Morro Bay Life • January 2022

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JANUARY 2022 • MORROBAYLIFENEWS.COM

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

Happy 2022 New Year • New Attitude

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

SLO COUNTY SUPERVISORS FINALIZE REDISTRICTING MAP PAGE 6

MB PIRATES FOOTBALL WIN CIF REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PAGE 10

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 19 PASO ROBLES, CA

START THE YEAR WITH A COLD PLUNGE PAGE 4

******ECRWSSEDDM****** POSTAL CUSTOMER MORRO BAY, CA 93442

CAYUCOS POLAR BEAR DIP


2 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

Happy New Year

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CONTRIBUTORS Aaron Bergh Barbie Butz

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Visit our website! morrobaylifenews.com 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 product of 13 stars media .

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

s we welcome 2022, we take time to stop and reflect on 2021, and although it was another challenging year, there is so much to be grateful for. We want to start by thanking our loyal and dedicated advertisers who have supported us as they navigated the year, keeping their businesses open and adapting to the continuous changes in circumstances throughout the pandemic. Last month we began to see a glimmer of hope as events, festivities, and a bit of “normal” returned. Smiling faces filled the streets as we enjoyed the holidays and prepared to bring in the New Year. One thing I have found to be heartwarming as we continue through this time, our human souls love to be with one another. We love to hear each other’s stories, laughs and see the joy on a child’s face as holiday lights and parades returned to our communities. We love helping one another by donating food, warm clothing, or our time. The people in our community show up to help, serve and bring joy. We believe our community represents the quality that can continue to reflect a pursuit of the highest ideals in making our town a wonder-

ful place to live. Therefore, Morro Bay Life will continue to deliver quality content that makes it a valuable part of our community. In this month’s issue, we celebrate the Morro Bay High School Varsity Football Team for winning CIF! A huge success story for a young team and a second-year coach who started during the pandemic. Congratulations to them all! We value your feedback and story ideas; if you know of someone who has a story that needs to be told, please call us at (805)466-2585 or write us at editor@morrrobaylife.com so we can share it with our community. We want to thank all of you, our readers, for your continued support as we head into 2022. We are determined to make this the best year yet. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Morro Bay Life. Happy New Year!

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congratulations Putting a Spotlight on Businesses The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce is putting a spotlight on local businesses who are working hard and adapting to the ever-changing environment. Spotlight Businesses are nominated and selected by fellow business owners in Morro Bay as a standout business with exceptional ownership.

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 lynsey@morrochamber.org.

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. This month we’re highlighting four businesses that have proven to be good role models for how to keep employees and customers safe during the pandemic, and have gone to extraordinary measures to keep their doors open.

Please help us CONGRATULATE these businesses on their spotlight award by visiting their establishments, purchasing their products or services, and leaving good reviews online.

The Morro Bay Chamber Welcomes New Board Members and a New Chairperson The Chamber membership has elected three business leaders to join the Board of Directors. The organization is pleased to welcome Anne Steinhauer of 6539 Consulting, Dean Sullivan of Estero Bay News, and Gloria Zion of Wicked Harvest Bourbon Whisky/Compass Realty to the Board alongside recently appointed Director Ray Riordan of The Tribune/McClatchy. Jeff Eckles of Morro Bay House of Jerky and certified boat captain is the Chairperson of the Board for 2022. The 2021 Board has been led with compassion, business acumen, and great skill by Chairperson Tim Cowan of Pizza Port/BHGRE, who ended his board tenure on December 31st, 2021 alongside Jayne Engle Allen of Engle and Associates Insurance Brokers and Amber Griley, formerly with Allen Property Group.

The community is invited to join us at Morro Bay’s big night out, the annual Chamber gala! This year’s Mardis Gras theme is ‘Morro Gras down on the Bay-ou.’ Join us to witness the community awards ceremony for Morro Bay’s Citizen and Business of the Year, Living Treasure and Nonprofit of the Year, dynamic entertainment, craft cocktails and local fare. For more information or to book your seats, go to morrochamber.org. Follow us for the best gift ideas and local shopping lists, October through December. And this year we’ve been thinking outside the box. We have ideas for everyone! Whether it is adventure, antiques, environmentally friendly and everything in between we have you covered. Find your shopping ideas by following us on Facebook, Instagram or our website morrochamber.org/shop-local-everyday. For more information contact Lynsey Hansen, Membership Director at lynsey@morrochamber.org


4 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

GOVERNMENT

City of Morro Bay Updates The City of Morro Bay is Accepting Applications for various Advisory Body Positions STAFF REPORT

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he City of Morro Bay is accepting applications to fill upcoming 2022 Advisory Body vacancies. Application and eligibility information is available on the City Clerk’s Advisory Body webpage or by request to the City Clerk’s office at (805)772-6568 or cityclerk@morrobayca.gov. The deadline for application submission is Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, by 5 p.m. Completed applications can be emailed, mailed, or returned at the drop box located at City Hall. Morro Bay City Council Awards Grants to Eleven local Non-Profit Organizations The City Council approved the issuance of $51,344 in grant awards to local non-profit organizations. These funds will support 11 local non-profits that serve the Morro Bay community. Of the total amount, $26,000 comes from the City’s General Fund, and the remaining $25,344 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA funds will help non-profits directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are so pleased to be able to support our local non-profits who contribute significantly to the well-being of our community,” offered Mayor John Headding. All told, the eleven grant recipients serve the Morro Bay community in a variety of ways, to include: • Senior services • Art and culture • Climate action • Diversity and inclusion • Youth services • Small business support “The pandemic significantly impacted our ability to provide our services to the Morro Bay community,” said Morro Bay Art Association President Patricia Newton. “We are thankful for this City grant, which will allow us to continue to provide art enrichment and education activities to all ages in Morro Bay.” The grant awards were selected by City Council in the fall, following a review by a community panel. City Manager, Scott Collins Updates as of Dec. 3 Police, Sergeant Promotion Detective Will Marvos was promoted to Sergeant on Nov. 27. The sergeant vacancy was the result of Sergeant Mark Martin’s retirement from law enforcement. Will has over 15 years of consistent and credible law enforcement experience and will be a valuable addition to our supervisory team. Congratulations, Will!

Fire Chief Update We have completed the interview process for a vacant entrylevel Firefighter position. We expect to be making a conditional job offer this week and hope to have the new recruit begin training in December upon completion of a background investigation. The seasonal firefighter program has ended for 2021 and will resume around May of 2022. I would like to thank Grant Frempter, Riley Boughton-Proano, and Forrest Ringer for their hard work and dedication this season. As another busy fire season comes to an end (hopefully), and I want to acknowledge the commitment by Fire Department staff to the state Mutual Aid system. Morro Bay Firefighters worked a combined 2,936 hours, committed to major wildfire incidents throughout the state, as well as crews covering at home during their absence. Offshore Wind Energy Power Generation Farm On Nov. 12, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a press release announcing the designation of the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) offshore the central California coast and beginning the environmental review for the Morro Bay WEA, including Section 106 review under the National Historic Preservation Act. BOEM will host two virtual public scoping meetings; one on Dec. 1, 2021, at 5 p.m., and one on Jan. 5, 2022, at 9 a.m. Additional information on those meetings can be found at the link boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/morro-bay-wind-energy-area BOEM also announced it is seeking public comments as part of its environmental review. As such, the agency initiated a 60-day public comment period, which will be open until Jan. 11, 2022. Public Works Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) Program Update The City is making progress on all components of the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project, with construction on the advanced treatment facility and the pipeline/conveyance system components of the project underway, advance study moving forward on the injection well system, and a recently secured Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) grant and low-interest loan funding. The City will experience increased costs on the overall project as a result of project modifications as well as unanticipated issues that delayed initial construction of the pipeline. These issues were discussed during the Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Budget discussions. At this time, it is projected that the total WRF budget will be approximately $145 million (with several million in contingency), compared to the original projected budget in 2018 of $126 million. These increases, however, will not impact water and sewer rates for Morro Bay customers.

EVENT

SLO COUNTY

Supervisors Approve Patton Map After Debate After hearing from the public and debating amongst the Board, the new District map is chosen By MELISSA GUERRA of Morro Bay Life

Cayucos Polar Bear Dip: January 1 at Noon STAFF REPORT CAYUCOS — Each year, thousands of brave individuals and teams converge on Cayucos Beach to start the new year with a dip into the Pacific Ocean! This is a favorite Cayucos Chamber of Commerce family-friendly event in partnership with multiple county agen-

cies. Commemorative t-shirts (designed by local Cayucos elementary school students) and participant certificates are available. Proceeds of shirt sales cover event costs and local Cayucos Chamber flagship events. For more information, visit cayucoschamber.com/polar-beardip

WRF Funding Update The City received approvals for a loan amount of $61 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (WIFIA) low-interest loan program. The City also secured a CWSRF $61 million low-interest loan and a $5 million grant. Both loans were locked in with a near-historic low-interest rate of 0.9 percent or under, which will save the City and community over $1,000,000 annually in debt costs compared to a conventional loan. That allows the City to maintain water and sewer rates that are on par or lower than our neighboring communities. Solid Waste & Recycling Holiday Recycling Guides: The winter holiday season is upon us. It means gatherings with family and friends, decorations, gifts, and holiday food. At the end of those gatherings, gift-giving, and holiday eating, you may be wondering, “how do I dispose of my holiday tree?” or “is this wrapping paper recyclable?” Check out the San Luis Obispo Integrated Waste Management Authority’s recycling guide for holiday items at www.iwma.org/use/holiday to see if it should go in the recycling bin (blue), green waste bin (green), or the garbage bin (grey). In addition, check out Morro Bay Garbage’s website, www.sanluisgarbage.com/schedule, for information on how to properly dispose of trees after the holidays are over. For more information on what goes in what bin, call the garbage company at (805)543-0875. Engineering City Engineer Retirement: Rob Livick will retire as the City Engineer at the end of this year on Dec. 30, 2021. He has served the City of Morro Bay for over 15 years in both the City Engineer and Public Works Director role. His accomplishments include the construction of the Morro Creek bridge and bike path, the Fire Station reconstruction project, the Morro Bay Boulevard/Quintana roundabout, and oversight of the WRF project. During his time with the City, Rob was a friend and colleague to many both internally at the City and in the community. He will be missed for his dedication to the City’s infrastructure, engineering expertise, and sense of humor. He plans to focus on studying music, performing music locally, and continuing his lifelong passion for cycling. City Administration & Events In January, the Winter Bird Festival flocks into town. We are thrilled to show off our beautiful estuary and our many feathered residents. Soon our surf competition season will start with a number of contests on the books. We are anxiously awaiting the World Surf League, a professional surf contest that puts our little town on a worldwide stage. To read the City Manager's full report, visit morro-bay.ca.us/ ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5809

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to discuss redistricting on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. The redistricting process began in March when the update came that the census data wouldn’t come through until later, and the timeline was set for the entire process. In July, the first redistricting hearing was held, and community input was heard ahead of census data. On Oct. 26 was the second redistricting hearing to consider draft maps from the public and advisory committees. On Nov. 19, the Board reviewed all publicly submitted maps and picked two maps for consideration. Revised finalist maps were published on Nov. 24, and in the Nov. 30 meeting, the Board heard public comment and discussed the maps. Public comment raised concerns about the legality of both maps, with several comments stating that the supervisors currently have a difficult job and asking them to “do the right thing,” as seen by

each speaker. The main concerns regarding the maps were the changes to the current district boundaries and accelerating the voting schedule for some residents while others are deferred and won’t get to vote for their supervisor for another four years. The Patton map, submitted by a SLO County resident, while having only a total deviation of 7.8 percent, had an acceleration of 48,622 voters with deferrals of 49,418. In contrast, the SLO Chamber map had an acceleration of 9,499 and deferrals of 9,833. Early in the meeting, it was asked by Supervisors Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Bruce Gibson to ask staff to run partisan analysis on both maps. This request was opposed by Supervisors John Peschong, Debbie Arnold, and Chairperson Lynn Compton with questions about the legality of the request as the Supervisors are required to address the maps without prejudice of voting positions of the residents. “I thought we were specifically supposed to NOT know that,” questioned Supervisor Arnold. After listening to hours of public comment, Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg made a motion to approve the SLO Chamber map, which was seconded by Supervisor Gibson but did not pass. Supervisor John Peschong made a motion to approve map 74786, which

is the Patton map, with a minor adjustment to maintain the existing San Miguel Community Services District (CSD) boundaries in what will be, going forward, district 2. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Debbie Arnold. Before it went to vote, Supervisor Gibson requested to pass along a report that had been submitted into public comment outlining the partisan analysis of the maps. Chairperson Compton objected and pushed through the vote so as not to risk the Board being compromised by looking at data that could be considered illegal. “Do we have three supervisors who will stand up for some modicum of democratic discussion?” Supervisor Gibson inquired. Supervisor Gibson refused to cast his vote until his comments were heard and also spoke about different communities of interest that were being ignored before ultimately voting no for the Patton Map. The motion was passed 3-2, with Supervisors Ortiz-Legg and Gibson in opposition. The county ordinance will be introduced on the regular Dec. 7 meeting, which will begin at 9 a.m. The agenda for the meeting and links to participate can be found on the County’s website at slocounty.ca.gov/ Departments/Administrative-Office/ Clerk-of-the-Board/Clerk-of-the-BoardServices/Board-of-Supervisors-Meetings-and-Agendas.aspx.


Morro Bay Life • January 2022 • 5

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6 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

GOVERNMENT

SLO County Renews Local Emergency Regarding Drought The Supervisors approve the final reading of the new district map By MELISSA GUERRA of Morro Bay Life SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. As the State did adopt a mask mandate on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the room was asked to continue wearing their masks. The meeting opened with the consent agenda, which was approved 5-0. Next, the Board submitted a resolution recognizing and commending Nina Negranti on her 21 years of service for the County. Several county employees, as well as members of the public, took a moment to thank Nina for her service. The motion passed 5-0. Public comment on items not on the agenda started with a resolution read by Supervisor John Peschong for individuals who were not able to attend when the resolution was read over the summer. The resolution thanked those involved on June 10 and 11 for their heroic actions in protecting public safety. The motion to adopt the resolution passed 5-0. A presentation from Scotty Jalbert with the 60-day update on current drought conditions and continuing the need for the July 13 proclamation of local emergency was presented. The conditions have improved in Northern California, but San Luis Obispo County has remained largely unchanged. Current rains will hopefully lend some relief, especially with the snowpack in the Sierras. The outlook December through February is estimated to be about 40 percent below normal, but as of today, the County is ahead of schedule for rainfall. The county reser-

Board of Supervisors honored Assistant County Counsel Nina Negranti who is retiring at the end of the year. Contributed photos

voirs capacity have been steadily falling, but the current rain will hopefully bring better news on the next update. The drought task force strategy meeting is set for Jan. 26 to come up with strategies for the upcoming year to discuss how to handle the drought situation. Burn season is open from Nov. 1 to Apr. 30 for those who have the proper permits. Item 21 was a request to approve the fund allocation for a contract with Soundheal. This project is part of the innovation plan, in which 5 percent of the allotted budget is required to be used toward some process to learn and find new methods for helping. This project was delayed due to the COVID setbacks and is only just now coming before the Board after more than a year in the works. This project, SoulWomb, is designed to increase the quality of services and outcomes of service delivery. The innovative approach is not a brand new idea that has never been done before, but rather making a change to a practice that has been proven to be successful within the medical field and is now being adapted to have a different avenue to test its success. The SoulWomb project intends to use a sound meditation pod for a holistic, mindfulness-based treatment of Behavioral Health clients. The key goal of this project is to

learn whether this sound meditation technique will be effective for increasing court and diversion clients’ wellness, participation and, ultimately, improving mental health outcomes. The Supervisors had differing opinions on the program, with Chairperson Lynn Compton expressing her concern over the extreme cost associated with the pod where traditional mediation could help just as well. Supervisor John Peschong gave his support and hoped to have reports back on how successful or not the program is proceeding. Supervisor Bruce Gibson made a motion to approve the program, which passed 3-2, with Supervisor Debbie Arnold and Chairperson Compton in opposition. The next item was the Land Use Ordinance which will make the workforce housing ordinance permanent by removing the sunset date, which was set to expire on Dec. 22 of this year. The ordinance is designed to be an incentive to make it possible for developers to design projects that include some workforce housing affordable units. The main benefit is that it allows units to be built without a requirement for an HOA. The motion to approve staffs recommendations and remove the sunset date passed 5-0. The next item was a hearing to consider

amendments to the County Building and Construction ordinance. The amendments allow the County to enforce state regulations to the building code for any new construction, alterations to adhere to the state mandate to reduce organic waste in landfills according to California Green Building Standards. The motion passed 5-0. The Board then moved on to an amendment of the ordinance of planning and building fees as well as adding and removing a few positions. The fee assessment recommended that the fees should be adjusted from $936 to $250. Supervisor Arnold made a motion to pass item 2 of the item, which was amending the position allocations for the planning and building department. This motion passed 5-0. Supervisor Gibson made a motion to approve 1, 3, and 4, which passed 3-2 with Supervisor Arnold and Chairperson Compton in opposition. The Board then broke for lunch and closed session with nothing to report before moving on to the final item; submittal of the resolution confirming new district boundaries. The presentation was made to recap the steps the County has gone through, revisit the legal requirements of redistricting and assure the Board that the chosen map falls within the legal parameters. Public comment continued the thread of the past few meetings, from those in support of the map to those who were disappointed that any change was being made to those who felt like one action or another was crossing legal boundaries. After hearing public comments and discussing the item among the supervisors who were divided the issue, the item was passed 3-2 with Supervisors Gibson and Ortiz-Legg in opposition. The next meeting of the Supervisors will be Tuesday, Jan. 11, and the agenda and links to join the meeting virtually can be found on the County’s website slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/ Board-of-Supervisors/Board-Meetings,Agendas-and-Minutes.aspx.

HEALTH

CDC Reports Vaccines Expected to Protect Against Variants California Department of Public Health confirms first case of Omicron (B.1.1.529) in a San Luis Obispo County STAFF REPORT SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Friday, Dec. 17, the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department received notice from the California Department of Public Health of the first confirmed case of Omicron (B.1.1.529) in a San Luis Obispo County resident. Public Health is withholding certain personal information such as age, gender, and other information to protect the identity of this community member. “It was only a matter of time before the Omicron variant would find its way to our community and we want to reassure our community that we have a strong surveillance system in place to identify any future cases of COVID-19 that carry the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Many of our community members already know what we need to do to reduce transmission and slow spread, and this includes getting vaccinated, boosted, tested if you feel sick or are a close contact, and wearing your mask in indoor public spaces.” County Health reported that with the continued transmission and the possibility of a highly infectious new variant of concern, all residents across San Luis Obispo County should continue adhering to requirements and masking in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. “We are committed to providing our community members with timely information about the Omicron variant and will provide updates as events warrant,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Until we know more about Omicron, I strongly

encourage our community members to stay calm, remain vigilant, and use the tools and resources we have at our disposal to protect yourself, your families, and our community.” While Delta is still the predominant variant locally, Public Health will keep the public informed as Omicron emerges and asks everyone to remain mindful of our current disease situation. SLO County has had 153 new cases of COVID19 since last Tuesday, with 15 residents in the hospital, including four people in the intensive care unit.This brings the 14-day daily case average to 39. “Unfortunately, San Luis Obispo County remains in the red or worst tier of COVID-19 transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, and this is not where we want to stay as we head into the winter months,” said Dr. Borenstein. “We have the tools and resources at our disposal to help prevent a winter surge and all variants of COVID-19… staying home when sick, masking in public indoor spaces, getting your vaccine doses, and your booster as soon as you are eligible.” Reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated on Dec. 15; more data is needed to know if the Omicron variant infections, especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants. Or how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Currently, the CDC reported that the vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur.

Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective. According to the readyslo.org website, the total cases since March 2020 is 31,192 current active cases, 307 recovered cases, 30,505, and total deaths, 370, which is 0.01 percent of the total cases in San Luis Obispo County. According to the County, more than 72.3 percent of eligible San Luis Obispo County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 65.5 percent are fully vaccinated. Variants found in San Luis County According to County Health, only a small number of COVID-19 positive samples are sequenced statewide and locally to determine the variant. For example, only 13 percent of samples were sequenced in California in June. • 1,414 = Delta (B.1.617.2) • 409 = Epsilon (B.1.427/B.1.429) • 340 = Alpha (B.1.1.7) • 47 = Gamma (P.1) • 8 = Beta (B.1.351) • 1 = Omicron (B.1.1.529) Statewide COVID-19 Data Vaccinations • 62,762,797 total vaccines administered. • 78.4% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose. • 189, 079 people a day are receiving COVID19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days). Cases • California has 4,935,461 confirmed cases to date. • Today’s average case count is 5,296 (average daily case count over 7 days).

Testing • The testing positivity rate is 2.8% (average rate over 7 days). Hospitalizations • There are 3,854 hospitalizations statewide. • There are 971 ICU patients statewide. Deaths • There have been 75,167 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. • 0.015 percent of the total cases in California Recovered • California has 4,860,294 recovered cases to date. On Dec. 16, the CDC released two reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlighting the use of test-to-stay practices used in schools to minimize absenteeism and learning loss which can occur during traditional quarantine at home. The CDC reported that the Test-to-Stay is a tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes promoting vaccination of eligible students and staff, requiring everyone age 2 and older wear a mask inside schools and facilities, keeping at least 3 feet of distance between students, screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and staying home when sick. Additionally, the CDC recommends that everyone ages five years and older get a COVID19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Adolescents ages 16 years and older can get a booster shot at least six months after a primary series. As for San Luis Obispo County, no additional restrictions or testing has been announced at this time. For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805)788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805)781-5500 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, visit RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine.


Morro Bay Life • January 2022 • 7

Making Communities Better Through Print™

BUSINESS

Estate and Giving

Does Your Estate Plan Account for Your Digital Assets?

Online services, important documents, and family mementos can carry great value

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nlike tangible items like heirloom jewelry and vacation homes or intangible but well-established considerations like financial securities and accounts, digital assets aren’t always top of mind when building and maintaining an estate plan. But to neglect those digital assets may lead to difficulty and heartache for family members later – and could lead to the loss of items with incredible value, both sentimental and monetary. There can be other benefits to organizing your digital assets as well, such as in the case of an emergency. If you become incapacitated, could your loved ones access your important accounts for everything from utility bills to medical clinic portals? As the number and types of digital assets are continually growing and are locked behind a hodgepodge of companies, usernames, and passwords, getting a

handle on your digital estate can be tricky. A diligent, steady approach to inventorying your digital life can help bring order to this process. What’s a digital asset? While you may not want to bother with a $2.99 crossword puzzle app and may not own a $64 million non-fungible token for a piece of digital art, these two extremes show the scope and evolving nature of digital assets. More common examples include financial accounts, service accounts, legal and financial documents, cloud storage and health records, as well as online photo, video, and music collections. You may also want to make your email and social media accounts accessible to loved ones so when the time comes, they can be closed with a graceful denouement or established as a lasting online memorial. Making an inventory In short, digital assets are a wide category, including things like video game collections worth thousands, digital currency wallets worth hundreds of thousands, and family photos and home movies that are priceless. Luckily, once introduced to the idea of a digital estate, you’ll likely find it easy to identify and plan for assets and accounts. Puzzle apps? Probably not worth worrying about. Emailed love letters? Absolutely essential. This gradual method will likely be more effective and comprehensive than trying to compile a complete list from the get-go. Consolidated storage For digital assets not tied to specific

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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.

service accounts, including photos, videos, and PDFs of health records and legal paperwork, you may consider setting up a cloud-based backup system to consolidate disparate devices, accounts, and services. Your advisor has access to some of these tools that can help you organize your assets while providing gated access and rigorous cybersecurity. For online accounts, it’s a good idea to change passwords regularly for security reasons. A secure password manager can make it easier to manage strong, complex passwords and simpler for loved ones to access the accounts if needed.

Like any other asset, more or less Creating an estate plan is an act of love. By making your intentions clear with a holistic, comprehensive plan, you help reduce additional stress and friction for your loved ones as they grieve. Though the understanding of the value of digital assets is fairly new, accounting for them in an estate plan follows the same foundational principles as with any other asset. And like with all planning practices, it’s better to have a plan too early than to be in need of one all of a sudden. Talk to your professional team about accounting for digital assets in your holistic, long-term plan.


8 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

CANCER SUPPORT COMMUNITY CENTRAL COAST

New Year’s Resolutions for Everyone Affected by Cancer

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By CANDICE SANDERS Executive Director

ere at the Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast, we all want to wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a bright New Year! With 2022 now here, we want to share a few possible New Year’s resolutions for everyone affected by cancer. They might not all apply to you, depending on where you are in your experience. But we hope they offer a reminder that you are not alone on your journey. CSC-CCC is here for you. Resolution #1: Become an advocate for yourself. Making treatment decisions for yourself or with a loved one can be overwhelming if you have no medical background. At CSC-CCC, we provide several ways to bridge this divide. Our Learn About Cancer Types guides, available at our Templeton office, are set up to help you learn the basics about your form of cancer. You can also call our Cancer Support Helpline, which provides free navigation for cancer patients or their loved ones. The Cancer Support Helpline is staffed by counselors and resource specialists who can help you get answers to some of your questions so that you can arrive at your next doctor’s appointment more prepared to make the best decisions you can. If you would like to reach out to the Helpline, please call (888)793-9355.

Resolution #2: Stay as healthy as you can. Whether you’re receiving treatment now or in recovery, nutrition and physical activity are important ways to stay as strong as possible. Staying in shape can help minimize side effects of treatment and may even help prevent recurrence. Explore Cancer Support Community’s Virtual Kitchen (cancersupportcommunity.org/virtual-programs), where you’ll find cooking videos and healthy recipes specifically created to support the nutritional needs of people impacted by cancer. Exercise can also play a vital role in your overall wellbeing—and it doesn’t need to be strenuous. Taking a walk, bicycling, or practicing yoga are all great ways to achieve the physical and mental benefits of exercise. We offer Therapeutic Yoga and Tai Chi Chih classes to help improve your mental and physical well-being. Check out our calendar at cscslo. org for class times. Chemotherapy and cancer treatments can cause a loss of strength and mobility. Cancer Well-Fit is a free, small-group, 10-week exercise program we offer in partnership with Paso Robles Sports Club to help restore strength and endurance at each participant’s own pace. If you or someone you know is interested in registering for Cancer Well-Fit, please contact Kathy Thomas at Paso Robles Sports Club at (805) 610-6486.

Resolution #3: Build a community online or in-person. Sometimes the hardest part of one’s cancer journey can be trying to do it all alone. Cancer Support Community’s MyLifeLine’s Friends & Family Sites exist to easily connect cancer patients and caregivers with friends, family members, and others in their support network. As a free service offered by CSC-CCC, MyLifeLine allows you to create your own private support website. Here, you can document your journey and receive social, emotional, and practical support along the way. Having this kind of support reduces stress, anxiety, and isolation. MyLifeLine also features 13 different discussion boards, from Living with Breast Cancer to Caregiver Support.These discussion boards provide a safe space to connect with others like you, share your own cancer experiences, and offer insights, coping strategies, and inspiration. Visit mylifeline.org to get started. Joining one of our support groups or participating in our social activities is another way to build your emotional support and to decrease the feelings of isolation. Please contact us at (805)2384411 or email programs@cscslo.org to get more information about our various programs. Not feeling up to making any resolutions? That’s fine, too. Living with cancer or being a caregiver to someone with cancer can be a fulltime job. The most important thing you can do is focus on yourself and your loved ones in the new year.

HEALTH

Life Intelligence: One Percent

VALENTINA PETROVA

Y

COLUMNIST

ou start from New York City, flying to Los Angeles. The plane veers off course by a 1 to 3-degree smudge. No one notices. You munch on your overpriced airplane meal deal, take a nap, and wake up….in Tijuana. Yep. Small, imperceptible changes lead to massive differences over time. It works with money, navigation, and personal development. Humans underestimate the power of compounding because our brains can barely figure things linearly, causally, and hypothetically. If you took $100 and bought Apple on Dec.

1, 2016 (at about $27 per share) and continued to put in $100 per month until this Dec. 1, 2021, you would have spent a total of $6000 over time, but own $19,000 of Apple stock. That’s what compounding and dollar-cost-averaging do. Most people think $100 is nothing. Because, obviously, no one can get rich by saving $100! Except, of course, those who do. Small efforts lead to big results when applied consistently. Tiny changes of habits can shift the trajectory of life even though short-term we can’t notice. Your life is the sum total of all of your habits. One cigarette now, becoming a smoker, leads to lung cancer thirty years later. One mile on the treadmill today, consistently, turns to habitually working out, will save you from heart disease, obesity, and the usual things that prematurely kill people. Quantum leaps and massive action are possible but not likely and hard to sustain. Try small 1 percent changes instead. Think of something so small you will have zero resistance doing it. In his book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear did the math on change. Doing 1 percent better every

day for one year will make you 38 percent better at whatever the thing is. What’s 1 percent of learning French daily? 20 min? I knew someone who learned German from zero to conversational level in a few months by listening to lessons and practicing while driving to and from work in LA traffic. Trust the process! Even if it feels like nothing much is changing. If you go to the gym and do three easy things only, you won’t get the muscle ache you can brag about to your co-workers. But if you get that muscle ache, you’ll be out of the gym for a week to recover. And there your momentum ends. Compare yourself not to the pros but to your past self. You live your life, not someone else’s. Schedule your activities. What gets scheduled, gets done. Once it’s on your schedule, keep it there. Nothing should displace it! Planning will help you use time efficiently. Make it easy on yourself. Eliminate obstacles and possible excuse for not following through. Set reminders for your activities so you don’t get sidetracked.

Measure your progress. Keep logs, calendars, measurements in whatever way relevant. Take the test. Weigh yourself. Keep track of body composition. How much you eat. How much you sleep. How many chapters are read. Tracking makes you feel committed, responsible, and accountable. Celebrate milestones. That’s the best part of tracking your progress. Pet yourself on the back as you deserve it! Don’t get ahead of yourself. Too much, too soon, will tire and overwhelm you. Remember the turtle and the hair. Be the turtle. Stay inspired. Connect with people who’ve walked in your shoes and now exemplify your aspirations. Find them. Follow them. Copy them. If you don’t give up, you don’t have to start over. Just do it! The full version of this article can be seen on my free blog at vpetrova.com. Subscribe for a dose of weekly Life Intelligence. Valentina Petrova has helped people with life, health, relationships, financial, and professional goals and challenges since 2015. You can reach her at valentinapetrovaconsulting.com.

PERSPECTIVE

The Power of Positive Thinking

DR. CINDY MAYNARD

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CONTRIBUTOR

used to be a non-believer in positive thinking. I guess I thought it was pollyannish or unrealistic. But I've since learned that positive thinking doesn't mean we keep our head in the sand or gloss over negative situations. It just means we explore and approach life in a more productive way to enhance our wellbeing. But whether you're a person whose "glass is half full" or "half-empty," it might surprise you to learn the benefits of positive thinking might be greater than you think. Positive thinking is a newer field being studied in the realm of positive psychology, which literally studies happy people, and what makes them happy. Like previous topics I've written about, such as social connection, humor, and forgiveness therapy, the benefits are similar; lowering of stress, improved mental health, and increased neuroplasti-

city in the brain are some examples. Others include: Greater Physical Health: When we have a positive thought, the "happy" hormone, serotonin, is released, which makes us feel good. Optimism is linked to better heart health, a more robust immune system provides protection against diseases such as the common cold or the flu, and may promote longevity. Improved Social Life: It's truly hard to be around a negative person who complains all the time. People naturally gravitate to positive people who are more cheerful and see life in an upbeat way. Positive social connections are a defense against disease. Better Brain Health: In an article by Dawson Church, Ph.D., he discusses the research by scientists at the University of London who studied cognitive function in people aged 55 and older looking for markers for Alzheimer's disease. Amazingly, they found that lifestyle factors didn't matter as much as attitudinal thinking. In other words, the build-up of plaque found in Alzheimer's patients was greater in those people who were negative thinkers and who had regrets about the past and fear about the future. The way we use our minds literally determines our brain health. Positive thinking often starts with self-talk.

I think one of the main reasons I decided to specialize in the area of Health and Wellness was so that it would make me practice what I preach. One area I needed to work on was my self-talk. Negative self-talk usually arises from thoughts or misperceptions due to lack of information and can be very painful, especially if those thoughts keep us awake at night and cause us undue stress. Here are a few examples to help change negative thinking through a process called reframing. Reframing is the cognitive process by which situations or thoughts are challenged and then changed. For example, try changing the first sentence below to the following sentence instead. • "It's too hard"> "Help me see this differently." • "I'm not able to change"> Maybe I'll learn something new." • "It won't work"> "I'll try it." • "He never talks to me" > "I'll make the first approach." • "This traffic is driving me nuts" > "There is absolutely nothing I can do about the traffic." • "I failed" > "I did the best I could and that is enough." What are other ways one can change the inner critic to one of an advocate? First, identify those areas that cause you concern. Ask yourself what

you can realistically do to change the situation. Challenge your pessimistic thoughts. Have zero tolerance for the critical inner voice. Talk with a trusted advisor or friend. Journal. Highlight the positive aspects of the situation. Gratitude journaling literally changes our brain chemicals (it boosts the "happy" hormone) and our perspective. Practice smiling more. Even fake smiling reduces blood pressure and generally makes us feel better. Or get physical or playful. Just taking a time out from a negative situation can turn the negative brain off for a while. Lastly, focus on your strengths, like creativity, resiliency, or kindness. We very seldom do this, and it helps by boosting positive brain chemicals. You might not be a positive thinker overnight but start cultivating an attitude of positivity by noticing your self-talk and take compassionate action that moves you more towards your authentic self. Start the New Year off right. Be relentlessly positive. Cindy Maynard PhD, RD, is a health psychologist, registered dietitian and a health and fitness writer. Dr. Maynard is passionate about the topic of health and wellness and motivating people towards better health. You can contact her at drcindymaynard@ live.com


Morro Bay Life • January 2022 • 9

Making Communities Better Through Print™

SLO COUNTY

Education Opportunities and Challenges

JAMES BRESCIA, Ed.D County Superintendent of Schools

“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” Ann Landers

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orbes magazine reported that 2021 and beyond would present challenges and opportunities for businesses. A quote from the magazine says, “We can learn a lot from the last year. New opportunities will present themselves that either didn’t exist before the pandemic or are the result of an accelerated trend created by the pandemic.” Another quote from Albert Einstein says, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Schools can take a page from these insights to begin a new year. School leaders, educators, students, and communities desire classrooms that are safe, welcoming, and inspire success. The pandemic presented us with the daunting challenge of providing academic support and facilitating school spirit under conditions made necessary by safety precautions. However, this new year offers opportunities to start anew as we continue to scale up in-person

learning opportunities while perfecting hybrid offerings made possible through technology. School communities must also balance the well-being of students with academic assessments. In my career spanning many roles as parent, teacher, principal, district superintendent, college instructor, and county superintendent, I observed firsthand the opportunities and challenges of boosting school spirit under varying circumstances. I learned the importance of planning for both the present and the future. This article highlights a few strategies to help our community leverage opportunities and meet challenges in building positive school culture. When building the culture of any organization, it is vital to engage everyone in the process and listen to all views. We must rally the team together in full support of goals and objectives. We can ask ourselves several questions. Are the students, families, teachers, support staff, and community informed, involved, and engaged in school success? How frequently do we facilitate feedback about making school a place where students are invested? We need to listen, respond, and modify offerings appropriately while openly stating limitations if we solicit feedback. The entire community deserves to know what is possible and what is not possible. As we continue, additional questions come into play. What did we learn from our experience with online engagement that we can continue or modify during in-person activi-

ties? What is best completed in person, and what can be accomplished in a virtual environment? How can we strengthen engagement with what we have learned during the pandemic? Are we prepared to address the avoidance issues associated with increased in-person services, including large-scale meetings, sports events, drama productions, music performances, and other activities? The enthusiasm and anxiety accompanying expanded in-person events and activities offer opportunities and challenges. Do we promote a fuller engagement or more engagement? Regular review and reflection of equity and access present additional opportunities and challenges for schools. The pandemic highlighted economic and academic disparities that exist in every community. What do we observe as we walk the school hallways and review online environments? We should notice the pictures on the walls, trophies in the cases, art displays, sports banners, materials available, and facilities. Are the opportunities accessible to all students? How do we address the challenges? Are multiple cultures represented in our materials, activities, and displays? Child and adolescent development experts profess the goal of belonging no matter the interests, abilities, family origin, economic level, or ethnic background as a tool in building positive community environments. Law enforcement experts have identified belonging as a significant deterrent in school violence and disruptive behaviors.

As we contemplate what it means to be part of a school community, we should regularly review a school’s core values. What does it mean to be an Eagle, Triton, or Banana Slug? When the entire community provides input on an institution’s guiding principles, we leverage opportunities and better address challenges. Research indicates that higher student and community support levels emerge when schools highlight community-generated pillars such as self-advocacy, perseverance, integrity, engagement, responsibility, and citizenship. With the genuine involvement of community members, our schools can thrive and better meet the needs of our changing society. Finally, we must acknowledge the work of key members of our school communities. Bus drivers, cafeteria workers, office staff, yard duty personnel, business office teams, administrators, coaches, assistants, and teachers are dedicated individuals providing service to students and the community. Most people enter public service to make a difference for the good of society. Covid-19 forced these public service employees to rapidly change how services were delivered to keep operations moving forward. There were mistakes made and lessons learned during the pandemic. As we continue to move forward, our public service employees will serve the community. Whatever 2022 brings, I sincerely thank the entire community for your continued support of our students, families, employees, and schools. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

OPINION

Want to Turn On Your Lights? Don’t Turn Off Diablo Canyon Power Plant

AARON BERGH COLUMNIST

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nce again, Sacramento and big-city politicians that don’t live here are making a decision that will disproportionately harm our small central coast community. Amidst the worst energy shortages and rolling blackouts in two decades, the California Public Utilities Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric are still moving forward with decommissioning Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which supplies about a tenth of the entire energy consumed by Californians. While San Luis Obispo County has mostly been spared from electricity shortages that have affected virtually every other part of the state, this will likely change if our main power source is forcibly shut down. Diablo Canyon Power Plant generates over 16,000-gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to keep the lights on in 3 million homes and businesses, including my home and local business. The electricity it generates accounts for a quarter of California’s emission-free energy production. As a comparison, it would take 90,000 acres of solar panels—an area three times the size of San Francisco—to generate this amount of electricity. Green energy proponents claim the offshore windfarm currently planned for installation off the coast of Cambria will replace the energy currently provided by Diablo Canyon. But it will take years, probably even more than a decade, to build the windfarm to full capacity. And even if it is built to full capacity,

the planned windfarm can only generate its projected 3 gigawatts of energy when the wind is blowing. The turbines will require average wind speeds of at least 7 mph every single day of the year to make up for the 16,000 gWh deficit that will no longer be generated by Diablo Canyon. If Diablo Canyon Power Plant closes, even when PG&E can keep your lights on, you’re going to be paying much more for it. Diablo Canyon Power Plant currently supplies PG&E with incredibly cost-effective energy at an approximate rate of 6 cents per kWh. The average price PG&E pays other suppliers for electricity is almost double that price (about 10 cents per kWh), and the price of the electricity generated by the offshore wind farm is projected to cost even higher than that average (14 cents per kWh). It’s insane to justify the replacement of a relatively inexpensive emission-free energy plant with one that costs more than twice as much. But here’s the cherry on top: ratepayers like you and I will be footing the $3.9 billion bill to decommission the plant. Conversely, if Diablo Canyon Power Plant were allowed to operate until 2045, ratepayers would save $21 billion, according to a Stanford/MIT study. The closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant will result in other negative downstream effects on our community. PG&E is the fourth-largest provider of jobs for San Luis Obispo county—most of which work at Diablo Canyon. Over one thousand San Luis Obispo County residents will lose their jobs as the plant closes. Morro Bay’s commercial fishermen (a multi-million dollar local industry) are rightly worried that they will be restricted from harvesting in the 400 square miles soon to be occupied by the windfarm meant to replace Diablo. The immense area of the offshore windfarm or 140 square miles of solar panels needed to compensate for the energy vacuum will undoubtedly have unforeseen negative impacts

on the environment. Once the detrimental effects of these “green” energies are realized, will we regret shuttering nuclear power plants? As The Atlantic’s David Frum points out, we don’t need to look much further than Germany to see into the future. Chancellor Angela Merkel led the charge to shut down all of Germany’s nuclear power plants in 2011 and championed their replacement with wind energy. In reality, the country failed to produce enough wind energy and has now increased its usage of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. California is already following in Germany’s footsteps. Even though Diablo Canyon Power Plant is still online, the Biden Administration and Governor Gavin Newsom are currently being forced to alleviate restrictions on emissions standards to allow fossil fuel power plants to fire back up to avoid plunging our state into darkness. In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law requiring California to generate 100 percent

of its electricity through emission-free methods by the year 2045. Governor Newsom has doubled down on this radical goal by prohibiting the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 and gas-powered tools by 2024. The increased demand on the electrical grid coupled with the decrease in reliable energy supply is a recipe for disaster. And when the power does go out, you won’t be able to use your own generator—those will be banned in California in 2028. We should support green energy initiatives that are reliable and cost-effective. But we would be foolish to decommission Diablo Canyon Power Plant before we have any stable and proven alternatives online. Even though PG&E will relinquish ownership of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, there is still hope that another entity could take it over and resume its operations. For the sake of our economy, community, and well-being, I hope we’re able to prevent the shutdown of this vital modern marvel of science.


10 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™

CELEBRATING CIVIL RIGHTS

“I Have a Dream.” Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. America’s Founding ideals to the cause of civil rights. The last best hope for true racial progress, King realized, was solidarity: For people to see and treat one another as equals, they had to feel the tugs of a bond far stronger than either race or politics, and for King, that bond was America. After all, there are two words in the phrase “civil rights,” and King grasped that both are crucial. Civil rights are about the fair and equal participation of all citizens in the American community. For those rights to have any power, the bonds of that community must be closeknit and resilient. “I criticize America because I love her,” King said in a speech about the Vietnam War, “and because I want to see her to stand as the moral example of the world.” All American’s alike can learn from King’s example. “In the United States of America, every citizen should have the opportunity to build a better and brighter future. United as one American family, we will not rest, and we will never be satisfied until the promise of this great nation is accessible to each American in each new generation.” The premise and promise of King’s dream is that we don’t need to replace or transform our nation’s shared ideals to make our country a better place. We simply need to live up to them.

By HAYLEY MATTSON “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of thousands at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. King’s most important work applied

Martin Luther King Jr. lived an extraordinary life and left the nation yearning to do better. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John F. Kennedy. At 34, King galvanized the nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech. At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Then at the young age of 39, he was assassinated. King left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues on today. Monday, January 17, will mark America’s 37th celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.,

life. Honoring King with the sacred status of a federal holiday, of which there are only ten, none other named for a 20th-century figure, is a testament to the unifying power of his legacy. “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

TASTE

Happy New Year! Soup's On! This first recipe is from Pat Cairns, an Atascadero resident and a popular and talented artist in the area. She commented, “This soup is a glorious color and, like most art, requires a bit of a mess to create a masterpiece!” Red Onion Borscht Ingredients: ¼ cup butter or margarine 4 large red onions, thinly sliced ½ cup red wine vinegar ½ pound beets, peeled and shredded (this is the messy part) 2½ tablespoons flour 6 cups chicken broth ½ cup Port wine (optional) sour cream for garnish Directions: Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add onions, vinegar, and beets; stir often until onions are very limp (25 to 30 minutes). Stir in flour. Add broth. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Add Port. Ladle into 4 to 6 bowls and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream. Another Atascadero resident and a former president of Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County, Carol Porter, offered this recipe for Minestrone Soup. Her comment was, “Don’t let a lot of ingredients turn you off on this soup. This is well worth it. Yummy!” Carol’s Minestrone Soup Ingredients: 5 cloves garlic, sliced

From the Kitchen of

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Barbie Butz

remember hearing cooks in the family announce that “soup’s on” when dinner was ready. The meal was not necessarily soup and could be anything from pot roast to fried chicken, and still, the expression was used to call the family to the table. However, for today’s recipes, you can safely say, “soup’s on!” These recipes are perfect for cold January days when a warm cup of soup will bring the family to the table with no hesitation. Served with salad and a slice of hearty bread, any of these soups make a satisfying meal. The recipes are from our Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County’s cookbook, Recipes From the Heart of the Central Coast, published in 2001. Proceeds from its sale were used to benefit our philanthropic projects, including Operation School Bell, providing new schoolappropriate clothing for students in grades K-12.

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olive oil crushed red pepper 2 small cans tomato sauce 6 cups beef broth 2 cans drained or 1 package frozen green beans 1 large onion, chopped 2 green peppers, chopped 1 package sliced mushrooms (fresh) 1 small head broccoli, chopped 1 small head cauliflower, chopped 2 packages ground hot Italian sausage 2 packages three cheese tortellini 1 teaspoon garlic salt 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme, and oregano Directions: Cover bottom of large soup pot with thin layer of olive oil. Add sliced garlic and one pinch of red pepper. Saute garlic and red pepper until garlic is golden brown. Add tomato sauce and mix together. Mix in beef broth. In another pan, brown sausage, breaking it into small pieces. Drain fat from sausage and add to soup pot. Add all spices. Season to taste. Add all vegetables. Let soup come to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1½ hours. Add tortellini. Simmer about 20 minutes more. The longer the soup simmers, the better the taste! This next recipe from Dawn Turner is a “great way to eat your broccoli!”

Hot Broccoli Soup Ingredients: 1½ tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons oil 2 cups diced onions 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli ½ cup flour 4 cups canned chicken broth 1 quart half and half ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional) 3 cups grated white Cheddar cheese Directions: Melt butter and oil in large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add broccoli and mix well. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring frequently. Slowly blend in broth; continue stirring. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in half and half and seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cheese and turn off heat. May be served immediately or refrigerated and reheated later. Best if served the same day. Makes 6 generous main course servings. Remember that the new year offers opportunities for fresh ideas. Don’t dwell on the past, but look forward to what can be an exciting future. If you like to cook, make a resolution to try a new recipe each week. Be creative and enjoy the process. Happy New Year and cheers!

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Morro Bay Life • January 2022 • 11

Making Communities Better Through Print™

SPORTS

Pirates Win CIF Divisional and Regional Championship One game short of total glory ending as runners-up for State By NEIL FARRELL MORRO BAY — Morro Bay High's Varsity Football Team finished up a magical season one game short of total glory but four games through a whirlwind sprint through the playoffs, earning CIF Divisional and Regional Championships but ending the year as runners-up for a State Championship. Coach Jake Goossen-Brown spoke humbly a few days after his Pirates Team beat Loara High of Anaheim 35-27 to win the Div. 7AA Southern Regional Championship at home. In just his second full season at MBHS—2020 was a COVID shortened spring season—he's achieved what just one other coach had in school history—winning the CIF Division (Div. VI) Championship, after 1995 when Head Coach Sythell Thompson led Morro Bay to the title in a 55-15 win over Templeton. "My goal was to win two games that [first] year," Coach Goossen-Brown told Morro Bay Life. The year before, they'd won zero games under a different coach. This year they posted a 2-5 Ocean League record, good enough for third place and a spot in the Central Section Div. VI CIF Playoffs, where they won their first-round game and then beat Righetti of Santa Maria for the Championship. They beat another team and then held off a scrappy Loara squad for the Regional Title and entered never-before-seen territory—the State Championships. They traveled to Falls River in McArthur, Calif., in Shasta County to play for all the enchiladas and ran into a brick wall, losing 43-13 on a cold, blustery night to a team that went undefeated at 13-0 on the season. Morro Bay ended the year at 8-7 but added two impressive Championship Plaques to the school's trophy case. Coach Goossen-Brown said they had an up and down season but, "We hit our stride and started playing consistently" in the playoffs. And anyone who's ever caught fire and made a championship run can attest, that's the key. Along the way, they won back the "Clash of the Coast" Trophy with a thrilling overtime win over rivals Templeton High, which the coach said means almost as much to the kids as the CIF Championship rings and lettermen's patches they'll soon receive and wear with pride. The Templeton win and return of the perpetual trophy to his office in the locker room was a big win. With the Loara game, he said, they knew going in they had a tough game coming on. "They were well-coached," he explained, "We knew that from the film." They were a tough, physical team that ran the ball effectively, and it would be a battle, just as every playoff game was. He said they needed to have their defense find a way to make some big plays, and they did, with sophomore Nami Hoag, who stripped the ball from a Loara runner at the goal line and then dashed about 45 yards the other way to end a huge threat. Hoag is a sophomore that Coach GoossenBrown said had played Junior Varsity all season and was brought up to Varsity for the playoffs. The CIF Championship Game was his first start. Then with time running out and Loara threatening to tie the score, Manny Diaz stripped the ball, and Johnny Botello recovered in the end zone for a touchback that iced the win. "It was impressive what they were able to do," said Coach Goossen-Brown. "It was a good opportunity for us, and we were lucky to be there to seize it." He added that Diaz is also a sophomore, and Botello, a junior, was lined up at cornerback on the other side of the field and pursued all the way across the field for the fumble recovery. But the Pirates lived and died by the pass,

which against Loara worked well, as quarterback Nicky Johnson found wide receiver Ethan Lisman several times on a wide-open crossing route that the junior turned into big, clutch plays for first downs against Loara. Senior running back Dylan Turner was a monster running the ball and turning short passes into big gains. Turner scored three touchdowns on the ground and caught a touchdown pass too. He had over 100 all-purpose yards and continued his smart play. Johnson, who started for the first time last season against Atascadero, where he led the Pirates to a big 1-point win, proved in that COVID-shortened season that he was the quarterback of the future. "He worked his butt off all off-season," Coach said of Johnson. After that big win over Atascadero, "I saw what he could be." They instituted an off-season passing league program, and Johnson excelled. "That's why we were able to throw the ball so effectively," said Coach Goossen-Brown. "Nicky takes it very seriously. He comes in early to watch film. He cares a lot and wants to be good. I think he's one of the best quarterbacks in our area now." Of his two offensive leaders—Johnson and Turner—coach said, "If something happened to me, Nicky or Dylan would call the offense; they know it so well. They are really committed to being great." Goossen-Brown, who coached for 11 years at Notre Dame Academy before coming to MBHS in 2019, said Turner's football I.Q. "is the best I've ever seen. I trust them, and I trust Dylan's knowledge. He's pretty sophisticated for a high school player right now." Wideout Lisman also had a monster game against Loara, with over 100 yards receiving and one touchdown. He seemed to catch everything thrown his way, including a long pass down the sidelines that he wrestled away from the defender to set up a score and a touchdown reception where he went to his knees to rein it in. Johnson showed real clutch play in the CIF Divisional Game as well, completing 24 of 35 passes for 324 yards and four scores. "He threw just four interceptions all year," said the coach. The team's success has been bolstered with a lot of community support from local businesses, including Lolo's, Carla's, and Tognazzini's Dockside restaurants, which have hosted team dinners, plus numerous others like Mike's Barbershop, which gave all the kids haircuts. "We've had an unbelievable amount of community support this year," he said. "And they did it before we were winning. It's been wonderful." And while they may have ended this season one game short of eternal glory, they return a lot of players next year, and who knows, maybe lightning will strike once again and propel the Pirates into that stratospheric level that only a handful of schools can claim.

MBHS vs Loara-16: Morro Bay's Varsity Football Team poses for a photo with their Div. 7AA Regional Championship Plaque. Photos by Neil Farrell

#7 Wide receiver - Ethan Lisman

Morro Bay High quarterback Nicky Johnson fires Ethan Lisman checks his position with the ref the ball downfield against Loara High in the CIF during Morro Bay's Regional Championship win Div. 7AA Regional Championship Game. over Loara High of Anaheim.

Morro Bay High quarterback Nicky Johnson.

MBHS lineman Nic Reid (No. 67) corrals a Loara runner for no gain.

Wide receiver Ethan Lisman runs free in the secondary for a big gain.


12 • January 2022 • Morro Bay Life

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