Colony Magazine #20 • February 2020

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Greyhound Foundation LIGHTS the Way After 25 years, Atascadero foundation continues to "Do What's Best for Kids"

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Colony Magazine | February 2020



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ROUND TOWN Creston: Coaching a Softball Star to Glory 11 Santa Margarita: It’s Easy to Stay Active Here 10

SPECIAL FEATURES 12 The History of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation 14 Lighthouse Atascadero: Proactively Battling Youth Addiction EVENTS 22 Hares N Hounds 23 Atascadero Greyhound Foundation’s Reality Tour 24 North SLO County Happenings

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TASTE OF COLONY 26 Lighthouse Coffee 27 A Cup of JoeBella TOWN HALL 28 Local News Recap TENT CITY 29 A Colby Stith Cartoon 30 Sing a New Song By James J. Brescia, Ed.D. 32 Taste of Americana: Valentine’s Sweets For Your Sweetheart

LAST WORD 34 Podcast Sheds New Light on Kristen Smart Case

ON THE COVER 2018 LIGHTHOUSE 5K Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Colony Magazine | February 2020

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 5

Something Worth Reading

10 Years




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ack in 2010 when Nic and I first spoke about creating a publication that would be able to highlight the incredible people, businesses and organizations that we have in our communities never did we think we would be where we are now ten years later. With the purchase of the Paso Robles Magazine, the launch of Colony Magazine and Central Coast TRVLR and then the recent acquisition of the Historic Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News that included Morro Bay Life, Avila Beach Life and Vino we are now able to share more of the unique stories and history that make our area such an extraordinary place to live. The greatest part of what we do is being able to tell the stories that are filled with the individuals that make up our community; who are our neighbors, friends and colleagues. Throughout this month’s magazine you will find inspirational stories that make up the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation and its programs. On page 12 you will read about the creation of The Lighthouse Foundation, that was founded after significant losses to accidental overdoses and drug addictions. The founders took the pain of that loss and created a program that impacts the lives of so many of our youth that was not available 20 years ago. From the mentoring program to the Reality Tour to the collaboration with Joe Bella Coffee that introduced the Lighthouse Coffee Project, the Lighthouse Foundation along with the Greyhound Foundation is making significant strides to change an epidemic that has been unaddressed for far too long. Finally, we end this months Last Word with Kristin Smart. Nic and I were juniors at Templeton High School when she disappeared and it is hard to believe that she is still missing almost 24 years later. The respect and love we have for her and her family has always been with me and we hope to share her story as often as we can until she is brought home. We are so grateful to you all for being a part of the story and thankful we are able to tell it. Please enjoy this issue of Colony Magazine. Hayley Mattson 805-239-1533

Editorial Policy

Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Colony Magazine. Colony Magazine is delivered free to 17,000 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, or contact one of our Advertising 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 | February 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We Love You Too!


By Nicholas Mattson

t’s February, and time for love. Well, thank you to a great community for loving us, and we love you. Our online news site,, is officially ranked with (the industry standard for web traffic rankings by Amazon), and from the first week of ranking has been the No. 2, top-ranked, bestread online news source for the North SLO County — second only to From breaking news to in-depth reviews of local subjects of interest, Atascadero News serves the Atascadero area since 1916. We were proud to have the opportunity to bring the Atascadero News under local control, and we have been met with great suppor t f rom o u r c om munity. Atascadero News has been in business for more than 104 years, and we expect to continue to carry the torch for our time here. The past decade has buried many newsprint outlets, but because of the local support from readers and advertisers in Atascadero News and Colony Magazine, we are confident in the future of local journalism.

February 2020 | Colony Magazine

Because of our local support and our company focus of providing “Good News • Real News • Your Hometown News” we are accomplishing our dedication to “Making Communities Better Through Print.™” News connects us, and makes us better when done right. We are proud that our number one readership in print has been extended to our web presence as well. Our professional journalists

according to, with large majority of our readers from right here in Atascadero. Our dedication to being the best will not waiver, and the more support we get from the community, the stronger our team will become. Please consider subscribing to weekly delivery of Atascadero News for as low as $39.95 per year, or $29.95 per year for online access to our premium content you will begin to see at this year.

commit to bringing the best news and information to our community every day and every week. They are proud to put their name on their stories and represent the Atascadero area to the world in print to our visitors and online to our readers. As a result, is the No. 1 best-read online news source for Atascadero

So many great things are paired in the North SLO County, and one of the best pairings in the past decade has been Colony Magazine and Atascadero News. We love our community, and we love our businesses. Thank you fo`wwwwr your support! | 7

| Creston

WINNING PARTNERSHIP “Joe made everything fun—he had this pod of eight 10-year-old girls he’d just let play around,” said Bailey’s mom, Charity Doherty, who worked as a lifeguard at the Creston pool nearly adjacent to the ball field. “I’d watched him and seen him with the kids for years. He always built them up. There was never a single time you thought he was being hard on them. et Joe Anderson talking about He was building them in a way I’ve never seen softball and you’re likely to get an ear another coach build a player.” full. After well over half a century in When she aged up, Bailey came onto Anderson’s travel team first as a catcher before the sport, first as a 7-year-old witness to the World Softball Championships in his tiny moving to the mound at age 12. She played a year with SLO County Nitro, then two with Illinois hometown, then as a baseball player, through more than 40 years coaching softball, Central Coast Athletics out of Monterey, one for Salinas Storm, and now plays for Cal A’s the long-time Crestonite has plenty of stories to tell. With more than 400 players brought out of Hollister. Through it all, she and her catchers have up through his tutelage, he has memories to spare, and his passion for the sport and his met with Joe at fields and practice mounds between games and off season to sharpen players is clear. “I’ve been a student of softball since I was a skills and build strength, all at no charge. “Softball was never on our radar,” Charity little kid,” Anderson said. “I played baseball said. “For sure, God brought Bailey and Joe in Taft when they didn’t have anything after together at the right time for Joe and the right Babe Ruth League. You had to go to Fresno to move up. And Cal Ripken (League) wasn’t time for Bailey.” Cal Poly has always been Bailey’s first even in existence. Cal Ripken wasn’t even in the big leagues yet.” choice. Her mom and mom’s cousins went Get him talking about Bailey Doherty, the there. Plus, they have a rodeo team. “We checked out Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, Atascadero High School senior pitcher who recently signed her letter of intent to join Cal University of Nevada, but Cal Poly is close to Poly’s team, and the feels are close behind. “Bailey can be as good as anybody that’s ever been around,” Anderson said. “This kid is one of the most natural, humblest kids I’ve ever met in my life. She stands out in her ability, how she listens, how she doesn’t let the adrenaline get to her. This kid here pulls it off better than anyone I’ve ever coached.” The admiration is mutual. The typically reserved 17-year-old Crestonite comes alive in talking about her longtime pitching coach. “Joe has never let me quit on anything that didn’t satisfy my skills,” she said. “He’s always positive, always believed in me from when he first saw me slide.” Their partnership began seven years ago when Doherty and her band of friends found their way to the ball field after school at Creston Elementary School. While Anderson Softball coach Joe Anderson celebrates with AHS senior Bailey Doherty as she waited for his travel team to show up, he let the girls play on the diamond. Then he taught signs her letter of intent to play for Cal Poly. them to slide.

Jennifer Best


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home. I feel comfortable there as an individual,” Bailey said. “It hit me like home. The team is wonderful. It already feels like family.” Bailey has also been on Cal Poly’s radar for years. Her recent stats sealed the deal. In her first three years at AHS, all three as varsity pitcher, she had 668 strikeouts in 428 innings pitched, a 1.26 ERA and a .402 batting average. She did it all while playing varsity basketball, riding rodeo, and maintaining her academics. During her sophomore year, CalHi Sports named Bailey among that state’s standouts in both softball and rodeo. MaxPreps named her among its Underclass All-Americans. That year, she threw a no-hitter in the first round of CIF playoffs, proving she could perform under pressure. Her AHS team closed out that season with a CIF semi-final loss and 23-4 overall season record. As a junior, Bailey was named to the First Team All-CIF 3rd Division Softball Team after giving up only 22 earned runs in 174 innings of work while collecting 276 strikeouts and hitting .390 with six home runs and 25 RBIs. That Greyhound season wrapped with a 20-2 win-loss record. Bailey isn’t Anderson’s first college scholarship earner. He’s coached girls to Princeton, Dartmouth, Providence, University of New Mexico, Indiana, Canisius College, and University of San Diego. They’ve gone on to become doctors, nurses, accountants, coaches, parents and more. But it was Bailey who kept Anderson in the game when he had about had it with the changing attitudes of helicopter parents. It was Bailey who brought back the humanity and humbleness and love for the game. It’s Bailey with whom he’s bringing up a new generation of players who catch for her now, and will take over the mound when she moves on. “She’s a complete, 100 percent team player,” Anderson said. “There’s no animosity with any other kid on the team. She welcomes anyone with open arms and really helps bring up the younger players. She’s the most humble kid I’ve ever met in my life.” She’d like to take her college team to regionals, maybe to be selected for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. “If the chance came around, for sure I would want to go, but I don’t know what God has in plan,” Bailey said. “I’ll just play it by ear.” Colony Magazine | February 2020

| Santa Margarita


he holidays have ended and New Years celebrations have come and gone, so, how are those resolutions going? Did you make any? It’s okay if you didn’t, no judgments here, but doing a quick Google search for the top New Year's Resolutions, it’s no surprise to find that “getting more exercise” took the top spot followed closely by “improving finances” and “eating healthier”. Us Margaritians (or visitors) have something working in our favor by simply being here and having the power of location on our side. It’s easy to be active here in Santa Margarita due to the towns small size and location of key elements, such as the Santa Margarita Elementary School, Senior Center, Post Office, and Library, along with a “HOP ON A BIKE, LEASH UP good mix of shopping, dining, entertainTHE DOG, PUT THE BABY IN THE ment, even fitness classes and close STROLLER, GRAB A FRIEND OR proximity to Santa Margarita Lake. JUST YOUR PAIR OF SNEAKERS Everything in town is just a short walk or TO HEAD OUT AROUND TOWN bike ride away and by making the very OR TO THE DESTINATION OF simple choice to leave your car home you are YOUR CHOICE.” already on the way to not only getting more exercise and fresh air but saving money as well! The streets of Santa Margarita (with the exception of El Camino Real and the occasional side street speeder) are generally pretty quiet traffic wise, making it quite pleasant to walk or bicycle around town. Basically, you can

Simone Smith

February 2020 | Colony Magazine

get anywhere in town within a distance of one mile or less with the farthest travel of only 1.2 miles from Wilhelmina Ave. up to the Santa Margarita Elementary School. As an extra bonus, Santa Margarita does have mixed terrain allowing for an easy, flat ride or walk, up to some slightly more strenuous hill climbs depending on your route or direction. Easy peasy! Hop on a bike, leash up the dog, put the baby in the stroller, grab a friend or just your pair of sneakers to head out around town or to the destination of your choice. Leave the car behind, it’s just a quick jaunt to meet up for a playdate at the park, pick up a book from the library, coffee at The Porch Cafe, lunch at the Senior Center, a glass of wine at Ancient Peaks, dinner at Rosalina’s or ? If you feel the need or are interested in more directed activity and want to increase your flexibility, focus, balance and strength you can join in on a newly offered yoga class. Local resident Makena Andros is a registered yoga teacher with a 200 hour certification from Yoga Alliance currently teaching at various studios around the county and now offering several classes per week here in Santa Margarita. Seeing interest for a yoga class and the availability of renting out space from the Santa Margarita Senior Center drop in classes began in December with the offering of both Slow Flow and Active Flow classes. Both classes are designed for all

levels and all ages and participants are asked to wear flexible clothing and to bring their own yoga mats for now. (Makena hopes to build up a stock of extra mats, equipment and props for future class use). Depending on what you’re looking for, you have the choice to attend one or both classes. The main focus of the Slow Flow class is gentle deep stretching along with developing improved balance and flexibility and will include some optional strengthening. You might want to bring a towel for the Active Flow class which is designed for the participants to build heat in the body. Moving through a series of challenging dynamic movements and static holds can cause you to break into a detoxifying sweat while improving your strength, flexibility and balance. Makena says for both classes she will always offer multiple versions of each pose for individuals to choose their own level of challenge or intensity depending on their own experience and abilities. Yoga classes are offered by suggested donation of $10 per class going towards facility rental, teacher and additional equipment purchases. Classes are held twice per week, Monday evenings at 6PM for the Slow Flow class and Wednesday mornings at 7AM for the Active Flow Class. Both classes are held at the Santa Margarita Senior Center, 2210 H St. (next to the Santa Margarita Park) with the possibility of additional classes in the future. | 11

Changing Course:

How the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation Shifted Funding Sports to Preventing Tragedy


By Pat Pemberton

n 1994, the Atascadero High School track was a sad sight. “It was a 6-lane dirt track,” said Donn Clickard, who was the athletic director at the time. Jim Stecher, who was the principal, remembers an even worse image. “It flooded every winter,” Stecher said. “It was like a river.” With that in mind, the Atascadero Athletic Foundation was formed to raise funds for a sleek, all-weather, nine-lane track. But in time, the foundation would take on a much greater cause, responding to a deadly national trend that also had tragic implications for Atascadero. (See story, page XXX.) “We’re not just an athletic foundation,” said Rolfe Nelson, former principal and dean of students at Atascadero Junior High. “We’re so much more.” Re-named the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation roughly 15 years ago, Clickard hopes it becomes a model for other communities. Because what started as an organization to raise money for athletics now includes funding for drug counseling, mentoring programs, after-school enrichment programs, a coffee company and more. But in the beginning, it really was just about sports. Clickard and Stecher were members of a group that regularly played basketball at lunch and went camping together in Porterville. As their friendships grew, they brainstormed ways to improve athletic facilities. After the foundation funded the new track, it turned its attention to other needs, including lights at the football field. “It was basically a bunch of candles and flashlights before,” said Clickard, who is

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retired as an educator but still a member of the Atascadero Unified School District board. With the foundation came funding for football bleachers, improvements to the baseball and softball fields and a new concession stand, The Top Dog. “There are a number of things associated with the beginning of the Greyhound Foundation that continue today,” Clickard said, adding that the foundation is currently looking at plans for a new swimming pool. Part of the foundation’s fundraising efforts come from events such as the Hares ‘N’ Hound, a 5K run, and All Comers Meet, a track and field event for all ages. Those events also provide activities for families, said Robyn Schmidt, director of both. “I feel that it provides a healthy activity as well as showing them communit y support through the community volunteers and parent volunteering that happens impromptu,” she said. The foundation also heads the Greyhound Hall of Fame. But as the goals of the foundation began to shift, its name changed, Clickard said, initially to appease a grant application. But eventually, he added, it just made sense. “It does reflect that we are not just doing things for athletic facilities as a main project,” Clickard said. That became especially evident around 2011, when Lighthouse Atascadero was formed under the foundation’s umbrella. At the time, the county schools drug

rehab program was treating 12 students from Atascadero with heroin addictions. Meanwhile, four fatal overdoses involving local young people drew even more attention to the problem. Clickard was a godfather to two of those. And during the funeral of one, the deceased’s father approached Clickard and said, “Donn, we have to do something.” In 2011, Lighthouse Atascadero started as an intervention program. Nelson suggested the name Lighthouse because lighthouses symbolize rescues and avoiding disasters. Its tagline, “We, not me,” suggests that the problem afflicts and will be addressed by a community. In recent years, opioid-related deaths have been especially troubling. Prescription drug misuse, which includes opioids, is among the fastest growing drug problems in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And in 2015, 4,235 young people aged 14-24 died due to overdoses, many from opioids. Even as celebrities such as Prince and Tom Petty died from opioid addiction, many didn’t know adolescents were becoming addicted. Others just didn’t address the issue. “A lot of communities didn’t want to admit there was a problem,” said Nelson, first president elect and treasurer of the foundation. While opioids often come in the form of legal prescription drugs, it also includes heroin, which is not legal. Educators involved with the foundation had always seen students struggle with additions. But the opioid crisis, they said, was different.


Colony Magazine | February 2020

“The drugs changed,” said Stecher, current president of the foundation. “They became much more potent. People don’t know what they’re getting into.” With Lighthouse, even more funding was needed. So Clickard and Nelson approached Joseph and Isabel Gerardis, owners of Joebella Coffee Roasters in town, about starting a coffee business – modeling a program Clickard had heard about in Bakersfield. Joebella provides coffee to Lighthouse Coffee at a price below their wholesale. Then students at Paloma Creek High School sell the coffee to individuals, businesses and restaurants to raise funds for the Lighthouse program. “We roast the coffee and package it with Lighthouse labels that the school prints,” Joseph Gerardis said. “We give each new class of students a tour of our facility and the roasting process to help educate them about the coffee industry – and the particular coffees they are selling.” Lighthouse Coffee had over $18,000 in sales in 2018 alone, and students who sold it gained valuable entrepreneurial skills. With added funding, more Lighthouse programs and features were formed, adding a therapist who helps students with mental health and addiction issues, a wellness center, afterschool programs and a reality tour that offers a stark dramatization of an overdose. “The variety of programs offer young folks many ways to learn and grow,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, who has been on the Lighthouse Committee for roughly six years. “One particular program that amazes me is L.A.M.P. (Lighthouse Atascadero Mentoring Program), giving high school students the opportunity to mentor middle schoolers. The leadership skills, self esteem and confidence that grow from this is incredible. What Atascadero is doing is a model for the country.” The foundation, which includes individuals from several different careers, does still support athletics and band, programs it believes helps steer students from drugs. But no one anticipated its mission would change so dramatically. And many, like Stecher, are glad it did. “This is our community,” Stecher said. “This is our show.” According to local police and fire departments, the number of overdoses and drug-related deaths in Atascadero have decreased in the past five years — a figure many attribute to Lighthouse efforts. The most effective component of Lighthouse, said Lt. Jason Carr, of the Atascadero Police Department, might be in raising awareness and creating an environment February 2020 | Colony Magazine

AGF board members Rolfe Nelson, Wayne Cooper, and Donn Clickard. Photo by Nicholas Mattson

conducive to discussion. “We are working hard to remove the stigma associated with addiction so that families and friends can seek the help they need in dealing with any addiction issues,” said Carr, who is also involved with Lighthouse. “We have been able to create a dialogue with young adults about the dangers of addiction and also listened to what young adults in our community are being exposed to on a daily basis.” As the foundation prepares for a couple of books that will help spread the word of what has been done, Clickard said the foundation isn’t just resting on its laurels. Since Lighthouse Atascadero was founded, it has raised around $300,000 through coffee sales, golf tournaments, fun runs, the Dancing with Our Stars fundraising event, donations and sponsors. And those efforts will continue, Clickard said. “We’re not done.”

AGF board members Rolfe Nelson, Lori Bagby, Wayne Cooper, Piedras Blancas director Ryan Cooper, Joanne Peters, Donn Clickard, Nic Mattson, and E.J. Rossi. Photo by Nicholas Mattson | 13

at the time, so he didn’t know to be fearful of taking drugs although, of course, he knew it was wrong,” Bagby s a id . “ I b e l ie v e kids think they can ‘dabble’ in drugs and uploads, and it’s just not how it is.” “They think they can play w ith it and get off it any time they want,” Stecher added. Lighthouse Atascadero aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drug addiction and use with educational resources, a reality tour, mentoring and more. But it also offers intervention for those battling addiction. That includes therapy during school hours and a wellness center. “Backed by cutting edge research and tools, Lighthouse counseling helps youth explore their own motivations for staying clean, even being an example to others,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, who is also on the Lighthouse Committee. The mentoring program (L.A.M.P.), pairing high schoolers with middle school-aged students, helps attack the problem early, said Rolfe Nelson, president elect and treasurer of the foundation. Getting to kids as young as 10-13 is crucial, he said. “If you get into drugs or alcohol at that age, for many it’s a lifelong b a t t l e ,” Nelson said. Part of t h e

Proactively Battling Youth Addiction By Pat Pemberton


ori Bagby doesn’t think her son knew how dangerous opioids could be. “Opioids are just so scary because it is so easy to become addicted,” she said. “It is something that can sneak up on you, and you’re addicted without really even knowing how it happened.” The chair of Lighthouse Atascadero, which aims to combat drug addictions and drug use, Bagby knows the frightening power of opioid addiction: Her son, Jake Gearhart – a former Atascadero high School athlete -- died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2012. He was just 21. Sadly, she’s not the only one with a personal tragedy to share. “I lost my son to drugs,” said Jim Stecher, president of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, which includes the Lighthouse program. “I lost my brother to drugs.” The loss of Jake Gearhart and 29-year-old Matt Stecher in 2004 helped inspire the creation of Lighthouse Atascadero, which has changed the mission of the Greyhound Foundation. Three months after Gearhart died, one of his friends died from an overdose. Donn Clickard, who helped create the foundation, spoke at the funeral and mentioned Lighthouse. Bagby approached him afterward. “Lighthouse was just getting started, and I asked Donn Clickard how I could be of help,” Bagby recalled. “She didn’t realize she was going to become the chairman,” said Clickard, a longtime educator and current school board member. “She didn’t even want to speak in public, but now she has.” While celebrity deaths, like Michael Jackson’s, shocked the public, few knew how widespread opioid use had become. “The prescription drugs were definitely what caused my son’s addiction, and you didn’t hear about it in the news

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awareness also includes a reality tour, which takes participants through the experience of a fictional teen addicted to drugs. The tour includes dramatizations of an arrest, overdose and funeral. “It’s very emotional,” Nelson said. Local police and fire personnel say the Lighthouse program has helped reduce the number of overdoses and drug-related deaths locally. But success is a less celebratory concept with addictions, Clickard said. “To me, our success is difficult because how do you measure the success of the funeral you didn’t go to last Saturday?” Clickard knows there’s no easy answer to combat youth drug use. But Lighthouse has adopted several approaches that Clickard hopes will become a model for other communities, just as Iceland’s efforts to curb youth drug use has. “It’s not just about ‘don’t do drugs,’” he said. “It’s about making good decisions.” And relationships, he said, plus problem solving and healthy distractions, like music and art. Carol Gobler is writing a book about Lighthouse’s successes and stories, and Clickard wants the organization to create a tutorial book that will help direct other communities create their own Lighthouse. “Everybody’s got this problem,” Clickard said. “So you’d better deal with it.” Clickard has been a major mentor, Bagby said. “If it weren’t for Donn, I personally would not have had the confidence to do a lot of the great work that I do for Lighthouse,” she said. Her work also helps her cope with Jake’s passing – especially when she can help other families. “I hope by hearing my story, people will not have the attitude of ‘not my kid,’ as it really can happen to any family,” she said. “I know of many families whose kids seemed like they had it all going on – college athletic scholarships, lots of friends, family support – only to get caught up in addiction.” Even caring parental involvement is sometimes not enough to save a child with addiction issues. But, Bagby said, she offers an understanding voice for those going through the struggle. “It’s tough because I just wish I could fix it for them, and I can’t and really don’t have answers, but I can offer them resources and someone who understands.”

Colony Magazine | February 2020


Celebrate Healthy Hearts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. Nearly 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. (Ref: 2018/03/02). Did you know that you can support heart health with some simple diet and lifestyle changes?

Healthy Fats for a Healthy Heart?

Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids not only reduce inflammation but are essential for maintaining cell membrane health. Please note that all Omega 3s are not created equal! Be aware that some “cheaper” Omega 3 fish oil supplements may come from “farm-raised” fish, which has a very different fatty acid profile, which can increase inflammation! We only carry from the most reputable suppliers! This month we are spotlighting Wholemega, a 100 percent wild-caught Alaskan salmon sourced oil. In human clinical trials, Wholemega decreased arachidonic acid, a primary marker for inflammation, as well as C Reactive Protein, which is a key marker for cardiovascular health, reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Taking Wholemega every day for a week provides the same amount of Omega 3 fatty acids as eating three servings of Wild Alaskan Salmon! Your heart and brain will love it! Are you looking for a natural but effective way to support healthy cholesterol levels? Try Bergamot, clinically proven to not only dampen inflammation but improve arterial health while improving those important cardio markers such as total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels! “I’ve been taking Bergamot from The Natural Alternative for almost two months, and my total cholesterol dropped from 270 to 212! NP.” Bergamot is a “star” supplement for heart health!

Diet for a Happy Heart

Superfoods that support a healthy heart include dark green leafy veggies, dark chocolate, berries, aged garlic, and turmeric. Stop by The Natural Alternative for the highest quality turmeric, aged garlic, dark chocolate, as well as your heart healthy supplements! If you need support and guidance in achieving your health goals, schedule an appointment with our certified nutritionist today!

Happy Healthy Heart Month!


Reliable Power. Performance you can trust!

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business of the Year

805-466-2218 • 5025 El Camino Real • February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 15

Lighthouse 5K Fun Run


By Camille Anderson

his May 30, you’re welcome to run, walk or race at the 8th annual, nonprofit, 5K Fun Run and Family Day benefiting Lighthouse, hosted by the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation. Bring your family out to Pomar Junction and run or walk through the rolling vineyards. Following the 5K, there will be a half-mile race for kids and a 100-yard dash for ages six and under. Following the races, stay and enjoy the weather with your family along with music by a DJ and a pancake breakfast provided by the Atascadero Kiwanis Club. There will also be vendors, wine tasting, raffles, and prizes for the race winners. Even if running isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Lori Bagby, Chairperson of Lighthouse Atascadero, says, “A lot of people come and walk it, there’s a lot of events for the kids. It’s a super family-oriented.” Most importantly, you’ll be helping Lighthouse support victims of addiction and work in spreading awareness, prevention, intervention, and education of substance abuse. Last year’s event brought in more than $25,000.00 for Lighthouse, its biggest year yet! Eight years ago, Bagby brought the idea of doing the 5K as a fundraiser to her fellow Lighthouse members. Two

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Runners traverse the Lighthouse 5K Fun Run Course at Pomar Junction Vineyard during the 2019 fun run. Photos by Nicholas Mattson

years prior, she participated in the event with her friend Kelsey Sullivan when it was put on by the Chamber of Commerce, with Lighthouse being the beneficiaries. The next year the Association of Realtors stepped up to put on the event. Unfortunately, the first two years of the event were not as successful as they had hoped. But, Sullivan pushed her friend to try it once more, this time with Lighthouse in charge. Bagby tells me about that moment, “That’s when my friend Kelsey said ‘Lori we can do this and I will help you’ — so I went back to my board and said ‘you know we think it’s a really great event and think it could be something really wonderful.’” So Bagby and Lighthouse went on to host their first Fun Run and Family Day with great success.

“That year we made maybe about $7,000 or something, and we had twice as many people,” Bagby said. “I think we had about 200 people and then every year since we just continue to grow it.” Each year, the race is held at Pomar Junction Vineyards. If you are going to run for a good cause, it sure doesn’t hurt that it’s in a scenic venue at one of the best times of the year for weather in North County. Plus, the wine tasting room will be open after the event! Besides all the fun to be had at the event, there is a deeper reason to come and show your support. “We have parents that form teams that have lost a child to addiction, and they have their team there, and just seeing that support means a lot to me,” Bagby said. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lighthouse, Atascadero

and the Greyhound Foundation. The mission of Lighthouse is to help families affected by addiction and prevent others from heading down a damaging path. The 5K Fun Run and Family Day have become one of Lighthouse’s most supported fundraisers, with many sponsors returning year after year to show their support. “It’s more awareness for Lighthouse and what we do,” Bagby said. “A lot of people do come who have lost kids or have people who are struggling with addiction, and I think it just feels like a really supportive event even though it’s all about the run and all about fun you still definitely have the feeling of why your there and what you are supporting.” No matter how you decide to participate, you will be helping Lighthouse overcome addiction through awareness, prevention, intervention, and education. To learn more or to register, visit lighthouseatascadero. org/2019-benefit-fun-run.html.

The Lighthouse 5K Fun Run May 30, 2020 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery 5036 S. El Pomar, Templeton Colony Magazine | February 2020


Feb. 7th, 2020 5:30-8:00pm



Art, Wine & Brew by the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce $20/ticket presale $25/ticket at the door.

Includes an engraved wine glass and drink tastings at all participating businesses. Coincides with Downtown’s First Fridays!

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 17


MENTORSHIP PROGRAM Building Life-Changing Relationships


By Camille Anderson

he Lighthouse Atascadero Mentorship Program is just one of many programs offered to students at Atascadero schools. Funded by the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, high school students and sixth graders are brought together to build life-changing relationships. Three years ago, Lighthouse Atascadero partnered with the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation to create the Mentorship Program. The program brings sixth graders and high school students together to prevent students from running down a path of destruction. These high school students become trusted confidants for the sixth graders. They are role models and a support system for those who don’t have one at home. Bella Otter, a junior at the school, said, “I joined because I have a lot of support back home, but I don’t take that for granted… what I have I want to be able to give to those who don’t have it.” These students come from different backgrounds with different needs and problems. Whether it be about school,

friends, or home life, their mentor becomes someone they can trust and talk with. “My favorite part is seeing how excited the sixth graders are to see their mentor and how much they just love it,” said Julie Davis, director of the Lighthouse Atascadero Mentoring Program (L.A.M.P.).

said. “Because my mentee, she is so cool… she will go from telling me about her friends and all these great things and then she’ll just ask me these really great questions, and I can totally feel like I am giving her guidance… it’s the mix between being a total friendship to being a mentorship. I think balancing those

Bella Otter, junior at AHS and mentor for the program.

To become a part of the program, sophomores through seniors and sixth-graders apply to become a mentor or mentee. Twice per month, members meet together to discuss and maintain goals. They focus on how to create a healthy lifestyle and bond through various activities at their meetings. “I like it when we get to sit down and talk to them,” Otter

two things is really cool. It’s my favorite part.” Aligning with the message of Lighthouse Atascadero, students discuss the potential dangers of drug use and alcohol. Open conversations are held, so students are better able to handle pressures to participate in harmful activities. They also participate in activities that inspire them to lead a healthy life filled with




Art, Wine & Brew Partnering with


Atascadero City Hall 6500 Palma Ave. 5:30pm-8:00pm

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For additional details, visit and check out our Events Calendar FEB 12

Talk on the Block–ABC Church 6225 Atascadero Ave. 6:00pm-7:00pm

Women’s Business Council Luncheon– Holiday Inn Express Caladero Room 9010 West Front Rd. 11:30am-1:00pm

love and joy. “At the end of the year, the high school and middle schoolers write letters to each other, and it’s pretty amazing what each of them writes in the letter to each other,” Davis said. This year, Davis hopes to be able to bring the students to the Reality Tour, also put on by Lighthouse and Greyhound Foundation. And in the future, she would love to be able to get the students involved in the community more by volunteering. Davis even started a new club this year called the M&M club. “It’s making a difference on campus and spreading kindness… the hope is that by the time they get to high school, then they will become mentors,” she said. It is the start of a new circle of life. Students begin as a mentee and eventually become a mentor themselves. These high schoolers are not just peers to the other students. They guide younger students through one of the hardest times in an adolescent’s life. They are role models and a support system. They are a trusted friend and grateful mentor.

FEB 20

Mixer–Caliber Collision

7755 San Luis Ave. 5:30pm-7:00pm

FEB 24

Talk on the Block–United Methodist Church 11605 El Camino Real 6:00pm-7:00pm

FEB 27

Talk on the Block–Community Church of

Atascadero 5850 Rosario Ave. 6:00pm-7:00pm

FEB 28

Good Morning Atascadero–Galaxy Theatre

6917 El Camino Real

Colony Magazine | February 2020

Youth Wellness Center


By Camille Anderson

tudents at Atascadero High School have access to a one of a kind wellness center. Here, students and staff are offered therapy services at no cost to them. Currently, Atascadero High is the only school in the county that has a dedicated center for therapy. The Atascadero Greyhound Foundation is the primary source of funding for the Wellness Center with Don Clickard as a proud member of its board. Additionally, part of the funds come from the school district. The Wellness Center at Atascadero is a leading example for other schools

Karen Akre, Lily Moore (student rep. for Wellness Center), Kamela Proulx (Wellness Center Coordinator), Daniel Messiter, Austin Miller

Kai Anderson (senior at AHS) with Archie (one of Kamela’s therapy dogs)

looking to build a similar program. With over 30 years of experience in family counseling, Kamela Proulx (coordinator of the program) has created a comfortable, peaceful space for students to come for therapy at any time. Proulx explained their mission at the Wellness Center: “Our job is to destigmatize getting help for any mental health condition and to familiarize everyone with the process of counseling,” she said. Students experiencing a crisis are welcome to come into the center at any time or they can make an appointment with any one of the volunteer therapists.

Proul x currently has three intern therapists dedicated to the wellness center. “They aren’t paid but boy are they dedicated,” Proulx said. Her interns are students from local universities such as Cal Poly and some from out of the area such as La Verne. “It is just so rewarding and so much fun — we have a wonderful time. We deal with huge challenges sometimes, but it’s just really this supportive familial kind of environment.” Aside from therapy services offered, Proulx and her team put on other events for the school. Community members are welcome to give presenta-

tions on various subjects. As an annual fundraiser, they hold an art contest where the entire school is welcome to participate. Each winner's art is put into a calendar that is then sold to the public with proceeds going to the center. And on some days you can find Proulx’s two therapy dogs in the center. Louie, 14, and Archie, 9, are both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, who love what they do. “It’s amazing, sometimes a student will be super upset about whatever and they’ll sit and pet the dog… they just need a place to be. They’ll just sit and pet the dog and feel so much better.” The Wellness Center has become more than just a room for students. It is a place where one can come and feel at home. It is where they can get help when they need it most, without judgment.


AC Diagnostic


No Appointment Necessary Fast Courteous Service We Accept Most Competitor’s Coupons Drive -Thru Full Service Oil Change & Complete Vehicle Maintenance

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All offers valid on most cars and light trucks. Valid at participating locations. Not valid with any other offers or warranty work. Must present coupon at time of estimate. One offer per service, per vehicle. No cash value.

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 19

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Colony Magazine | February 2020

Sharine and the Moonlighters perform at Entrada Avenue boutique anna & mom during the first-ever First Fridays event in Atascadero January 3. Photos by Luke Phillips

Indigo Clothing owner Roxy Bragg was dressed in 1920s attire during the last First Fridays event.

Downtown Atascadero Will Be Hosting a "First Fridays" Event February 7 with Live Entertainment and Extended Hours for Downtown Businesses. First Fridays Will Continue Each First Friday of the Month From 5-8 p.m. February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 21

Hares N Hounds 5K

The original Greyhound Foundation fundraiser has a marathoner's legs By Nicholas Mattson


ares N Hounds 5K was the first fundraiser formed under the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, and celebrated its 21th year in 2019. Race director Robyn Schmidt has led the effort for the past 15 years. "I have had some of the same volunteers and group leaders," Schmidt said. "Dave Fleishman has done the timing, and we have a lot of teachers who have helped with food and registration. Dave Donati and Vic Cooper has managed the finish line. We have some great teacher

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volunteers who step up because they know the money comes back to the kids through scholarships." Historically, the event began as a fundraiser for the Atascadero High School all-weather track that stood for many years as the best track in the county and still plays host to some of the most important track and field events at the high school level. After the track was completed, the Hares N Hounds became a community fundraiser that allowed groups to secure commitments from supporters who sponsored the 5K racers. The high school baseball

team and distance running teams raised much-needed funds through the event. Scheduled on the first Saturday of March each year, weather is always a factor, but that hasn't scared off most runners over the past wfew years and happy finishers ran through the finishing chute, sometimes drenched from a downpour. Each year, it is a new story as Mother Nature decides how to manage her weekends, but rain or shine the event goes on — kind of like the community it supports. A treat for attendees is the custom-made "medals" and finisher

awards. In the past, hand-made pine rounds and ceramic medals have been used as winner's adornments. "It's always something handmade for the winners of the race," Schmidt said. The 5K runs a course around the Atascadero Lake, through the hills of Portola Avenue and back again. For the less adventurous, the event hosts 1-mile and 1/2-mile races. Pre-registration is open now at, and registration information can be found at atascaderogreyhoundfoundation. org. Paper registration forms can be picked up from K-Man Cyclery. Event T-shirts are available for prepurchase until February 22. Day-of registration begins at 6:45 a.m. at Atascadero Lake, and the 5K race starts at 8 a.m. sharp. The 1-mile race starts at 8:45 a.m. and the 1/2-mile follows at 9 a.m. The awards ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m. at the Atascadero Lake Band Stand.

Colony Magazine | February 2020



Reality Tour By Camille Anderson

ne of the hardest conversations between a parent and their teenager is about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. It’s a tough conversation to have. As a parent, you have been in your child’s position, but you also know what the ramifications of substance abuse can cause. Teenagers are young and full of curiosity. Maybe they are lucky enough to have never known the damages of substance abuse. Or perhaps they know it all too well. Either way, the Reality Tour put on by Lighthouse Atascadero is a way to begin a transparent conversation between adults and teens about substance abuse. DJ Pittenger, one of the founders of Lighthouse Atascadero, said, “Starting the conversation is hard. But that’s the whole purpose of it. It’s not a scare tactic; it’s to start the conversation.” Entirely run by volunteers, students and their parents go through an immersive experience with local first responders, mortuary staff, and family members who have experi-

have teamed up with Lighthouse to make the scenarios as real as possible. Because parents and students are split into small groups, there is no escaping the reality of what is happening right in front of them. “It’s an example of how our community pulls together in a time of need and fills in the gaps and does what we can to help solve a problem — to try and prevent a tragedy,” says Pittenger. This will be the eighth year for the Reality Tour in Atascadero. Students from sixth grade enced the tragedies first hand. through high school are welcome to sign up Lori Bagby, a member of Lighthouse in advance, and the tour is entirely free for Atascadero, lost her son to an overdose and anyone wanting to attend. sometimes speaks to students and parents For More Information or to register, visit attending the tour. “I believe really strongly that it’s such a good prevention piece — it’s so important 2020 Reality Tour Dates that we realize it could happen to our child • Monday, Feb. 24 even though it is hard to imagine," Bagby said. "It’s not always someone else or kids from bad 5:45 p.m. homes.” • Monday, March 9 Our local first responders are aware of how 5:45 p.m. prevalent substance abuse is in our teens. It breaks their hearts every time. This is why they

( 805 ) 466-7744

Home • Auto • Life • Bank • Financial Services

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 23

North San Luis Obispo County




FEB. 22

DATE: Saturday, Feb. 22 TIME: 6-10 p.m. PLACE: Fellowship Hall at the Atascadero Community Church, 5850 Rosario Ave.

COST: $50 per person TICKETS:




ome party with APACC for Mardi Gras! Dance, eat, drink and be merry! The Martin Paris Band will be providing the entertainment, Chef Charlie will be cooking up a batch of his famous jambalaya and other New Orleans-inspired dishes and Kate Auslen and Justin McMillan will perform a preview of their dance for the 2020 Atascadero's Dancing With Our Stars event. Dress in your favorite Mardi Gras-themed attire. Masks and costumes encouraged!





FEB. 7&8 Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, or anyone with a special girl is invited to spend a semi-formal evening full of music, dancing, refreshments, desserts & more! DATE: Friday, Feb. 7 & Sat., Feb. 8 TIME: 6:30-9:30 p.m. PLACE: Pavillion on the Lake, 9315 Pismo Ave., Atascadero COST: $31/couple for residents, $36/Couple for non-residents, $5 for daughters MORE INFO: tickets available at the Colony Park Community Center, 5599 Traffic Way.



Templeton Farmers Market

Paso Robles Farmers Market

Atascadero Farmers Market

Baywood-Los Osos Farmers Market

DATE: Every Tuesday TIME: 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. PLACE: Downtown City Park, at the

DATE: Every Saturday TIME: 9 a.m.-12:30 a.m. PLACE: Templeton Community



DATE: Every Wednesday TIME: 3 p.m.-6 p.m. PLACE: Sunken Gardens MORE INFO:

DATE: Every Monday TIME: 2-4:30 p.m. PLACE: 2nd & Santa Maria Streets MORE INFO:

corner of Spring and 12th Streets

Park, 6th and Crocker Streets









Art, Brew & Wine Tour

Valentine Movie Night

Rotary Club Valentine Crab Feed

Inspired Home & Gourmet Expo

DATE: Friday, Feb. 7 TIME: 5-8 p.m. PLACE: Downtown Atascadero COST: $20 per ticket, includes wine

DATE: Saturday, Feb. 9 TIME: 7-9:30 p.m. PLACE: Park Cinemas, 1100 Pine

DATE: Saturday, Feb. 15 TIME: Begins at 5:30 p.m. PLACE: Atascadero Pavillion on the

DATE: Saturday, Feb. 22 & Sunday,


MORE INFO: There will be 15

different wineries pouring at different locations all over downtown along with complimentary tours at Historic City Hall!

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Street in Paso Robles COST: $12 per person MORE INFO: Featuring "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." For more information, visit

Lake, 9315 Pismo Avenue COST: $75


Feb. 23

TIME: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. PLACE: Paso Robles Events Center, 2198 Riverside Avenue. COST: Free


Colony Magazine | February 2020


General Membership Meeting and Luncheon: Wednesday, April 3 The Groves on the 41, 4455 Hwy 41 East, Paso Robles from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $30; must RSVP by 3-24. Visit

Active Senior Club of Templeton

First Friday, 10:30 a.m., Templeton Community Center, 601 S. Main St. Meetings include a presentation on relevant local issues, often followed by a luncheon. Membership is $5 per year. Contact Templeton Recreation Department with questions. 805-434-4909

Coffee with a CHP

Second Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Nature’s Touch Nursery & Harvest, 225 Main St., Templeton.

North County Multiflora Garden Club

Second Wednesday, 12 to 3 p.m. at PR

Community Church, 2706 Spring St., Paso Robles, Public is welcome, no charge, guests welcome. Call 805-712-7820 or visit

Exchange Club

Second Tuesday, 12:15-1:30 p.m. at McPhee’s, 416 S. Main St., Templeton. 805-610-8096,

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 465

Second Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Paso Airport Terminal, 4900 Wing Way. Getting youth involved with aviation,

Monthly Dinner Estrella Warbirds Museum

First Wednesday, 6 p.m., guest speakers. 805-296-1935 for dinner reservations,

North County Wines and Steins

First Friday of the month (Jan-May; Aug-Nov), 6 p.m. at Templeton American Legion Hall, 805 Main St. Meetings include wine and beer tasting, speaker or program and potluck., 805-235-2048

Central Coast Violet Society

Second Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Creston Village Activity Room, 1919 Creston Road, Paso Robles. Email with any questions.

Atascadero Republican Women Federated

4th Tuesday at 11 at Atascadero SpringHill Suites Marriott

Daughters of the American Revolution

First Sunday. For time and place, go to

CLUBS & MEETUPS American Legion Post 220

805 Main Street, Templeton • 805-610-2708 Post Meeting — second and fourth Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Elks Lodge

Atascadero Lodge 2733 • 1516 El Camino Real • 805-466-3557 Lodge Meeting — second and fourth Thursdays

Loyal Order of Moose

Atascadero #2067 • 8507 El Camino Real • 805-466-5121 Meeting — first and third Thursday, 6 p.m. Bingo — first Sunday, 12-2 p.m.

Queen of Hearts — every Tuesday, 7 p.m. Pool League — every Wednesday

805-434-1071 Meeting — first and third Thursday, 7 p.m.

Kiwanis International

Optimist Club

Atascadero — 7848 Pismo Ave. • 805-6107229 Key Club — every Wednesday, 11:55 a.m. Kiwanis Club — every Thursday, 7 a.m.

Lions Club

Atascadero Club #2385 • 5035 Palma Ave. Meeting — second & fourth Wednesday, 7 p.m. Santa Margarita Club 2418 • 9610 Murphy St. Meeting — second and fourth Monday, 7:30 p.m. Templeton Club 2427 • 601 Main St. •

Atascadero — dinner meetings second Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Outlaws Bar & Grill, 9850 E. Front Rd. or call 805-712-5090

Rotary International

Atascadero — 9315 Pismo Ave. Meeting — every Wednesday, 12 p.m. at Atascadero Lake Pavilion Templeton — 416 Main St. Meeting — first & third Tuesday, 7 a.m. at McPhee’s Grill

Advertise your business and events with Colony Media! Local Newspapers • Monthly Magazines • Online Options Quarterly Travel Magazine & Vino • More!

Call us today! 805-466-2585 or email

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 25

Light Up Your Morning With



By Jeannette Simpson

he dreaded alarm goes off every morning and if you are like most of us, you sleepily stumble to the kitchen to pour yourself a hot, streaming cup of the magic morning elixir that helps to jump-start your brain and body to greet and conquer a new day. Now, imagine beginning each day also feeling good about your daily support of a great local cause and a community-minded business, all by simply enjoying your morning coffee. No, you aren't still dreaming, philanthropy is just a coffee cup away. You could sleep well at night knowing that your daily good deed happens first thing every morning. Lighthouse Coffee is a delicious venture from Paloma Creek High School kids that is run by the students and supervised by the schools' faculty. In partnership with Joebella Coffee Roasters, specialty organic coffee is roasted for the Lighthouse label where proceeds help fund Lighthouse initiatives. The Lighthouse program was created to provide awareness, prevention and intervention to assist individuals and families in the battle to combat drug and alcohol addiction for at-risk youth.

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The mission of Lighthouse is to provide safety, protection, and recovery through support and services. Lighthouse provides education, mentoring, counseling, healthy activities, scholarships, and opportunities for school-aged youth and for the families and friends of addicted and at-risk youth. Lighthouse is provided by the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation through partnerships with the Atascadero Unified School District, the City of Atascadero, SLO County Drug and Alcohol Services and the members of the community. The Lighthouse Coffee project started about four years ago when Donn Clickard, the Executive Director of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, was chatting with the owner of Joebella Coffee Roasters, Joseph Gerardis. Clickard told Gerardis about Lighthouse and about a fundraising idea that he had heard of that involved using a student-run coffee cart. Their discussion ultimately led to the current project, which is based on the idea of creating a business model where the students could raise funds by selling a specially roasted and branded coffee to their family, friends and neighbors, but also to local businesses that could generate more proceeds from recurring orders. Similar to cookie, candy and other booster sale fundraising ideas, Lighthouse Coffee is a useful and practical program that is a win-win for all involved. The students have worked together to build on the initial offerings and have recently expanded the program to include gift basket sales and may grow into additional products or service offerings over time. The program has been growing steadily over the years and is now at the point where Joebella is roasting beans for Lighthouse about two times per month and makes up about 4 percent of Joebella's overall roasting business. The Lighthouse project is part of the larger Atascadero Greyhound Foundation that was

originally founded in 1994 as the Greyhound Athletic Foundation to fund facilities and programs for students at Atascadero High School. Over the years it has expanded to include many types of student support initiatives and projects for the Atascadero School District. If you are ready to start your mornings on a positive, light note by supporting Lighthouse with a cup of hand-roasted java, you can either purchase a cup of Lighthouse Coffee at A-Town Diner or buy a bag for your home coffee maker at Paloma Creek High School, Joebella Coffee Roasters, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, Gatherings Thrift shop or online at

Colony Magazine | February 2020

A Cup of Joebella By Jeannette Simpson


ith only a large sign on the lawn and atop the building to indicate it's location, a slightly hidden gem sits tucked just below street level in an industrial strip along El Camino Real in Atascadero. This unexpected cafe of sensory delights is Joebella Coffee Bar and Roasting Works. Warm and welcoming, the coffee lover's dream spot envelopes it's patrons with the enchanting earthy, spicy and exotic scents of rich fresh roasted coffee beans as soon as they walk in the door. Once inside, the coffee scents mingle with the tempting bakery case items that are perfect for satisfying a craving for delicious sweet or savory treats. Also on offer are a range of snacks and small meal options to eat in or take to go. The beautifully handcrafted coffee, tea and espresso drinks are expertly made to order and artistically prepared by Joebella's

dedicated baristas. These folks take their foam art seriously and it shows with each cup. The organic, fair trade and in-house roasted specialty coffee bean options that make up each cup or bag to go are unique, sumptuous and ethical. Also included is a feast for the eyes as most walls are adorned with the works of rotating local artists. Currently, a very colorful palette of paintings can be appreciated while waiting for an order or enjoying a quality cafe respite. One wall of clear glass windows

commands full attention at first though, full of occupied shelves, traditional coffee bags, various containers and a large shiny red metal roaster. It frames the reason for those aromatic wonders and the more industrial location — the roasting room. If you've got time to hang out for a little while, the various seating area options make it very inviting to cuddle into a comfy chair with a good book, peruse the local paper, set up your mobile office at a table, sip outside with

your fur buddy or enjoy a quiet chat with your bestie. What Joseph and Isabel started as a hobby in 2001 in Santa Barbara has become a full-fledged business located in Atascadero that is committed and involved in the local community. "It is compelling in the way that coffee captivates and connects people in countless ways, all over the world. At Joebella Coffee, it is our belief that coffee should be something memorable which inspires us every day to source the best organic beans we can find and roast them with care to bring out the distinctly different flavors and qualities particular to each coffee region." Now roasting up to a thousand pounds of coffee per week for wholesale and retail clients throughout San Luis Obispo county, the team is excitingly gearing up for this year's upcoming expansion to the new Market Walk development in Paso Robles.

THE NEW Lighthouse COFFEE Trailer SPONSORED BY: Aaron Mills Construction All About Events/Steve Herring All Signs Debbie Arnold; County of San Luis Obispo Atascadero 76; Don Giessinger Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Atascadero City Council 2018 Atascadero Door/Molinas Atascadero Greyhound Foundation Atascadero Rotary Club Atascadero Unified School District Rob and Lori Bagby Ray Buban

February 2020 | Colony Magazine

The Lighthouse Coffee trailer gets set up for its first outing at Winter Wonderland 2020. Tom and Sarah Butler Central Coast Propane Donn & Christine Clickard Colony Media Filipponi & Thompson Grand Business Solutions Rich Johnson

Kiwanis of Atascadero K Man/Schmidts Greg Malik Real Estate Mike and Gena Molina Robert & Alice Jones Rocky Canyon Engineering Rocky Canyon Kennels Rolfe & Christine Nelson Portola Inn; Tom & Peggy O’Malley Bob & DJ Pittenger Platinum Properties Quota International Sligh Cabinets Solarponics Jim & Janet Stecher Joel Switzer Diesel Repair Tina and Larry Wysong Mike Zappas Z Properties 100 Women Who Care | 27

Good News Real News

Hometown News Since 1916

Featuring stories by Mark Diaz, Nicholas Mattson, Connor Allen & Luke Phillips

Supervisor Candidates Face-Off at Chamber Forum

ATASCADERO — Hundreds of spectators gathered at Atascadero’s United Methodist Church Thursday evening to witness a political showdown between District 5’s two-time county supervisor Debbie Arnold who is seeking election for a third term and challenger Ellen Beraud, a veteran of local politics who has served on the Atascadero Planning Commission and City Council and also served as the city’s mayor. The forum consisted of four questions posed by moderator Mike Manchak and five-minute responses f rom each of the candidates. From the beginning, Arnold seemed to hold the upper hand with those in attendance — throughout the proceedings, the crowd met Beraud’s responses with some under-the-breath heckles, which were, in turn, met by disapproving glances from her supporters.

Tenet Health Central Coast’s Twin Cities Community Hospital to parents Katrina and Jack Persons. Brooklyn Persons was born at 6:41 p.m. on Jan. 2. She weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces and 20.5 inches long. She is the third baby Katrina and Jack have had at Twin Cities. Photo courtesy of Twin Cities Community Hospital.

Frace Sisters Remembered at Annual Chicken Run

SANTA MARGARITA — The second annual Brynn and Brittni Frace Memorial Chicken Run was filled with spirit and community as 420 registered runners took to foot for 10K, 5K, and a shorter fun walk/run. The races wound through the hills around Santa Margarita Lake on Sunday, Jan. 5, to celebrate the spirit and love of running that Brynn and “Bitti” shared during their lives. “Today is a celebration of who they were and the joyfulness they brought to everybody,” said coach Roger Warnes, “and the togetherness they really fostered among their teammates and everybody who was around them or with them.”

AB5 Impacts Local Journalists North County's First Baby of the New Year

TEMPLETON — The first baby born in the North County was delivered on Thursday, Jan. 2, at

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As the realities of California’s AB 5 set in, thousands of former workers across the state are feeling the impact of the law concerning the “gig economy.” AB 5 codified the “ABC” test for independent contractors, including freelance journalists that provide some of the

content our readers enjoy weekly. Under the new law, freelance writers like Barbie Butz and Lee Pitts are restricted to 35 submissions per year or convert to employees for the publications they contribute to weekly. Unfortunately, the law meant to protect workers has created limitations for many instead. Reducing Mrs. Butz to 35 annual submissions is essentially cutting her regular contributions, and subsequent income, in half. “For someone like me, I have grown to depend on the little bit of income in addition to what we have coming in,” Barbie Butz said. “It happens. You begin to rely on [income] that started as a little hobby. It becomes very important.”

AHS Alum in Pole Vault Hall of Fame

ATASCADERO — Atascadero High School graduate Chelsea Hardee (formerly Chelsea Johnson) is being inducted into the National Pole Vault Hall of Fame on Thursday evening at the National Pole vault Summit in Reno, Nev. Hardee, daughter of Jan Johnson, who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in the pole vault, always had pole vaulting coursing through her veins but denied the family business until her senior year of high school in 2002. “I actually didn’t give the pole vault a shot until my senior year,” Hardee said. “It was obviously something my dad did and something that he was really

successful at but I took to it pretty quickly once I started and by April of my senior year I had signed a scholarship with UCLA and began there the next year.”

Eberle Joins Dancing With Our Stars

ATASCADERO — Every year, Marcy Eberle creates a theme for herself, which describes and guides her path as the year unfolds. Her theme for 2020 is “Set The Stage,” an appropriate motif as Marcy steps on stage as a Community Star representing Artistry In Motion, in Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) 2020. Marcy is not a newcomer to dancing or the stage. She began dancing at age 3 and continued with lessons and performances into her early twenties, dancing mostly with Pat Jackson’s American Dance. She was on stage, or more accurately, on camera, as a KSBY TV morning news anchor and KCOY evening news anchor in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Her preparation for these impressive assignments includes recognition as Broadcast Student of the Year at Cuesta College and Liberal Arts Student of the Year at Cal Poly.

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Colony Magazine | February 2020


by Cartoonist Colby Stith

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 29

| Education

Sing a New Song James J. Brescia, Ed. D



omeone recently remarked with astonishment, “Wow, you have been a teacher that long?” We can agree that today may be a difficult time to serve as an educator and the county is experiencing workforce shortages in many areas. However, each time I see the successful, productive, and positive adults, our former students have become, I have faith in the future. Karen Salvador’s recent Music Educators Journal article on the joy of teaching music describes how teaching music can nurture courage, peace, and resilience. Since taking office, I have promoted local arts partnerships with our schools, supporting academic achievement. Partnerships between arts organizations and educational institutions that feature partnerships of professional artists in teacher upgrading programs are beneficial. Schools throughout San Luis Obispo County are fortunate to have many avenues of arts outreach. Most striking is that the majority of these outreach activities are not funded by ongoing budgets but are supported by local arts patrons, foundations, and grants. In South County, the Clark Center Arts in Education Outreach Program provides programming for the students of the largest school district in our county, Lucia Mar Unified. The Poly Arts for Youth program is Cal Poly Arts’ education enrichment program for students of all ages throughout the county. Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, and the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation partner with the community to

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“I think, generally, I just cannot really envision life without writing and producing records and singing.” ~David Bowie~ provide a series of arts outreach programs that enrich our community. Other groups such as Opera San Luis Obispo, Symphony of the Vines, Wine Country Theatre, David Burt, Virginia Severa, Mary Bianco of the Moca Foundation, and retired teachers Bob and Carol Grosse are sponsoring local student events. These are just a few of those that stoke the embers of San Luis Obispo County’s creative spirit. Luciano Pavarotti said, “For me, music-making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion.” In addition to personal expression and growth, our local economic prosperity is closely tied to the arts. According to a recent Arts and Economic Prosperity Survey, San Luis Obispo County arts and arts-related activities enhance our local economy with approximately 27 million in funding and expenditures. The arts are also one of the most popular Career & Technical Education pathways selected by San Luis Obispo County students. The Central Coast Economic Forecast refers to the positive impact the arts have on our local economy. Our county is growing in cultural and artistic vibrancy because of the dedicated individuals who make the Central Coast their home. The Feb. 9 debut of the 3 Sopranos at D’Anbino Vineyard and Cellars will directly benefit our local schools as these three teachers promote the arts and prepare for the May 9 event at the Performing Arts Center in San

Luis Obispo. These Opera San Luis Obispo-sponsored events will feature professional artists in a professional venue working with local students to produce a spectacular show taking patrons on a journey from Broadway to the Met. Students who participate in the performing arts build a sense of community, communication skills, collaboration skills, public speaking experience, empathy, and compassion. Today more than ever we need to foster positive, peaceful avenues of self-expression in our schools. Maria Callas defines the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher: “Good teachers make the best of a pupil’s means; great teachers foresee a pupil’s ends.” Thank you Maestro Brian Asher Alhadeff of Opera San Luis Obispo, and the many other arts organizations for singing a new song with our youth! I hope that this article will continue to spark discussion among all educational stakeholders about the power of becoming involved in arts outreach as a volunteer, patron or participant. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools.

“I started singing when I started talking.” ~Mariah Carey~ Colony Magazine | February 2020

February 2020 | Colony Magazine | 31

| Taste of Americana

Sweets For Your Sweetheart:

Mason Jar Pound Cakes Barbie Butz


hen I think about February I automatically think of Valentine’s Day and words like chocolate, sweets, sweethearts, more chocolate, and more sweet things! At my age I understand health and fitness only too well, but I also know that a teeny tiny, little piece of chocolate can help my emotional health. And we all need that kind of help----right? I know exactly what you’re thinking right now----who can eat just a teeny tiny piece of chocolate! In searching for old recipes that represent Americana, I found this one in a wonderful cookbook titled “Sweetness”-----A very appropriate title for February. What first caught my eye was a picture of PoundCake baked in pint size Mason jars, of all things. As I read the description of the process of baking in the jars I loved the idea. What could be “sweeter” than serving individual jars of cake, decorated with a cute “fabric lid” made of heart-themed material, as your Valentine’s Day dessert. And according to the person who submitted the recipe for the cake, it went back some three generations in her

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family, making it a very old recipe. Note: Prepare 9 wide-mouth pint jars by washing and drying them. I usually put them in the dishwasher.

Pound Cake for Mason Jars

Ingredients: Nonstick cooking spray, for coating the jars 3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup vegetable shortening 6 large eggs 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon lemon or almond extract ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda Chocolate sauce (optional) Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray the inside of 9 wide-mouth pint jars with cooking spray, wipe off the rims, and set aside. Cream together the sugar and shortening in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon extract, salt, and baking soda. Mix again with the electric mixer at medium speed, scraping

down the side of the bowl as needed, until well incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Fill the jars halfway with batter (no more). Place the jars on a rimmed baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and wipe off the rims. Place a lid and ring on each jar and screw it shut securely, but not with force. You’ll need to use a dish towel to do this as the jars will be hot. After a few moments, you will hear a pop as the lids seal. Allow to cool entirely before storing. Note: When presenting as a gift, don’t forget to cut a circle of fabric to put over the lid, allowing it to hang down at least 2 inches from the edge of the ring. Tie it with raffia or ribbon. If sealed properly, the Pound Cake in the jar will keep for several months. Another Note! Try adding a dollop of jam, like strawberry, to the batter in the jar before baking. So not swirl it, but gently push it down a little into the batter. This would add a touch of color along with a taste of “sweetness” to the cake. When serving as an individual dessert, don’t forget to serve some chocolate sauce. One more note: Consider mailing some well-sealed Mason Jar Pound Cakes to family members or friends in the military. Wouldn’t that be a conversation starter for them! Even college students who are out of the area would enjoy being treated to a “sweet taste from home”. Enjoy!

Colony Magazine | February 2020

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The Disappearance of Kristin Smart: Podcast Gives New Life To 23-Year-Old Case


By Hayley Mattson

n May 1996, the story of a missing Cal Poly Student filled our news outlets and television screens. Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old freshman from Stockton, Calif., had vanished over the Memorial Day weekend. After endless searches, countless interviews, investigating one lead after another, the daily reminders started to lesson. Months turned into years, years turned into decades, and today, Smart has been missing longer than she was alive. 23-years later, in late September 2019, new energy was brought to the case. Chris Lambert, a Santa Maria native, started looking into Smart’s disappearance. With the lack of information he found available on the case, Lambert decided he wanted to do more and tell her story in a way that had never been done before. Lambert is not a reporter or investigator by trade; he is a musician and a recording engineer who has developed a documentary that has reignited Kristin Smart’s case once again. Through his podcast “Your Own Backyard,” Lambert walks us through the chilling details of the night Smart disappeared and the events that transpired after. He gives us insight into the people closest to Smart, her family, by personal interviews with her parents Stan and Denise Smart, and her friends. The podcast highlights the questions that remained when the media stopped reporting as well as so much more. Along with Lambert’s determination to tell Smart’s story, a loyal group of community members, both local and national, have been brought together by a special bond, a deep desire to bring Smart home. With tag lines like “Justice for Kristin” and “Warriors for Kristin,” the Facebook group “Find Kristin 76 Gas Station.................................. 33 A Beautiful Face................................ 31 American West Tire & Auto............... 02 Anna & Mom.................................... 20 Atascadero Chamber........................ 17 Atascadero Chamber........................ 18 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 33 CASA............................................17, 31 Dancing With Our Stars................... 36


According to a conversation between Smart's mother and former FBI agent, San Luis Obispo’s Sheriff’s office may be releasing new information soon with no confirmed timeline. A statement from Kristin Smart’s family representative stated “Over the past few days, our family has been overwhelmed with inquiries about the investigation. We sincerely appreciate the amazing support we've received and want to be clear that this is an ongoing investigation that is complex, fluid and continuing. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation and they are not putting any timetable on the completion of it. We support the Sheriff Department's efforts and commitment. It is vitally important that they take the necessary time required. To clarify an important point about timing, there is no current timeline for any announcement. When the Sheriff’s Department completes the investigation, they will notify all of us when there is news to announce. Thank you for your understanding and our shared interest in the ongoing investigation.”

Smart” has over 16,000 followers. And at the helm, a few dedicated individuals such as Dennis Mahon and Sandee Burns-Hunt keep the fire burning. With daily conversation starters, candlelight vigils, and occasional get-togethers, group members have vowed never to stop fighting for Smart and her family. One of the original billboards that reminded us that Smart was still missing is located on Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. After all these years, it was old and faded; however, her shining face and deep brown eyes were still evident. With the new inspiration that the podcast brings, a local printing company in Arroyo Grande, Brand Creative West, donated a new sign that was installed on Jan. 5. Along with the sign, the owners also donated bumper stickers and are working on other promotional items with hopes of bringing as much attention to

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Smart’s 23-year-old case as possible. The case took a turn on Sunday, January 19, when the Stockton Record released an article that shared statements directly from Kristin Smart’s mother, Denise. According to the report, Denise Smart was recently contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, instructing her to “Be Ready” and to get a spokesperson for the family for the information that will be shared sometime soon will not be what is expected. This hopeful information came just days after Chris Lambert was getting ready for a sit-down interview with the lead detective on the Smart case (who recently used DNA to solve a 41-year-old murder.) Lambert also stated that he was inquiring about the anonymous source who told him that the Sheriff had recovered vehicles related to the case. The new interviews

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and additional information will be released in the upcoming episode of the podcast. It would seem that Lambert’s podcast is not only informing the community but igniting new leads on the 23-year-old case. The hope shared by many is that with the growing support and momentum, Kristin Smart will finally be brought home. We will share new updates as they come in weekly on The Paso Robles Press and the Atascadero News. You can find “Your Own Backyard” on your favorite podcast source. To connect directly with the organization go to kristinsmart. org or join the Facebook group “Find Kristin Smart” Editor’s Note: The statute of limitations, in this case, has expired on everything except for murder, anyone who comes forward with any information will not be charged with any crime. Contact San Luis Obispo Sheriff ’s office at 805.781.4500 or Anonymous Tip Line at 800.549.7867To connect directly with the organization go to or join the Facebook group “Find Kristin Smart” Editor’s Note: The statute of limitations, in this case, has expired on everything except for murder, anyone who comes forward with any information will not be charged with any crime. Contact San Luis Obispo Sherriff’s office at 805.781.4500 or Anonymous Tip Line at 800.549.7867

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Colony Magazine | February 2020

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