Colony Magazine #28 • October 2020

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IN THIS ISSUE: Celebrating Annual Colony Days Parade Amidst the Pandemic 25th Anniversary of the Assistance League


Meet the Candidates | Pg. 27









"I have been wearing hearing aids all my life. Peter is by far the best hearing aid specialist I have encountered. I have known him for several years. He listens to you and will meet your needs as you describe them. His recommendations on a type of hearing aid will improve your hearing loss. Your expectations are realized with a hearing aid that actually works for you and satisfies your hearing needs." — Ron B.

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ON THE COVER Atascadero Elks Lodge - Joe’s Little Train is a fund raiser and a way of letting the community know that the Elks Care and Elks Share. The “Little Train” has been on many adventures trips such as: K-9 Day at the Park, Colony Days, Children’s Day, and many other community events in Atascadero. Photo By Nicholas Mattson 20,000 PRINTED | 17,000 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY!


Atascadero 93422 • Santa Margarita 93453 • Creston 93432 Hotels • Wineries • B&Bs • Waiting Rooms • Restaurants • High-traffic Visitor Hotspots for advertising inquiries and rates email publisher @, or contact one of our advertising representatives.

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Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter


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Round Town The Natural Alternative: Female Hormone Roller Coaster Young Eagles Program: Experimental Aircraft Association Surfing for Hope Writing Support Group: 5 Helpful Writing Tips Santa Margarita: Volunteering is Alive and Well Did You Know: The Story of the Longhorns

publisher, editor-in-chief

Hayley Mattson

Brian Williams

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Tent City Friends of the Atascadero Lake: Rotary Makes A Donation Election 2020: Mayoral Candidates Election 2020: City Council Candidates Election 2020: Atascadero School Board San Luis Obispo County Office of Education: Flexibility, Patience & Kindness

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Denise Mclean Jen Rodman

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Connor Allen

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Taste Of Colony Taste of Americana: Baking with Barbie Butz


Nicholas Mattson

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Last Word I Can No Longer Stay Silent by Sandra Stratman Directory to our Advertisers

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Colony Magazine ©2020 is a local business owned and published by local people — Nicholas & Hayley Mattson No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without written consent from Colony Magazine.

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DID YOU KNOW? As investors came to homestead the land that they had bought with their down payments, the area was transformed into a “tent city” with tents situated on land now occupied by Century Plaza and Bank of America.

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Something Worth Reading


utumn is one of our favorite times of the year, cool air, crisp breeze, pumpkins, falling leaves, bring on the jackets, and hot apple cider! This year, Halloween, as with the other holidays and celebrations that have passed during the pandemic, will look very different. One key tradition is participating and attending the Colony Days Parade & Tent City After Dark along with Trick-or-Treat on Entrada and Boo at the Zoo. The Colony Days Committee has organized a “drive-by” parade this year that you can read about on page 23. Tent City After Dark will bring you a virtual concert that you can enjoy from the comforts of your home. As of going to press, we are still waiting to hear how trick or treating will go, but pumpkin farms are open, so go and support our local farmers with your masks on and enjoy feeling festive! Throughout this month’s issue, we share stories of our wonderful community members, non-profits, and businesses thriving amidst COVID-19 as well as our new series “Did you Know” that explains the backstory of the beautiful “Gatekeepers” of the North County along Highway 101. Starting on page 27, we share a detailed overview of all the local candidates running for City Council and Atascadero School Board. The candidate statements will give you some insight as to why they are running and how they feel they can make a difference. The full questionnaire is available on our news website election2020. We end the magazine this month a bit differently than initially planned. Our Last Word on page 34 is written by a community member who shares her personal story that inspires and reminds us of what is truly important during these unprecedented times. As we continue walking through this year, we are deeply grateful to all of the local businesses who continue to advertise, as well as all our community members that read and share our publications. Please be sure to tell each of these locally owned businesses that you saw them in Colony Magazine and thank them for bringing you all the stories of our community. We do this for you, and we are humbled by all your love and support. Please stay safe, share love, and be a good human. Hayley & Nic

if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727

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Colony Magazine | October 2020

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female hormone roller coaster


ou’re cranky, tired & bloated. You crave salt and chocolate and say things you later regret. You are gaining weight despite eating salads and exercising. What’s going on? The overwhelming stress of juggling multiple roles—career, wife, mother, volunteer, etc. leaves many women feeling depleted. Combine stress and maybe a bit too much sugar and caffeine in the diet will affect that delicate hormonal balancing act. This can result in erratic cycles, mood swings, cravings, insomnia, hot flashes – get the picture? Rather than “symptom treat,” is there a way to return to feeling more energetic and balanced? Yes! Let’s start with your diet ladies. I know you love your mocha frapps and double stuffed oreos, but changes will need to be made here. Diet is foundational. Without eating healthy whole foods, i.e. organic proteins, healthy fats, lots of veggies and fresh fruit your body at some point will rebel! Adrenal support is essential such as Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Holy Basil, etc. (we discussed those in our August article). As the adrenals are your backup system for hormone production, it’s important to give them some love! It’s also important to schedule some fun downtime during the week for that

much needed battery recharge! If you’d like to schedule a personal consultation to discuss any issues relating to hormones (pre or post-menopause), I have a plan that will help you feel like you are back in control of your life! Hormone replacement therapy is a quick fix for most, but not without risks. As a holistic practitioner, I believe making some dietary changes, as well as supplementing with some time-honored herbs and nutrients, can be effective in most cases.

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Colony Magazine | October 2020

Community |


Experimental Aircraft Association


he mission of the Paso Robles Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is to grow participation in aviation within our community and promote the airport by involving adults and youth in aviation activities with homebuilt, experimental, antique, classic, warbird, aerobatic, ultralight, general aviation, and unmanned aircraft. YOUNG EAGLE PROGRAM On October 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., we will be providing our annual free flights for youth between 8-17 years of age at the Airport Terminal. Follow-up activities are planned (i.e., aviation day camp), and several young eagles have won scholarships to obtain a private pilot license. To register for the free flight on October 17 go to

October 2020 | Colony Magazine

By Dave Fretwell, President EAA 465

ADULT EAGLE PROGRAM We are planning a half-day “introduction to aviation” event at the Airport on November 7 for adults who might want to consider gaining a pilot license. After this event, adults can schedule a free flight, have access to several related benefits, and of course, can become members of our Chapter. EXISTING PILOTS AND AVIATION ENTHUSIASTS We have various activities, including our regular meeting with aviation programs/speakers at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Airport Terminal. We are: (1) initiating a Visual Metrological Conditions (VMC) Club for pilots who want to hone their flying skills in VMC, (2) bi-monthly member “fly outs” to interesting places (i.e., a recent one to Catalina Island), and

(3) fly-ins/speakers to promote our airport to other aviators and aircraft type clubs including an October 11 event for EAA chapters from Southern and Central California, and recent fly-ins for Taylorcraft, Lancair, and Mooney aircraft owners). 

For more information about EAA Chapter 465, visit our web site https:// or follow us on Facebook Due to the COVID-19, all participants in Chapter Activities must wear face coverings. | 13

| Raising Awareness

Surfing for Hope was created to help inspire people challenged by cancer through the positive energy of surfing.


he Surfing for Hope Foundation team recently unveiled plans for their first-ever Survivor Surf Camp to take place on Saturday, October 10. Established in 2012, the Surfing for Hope Foundation (SFH) was created to help ease the difficulty of battling cancer through the healing powers of surfing and ocean life. The original event, the Surfing for Hope Longboard Surf Contest and Benefit Auction in 2012, was inspired by cancer survivor ‘Helmet’ Bob Voglin as a charity event to help return the support he received during his own struggle. Bob partnered with his oncologist, Tom Spillane MD, and others to help offer cancer patients’ financial support on the central coast. Over the years, through their annual surf contest, they have raised over $200,000 for the Hearst Cancer Resource Center, along with m a n y o t h e r ad d i tional programs to help

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support those affected by cancer. “With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to make this camp open to women only,” Dr. Spillane shared. The Foundation members made the tough decision to postpone their popular annual surf contest and benefit weekend due to the pandemic and are proud to bring this series of cancer survivor small group summits to the community with a strong commitment to practice COVID-19 distancing guidelines. This unique event will be on the shores of Pismo Beach and is open to women currently undergoing treatment or those who have completed their cancer treatment, as well as oncology health care providers. A day of yoga, beginner surf instruction similar to the SFH Pure Stoke Youth Program, and a gourmet luncheon will be provided free of charge to all participants. In addition, Dr. Spillane will lead a brief discussion on survivorship, including an update on breast cancer treatments and resources. This talk is open to the public, and registration to the retreat is not required to participate. “As a volunteer for Surfing for Hope, I have seen firsthand how this camp brings s o mu c h hope,” said Lee Walton-Poepoe, a breast cancer survivor. As the SLO Oncology & Cancer Care clinical trial

director, she encourages those that are facing cancer challenges to sign up and participate, “I want to see all of my fellow women cancer survivors join this camp because of the healing power of the ocean is just amazing. Feel free to sign up with a girlfriend or two; they do not have to be a survivor themselves to join us.” Due to the importance of safe social distancing, spots are limited, and early registration is encouraged. Find complete details on this unique opportunity to join other women for an informative and fun-filled day at Additional activities and camps for all people who have been affected by cancer will be announced in the months ahead. Please visit for more information. 


Colony Magazine | October 2020



Helpful Writing Tips

By Patricia Alexander

love encouraging other writers, whether they write for publication or personal growth. Here are some practical tips from my experience:

1. 2.

Pick One Project To Begin Brimming over with ideas, but not getting anything accomplished? Working on more than one idea at a time can be done, but not well. Pick your passion project and get it solidly launched. Don’t Judge Your Process Writers tend to feel insecure about their process; they think someone else is writing better, faster, smarter. Yet, how many books have you loved even though you don’t know how long they took to write or whether the first drafts were handwritten or typed? Judging your process is a distraction wrapped in self-doubt; give it up and let yourself create; however, it feels right to you.

3. 4. 5.

Community |

Your Best Beginning May Not Be At The Beginning It’s unusual in the flow of writing to get that beginning paragraph launched out of the cannon first thing. Odds are much higher you’ll find it a page or two in — and that’s OK! But do go back and look for it. Understand The Difference Between Writing And Editing Many things you read and love are written by people who can’t spell, don’t know grammar, and are puzzled by punctuation. ALL writers need editors. Don’t let your confusion between a colon and semicolon stop you; creating and editing may overlap, but they are supremely different functions. Everything starts with the writing. Create A Deadline How do we get any writing done when the tyranny of the urgent yanks us around, draining time, energy, and creativity? Need a Muse? Try a deadline! If you don’t have one, make one and enter it into your schedule. Someone wants to go to lunch when you’ve set that time to write? Tell them you have another commitment. Be vague, so they don’t try to talk you out of it.

You’ll see your productivity soar if you can create a deadline by finding an online or in-person group of supportive and honest writers with whom you can share your work. And, by the way, if you only write the night before the deadline, it still counts.  Patricia Alexander is a local writer, editor, columnist, and the award-winning co-author of “The Book of Comforts: Simple, Powerful Ways to Comfort Your Spirit, Body & Soul,” She has spent 45 years in what she calls her “eclectic” career.

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| Santa Margarita

The Spirit of Community

Volunteering is Alive and Well in Santa Margarita Simone Smith


t seems like forever, doesn’t it? I think many can agree that this year of 2020 has somehow made the world stop or at least has pushed the “pause” button on many of our human activities. Most annual organized events around the world have gone virtual when possible or have been canceled altogether, but time marches on, and despite our current situation, when something needs doing, residents of Santa Margarita show up to help out. When the annual Santa Margarita Beautiful Clean Up events got canceled back in April due to Covid19 residents adapted. Families and individuals took on some of the smaller projects around town on their own, weeding, planting up planter boxes, pruning, or working on other small tasks when time was available. Yard sale items either got individually listed online or were put out available for free with trash and remaining clean up items being cleared by the Mid-State extra trash pickup day.

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Annual community awards got put on hold, but the Cemetery Clean up, needing more hands and being just out of town didn’t happen, that is, until local resident, Cara Langton, decided that something needed to be done. According to the Santa Margarita Historical Society the “Santa Margarita Public Cemetery District was formed on March 5, 1909, by the San Luis Obispo County Supervisors to serve the communities of Santa Margarita, Garden Farms, La Panza and outlying areas.” However, it wasn’t until 1915 that approximately 3.5 acres of Santa Margarita Ranch land just outside of town off of Pozo Road was granted to the Cemetery District by then ranch owner Frank Reis. The Santa Margarita Cemetery consists of 1740 plots laid out in three sections, with improvements being made over the years, including paving, curbs, plantings, and a gazebo with some of the earliest graves predating the cemetery’s official designation. As with any old cemetery, it’s interesting to wander, look at the wide variety of headstones and markers for those who have passed, and think about the lives they lived. During a recent visit to the Santa Margarita Cemetery, Cara saw the

overgrowth, weeds, leaves, and trash was not going away on their own and decided that action was needed. She contacted annual clean up ringleader Summer to help put out the call for an “Ad-Lib” “Social Distance” Clean-Up Day and see what would happen. As it turns out, the spirit of community volunteering is alive and well in Santa Margarita with fourteen to twenty volunteers showing up on Saturday, August 29, to help out with the task of pruning, weeding, raking, and trash pick up. Individuals, families, Lion’s Club members, and even friends from out of the area joined in on individual tasks to complete the clean up of one half of the cemetery, and what a difference it makes! A second “Ad-Lib” Social Distance” Cemetery Clean-Up day is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, to finish the other half of the Santa Margarita Cemetery. The same rules apply, bring your own tools, be respectful, responsible, and safe. Thank you, volunteers! For an interesting lesson on the history of those who have lived in Santa Margarita, you can wander through the Santa Margarita Cemetery, located at 606 East Pozo Road, or for more information on those who are buried there, go to  Colony Magazine | October 2020

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| Gatekeepers to the North County


The Story Behind the

Texas Longhorns? way wishes to remain anonymous but shared the reasons for the colosor the better part of two sal cattle. decades, one prominent, The herd was purchased for two iconic feature frequently turns main reasons. First, to graze the land heads when one makes the trek to prevent fire danger to the region from the North County down to and be unique and something to San Luis Obispo, yet nobody knows look at for those that drive by. much about them. In the morning, “I would love for the story to the sun glistens off their faces. At inspire people to do more things that night, they are painted in a dark just make the Earth beautiful and silhouette standing as an emblem- wonderful,” the owner said. “If you atic, subtle reminder of the differ- can do it, then why wouldn’t you do ences of personalities and climate that. It is true, I could have bought when you travel over the Grade. Angus or anything and let them live Interestingly we found out the there, and no one would ever notice story behind the Longhorns began them because they would look like back in 2003. The owner of the herd every other steer you drive by. of longhorns that can b e Why not make it more fun for seen off Highway 101 on when the south side of the freeBy Connor Allen


This Scottish Highland, that can also be seen from the freeway, is named “Bad Boy” because he is always to close to the fence. Contributed photo

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you drive by.” As you whip by on the freeway, it is hard to get a good look at the herd, which is what leads several people a day to pull over and scramble for their cameras. There are around 25 to 30

that occupy a nearly 400-acre area and, when not visible, are moved to another pen out of sight from passersby. If you look closely, you will notice that not all of the cattle are longhorns. If you look even closer, you might see that of the four that aren’t longhorns; two are identical. While the herd is mostly comprised of what are commonly called Texas Longhorns, there are also four Watusi in the bunch, and two of them are identical twins, down to the spots. The two behemoth bovine breeds look very similar, especially when zooming by at 70 mph. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at their iconic horns. The Watusi horns are thicker and look as if they sit as a u-shaped crown atop the head. The longhorns horns, which can get up to 10 feet from tip to tip, appear more as if they come out of the side of the skull. The longhorn’s life span is around 20 years, which is why there are now calves also living among the herd. The original matriarch of the group, Etta, who was actually a Watusi, passed away in 2019, and as the herd grows older, younger calves are bought and added to keep them going strong. The Longhorns are only purchased as calves and raised by the

group. There is no bull in the herd. While the longhorns are the only animals visible from the freeway, they are not the only unique mammals on the property. Tucked away from the freeway and predators, sit additional pens with more fun animals like alpacas, llamas, donkeys, and horses that have all been rescued. Aside from their immense appetite, longhorns are also incredibly hardy. They can endure the hottest of temperatures and brave the elements while drinking little to no water for days at a time. With a substantial herd, they can protect themselves from predators without intervention from the outside world. In a way, they are the perfect gatekeepers to North County. In spirit, they personify the gritty hard-working nature of the people within Atascadero and Paso Robles and remind those entering or leaving that we can be regal, too. 

Colony Magazine | October 2020

Colony Buzz |

− North County Womenade −

Donates Almost $30K To Local Families

communities, and big-hearted people giving direct care to neighbors in critorth County Womenade, a ical need in the name of bringing local nonprofit organization the community closer together. The that raises money for local North County chapter comes from families that need financial assistance, its predecessor’s spirit, Womenade in has continued to serve the North San Luis Obispo, founded in 2002 County throughout the pandemic, by local teacher Sandy Richardson. donating nearly $30,000 in 2020. Sandy read an article in “Real North County Womenade was Simple” magazine about physicians founded in 2019 as a coalition that wanted to help lower-income of human service agencies, faith patients that couldn’t afford medical devices like wheelchairs, and the idea was born. Sandy began organizing potluck dinners, asking friends to bring $35 (or the cost of a meal out) with them to donate, and the North County Womenade members at a local potluck. seeds of Womenade were Pictured from left to right: Marilyn Hamilton, Betsy planted. Bloombaum, Michelle Blanc and Janelle Gorman. After 16 years, Sandy Back row: Teresa Baudanza and Carol Cook. retired in 2019 after Contributed photo By Connor Allen


helping with over a million dollars in donations and inspired more to continue the work she started. The San Luis Obispo Womenade often donated to people in need in the North County, which spawned the North County group in 2019. The name “Womenade” is a bit of a misnomer in that the organization helps everyone. Both men and women can submit requests to North County Womenade. The organization shared they could be rebranded soon with a more clear message. The nonprofit was founded by three local ladies, Michelle Blanc, a local nurse, Pastor Amy Beveridge of Bethel Lutheran Church, and Lisa Fraser, who works tirelessly for the underserved community with several organizations, including The Community Link and The Center For Family Strengthening. North County Womenade operates under the umbrella of

the Center For Family Strengthening. “We started holding fundraisers and went out and got some grants as well as holding potlucks,” Michelle explained. And while Lisa has been able to help the group secure a few grants, Michelle says, “Largely the donations have come from people in the North County supporting the North County.” As of August, the group has already issued just under $30,000 and have helped their neighbors cover everything from medical bills and baby shoes to groceries and rent. Like most nonprofit agencies, COVID-19 has stretched their resources thin as the number of funds coming in has slowed due to their inability to fundraise coupled with the community’s growing need. Those interested in donating or receiving help can visit their website at 

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October 2020 | Colony Magazine | 19

DOING WHAT THEY LOVE For the past 25 years, the Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County has been helping children By Brian Williams


he Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County is celebrating 25 years as a chapter. For a quarter of a century now, its members have been doing something they love — helping children. "We had a wonderful group of women in the Guild, who worked as a 'team' with the sole purpose of forming Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County," said founding board member Barbie Butz, of Atascadero. "Now, here we are 25 years later, looking back at our chapter and thanking you for your membership and for believing in what we do for our communities and our children." Barbie was the SLO chapter's first president, serving in that

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capacity for nearly three months. It received chapter status in March of 1996. Assistance League of SLO County's roots goes back to 1991 when it was first a "Guild." On November 21, 1991, the Assistance Guild of San Luis Obispo County, a future chapter of the National Assistance League, was formed with 32 active members from throughout the county. The first board of directors of the Guild included President Caroline Craven, Vice President Membership Kathy Metcalf, Vice President Philanthropic Projects Linda Breshears; Assistant Vice President Philanthropic Projects Barbie Butz, Vice President Fundraising Claryce Knupper, Corresponding Secretary

Colony Magazine | October 2020

Camilla Colgrave, Recording Secretary Gladys Fiske, Treasurer Bonnie Gromacki, and Guild Liaison Anne Slocum. Caroline was Guild president for two years in 1991-92 and 1992-93, Gladys followed in 1993-94, and Barbie was president in 1994-95 and 1995-96. "During the five years of building the chapter, we met in private homes, the school cafeteria at Teach School, the San Luis Obispo Library, Pacific Kitchen and Bath (owned by the Metcalfs) where we sat on everything in the display room, including the demonstration toilets and bathtubs," Barbie shared. Later on, they met at San Luis Jr. High and in the Board Room of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. Organizational support from the National Assistance League came from Guild Advisor Joan Kidder, a member of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara and the NAL Director of Extension and Linda Kilmer, a member of the Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Barbara Offerman, also a member of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, joined Joan on her Guild visits and added much to the Guild's formation, Barbie recalled. Like many of the members, Barbie had been part of Assistance League chapters in other cities before relocating to the Central Coast. "I knew Joan and Barbara well

from my League days when I lived in Santa Barbara," Barbie said. During our forming years, the Assistance Guild of San Luis Obispo County worked hard to meet the requirements to become a chapter. NAL required membership of 50. When SLO received its charter, it had 51 members. They also needed to have Operation School Bell, a philanthropic project, a fundraiser, by-laws, and an annual meeting. A Taste of Art was their initial fundraiser. After meeting the NAL requirements, "in May of 1996, we held a chartering celebration at the Madonna Inn where National Assistance League President Lorene Jaross presented us with our Chapter Link for the NAL Chain, making us the 95th Chapter of Assistance League," Barbie said. Gladys was chapter president for two terms, 1996-97 and 1997-98, and Anna Aven served one term following her. Barbie was president once again in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. Today, Helen Robertson of Paso Robles is president of the SLO chapter. OPERATION SCHOOL BELL Operation School Bell is the main philanthropic program of the Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County. The program helps clothe children at the start of the school year. "When our chapter was formed 25 years ago, as a first effort, the members were able to provide gentlyused clothing to 300 children in our County," Helen said. "They washed,





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mended, and ironed so that these students could go to school in properly fitting clothing." In order to move the program toward providing new clothing, the SLO chapter needed to begin fundraising. And so began the second arm of the chapter, raising funds so that they could not only provide new clothing but do it for more children. "As an all-volunteer organization, we depend on our members to do everything it takes to dress these students. Our members love doing just that," Helen said. Every year their goal is to dress more students in need. This past school year, over 2,200 students were provided new clothes through the local program. Students are assigned a time to shop for new clothes at Kohl's in Paso Robles and Old Navy in SLO. Assistance League members assist the children. San Luis Obispo County currently has approximately 35,000 students in its ten school districts from Nipomo in the south to San Miguel in the north. "I joined as a recent retiree with a desire to make a difference for young people in need," Helen shared. "The joy I receive when working with a child when she is able to pick out that special pair of shoes or he gets those jeans just like the other boys is so fulfilling. My heart is full each time I am able to participate in the clothing sessions." The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their fundraising efforts as it led to some events being canceled. Fortunately, their "Warm Your Heart...Clothe a Child" campaign will not be affected as people can support it through their website at


ASSISTANCE LEAGUE THRIFT STORE Another significant cog for the SLO chapter is its thrift store at 667 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo. The Assistance League Thrift Store opened April 1, 2015, and was the former Chapter President's brainchild, Gail Stoneburg. She developed a business plan and, subsequently, the chapter began holding small sessions with our members before the final decision was made to proceed to make sure everyone realized the magnitude of the undertaking. Stoneburg found the location and was the store's first manager. "We are extremely proud of the fact that to this day, it is staffed entirely by our member volunteers who work tirelessly and without pay," said Susan Pino, who became store manager in December 2018. The store's revenue has steadily increased each year, which has allowed the chapter to continue to serve more students, increase the amount of money that is spent on each student, and spread the word to customers about the chapter's various programs. Over 90 percent of the organization's generated revenue goes to Operation School Bell. Susan has been a member since 2012. Her husband is a Pal of Assistance League. "Since I have joined the Assistance League, I have made many lasting friendships with other members who share the same passion and commitment to our philanthropic program," Susan said. "We have so many stories to share about the wonderful children and families we have served throughout the years. It has been a fun yet very humbling experience for me." 

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| Taste of Americana

Barbie Butz Baking with


love Fall. I think it’s my favorite season. I love the cool days and crisp nights. I love the changing colors and falling leaves. I love acorns and pumpkins and being able to turn on my oven to begin baking again. I love cranberries and apples and pears. And I love decorating for Halloween and handing out treats. I also love searching through my cookbooks collection when the seasons change, looking for recipes to share with you. Naturally, they are my choices, and not everyone likes the same foods, but I trust that you will find something to try and enjoy. I’m including recipes using apples and what fun it would be if you had a chance to pick your own at a local apple orchard. It might well be good medicine just to get out and be with nature for a change. Remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I know that the Avila Valley Farm has a great variety of apples as well as some of the other farms in See Canyon. I remember going to Gopher Glen many years ago. Check their website for some great photos. Don’t forget to teach your kids about Johhny Appleseed while you are peeling those apples! Tell them that there are many old traditions where a young lady would enlist the help of an apple peel to look into her future love life. One Scottish and Irish tradition says that if a girl so intended, she might learn her beloved’s identity by peeling the apple in one long continuous piece and tossing it over her left shoulder, the profile of the peel would reveal the profile of her future love. In another version, the peel would reveal his initials. If the peel broke, the young lady would remain unmarried. I should think that if you have your sights set on a special someone, perhaps baking him a mouthwatering apple pie might be more romantic and more of a sure thing than throwing an apple peel! Happy Fall. Cheers!. 

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Apple Bread

Ingredients: • 3 cups all-purpose flour • 2 cups of sugar • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp baking soda • ½ tsp baking powder • ½ tsp salt • 4 large eggs, room temperature • 1 cup canola oil • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 2 cups chopped peeled apples (~ 2 medium) • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans with parchment; grease parchment. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be thick). Fold in apples and walnuts. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Note: For freezing, securely wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. To use, thaw at room temperature.

Hot Apple Slaw

Ingredients: • 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and chopped, 2 tbs drippings reserved • 2 tbs sugar • 2 tbs vinegar • 1 1/2 tsp salt • ¼ cup water • 4 cup shredded cabbage • 2 red apples, grated

Directions: In a large skillet, place bacon drippings, sugar, vinegar, salt, and water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, stir in cabbage and apples; simmer for 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Top with crisp bacon pieces. Serve warm with pork or roasted chicken.

Apple Sour Cream Pie

Ingredients: Crust • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust Filling • 5 cups peeled, thinly sliced tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Jonagolds, or Pink Ladies • 1 cup sour cream • ½ cup granulated sugar • 2 large eggs • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour • Zest and juice of 1 lemon • ¼ tsp kosher salt Topping • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans • ½ cup all-purpose flour • ½ cup granulated sugar • ½ cup unpacked light brown sugar • ½ cup rolled oats • ½ tsp ground cinnamon • ½ tsp kosher salt • 6 tbs (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place apples in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add sour cream, granulated sugar, eggs, flour, lemon zest and juice, and salt and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour sour cream mixture over apples and toss gently to mix. Spoon apple mixture into pie shell and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Next, combine nuts, flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt, and mix. Add butter and mix with fingertips until butter is incorporated and the mixture is a crumblike consistency. Sprinkle topping over apples and gently press to adhere. Bake for about 1 hour, until filling is bubbling around the edges and apples are tender when pierced with a knife. If the top starts browning too quickly, cover with foil until apples are tender. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Colony Magazine | October 2020


he Annual Atascadero Colony Days is still happening in 2020, taking place on the weekend of October 1. The local event, which is viewed by many as a hometown celebration, will run as a multiple-day event showcasing the community and powered by a voracious committee of local volunteers. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will look different from year's past, but after the last few months of cancellations, just the thought of any event has excited many. The Colony Days committee was founded in 1973 by a group of volunteers looking to enhance the city's birthday celebration. The first formal celebration of the city's founding was held in 1963 to celebrate Atascadero's 50th anniversary. The first parade was in 1974. The idea of an annual celebration came from one local North County citizen, Maggie Vandergon, who grew up involved with Paso Robles Pioneer Day and decided Atascadero needed something of its own. Maggie served as the parade chairman for 21 years and saw the celebration as a collection of music, pageantry, music, contest, and fun that might have been held in the earliest days of the community as well as a parade. According to an old piece written on Colony Day's history by local resident Lon Allan, the group started small with a meeting at the Atascadero Junior High School. It slowly grew into a robust committee with officers set in place. Over the years, the committee struggled to find funding and held fundraisers like rummage sales and talent shows and, for a short while, even held a M u d Hole


By Connor Allen

and competed for the title. Colony Days has an excellent reason for being held in the Fall, the third Saturday in October, to be exact. Vandergon found it much easier to get local high school marching bands, a frequent feature attraction of the parades, to participate while running at full speed for football season. Over the years, the parade has featured several unique attractions such as clowns on stilts, skydivers landing in the parade route, and a famous roller-skating elephant. The parade has also included royalty over the years. Dave Cowan, who is also credited with penning the name "Colony Days," and Ida Moore, were the first king and queen. This year's celebration will look different and will begin on Thursd a y,

October 1, and run for four-days throughout the weekend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers were forced to find creative ways to celebrate together safely. For the first time in Colony Day's history, the event will be promoting a sub-theme that reads, "We are Atascadero," in addition to the original theme, "Look how far we have come, 100 years of women's rights, arts, and literacy," celebrating the 100th anniversary of the women's right to vote in Atascadero. The 2020 event will feature a parade but n o t how you are accustomed to seeing it. This year, Colony Days will hold a "reverse parade" display along Palma Avenue and East Mall on October 3. In order to see the parade, people are encouraged to drive slowly or walk past the floats in lanes that will be designated for each. The reverse parade will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. E n t r i e s for the parade ended on September 14. Those who view the parade can then mozy over to

B e a u t y Queen Pageant in which well-known men dressed up Photo courtesylocal of Frank Sanchez October 2020 | Colony Magazine | 23

Photos by Rick Evans

the Printery Building, where the Colony Days committee will be stationed in a historic-style tent dressed in period clothing, with the added 2020 splash of a mask, throwing citizens back to the days of Tent City for a barbecue fundraiser. The meal tickets are $50 for tri-tip and $40 for chicken and will include beans, salad, bread, and a dessert. The committee has provided more ways than one for those in the community to get involved. On top of the reverse parade, Saturday

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will also include a virtual parade. Community members can submit 7-to-10 second clips of themselves that will then be streamed into a virtual parade. Friday night Tent City will be holding the Tent City After Dark Virtual Concert package. The package includes drink tickets from local businesses and a link to the show to enjoy at home. The band playing on October 3 has yet to be announced. Tickets are $20 presale and $30 with a drink package. Tickets available at

Colony Days has always been a big supporter of local arts and will be bringing back a popular contest that is sure to light up the downtown streets. This year the committee has brought back the Business Window Painting contest that sets up local businesses with Atascadero High School students or recent graduates to paint a positive message for the community using the hashtag #WeAreAtascadero. The window paintings will be judged on Tuesday, September 29, and the winning young artist will be presented with a cash prize, and

the business receives a certificate. "Just like the women of 100 years ago, our community is overcoming an adverse situation. We hope everyone will join in many of the easy to participate options to celebrate safely," Committee Chair Karen McNamara shared. "I can't wait to see lots of video clips, signs, and painted windows everywhere, people safely viewing the parade, enjoying the concert, and get to see many in person who drives up to get their barbecue meal. 2020 will be memorable for something great in our community!" ď Ž Colony Magazine | October 2020

history in photos

Colony days Parade

October 2020 | Colony Magazine | 25

| Atascadero Lake



Board members of the Friends of the Atascadero Lake accept a donation from the Atascadero Rotary. From left to right: Dena Kaigel, Olan Kaigel, Bob Edmonds , Don Giessinger, Don Lynge, Paul Murphy and Nancy Hair. Photo by Connor Allen

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n the afternoon of September 10 at the Lake Pavilion, the Atascadero Rotary handed a check for $1,000 as a donation to the Friends of the Atascadero Lake. Rotary member Don Giessinger presented the check to the six board members of Friends of Atascadero Lake that were in attendance to receive it. “The Atascadero Rotary Club is extremely happy to make a donation of $1,000 to the Atascadero Lake,” Giessinger said in his statement to the media. “We feel the lake is very important, a crown jewel to our community. The Atascadero Rotary is always trying to bring happiness and support to our local community. We hope with this donation it will continue to help the Atascadero Lake be a focal point for families to enjoy the wildlife and scenery.” The Friends of the Atascadero Lake is a group dedicated to the ongoing improvement, enhancement, universal appreciation, and

enjoyment of the Atascadero Lake. The group commits their time and resources toward assuring the water quality and aesthetics of the beloved body of water. The members present at the ceremony to receive the donation were Dena Kaigel, Olan Kaigel, Bob Edmonds, Don Lynge, Paul Murphy and Nancy Hair. The board also has seven additional members in Mark and Kathy Hontz, Dick and Wendy Pierce, Barbara Combs, Jon Trumbull, and Michelle Harms. “Don [Giessinger] has been a huge supporter of our work and instrumental in helping us drill the well that feeds Atascadero Lake,” The Friends of Atascadero said in their statement. “We are most grateful for this generous donation. With all the negative news, this ‘good news’ story will be positive for our community. Atascadero Lake has been a focal point for folks wanting to get outside and safely socialize, exercise, fish, or just enjoy nature.” 

Colony Magazine | October 2020

City Council Election 2020 Q&A

Election 2020

The Election Board of The Atascadero News and Colony Magazine sent out a questionnaire to the Mayoral Candidates, Heather Moreno (Incumbent), Jerry Tanimoto, and Josh Donovan, about their campaigns and their stance on various issues affecting Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County and the North County in particular. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same list of questions in 100 words or less in addition to their introduction. The candidate’s introduction and two questions and answers in their entirety are provided below:



city vibrant. That’s why, like you, I’m a dedicated community volunteer. I am committed to preserving the uniqueness of Atascadero and it’s a privilege serving our great city. I respectfully ask for your vote. s a CPA, business owner, and your Mayor, I am deeply Serving community. committed to the health of our community and the Prospering together. health of our economy. I initiated a public outreach campaign to ensure your voice is heard as we make decisions about the What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place to live, work and play? future of Atascadero. We need a diverse economy, where the amount of good-paying jobs is on par with Atascadero’s I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together. With your support, I housing supply. More jobs equal more success for our retail/restaurant sector, encouraging more will continue the work of building a strong, balanced economy, sustaining fiscal stewardship, businesses to locate here. and strengthening the connection between you and our city. I brought together stakeholders resulting in BridgeWorks, the first co-working space in North I was appointed to our City’s Planning Commission in 2008, serving as chairperson in County. 2010. I became an Atascadero City Councilwoman in 2012 and served as Mayor Pro-Tem I convened investors and business owners to reconfigure Del Rio with 230,000 square feet for during 2015-2016. I serve on the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, Regional Transit tech and light manufacturing businesses. Authority, and SLO County Economic Vitality Corporation. Since 2012, I have also served I’ll build on our success. We must expand our connectivity. I advocate leveraging our SB1090 on the Design Review Committee and as chair of the City’s Finance Committee. funds and will work with local partners for a regional strategy to obtain funding to bring broadband Our thriving volunteer spirit and strong community partnerships are key to keeping our to Atascadero.



Reducing homelessness, ensuring public safety, strengthening our economy, and planning for our future are my top priorities. Many of you already know me as the voice of the Atascadero Greyhounds; now I have been a leader for the past 44 years in Atascadero, working with every group and organization in various want to be your voice for Atascadero. Make sure you register to vote, and when you possible situations, to promote and improve our quality of get your ballot, vote “Mr. T” for Mayor. life. I have the experience of working successfully with just What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place to live, work and about everyone in the city during that time. play? Simply, I know how to bring different groups together to solve All of the issues I care about share a quality-of-life component to attract businesses to the various issues we face as one community. our downtown core. We need to promote seasonal vendors that provide food, handicrafts, As a small business owner, I appreciate the importance of local businesses in creating merchandise, entertainment, and just plain fun. We need to reach the milestone of residents the community we enjoy. and visitors being able to expect different vendors and a variety of all these activities As a former board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and North County YMCA, and a through the week and every weekend. founder of the Atascadero Optimist Club, I am passionate about supporting families and kids. Increasing the pedestrian friendliness of our downtown encourages sustainable Whether it’s chairing the Colony Days Committee, serving meals at ECHO Homeless Shelter, clustering of family-friendly businesses. Keeping people connected to each other, even or inspecting election precincts, I know how to bring people together to get things done. now socially distanced, is good for our daily environment.



Our city is struggling with its ability to accomplish the basics or listen to its own people. Atascadero maintains a notorious reputation for being difficult to work with, scaring away business and good-paying jobs from our community. orn and raised in Atascadero, Josh Donovan is a true We deserve a business-friendly Atascadero, with leadership that is willing to listen entrepreneur passionate about business, leadership and and take appropriate action, not bureaucrats. We deserve a “Stronger Atascadero” and people. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran, has a that is what Josh will deliver. bachelor’s in Organizational Management and is certified as an Integrative Wellness and Life Coach. He serves as CEO of What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place to live, work and play? two companies, is a business consultant, executive coach and Right now, I think we need to get everyone back to work and open all of our businesses up. co-hosts the podcast “All Things Atascadero.” We need to give people their personal freedoms back, the ability to choose. Josh will tell you that his most important roles in life are being a husband and a father If we can stand inside at the grocery store, we should be able to eat inside a restaurant or to his three daughters. Modeling integrity and humility through service above self are top workout inside a gym. priorities, which is why he has always dedicated significant amounts of time and energy We need to get our kids back in school. We need youth activities not only reactivated but serving the community of Atascadero. expanded. Coaching and consulting provide opportunities to invest in the lives of others, personally I would like to see more family-friendly activities, restaurants, and things to do. and professionally, fulfilling Josh’s ultimate purpose. Having somewhere for our unhoused neighbors to go would be helpful in some areas.


October 2020 | Colony Magazine | 27


Election 2020 Continued

he City Council acts upon all legislative matters concerning the city, approving, and adopting all ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other matters requiring overall policy decisions and leadership. The Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, and various other commissions, boards, and citizen advisory committees, all of which ensure broad-based input into the city’s affairs. Incumbent Charles Bourbeau is seeking reelection to the City Council and is challenged by Bret Heinemann, Mark Dariz, Nicholas Mattson, and Tori Keen. Roberta Fonzi is not running for reelection. Bourbeau is a community volunteer who graduated from California Polytechnic

State University, San Luis Obispo, and served full-time in the Army National Guard. Dariz is an architect and has served on the City of Atascadero Planning Commission since 2011 — twice as chairman, 2015 and 2020. Heinemann is a writer who graduated from Atascadero High School and California State University, Fresno, with a bachelor’s degree. Keen is a family law paralegal and is currently serving on the City of Atascadero Planning Commission — appointed in August 2019. Mattson is a small business owner and is a member of local service clubs and sits on the boards of community nonprofits.



stay. Let us have jobs for our talents and work together in patience. Time is our most precious gift. Use it wisely, so we don’t have to ask what if? For God so loved the World He gave His only Son that those y reason for running for the Atascadero City Council is that it is who believe in Him should not perish and be done. the responsibility of qualified citizens to serve on the Council to govern the city and administer services in a timely manner and oversee What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place the budget. It is important, too, to make sure that there are adequate to live, work and play? sources of funding and spend the funds wisely. One of the best sources The job base. A quick review will indicate that most residents find of revenue is a strong, vibrant economy. employment at the Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero Unified I moved to Atascadero in 1979 with my parents, and my schooling School District, and home. Home is for all those who work full- or partwas completed at Trinity Lutheran School and Atascadero High School. I time in or from their homes. This includes those who work online, all earned my bachelor’s in History from California State University, Fresno, kinds of contractors, and those who sell from home. with a minor in Political Science. I also have an associate’s in Electronics The jobs in the area need to expand to meet the needs of residents of Technology that I earned at Cuesta College. today and tomorrow. In doing so, other businesses will have a stronger Atascadero is a great place for work and play. May our homes in safety customer base and the city will have a better tax base.



government. I am known for my thorough homework, asking tough questions, and reaching out to all involved parties before making a decision. I was born in Iowa and raised in Modesto. Upon finishing Cal Poly, I take no campaign contributions and donate my Council salary to good began a three-decade career as a full-time National Guard officer, causes in our community. ultimately serving as a colonel responsible for all federal funds, property, equipment, and contracting for the California National Guard. In 2011- What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place 12, I served as the Finance Director for the City of San Luis Obispo. to live, work and play? We first moved to Atascadero in 1985 when my wife, Melissa, began Atascadero is already a great place to live, work, and play. a long career teaching in Atascadero schools. I have been very active as Attracting more jobs would enable more Atascadero residents to a volunteer for the police department doing graffiti abatement, CASA enjoy working closer to home and support more shopping and eating mentor for foster youth, building signs and maintaining trails with ALPS, opportunities that all residents could enjoy. Providing different housing serving on the board for RISE, and being active in the Rotary Club. opportunities, ie, second- and third-story apartments downtown, On the Council, I serve as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice would be attractive, particularly to younger residents that cannot for economic development, financial responsibility, and efficient afford and may not prefer large-lot living.


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Colony Magazine | October 2020



dedicated Planning Commissioner for the City of Atascadero since 2011 (Chairman in 2015 and 2020), I have worked to ensure smart development and economic growth for the city. My background as an architect and my experience on the City’s Design Review Committee and the County’s Regional Transportation Advisory Committee has brought a valuable perspective to the many ongoing changes. As a member of Atascadero’s Kiwanis Club, where I’ve served as president and currently serve as treasurer, I have seen first-hand the value of volunteer work helping children, the homeless and elderly. I will continue to support the vibrant volunteer spirit in our community. As a Councilmember, I will: Model an open and transparent

public communication and work cohesively and respectfully with my Council colleagues. We will work with other community leaders to bring jobs and business to Atascadero to further enhance our economy, maintain our infrastructure and improve our quality of life. I’ll use my experience as an architect and Planning Commissioner to help guide development in a direction to strengthen the well-being and economy of our city. I would be honored to have your vote. What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place to live, work and play? Dariz: I believe our city staff already does a great job making Atascadero a great place to live and play. Aside from COVID, there is always something happening in town that is fun and family-friendly.


County to raise a family by ensuring we continue to build affordable, market-rate housing. I will generate smart solutions to solve our city’s homelessness e face a difficult choice here in Atascadero: continue to embrace crisis, all while fighting to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. the stagnant status quo or harness our city’s potential. As your City Councilman, I will put my entire energy into taking I moved to Atascadero because it was truly a great place to work Atascadero from merely surviving to thriving. I humbly ask for your and raise a family. Sadly, I worry that those days are slipping into the vote. past if we do nothing to solve our biggest challenges. That’s why I’m running for Atascadero City Council. What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place As a small businessman, economic development and job creation to live, work and play? are fuel for our future, not merely buzzwords. Improving the business and industry environment with vigor, I won’t pay lip service to recruiting businesses and jobs to our maintain high standards of public safety in public places, unify the community and will fight to create a robust economic development activities and events in Atascadero with an energetic brand that can program that emphasizes job creation and avoids costly sales tax be used to promote locally and regionally. 2021 is expected to be a increases to fill holes in the city budget. rebound year and the effort we put in during the hard times will produce And I will fight to promote Atascadero as the best place in North exponentially in the boom.




have lived in Atascadero for 10 years. I was on the Board of Atascadero AYSO for 6 years while coaching my son and daughter. I am currently a paralegal at a local family law firm. I have spent the past year on the Planning Commission and I want to bring that experience to the City Council.

What things could be improved to make Atascadero a better place to live, work and play? I’d love to see our creek developed between the El Camino and Lewis Street bridge to give a great walking area for people to spend more time downtown. I’d like to see more head-of-household jobs brought to Atascadero. I’d like to see more affordable housing in the city with affordable by design, tiny homes, and accessory dwelling units.

You can read the candidate’s full questionnaire at

Measures The City of Atascadero has placed a 1-cent sales tax measure on the ballot — Measure D. The City estimates the sales tax increase would generate $4.5 million annually that the City would use to maintain and enhance important City services such as police, fire, paramedic, parks, recreation, public facilities, and infrastructure. Measure D needs a simple majority from voters to pass. Be sure you are registered to vote on November 3 by visiting or check your registration at October 2020 | Colony Magazine | 29

Election 2020

SCHOOL BOARD THE ATASCADERO SCHOOL BOARD has three seats open all four-year terms. Terri E. Switzer, Corinne C. Kuhnle, and Mary Kay Mills seek re-election to their respective Atascadero School Board seats and are challenged by parent and community volunteer Vy Pierce. Role of School Boards The local school board is a critical public link to public schools. School board members serve their communities in several important ways. First, school boards look out for students. Education is the only item that school

boards focus on and is accountable for. Second, school boards are accessible to the public and accountable for their schools' performance, and third, school boards ensure that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent. The school board's most critical responsibility is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local public schools. School boards derive their power and authority from the state. In compliance with state and federal laws, school boards establish policies and regulations by which their local schools are governed.

Atascadero Unified School District Election 2020 Q&A The Election Board of The Atascadero News and Colony Magazine sent out a questionnaire to the School Board Candidates, Corinne Kuhnle (Incumbent), Mary Kay Mills (Incumbent), Terrie Switzer (Incumbent), and Vy Pierce about their campaigns and their stance on various issues affecting the Atascadero Unified School District. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same list of questions in 100 words or less in addition to their introduction. The candidate's introduction and answer to one of our questions in their entirety are provided below, with the exception of Mary Kay Mills and Terrie Switzer, who did not participate.


Committee, Atascadero High School Pool Committee. Our students are my greatest inspiration to serve as a board member. I have witnessed their growth and success magnified when we, as a district, work together. In my was raised in San Luis Obispo. My parents were the original owners of opinion, mutual respect and teamwork are the two key ingredients that have the Artic Circle Drive-in, now known as Frank's Hot Dogs. I attended Cal propelled our district to #1. Poly on their two-year Tech program, majoring in Ag Business. My husband, Randy, and I moved to Carrisa Plains after his graduation from Cal Poly and Describe your top three objectives if you are elected to the school board. are partners in the Kuhnle & Sons farming/cattle business. Together, we My top three objectives as a school board member are as follows: have four children who attended Atascadero Unified K-12, and all are doing 1. Adopting a new structure of curriculum during the Covid-19 pandemic and after. It is my hope that as soon as San Luis Obispo County of Public well in their respective careers on the Central Coast. Health gives us the okay, we can strategically forge ahead addressing our I have proudly served on the Atascadero Unified School Board for almost student's academic needs. twenty years. I have served and participated on several committees during 2. Working within a state-mandated budget and adopting a balanced budget. my tenure on the board: AUSD Board President-3 Terms, AUSD Clerk 3 Terms, ROP Board, Strategic 3. Encouraging an open channel of communication between all of our Planning Team, Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee, County of SLO stakeholders with Superintendent Butler and the board, especially during Professional Development, Master of Governance Training, LCAP Steering these very emotional, challenging times.



do hard things. I'll be a fresh voice on the board and look for creative and thoughtful solutions, so our school district can come out of these challenges better than before. I am proud to be endorsed by the Atascadero District am a mom to three school-age children and have spent the last decade Teachers Association, and many parents, students, teachers, business volunteering in Atascadero's public schools and non-profit organizations. owners, elected officials, and civic leaders. I've served as everything from classroom helper to elementary site council member, and a leader in PTA, PTO, and AHS Band Boosters. From an eleven- Describe your top three objectives if you are elected to the school board. year career working in the non-profit sector and from serving on non-profit I want to use my first-hand experience to solve the challenges created boards, I know the importance of trust, transparency, and accountability—and by COVID-19 and make our school district better and stronger. Secondly, I how to achieve them. I'm also a product of California public schools, from want to improve education for all students by addressing inequities among elementary through UC. the schools. My children and I have been part of 5 different schools. We Our schools face unprecedented challenges from this COVID-19 pandemic. have seen that our schools don't have the same level of parent support or I remember all the changes and challenges we've faced from implementing PTA fundraising to support assemblies, field trips, classroom supplies, etc. new Common Core curriculum and the school threat in 2015 to last March Lastly, I want to support arts education to enhance learning in core subjects when we were all thrown into distance learning. Together, we know how to and increase student engagement.


MEASURES Atascadero voters will also decide the fate of two measures. AUSD has placed a $40 million school bond on the ballot — Measure C. Bond proceeds will be expended on the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities of the Atascadero Unified School District, including furnishing and equipping, and the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities. Measure C needs at least 55 percent voter approval to pass. You can read the candidate's full questionnaire at

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Colony Magazine | October 2020

San Luis Obispo County of Education |

Flexibility, Patience and Kindness

Dr. James J. Brescia, Ed.D



his academic year I am starting with a focus on flexibility, patience, and kindness. Our country is dealing with a pandemic, hurricanes, fires, economic challenges, political strife, and general stress. When we join together in collaboration and sincere compassion, we are better humans. Winston Churchill said, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.� Despite the challenges we all face because of COVID-19, it has been positive to see students back at school this fall. The enthusiastic energy and dedication are evident even though we cannot see the smiles in-person.

October 2020 | Colony Magazine

We learned a great deal from the nearly instant transition to virtual learning last spring, and our schools are better prepared this fall to deliver distance learning. The beginning of any school year is one of invention, imagination, excitement, and possibility. This year is no different, except we have a blend of anxiety and caution to consider. The daily news, political unrest, social issues of race, and equity all cause stress. There is no roadmap for the complications we face this year, and we must remember the three words, flexibility, patience, and kindness. When I taught middle school, my students and I held a class meeting at the beginning of each term and completed agreed-upon social norms for the classroom expectations. This clarification of expectations allowed us to move forward positively with mutual respect. I ask that we all consider a set of expectations that include flexibility, patience, and kindness in all of our actions as we move

forward. A higher purpose calls us together as members of a family, school, or community. We have a stake in both our individual and collective wellbeing. How we treat each other in times of stress is sometimes more telling than how we treat each other during less stressful times. Recognizing that the individual choices we make have a direct impact on those around us can reframe our sense of obligation for others. Each of us has the power to extend goodwill as we join together in community. We can uplift each other with some simple suggestions, such as assuming positive intention, listening to understand, and speaking to be understood. Therapists indicate that when we put some of these techniques into action during times of stress, our long-term wellbeing is enhanced. Now is the time to work together to create our best possible future. We must face the challenges that

confront us by leaning into one another for comfort and encouragement. Consistent communication and checking for understanding are vital when we cannot read social and body language cues because of COVID-19. Sprinkle a little joy into your Zoom and online conversations. Between the stress of this pandemic and recent civil unrest, compassion is a critical component in harmony. One of my personal goals is to remember that when I have a choice between having the last word or being kind, I choose kind. Our community has stepped up and shifted how we do business to accommodate our current reality. The innovation, perseverance, and grace I have seen so many in our county demonstrate is genuinely remarkable. The willingness to revisit how we do things will be the hallmark of this new school year. It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent of schools. Thank You, San Luis Obispo County! ď Ž | 31

I Can No Longer Stay Silent

By Sandra Stratman


can no longer stay silent. I have been mostly quiet on social media when it comes to protests, rioting, and all the horrible things we are witnessing right now. If I say something in support of Law Enforcement, I'll be told I don't support POC (which I do). If I say something in support of POC, I'll be seen as anti-law enforcement (which I'm not). But today is different. I can no longer stay silent. Today I stand up and speak out. Not for a specific race and not for a specific group of people...I stand up for all of humanity. The quietness stopped when I read about the two L.A County Sheriff 's Deputies who were shot this past weekend. My heart sank, and tears rolled down my eyes when I heard the news as I come from a law enforcement family. My family signed up to "protect and serve" and we are well aware of the risks. But it still hits too close to home knowing we could be the ones getting the knock on the door. My heart sinks similarly when I hear of a suspect being shot by an officer because justified or not...a life was lost, and there is a family out there mourning that loss. It also sinks, knowing that any

shooting by an officer, justified or not, exacerbates the issues we face, making both sides feel unsupported. But what made this one different is the fact that a line was crossed when protesters gathered around the hospital where the deputies were being treated. They tried to break in, and they chanted, "I hope they die!" It's one thing to protest, but my God… where is our heart for humans? When an officer wrongfully shoots a person, you do not see them trying to break into the victim's house/ hospital and chant, "I hope they die!" So why is it OK for people — not even involved in the L.A deputy shooting — to show up and try to break into the hospital chanting, "I hope they die"? As I was trying to make sense of this, I reflected on how my Cubanborn mother and Mexican-born father raised me. They came here because America was the land of opportunity. My mother worked in corporate America and later became a state-certified translator. My dad became a police officer and was involved in his community. He was respected not only for the job he had but

for treating everyone with dignity — even the bad guys. They taught us to work hard and be grateful for the opportunities given to us in the "Land of the Free." They taught us morals, respect, and dignity. They taught us to give back to the community and get involved. They taught us not to watch things go by but to instead make things happen. After reflecting on how I was raised and reflecting on this weekend's tragic shooting of officers, I keep asking myself the following questions: Where did our morals go? Where did respect for humankind go? Where is our country going? Are we no longer the Land of the Free? As parents, are we being too easy on our kids? Are we forgetting that our job as parents is to raise independent, respectful, and contributing members of society? Are we forgetting that no matter what demographic, we can all succeed? Are we giving in to the pressures of evil that is out there because it's an easy way out? Are we talking about doing our p a r t but not

acting on it? And finally… will the riots ever stop? I'm sad, I'm angry, and I've been in tears about this, but I came across a quote that gave me hope: "We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God's family." ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu I hope sharing these wise words will bring forth compassion and empathy for all and inspire others to get involved to be the change we so desperately need because enough is enough! In the meantime, I will continue to pray for God to seep into the hearts of those so bitter and angry as well as for the peacemakers trying to make change. 

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