Morro Bay Life • August 2022

Page 1


S e r v i n g t h e C o m m u n i t i e s o f M o r r o B ay a n d C ay u c o s

California Coastline: San Simeon Clash of the

Titans Page 11













2 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


in Community


Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”

COPY EDITOR Michael Chaldu


LAYOUT DESIGN Neil Schumaker

Community Writer Camille DeVaul Christianna Marks


Jen Rodman

Ad ConSultant Dana McGraw Brooke Brinar


Cami Martin

CONTRIBUTORS Barbie Butz Neil Farrell

Chuck Graham Contact Us 805.466.2585

– Dorothy Height

Visit our website!

morro bay life is published monthly. all rights reserved, material may not be reprinted without written consent from the publisher. morro bay life made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this publication, but assumes no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. morro bay life is a publication of 13 stars media.

ver the last month, we enjoyed some of the fantastic events in July, starting with the 4th of July annual Cayucos Hometown Parade and Sandcastle contest, the streets were filled, and smiles were on every face. And even though the evening was chilly and the fog rolled in, the fireworks finished off a wonderful day full of love for our country and independence. Circus Vargas was back in town, which has become a family tradition to attend every year. If you have not attended one of their shows, I encourage you to do so when they return; it is sure to be an excellent time for the entire family and just gets better every time we go. Another community and family favorite is the California Mid-State Fair; what I love the most about the Fair is watching it all come together. The amount of people, time, and effort that goes into producing the Fair for the County each year is quite impressive. A terrific job to everyone involved, dedicating their time and effort to bring us “The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere.” A true staple of what our community is all about. If we have learned anything over the last few years, it is that home matters and nurturing the community that surrounds our homes. Over the years, we have volunteered our time and effort to

multiple nonprofit and school event committees and sat on Boards for the Chamber and other nonprofits because we believe that is where the real change happens. Many will say that the heart of the community lies in the hands of the selfless volunteers that spend their time unpaid putting on the much-loved events our communities thrive and depend on. These committees do not happen by chance, and for most of them, they are a group of individuals who love where they live, believe in our history and tradition, and value what we have here. For that, I will be forever grateful to everyone who showed up before me and taught me to do the same — give of my time, invest in our community, and teach my children to do the same. In turn, we will create a life well-loved and one we can pass on for generations. “The purpose of life is not to be happy, but to matter – to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” Leo Rosten We hope you enjoy the month’s issue of

Morro Bay Life. Hayley & Nic

Support Your Local Community. Get more eyes on your ad and promote your business when you advertise with Morro Bay Life.

Starting as low as


Each issue is direct mailed to every Morro Bay residence and business address!

Contracts Open | 3 Month | 6 Month | 12 Month Ad Sizes* Full Half Quarter 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)

* Online only ads available as well for $225/mo. (300px x 250px)


Secure your ad spot today! Ad Consultants are waiting! P.O. Box 6068, Atascadero, CA 93422 • 805-466-2585 •

Through Print

making communities better

M O R R O B A Y L I F E N E W S . C O M

Hayley & Nicholas Mattson

Morro Bay Life • August 2022 • 3

Making Communities Better Through Print™

congratulations 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. 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

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 CHAMBER INVITES YOU OVER FOR MARGARITAS, AVOCADOS, MUSIC AND THE BEST VIEWS IN SLO COUNTY IN SEPTEMBER Morro Bay, CA (July 15, 2022) - The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that the reimagined and rebranded 2022 Avocado Margarita Food and Drink Festival will take place Friday, September 9, 2022 through Sunday, September 11, 2022. This brand-new experience will feature some of the best chefs, bakers, mixologists, musicians, and retail vendors in the Central Coast and surrounding areas. The three-day festival will showcase unique margaritas and gourmet avocado dishes complimented by the picturesque backdrop of Morro Rock and stunning bay views from Tidelands Park. “The Avocado Margarita Food and Drink Festival has completely transformed to embrace everything that makes the small, authentic coastal community of Morro Bay so vibrant,” says Morro Bay Chamber CEO, Erica Crawford, adding, “this includes the endless acres of avocados, the beautiful harbor, freshest seafood, eclectic shops, health, wellness, live music, and the iconic Morro Rock.” Hannah Lique Naitove, Founder of Project XO, has been contracted by the Chamber to coordinate the newly rebranded festival. Hannah says, “It’s our vision this year to upgrade the festival, creating one of the best Central Coast foodie experiences with top chefs and mixologists showcasing their custom creations all while having fun and enjoying live music.” Event organizers add that there will be a family movie night on Friday evening exclusively for three-day pass holders, and that the chefs and mixologists at the Tidelands Park venue will be vying for coveted, crowd-sourced “Best of Festival” titles. Performances all weekend long include music from Devin Welsh, The Charities, Kenny Taylor, Cocktail Shorty, Silk Ocean, Hilary Watson and Band, Carbon City Lights, Dante Marsh and the Vibe Setters, Damon Castillo, and Moonshiner Collective. Tidelands Park will anchor the reimagined Avocado Margarita Festival. Event organizers are also building a temporary stage at the iconic Morro Rock for satellite events happening on Saturday only. The stage will be brought to life by a 50 minute high energy work out class, cool down yoga and sound bath experience led by Boston-based fitness celebrity Kelly Brabants, founder of Booty by Brabants, held at the base of Morro Rock on Saturday, September 10th at 10:30am. Ms. Brabants is an entrepreneur and fitness instructor who turned her viral, community-driven workout into a female-empowering, athleisure empire. She will be accompanied by nationally known iHeartRadio hip hop DJ Pup Dawg. Michael Wambolt, Executive Director of Visit Morro Bay, shares that “this event celebrates our agriculture and natural wonder of Morro Bay. Attracting this level of national talent to and exposure for Morro Bay is very exciting.” In true “detox-retox” fashion, this experience will be followed by a tequila happy hour out at the Rock venue exclusively for workout ticket holders. Details are forthcoming on a headliner concert at the base of iconic Morro Rock in the evening. Interested foodies, friends, families, fitness lovers, locals and visitors are invited to follow @avomargfest on Instagram and #avomargfest for evolving, up-to-the-moment information and to go to for complete ticket information. 2022 attendance will be limited by the capacity of the new venues. Three-day and VIP passes are expected to sell out.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or our website For more information contact Lynsey Hansen, Membership Director at

4 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

Coastal News Briefs MORRO BAY


Morro Bay 2022 General Municipal Election

Antique Gasoline Engine Show

A General Municipal Election will be held in the City of Morro Bay on Tuesday, November 8, for Mayor and (2) Members of the City Council. The nomination period for these offices began on July 18, and close on August 12 at 5 p.m. If nomination papers for an incumbent officer of the city are not filed by August 12, the voters shall have until August 17 to nominate candidates other than the person(s) who are incumbents for that office. Appointment Information - The City Clerk’s office is open by appointment only for candidates who need to obtain or return Nomination Papers. For questions relating to the November 8 Election or to schedule an appointment, please email or call (805) 772-6205.

The 39th Annual National Night Out at the Cloisters Park, Morro Bay

Dozens of antique gas and steam-driven engines from Central Coast will be on display in the 48th annual Antique Gasoline and Engine Show on Aug. 6 and 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show at the corner of “D” Street and N. Ocean Ave. is free and open to the public. The engines will grind corn, pump water, sawing logs, and animate various moving figures. Members of the Early Dan Gasoline Engine & Tractor Association will be on hand to discuss the history and use of the old machines. The public is invited to see the engines in action, observe their steam and hear their loud popping while learning about the early form of energy, which was used before the internal combustion and engine and electric motors were developed. Contact Mike McKinney (805) 235-0441 with questions. Mary Ellen Eisemann sponsors this show.


Meet your neighbors and enjoy a BBQ with the Morro Bay Police Department at the 39th Opening Statements Begin for Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August Kristin Smart Murder Trial 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cloisters Park. Bring a lawn chair and join the fun! See attached Monday, July 18, marked a long-awaited day flyer with more details or go to for San Luis Obispo County and the nation following the case—opening statements for the mbneigborhoodwatch Kristin Smart murder trial. Twenty-six years ago, 19-year-old Cal Poly Fiber Optics Installation on South student Kristin Smart was last seen leaving an off-campus party with another Cal Poly student, Bay Boulevard from Morro Bay Paul Flores. Smart was never seen again, and her to Los Osos remains have yet to be found. New fiber optic cables will be installed along Paul Flores was arrested in April 2021 at his South Bay Boulevard from within the Morro home in San Pedro and charged in connection Bay city limits to Santa Ysabel Avenue to Los with the murder and disappearance of Smart. Osos. Work will be located mostly in the bike On the same day, his father, Ruben Flores, was lane and on the road shoulder. Construction arrested as an accessory after the fact — accused for the work within San Luis Obispo County of helping his son hide Smart’s remains. portion of South Bay Boulevard began June 20. After Ruben’s home in Arroyo Grande was Construction for the work within the City of searched in 2021, biological evidence was found Morro Bay limits will began July 5. Construc- under his deck and an anomaly consistent with tion is scheduled to be completed on October 2. a grave. It was believed that Smart’s remains No full road closures are anticipated, but partial were once buried in that area and then relocated. lane closures may be necessary. If partial closures Last week, at Monterey County Superior occur, for the safety of motorists and workers, Court — where the trial will be held due to flaggers will be in place. Electronic message a ruling deciding the Flores father and son boards will display updated information during would not receive a fair trial in San Luis Obispo the project. Motorists are advised to adjust their County — pretrial motions were wrapped up. travel plans in consideration of potential delays. One of those motions was a ruling from The private telecommunications company, Zayo presiding Judge Jennifer O’Keefe that Susan Group from Boulder, Colorado, has contracted Flores will not be excluded as a witness. with Leo Tidwell Excavating Corporation for Susan Flores, Paul’s mother, was subpoenaed to the installation of new fiber optic cables. Zayo testify as a witness, which her attorney motioned Group provides high-speed data infrastructure to quash over fear of self-incrimination. Susan throughout North America and Europe. appeared in court via Zoom on Thursday for Please contact Derek Hanson at (805) her motion, which was ultimately denied by 772-6285 with any questions related to work Judge O’Keefe — meaning Susan will not be within the City limits. Please contact Josh excluded as a witness. Leimer at (805)238-4612 with any questions Chris Lambert, the man behind the “Your related to work within the San Luis Obispo Own Backyard” podcast, which brought the County limits. case back into the forefront of the public eye,

OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Curbside service available. Morro Bay 510 Quintana Road 805-772-1265


Shark Ravaged Baby Whale Washes Ashore Beachgoers gathered around the carcass before it was buried By NEIL FARRELL for Morro Bay Life CAYUCOS — Shark-ravaged remains of a juvenile humpback whale recently washed ashore on the beach in Cayucos on July 9, coming to rest at the high tide line and becoming an instant curiosity for beachgoers. The whale was believed to have been killed by orcas, and witnesses have said great white sharks were feeding on it as it rolled in the surf. The whale’s tail and sides had telltale signs of shark attack, with clean, half moon shaped chunks bitten off its tale. Ironically for an orca kill, the whale’s head appeared intact. In a previous confirmed orca attack that killed a baby gray whale, its massive tongue, indeed its entire head, was taken by a pack of killer whales. That poor creature also had teeth marks raking its body from the tip of the tail to the missing head. This latest whale’s head was intact, and no orca teeth marks were seen; nevertheless, experts declared it was killed by orcas and ravaged by the sharks. d

Curious beachgoers gather around the sharkravaged remains of a juvenile humpback whale that washed ashore in Cayucos. Photos by Neil Farrell

And thanks to the State Parks Department, it was buried and not left to rot on the beach, a stone’s throw from multi-million dollar blufftop homes. Estero Bay has often had a pod of orcas visit here from their home territory in the Santa Barbara Channel to hunt the abundant sea lions, elephant seals, and migrating whales. Some people were seen touching the carcass, something one should probably not do, as dead marine mammals have bacteria on their skin that is harmful to man.









Home Theater & Observation Systems Components furnished & installed by Coast Electronics Need to know who’s knocking? Traveling? FREE quote for observation systems for peace of mind.

Follow us on

for the District 4 Supervisorial contest. San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder, Elaina Cano, received the request on July 12. According to Cano, her team is beginning the plan for the recount process, so there is no completion date as of yet. Elections Code Article 3 §§ 15620 —15634 outlines much of the voter-requested recount process, as provided below. The requester shall, before the recount is commenced and at the beginning of each day following, deposit with the elections official a sum as required by the elections official to cover the cost of the recount for that day. The money deposited shall be returned to the depositor if, upon completion of the recount, the candidate (affirmative or negative) for which the declaration is filed is found to have received the plurality of votes cast which it had not received according to the official canvass. The depositor shall be entitled to the return of any money deposited in excess of the cost of the recount if the candidate has not received the plurality of the votes cast. Money not required to be refunded shall be deposited in the appropriate public treasury. The recount shall be conducted under the supervision of the elections official by special recount boards consisting of four voters of the county appointed by the elections official. The recount shall be commenced not more than seven days following the receipt by the elections official of the request or order for the recount under Section 15620, 15621, or 15645 and shall be continued daily, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excepted, for not less than six hours each day until completed. The Recount Requested for District 4 recount shall not be commenced until the first day following notification of the individuals Supervisor Contest specified in Section 15628. The recount shall A manual recount of votes has been requested be conducted publicly.

Business & Services

Paso Robles 1171 Creston Rd. # 109 805-369-2811 San Luis Obispo 1336 Madonna Road 805-544-5400

was issued a subpoena on July 10 to appear in court with specific documents — which ones they asked for were not released to the public. Lambert’s hearing to quash his subpoena was heard on Friday and it was successfully quashed. Lambert, along with the Smart family, has been present in court throughout the pretrial proceedings. Additional motions included the questioning of the preliminary testimony of witness Jennifer Hudson, who may have heard Paul admit to burying Kristin. O’Keefe said questioning is appropriate with limitations. However, the judge ruled that testimony from Hudson’s then-boyfriend, Justin Goodwin, is not relevant. The prosecution then motioned to admit evidence of alleged sexual aggressions by Paul — a motion that was previously postponed to finalize jury selection first to avoid any media exposure that could influence jurors. It was ruled that witness testimony from three women alleging aggressive sexual behavior is inadmissible during the trial. Additionally, three other women who reportedly said Paul sought them for sex when they were intoxicated and unable to consent will be allowed to testify, but will also be subject to rigorous cross-examination. And finally, the judge ruled to exclude sexual videos, a commercially-produced porn video, and Google searches authorities say were found on Paul’s phone. No live footage or audio/video recordings will be allowed in the courtroom, as ordered by the judge. Only still photography is permitted.

Expert Consultation Professional Installation Computer Tutors On-Site Service Wi-Fi, TV mounts & Univeral Remotes Smartphones

Atty. David R. Duringer, JD, LL.M (Tax) Service ∙ Sales ∙ Installation Proudly serving all of the San Luis Obispo County


www.Protect.LIFE ESTATE PLANNING for Asset Protection & Family Protection

Morro Bay Life • August 2022 • 5

Making Communities Better Through Print™

Property Managment Services Available

Chris Bath Owner/Broker

245 Morro Bay Blvd. Morro Bay, CA 93442 CA BRE #01231010

20 + Years Real Estate

MBHS 1981 Grad Del Mar Elementary Your Broker with local knowledge and lifelong experiences living on the Central Coast!

255-259 Morro Bay Blvd • Morro Bay $1,075,000 Rare Opportunity! Own THREE SEPARATE COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS




431 Whidbey Street • Morro Bay SOLD ABO VE A SKIN G PR ICE

Sold Seller

28 22nd Street • Cayucos

255 Morro Bay Blvd. Corner building, 408 Sqft., Patio area, separately metered.

257 Morro Bay Blvd. 889 Sqft., Separate H2O & Electric metered.

259 Morro Bay Blvd. 1055 Sqft., Separately metered.

Located on the west end of Morro Bay Blvd with excellent foot traffic to the Embarcadero! Large 8,063 corner lot, THERE ARE 7 PARKING SPACES SHARED between all units . Remarkable location with well kept buildings, only the second time in 80+ years offered for Sale. Buyers are highly advised to check with the City of Morro Bay for zoning allowances. Measurements have not been verified and buyers should satisfy themselves with due diligence.

2200 Nutmeg • Morro Bay $1,795,000

Sold Buyer

496 Whidbey Street • Morro Bay



4 DA YS!

Sold Seller Top of the Morro Bay World!!! Possibly one of the best perspectives to witness the breathtaking beauty Morro Bay has to offer! Huge views of Pacific Ocean, Morro Rock, point to point panoramicNeed to see the views to understand the vast breadth of these unparalleled sceneries. Both surf and turf with COUNTRYSIDE back yard surroundings, incredible opportunity to own a property that offers such diverse scenery. This FOUR bedroom, 2.5 baths, 2,265 sqft home offers two separate living areas with each having individual entry, allowing many possibilities for guests and family. The kitchen has been remodeled with expansive Granite Counter top, Z-Line 8 BURNER Stove, Stainless Steel hood and an abundance of cabinetry. Engineered Oak Flooring adorns the main level with wood vaulted ceilings and Gas fireplace. The impressive large deck is glass protected allowing for comfort during the spring winds- magnificent Sunsets while toasting the day away. Remarkable location with a 4,400 upslope sqft lot offering side yards, back garden area, south side lawned sitting area - choose your views and enjoy!

8500 Toro Creek Road • Morro Bay


Sold Buyer



6 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


New Postmaster A Dedicated Public Servant

Morro Bay’s new postmaster, Shelly Larsen, holds the original dedication plaque for the Morro Bay Post Office that was recently found during a technology upgrade on the building. Photo by Neil Farrell



Call for your carpet ,upholstery, tile & linoleum cleaning today!

Morro Bay Cayucos Los Osos


Servicing SLO County for over 20 Years! (805) 772-5263

By NEIL FARRELL for Morro Bay Life


he found the local Post Office’s bronze dedication plaque squirreled away during a recent technology upgrade, and Morro Bay’s new postmaster wants to rehang it in tribute to the public service Morro Bay’s branch provides and perhaps to her personal pride in what she’s done for nearly three decades. Nipomo native Shelly Larsen took over as Morro Bay’s postmaster about six months ago. She explains how it all started while sitting in her office off the lobby of Morro Bay’s lone Post Office, located at the corner of Napa Avenue and Harbor Street. “On Aug. 5,” she says, “it’ll be 27 years for me with the Postal Service.” But that’s not entirely accurate, as she realizes a short time later. “I started as a ‘casual clerk,’” which she explains with the USPS, is someone who works six months on and six months off. “Then I got promoted to a transitional employee,” which meant she was essentially an hourly temp. From there, she was promoted to a “PTF — parttime flex,” she says with a laugh at a reporter’s look of puzzlement. “That means you work year-round. Then I became a ‘career employee.’” Asked about the six months on and six months off schedule, she says, “It was so long ago. I had a second job, and I was young. It was a way to get your foot in the door.That’s what I was looking for.” Counting those early years, she says, she’s closer to 29 years with USPS. Morro Bay is her first chance to lead an entire branch, and she comes here from the main Post Office in San Luis Obispo, on Dalidio Road. She’s also worked in Nipomo and spent a year as an “officer in charge” in Santa Ynez, all the while seeking to reach the next rung in the ladder. So how many steps are there from career employee to postmaster? “That depends on each person’s drive,” Larsen says. “Some people are content to be carriers their whole life. We have a man here [in Morro Bay] who is 65 years old and has been a carrier

the whole time.” How does Morro Bay’s volume of mail stack up with other places she’s worked? “We are very busy,” she says. “Window-wise, it’s steady. What we’re killing it with is parcels. We’re getting slammed with parcels.” She explains that while there are other carriers — UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others handling packages — the Post Office almost always plays a part in the delivery of whatever you’ve purchased or someone’s sent to you. “We pick up and deliver every day to the UPS Store,” she says. “If someone has a mailbox there, we deliver their mail. FedEx, UPS, DHL, they all drop off here. We’re the ‘last mile’ with a lot of things.” Asked about the recent hike in the cost of a stamp to now 60 cents, she lets out a snort, “People say, ‘Stamps are going up again!?’ How I see it is that you can mail a letter to anywhere in the country for 60 cents. The Postal Service has been a trusted service for hundreds of years. You can get a package to Australia in five days. That amazes me. The volume we do now is amazing.” As for one of today’s nagging problems — namely some scoundrel stealing your mail, she says there isn’t a lot the USPS can do. “Locking mailboxes,” she advises. “Or get a P.O. box, that’s about all you can do. Thieves are getting wiser. You’ve got to stay a step ahead of them. “In Santa Ynez, it was huge,” she adds, “because there are a lot of secluded roads there, but it’s not so bad here. In the six months I’ve been here, I’ve gotten about three calls.” She says they theft-proofed the two blue mailboxes that sit in the middle of Napa Avenue by the Post Office, where folks drive through and drop off mail. If readers have their mail stolen, Larsen says to call the police to investigate and check any surveillance cameras, doorbell cameras, etc., that might have captured the thief ’s image. It’ll help the police catch the hooligans, and yes, USPS has its own police force, too. But don’t count on their help, she says, because “unless the loss is thousands of dollars, it’s a local police matter.”

If people are having a recurring issue, Larsen says you can call her at the office, and she’ll try and help figure something out. She’s a versatile employee, that’s for sure. Larsen says that since she took the top job in Morro Bay, she’s had to wear many hats — as a carrier, clerk, sorter, janitor, and even as a mechanic looking after the fleet. “I do what I have to do,” she laughs. So what’s the best thing about working for the Post Office? “It’s a great career,” Larsen says. “The benefits are incredible. I know a lot of people who put their kids through college and have been able to have a halfway decent life.” And the worst thing? “We’re understaffed, and I can’t seem to get people to even apply,” she said. “But it’s like that everywhere.” Larsen explains that they recently held a hiring fair in the Post Office lobby, but only a handful of people came. “We got one person to apply and a few said they would apply at home [online].” Right now she needs to hire a “city carrier’s assistant” and a “rural carrier’s assistant.” If anyone is interested in a career with the Postal Service, they should call Larsen for an appointment or fill out an application online. How’s the town treating you? “So far I’ve had a wonderful reception,” Larsen says. “This town has been amazing. I am loving it here. The people have been so welcoming.” As for that dedication plaque, which was found while they were running new computer wiring, it commemorates the building’s being turned into a Post Office in 1965, while Lyndon Johnson was president and John A. Gronouski was postmaster general. She wants to reinstall it possibly outside by the official USPS Seal, or maybe somewhere inside the lobby. The Postal Service’s traditional motto involves rain, sleet, snow and gloom of night, but Larsen’s is a bit more modern. “I try to get the mail delivered as timely, and as efficiently as possible,” she says. “That’s what I stick to here — everything gets delivered, every day.”

Morro Bay Life • August 2022 • 7

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Fun, Frivolity, at Cayucos Independence Day Parade: Photos By NEIL FARRELL for Morro Bay Life


he Annual Cayucos Lion’s Club’s Independence Day Parade returned to Downtown Cayucos on July 4th, bringing a record turnout of parade watchers lining Ocean Avenue and marking the return of the

town’s signature event after being canceled the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic response. This year’s poster contest winner was Cayucos Elementary School third grader Megan Merson. Here is a round up of some photos from the 2022 Cayucos Fourth of July Parade.

8 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Helping People Hear for 40 Years

The women of Morro Bay Hearing Aid Center are, seated from left: Hearing Aid Dispensing Audiologist Stephanie Moss and Office Manager Diana Lerna. Standing is business owner and Hearing Aid Dispenser Gretchen Daulman. Photo by Neil Farrell

By NEIL FARRELL for Morro Bay Life

Choose Healthier Financial Solutions


with a Reverse Mortgage loan

Stay in your home and still have money for healthcare and comfort-related services.

* No more monthly mortgages * Be prepared for major expenses such as home healthcare and other necessities. * Pay for home improvements and modifications. * You keep title to your home.

Call today to learn the latest about this updated program for accessing your home’s equity.

Bob Gayle

Reverse Mortgage Specialist


Real Estate Broker, CA Dept. of Real Estate, License #466813 • NMLS License #582948

NMLS License #1688022

*Borrowers must maintain property as primary residence and remain current on property taxes, homeowners insurance and any fees such as homeowner association dues as applicable.

or the past four decades, Morro Bay Hearing Aid Center has been serving the community, helping with an important human sense, and one woman has been there the whole time. Stephanie Moss will celebrate 40 years in business; even though she hasn’t been the owner of the Hearing Aid Center for many years, she’s started the office and has been the chief audiologist. An audiologist, she explains, “measures people’s hearing and helps them rehab when there’s been a hearing loss.” A Los Angeles native, Moss says she earned a Master’s degree in communicative disorders from Cal State Northridge and served an internship at the Veterans Administration Hospital in downtown L.A. She opened her office in Morro Bay sometime in August 1982, though she laughs because she can’t seem to remember the exact date. She laughs easily and a lot as she takes a quick stroll through a lifetime of memories. She was the first audiologist in San Luis Obispo County, opening an office in the 800 block of Shasta Avenue, in a little space that used to be next door to a neighborhood pharmacy and corner market, among other notable neighbors. “I was next door to a tattoo parlor for a while,” she says. “I had a lot of different neighbors.” She also had what she admits was little acumen for business. “I had no head for business,” she says. “I am not a businesswoman,” and yet she ended up in business for herself, “in spite of myself.” She sold the business on April Fool’s Day 2014, but continued seeing patients. On June 15, 2018, the business was sold again, this time to the current owner, Gretchen Daulman, who moved the office up to the current location on Main Street. “I haven’t owned the business this whole time,” Moss says, “but I’ve worked at it this whole time.” She enjoys the fact that the office is staffed by all

women — Moss, Daulman and Office Manager Diana Lerna. She says her original state license was for audiologist, and she had a second license that allowed her to dispense hearing aids. Now, the state requires just one license and Moss laughs when she says she’s now “a hearing aid dispensing audiologist.” She says for a time people were urging her to open an office in Paso Robles, but “I said, ‘I don’t live in Paso Robles.’ I even had an office given to me in Atascadero — foisted on me by a friend — for 20 years. “I’m a bit of a sucker,” she adds, explaining that having two offices meant she spent several days a week over the hill in Atascadero. Moss has lived an interesting life, beyond or should we say before, she dedicated her life to helping others. She used to sing and play music in a band, she recalls. They went on a USO tour in January 1980, entertaining the troops on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz and other vessels in the Persian Gulf. “I sang and played music,” she says. “It’s why I got so excited with audiology — I love music.” That USO tour was during the Iran Hostage Crisis, when student radicals loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution stormed the U.S. Embassy and seized 52 Americans, holding them hostage for 444 days. She says their presence in the gulf was a big secret and their drummer had his camera confiscated after he took some sightseeing photos. “It was a very interesting experience,” she says. “We were in the Persian Gulf where we didn’t belong.” She recalls it as being “so much fun. We went to work on helicopters, being lowered down to the ships.” Two years later, she opened her store in Morro Bay — as safe a place as anywhere. What’s the best thing about what she does? “I got to work this afternoon and saw a darling little woman,” Moss said. “I fixed her hearing aid and she cried. In a word, the best thing is to help people like that.” These days, she doesn’t see as many patients as before and specializes now in helping military veterans. “I get to give away the highest-end products and not charge for it,” she says of her auxiliary work through the V.A. “I like that; I’m not very good with money.” Moss loves working with veterans but keeps the young ones away. “I don’t do pediatrics,” she says. “It’s too scary.” Moss recalls an incident before she was licensed, while helping out in the L.A. County Schools, she had this patient … “He was a darling little boy, all dressed in a gold shirt and gold pants,” she says. His were the first ears she ever looked into, she remembered. When she checked the “golden boy’s” ears, she says there was a glittery shine, and she thought he’d got glitter in there. But alas, no. “The audiologist looked and said he’s got marbles stuck in his ears,” Moss laughs. “They had to be removed and that’s not an easy procedure.” So her advice is to not stick things into your ears (or your nose either). The worst thing for her is twofold — first, when she’s unable to help someone hear and when longtime patients die. “I can almost always help a little bit,” she says. “The worst thing is losing people — otherwise, I love it.” The products have gotten better and better — and pricier and pricier too. “That’s why I like giving them to vets,” Moss says Hearing loss is usually a gradual decline, but not always, like in the case of people who are around loud bangs all the time. When someone has sudden hearing loss, she says they should immediately see a doctor — an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist. So after a life of helping people to hear, which is arguably the least appreciated of the five human senses, she now works part-time, seeing patients a couple of days a week, more if they need her. The Morro Bay Hearing Aid Center is located at 1052 Main Street, Ste. B. Call (805) 772-3277 for an appointment.

Morro Bay Life • August 2022 • 9

Making Communities Better Through Print™


When Life Gives You Lemons...

BARBIE BUTZ Commentary


’ve always thought of August as the “wrap-up” of summer. It’s a time to take a mini-vacation before school starts or gather friends and family for one more picnic in the park, at the mountains, or by the ocean. The weather is usually warm and dependable, allowing you to make outdoor plans without a “plan B.” So enjoy this month, and to help you keep cool, think “lemon.” The flavor of lemons enlivens the taste of food, adding a lively, refreshing tang. Try these recipes and see if you don’t agree. They are simple yet delicious and will be a great addition to any picnic or August party menu.

Strawberry Watermelon

Strawberry-Watermelon Lemonade Ingredients: 1 (6-pound) watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks 2 pints strawberries, hulled 1⁄2 cup sugar 1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice Fresh lemon slices, for garnishes Directions: Purée watermelon in batches in food processor until smooth; strain juice through sieve into large bowl or 2-quart pitcher. Process strawberries with sugar until smooth. Add strawberry purée, lemonade concentrate, and lemon juice to watermelon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.


food coloring if desired. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freezer for at least 2-4 hours before serving. Yield: 5 cups. This next recipe for a lemon sherbet does not require an ice cream freezer, only a food processor or blender. Our son David and his wife Shannon, who live in Paso Robles, prepared this for a Father’s Day treat for my husband John. We loved it! It offers “a hint of mint with the tang of lemon” making it a delight to the palette!

Frozen Lemon Yogurt

Lemon Mint Sherbet

plants and miniature garden accessories

as well as a huge selection of succulents, air



Ingredients: A very large handful of fresh mint leaves 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons; grate the zest before juicing the lemons) 2-2/3 cups 1% or whole milk Directions: 11⁄2 teaspoons grated lemon zest Extra mint leaves for garnish In mixing bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, and peel; mix well. Stir in

The ONLY Bead & Garden Shop on the Central Coast!

Ingredients: 1 carton (32 ounces) plain yogurt 1-2/3 cups sugar 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 4 drops yellow food coloring, optional

333 Morro Bay Blvd.,

Ingredients: 3⁄4 cup butter (no substitutes), softened 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BEAD plants and miniature garden accessories 333 Morro Bay Blvd., Morro Bay, CA

plants and miniature garden accessories

Lemon Meltaways

as well as a huge selection of succulents, air


as well as a huge selection of succulents, air

Directions: Stir sugar, lemon juice, and handful of mint leaves together in medium bowl. Let stand for 1 hour. Stir milk into lemon juice mixture. Strain mixture through sieve into bowl, pressing lightly on mint leaves; discard mint. Add lemon zest. Mixture will thicken slightly and may look curdled, but is okay. Pour mixture into shallow pan, cover, and freeze until hard, 3 to 4 hours. Break frozen mixture into chunks with a fork. Process in food processor or blender until mixture is smooth and color has lightened. If some of frozen chunks are still not broken up, continue processing; extra processing only makes smoother, creamier sherbet. Serve immediately as a slushy spoon drink, garnished with extra mint leaves, or transfer to an airtight container and refreeze until hard enough to scoop, 3 to 4 hours. If sherbet freezes too hard, let it soften in the fridge for 15 minutes or longer, or carefully soften in the microwave on defrost setting, a few seconds at a time.


o Bay Blvd., Bay, CA



The ONLY Bead & Garden Shop on the Central Coast!

The ONLY Bead & Garden Shop on the Central Coast! OPEN EVERY DAY!

Lemon Mint


1 teaspoon lemon juice 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1⁄2 cup cornstarch Frosting: 1⁄4 cup butter, softened 3⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 1 to 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional

Directions: In mixing bowl, cream butter, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in lemon juice. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture. Shape into two 8-in. rolls; wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until cookies are firm to the touch. Remove to wire racks to cool. Frosting Directions: In small mixing bowl, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Frost cooled cookies. Yield: about 5 dozen.

10 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Premieres in Morro Bay STAFF REPORT


y the Sea Productions, Morro Bay’s live theater company, is presenting the Central Coast premiere of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, “Murder on the Orient Express,” opening August 5. While there have been two film versions of this story, it wasn’t until 2017 that Ken Ludwig adapted it for the stage, and this will be its first local production. Christie’s beloved character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, is nearing the end of his long career as he rides the elegant train, only to find himself investigating a murder on board. Played with mustachioed flair by Gregory DeMartini, Poirot has a unique assortment of passenger suspects to question: charming Frenchman Monsieur Bouc (Patrick McCoy), outspoken American Mrs. Hubbard (Victoria Culman), Russian Princess (Sharyn Young), a Swedish missionary (Rosemarie Lagunas), a Hungarian countess (Laura Richie), a Scottish colonel (Matthew Babcock), a British nanny (Sarah Smith), an American secretary (Heather

The cast for the local production of “Murder on the Orient Express” includes: (top row from left) Randall Lyon, Patrick McCoy, Gregory DeMartini, Matthew Babcock, (bottom row from left) Victoria Culman, Laura Richie, Heather Babcock, Sarah Smith, and Sharyn Young. Not pictured: Rosemarie Lagunas. Photo by Janice Peters

Babcock) and a train conductor (Randall Lyon). As he reviews the evidence, Poirot finds himself fighting with his own conscience about the solution. Director Sandy Bosworth says,

“This is a stellar cast and the audience will be in for a delightfully entertaining evening, whether they are Agatha Christie devotees or just fans of live theater.” “Murder on the Orient Express”

will be performed on weekends from August 5 through September 4, with shows on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. By the Sea Productions is located at 545 Shasta Ave. in Morro Bay. Tickets are available

online at or at the door, and reservations are recommended. Photo ID and proof of COVID vaccination are required for admittance. Further information at (805) 776-3287



Month of August Barefoot Concerts on the Green series SEA PINES GOLF RESORT, LOS OSOS

2-6 pm Band Line Up Includes: Aug. 6: Damon Castillo Aug. 13: Blues Asylum Aug. 20: Mother Corn Shuckers Aug. 27: The Vibe Setters


12- SUNSEP 4


Summer Concent Series

Atascadero Community Band




6:30-8:30pm Band Line Up Includes: Aug. 6: Soundhouse Aug. 27: The JD Project

7-8pm Bring lawn chairs and a picnic and enjoy the Atascadero Community Band Free at the Lake Park Aug. 2 Aug. 9 Aug. 16 Aug. 23

8-10pm Movies are FREE to the public and will begin at approximately 8:15pm Movie Line Up Includes: Aug. 06: Encanto Aug. 13: Dog Aug. 27: Sing 2




Murder on the Orient Express North County Has Talent Contest and Show BY THE SEA PRODUCTIONS, MORRO BAY 7-8pm Morro Bay’s live theater company, is presenting Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” tickets available at or 805-776-3287




6:30pm Join the Printery to see the amazing talents in the North County. To purchase tickets and more info visit




Wild About Art

Antique Gasoline Engine Show



10am - 3pm Join the zoo animals for a day of fun arts & crafts, face painting, workshops, local art for purchase & more! For more info visit


Friday: Join the classic cars for Cruise Night on El Camino Real starting at 6:30pm. Saturday: Mid State Cruisers present the 31st Annual Car Show held at the Atascadero Lake Park from 10am-3pm. Saturday Evening: 6th Annual Dancing in the Streets in Downtown Atascadero from 5-9pm.

9am-3pm Dozens of antique gas and steam-driven engines from throughout the Central Coast will be on display in the 48th annual Antique Gasoline and Engine Show. Free and open to the public




Movie in the Gardens



Morro Bay

Morro Bay



2 - 4:30 p.m.

2:30 - 5:30 p.m.


Baywood/Los Osos


2 - 4:30pm

Morro Bay Life • August 2022 • 11

Making Communities Better Through Print™

California Coastline:


San Simeon

Clash of the Titans By CHUCK GRAHAM for Morro Bay Life


hey battled at the frothy shoreline, bouncing off each other like two mighty sumo wrestlers. They hacked at each other’s necks, thick in pink, raw callouses. The sound of it was an impactful thud to drive the other into submission, but neither was giving ground. The more dominant northern elephant seal bull was larger, taller, heavier, approximately all 5,000 pounds of him. However, his challenger was putting him to the test. The younger, smaller bull was not backing down, holding its own on a cool, crisp February morning. Persistence As their steamy breaths wafted skyward, the battle ventured into deeper water, the larger bull driving the girthy upstart into the surf. The young bull didn’t give up, though. He circled 50 yards northward and surfed back into the windswept beach near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse along the San Simeon coastline. With the larger bull preoccupied with taming its extensive harem, the younger challenger attempted to take advantage of females on the northern fringe of the beach. He immediately thrust himself upon a female in estrus. Seemingly, the dominant bull had eyes in the back of his broad head. He

scooched swiftly to the other end of his beach and harem. And once again, he sent the young bull retreating back into the surf. While observing the drama unfold with girlfriend Holly Lohuis, a marine biologist, we agreed that it was only a matter of time before this young bull claimed its own territory and accompanying harem. Before watching it battle with the powerful beachmaster, we noticed a gaping, crescent moon-shaped wound on its right flank. Several days later, I sent a photo to wildlife biologist Tony Orr from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA), who studies these marine mammals on nearby San Miguel Island, and asked him where he thought the wound came from. “That looks like a great white shark bite to me,” said Orr, who has spent over 20 years researching pinnipeds at Point Bennett on San Miguel. “Pretty impressive.” If it could shake off a gaping wound like that, then I surmised this young bull would one day soon possess the chops required to rule its own stretch of sand. Cycle of Life The chess match continued into the afternoon, the younger bull continuously wreaking havoc on the beachmaster’s harem. Amongst the battles, dozens of weaners - elephant seal pups - squawked for their mothers to nurse.

Some of the pups had already been weaned and were forming their own groups, huddling together in the wind and flipping sand onto their backs. Various gulls and turkey vultures scavenged over unfortunate pups who hadn’t survived, but nothing goes to waste at the rookery. Where pups gathered against weathered bluffs and flotsams of tattered, gnarled giant bladder kelp and Elkhorn kelp, shorebirds such as black turnstones and killdeer tiptoed amongst the weaners, foraging for food as the morning high tide surged within the rookery. Once the weaners are finished nursing, their mothers leave the rookery, and the pups fend for themselves. Full of milk, they have enough fat to sustain themselves while remaining at the rookery. They are not strong enough to make the long, arduous migration northward to the Bering Strait in Alaska, so they spend their first year of life along the rugged coastline in San Simeon. They’ll spend that time storing up reserves, feeding in the local waters with the hopes of making that challenging journey the following year. Between the battling bulls, other displays of dominance took place, the male’s pronounced proboscis sounding off with bellowing knocks as the behemoths reared upward, standing over 6-feet-tall. Their floppy snouts are long and hollow, the bigger bulls possessing the more

impressive proboscis, which swung back and forth as the bulls lunged forward across their precious territories. Robust Rebound Northern elephant seals were once thought to be extinct due to commercial sealing, the thirst for oil extracted from their blubber resulting in their demise. In the late 1800s, a small population was discovered surviving on a remote Mexican beach. Protections were set in place, and the population began to steadily increase in the early 1900s. Due to such a low number of individuals being responsible to replenish the gene pool, concerns about inbreeding and diversity still weigh on the minds of biologists. “Yes, I would assume it’s an issue as their genetic variability would be low,” continued Orr. “If something (e.g., disease) attacked them, I would assume that their population would decrease significantly due to the bottleneck effect.” Despite that potential concern, today, their robust populations continue to grow, evident on beaches surrounding Piedras Blancas, San Miguel Island, Point Reyes National Seashore, Ano Nuevo State Park, and Guadalupe Island off Mexico. Populations of northern elephant seals all derived from those few individuals that survived in Mexico so many years ago.

Northern California elephant seals bask in the sun and sand along the coastal beaches of San Simeon. Photos by Chuck Graham

12 • August 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

What is Your "I'd be Crazy Not to Sell" Price? IT MIGHT NOT BE SO CRAZY

"View of the Rock on a bench at sunset" Cavan Hadley



1366 Avalon St  San Luis Obispo $830,000 - Representing Seller

605 Ironwood Court  Morro Bay $1,650,000 - Representing Seller


3100 Coral Ave  Morro Bay $1,200,000 - Representing Buyer

For more information go to EMERALD ELITE AWARD WINNER FOR 2021 This distinct recognition is the highest-ranking award for BHGRE and puts me in the top 2% category of agents in our national brand