then flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir in chips. Transfer batter to a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet; smooth top. Bake until just set in center and pulling away from sides, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; loosen edges. Turn out onto a wire rack. Re-invert onto a plate, slice and serve. Note: You should get 10 to 12 slices. To prepare ahead and transfer to a picnic for the 4th of July, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and decorate with a flag sticker. Find a basket with a handle large enough to hold the cookies and line it with a red napkin. Pile in the cookies and let a “reliable” child pass out the dessert. If you plan to serve the cookies with ice cream don’t wrap them but tote them to the picnic in a plastic container with a good lid — I like Tupperware or Rubbermaid. At the picnic, serve the ice cream in clear plastic drink cups with the point of the cookie sticking in the center of the ice cream. For more chocolate, don’t forget a sprinkle of red, white, and blue M&Ms! Picnics and apple pie are truly American — what can I say. This next recipe is for a crumbtopped apple pie and is a little different than most of the apple pie recipes I have on file. Since not everyone is a “chocoholic” you might want to offer them a slice of pie with that homemade ice cream. CRUMB-TOPPED APPLE PIE Ingredients: 8 to 10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (Granny Smith is a good choice) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 ½ tablespoons butter ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons apple cider 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 9-inch baked single crust pie shell Topping (follows)

Topping: ½ cup white flour ¼ cup oats ¼ cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar ¾ cup walnuts, chopped 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces Directions: Mix apples and lemon juice in a bowl. Melt butter in large skillet; stir in sugar and cinnamon. Add apples and sauté until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Whisk cider and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add mixture to skillet and stir. Increase heat and cook until nearly boiling to thicken. Stir constantly so mixture doesn’t stick. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the topping and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon the cooled filling into a pie shell and sprinkle topping over the filling. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 35-40 minutes. (You may want to cover the crust edges with foil to keep from browning too much). Serves 6-8. To make the topping: Blend all topping ingredients, except butter, with fork. Mix in butter using fingers until moist clumps form. Enjoy!

Colony Magazine, July 2019


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July 2019, Colony Magazine

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A COLONY dining experience featuring LaDonna's Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge By Meagan Friberg

A

gem in the center of downtown Atascadero, LaDonna’s was our unanimous choice for this month’s edition of “entrée.” Under the care of LaDonna White and Aaron Ezzell, this intimate restaurant with elegant place settings has quickly been established as a local favorite. We invited Anna Pecharich, Owner of Anna & Mom, and Chairperson of the Atascadero Business Improvement District to share a meal with us. As hosts, LaDonna and Aaron are friendly, warm, attentive and genuine. And there is no escaping the fact that they are both extremely hard workers, putting their hearts into every aspect of the restaurant. “I just love feeding people,” LaDonna said. “You know when you cook a holiday meal for family and take special care of them? That’s what I do here at the restaurant. Every ingredient, every thought, every dish, everything I do is to make people who visit here happy.” Nearly all food items are sourced locally including meat from J&R Natural Meats in Templeton, breads from Back Porch Bakery and Edna’s Bakery, and fresh produce from farmers’ markets. Guests are encouraged to call a few days ahead if they have special requests or food restrictions to allow LaDonna and Aaron time to shop. “Everything LaDonna prepares is fresh; we have no freezer, no fryer,” Aaron said. “We accommodate many food lifestyles — vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian. With advance reservations, we are able to put together special dishes whether for one guest or a group.”

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:: SPECIAL GUESTS::

Anna Pecharich Anna & Mom Owner, Atascadero Business Improvement District Chairperson LaDonna White LaDonna's Owner & Chef Aaron Ezzell LaDonna's Cocktail Connoissuer

We gathered at a lovely window table as LaDonna and Aaron served us cocktails, wine, and bountiful portions of tasty food.

APPETIZERS/ STARTERS

We started with Bruschetta, Napoleans, Sautéed Mushrooms, and Garden Greens with LaDonna’s famous homemade dressing. ANNA’S FAVORITE: Napoleans — fresh red and yellow beets, sliced and layered with goat cheese. “Each dish was like a special work of art from a new gallery. I was particularly impressed with the Napoleans. The locally sourced heirloom beets were full of color and flavor. They were magically paired with the creamiest goat cheese that was fresh and mild with just a touch of sweetness — perfection!” HAYLEY’S FAVORITE: Gourmet Flatbread — topped with mozzarella cheese, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, basil, and a balsamic reduction. “LaDonna’s gourmet flatbread is just that — gourmet! With the fresh roasted veggies, the homemade tomato sauce and the sweet glaze roasted on the crust, this is absolutely divine!”

MAIN COURSES

Next, we shared a Crepe, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Gourmet Flatbread and a Mozzarella-Stuffed Angus Sirloin & Italian Sausage Burger. MEAGAN’S FAVORITE: Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball — ground sirloin and Italian sausage from J&R

Meats, mozzarella cheese, housemade marinara sauce and rustic bread from Edna’s Bakery. “Wow — this meatball, the most ordered item on the menu, is the size of a softball! The flavors of the fresh meat, stuffed with mozzarella, sitting in a boat of house-made marinara with hand-picked tomatoes is simply delightful.” NIC’S FAVORITE: Crepe — with artichoke hearts and mushrooms, an Italian version with Bechamel Sauce and fresh basil. “The creamy sauce that gently dressed the artichokes and mushroom was delicious. Everything blended together well, with the crepe and vegetables folded in a layered blend of delectable flavors and textures that could serve as an individual entrée or be shared with a date.”

DESSERT

Topping off the evening, we enjoyed individual portions of Pot De Crème — a classic rich, chocolatey, creamy French dessert garnished with heavy cream and a custard base — and the Banana Toffee Bourbon Cake — an original creation that tastes even better than it sounds. Both desserts were simply amazing; additional desserts are available. It was too difficult for us to choose a favorite but we all agreed — everyone should save room for dessert at LaDonna’s!

takes pride in creating custom drinks while also helping with other aspects of the restaurant. “I make cocktails as beautiful and tasty as possible and I enjoy seeing our guests’ reactions,” he said. “With everything we do, LaDonna and I believe presentation makes a big difference on how one perceives the flavors, whether it’s the dish or the glass it's served in. We have this unique ebb and flow between us — we do every single aspect of this restaurants ourselves and we work so well together.” LaDonna adds, “At the end of the day, I just love bringing pieces of joy to our guests’ table and I want them to feel like family. I think that’s the mom side of me; yes, I have the credential and I am trained, but when I am serving meals, it’s like I am serving my kids. I want to make someone’s day better by cooking them something good to eat. If I can do that, my job is complete.” Stop by and say hi to LaDonna and Aaron at LaDonna’s, located at 6195 El Camino Real in Atascadero, at the corner of Entrada, and tell them you saw their story in Colony Magazine! For hours and menu, see ladonnasrestaurant.com or call 805-464-2124.Reservations are strongly recommended.

A single mom to Josh and Victoria — Josh helps out as a server — LaDonna also works as a financial advisor at State Farm just down the street. When she met Aaron, it was a match both on the personal and culinary level. When they set out to open their own restaurant, they completely renovated the site and customized it to their needs. A self-titled cocktail connoisseur, Aaron is creative and artistic, and

Colony Magazine, July 2019


You are invited to an evening full of wonder & excitement ...

13th annual evening for education

THE SIDE DISH WITH ANNA PECHARICH, ATASCADERO BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

S

By Meagan Friberg

haring a meal at LaDonna’s in Atascadero, I caught up with Anna Pecharich of Anna & Mom, and Chairperson of the Atascadero Business Improvement District. We were joined by PASO Magazine Publishers Nic and Hayley Mattson. “Our goal with the business district is to establish downtown Atascadero as a destination for shopping and more and bring attention to the mix of businesses offering their goods, food, drink, entertainment, art, and services,” Anna said. “We want to get to know our customers and refer customers to one another; we all strive to support one another.” Originally a more casual organization, according to Anna, with business owners gathering for “Coffee at the Carlton,” serious changes started happening and the organization became official once a business development fee was reinstituted. “We met with the Chamber, the Economic Foundation and others and ultimately formed a committee to figure out how to move forward with our goal to make immediate changes in a short amount of time,” she said. “Now the money is collected through the Chamber and the Chamber dis-

July 2019, Colony Magazine

tributes the funds as we need. This allows us the ability to just focus on developing the downtown, which is exactly what we want to do.” The mission statement, adopted from the original group, reads: “Atascadero’s Business Improvement District is an alliance of local businesses with the purpose of promoting growth and viability in Downtown Atascadero.” “Our goals focus on the beautification and marketing of the downtown area, which is quite larger than most realize,” Anna said. “People are starting to see the difference in the past couple of years. This is our passion and we want to accommodate our customers.” “Anna is all about collaboration,” Nic said. “What she and others have been able to accomplish has been vital to Atascadero’s growth and success.” “This is a small town, yet there are so many major things happening in our area,” Anna said. “As business owners, we know your kids, we know the teachers. This is why we do what we do — because it’s not just about business; its personal and it’s about our families and our neighbors. The mix we have here is quite unique; it’s like stepping back in time.” For more information on the Atascadero Business Improvement District vor Anna & Mom, see annaandmom.com, stop by 5945 Entrada Ave. in Atascadero or contact Anna at 805-464-2922.

In partnership with the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation a California Non-Profit IRS 501(c)(3) Tax ID #77 0390865

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SOLARPONICS: Making the Future Brighter

S

By Mark Diaz

olarponics started as a notion on an apple farm in southern California. Over the years, founder Michael Emrich watched as the smog filled the air and hid the valley and hills below in a brown haze of floating waste. By the time he graduated ​from ​college, his course of working with clean energy was firmly established. “I started thinking right then that there had to be a better way,” Michael Emrich said. After graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Emrich worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that was founded to strengthen “the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology,” according to its mission statement. He then took a job with the Environmental Protection Agency where he monitored air quality, mainly the amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. Produced by the burning of fossil fuels, sulfur oxides are primary contributors to acid rain and regional haze and also causes complications to the human respiratory system. The EPA stationed Emrich in Ely, Nevada in the mid-70s during the beginning of the oil crisis. Emrich said the small town, located 300 miles from the nearest city, was left in a precarious position when gas prices skyrocketed from $0.35 a gallon to $2.53 which is equivalent to $14.96 a gallon in today’s market. It was there, in the middle of nowhere, that Emrich recalled Steve Baer’s research on

This country is full of resources, we’re just choosing to use the wrong ones.

Anna-Louise and Michael Emrich solar and decided to move back to the Central Coast and start his business. After moving back to California, Emrich was employed by PG&E as a quality control supervisor for the installation of the backup electrical system for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. He used his wages to fund Solarponics as the company sought to gain a foothold in the renewable energy industry. Initially, solar water heating received the backing of the presidential administration. Leading the way with solar panels on the White House, President Carter aided the clean en-

Solarponics founder, Mike Emrich, demonstrates solar water heating panels in Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, in 1979.

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ergy industry with a 55 percent tax credit to put solar water heating units on residential homes. However, when Reagan took office, those incentives expired which set back the industry for decades. During solar-water heating’s heyday, Solarponics installed 1 percent of California’s systems but with the loss of government support, the bottom fell out of the market. The company turned to other areas to stay alive. Emrich took on projects to fix and retrofit water heaters to help them last longer and run more efficiently. The company survived by adapting to the changing times and challenges while not sacrificing the reason it was founded. An inscription on a Solarponics sign sums up the vision and drive of the company: “We do the right thing at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always the right thing.” “I came here to do a service for my country and my neighbors,” Emrich said. “It wasn’t about making money.” The drive for energy independence and “doing the right thing” for the environment instead of simply making a profit kept the industry alive through ingenuity and dedication. The steady growth of green power despite the

lack of governmental leadership also disproves the notion that only federal subsidies will keep the market afloat. “This country is full of resources, we’re just choosing to use the wrong ones,” Emrich said. O ​ ver the past 40 years, Solarponics’ environmentally-sourced energy (air, water, sun) has outpaced electricity produced by burning coal in the United States, a feat that was unimaginable only five years ago. With green energy being largely accepted by the public due to its cost-effectiveness, efficiency and availability Emrich believes that the nation is entering into a new age of energy production. “We’re at the end of the buggy whips and at the beginning of the cars,” Emrich said. “It’s a transitional period in energy.” This is a fact not lost on China’s government, which last year built more solar and wind factories than the rest of the world combined. Solarponics prides itself on quality of service and on the products that it sells. Emrich says he comes from the viewpoint that if the customer finds something wrong, you fix it no matter the cost. The company also will not sell a product that does not fit the customer. With his background in quality control and engineering, Emrich and his team research the best parts and equipment he can find to sell to his customers. He explained he would rather go with a part that was a little more expensive if it performed better and lasted longer than its cheaper counterpart. “When I sell you something, you become part of my family,” Emrich said. Now looking at retirement, Emrich is passing the reins to his son, Christian, adding Solarponics to the growing list of generational companies on the Central Coast. Christian will continue with the company’s tradition of customer service but also bring his own corporate trained managerial skills to the leadership. Emrich admits that his son has better people skills than himself. When asked what he hopes for the future of Solarponics, Emrich’s response is simple and humble. “We won’t be number one in size but I hope we’re number one in quality and reliability,” he said.

Colony Magazine, July 2019


In 1973, the agency moved to its current location at the corner of

of combined insurance experience including Karen Rossier at 47;

combined with the resources of A s s u re x G l o b a l . B e i n g p a r t o f

out by everyone at Paso Robles Insurance Agency.

Templeton Beauty Salon celebrates 22 years in business It’s not just a shop, it’s not just a sign, it’s my passion and this is just the beginning.”

‘Pint-Sized Barber Shop’ joins salon family

W

hile the citizens of Templeton and other neighboring cities line the streets to celebrate Independence Day, Luann Arneson will also be celebrating but for other marks 22 years since Arneson single-handedly opened the doors of Templeton Beauty Salon in the historical little town. Arneson, at the time a new mother to a beautiful 8-monthold daughter, wanted to instill her salon with a unique, almost spiritual idea of beauty and self care. in the North County and only uses and sells Aveda products, a brand dedicated to environmentally friendly principles. All Aveda ingredients are organic and products are manufactured with sustainability as a top concern. “Aveda has the mission to care

42 | pasoroblesmagazine.com

Shannon Rees and Luann Arneson

for the world and give back to not only society but the environment. I think that’s one of the things I have the best products available for not only hair but my body and mind as well” Arneson said. has been able to maintain the rustic roots and history of Templeton by continuing the legacy of the Templeton Salon that was in existence for 60 years prior to Arneson opening her doors. By embracing a new modern style,

she was able to make the salon a place that people of all ages can appreciate while still honing in on that small town feel. Arneson has had many amazing and talented women work beside her over the years, some who have been with her since the early days of the salon and some who recently joined the family. As of June 1, Templeton Beauty Salon is also the home of the new Pint-Sized Barbershop with barber Shannon Rees. “I’ve wanted to have a barber for 10 years! I’m so glad Shannon came along!” Arneson said. Although it is a small space, Rees makes up for it with quality haircuts and a friendly, homey -

- Pint-Sized Barber Shop owner Shannon Rees

ters around a vintage 1940’s barber all the way to San Diego to get just days before opening. “I’ve always loved Templeton,” Rees said. “I’ve always had a dream to open a barbershop on Main Street, and Luann helped me accomplish that. Now that I’m here it feels like home. It’s not just a shop, it’s not just a sign, it’s my passion and this is just the beginning.” At Pint-Sized Barbershop, Shannon o ers haircuts, beard trims, straight-razor shaves, waxing, facials and more! If you are ever in Templeton, stop by and check out this new addition to Main Street and also congratulate Luann Arneson on 22 years!

Paso Robles Magazine, June 2019

Future Careers. Locally Grown. "It's been really great learning new things, and having a teacher who is willing to bring us opportunities like this." Grace - Student, Templeton High School

Enrollment for the 2019-2020 www.SLOPartners.org school year is now open. Download or request applications on our website: www.slocoe.org/preschools Watch the Video @San Luis Obispo County Office of Education YouTube July 2019, Colony Magazine

colonymagazine.com | 27


THE 4TH OF JULY Has Always Been A Special Day for the Colony, then City of Atascadero

A

fter E.G. Lewis bought Rancho Atascadero from James Harrison Henry (a fact recently uncovered — for a long time we were under the impression that his name was Jason Henry) it began the quest to create a new city out of the wild ranchland that Rancho Atascadero was. Henry was a man of many interests and business ventures. He had never fully developed the rancho and by all accounts never had more than a few ranch hands. The major use of the rancho from 1904 until 1913 was as an army training ground. During those years Camp Atascadero was home to many different activities by the U.S. Army. There were battlefield training exercises, mapping and surveying efforts as well as several events where folks from San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and the surrounding area came to watch the the army perform maneuvers. Those activities came to an end in early 1913 after Lewis bought the rancho. The Atascadero Historical Society is very fortunate to have in its archives a booklet: “Atascadero's Colony Days,” which was written in 1975 by William

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By Volunteers of the Atascadero Historical Society

H. Lewis, a nephew of E. G. Lewis. William moved to Atascadero in 1915 after his father was chosen to run the Printery for E.G. After living in several other places, William returned to Atascadero and was active in community events. His book is a true, firsthand account of the Colony period of Atascadero from the perspective of someone who was here in the beginning. In this edition of Colony Magazine, with its special focus on the 4th of July we will be reprinting two sections of this booklet that recount two very special 4th of July celebrations during the Colony period in Atascadero:

JULY 4, 1913

"July 4, 1913 was a typical cloudless, warm summer's day on the Atascadero Rancho. In its century of existence, the rancho had never experienced the ac-

tivity nor the significance of this particular day. Atascadero's third owner, the Honorable J. H. Henry, was to transfer the title of the 40-square-mile property to Mrs. E. G. Lewis, representing the Women's Republic. Special trains had arrived from San Luis Obispo and from Paso Robles. The mayors of those neighboring cities, as well as the State Senator, were to speak at the ceremony. Three thousand people gathered for the festivities. They arrived by train, automobile, buggy, tallyho, wagon and horseback. These guests were entertained by a concert band and singers, by daylight aerial fireworks, athletic contests, a Spanish barbeque, and the speakers. The transfer of the deed to the 23,000-acre Rancho Atascadero, from Mr. Henry to Mrs. Lewis, and then to the County Recorder, was signaled by the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner," raising the flag high above a nearby hill, and by a great aerial bomb. This was the birth of the Atascadero Colony, however, the idea and the concepts for such a colony had preceded this day by several years. E. G. Lewis had been writing about a colony that

would provide the residents with the best of both urban and rural life, based upon the use of the automobile. His articles published in his national magazines, based in University City, Missouri, generated enthusiasm for such a project in people in all parts of the nation. This encouraged Mr. Lewis to travel along the Pacific Coast in 1912 in search of a site. In January of 1913, Lewis announced to his backers and potential residents that he had found a place that was exactly right for the colony — the Rancho Atascadero. This announcement and a call for funds was made in the Bulletin No. 1 of the Atascadero Colony. Lewis had taken an option for $500 to purchase the million-dollar property. In this bulletin, Lewis gave his reasons for the selection of the Atascadero: topography, climate and rainfall, location on the main line of the railroad, on the main highway and halfway between the major urban centers of California, and proximity to the coast. The transfer of ownership on July 4, 1913, to the Women's Republic, shortly succeeded by the Colony Holding Corporation, did not signal the arrival of any permanent residents. One of the unique concepts of the Colony was that infrastructure development should be completed prior to the construction of the first private residence.

Colony ColonyMagazine, Magazine,June July 2019


JULY 4, 1917

"Atascadero, on July 4, 1917, had about 300 homes and 1,500 people and, notwithstanding, Atascadero invited the Governor of California, William D. Stevens, to come and participate in the city’s celebration of Independence Day. Politically, the Fourth of July is an important day for a Governor — a day to speak of, and be identified with, the virtues of America, usually before as many citizens as possible. Governor Stevens accepted the invitation and came into the civic center on his private train along the spur track that served the Printery. With the Governor was a contingent of the National Guard. A second train arrived loaded with visitors. At 10:30 a.m. the governor was seated on a decorated reviewing stand at the rear of La Plaza along with other important guests. A parade came first. It was led by the Atascadero Band in uniform and was followed by floats, mounted and marching groups from as far as King City, and by the National Guard men

July 2019, June 2019,Colony ColonyMagazine Magazine

who had arrived with the Governor. After the parade, patriotic songs were sung and Governor Stevens gave his Fourth of July address. Following an outdoor barbeque, the guests went to Stadium Park. Here they saw a pageant which portrayed scenes from California history. There were Indians and Franciscan Fathers, Spanish soldiers in metal breastplates and helmets, the pioneers and men of the Bear Flag Republic, and finally, the first raising of the Stars and Stripes over California. Nearly 200 persons were costumed and took part in this pageant. As evening approached, the guests went out to Atascadero Lake. There the audience, seated on the lawns, watched the Gilbert and Sullivan op-

eretta, H.M.S. Pinafore, performed on a stage shaped like a boat, some feet out in the lake. The presentation included a chorus of 100 in addition to the principals and the orchestra. With a full moon over the lake, this was an evening that the viewers would not forget. At the conclusion of the operetta those who had the endurance and stamina returned to the Pine Mountain Stadium for a dance that lasted beyond this Fourth of July 1917. The number, size and scope of the events of this day would suggest that every ≠person living in the Colony participated in one way or another.

Coincidently, the City of Atascadero incorporated on July 2, 1979. For many years there were fireworks at the Lake on the 4th of July, but this year we are celebrating with the 3rd Annual Colony Days 4th of July Bluegrass Freedom Festival.

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Our Community, Our Schools James J. Brescia Ed.D.

County Superintendent of Schools

“ Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

“T

his world of our…must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower~ Similar to today, throughout the history of our great nation, our communities, schools, and government have faced multiple linguistic, cultural, religious, ethnic and racial issues. Today, both large urban areas such as Los Angeles and smaller rural areas such as San Luis Obispo County experience changing racial and ethnic demographics. We sometimes hear people reminisce about the “good old days” and forget our history. Today’s school and community leaders, just like yesterday’s, must continue to meet the needs, perspectives, and challenges that individuals from all backgrounds possess. So how do we serve a modern society, build up our entire community, and learn from the past? One such path has been our annual, multi-agency, community summits. In response to school and community violence across the United States, my Superintendents’ Council has convened two “Building Community Summits,”

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and discussions are currently underway for the fall 2019 summit supported by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. This year’s summit will continue to facilitate multi-agency communication and collaboration, present positive strategies for community engagement and leverage county resources. Summit participants will once again include students, parents, nonprofit agencies, religious leaders, city and county government officials, school leaders, elected officials, and law enforcement. More than 220 participants joined the previous summits held

in North County at the Vina Robles Signature Room and Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus. Workgroups of 8-10 participants were formed consisting of multi-agency representation. The participants left both Building Community Summits with shortterm and long-term actions that each agency could participate in to build up our community and proactively address community and school tragedies. Rachel’s Challenge founder Darrel Scott opened the Cuesta College Summit. Mr. Scott’s daughter Rachel was one of the first students killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Mr. Scott stressed the importance of joining forces for good as a way to honor the young lives lost. I opened both summits by reflecting on my student teaching experiences in San Diego just after the 1984 San Ysidro massacre. Sheriff Ian Parkinson stated in his comments that, “We can address our issues proactively, one relationship at a time.” Officials highlighted the high levels of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and our schools, the digital mapping of every school campus in our county, and the implementation of county-wide mobile safety

apps. Because of the Sheriff ’s efforts, along with the Office of Emergency Services, San Luis Obispo County is one of the first in the state to digitally map every campus collaboratively preparing for county disasters. Student speakers from Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, and Nipomo stressed the importance of working together to address issues and challenges openly. Participants of the summits focused on examples of community/agency disconnect that have preceded conflict, concern, or crisis. Each workgroup presented at least one proactive suggestion that might mitigate personal or agency disconnect to prevent disputes, concerns, or emergencies. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education is now planning with the Children’s Services Network, the Sheriff ’s Office, the Chief of Probation, and the Family Care Network to host a fall Building Community Summit and encourage the participation of interested parties. I believe that together, we can invest in our future by facilitating multi-agency communications, working collectively, and acknowledging that we are all part of a shared community. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

Colony Magazine, July 2019


Rock to Pier Run Event returns for 50th Year on July 20

T

By Melissa Allen

he 50th Annual Rock to Pier Run and 8th Annual Rock’n Around the Pier Half Marathon will both fire off Saturday, July 20 at 8 a.m. at Morro Rock. The Rock to Pier Run — the first race on the Central Coast to take place 50 years in a row — is in memory of Brian Waterbury, a beloved teacher and coach as well as a notable runner who co-founded the race in 1970 when there were no other organized races on the Central Coast. In his 40 years of running, Waterbury competed in more than 400 races including the renowned Boston Marathon. His best time in the Rock to Pier race came in 1989 when he ran 34:48 and placed sixth.

The Morro Bay to Cayucos Fun Run, as it was originally named, drew 32 participants its first year with Waterbury finishing in third place. This year, an expected 800 runners and walkers will participate in the Rock to Pier Run and 325 are expected to turn up for the half marathon. Participants come from all walks of life. Locals and visitors from all over California — and sometimes all over the world — come together for this event which draws everything from beginners to Olympic athletes. “We have had a wedding proposal at the finish line, a bride and groom who ran the race and then tied the knot afterwards, a local participant that has been here for 42 out of the 50 years,

and countless reunions — family and friend groups,” said Karen Sweeny, Morro Bay’s Recreation Supervisor and organizer of the event. In 2003, after a tough battle with melanoma, Waterbury passed away and the race was renamed the Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to Pier Run. The half marathon was added in 2012 because some participants decided six miles was just not enough. Instead of taking the provided transportation back to Morro Bay, some runners were making the return trek on the beach. The 6-mile Rock to Pier Run, taking place entirely on the beach, is open to all ages and abilities. The half marathon, for ages 14 and up, will branch off the beach through

the Cloister’s neighborhood then back to the beach ending at the rock. Water and aide stations will be available throughout the race and transportation will be provided from Cayucos Pier back to Morro Rock where a postrace breakfast and awards ceremony will take place. Rock to Pier registration costs $45 while the half marathon costs $85 with limited spots available. Prices will increase as the event date nears. Proceeds will go toward Morro Bay Recreation Department Youth Sport programs. For more information, or to register for either race, go to runsignup. com/Race/CA/MorroBay/BrianWaterburyMemorialRocktoPierRunandHalfMarathon.

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MEASURE D

UPGRADES

CONTINUE Bond funds transform MB High School campus By Neil Farrell

T

he San Luis Coastal Unified School District has a new, set price for the renovation of its metal shop building as the many projects authorized under a 2014 bond measure continue. Acme Construction has the contract for Building D and the school district recently reached a new "guaranteed maximum price" or GMD of some $2.8 million. Assistant Superintendent Ryan Pinkerton said the D building used to house a metal/welding shop, part of the agriculture education program and an old, unused boiler room, plus storage.

That building is slated to be turned into a new rehearsal room for the band and music program and a new, modern metal/welding shop, Pinkerton said. The old band room, which is across campus on the south side, will be turned into an expanded cafeteria kitchen and theater program room, as part of a remodel of the school library and cafeteria, which are the two main uses in that building. As for Building D, Acme was granted a design-build contract and will design and construct the improvements. Measure D was a $175 million bond measure approved by voters in 2014 in San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay and Avila

Beach. Some $120 million was to be spent making improvements to Morro Bay High School and San Luis Obispo High School and $57 million will be spent doing projects at the other 15 district schools. The cost for Measure D was $49 per $100,000 of property valuation per year. So an average $500,000 home would have to pay an additional $245 a year above the regular property taxes. The extensive list of projects was expected to take 4-6 years to complete and is well along its way, at least in Morro Bay. Measure D projects completed at MBHS include: a new pool and aquatics complex (for about $6 million); refurbishing of the tennis courts; moving the wrestling

and dance rooms; moving the auto shop to the refitted former bus barn; Building J-700 (formerly the auto shop) turned into STEAM Classrooms and labs; the old gym got a new hardwood floor and its locker rooms were remodeled; and a new, all-weather track was installed in 2018. Still to come, classroom renovations for Buildings 200, 300 and 400, the main wings of classrooms, renovation of the plaza/quad area, among other smaller projects. But perhaps the largest change, aside from the new pool that opened in October 2017, is a new student services center being built now. That project, which is taking shape now after starting last summer and continuing all through the school year, will dramatically change the front of the school. It's anticipated that it will be completed in December. Two huge pine trees and a grassy area where students used to relax during lunch and breaks are gone. The school's entrance hasn't seen much change since it opened in 1959, but the new building and a roundabout student drop-off area in front of it, will make a grand statement. Also, the new Science/ Technology/Arts/Engineering/ Math (or STEAM) education center was recently completed and students have already been using it during the school year that just wrapped up for the summer. That new STEAM lab also replaces the old woodshop classroom, for as Pinkerton explained, the kids today don't work with wood so much anymore, but use more diverse materials such as plastics.

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Colony Magazine, July 2019


Fourth of July FAMILY FUN DAY Returns to MORRO BAY for Fourth Year

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he City of Morro Bay will be hosting its annual 4th of July Family Fun Day with events starting at 10 a.m. and lasting all through the day. This event, which the City has been coordinating since 2015, will take place at multiple venues throughout Morro Bay. The day will begin with a skateboard race at 10 a.m. which starts at the west entrance of Morro Bay High School and ends up at the Maritime Museum. Registration begins an hour prior to the start time. Next is a bike parade at noon start-

By Melissa Allen

ing at the north end of Morro Creek Bridge and ending up at Tidelands Park. Patriotic decor is highly suggested but not mandatory. Kids under the age of 18 must wear a helmet to participate and no motorized bikes are allowed. There will be a bike valet available and there are many hotels in town that rent bikes for those who don’t want the hassle of lugging their own bikes. At 1 p.m. there will be a flag-raising ceremony followed by a paddleboard parade at 2 p.m. which will start at Coleman Park. Paddlers

will make their way over to Tidelands Park. Again, no motorized paddle boards and patriotic attire is greatly encouraged. Activities will be non-stop at Tidelands Park all the while with a kids carnival, games, face painting, balloon art, Police Department dunk tank, firefighter relay race, and live music from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. As always, there will also be a plethora of food and drink vendors at this event. “[This year] we don’t have a floating bar but are working on securing a beer garden to be hosted by a local operator, and our 2 p.m. entertain-

ment will be a magic show by Chris Lopez (same as last year),” Kirk Carmichael Morro Bay Recreation Services Manager said. “The only change for this year will be different musical acts and the addition of more food/ drink vendors.” “We find there is a great mix of locals, folks from SLO County and those outside of the area,” Carmichael said. Admission is free but there are fees for certain activities such as the kid’s carnival. Parking will be available or, for those who don’t want to worry about parking, a trolley will be shuttling passengers every 30 minutes across from the Morro Bay Community Center at 1001 Kennedy Way. For more information, contact Morro Bay Recreation Services 805-772-6278.

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July 2019, Colony Magazine

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Saving Lives at

PROJECT SURF CAMP E

By Neil Farrell

ach summer for the past 12 years, people, mostly children with special needs, have had a chance to learn about and experience the Nirvana that comes from playing in the Pacific thanks to local nonprofit organization Project Surf Camp. Project Surf Camp is the brainchild of Jon Taylor who said he used to surf with Morro Bay Surf Company volunteers who put on a camp for kids and asked if they'd ever thought about doing the same for children with special needs. As a special education teacher with the County Office of Education, he knew there was a huge need for such activities for these kids. In 2007, he formed a nonprofit and the first Project Surf Camp was held in 2008, and from there, "It's just exploded," he said, adding that the organization takes any kids with special needs, just about any ages too. "There are a number of good organizations out there [doing beach camps]," he said. Project Surf Camp serves a specific type of person with special needs. They

76 Gas Station.................................. 38 777 Motorsports.............................. 48 777 Tractor Sales............................... 05 American West Tire Pros................... 10 Atascadero 4th of July...................... 05 Atascadero Greyhound Foundation.42 Atascadero Hay & Feed.................... 41 Atascadero Pet Hospital................... 41 Atown Family Med........................... 39

have some specialists on staff, he said, and rely on volunteers, hundreds of them over the years. In the span of a summer they'll put on 27 camps serving 300 or so campers with 450 volunteers "that come from all over the U.S.," Taylor said. They keep each session small, about a dozen kids, and they do more standup paddle boarding instruction than surfing. "We've had kids as young as 3," Taylor said, "and we had a 92-yearold on a board last year. We designed it for the campers and their families. But

Avila Traffic Safety............................. 05 Awakening Ways Spiritual Comm... 31 Beads by the Bay.............................. 48 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 17 CA Holistic Institute.......................... 39 California Mid-State Fair................... 25 City of Atascadero............................. 27 City of Paso Robles........................... 31 Colony Media................................... 14

34 | colonymagazine.com

we quickly realized the impact it had on the volunteers. We have volunteers that come back year after year. They're really changed by the experience. Our motto is ‘Changing Lives.'" Matt Makowetski, a former City Councilman who's also a teacher at a continuation school with some special needs students, said he and his son volunteered 10 years ago and they loved it. He's been back every year and became a board member of the nonprofit some eight years ago. "The idea is to change lives," he said. "We take the kids and parents out of their comfort zones, and it really does work." The response for many of the kids is life-changing and life-affirming too, as many who are going through life locked away in their own minds suddenly come alive, invigorated and transformed by the ocean. Michael Williams, owner of San Luis Sports Therapy in Morro Bay, is a huge supporter. "My love and passion is to help people who have setbacks," Williams said.

DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Thank you for choosing Colony Magazine!

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"I see Project Surf Camp as another form of treatment. These individuals may have never touched the water, and you become emotional when you see their faces. It moved me to help." The camps are in the mornings and afternoons for some three hours each, and take place six or even seven days per week in summer starting in late July. Sign up online at: projectsurfcamp.org but Taylor said the spaces fill up fast.

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Colony Magazine, July 2019


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2019 Mid-State Fair Main Grandstand Lineup

Miranda Lambert

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge

Zac Brown Band

July 17

July 18

Rhythm & Brews with Billy Idol July 19

Cardi B July 20

Blake Shelton July 21

Why Don’t We July 22

July 17–28, 2019

July 23

July 24

Old Dominion July 25

Music & Wine July 26

Country Rodeo Finals July 27

Monster Trucks July 28

MidStateFair.com