Morro Bay Life • April 2024

Page 1


PubliSherS Hayley & Nicholas Mattson


Camille DeVaul


Michael Chaldu


Anthony Atkins

John Nygaard


Jen Rodman

Ad ConSultant

Dana McGraw


Cami Martin


Neil Farrell

Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl

Ian Parkinson

James Brescia

“Community is the heartbeat of humanity, where differences dissolve, and unity thrives in the harmony of shared purpose and support.”

April is one of my favorite times of the year. With longer days and warmer nights, it’s perfect for enjoying mornings outside with coffee and evenings and weekends filled with community events as the countdown to summer begins. This year, our sweet Mirac prepares to graduate from 6th grade, reminding us of how quickly time flies. With Max not far behind, we feel so grateful to be raising them here in our wonderful community. Living here on the Central Coast, we have the privilege of enjoying the fresh produce that California has to offer. Our proximity to local farmers ensures an abundance of fresh produce, allowing us to create meals that coincide with the seasons, enriching the lives of our children in ways I could only dream of. It is imperative that we rally behind our local farmers by frequenting the farmers’ markets held weekly. Moreover, it is crucial to impart upon our children the significance of consuming a diverse array of foods and understanding the origins of what they eat. Last month, I addressed the evolving landscape of newspapers, a transformation that continues to unfold. Just recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a

our publications—Morro Bay Life, Atascadero News, and Paso Robles Press—and subsequently subscribed to all three. Such gestures of support are deeply appreciated by both our team and myself.

In other news, we are thrilled to announce our recent move downstairs to 5850 El Camino Real. Though we are currently under construction with a new project, we are open to visitors for newspaper and magazine business. As part of our new home on the ground floor, we are excited to announce the upcoming opening of Atascadero Marketplace. The Marketplace will be an outlet featuring unique goods from local artisans, Central Coast branded goods— Atascadero, Paso Robles, SLO—and more. The Marketplace will be positioned as the “North County Visitor Center,” where locals and visitors alike can pick up the latest copy of our publications, a cup of our own brand of Joebella-roasted coffee, and some locally branded merchandise on their way to visiting all the great people and places SLO County has to offer. If you are a local artisan who has items you think will fit in an upscale local marketplace, go to our website to submit information. We will announce the grand

opening date of Atascadero Marketplace next month, so stay tuned! We hope you take the opportunity to attend one of the wonderful events our community has organized. We look forward to seeing you out and about, embracing the spirit of togetherness, and making memories this Spring!

Hayley Mattson Publisher
Through Print making communities better
Contact Us 805.466.2585 Visit our website!
* Online only ads available as well for $225/mo. (300px x 250px) Contracts Open | 3 Month | 6 Month | 12 Month Ad Sizes Full Half Quar ter Eighth | 10”x 15.5” (H) | 10”x 7.75” (H) / 4.9” x 15.5” (V) | 4.9”x 7.75” (H) | 4.9”x 3.75” (H) Support Your Local Community. Get more eyes on your ad and promote your busine ss when you adver tise with Morro Bay Life. Each issue is direct mailed to every Mor ro Bay residence and business address! Star ting as low as $49/mo. SCAN THE QR CODE TO GET STARTED! Secure your ad spot today! Ad Consultants are waiting! P.O. Box 6068, Atascadero, CA 93422 805-466-2585 MORROBAYLIFENEWS.COM 2 • April 2024 • Morro Bay Life Making Communities Better Through Print™

If you know of a business or non-profit that deserves a spotlight, please send your nomination to our Ambassador’s Committee for review by emailing Lynsey Hansen at

Find your shopping ideas by following us on Facebook, Instagram or

For more information contact Lynsey Hansen, Membership Director at


Putting a Spotlight on Businesses

The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce is putting a spotlight on local businesses! Spotlight Businesses are nominated and selected by fellow business owners in Morro Bay as a standout business with exceptional ownership.

Business spotlights recognize Chamber member businesses that provide a consistent, positive customer experience, are actively engaged in the community and demonstrate resilience during challenging times.

Sunday, March 31st

Please help us CONGRATULATE these businesses on their spotlight award by visiting their establishments, purchasing their products or services, and leaving good reviews online. Morro Bay Life • April 2024 • 3

Congressman dredges up $14M in dredging money

Our local congressman has brought home some serious bacon to the Central Coast, securing millions for a major harbor dredging and maintenance project to restore the Morro Bay harbor’s boater highway.

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced that he had secured over $26 million for Central Coast harbors and ports, including over half of that amount for a big Morro Bay project slated to happen in the fall of 2025.

“The Central Coast’s harbors and ports are central to our community’s livelihood and lifestyle,” Carbajal said. “Whether it’s the family enjoying a Saturday sail or a fisherman collecting their daily catch, having safe and operational channels and waterfronts are crucial to our region.”

Part of the massive federal government temporary funding bill signed March 8 by President Joe Biden, the funding will go for four projects in Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura Harbor, and Port San Luis in Avila Beach.

Morro Bay got the lion’s share, some $14.4 million, which made Mayor Carla Wixom happy.

“The City of Morro Bay is grateful to receive $14.46 million from the fiscal year 2024 Energy and Water appropriations bill, supported by Congressman Carbajal,” Wixom said. “The appropriated funds will be used to dredge and maintain operations at Morro Bay Harbor for the benefit of commercial fishers and recreational boaters alike.”

The allocations come as a byproduct of the annual California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, or C-MANC, which the city sends representatives to every year. It’s a chance for representatives of harbors and ports to collectively meet with members of Congress (normally their staffs), and with the Army Corps of Engineers to lobby for money to do harbor maintenance, like dredging the Morro Bay Harbor Entrance, which ACOE does every year.

It’s also a chance to speak with the people who make decisions in Washington, D.C., that trickle down like cold rain under your poncho.

At the latest conference, the Morro Bay contingent was Wixom, City Councilmember Zara Landrum and City Manager Yvonne Kimball, who attended C-MANC, as Morro Bay Harbor Director Ted Schiafone, who would normally go too, said he had to cancel due to illness.

“I was scheduled to go, but I got pneumonia just before the trip and had to cancel,” he explained.

Wixom said they were grateful for Carbajal’s efforts.

“We applaud Congressman Carbajal’s effort with the Army Corps of Engineers to include this

critical funding for the Harbor and appreciate that Morro Bay remains a top priority for dredging and harbor maintenance funding,” she said.

In addition to the $14.4 million to Morro Bay, Carbajal also secured $3.04 million for Santa Barbara, $8.47 million for Ventura Harbor, and $23,000 for PSL.

Schiafone said the money is for the normal harbor mouth dredging project done by the ACOE dredge ship Yaquina, usually in May-June. And the rest of the bay’s navigable channel will get attention too, for the first time in over a decade.

“This funding will be used for the dredge project in 2025,” Schiafone said. “It will include approximately $4 million for the entrance channel and the remaining $10 million for the back channel.”

While the Yaquina is scheduled to come in during its routine May-June schedule, it has not yet been determined when the navigation channel would be worked on.

The last time the channel, which runs down the waterfront from the T-piers to the launch ramp and is the bay’s “highway” for boat traffic, was dredged was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the $831 billion plan that President Barack Obama pushed through to try and recover from the 2008 recession. Then-Congresswoman Lois Capps secured

some $8 million to dredge the navigation channel, the first time it had been done in many decades.

With that project, the Army Corps of Engineers contracted a private company, AIS Construction, to come in and do the work, which was done with a pipe dredge. Steel pipes on floating platforms were installed spanning the bay with disposal of materials onto the beach north of Morro Rock. That project started in late 2010.

Schiafone said that’s likely what will be done this time too, but he does not have a date yet when it will happen.

“This money [$14.4M] will be used entirely for the 2025 dredge projects,” Schiafone said. “The money gets paid directly to the Army Corps to manage and complete this project.”

It should be noted that in 2017, another dredging project occurred in the Harbor Channel, which goes roughly from the harbor mouth to the T-piers. That company was Ahtna Designbuild Corporation of Irvine, which got a $4.37 million contract with the ACOE to remove some 240,000 cubic yards of material and deposit it on Morro Strand Beach.

And this latest large allocation from Congress isn’t likely to be the last one Morro Bay Harbor gets. The federal (and state) government is working on a project to install some 3 gigawatts of wind energy turbines floating offshore north of here. Morro Bay is the nearest port to that “wind

area” site, which is actually offshore from San Simeon that is able to handle any of the boats that are expected to be needed for this unique project. (Port San Luis is also being eyed for this.)

It’s been anticipated that the harbor’s facilities will need extensive upgrades, perhaps as much as $50 million worth, according to a study by the State Lands Commission, to accommodate the wind companies’ needs.

Schiafone was asked about this, and he said it’s still too early to know.

“Those specific discussions have not occurred,” he told Morro Bay Life. “The City of Morro Bay is more concerned about having sufficient studies to determine what impact the activities and development of any related facilities will have on our sensitive environment. Until those impacts are determined and communicated to our local citizens and stakeholders, we are not prepared to discuss any potential offshore wind projects.”

Uncovering the environmental impacts is likely to also be of special interest to a local citizen activist group that recently formed in opposition to the offshore floating wind farms idea.

The REACT Alliance (“Responsible Energy Adaptation for California’s Transition”; visit recently held a fundraiser and protest march in opposition to the offshore floating wind farms project.

Bargain-hunter nirvana: the 24th Annual Citywide Yard Sale

The event began nearly a quarter-century ago by Morro Bay Beautiful and the Chamber of Commerce

The 24th Annual Citywide Yard Sale took over the streets throughout Morro Bay on March 16-17, as over 100 residents, businesses, and charity groups took part in the annual bargain-hunting frenzy.

Numerous homes have taken the art of making a deal to new highs with huge sales and thousands of items for sale — literally anything a person could imagine, including antique phonograph players, fine furniture pieces, many valuable antiques, art, jewelry (both costume and pieces made from nature using things like abalone shells), sea glass, sports equipment, and lots of clothing, lots and lots of clothing.

The event was began nearly a quarter-century ago by Morro Bay Beautiful in conjunction with

the Chamber of Commerce, with a “spring cleaning” philosophy of recycling items to new owners.

The sale corresponds with the garbage company’s spring cleanup week, when customers can put out extra garbage bags for pickup on their regularly scheduled days. And the garbage company

will also schedule pick up big items like furniture for a fee.

Now, after changing organizers a couple of times, the event is sponsored by Visit Morro Bay, the town’s tourism bureau and continues to draw thousands of visitors every year.

In the photos here are images of one reporter’s tour of the sales. It should be noted that this reporter and his wife didn’t get the chance to visit even half of the sales in town before exhaustion (and hunger) ended their day (and boy did we find some bargains!).

A pipe dredge like this one employed by Ahtna Design-build Corporation was in Morro Bay Harbor in 2017 to dredge the Harbor Channel (from the harbor mouth to the T-piers). A similar dredge is expected to be utilized sometime in fall 2025 to dredge out the Harbor Navigation Channel from the T-piers to the launch ramp. Photo by Neil Farrell
4 • April 2024 • Morro Bay Life Making Communities Better Through Print™
Photo by Neil Farrell
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Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno secures District 5 Supervisor seat

Moreno defeated

Atascadero City

Councilmember Susan

Funk, will replace current Supervisor

Debbie Arnold

The final results are in for the March 5 Presidential Primary Election and we now know who will be taking the San Luis Obispo County District 5 Supervisor seat now held by Debbie Arnold. With 56.38 percent of the vote, current Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno will serve as your next District 5 Supervisor.

Regarding her election win, Moreno told Paso Robles Press/Atascadero News, “I am deeply honored by the trust and confidence the voters have placed in me. It is the unwavering support, dedication and shared vision of so many in our community that have propelled us to this remarkable achievement.”

Moreno is currently serving as the Atascadero mayor and is the second mayor in the city’s history. She was first elected to Atascadero City Council in 2012 and was then first elected as mayor in 2018 and re-elected in 2020 and 2022. Her opponent in the supervisor race was fellow Atascadero City Council member Susan Funk, who came out of the election with 43.62 percent of the vote. Funk was first elected to council in November, 2018 and was re-elected in November 2022.

With Moreno taking the District 5 seat, the mayoral position is up for grabs. Current Atascadero City Councilmember Charles Bourbeau has already announced his bid for the seat — his term on council also expires in 2024. No other candidates have announced their bid for the mayoral seat yet. However, the nomination period for local elections will open later this year.

Paso Robles Press/Atascadero News reached out to Funk for comment on the election results and whether or not she plans to throw her hat into the mayoral ring. she provided the following statement:

“I called Mayor Moreno last week and congratulated her on her victory in this race. She and I both expressed appreciation for our mutual commitment to keeping the dynamics and issues of the campaign out of our shared work as members of the Atascadero City Council.

I want to express my deep appreciation for all the volunteers and supporters of my grass-roots campaign. Since the election, many people — supporters and opponents alike — have reached out to

oped and continuing the important work of shaping the future of our community.

I also want to acknowledge election staff and volunteers, who worked hard to deliver a free and fair election. It is essential for our democracy that we ensure fair and accurate elections and respect the results.”

As for Moreno’s next chapter of public service, she says, “I’m optimistic about the future we will create together and there’s a lot of work to do on important issues, like housing and homelessness. I see opportunities to make county government more efficient and streamlined, to move good projects forward that benefit the entire community. I look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues on the board to accomplish good things for our residents.”

She will be representing Atascadero, Cal Poly State University (portion), California Valley, Creston, Garden Farms, Pozo, San Luis Obispo (portion), and Santa Margarita with her District 5 seat.

Moreno thanked everyone who contributed time, energy and resources to her campaign and offered her deepest gratitude.

“From knocking on doors, making phone calls, and hosting events to delivering signs and spreading the word, everyone’s combined efforts were invaluable,” she said. “And to my core team and trusted advisors: I am grateful beyond words at the level of commitment and support you provided over the past year. Our success would not be possible without you.”

She will serve the remainder of her term as Atascadero mayor through the end of this year before taking her seat as District 5 Supervisor. She will be joining

“I am excited to continue as mayor of Atascadero for the rest of this year. Our staff at the city is incredible; a team dedicated and motivated to serve the public at a high level,” said Moreno. “We have a community that pulls together — from businesses to residents, from government to nonprofits … things happen in Atascadero because of our spirit of volunteerism and collaboration. It is the honor of a lifetime to serve this city as mayor.”

On March 17, SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano announced the election had been certified. In her press release, she stated that the county’s voter participation rate in the March 5 election was officially 52.34 percent of registered voters, which was well above the statewide average of 34 percent.

Of the 92,526 ballots cast and counted, 94.28 percent of SLO County voters opted to use their vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot and 5.72 percent cast a poll ballot on Election Day.

“SLO County voters did a good job turning out for the primary, and we look forward to even more participation in the November General Election,” said Cano. “We are also happy to be able to certify this election more than a week ahead of schedule.”

Not only was local voter participation higher than the statewide average, SLO County’s turnout was higher than counties of comparable size and population, including neighboring Santa Barbara and Monterey, which had turnout of about 42 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

“Throughout the canvass, we also had several community observers on hand to witness the process,” Cano said. “Those who came in to observe were able to see our work as we did it and

ask questions about each step.”

Cano stressed that the counting process is always open to community observers, provided they check in and adhere to the office’s conduct guidelines.

Now that certification of the primary election is complete, the Elections Office will turn its attention to the November 5 General Election. Among several other efforts, Cano plans to hold a candidate information session over the summer; the goal of that event will be to walk participants through the steps and timing of running for elected office in the fall.

Below are election results from the final March 27 count:

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 1

• John Peschong — 100 percent (11,408)

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 3

• Dawn Ortiz-Legg — 93.41 percent (12,272)

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 5

• Susan Funk — 43.62 percent (7,390)

• Heather Moreno — 56.38 percent (9,551)

Presidential Primary Election Race (County Results)

Democratic Primary:

• Joe Biden — 93.03 percent (35,164)

Republican Party:

• Donald J. Trump — 77.63 percent (28,451)


• California US Senate (Full Term) — Steve Garvey won the race with 36.47 percent of the vote against Adam Schiff with 34.39 percent of the vote.

• California US Senate Special (Partial Term) — Steve Garvey won the race with 37.95 percent of the vote against Adam Schiff with 29.20 percent of the vote.

• Prop 1 Behavioral Health Services Measure — 52.20 percent voting no and 47.80 percent voting yes.

• California US House District 19 — Jason Anderson won with 53.02 percent and Jimmy Panetta following with 43.54 percent.

• California US House District 24  — Salud Carbajal won with 55.15 percent and Thomas Cole following with 38.46 percent.

• California State Senate District 17 — John Laird won the seat with 53.67 percent of the vote.

• California State Senate District 21 — Elijah Mack ended up winning the race wtih 51.28 percent of the vote.

• California State Assembly District 30 — Dawn Addis won with 54.87 percent of the vote.

• California State Assembly District 37 — Sari Domingues finalized their win with 53.97 percent of the vote.For voting inquiries, contact the Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or Additional information can be found on the Voter FAQ page, and detailed election information at March2024.

• Nikki Haley — 19.30 percent (7,072)


For voting inquiries, contact the Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or

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Rockview at Sunset Apartments officially open

Apartments are a 35-unit, three-story complex and affordable units for incomequalified tenants

The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) cut the ribbon and officially opened the newest low-income housing project in Morro Bay, capping a years-long project, the first for the countywide agency in Morro Bay.

HASLO Executive Director Scott Collins was the emcee for the event held March 13 at the site, located on Highway 41 at Sunset Avenue and Rockview Place.

The Rockview at Sunset Apartments is a 35-unit, three-story complex with a mix of one-, twoand three-bedroom, “totally affordable” units for income-qualified tenants.

Collins opened the ceremony, held in the complex’s common area, acknowledging that the land was formerly part of the tribal lands for the Chumash and Salinan. “HASLO acknowledges that Rockview at Sunset occupies the traditional land of the Salinan Tribe and the Yak Tit’u Tit’u Yak Tithini (YTT) Northern Chumash Tribe,”

Collins read from the official program for the event. He then thanked the many agencies that worked together or funded the $16 million project, including the City of Morro Bay, SLO County, Morro Bay Apartments, LLC, National Equity Fund Inc., SLO Nonprofit Housing Corporation, Abbott/ Reed, Inc., Arris Studio Architects, and Banc of California.

He introduced Little Crow, a Salinan member for a blessing. Little Crow called the development “a wonderful achievement” and said “you should be proud of it.”

Collins commented that when he was formerly

the Morro Bay city manager, the city always had high housing costs, and then the COVID pandemic hit and changed the economic landscape, which “made housing costs go through the roof.”

He added that the project was “a testament to overcoming obstacles and teamwork.”

While it had significant obstacles to getting the project completed, including supply and utility issues that delayed the move-in date by months, “the City of Morro Bay has been incredibly supportive,” Collins said, and made “a significant financial contribution.”

Morro Bay Mayor Carla Wixom, who spoke on behalf of the City Council, said, “the name sounds like ‘Morro Bay’ doesn’t it?” She added that the new affordable apartments mean “a more inclusive, sustainable community.”

SLO County also made significant contributions to the project, Collins said, including funding through Community Block Grants. “That’s what makes these projects possible,” he said.

San Luis Obispo County District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson said a few words on behalf of

the Board of Supervisors. He praised the project as speaking to the idea of community, and the idea that such affordable projects are a benefit to everyone. “The county simply supplied funding,” Gibson said. He noted the significant amount of work put in by the city, HASLO and “the people who built it.” He added that the day before, the supervisors had a long discussion about housing in SLO County, laying out a strategy for how to get more of these type projects built here.

Andrea Chmelik, who represents Assemblywoman Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay), noted that the project started when Addis was on the Morro Bay City Council. And when HASLO ran into supply problems, like getting key pieces of electrical equipment needed to hook up the all-electric complex to power, Addis stepped in to help.

Among the interesting aspects of the new tenants, Collins said, was the fact that 22 of the 35 units went to Morro Bay residents.

They also had a couple of single mothers who were new tenants speak, with one, who has four

children, talking about how people in need should actively seek help, as she did.

Kristal Keith, who moved into a three-bedroom unit with a million-dollar view, said she is a business owner who found herself in a tight spot over housing costs.

She said she never wanted to be in a position where she was struggling, but found herself there.

“We’re all struggling in this economy,” she said. She took a chance on the project and it paid off for her and her children, one in college, one in junior high and two in elementary school. “I encourage those in need to speak up,” Keith said. It’s “a process well worth your time.”

Affordable housing projects are few and far between in Morro Bay, which aside from numerous mobile home parks and senior housing, has but a handful of designated, affordable projects. Rockview at Sunset is the first in about a decade, after a complex of 17, low-income, subsidized senior apartments was built on South Main Street, clear across town.

all ages featuring expansive sets and costumes, dance, chorus, a nationally acclaimed leading cast led by Hilary Maiberger as Belle (national and international tours) and Grant Garry (Beast), all accompanied by the OperaSLO Grand Orchestra!

From left, Assemblywoman Dawn Addis representative Andrea Chmelik, Morro Boy City Councilmember Jen Ford, HASLO Executive Director Scott Collins, and Morro Bay Mayor Carla Wixom get ready to cut the ribbon on the Rockview at Sunset Apartments. Photo by Neil Farrell Celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend with the entire family in a Morro Bay Life • April 2024 • 7

Business Spotlight: AAA Kleen

The long-withstanding business offers a variety of interior cleaning services

Servicing San Luis Obispo County, AAA Kleen aims to always to provide residential and commercial cleaning services for that is lasting and effective.

“I ended up acquiring the business from Keith Troxel, a retired marine that ran the business locally for 20-plus years,” owner Eric Holt says. “He was a friend of my grandfather, Jack.”

In March of 2020, Holt purchased the business. “I have done this type of work in the past for several years and when the opportunity came up to buy the business I thought it would be a great fit for me,” he explains. It was a trying time for many businesses at the

beginning of shut downs, but AAA Kleen has been steadfast and consistent.

His one-man business is certified in carpet,

upholstery, tile, and luxury vinyl plank cleaning, as well as over-the-phone estimates. “I service cars occasionally, couches, recliners,

[and] dining chairs,” Holt says. “I use an upholstery tool for that.” Holt can provide rug cleaning, carpet repair and re-stretching, as well as water damage restoration and spot drying.

Holt keeps pets and children, as well as the environment, in mind with each cleaning. “I use 99 percent green products,” he says. “After putting down cleaning agents, I use an electric brush (counter rotating brush) to agitate the carpets/tile/laminate before doing a hot water extraction, or as some people like to refer to it, a steam clean.” In addition, he offers force-drying for a fast drying process when customers request it.

“The most enjoyable part of running this business has been connecting with the community as well as developing a great network locally,” Holt says.

AAA Kleen provides services to all of San Luis Obispo County. They can be contacted at (805) 772-5263 or

Sipping to save at Wine 4 Paws

Over 80 wineries and businesses to participate in the fundraiser April 20-21

Sipping wine on a Spring day is good, but sipping wine on a Spring day whilealso helping animals in need is even better. This April 20-21, Wine 4 Paws is back for its 16th year and over 80 wineries, cider and olive oil producers, restaurants, and hotels on the Central Coast are participating.

The fundraiser, founded by Sarah Tomasetti, benefits Woods Humane Society, a nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless animals since 1955. During Wine 4 Paws, participating businesses donate 10 percent of their sales to Woods Humane, and for many, the weekend is dedicated to your pets with dog days and activities.

While living in Arroyo Grande, Sarah and her husband volunteered regularly at Woods Humane’s location in San Luis Obispo. However, after moving to North County, it wasn’t as easy to get to the shelter, so Sarah thought of another way she could help. After discovering the wine life and getting to know winery owners and producers, she came up with the Wine 4 Paws concept.

“I know that the money that is raised is going to an organization that is going to spend it well and make a difference for the greatest number of animals,” said Sarah, who said that the first year of the fundraiser, they raised $6,000 with the help of 22 wineries.

Today, the fundraiser has grown to over 80 participating businesses and raised over $700,000. Even during the pandemic, when the majority of events and fundraisers were canceled, Wine 4 Paws was able to raise over $45,000 virtually — helping not only Woods Humane but also local businesses. Proceeds of Wine 4 Paws go towards the nonprofit’s operation costs.

Woods cares for over 3,000 cats and dogs each year at both their San Luis Obispo and Atascadero facilities. It also works with other rescue organizations in the area by offering a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and taking in animals from other shelters. They are dedicated to providing the highest level of care to animals in need until they can be united with a loving home.

Sarah, who grew up surrounded by loving pets, gives the reason for why she wanted to help Woods, “I think that probably my mom was my inspiration to do this because my mom was a huge animal lover.”

Throughout the Wine 4 Paws weekend, wineries and businesses may plan their own animal related activities for the fundraiser. Many of the wineries will be extra pet friendly for the event but its best to check in with the

winery you are visiting before bringing your furry friend. There are at least two additional Wine 4 Paws weekend events to participate in. Join more of the fun at the official Wine 4 Paws Kick-Off Party hosted by Hayseed and Housdon at Cal Coast Beer Company. There will be beer, wine, food and entertainment with the Mark Adams Band to kick off the weekend. Last year, over $9,000 was raised at the event alone.

Tickets are available at Hayseed and Housdon at 1122 Railroad Street or online at

Bark After Dark presented by the Downtown Wine District features 18 participating wineries in Downtown Paso Robles. These

businesses will be open until at least 8 p.m. to raise funds for Wine 4 Paws. If you aren’t able to make it for the night-time festitivies, you can still participate that Saturday and Sunday where 10 percent of sales will still go towards the fundraiser.

Wineries participating in Bark After Dark include:

• Alpha Omega

• Bushong Vintage Co.

• Cali Paso

• Cloak & Dagger

• Cypher Winery

• Diablo Paso

• Dracaena Wines

• Hayseed & Housdon

Hoyt Family

• LXV Wine

• 915 Lincoln

• Pianetta Winery

• Sea Shell Cellars

• Serial Wines

• Stilson Cellars Symbiosis

• The Blending Lab

• Timshel Vineyards

As to why the fundraiser has become so successful, Sarah explains, “They are just one part of your life, but you are their whole life. And there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way, and that’s why Wine 4 Paws has been successful.”

For more information on Wine 4 Paws and to find participating wineries, visit

Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl for Morro Bay Life
8 • April 2024 • Morro Bay Life Making Communities Better Through Print™
Patrons and their pups supporting Wine 4 Paws in 2023 at the Clavo Building on Main Street in Templeton. Photo by Derek Luff Eric Holt has owned the AAA Klein business since March 2020. Photo by Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl

Progress being made on Highway 1 landslides

Caltrans estimates it will cost $88 million to fix January 2023

‘Paul’s Slide’

If readers are planning a day trip to Monterey, it would be best to take Highway 101 for the immediate future.

Progress continues to be made on three major landslides that have closed a long section of Hwy 1 through Big Sur for months, though recent rainstorms have hampered the work.

“Although a 12.1-mile closure of Highway 1 is in place due to these repairs, the vast majority of Highway 1 remains open for travelers,” reads a March 12 news release from Caltrans District 5’s Kevin Drabinski. “Highway 1 remains open from the Monterey/Carmel area to just south of the Esalen Institute, and from the Cambria/San Simeon area to just south of Limekiln State Park.”

The rains brought temporary halts to the work but the crews “have been able to safeguard progress and return to production in the immediate aftermath of wet weather,” according to the release.

Each of the three major slides has a unique set of issues to deal with.

The Dolan Point Slide, located at Post Mile 29.5, on the northernmost slide, recently had some work done using scaling machines.

“Crews have continued to haul slide material away from the slide as spider excavators have worked their way down the slope,” the Caltrans release said. “Crews have also been able to loosen debris material using equipment stationed in the roadway.”

They hope to have this slide cleared in the next few weeks and then plan to install “a drapery system over the face of the slide,” the release said, “to protect the highway from any rock fall in the future. The final installation of the drapery system will be completed once an assist helicopter has been scheduled. Repairs are estimated to be completed at the Dolan Point Slide by May 1.”

The drapery system is expected to be similar to one installed on sections of Hwy 41 between Morro Bay and Atascadero, along sections of the roadway’s “S” curves to keep large boulders from falling onto the roadway.

The Regents Slide, located at PM 27.8 is still being assessed after a survey was conducted using drones but there’s still red tape to wade through. “This data has been processed and is being used in the development of a final repair design,” the news release said. “Parallel efforts are being made to secure necessary environmental clearances for the repair work to begin.”

Caltrans expects the final repair designs to be done soon and once they get environmental

crews working around the clock. The estimated date for reopening is sometime in late spring of this year, but the mountain is still moving. “Rock scaling crews,” Drabinski said, “brought down material from the slopes above the repair site in late February, as slide activity has continued to be a feature that has consistently accompanied these repairs.”

Caltrans is using convoys from both sides of Paul’s Slide to assist the residents stuck in between. “Daily convoys have continued to be scheduled through Paul’s Slide in the north and southbound direction,” Drabinski said. “These

“Because passage through Paul’s Slide is by way of a dirt roadbed, convoys will continue as long as site conditions and weather make for safe travel,” Drabinski said.

Caltrans had estimated fixing Paul’s Slide, which occurred during January 2023’s massive storms, would cost some $88 million. Landslides on Hwy 1 have been limiting travel over the State’s most scenic of highways since 2017, when heavy rains damaged a major road bridge near Julia Pfeiffer State Park, as well as causing the Mud Creek Slide closer to SLO County. Mud Creek was the largest landslide in State history.

An estimated 5 million vehicles a year travel Hwy 1 through Big Sur bringing visitors south to the North Coast and SLO County, as well as

tourists going north through Big Sur and into Carmel and Monterey. Closing the highway for any extended length of time can have negative effects on tourism, especially with tour buses, to the North Coast of SLO County.

With a trio of slip outs blocking the way, Caltrans adjusted the temporary dead ends. “The northern closure point on Highway 1 remains at Lime Creek [at PM 32.1],” the news release said. “The southern closure point remains at PM 20, [just south of Limekiln State Park], making for a 12.1-mile closure on the coast.”

Readers can get road updates and information about closures via Dist. 5 social media sites, see: @ CaltransD5 on X; on Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5); and on Instagram at: Caltrans_ D5. Information about road conditions statewide is also available online at

Work is progressing
on the massive Paul’s Slide, located at Post Mile 22 near Lucia.
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A fix for the Regent Slide, shown here and located at PM 27.8, is still being designed by road engineers. Caltrans said the proposed final fix must also undergo environmental review by State agencies before they can do the required work.

Business Spotlight: By The Sea Productions

The theater company wears many hats to provide entertainment for the community and tourists alike

By The Sea Productions (BTSP) is Morro Bay’s only live theater company. Its members aspire to create a community through their passion for theater and storytelling with an intent to provide quality entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

Formerly the Pewter Plough Players in Cambria, they moved to Morro Bay in January 2017 and adopted their new name. BTSP is a volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a Morro Bay business license. Its location is now at St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, where performances take place on a permanent stage in Erickson Hall.

Board members include President Rhonda Crowfoot, Vice President Sam


IGottlieb, Secretary Janice Peters, Treasurer Kelli M. Poward, and Directors

Anita Schwaber, Sheridan Cole, Jean Miller, and Russell Snow. The members have many roles, including as performers.

“Most of us both act and direct, although not in the same show,” Peters clarifies. “As actors we audition for roles just like everyone else and we don’t always get cast, but that’s show biz!”

The troupe’s seasons usually consist of five full-length plays that run for three weekends and three staged readings that run for one weekend each. Currently they are considering plays for the 2025 season.

“We choose our season with a combination of comedies, dramas and classics,” Peters explains. “We read plays constantly and when we find one we like, we share it with the rest of the board for consideration.”

“Future plays this year include ‘Talk Radio,’ ‘Sylvia,’ ‘Death Trap,’ and more,” Crowfoot adds. “We love sharing our passion for theater with our audiences.”

BTSP is a member of the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce and makes it a point contribute to the economy

“We are delighted to be in our seventh season of stage productions in Morro Bay,” Crowfoot says. “This year is especially exciting because we presented the world premiere of an original musical revue, ‘It Takes Two,’ which played to sold out shows.” Productions have been set for 2024.

by utilizing local businesses. It also donates tickets for fundraisers as well as partner with the church in awarding a Morro Bay High School student scholarship each year.

Audience surveys show that they are drawing people from throughout the county, including tourists.

“Local support has been enthusiastic and our audiences are growing with each show, often to full houses (50 seats),” Peters says. “Other than acting, my favorite part of BTSP is getting to know our audience members, both local and from out of town. It’s rewarding to know we’ve given them an enjoyable evening or afternoon’s entertainment.”

much do you know about U.S. educational history? Take this quiz

had a request to share some of the Education Trivia recently presented at a San Luis Obispo County Rotary meeting. Schools have changed a great deal over the years. Erasable slates, better known as chalkboards, were updated to whiteboards and replaced with Smart Boards. Laptops and iPads replaced notebooks and textbooks like ballpoint pens replaced fountain pens that replaced ink wells. Test your trivia knowledge and take some time to reflect on education as it was and is today.

1. In 375 BC, who wrote the Republic, a Socratic dialogue that discussed the role of education in a just society?

2. What method of teaching reading dating back to 1570 emphasizes the association of letters or groups of individual sounds?

3. Who is considered the father of modern education and wrote the 1762 influential work “Emile”?

4. In 1837, which country implemented the concept of kindergarten?

5. In 1875, who advocated for creating U.S. state-funded public schools?

6. In 1917, which state was the last to offer free public schooling in the U.S.?

7. In 1929, what event prompted what we know today as the school buses?

8. Why did students in the U.S. practice ducking beneath their desks in 1942?

9. What did the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Topeka unanimous Supreme Court ruling end?

10. Why was the Arkansas National Guard mobilized to Little Rock Central High School in 1957?

11. What education legislation was passed in 1958 because of Sputnik?

12. Which president signed the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the 1966 Child Nutrition Act that established the School Breakfast Program?

13. What is the Education Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1972 that prohibits discrimination in federally funded schools based on sex?

14. What is section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act that protects the rights

of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities called?

15. In 1979, which president appointed Shirley Hufstedler as the first Secretary of Education and cabinet-level position?

16. In 1983, which president’s administration published “A Nation at Risk” with recommendations for how schools should teach students?

17. In 1995, nine district teachers in Eugene, Oregon, introduced what non-traditional program for instructional delivery?

18. In 2001, NCLB was introduced; what does it represent in education jargon?

19. Which San Luis Obispo County school district still had student dormitories operating in the 1980s?

20. In 1985, the State Legislature passed a minimum starting teacher salary of approximately how much?

Education is one of the most empowering forces in the world. Education can create knowledge, build confidence, break down barriers, increase opportunities, and promote

social justice. Thank you for your continued support of education in our community. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

Behind The Badge: The CSSA and how it helps sheriffs and their personnel

As Sheriff, I belong to a great many groups and organizations. Some are charitable in nature. Others are professional. These professional groups are beneficial in that they allow me to stay up to date with the latest laws, regulations, and best practices of law enforcement. One of those I belong to and am currently the treasurer for is the California State Sheriff’s Association or CSSA.

The organization is made up of all 58 sheriffs in California. It is

the preeminent law enforcement organization in the state. It should be. It has been around since 1894.

The mission of the California State Sheriff’s Association is to “support the role of sheriff as the chief law enforcement officer in each California County and to speak as a collective voice on matters of public safety.”

The association has five main goals:

1. Updating knowledge of modern law enforcement science and technology and providing this educational training to sheriffs’ personnel.

2. Developing and maintaining programs, policies, and procedures that will enhance public confidence in the sheriff’s criminal detection, prevention, and apprehension capabilities.

3. Reinforcing relationships at the state level with the governor, attorney general, state legislature and

other state officials as to the needs, requirements, resources, and duties to enable the sheriffs to provide effective and efficient law enforcement in their counties.

4. Jointly addressing the unique problems of all California sheriffs and resolving the challenges collectively through the association and periodic meetings of all sheriffs.

5. Maintaining the role of sheriff as the chief law enforcement officer in the county.

To help advance these goals, the CSSA has seminars, trainings, and conferences throughout the year.

Recently, my office hosted a media relations seminar for sheriffs and their public information officers (PIOs). This is held once a year and is designed to provide those attending with ways we can get information out to the media and to the public about

major investigative cases more efficiently, quickly, and comprehensively — what we did right. And what we did wrong.

By examining these cases it is our hope to learn from these incidents and do a better job getting information out to the public the next time a similar situation happens. The cases we look at typically involve a dynamic situation unfolding in a matter of minutes. For example, the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas which killed 60 people and became the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Or the Oroville Dam crisis, which resulted in the Sheriff’s Office in that county having to evacuate more than 180,000 people out of harm’s way. These cases are presented by law enforcement personnel who were actually there when these incidents took place.

Other cases may involve an

investigation that spans years. For instance, this year, I had my detective commander, Chad Nicholson, and my PIO, Tony Cipolla, present on the Kristin Smart case. As you know, this investigation took 26 years but eventually led to the conviction of Paul Flores for her murder. Chad presented the overall investigation of the case and the challenges of getting the evidence to ultimately convict Flores. And Tony presented on the worldwide media attention this case generated and how our agency was able to deal with all the requests for information and the pressures of trying to release information about the case without jeopardizing the investigation. I believe it was a very eye-opening experience for those sheriffs and their PIOs So, we continue to learn. I continue to learn. It can be a process, but ultimately, the goal is to make our communities better and safer.

ANSWERS 1. Plato 2. Phonics John Hart 3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau 4. Germany 5. Horace Mann 6. Tennesee 7. Great Depression 8. World War II Mock Air Raid 9. Desegregation 10. Safety and prevention of violence as the school began admitting Black students 11. National Defense Education Act 12. Lyndon B. Johnson 13. Title IX 14. Free Appropriate Public Education 15. Jimmy Carter 16. Ronald Reagan 17. Outdoor Preschool 18. No Child Left Behind 19. Atascadero 20. $19,000
IAN PARKINSON SLO County Sheriff Members of By The Sea Production (BTSP) theater company are shown on stage for a re-enactment of the “War of the Worlds” radio play. Photo by Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl
10 • April 2024 • Morro Bay Life Making Communities Better Through Print™

APRIL,MAY Calendar of Events





Reception: April 2-4 pm

An exhibit with a 50s space theme prompts artists to explore personal “outer limits” inspired by TV shows like “The Outer Limits” or modern space exploration. It challenges creativity and pushes boundaries. Visit





Art After Dark is a self-guided art walk on the First Friday of each month that allows the community to experience visual, literary, and performing art in SLO County in galleries, nonprofit organizations, and other businesses. For information, visit

APRIL 19-22



Join in the festivities at the Earth Day Festival for weekendlong family-friendly celebration featuring workshops, local artisan vendors, garden demonstrations, and more to inspire and educate the community about sustainable living and gardening practices.






Immerse yourself in a vibrant atmosphere filled with local vendors, delicious food, and exciting activities. The market will also feature live music performances suitable for all ages.




7th Annual Event, with 120+ yard sales and bargain hunters from throughout California. Digital map and printable list of locations will be posted on atascaderoyardsale. com the week of the event. Printed map will be available in the April 18th issue of Atascadero News.

APRIL 20-21



With each purchase from over 80 wine, cider, and olive oil producers throughout SLO County, 10% of sales will go to Woods Humane Society. It is a win-win helping local homeless animals all the while supporting local businesses. For a map of participating vendors and more information, go to




Celebrate Earth Day in Cambria at Greenspace Creekside Reserve! The Cambria Land Trust is hosting a family-friendly afternoon centered on this year’s international theme, “Planet vs Plastic.” Local eco-organizations will raise awareness of Cambria’s unique ecosystems, attendees can meet a live bird of prey from Pacific Wildlife Care, and the Chinese Temple will be open for a docent-led tour. Local food from Soto’s True Earth Market, Robin’s Restaurant, and Plantae & Fungi, complemented by wine and beer, will be available for purchase. Explore the kids’ zone for fun with science and nature, or enjoy live music, storytelling, and miniclasses at the learning center.

APRIL 26-28




Be enthralled by a highflying weekend of family fun at the beloved annual event for kite flyers of all ages. For information, visit

APRIL 27-28





Immerse yourself in the vibrant display of hundreds of fresh wildflower bouquets, sponsored by Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Saturday, April 27, from 12 to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., explore the diversity of the Central Coast’s flora. The flowers are labeled by both botanical and common names, highlighting rare, endangered, invasive, and poisonous species.





Go back in time at the vintage sidecar rendezvous, recycled treasures, vintage motorcycles, electric vehicles and PR comic book Expo.






(805) 470-3490

The City of Atascadero is pleased to announce the return of the Atascadero Tamale Festival on May 4. Enjoy a variety of delicious traditional, gourmet, and sweet tamales from local restaurants, as well as restaurants from across California. The event features margaritas and other adult beverages, merchandise vendors, live music, “best” tamale,

tamale eating, pet costume contests, photo opportunities, and more! This fun-filled event is free to attend and suitable for all ages. For more information, visit or email

MAY 11



Join us on Saturday, May 11, at City Park for the Paso Robles Olive & Lavender Festival. From 10 am to 5 pm, savor olive oil and olive tastings, explore art and crafts, and indulge in wine, beer, and spirits tastings. Admission is free for all. Visit pasoroblesdowntown. org for details.

MAY 12




Make Mother’s Day special at Charles Paddock Zoo from 11 am to 2 pm. Explore the zoo while savoring delicious cookies from local bakers. Cookie Adventure included with regular admission. For information, call (805) 4615080 or visit charlespaddockzoo. org. Celebrate with family at Atascadero Charles Paddock Zoo.

MAY 15



The EXPO at the Expo is the Central Coast’s largest business trade show, featuring 100+ local exhibitors and drawing a crowd of 2,000 attendees annually. It’s not just about exposure; it’s a chance to network with local businesses, find essential services, and offer support. Contact Kaila at kaila@ or call (805) 7862774 for inquiries.

MAY 18



Join the 7th Annual Friends of Atascadero Lake LakeFest on May 18, 10 am - 4 pm at Atascadero Lake Park. Enjoy activities like the Cardboard Boat Regatta, fishing derby, music, and vendors. Proceeds support Atascadero Lake improvements and the LINK Family Resource Center. Visit or for details.

MAY 25, 26, 27


The 68th annual Morro Bay Art in the Park showcases 125 independent artists and craft workers in a picturesque outdoor setting at Morro Bay Park, San Luis Obispo County. Event dates: May 25-27, 10 am-5 pm (May 27: 10 am-4 pm). Enjoy food, beverages, and creativity at

MAY 31 - JUNE 2


Immerse in Pismo Beach’s grand classic car show, “The Classic.” Hundreds of cars, live music, food, vendors, and beachfront lodging. Attracting car enthusiasts worldwide, sponsored by major companies, and supporting charities. Held in June, open to all car makes/models. Explore downtown and wineries. Unforgettable experience at



Main St. & Morro Bay Blvd from 2:30 to 5:30 pm.



2650 Main St. Spencer’s Parking Lot from 2 to 4:30 pm.

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LISA MIA 805.279.9381 REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL LIC. #01945215 MORRO BAY • ATASCADERO • LOS OSOS • SAN LUIS OBISPO • CAMBRIA • CAYUCOS • PASO ROBLES • ARROYO GRANDE PLATINUM AWARD WINNER FOR 2023 YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED Dahlias & Orchids  Beautiful Clay Pottery  Bees & Butterfly Garden  Succulents  Straw Bale Gardening  Backyard Chickens & Ducks  Houseplants and Exotic Tropicals  Worms, worms, worms! RSVP BY APRIL 10TH We will have a variety of local experts for discussions, questions and answer period. Products and food will be available for purchase. Enjoy a little outdoor garden therapy! RSVP to Gardening Clinic Hosted by: Lisa Mia ∙ Haven Properties Gardening Clinic 805 MAIN STREET ∙ MORRO BAY SATURDAY ∙ APRIL 20, 2024 11:00am - 2:00pm Gardening Clinic Returns by popular demand! Join us for a fun afternoon learning about the benefits of: 12 • April 2024 • Morro Bay Life Making Communities Better Through Print™
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