Colony Magazine #014 August 2019

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Colony Magazine, August 2019


c ontents AUGUST 2019













TOWN HALL 24 Atascadero City Council


ROUND TOWN Colony Buzz: Happening Now 09 Santa Margarita: Small Town, Big Heart

TASTE OF COLONY 26 Taste of Americana: Nothin' Beats a Muffin!

LAST WORD 34 OperaSLO Brings Broadway to the Atascadero Lake Pavilion

COLONY PEOPLE 12 Colby Stith Launches 'Tales From Eno'



EVENTS 18 CAPS Evening for Education 19 Wine Country Theatre: Little Women 20 Crusin' Weekend: Cruisin' & Dancin' 22 Winemaker's Cookoff turns 21

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BUSINESS Natural Alternative: Back to School 28 State of the North County returns for fourth year TENT CITY 30 SLO County Office of Education: Academic Success Through the Arts 32 Cruisin' Back to School in Atascadero

Morro Bay High School Welcomes New Football Coach

ON THE COVER Dodge Charger on El Camino Real at Cruise Nite in 2017 Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Colony Magazine, August 2019

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“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.” Muhammad Ali Jinnah “It is safer and wiser to cure unhealthy rivalry than to suppress it.” Obafemi Awolowo “The only competition worthy a wise man is with himself.” Anna Jameson


reetings and salutations to the best community in the world. It was a few years ago that I was working with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce for some nonprofit service, and I was a little shocked by the lack of urgency to help make Atascadero a better place to work and do business. There was a surprising tendency toward the “North County” as a business concept. I was not on board. Atascadero was Atascadero and Paso Robles was Paso Robles. I love the rivalry, the competition, and gritty angst that pervades the relationship. I mean, what is not to love about a good old-fashioned ball game between the Bearcats and the Greyhounds — it’s a historic pastime I find rejuvenating. Now I get the crossover … we do business together, and together, we are stronger in every way. Especially, when it comes to doing regional business, media, and politics. Together, we are stronger. As a member of all the business communities in the North SLO County, I get to support the best of all worlds. As a lifelong resident of Atascadero, since 1978, I was born into the rivalry between Paso and Atascadero. I’ve heard all the names, and even though I went to Templeton High School, I have a great loyalty to the Orange and Grey dogs. As sports editor of the Paso Robles Press, I also fell in love with the Bearcat families and student-athletes. They are truly amazing, and the community of Paso Robles back to the Pioneer days is a resilient and powerful culture of community. As sports editor, I enjoyed the basketball season. It took me back to my days as varsity captain and all the competition involved. But it was my first step into the track and field season that meant the most to me. Arriving at Paso Robles High School for the Bearcat Relays, I was hit with a dramatic culture of community. I waited for the running pack to pass by during the 1600, then walked across the track to the center. Standing on the side of the track, cheering on her competition, a runner from Arroyo Grande shouted “Go Templeton! Go Paso!” and so on. It literally made me emotional. There is so much grace and power to that spirit. When we make each other better as competitors, we make each other better as a whole. If you want to make the world a better place, cheer on your competition and opposition with dignity and work to improve your own time. Please enjoy this issue of Colony Magazine.

Nicholas 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 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, 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, August 2019

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August 2019, Colony Magazine | 7

| Colony Buzz

Central Coast Writers Conference celebrates 35 years


By Meagan Friberg

ave the date! The 35th Annual Central Coast Writers Conference, named the “Best Conference in the West” in 2019 by The Writer magazine, will take place September 26-28 on the campus of Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Forty presenters will offer 112 classes in screenwriting, beginning writing, poetry, memoirs, novels, nonfiction, children’s stories, young adult, critiques, keynotes, and many other unique craft lectures. Experience insightful dialogue, networking, unrivaled access to an award-winning teaching staff, and expanded classes and workshops for writers of all ages and experience levels. “We’ve decided to shoot even higher for 2019,” said Teri Bayus,

seventh graders. This is the first time CCWC will include opportunities for those under 13 years of age to participate in the event including topics on journaling, public speaking, and more. “[This] age range is precisely when we need to encourage children to find their voices and know that what they say is important,” Bayus said. “Teach them now, and they’ll know it forever.”

CCWC Director. “We’re keeping what works while also offering MASTER CLASSES exceptional new opportunities.” & MORE During last year’s conference, OPPORTUNITIES six Master Classes were offered at FOR YOUTH 20 students per class and all sold Disney writer Ricky Roxburgh out. Due to increased demand, returns to teach the popular teen additional Master Classes have track, and there will also be a “find been added for 2019 including your voice” track for fifth, sixth, and novel writing, memoir, poetry,

young adult, e-book publishing, and making a living off of your book. Also new this year are one-onone “pitch sessions” with editor Chantelle Aimee Osman and screenwriter Doug Richardson offering feedback for attendees’ novel and screenwriting pitches. “We want to make sure there is something for everyone,” said Bayus. “No matter where you are in your writing career, every single person who attends this conference will enter feeling welcomed and leave prepared to take their writing to the next level.” F ind more information and registration forms at CentralCoastWritersConference. com or email Teri Bayus at centralcoastwritersconference@

Harvest, Hope, and Healing benefits Cancer Support Community


By Meagan Friberg

njoy an “Enchanted Evening” of fine dining and fundraising on the grounds of the beautiful Rava Winery on Saturday, August 17 at the 4th Annual Harvest, Hope, and Healing Gala benefiting the Cancer Support Community-California Central Coast. “We encourage community members to reserve their place at a table now and join us for our biggest event of the year,” said CSC Execu-

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Kathy Tucker, Thom Schultz, and Gail Tannehill

tive Director Shannon D’Acquisto. The gala includes a silent and live auction, a delicious menu, local wine, spirits, music, and more. The event at Rava Winery, located at

6785 Creston Road in Paso Robles, will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Cocktail attire is recommended. In addition to fabulous offerings from Rava Winery, wines and spirits

have been donated for the event by Pear Valley Winery, Austin Hope Wines, J Dusi, and many more. Major sponsors include Rava Wines, Circle 6 Ranch, Pear Valley Winery, Thom Schulz, Radiology Associates, and Coastal Radiation Oncology. More than $200,000 was raised last year and the goal is to increase the funds being raised in 2019 to further support local cancer patients and their families being by expanding CSC programs free of charge. Individual tickets are $175 and table sponsorships are $2,500 which includes 10 tickets and sponsorship recognition. Purchase tickets at Harvest-Hope-Healing or call 805-238-4411.

Colony Magazine, August 2019

Simone Smith


ack to school — just mentioning those three simple words can conjure up a whole host of thoughts, memories and emotions, a spark of excitement and a hint of trepidation. Taking a quick and unofficial poll, I asked a random sampling of friends, family and children what popped into their heads and it was quite the mixture. Kids were excited for back-to-school shopping, helping to get younger siblings ready, seeing their friends again (and what they will be wearing), finding out about their teachers and who would be in their class(es). There were those dreading going back to school and their loss of summertime freedom and those who were looking forward to joining in on some extracurricular school activities such as dance, art or robotics. Some have fond memories of their favorite school teacher, “story time,” learning how to read or work out math problems. Teachers are excited for a new school year and meeting their new students and parents are a mixture of nerves and relief.


Santa Margarita belongs to the Atascadero Unified School District with K-5th grade students attending Santa Margarita Elementary and older students generally moving on to Atascadero for junior high or high school. This year the procession of new K-5 students making their way up the hill to school begins August 14 but their time won’t just be spent sitting in classrooms with their noses in books, pencils on worksheets or eyes on the chalkboard. With all the talk about testing and academics, we know that learning happens in many ways and can vary between individu-

Back to School and Beyond the Three 'Rs' als. Learning and memory expert Jim Kwik emphasizes multi-sensory learning, noting that the more our senses are stimulated, the better we learn, i.e. singing the A,B,C song, counting blocks, drawing pictures or planting a row of lettuce. Besides their regular studies and rotations through P.E., science and music, students and teachers at Santa Margarita Elementary have a couple of additional resources for more learning opportunities, those being the school garden and an “Artist in Residence” program.


Although the school garden has existed for many years, it’s use and maintenance has depended on the support and involvement of administration, staff and community (PTSA and other organizations). A sign on the fence declares the garden as a “Healthy Sprouts 2013 Award Winner” to recognize and support youth gardening programs. Currently, the garden is used in a variety of ways by both teachers and students — it’s open to all classes and teachers have the option to sign up for weekly one-hour rotations through a district-backed program with lessons provided by One Cool Earth. This program uses the garden as a “learning laboratory” to integrate next-generation science standards into project-based lessons focusing on food, waste and the environment. Mrs. Black, the upper grade teacher who oversees the garden and runs the garden club said that the garden has great support from the principal — the PTSA provides $500 annually for equipment and supplies and parents donate veggie sprouts and volunteer on workdays. The garden club meets once per week during upper grade break for lunch in the garden followed by some work after eating. The garden is a great place for hands-on learning and according to Mrs. Black, kids love the garden and see it as a safe and quiet space where they can connect

with nature and decompress if they are having a difficult time.


The Santa Margarita Elementary Artist in Residence Program is a recent addition to the school starting back in October of 2017. This special program has a dedicated art room with Artist in Residence, Mrs. Mathiesen, and supplies funded by the PTSA. The program is available as an option for teachers to sign up their classes for one hour per week lessons which focus on various artists, artistic styles, techniques, types of media, color mixing etc. and can be incorporated with current class studies, whether it’s about math, science, historical figures, events, or you name it! With students being involved in the creative, hands-on activities of artwork, they are engaging other parts of their brains to learn more about their subjects. Past works have included pattern studies, celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500-year anniversary, California history and nature. Art created by the students can be seen displayed in town at the Santa Margarita Library and in the school office. Kids have fun in this program and if they want more, Mrs. Mathiesen has two after-school art clubs during the week, one for lower grades and one for upper grades. During art club, kids are busy designing and painting huge colorful murals which can be seen on school walls. The first finished mural depicts the local oak tree habitat with more underway on either side depicting Chumash life and the mission days. With the support of the principal, the backing of the PTSA and the enthusiasm of the students, more is planned. Going back to school is exciting. Learning can be fun and great things are underway thanks to all who are involved and making it happen at Santa Margarita Elementary.

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'Tales from Eno' Atascadero Artist Colby Stith Launches New Comic Strip Series


By Luke Phillips

his month we’re welcoming new contributor Colby Stith who will be giving us a new one-panel cartoon in Colony Magazine each month. Colby said that he’s been drawing comic strips since he was in the second grade and worked with his cousin on a project that eventually became his long-running “Planet Marshmallow” strip that ran in the Atascadero News from 2011-2016. After working on the “Planet Marshmallow ” strip for so many years, Colby said that he’s looking forward to working in the one-panel format. “It gives me a little bit more creative freedom I think,” he said. “With the one-panels I always figured they’d be more about the visuals and not so much about what’s written. Being able to tell an entire story or joke in one simple drawing can be kind of fun.” Colby wears his influences on his sleeve — citing “The Far Side,” “Rubes” and “Bizarro,” amongst others, as inspiration — going so far as to name his new one-panel series “Tales from Eno,” with “Eno” standing for “Everything’s Not Original.” “The strips themselves aren’t derived from other people but that style that I’ve created, the character designs and the general sense of humor is derived from other people,” he said. “It can be your own, but no art is totally original. It’s a mish-mash of different techniques and styles I picked up from people I like

it’s culminated through internet humor, through Monty Python through all these different sources and now it’s become its own identity.” Colby is mostly self-taught as an artist but he did recently attend an art class at Cuesta College where he learned things like drawing in that I put into one look.” perspective and how to work with poses Colby said that his sense of humor that helped him develop as an artist. comes from his “comedy heroes,” “Certain things like crosshatching,” he Monty Python, Mel Brooks and said. “That was something that I learned their ilk. in the art class that I ended up adopting “That really off-the-wall humor and really enjoying working with.” that you can’t help but laugh at but When asked what readers can expect it’s totally ridiculous in the first from the strip in the future, Colby place,” he said. “It’s stuff like that — said to “expect the unexpected.”

“I do a lot of writing as well and if I ever find myself getting to a point where I say ‘this is too cliche,” I immediately go in the opposite direction,” he said. “If you can keep it fresh I think that’s part of what makes it funny. I hope people find it funny — it is really strange, I completely agree that it’s weird. When I draw these things I have no idea what I’m making before I start. I don’t sit down and say to myself, ‘I’m going to draw a cartoon about a guy that’s dating a shark.’ It doesn’t happen that way. I start drawing a line and it makes itself from there. I’ll make a wrong stroke or I’ll do this weird line and all of a sudden it’s turned into this brand new thing.”

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Colony Magazine, August 2019

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Photographing the

NIGHT SKY Hobby Combines Art and Science to Reveal Nature’s Hidden Beauty


By Luke Phillips

’m in the middle of nowhere. It’s a dark, moonless night — so dark I can’t see my own hands in front of my face. I’m in an unfamiliar place so I pull up Google Maps on my phone and try to use it to guide my way, along with my trusty flashlight. Wildlife rustles in the bushes around me. I hope it’s a squirrel or a rabbit and not a skunk or a mountain lion. I spot a great big old oak standing tall on the horizon, isolated from the other trees — a lone oak. I look up at the sky, searching for the faint, milky haze of stars that stretches from one horizon to the other and begin to make my way around the oak tree, looking for the perfect alignment, the one that matches the picture I’ve formed in my head. I attached the camera to the tripod back at the car and have been hugging it in my arms since then as I chug along across the landscape, taking careful steps, terrified of tripping in the dark and shattering thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I find the right spot, adjust my tripod until the legs are in position and my camera is somewhat lined up with the composition I’m imagining — the big oak front and center, the Milky Way stretching out above. I use my flashlight to find the right camera settings, focus my lens to infinity, set my camera’s self-timer for two seconds and click the shutter button. Two seconds later the camera makes a slight clicking sound and a tiny red light comes on to indicate that the shutter is open. After waiting 15-20 seconds, the shutter softly clicks back into place and the freshly-taken image appears on my camera’s back display screen. In the photo, the hazy cloud across the night sky has transformed into a brilliant collection of shining stars, clustered in clumps around the galactic core, the bright center of our Milky Way Galaxy, and

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Having the right equipment is extremely important for capturing images of the night sky and the Milky Way. You’ll need: A STURDY TRIPOD: You’ll want to balance sturdiness with portability as capturing the night sky can often involve hiking with your tripod but sturdiness can also be essential when shooting in ocean waves, heavy winds, shifting sands and other challenging conditions. You’ll also want to find a tripod that allows you to easily place and hold the camera in a vertical position. In order to capture the full scale of the galactic core along with some foreground landscape elements, a vertical position is usually necessary.

swimming amongst the multi-colored nebulas. By leaving the camera shutter open for an extended period of time, I’ve gathered enough light to see things that are not visible to the human eye. Through my camera I’ve unlocked one of the most spectacular sights that nature has to offer. Night sky photography can be challenging in many ways but it can also be a highly satisfying hobby and San Luis Obispo County provides plenty of dark skies and a bounty of natural beauty. Read on to learn more about the necessary equipment and techniques to take part in this hobby as well as some of the best places to give it a try.

A FULL-FRAME CAMERA: A digital camera with a full-frame sensor — meaning that the camera’s digital sensor is the same size as a frame of 35-millimeter film — is necessary for capturing clean images of the night sky. Cropped frame sensors — sensors that are typically half the size of a frame of 35-millimeter film — tend to introduce too much digital noise into long exposure photos. Digital noise, a phenomenon similar to film grain, causes random pixels to blow out and leave unpleasant stains and pixelation in photos taken with a long exposure or a high ISO setting. Most ‘prosumer’ cameras, including the popular Canon Rebel T series, use cropped frame sensors that will most likely give you undesirable results when attempting to shoot the night sky. Instead, look for fullframe sensors such as those found in Canon’s professional 5D and 6D series cameras.

Colony Magazine, August 2019

A WIDE-APERTURE LENS: A wideaperture lens — preferably one with an F-stop of 2.0 or lower — will help your camera’s sensor gather as much light as possible while keeping your ISO setting as low as possible in order to avoid introducing digital noise. A FLASHLIGHT/HEADLAMP: A good flashlight and/or headlamp is indispensable, not only for finding your way around and changing your camera settings, but also for light painting, the process of using a light source to light foreground objects or moving a light through the frame to leave behind streaks of color. Flashlights that allow you to adjust the intensity and/or color are ideal. SOFTWARE: Shooting in the RAW format rather than J-PEG (the default setting on most cameras) will provide much more flexibility in the final image, will allow you to capture a wider dynamic range of light and produce a final image with less noise. In order to process RAW image files, you’ll need either Adobe Lightroom or the Camera Raw plugin for Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Lightroom provides a robust array of tools and adjustment bars along with a cataloging system to help you keep your photos organized. Camera Raw is a stripped down version that omits some tools and leaves the cataloging system out altogether.


The location and timing are two of the most important factors in creating stunning night time photos. Unlike other types of photography, taking photos of the Milky Way is only possible during certain times of year, during certain parts of the lunar cycle, during certain times of night, in certain locations and only if the weather cooperates. If you’re attempting to use the ocean as foreground you need to factor in tides as well — throw in two jobs and a family to take care of and I’m lucky to get in a handful of shoots per year. The core of the Milky Way Galaxy (the most interesting part of the night sky) does not rise above the horizon during the winter months. During early spring it will only be visible in the pre-dawn hours and in late autumn it rises and sets well before midnight, so the summer months tend to provide the best photographic opportunities. Getting the best shots of the galactic core also requires shooting when the sky is moonless or when there is only a new moon or possibly a crescent moon. The light of the first quarter or full moon will blow out the sky and drastically reduce the visibility of the Milky Way.

August 2019, Colony Magazine

Finding the right place is also important. You’ll want to find someplace away from the lights of towns and cities, headlights and any bright, external house lights but also a place that has interesting or beautiful landscape and foreground elements. For more on where to shoot, see below.


Getting your camera settings correct is another one of the most vital aspects of capturing night sky photos. You can use the following as a good jumping off point and adjust from there based on the amount of available light: SHUTTER SPEED: You want to set your shutter to stay open for as long as possible in order to gather as much light as possible but if you leave it open for too long, the movement of the stars in the sky will start to show as a slight trail behind each pinpoint, mucking up the image and making it appear slightly blurry or unsharp. Using a shutter speed of 15 or 20 second will provide good results at most focal lengths. Anything beyond the 30 second mark will almost definitely cause star trails to show. APERTURE: Your camera’s aperture should be set for the widest possible setting (the lowest F-stop number) in order to allow as much light as possible to reach your camera’s sensor. Shooting with such a wide aperture in most settings would cause focusing the camera to become very difficult because of the shallow depth of field but when shooting the night sky you should set your lens to focus at infinity (marked on most lenses) to bring the stars into sharp focus so the shallow depth of field doesn’t matter. You may also opt to shoot one photo at infinity to get the stars sharp and then take a second shot using a flashlight to focus on a foreground object before blending the two images together in a process called “focus stacking.” ISO: Your camera’s ISO setting controls the sensitivity of your camera’s digital sensor. Set your ISO too low and the sensor won’t record enough light for a proper exposure, set it too high and you’ll end up with digital noise. On most modern digital full-frame cameras digital noise is manageable at anything under 5-6,000 ISO. I usually use 2000 ISO as by starting point and adjust from there. DRIVE: Although you can opt to use a fancy remote shutter trigger to avoid moving the camera when opening the shutter and causing your image to blur but using the built-in two-second timer works just as well. FOCUS: Make sure to set your lenses focus to the infinity mark. Most lenses have a mark for infinity focus, which you

should see when you turn the focus ring all the way to the left. After taking a test shot, you can use your camera’s display screen to zoom in on a star and make sure it’s completely in focus.

BEST PLACES TO SHOOT IN SLO COUNTY If you can manage to stay away from light pollution, many of the beaches along the Central Coast can provide a nice foreground for night sky photos but more often than not, sea mist and cloud cover can be an issue as the marine layer moves in. On a clear day though, the rocky shoreline and cliffs of Shell Beach are a favorite with local photographers. One of the darkest spots along the local coastline, Montaña de Oro State Park is another good choice. For the darkest skies in the county, head north. We may not have the beaches but the North County has spectacular dark skies in many places and the skies are almost always cloud-free during the summer months. As cities go, Atascadero emits relatively little light pollution and I’ve managed to capture some decent night sky photos inside the city limits. Notable dark spots in Atascadero include Pine Mountain/Stadium Park, the Jim Green Trail and the wilderness around the Salinas River. Although it is too bright at the city center, there are also many areas on the outskirts of Paso Robles that are suitably dark. For the absolute darkest skies in the county, head out east of Atascadero on Highway 41 or east of Santa Margarita on Highway 58. The northeastern part of SLO County is so dark that you can see much of the Milky Way with the naked eye. Particular favorite spots of mine include the vineyards at Pomar Junction, Shell Creek Road (off Highway 58 east), Chapel Hill (near Shandon), and in the vineyards southwest of Paso Robles off Highway 46 West and Vineyard Drive. To me, night sky photography is the perfect hobby. The equipment may be expensive to purchase but once that’s out of the way I can go out and shoot any time I feel like it and it doesn’t cost anything. There’s a slower pace than most types of photography with each exposure taking 15-20 seconds, allowing me to take my time and think through each composition. I get lost in the work and it becomes a sort of meditation for me — a meditation that perfectly balances the artistic and scientific sides of my mind. If you lean toward the introspective side of the personality spectrum, enjoy learning technical skills and have an artistic eye, you may enjoy night sky photography as well. | 15

ATASCADERO HIGH SCHOOL 2.0 Upgrades to be completed during the 2019-20 school year


By Mark Diaz

ith the new school season just weeks away, Atascadero High School students will begin the second half of their year on an upgraded campus. The renovations, construction projects and facility improvements are funded by two bonds, Measure I and Measure B, that were authorized by voters in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Measure I approved the issue of up to $117 million in bonds, however only $25.5 million were issued “due to the decline in the housing market and reduction in the assessed value of property.” Formed to mend the gap fall of Measure I, nearly 62 percent of voters approved of Measure B. The 100th anniversary of the campus opening is also not far off. Although founded in 1920, the Masonic Lodge No. 493 laid the cornerstone in 1921 for what was known as Building B back when it was called the Margarita Black Union High School.


“One of the projects we completed over the 2018/2019 school year was the ramp that is ADA-compliant which will allow everybody of all types of mobility the ability to get up and down from the upper and lower fields,” said Brandt Lloyd, AUSD director of support services. One of the first structures to be completed on the campus was the massive ramp that connects the upper and lower portions of the schoolyard. The pathway was designed and created to meet the stipulations of the American with Disabilities Act. Complementing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA lists design standards to ensure those with physical injuries or disabilities have access to “public accommodations, commercial facilities, and state and local government

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facilities.” Lloyd explained that the federal Office of Civil Rights audited the campus and mandated the ramp be constructed.


Many of the changes made to the campus do not solely involve the construction of completely new structures. Some of the improvements involved upgrades to doors and flooring. Some buildings, such as the girl’s locker rooms, got a facelift and repairs to damage that has occurred over time. The project also involves improving the underground infrastructure such as water mains and gas lines and modernizing the electrical wiring. “A lot of the things that we are doing are trying to not only improve the space for teachers and kids to learn in but also to provide a little maintenance-friendly [environment],” Lloyd explained, pointing out the carpet squares in one of the classrooms. The squares are a great benefit since they can be replaced individually with ease, rather than involving an expensive project of replacing wall to wall carpeting when a portion gets irreparably damaged.


Easily the most recognizable change to the campus is the construction of the science and technology buildings where the parking lot used to be. When completed, the site will include eight classrooms — biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, technology and astronomy along with a construction tech shop and a welding shop. “This is our first project from the bond that is completely new,” Lloyd said indicating the slanted roof buildings. “It was formerly the parking lot but it was in the center of the campus so it didn’t make a lot of sense.”

The buildings feature more natural lighting than the older classrooms as well as large industrial style spaces with vaulted ceilings. The floor plans include a teacher island where students observe and participate in experiments. Rooms also will have mobile equipment and desks that allow for ease of reorganization when needed. “ Today students lear n in environments that are more group oriented,” Lloyd explained. “So you want to be able to transition the furniture to accommodate that.”


Since 2017, music students have enjoyed the revamping of their building complete with a sound room and improved storage. The band and choir space also incorporates sound dampening attributes that improve performance and enhance practice. The area also sports its own recording studio. Lloyd said when the new black box theater (formerly the old welding shop) is completed, it will be wired with microphones from the recording studio.


Another massive project involves the construction of tennis courts where the old maintenance operation and transportation yard is currently located. After the buildings are demolished, earthmovers will level the area that looks over the baseball and football fields. With the completion of the six tennis courts, the high school will have a centralized sports area save for the pool which was not included in the bond project. “Now the high school, becomes all high school,” said Lloyd indicating where the tennis courts will be located. “The property here is unifying the campus and that’s a good thing.”

Colony Magazine, August 2019

GREYBOTS DOMINATE Award-winning AHS robotics team seeks funding


lthough the national euphoria that greeted the Greybots over their award-winning feat in April 2019 has greatly raised the spirits of the high school students who beat a competitive field of high school robotics designers/inventors from 24 countries worldwide to win the World Championship in Houston, Texas, is still indomitable, they are pushing on for more success. They won the coveted prize because their robot was creatively conceptualized, well-designed and achieved a degree of functional excellence that was second to none. As they hunkered down in their workshop at Atascadero High School to ponder how to move forward, a challenge confronting the student-designers will be how to raise funds to compete in next year’s events and sustain ongoing projects. And the students are not resting on their laurels — in fact, they are busy trying to raise funds and find sponsors for their projects. Ethan Lundberg, a junior who serves as the group’s machinist, said that “my mother is involved in fundraising, bringing us food when we are working and providing rides.” Lundberg, who wants to study Aerospace Engineering

August 2019, Colony Magazine

By Kofi Ogbujiagba

in college, builds all the tubing parts for the robots. Lena Faria, Assembly Lead, said that each student is expected to raise $2,250 for their participation in next year’s competitions. She does all the wirings, pneumatics, and basically taking all the parts of the robots, and putting them together into the finished product. Faria, a sophomore, and the Vice President of Greybots, also wants to major in aerospace engineering. Greybots’ programmer, Dylan Fitchmun, loves technology and plans to study computer programming in college. Bruce Berg, who is incharge of Computer Numerical Control, is interested in mechanical engineering. The students all agreed that their participation in the Greybots program has made them more interested in engineering as a career and more focused on STEM as a pathway to achieving their respective dreams. They have also achieved celebrity status in their school with all the benefits and envy that come with that position. Berg explained what happened when they won their most recent award. “We got embarrassed being congratulated,” Berg said “When

AHS Greybots robotics at Atascadero Unified School District

we wore our medals to school, some students didn’t like it because they thought that we were bragging.” Such is the range of attention that comes with being Wo r l d Champions in robotics engineering. Popularly called the Greybots, this group of high school students who want to pursue careers in engineering have already won several prizes. According to Jan Price, the coordinator of Greybots, who has spent years nurturing successive generations of Greybots’ members, “The team designed an innovative robot which was extremely adroit at playing this year’s game, ‘Destination Deep Space’ which required the robot to place Velcro hatch covers and load cargo balls onto rockets and a space shuttle, and scale platforms of various heights.” The team was very adept at meeting the challenge and later became the winners of the Orange County Regional, qualifying the Greybots to attend the championships where they went on to win its third world championship. Despite their ages (14 to 18 years old), these high school students have shown that with dedication, passion and a

clear vision for producing quality robots, they could continue to set the pace for excellence in robotics engineering, especially for aspiring teenagers who want to make a career in engineering. All they are lacking are funds or sponsors to help them continue to push the frontiers of knowledge in such an important and challenging field. It will cost nearly $35,000 to have all Greybot student team members attend the FIRST Championship in Houston next year. Greybots have already qualified to attend, so fundraising is necessary to be able to compete at their highest potential. Tax deductible donations can be made by check, payable to the Atascadero Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization, and sent to P.O. Box 642, Atascadero, CA 93423; 100 percent of the AEF donation goes to Greybots. Credit card donations can be made by visiting which has a Donation Button to the AEF PayPal account; supporting the Greybots can be a life-changing experience for the students, encouraging them to pursue STEM curriculum and become our future engineers, programmers, scientists and more.




8-31-19 | 17

Local Nonprofit CAPS Hosts Annual Fundraiser


By Mark Diaz

his may come as a surprise to those not involved in Atascadero’s educational system, but the Committee for Atascadero Public Schools, commonly referred to as CAPS, is not organized by the Atascadero Unified School District. Formed in 2007, the volunteer-run nonprofit operates under the umbrella of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation and is comprised of parents, community members and teachers, both retired and active. The organization has grown over the years to include more than 35 event sponsors and a 15-member board. Though traditionally teachers provided the majority of support and organization, in the past few years more parents have added to the ranks. Thirteen years ago the inspiration for CAPS came from the school district’s budget restraints. Many educators provide additional resources to their students from their own bank accounts. CAPS 2019 Co-Chairs Hayley Mattson and Nicole Hider said that the committee’s drive and passion for the fundraiser is to be able to provide the teachers of AUSD the opportunity to be creative when planning their curriculum. “We are extremely grateful to all of our volunteers, sponsors and donors in supporting our efforts to raise funding for grants,” Mattson said. “Each year our community supports our organization and offers monetary funds, auction items, or in-kind donations to be sure that our event continues to be a great success! Over the last 12 years, CAPS, with the help of our sponsors and our community, has been able to

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CAPS 2018 Check Presentation to AUSD Highschool Teachers give the teachers and the students of AUSD over $880,000!” The CAPS grant process supports proposals that demonstrate “out-of-the-box-thinking” and activities that enrich student learning and promote positive and applicable skills, and also “gives educators the ability to take their educational passions to the next level without spending a considerable portion of their own income.” So that each request is based on its own merits, grant readers never know who wrote the petition, only the grade level and the school. The grant money is distributed to all schools within AUSD. The amount of money awarded is based on the number of students at each location. Over the years, CAPS has provided grants for items and activities such as field trips for Spanish Immersion, choir trips to competitions, field trips to Hearst Castle and the Estrella Warbird Museum, musical instruments, photo book projects, the annual Battle of Books event, iPads, outside educational speakers, a traveling natural-

Doug Filipponi and Jim Stecher ist, sensory play, visits to Zoo to You, a “Buddy Bench,” science equipment and greenhouses just to name a few. Each year CAPS hosts its Evening for Education, a fundraising dinner that features a live and silent auction and ends with a lively casino. This year’s event will take place at the Atascadero Lake Pavilion on Saturday, August 24. Last year the organization raised more than $85,000 through sponsorships, donations and auctions. This year’s event theme is “Granting Wishes” and will portray an Aladdin-esque “Arabian Nights” style theme and will even feature a professional belly dancer to entertain the guests. CAPS Evening for Education tickets are $80 per person with the option of purchasing a table that seats eight and are now available online at This event sells out every year so be sure to get your tickets today! For more information about CAPS, additional details about the grants, to volunteer or to purchase tickets for this year’s 13th Annual Evening for Education, visit

Colony Magazine, August 2019

Wine Country Theatre presents 'Little Women' By Wine Country Theatre


he novel “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott comes alive in the new Broadway musical adaptation, opening August 2, 2019 at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles, home of Wine Country Theatre. Perfect for the whole family, this high-energy production is directed by Kelli M Poward, with musical direction by Jeff Mar and choreography by Shirley KirkesMar. Winner of three Drama Desk Awards and having earned a Tony Award nomination, the musical soars with vibrant song and dance. With book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, the musical is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel, which follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. Jo longs to publish a novel. Meg longs for a fiancé. Beth longs for a piano. Amy longs to be admired. As relevant today as when it was written, this timeless tale has been given new life as an exhilarating new mu-

August 2019, Colony Magazine

Photo courtesy of Wine Country Theatre

sical filled with glorious song, dancing and a few tears. Jason Howland’s score celebrates personal discovery and a young America finding its voice and coming of age in a time of challenge and transformation. “This is a timeless tale about the power of family, friendship, romance and individuality”, states Wine Country Theatre’s Executive Director, Cynthia Anthony. “Alcott’s novel is still very relevant. The music and lyrics are modern in style and the heroine, Jo, is a contemporary character, even though she first came to life in the novel published over 100 years ago”, Anthony said.

Featuring a cast of 14, the musical represents some of the finest local talent. Veronica Surber, recently seen as the lead in Wine Country Theatre’s hit production of Next to Normal, plays the remarkable character of Jo. Libby Parker, seen as Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy plays shy Beth. Tara Brinkman is hopelessly romantic Meg and sassy young Amy is played by Ella Gomez. Local favorites Joseph Whittington, Kathleen Kravets, Marjorie Hamon, James Brescia, Garrett Larsen, Geoff Higgins, Lindsey Taylor, Libby Higgins, Edgar de la

Cruz, and newcomer Allan Cossentine round out this energetic and enthusiastic cast. A familiar story so dear to us growing up, we appreciate strong women facing challenges, embracing sisterhood, making us long to be more, and believing that “... sometimes when you dream, your dreams come true.” The shows run from August 2 through August 18. Performances are 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance every Sunday with an additional Saturday matinee on August 17. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Groups of 8 or more are $20 each. Wine, beer, snacks, cheese plates, coffee, soda, and desserts are available for purchase. Tickets are available at or via the theatre website, For more info on Wine Country Theatres’ production of Little Women, the Broadway Musical visit | 19

Cruisin' Weekend

Cruise Nite, Car Show, Dancin' in the Streets return Aug. 17-18 By Melissa Allen

largest annual events in San Luis A total of 45 awards will be given Obispo County with more than 400 for Best in Class and Runner Up for ruisin’ Weekend — a classic vehicles showing up from all 22 classes of cars as well as Best in signature Atascadero event over the state. Show and club officer’s picks. — will be back this year “A nice feature of our show is Friday, August 16 through Saturday, that except for the officer's picks, MID STATE CRUIZERS August 17. The three-part event will the participants vote and choose the feature a classic car cruise through CAR SHOW winners,” Barba said. town, a car show at Atascadero Lake There will be raffle drawings every Park and Dancing In The Streets half hour as well as a cash drawing at where attendees can dance, eat, drink the end of the day. The raffle prizes and get a closer look at the timeare donated by local merchants and honored and unique cars. All three community members. parts of the event are for all ages and All profits from the car show will completely free aside from purchasing go to ten local charities. Last year, food and beverages. the car show was able to give $6,000 “These types of events have Saturday, August 17 will start back to the community. continued to be very popular and with the 30th Annual Mid State continue to grow on the Central Cruizers Car Show from 10 a.m. to DANCING Coast and the cruise itself has 3 p.m. at Atascadero Lake Park. really grown through the years — a The Mid State Cruizers, a club IN THE STREETS little over 400 cars have registered formed in 1989 when a group for the cruise,” said Terrie Banish, of car enthusiasts came together Deputy City Manager of Outreach, and wanted to give back to the Promotions and Events. “The whole community, hosts the annual car city comes to life that night.” show. Flash forward 30 years and Cruisin’ Weekend is a lot of fun for the Mid State Cruizers club is the community and, as it has grown, still going strong, hosting the car tourists are flocking in for the event show every year. With 175 cars The car show will be immediately too. According to Banish, around ten entered into the show from all over followed by Dancing In The Streets to 20 percent of attendees come from California last year, they are on track which will be back on Saturday, out of the area and stay in Atascadero to reach at least that amount again August 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. for its for the weekend. this year. fourth year. “We had vehicles from 32 cities at “Four years ago, we really gained our 2018 Car Show,” said Roy Barba, momentum for Atascadero by taking HOT EL CAMINO President of Mid State Cruizers. a signature event and expanding CRUISE NITE “There is an award given to the that,” Banish said. “Dancing In The The City of Atascadero will be person traveling the farthest and even Streets really kind of locks in the hosting its 27th Annual Hot El an award given to the Hard Luck whole weekend.” Camino Cruise Nite on Friday case of the day. Sometimes these Dancing in the Streets will August 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. magnificent cars do break down.” have live performances scattered The cruise will take place up and In addition to all the vehicles, throughout downtown, plenty of down a seven-and-a-half mile stretch the car show will also include food, different kinds of vendors and lots of of El Camino Real from Traffic Way clothing, auto-related and veteran- cars on display so spectators can get to Curbaril. This cruise is one of the affiliated vendors. a closer look.


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Four bands, featuring a wide variety of music genres, have been booked for this part of the event. Times will be staggered as follows: • Bear Market Riot 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. • Martin Paris - 6 to 9 p.m. • Burning James and the Funky Flames 7 to 10 p.m. • Santa Maria’s Steppin’ Out - 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. “If you don’t want to dance, it’s fun for people watching,” Banish said. “It’s about enjoying the downtown. People bring their chairs — it’s like a mini concert in the park. If they plan it correctly they can see each one of these bands.” Along with the four bands, there will be a multitude of community performers including Motions Academy of Dance, Atascadero High School cheerleaders and Atascadero’s Dancing With Our Stars participants who will be announcing their selected dancers for next year. About 15 different food trucks will be parked at the event with a variety of food as well as beer, wine and cider from different distilleries and breweries in the area. “There’s something for everybody there,” Banish said. “Get down here early, get your chairs planted along the cruise because it does fill up and be out there and listen to lots of great music.” For more information, go to To register a car, go to

Colony Magazine, August 2019

The ONLY Bead & Garden Shop on the Central Coast! OPEN EVERY DAY! EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BEAD as well as a huge selection of succulents, air plants and miniature garden accessories

333 Morro Bay Blvd. Morro Bay, CA


August 2019, Colony Magazine | 21



By Mira Honeycutt

mecca for foodies and wine aficionados, the annual Winemakers’ Cookoff will celebrate its 21st year this month, staged by the Paso Robles Rotary Club at the sprawling Paso Robles Event Center on August 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. The homegrown event is a runaway success and proves that the community is hungry not only for great food and wine but also to help local high school graduates with college or vocational training scholarships. A brainchild of Paso pioneer Gary Eberle, the food and wine event that will draw an attendance of some 1,500 people this year started with humble beginnings in 1999. I met Eberle seated at his usual spot — the front terrace of his eponymous winery, glass of cabernet sauvignon in hand and wife Marcy by his side practicing her guitar. “How did it all begin?” I ask. A Rotarian since 1973, Eberle was at a conference in Southern California when he was inducted as president in 1999. The Rotary Club at the time was raising no more than $4,000 annually for scholarships given to high school graduates in Paso. “Find a way do something different,” Eberle said, recalling how his fellow board members urged him to come up with a fundraising plan. “This was embarrassing that we were raising just $4,000. Rotarians are movers and shakers.” The vintner recalled his own student days: “I wouldn’t have gone to college if I didn’t get scholarships.” So Eberle decided to tap Paso’s wine industry. “We could increase the prestige of Rotary and get the winemakers behind it.” The local wine industry, Eberle noted, has consistently shown its generosity over the years. “I guarantee in any given year Paso Robles wine industry is donating collectively well over a million dollars a year,” he said. “We [Eberle Winery] give $100,000 a year in California.” Back in the day Eberle enjoyed summer grilling with his fellow vintner Tobin James and suggested the idea of a winemakers’ cook-off as a fundraising event. “We can raise money and it will go into the foundation earmarked for Paso Robles High School graduates for scholarships,” he said. The idea was hatched with the help of Rotary volunteers along with board members Vicki Silva and Sally Davis (the two continue to assist with the event). The team was off and running. The 1999 Cookoff featured more than a dozen wineries and took place at the

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old Martin & Weyrich amphitheater with an attendance of 1,500. It raised around $7,000. “We started off with two rules,” Eberle said. “The chef had to be owner or winemaker and the food had to be cooked on the grill.” The rules have now been relaxed as wineries bring in professional and amateur chefs who pair their dishes with local wines. The Cookoff, growing exponentially in attendance and participants, eventually moved to the larger Paso Robles Event Center. The initial goal was to raise $50,000 but the event has long surpassed that. “This year there’s no doubt we’ll be able to raise and give $75,000 in scholarships,” Eberle said. “Now our goals is $100,000 and we are maybe two years away from raising that.” Indeed, in 2018, Paso Robles Rotary donated $75,000 to 19 high school grads who were selected from 100 applicants. Eberle emphasized that 100 percent of the money raised goes toward the scholarship fund. “It ’s all volunteer work,” he said. “There are no administrative costs.” Wineries and chefs donate food and wine and a number of sponsors underwrite all expenses involved with production and staging of the cookoff. The cookoff that began with just the People’s Choice award has over time evolved to include judges’ awards for professional and amateur chefs. Eberle, however, continues to do his own cookoff, grilling assisted by his staff and Marcy, who also handles the event’s overall marketing Over the years, Eberle’s grilling technique has brought him four judges’ awards but he is embarrassed to accept the revolving trophy. “I don’t want to win,” he urged. “I want the high school students and Rotary to win.” Looking ahead, Eberle commented: “We want to get to the point that if the cookoff dies, the foundation can spin off $100,000 a year in interest and investments.” But he quickly added, “I can’t imagine this event stopping in my lifetime.” For the vintner, the cookoff is a win-win event. “It benefits Paso industry and the students,” Eberle said. “Of all the things I’ve done, I’m the proudest of this.”

For ticket information, visit

“I don’t want to win, I want the high school students and Rotary to win.” Gary Eberle

Gary and Marcy Eberle

Colony Magazine, August 2019


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August 2019, Colony Magazine | 23


MBCP Director of Communication and Energy JR Killigrew addresses the City Council. Photo by Mark Diaz

MBCP Courts Atascadero


By Mark Diaz

he Atascadero City Council listened to a presentation from the nonprofit Monterey Bay Community Power, a green energy broker from northern California. Last year, the company entered into contracts to provide green sourced and renewable energy to Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

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In June both Grover Beach and Paso Robles also entered into agreements with the organization. Known as Community Choice Energy or Community Choice Aggregation, the program purchases green energy produced by wind and water turbines or solar panels and use PG&E’s infrastructure to deliver it to homes.

During the presentation MBCP made it clear that it does not produce the energy but purchases it from green sources and utilizes PG&E for its distribution. JR Killigrew, MBCP director of communication, stated that the business has operated debt-free since its seventh month of operation. Due to the size of the crowd drawn by the presentation, Mayor Heather Moreno deviated from Council protocol and offered the public a chance to comment. Normally, the citizens are only allowed to comment during general comment time or on items on the agenda. By and large people came out to support a partnership with MBCP, citing the benefit of using renewable and green sources of electricity as well as the rebates the company offers. Since MBCP is a nonprofit, the company is not beholden to shareholders and claims that the return on investment now goes to the public in the form of rebates rather than to individual investors.

There were a few who protested an agreement with MBCP with the “opt-out” option drawing ire from a couple of people. In accordance with California Assembly Bill 117 established into law in 2002, individuals can opt out of a CCA rather than opting into the program. AB 117 was formed to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices as well as to stabilize the deregulation of the energy market in 2000-2001. If the City joins the MBCP, people will have a 60-day window to opt out of the program through the mail. After the initial 3-month grace period, individuals must pay $5 to remove themselves from the MBCP consumer list. Through the urging of Council member Susan Funk, which drew applause from the crowd, the Council agreed to revisit the possibility of putting MBCP’s proposal on the August 13 agenda where it will undergo further scrutiny from the public and City staff.

Colony Magazine, August 2019

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August 2019, Colony Magazine


| Taste of Americana

Nothin' Beats a Muffin! Barbie Butz


n one of the go-to cookbooks in my collection, “Retro Diner,” authored by Brandy Garbin and Teri Dunn, the introduction reads: “The diner is a delicious slice of our American pie. During the 1950s these chrome and vinyl beauties were important social gathering places, a special treat for milkshake-guzzling kids, and a welcome late-night relief to road-weary travelers. Over the years many diner menu items became immortalized in the American memory.” I grew up in the 50s, attending high school and college. After graduating from Monrovia Arcadia Duarte High School (now just Monrovia) I attended UCSB. We had our share of diners in the areas of those schools, like Carpenters Drive In, The Blue Onion, Dupar’s, Sambos, Bob’s Big Boy, and of course, Denny’s. I can still taste the chocolate milk-shakes at Bob’s Big Boy. They were thick and creamy and we ate them with a spoon! The diners’ menus were varied and each had a specialty-of-the-house, such as hamburgers, onion rings, pancakes, etc. I think Denny’s has had their “Grand-Slam” breakfast on the menu forever! Well, here we are in the month of August and thinking about “back-to-school” days, and what to feed the kids for breakfast, what to pack for their lunch, and quick-fix dinners when their extra-curricular activities begin. So I referred to my “Retro Diner” cookbook and zeroed-in on some of the muffin recipes from diners across the country. From my experience, I know kids love muffins — and adults do too! They are easy to make, bake, store or freeze, and serve. This first recipe is a base; you think up your own additions. At the Miss Adams Diner, where this recipe originated, they

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made rhubarb-oat bran, pineapple-corn, poppyseed-sour cream, butterscotch-pecan, peanut butter-chocolate chip, sunflowerraisin bran, plum-yogurt, raspberry-corn and more. It’s a chance to be creative. MISS ADAMS DINER MASTER MUFFINS Ingredients: • 2/3 cup corn oil • ¾ cup honey • 1 egg, beaten • 1 cup buttermilk • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 2 cups white flour • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour • ½ cup wheat germ or bran • 1 ½ cups fruit (apple, pears, blueberries, peaches, or your choice), diced • ¾ cup toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, or your choice), chopped Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oil, honey, and egg together. Mix buttermilk, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract in separate bowl. Whisk flour and wheat germ together in another bowl to blend. Combine all mixtures until barely incorporated. Fold in choice of fruit or nuts or both. Spoon into muffin cups. Push batter down and mound above level of cup. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating baking tin or tins for even baking and bake 5-10 minutes more. Cool briefly and remove from tin/tins. Makes 12 muffins. Note: Paper muffin liners make it easier to clean the muffin tin/tins and easier to serve the muffins. WOODY’S SWEET POTATO MUFFINS Ingredients: • ¾ pound (3 sticks) butter, softened • 4 cups sugar • 6 eggs • 4 ¾ cups flour, divided • 3 cups canned pureed sweet potatoes,

• • • • • • •

drained and mashed 1 cup strong coffee 1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped 1 ½ tsps. salt 1 ½ tsps. ground cinnamon 2 ¼ tsps. ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground allspice 3 tsps baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add one third of the flour; mix lightly. Stir in sweet potato. Add another third of the flour; mix lightly. Add coffee, walnuts, salt, spices, baking soda, and remaining third of flour. Mix until blended. Do not overmix or muffins will be tough. Fill muffin tins threefourths full. Bake 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool briefly and remove from muffin tin. BANANA-BRAN MUFFINS Ingredients: • 3 ripe bananas, mashed • ½ cup brown sugar • 1 egg • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/3 cup vegetable oil • ¾ cup white flour • ¾ cup wheat flour • ½ cup oat bran • 2 tsps baking powder • ½ tsp baking soda • ¼ tsp salt Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tin. Mash bananas in large bowl; add brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Add egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and oil, mix. Add dry ingredients and mix just to moisten. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve slightly cooled with butter. Good with apricot jam or honey! Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!

Colony Magazine, August 2019


Back-to-School STRESS RELIEF


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ith summer ending, is the stress of backto-school shopping leaving you exhausted? From school supplies to clothes for your growing students, school and sports schedules and volunteering in the classroom, the list goes on! Feeling cranky? Stress affects physical and mental functions, leaving you cranky and exhausted. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body cope with stress. These time-honored herbs can support your overall mental and physical energy, improve quality of sleep, your mood, and even help with weight loss by modulating the cortisol response. Jump Start! Popular adaptogens include eleuthero, ginseng, rhodiola, holy basil and ashwagandha… my favorite! Ashwagandha supports “calm energy” and is great for “Type A” personalities as well as those who feel “tired but wired” especially at night when trying to sleep. New research of neuro-protective effects of ashwagandha root has shown the herb to enhance concentration by as much as 76 percent while reducing forgetfulness by 57 percent. Who doesn’t need that!? For a quick pick-me-up, rhodiola may be the herb of choice because it may reduce symptoms of depression, insomnia and mood swings. GaiaAdrenal Health®JumpStart and Ashwagandha Rootprovides you with the quick boost you need. Both are 20 percent off through August. Whether you’re feeling anxious and exhausted or losing sleep, visit The Natural Alternative. Let my team find the adaptogen or formula that is appropriate for you. Remember that quality counts when it comes to the effectiveness of any product. Start Your Day with Power Shakes! For breakfast on the run, try one of our protein and meal replacement powders for a quick, nutritious smoothie. Our large variety of flavors will satisfy anyone’s taste! Add berries, a handful of greens (they won’t know!), flaxseed… and there you go… breakfast in an instant! Helping you be the best you can be! Bobbi and the Team at The Natural Alternative THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE DIAGNOSIS, PRESCRIPTION OR TREATMENT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL COUNSELING WITH A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.


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The STATE of the NORTH COUNTY Hotels, Tap Rooms, and Workforce Development budding in Wine Country... Business Community gathers to discuss growth and opportunity


By Luke Phillips

he upcoming State of the North County event, set for Aug. 28, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Paso Robles Inn, will give attendees a solid picture of the current economic successes and challenges of the region, told by those in the know, including the mayors of Paso Robles and Atascadero and two keynote speakers who are experts in the field of workforce development. Now in its fourth year, the event is hosted jointly by the Paso Robles, Atascadero and Templeton chambers of commerce. This year, local workforce development will serve as one of the event’s central themes, according to Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gina Fitzpatrick. “We’ve decided to focus on workforce development because we know that’s the number one challenge we hear from our business community,” Fitzpatrick said. “And it’s also the one area where we’d like to offer solutions, first and foremost.”

The Speakers

Keynote speakers will be Josh Williams of BW Research and workforce development consultant David Shinder. BW Research has conducted statistical work for the SLO County Workforce Development Board and will present insights

at the State of the North County event, said Josh Cross, director of economic development for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. “[Williams] will be speaking on the state of the workforce in the North County,” Cross said. “He has taken statistical data using our zip codes to determine which industries have the greatest number of employees, which industries pay the most, which industries pay the least.” Williams is a regular on the lecture circuit, speaking about applied research methods after serving for more than six years as a director of research for a west coast firm where he supervised more than 200 research projects. He later went on to co-found BW Research where he is responsible for the firm’s economic and

businesses and nonprofits, among others, to reach their workforce development goals. Cross suggested bringing Shinder to speak at the State of the North County event after hearing him speak at a conference and said that he’ll speak on “how to find employees in a low-employment economy.” “All of the communities across the state and even the nation right now are having this problem of workforce shortage and ... trying to find solutions,” Cross said.

The Locations

After taking place at the Springhill Suites hotel in Atascadero for the past three years, the event will be moving to the Paso Robles Inn. A rotating location in future years will bring the event closer to home for some attendees for sharing convenience.

... booming tourism ... bountiful rainfall ... craft food and beverage ... bright spots in local economy workforce research and customer and community research. Shinder is a regular on the lecture circuit with more than three decades of experience in the field of workforce development, helping workforce development boards, community colleges, career centers, organized labor, private

“We’ll go back and forth going forward,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Future

Although it faces challenges with workforce development, Fitzpatrick was optimistic about the economic future of the North County overall. “The North County is very

open to business — we have more opportunity for growth here than in some other areas,” she said. “And the reason why is because we have developable land available to us, both Atascadero and Paso Robles have City Councils that are advocates for strong economies and supporting efforts that can help accentuate what we currently have, so on the business retention side of things we’re able to work with businesses that are looking to expand. So we have City government that is willing and able to find ways to make that a manageable process for [businesses].” Fitzpatrick also pointed to the booming tourism industry, the bountiful rainfall season for agriculture, and the craft food and beverage industry as bright spots in the local economy, along with more local partnerships and cooperation between the local chambers. “The [chambers of commerce] are now working together in a way that we haven’t in the past,” she said. “We’re working as more of a team ... [and] that has opened doors of opportunity ... for us to share resources and become strong as a whole.”

The Building

Some of the exciting news covered at the State of the North County event will include the recent building boom in Atascadero. Atascadero Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Emily Reneau painted a sunny picture of the

The Piccolo at Paso Robles Inn Photo by Nicholas Mattson

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Colony Magazine, August 2019

Future home of Jamba Juice on Morro Road and El Camino Real

Photo by Nicholas Mattson

current economy in Atascadero, mentioning several commercial and residential developments that are currently in the works. “We are seeing [residential and commercial developments] under construction which is exciting for the El Camino Corridor as well as a diverse representation of companies investing and putting their trust in us as well — SLO Do Co., The Habit, an urgent care service,” Reneau said in an email to Colony Magazine. “The list goes on for the great group of small and mid-size businesses making their home with us.” Reneau said that she believes that it’s the business-friendly climate that’s led to the business boom in Atascadero along with a partnership between the Chamber and the City that recently produced the city’s first co-working space where tenants are already asking to have the services expanded. “Those are all signs of positive changes for our economic climate,” she said.

The Workforce

has brought these new businesses to Atascadero. “Our City and our Chamber need to continue to be approachable so that there is an interest and curiosity in investing in opportunities that Atascadero can provide based on our location, resources and proximity in the county,” she said. “We need to be understood as a place to grow a business, a place to live or commute from and mostly as a safe place to live and be a valued member of our community.” Reneau encouraged people to visit downtown Atascadero to see all of the new things that are happening and encouraged business owners to reach out to the chamber with any questions or comments. Visit the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce at 6907 El Camino Real, Suite A or for more information and for a calendar listing of upcoming Chamber events. “I would like to encourage longtime residents and those from other towns who haven’t been downtown in a while to make it your mission to do so,” she said. “Just take a walk during one of our Art, Wine and Brews events downtown (set for August 9) and you will be delighted by all the fun places that have opened up these past couple of years and our cornerstones that have held us together. There is lots of activity happening in our downtown. In fact, there are micro-communities happening in our downtown. In fact, there are micro-communities happening in the coffee shops, restaurants, breweries and wine bars. These businesses have attracted new Atascadero fans!”

The main topic to be discussed at the State of the North County event will be workforce development and Reneau said that the lack of workforce housing and development is one of the main challenges facing the Atascadero business community. “For Atascadero, I personally believe that our biggest economic challenge is ensuring that our business owners and employees are able to operate, work and live so they can support their families and enjoy all of the benefits our community has to offer,” she said. “We all share in the necessary success of our schools, our infrastructure and maintaining our sense of community. We need to support housing initiatives and The State of the North County is thankfully Atascadero has projects open to the public. Tickets are $45 in the pipeline that will come online for chamber members and $65 for and should provide some stability in non-members. our workforce.” Reneau called for a continuation To register for SONC, go to of the business-friendly attitude that

August 2019, Colony Magazine

A Focus on Workforce Development

August 28, 2019 For information call Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce 805.238.0506 | 29

Academic Success Through the Arts Dr. James J. Brescia, Ed. D



he New York Times recently ran a story about Betty Smith’s 1943 autobiographical novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” detailing her impoverished childhood and the “great golden glory lasting a half-hour each week when Mr. Morton came to Francie’s room to teach music.” The book describes how he taught them classical music and how “Little boys whistled part of Dvorak’s New World Symphony as they played marbles.” When asked the name of the song, they’d reply “Oh, Going Home.” The novel describes them playing potsy, humming “The Soldiers’ Chorus” from “Faust,” which they called “Glory.” The drawing teacher was also described alongside the music teacher as a highlight: “These two visiting teachers were the gold and silver sun-splash in the great muddy river of school days.” Arts education can serve as a motivator, a bright spot, a focal point, and yes, even an enrichment. However, arts education also introduces the future to the past and sparks creativity in all subjects. University of Winchester Psychology Professor Paul T. Sowden reports that in Britain, similar to the United States, arts and humanities subjects have suffered in recent years as the emphasis shifted to science and technology. Professor Sowden emphasizes that an arts-education must be equally available to everyone regardless of economics. When first elected to office in 2014, I pledged to promote the arts for all schools throughout San Luis Obispo County as part of a balanced education. Five years later, I am happy to report that many local arts organizations, from Shandon to Nipomo, have accepted

“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Career and Technical Education “Ticket into Tech” program consisted of many individuals with arts backgrounds experiencing high levels of success. Local students, Katie Rowan of Paso Robles and Elizabeth Umphenour of Atascadero, are working with our office and will be performing at OperaSLO’s “Broadway by the Sea” on August 10 and “Broadway by the Lake” on August 11. Information about these upcoming performances is found on OperaSLO’s website at We must consider the arts as a critical component of our academic experience and outreach opportunities facilitate student engagement. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Arts Collaborative promotes students working alongside professional artists in professional settings. Some of the local partnerships with the arts include Opera San Luis Maestro Brian Asher Obispo, Symphony of the Vines, Wine CounAlhadeff and local student Elizabeth Umphenour. try Theatre, Orchestra Novo, Vina Robles, the Paso Robles Education Alliance, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, the Moca Foundamy invitation to partner with our schools and tion, and several other organizations. If you are provide students art experiences alongside a local artist and would like to assist my office professional artists in professional settings. with outreach activities, please contact Brent Arts education aids young children in devel- Moser, Visual and Performing Arts Coordioping the capacity for collaboration, creativity, nator at I consider it an and problem-solving skills. In the middle and honor to serve as your County Superintendent upper grades, executive function skills are more of Schools and to promote the arts. developed, and the attention span is increased. The arts can serve to refine, polish, and strengthen executive function skills in novel “I am happy to be alive and creative ways. Many arts programs are as long as I can paint.” taught in a very exploratory way that allows for Frida Kahlo tremendous creative potential. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education’s recent

• 805-464-2633

30 |

Colony Magazine, August 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 school year is now open. Download or request applications on our website: Watch the Video @San Luis Obispo County Office of Education YouTube


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August 2019, Colony Magazine | 31

CRUSIN' BACK TO SCHOOL IN ATASCADERO By Members of the Atascadero Historical Society


s sure as day follows night, Back to School follows Cruisin’ Weekend. School and automobiles have factored prominently into the Atascadero scene from the beginning. Master planned over 100 years ago specifically to accommodate and promote the use of the automobile, Atascadero is located midway on ‘The Coast Road’ now known as Highway 101. Atascadero’s winding residential roads and “lot and block” civic center have been fun to drive on. Of course, downtown parking is still a work in progress — fortunately, a sign of a growing community. Education was so important that the school buildings were an integral part of the original Civic Center Development Plan. The high school and original grammar school (where the junior high now resides) were thoughtfully located. The high school with its promontory view of the civic center provided the teenage students with a unique perspective of their community while the grammar school was in the heart of the civic center, among the community resources and watchful eye of adult residents. The automobile is so woven into Atascadero’s beginning that upon the death of Margarita Black, a high school student and Atascadero’s first automobile fatality, the high school was named in her honor, known as Margarita Black High School, then Santa Lucia High School and finally Atascadero High School. Atascadero’s founder, E.G. Lewis, fancied fine automobiles and thoroughly enjoyed driving, even after being compromised by a stroke and becoming a notorious risk on the road. On one trip to San Luis Obispo, he failed to negotiate a turn on the grade and abandoned his car. He was cited for reckless driving and in return suited the County for failure to post a hazardous condition and prevailed. Eventually and sadly (for him) he surrendered his license to the sheriff, vindicating the numerous complaints by citizens that had shared the road with him.

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Perusing the 1919 editions of the Atascadero News we found a couple interesting articles: “COAST ROAD IS NOW THE BEST – Line to Have Chance Nature Intended”. There was no Hwy 1 then; it was not substantially completed until well into the Depression years. At that time the 101 was known as the Coast Highway. “…However, when the Coast line was built and tourists discovered it, they began at once to insist upon that line, in preference to the valley line, which was left more and more as a business line... This is pleasing news in Atascadero, for the Coast line goes right past Atascadero’s front door, passing for ten miles through the Atascadero estate…. In an official pronouncement by the manager of the Tourist Bureau of the Automobile Club of southern California…’ we are now and have been for some time sending practically of our inquirers by way of the Coast route.” “SWEEPING SCHOOL CHANGES – Proposals are Likely to Be Adopted” This front-page article addresses proposed changes in school administration, costs and educational

requirements. How much has changed in the past 100 years? Here are some excerpts to give you the flavor of recommendations to the California state board of education. “Among the radical changes recommended were, making the county rather than the school district the administrative unit …bill increasing the amount apportioned by the state from $15 to $17.50 per pupil school year and increasing the county apportionment from $550 to $750 per teacher… compulsory part time or continuation education for all minors between the ages of 12 and 18 not attending full time public or private school or classes for at least 4 hours a week during at least 36 weeks of the year……we favor requiring instruction in reading, writing and speaking the English language and in American citizenship to be given all minors between the ages of 12 and 21 who are not able to use the English language as required of pupils of the fifth grade in the elementary schools, …. better enforcement of compulsory education and child labor laws… plans for the education of illiterate minors, nonEnglish speaking minors, cripples and all classes of typical children”


A lot changes in a half-century yet many things stay the same. By 1969, ten years before incorporation as a city, cars were more popular and much more populous. Thank goodness for the foresight to accommodate them and the car dealers who met the need. Of course, as the student body increased so did the demand for teachers and for ‘back to school’ specials for both educational needs and that celebration of the changing of seasons. Of course, as day follows night, the new model year cars debut followed on the heels of the new school year. Check out this full-page ad from the 1970s and also the bevvy of new teachers that were introduced that year. Can you identify a teacher you or your grandparents remember? How about that sedan or muscle car stashed in garage of someone you know? Well, it is that time of year again. Hmm, wonder what it will be like in another 50 years….

Colony Magazine, August 2019

MBHS PIRATES WELCOME NEW HEAD COACH Young veteran Jake Goossen-Brown

sen-Brown said. "Our goal is to be proficient at whatever it takes to win." "But I'm an offensive line coach," he added. "So I'm a big fan of the run."

By Neil Farrell


he new school year brings a number of changes to Morro Bay High School, from an impressive new STEAM Lab and new admin building, to a new football coach. Jake Goossen-Brown was hired as the school's new varsity head football coach, replacing David Kelley, who was fired last October 25 after reportedly making a remark to a JV player said to be insensitive to the LGBT community and in violation of school policies of conduct. Though just 31 years old, Goossen-Brown is a veteran coach, having started his career at 18 at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, a private Catholic school where he also attended and graduated in 2006. Goossen-Brown was a football and track & field athlete in high school who said he planned to play football in at least a community college but injured his ankle while competing in the shot put, which put an end to his playing days. "This is my 14th year coaching," Goossen-Brown said. "I played there [Notre Dame] and I started coaching there." While at Notre Dame, Goossen-Brown helped lead the Knights to an 80-45 record and four league championships, according to a news release from MBHS. The Knights had numerous All CIF players and two that played in the NFL. He has a bachelor's degree in Health Science from Ar-

izona State University and in 2019 earned a master’s in Exercise Science and Athletic Administration from Concordia University.

ATHLETICS RUN IN THE FAMILY Goossen-Brown comes from a family of athletes and coaches and has a lengthy connection to San Luis Obispo County. His brother Josh once pitched for the SLO Blues semi-pro baseball team and was drafted by the White Sox in 2014. And his uncle, Tom Goossen, is a legend among local coaches. Goossen coached football at Arroyo Grande High School for 10 years. "We used to come up here and watch him," Goossen-Brown said. "I always hoped we'd play against each other." Tom Goossen retired after the 2016-17 school year, winning 85 games, multiple league championships and a CIF Championship in 2011. His uncle told him about the opening at Morro Bay High, "And I jumped on it," he said. At Notre Dame, Goossen-Brown taught AP Biology and at MBHS he'll be teaching P.E. and Health. He's brought one of his former players with him too. Ryan McNab, whose dad is in his 40th season coaching track & field at Notre Dame H.S., will be the wide

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Morro Bay High's new head football coach Jake Goossen-Brown, left, with new assistant coach, Ryan McNab. Photo by Neil Farrell

receiver and defensive backs coach. "Ryan's a player at Cal Poly," he said. "The kids love him because he's young [just 19]." Another of the coaching staff will be Dr. Tom Boshardt who will be the defensive coordinator. Goossen-Brown, who was a line coach at Notre Dame, will handle the offense. And a familiar face around the program, Rory Gerber, will be the new head junior varsity coach.

SO HOW IS THE TEAM SHAPING UP? "The kids are real enthusiastic," Goossen-Brown said. "They have a great work ethic and I think we have a promising future. But we'll take it one day at a time and try to get better every day." He likes the mix of ages on the team. "We've got some good senior leadership," he said, "and young guys to help build the program. Things are on the up and up." So will fans see a passing or running team this year? "It's too early to tell," GoosNOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

AND WHAT ABOUT HIS LINEMEN? "We won't know until we put pads on," he explained, as the early summer workouts are non-contact. "I believe there are some good players here. I hope everybody does his job and we can find some success this season." And that season starts August 16 when the Pirates travel to Avenal for a pre-season scrimmage. The games start August 23 when the Pirates host Rio Hondo in a non-league game. They host Lindsay on August 30. On September 6 they're at Tranquility; September 13 they're at Gustine; and then they get a bye week. "We've got six home games this year," Goossen-Brown said. "That's nice." But football isn't the only sport with new coaches. The 2019-20 school year will also see new, head varsity boys and girls basketball coaches, as former boy's coach Roger Fechner retired after winning the Ocean League Championship last season. His son, Tyler, who was the girl's team head coach the past two seasons, will take over the boy's varsity team. Tyler Fechner is a 2003 MBHS graduate and was a point guard here and at Cuesta College, too.

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OperaSLO Presents 'Broadway On The Lake' Aug. 11


pera San Luis Obispo is proud to announce the premier of a new North County summer event, “Broadway On The Lake,” Sunday, August 11 at 4 p.m. at the Atascadero Lake Pavilion (doors open at 3 p.m. for food, wine and art auction). “Broadway On The Lake” brings a nationally acclaimed quintet of performers including sopranos Shira Renee Thomas and Katie McTyre, tenor Dylan Scott Thomas, baritone Brayden Hade, and pianist Chris Wade in a concert of hits from “Guys and

1800 El Pomar.................................. 05 76 Gas Station.................................. 33 777 Motorsports.............................. 21 777 Tractor Sales............................... 24 A Beautiful Face................................ 31 American West Tire & Auto Pros ...... 02 Atascadero Greyhound Foundation.05 Atascadero Hay & Feed.................... 13 Atown Family Med........................... 23

Dolls,” “Carousel,” “The Music Man,” “Show Boat,” “Into The Woods,” “Company,” and several others hit titles including a special sneak preview to OpreaSLO’s grand October production of “South Pacific!” OperaSLO is especially excited to introduce performances by two fantastic local student singers, both aspiring to become professional musicians. Proceeds from this event benefit OperaSLO’s Opera In Education program which closely partners with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education in scheduling

Awakening Ways Spiritual Community....................................... 25 Awesome Brows Now...................... 23 Beads by the Bay.............................. 21 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 17 CA Holistic Institute.......................... 13 California Mid-State Fair................... 35 CAPS Evening for Education............ 07 CASA.................................................. 25

August 2019, Colony Magazine

O p e r a S LO educational performance programs in schools throughout our county. Additional OperaSLO Opera In Education programs include an annual two-week Children’s Summer Opera Camp, Students at the MET HD, and Students at the Amphitheatre (Vina Robles). Complementing the exciting concert, admission includes select wines from Opolo Winery, delicious appetizers and charcuterie by Templeton’s award winning nonprofit restaurant Fig At Courtney’s House. A magnificent silent


Thank you for choosing Colony Magazine! City of Atascadero............................. 36 Glasshead Studio............................. 30 Cold Stone Creamery....................... 21 Glenns Rental and Repair................ 09 Dignity Health.................................. 13 Grace Yoga Central Coast................. 23 Dutch Maytag................................... 24 Greg Malik RE Group..................10,11 Equine Experience........................... 12 Hearing Aid Specialists.................... 03 Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 23 Hope Chest Emporium.................... 07 Fox Hill Pool & Spa........................... 17 Inter City Electric............................... 25 Frontier Floors................................... 30 John Donovan State Farm............... 12

Art Auction and decadent Cake Auction will help raise funds for OperaSLO’s 2019-2020 season while demonstrating the talents of artists and bakers from all over the Central Coast! Tickets are $45 per person, and include wine, food, and the show. For more information, contact Jayne Cohen, OperaSLO Company Manager at 805-5501327, or For information about OperaSLO and exciting videos of past opera productions as well as upcoming events, visit

Las Tablas Animal Hospital............... 08 Lube N Go......................................... 25 Nick's Painting.................................. 27 North County Pilates........................ 31 Odyssey World Cafe ......................... 27 Optimist Club................................... 07 Robert Fry, M.D................................. 33 Santa Lucia School............................ 29 SLO County Office of Education....... 31

Solarponics....................................... 21 Stove & Spa....................................... 02 Sue Hubbard Farmers Insurance..... 31 Tari Haberfield - Keller Williams...... 31 Templeton Beauty Salon.................. 05 The Laundromat by Swish & Swirl .. 25 The Natural Alternative..................... 27 Wine Country Theatre...................... 19 Wyatt Wicks Finish Carpentry .......... 31 | 34



Bring: Your Dancing Shoes & Your wallet! Music is FREE to the public; Food & Drink available for purchase!

Summer Blowout Dance Party



5:30–7:30 pm

bear market riot (POWER-FOLK DUO!)

5-6:30 pm

community entertainment

8-10 pm

(Performances by atascadero high school cheer team, dancing with our stars & motion academy of dance!)

(6-piece dance band)

7-10 pm

steppin’ out ENTRADA STAGE 6-9 pm

martin paris band

Burning James & The Funky Flames (Funk & Dance!)

(Classic Rock, Country & Dance!) ANNIE WILSON GRAPHICS

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