Morro Bay Life • October 2021

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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

I m’ so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables











Hayley & Nicholas Mattson



Community Writer Camille DeVaul Patrick Patton


Jen Rodman

Ad Consultant Dana McGraw Jessica Segal


Cami Martin

CONTRIBUTORS Barbie Butz James Brescia, Ed.D Neil Farrell Sarah Santana Valentina Petrova Contact Us 805.466.2585

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 product of 13 stars media .


Making Communities Better Through Print™

It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.

utumn is one of our favorite times of the year, with a cool chill to the air, changing colors to the leaves, warm clam chowder, trips to our local farms to pick out pumpkins, and pulling out the sweaters for evening walks on the beach. As with last Halloween, this year will look a bit different once again. But with that comes the opportunity to start new traditions and allow for fresh ideas to enjoy with the ones we love and the time we have together on this earth. This month we are excited to now be direct mailing to Cayucos! You will see the change in our masthead on the front cover that includes our Coastal family to the North. This month is a soft rollout with full saturation to the entire community to follow in the upcoming months. Our goal with Morro Bay Life is to bring the community local stories from San Luis Obispo County with a direct focus on Morro Bay and now Cayucos. Our mission is Making Communities Better Through Print™. We do our best to bring you information that inspires, educates, and is intriguing. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please email us at we would love to hear it! In this issue, we discuss the iconic Power Plant Stacks and whether it is a good investment for the City to keep them or have them removed on page 4. In addition, we learn more about the Committee committed to restoring the Vets Hall in Cayucos and how we can all help on page 7, and then we learn several ways one can cook with pumpkins with Taste by Barbie Butz on page 11. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our small towns allow us to support one another in a way like none other. As our community grows and changes, it is up to us to keep our community spirit alive, and that is what we hope to share each month with our publication.

~ Alan Watts

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Morro Bay Life. Much love, Hayley & N ic

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2 • October 2021 • Morro Bay Life

Morro Bay Life • October 2021 • 3

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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

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.

Photo Credit: Dean Sullivan

Rotary X Chamber Collaboration

OCTOBER 5,12 & 26 Contact to get signed up for this free series with special guest speakers.

The Rotary Club of Morro Bay and the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce are again partnering up to provide Economic Development-focused programming for the month of October. Members of Rotary and members of the Chamber are invited to get together on each of October 5th, October 12th and October 26th from 12p-1p for presentations on topics like:

•Marketing Morro Bay •Economic Development & Advocacy •Hot Topics in Business Expansion & Recruitment Workforce Matters

Are you looking to hire one of the many hardworking and talented Morro Bay High Students? There is a quick Employer Advertisement Questionnaire available at under the Economic Development tab for you to advertise your job opportunity with the student body. The MBHS College and Career Specialist will get back to you quickly.

it n tu r o p op




If you are a local business looking to hire dedicated, young college students, students at Cuesta College are ready and excited to work. One of the best places for employers to advertise job opportunities is through Cuesta’s online jobs board, Career Connect powered by Jobspeaker found at You can also share flyers and infographics directly to Cuesta College Employment Services at to have your information shared around campus and on social media.

Shop Local, Shop Small Business Everyday! The Chamber is excited to announce our Small Business Everyday Campaign. There is no doubt about it, when times are tough our community comes together to support each other. As we continue to move forward into brighter days the Morro Bay Chamber wants to remind our community to keep supporting their neighbors by shopping local. 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 For more information contact Lynsey Hansen, Membership Director at

The shopping season is fast approaching!

4 • October 2021 • Morro Bay Life

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Power Plant Smokestacks — Leave Them Be or Not?

City plans to hold hearings on the issue over the next year By NEIL FARRELL for Morro Bay Life MORRO BAY — It’s a question that Shakespeare might pose—Are the power plant smokestacks to be or not to be—left standing, that is. The future of Morro Bay’s iconic smokestacks became a little clearer on Sept. 8 after an online meeting with government and power plant officials. The Zoom meeting, moderated by Don Maruska, eventually had over 200 people tuned in to hear the pros and cons of the “stacks” remaining or being taken down by power plant owner Vistra. On hand were Vistra Senior Vice-President for Corporate Development and Strategy, Claudia Morrow and Vistra’s Director of Decommissioning and Demolition, Dianna Tickner; Tim Fuhs, compliance supervisor with the County Air Pollution Control District; and John Bystra with the State Department of Toxic Substance Control. The issue of the stacks arose in June when Vistra declared its intentions to tear down the power plant as part of its “Battery Energy Storage System” (BESS) project, a 600-megawatt capacity massive undertaking that will cover some 22 acres of the plant property with over 30-foot tall buildings, each some 90,000 square feet. The BESS is part of an overall strategy to bolster the use of renewable energy sources — solar and wind — to help match up the timing of the production of energy with peaks in demand. The BESS permit application is currently under review by the City’s Community Development Department, and once it’s deemed “complete,” the permitting process would begin, including an intensive environmental impact study and more. The issue of the stacks came into sharper focus with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) the City signed with Vistra this past June that calls for the power plant building and stacks to be removed at Vistra’s expense by the end of 2027, or they must pay the City $3 million. The City has

until the end of 2022 to decide if it wants Vistra to leave the trio of 450-foot tall stacks standing. The City Council decided to ask the residents what they want to happen. The MOU also ended an eminent domain lawsuit the City filed to force Vistra to grant a utility easement through the plant property— running from the Front Street parking lot where sewer Lift Station No. 2 is located to Main Street and a space for injection wells to recycle the City’s wastewater. It’s all part of the City’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project under construction now. In the settlement, the City agreed to pay Vistra some $200,000 for the easements and to support the BESS project if it passes permitting. City Manager Scott Collins said they’d received about 40 emails regarding people’s feelings about the stacks, prompting the meeting to discuss the matter. Morrow explained that the company has “a lot of power plants,” using natural gas, nuclear, coal, and solar, and was now building BESS projects, including a 300 MW one at the Moss Landing Power Plant. She said the stacks were put in to vent exhaust from the old power plant high into the air to disperse the boiler exhausts. But, with the plant shuttered since 2014, “They serve no purpose,” Morrow said. She added that the Federal Aviation Administration requires the blinking red lights on each stack always to be maintained “to prevent aircraft from colliding” with them. Those seemingly little red lights are actually 6-feet tall. Vistra is required to inspect the stacks every year and report to the APCD on any contaminants that could become airborne. If the stacks are well maintained, she said they could last another 100 years (the first stack dates back to the mid-1950s and the other two the early ‘60s). She said every 2-5 years; they must complete visual inspections of the stacks for structural integrity, which means climbing them and looking for cracks and other flaws. She said if they stay up, a “cap” will need to be placed on them to protect the interiors, which she estimated could cost $250,000 each ($750,000 total).

This photo of Morro Bay, taken from Los Osos, shows what Morro Bay would look like without the power plant and trio of smokestacks. The plant was ‘airbrushed’ out of the scene. The photograph hangs in the Mechanic’s Bank branch on Harbor Street and was part of a slide presentation given at a Sept. 8 Zoom meeting on the future of the stacks. Contributed photo

The caps would be custom-made and have to be lifted into place with a giant crane. Vistra’s Tickner, an engineer, said so long as maintenance is kept up, “the structural integrity should remain good.” Fuhs of the APCD said the stacks were last inspected for airborne materials in June, and all they found was some “rust and bird droppings,” and there was also very little asbestos in them. DTSC’s Bystra said the agency has not done any investigations on the stacks but would get involved if they were found to have hazardous materials. DTSC has an active case going with regards to several areas on the plant property where there are known pollutants. But the concentrations in both the soil and groundwater were small, and the DTSC is recommending they be left in place until the plant property is redeveloped. If there are no hazardous materials in the stacks, Bystra said, the DTSC would not become involved. The key question came from an audience member—Who has liability for maintenance if they remain? Morrow said if the City chooses to keep them, then the City would be responsible for their maintenance and liability, as well as a future removal.

That job has been estimated to be upwards of $5 million, in today’s costs, and possibly more in the future. Morrow said the company’s stated intent is to remove the power plant and stacks. Vistra would then work with the City on possible redevelopment projects, which Morrow said were exciting. Maruska put together an unofficial chart of what the possible costs to the City would be to keep the stacks, which he admitted was taken just from information he’d gleaned from the meeting. It listed $250,000 per stack for the caps to make them safe; up to $50,000 a year for inspections; $10,000 a year for insurance if the stacks are not repurposed and an unknown amount if they are repurposed for something like an observation tower, a climbing wall, or bungee jumping. He also included a reserve fund of $2-$5 million for their future removal. Having Vistra remove them would cost the City nothing. For a City struggling to match tax revenues with expenses, the realization of costs seemed to take the air out of the room, even on a Zoom call. The City plans to hold more hearings on the issue over the next year, in anticipation of the December 2022 deadline to give Vistra an answer—keep them or take them down.

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News from the City of Morro Bay City Council appoints Jen Ford to fill vacant Council position STAFF REPORT Sets Date for Special Election in June 2022 City Council appointed Jen Ford to fill the vacant City Council position during their Sept. 14 meeting. Mrs. Ford, a local business owner and Morro Bay Planning Commissioner fills the position vacated by the passing of former Councilmember Robert “Red” Davis earlier this year. Per Morro Bay Municipal Code, she can hold the seat until the special election in June 2022. Mrs. Ford would be eligible to run for the Council seat in that special election so long as she remains a registered voter. The City held an open application process whereby any registered voter in Morro Bay could apply for the vacant Council seat. The City received two applications. City Council vetted the two applicants at the Sept. 14 Council meeting, offering an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves and respond to Council questions. Prior to selecting Jen Ford, Council also voted to hold a special election in June 2022 for the same Council position. The winner of that June 2022 special election will hold the Council position through the end of 2024. “Jen’s history of community service and her participation on numerous citizen committees and boards demonstrates her passionate commitment to improving the quality of life of our residents,” said Mayor John Headding. “She has worked hard to make sure all voices are heard, especially when important decisions are made. I look forward to working with her on the City Council.” Mrs. Ford, along with her husband, Travis, and their two children, have lived in Morro Bay since 2011. During that time, she has served the Morro Bay community in a variety of roles. That includes serving as the PTA President for Del Mar Elementary, a Morro Bay Planning Commissioner, advocating for women’s rights as Co-Founder of Women’s March SLO, and volunteering for a number of local non-profits. “I’m excited to be appointed to the Morro Bay City Council and to help our City and its residents navigate many of the difficult decisions ahead,” offered newly seated Councilmember Jen Ford. “I’m deeply honored to step into the position my good friend Councilmember Robert “Red” Davis left sooner than expected and vow to carry on his role as a leader in our community.”

Morro Bay City Council appointed Jen Ford to fill the vacant spot on the council after the passing of Robert "Red" Davis. Contributed photo

The City is Accepting Applications for Planning Commission/Public Works Advisory Board The City of Morro Bay is seeking volunteers for the Planning Commission and Public Works Advisory Board. Get your application in today! Applications are available on the City Clerk’s webpage. The application deadline to apply is on Friday, Oct. 15, 5 p.m. Completed applications can be emailed, mailed, or returned at the drop box located at City Hall. Learn more by visiting

City of Morro Bay presents Free Concert In Cloisters Community Park Featuring “LP And The Vinyl” Family, friends, and neighbors: Join us as the City of Morro Bay presents the acclaimed group, LP And The Vinyl for an inaugural concert in Cloisters Park. The performance will be a family friendly program with familiar songs from Blues to Beatles to Bowie! This initial concert may be the starting point for a future multi-event concert series for all of Morro Bay and beyond! Event Details: • Cloisters Community Park: Coral Ave, Morro Bay, CA 93442 • Sunday, October 24, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. • Cost: Free • Sponsored by: The City of Morro Bay • Redeemable coupons for local businesses will be available! • Free supervised parking plus (with ample disabled parking spots too!)

• Please: bring your own lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments—no alcohol, please • Entertainers: LP and the Vinyl ( • Celebrity MC: Morro Bay’s own “Dead Air Dave” (97.3 The Rock) • Post-concert “Meet Leonard Patton Q & A” with Abe Perlstein (97.3 The Rock) at the Foghorn Brewhouse The vision is to present concerts that include curated music offerings that typically cannot be found at surrounding music venues, to include jazz, world music, dance, etc. The goal is to bring the community together to experience a diverse array of musical offerings at no charge in a neighborhood-oriented outdoor setting that the Cloisters Park provides. So, grab your beach chairs and come hang out with everyone, and catch some truly awesome music.

New No-Cost COVID-19 Testing Site Opening in Morro Bay The County Public Health Department is opening a new no-cost COVID-19 testing site in Morro Bay on Monday, Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. “No priority is more important right now than slowing the spread of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County, and we have the collective power to help stop it through testing and vaccinating,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Community members who live in and near Morro Bay can now schedule a safe and confidential test at our free COVID-19 testing clinic.” Health officials strongly encourage

community members to make an appointment at, due to increased demand for testing. Walk-ins will be accepted as availability allows but are not guaranteed. Testing demand tends to be highest on Mondays and lower later in the week. With this addition, SLO County testing sites include: • NEW: Morro Bay Veterans Memorial Building 209 Surf Street, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (opens at 9 a.m. on the first day) (Closed 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) • Grover Beach 1336 Ramona Avenue, Suite A, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) • San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall 801 Grand Avenue, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) • Paso Robles Train Station 800 Pine Street, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) For those who have health insurance, information will be collected when registering for an appointment and no co-pay is required. There is no charge for those without medical insurance. The County of San Luis Obispo and State of California are contracting with OptumServe to provide this service to the community. For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or call the Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday - Friday, 8a - 5p.


SLO Food Bank Receives ,0 1 260 Pounds of Fair Meat Beef will be distributed countywide through SLO Food Bank’s agency partners in the upcoming weeks STAFF REPORT SAN LUIS OBISPO — After going completely virtual with last year’s livestock auction, the California Mid-State Fair (CMSF) was excited to hold the Junior Livestock Auction in person this July. This event affords children of all ages the hands-on experience of raising livestock for sale, and, for many participants, the sale of their livestock provides hunger relief to thousands of struggling San Luis Obispo County residents. This year, thanks to the generosity of the community and the continued support of compassionate partners, 10,260 pounds of beef were donated to the SLO Food

Bank. This vital commodity will be distributed countywide through the SLO Food Bank’s direct distribution sites and its agency partners over the coming weeks. 2021 marks the second year that the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund’s ( JWBYLF) Buyers’ Coalition stepped forward to lead this noble effort. Powered by the charitable contributions of community members, the Buyers’ Coalition purchased 18 head of steer to support local hunger relief efforts. SLO Food Bank Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Joe Simonin participated in the Junior Livestock Auction as a bidder on behalf of the Food Bank. Simonin worked closely with JoAnn Wall, Buyer’s Coalition Committee Chair, who led the effort to track the day’s busy purchasing activity. Together, they worked to support the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H students’ efforts while simultaneously providing a valuable resource for hunger relief in SLO County.

“The young people who chose to exhibit a livestock project at this year’s CMSF knew going in that there was great risk to their endeavors, and they chose to do it anyway. I think it took great courage and perseverance to see these projects through, and the JWBYLF Buyers’ Coalition was proud to be there in person to contribute to their success on the auction block. The fact that we are able to donate muchneeded protein to the food insecure in our community makes these efforts so much sweeter”, shared JoAnn. After livestock is purchased, it needs to be transported for processing, packaging, and distribution. These associated expenses can be costly, and thankfully, Templeton and Visalia Livestock Markets and Central Valley Meat / Harris Ranch continued their generous support of this program by handling all the transportation, processing, and packaging fees for the donated beef at no cost to the SLO Food Bank. This cost savings allows

the SLO Food Bank to direct its finite funds to provide thousand more meals throughout SLO County. “The Mid-State fair protein donated to the SLO Food Bank is truly a community success story,” shared vice-chair Simonin. “The collaborative effort between the SLO Food Bank, the Jim Brabeck Buyers’ Coalition, and Central Valley Meat/Harris Ranch are a testament to the community coming together to address a vital need.” Simonin concluded, “This effort is a real accomplishment thoughtfully executed by many great people!”

Members of the New Life Community Church pick up Mid-State Fair Meat. Contributed photo

to the pandemic, one in six SLO County residents was food insecure. Since the pandemic, hunger in SLO County has more than doubled, and the SLO Food Bank remains in front of this accelerating About and tragic reality. To learn more about The SLO Food Bank is a non-profit, the work done by the SLO Food Bank tax-exempt organization serving all of throughout San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo County through its direct please visit food programs and network of agency About the partners. The SLO Food Bank’s mission James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund is to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo The James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy County and build a healthier community. Fund’s mission is to serve AgricultureIn 2020, the SLO Food Bank distributed related and at-risk youth in our community over 5 million pounds of food to help our through scholarship and capital campaigns neighbors struggling with hunger. Prior that will assist in influencing their futures.

Morro Bay Life • October 2021 • 7

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Cal Poly Universities’ Rose Float Entry Will Go Over the Moon in 2022 The Tournament of Roses® Parade returns New Year’s Day after COVID-related hiatus STAFF REPORT SAN LUIS OBISPO — Hey, diddle, diddle, the Cal Poly universities’ 2022 Tournament of Roses® Parade float features a cat and a fiddle — but the cow jumping over the moon will be wearing a jet pack. When the parade returns on New Year’s Day after a one-year pandemic-related hiatus, the only student-built parade float will once again roll down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard. Called Stargrazers, the float brings to life a scene from the classic Mother Goose nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” except with an engineering twist that only two polytechnic schools with a seven-decade connection to the Rose Parade could create. The float aims to exemplify the 2022 theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” The theme of the 133rd Rose Parade celebrates education’s ability to open doors, open minds, and change lives. Stargrazers mixes the whimsy of the nursery rhyme with the hardworking atmosphere of a college campus. As the float travels the 5.5 milelong parade route, the audience will see a cow jumping over a 15-foot moon, held aloft by a jet pack made of metal milk cans and other farm materials. In the Cal Poly take on the six-line rhyme, three cows, along with their colleagues — the cat, a little dog, the dish, and the spoon — are seen working to achieve the celebrated moo-n jump. According to the teams of 20 students from each university, the cows also represent the float-building process. All year, while the bovine team has perfected its jet-pack technology, Cal Poly Rose Float students have been building the very frame to hoist the 600-pound cow into the air. The float also depicts numerous other stages of building: A brown cow tests one of the jet packs, while another wearing glasses and an apron is building a jet pack. “Our team has been working on and refining this design for two years now, and I think all that hard work has really paid off,” said Regina Chapuis, president of the Cal Poly team in San Luis Obispo. “Much like how these cows are prototyping different jet packs for their big jump, we have been prototyping different iterations of this float before settling on this final design.” Each year, the student float builders undergo a trial-and-error process to perfect the animation challenges, not unlike overcoming setbacks in the Learn by Doing education, the computer engineering senior added. “Just like our cows building their jet packs, it will take building, making mistakes, un-building, and building again for us to make this float look how it looks on parade day,” said Avi McManus, vice president of the San Luis Obispo team. The project is a labor of love, added Christopher

Nares, president of the Cal Poly Pomona team. “This float embodies our Rose Float family,” Nares said. “We work hard and may fall, but we always get back up and reach for the stars. The float-building process is filled with so many unexpected challenges that it gives college students like us opportunities to hone our problem-solving and leadership abilities far beyond what many classrooms offer. “As college students, we are just taking our first steps in our various careers and industries. It is the power of education, the power to try and fail and then to try again, that will allow us to achieve whatever our personal ‘over the moon’ is.” The building process itself exemplifies the 2022 parade theme. The students choose their concept in early spring, in this case, early spring of 2020. That was followed by working diagrams and plans, estimates and measurements. The ideas and imagery are refined, and then students discuss feet and inches, pounds of steel, and numbers of floral blooms. The Stargrazers float will feature larger-than-life nursery rhyme characters, with lots of animations, and the entire float will be decked out “head to hoof ” in natural material. The decorations team has been brainstorming materials to use for the past two years. The design and construction teams worked hard to make sure that all the cows and their colleagues look lifelike and beautiful and are structurally sound. “All three teams have been working together across two campuses to put everything into motion so that by the time the float goes down the parade route, the average viewer will have no idea it took hundreds of volunteer hours, tons of steel, and thousands and thousands of flowers,” McManus said. 2022 will be Cal Poly universities’ 73rd entry to the Pasadena classic, held annually on New Year’s Day. The 2020 parade was seen by 700,000 people in person and more than 70 million worldwide on television. The 2021 parade was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A symbol of the partnership between the two campuses is the float’s chassis, whose front and back halves are joined mid-October each year in Pomona to officially unite both the float and the teams. The Cal Poly team in San Luis Obispo works on the rear chassis, while the Pomona team prepares the front chassis. For more on the Cal Poly Rose Float, visit facebook. com/rosefloat.

About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses®

The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of 130th Rose Parade themed “The Melody of Life,” on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, followed by the 105th Rose Bowl Game. For more information, visit


Restore the Cayucos Vets Hall Commitee s committed to restore the iconic venue. The three renderings are what the Cayucos Vets Hall will look like one it is rebuilt/restored. Contributed photos

Community Commits to Restore Cayucos Vets Hall Board of Supervisors to consider funding the $3.5 M STAFF REPORT CAYUCOS — The Restore the Cayucos Vet’s Hall Committee has been formed to help restore the iconic Cayucos venue. The Hall has been closed since 2016 due to structural deterioration. To restore and open it is estimated to cost $5.4m. SLO County received a $1.8m grant in 2019, which could expire soon. The Board of Supervisors was scheduled to consider funding the $3.5m remaining balance at the Sept. 28 public meeting. Follow up on this outcome to follow. The closing of the building has been a huge burden to the community. Besides being a sell-out venue for weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions, the Hall is used by Cayucos community organizations for fundraising events supporting scholarships, seniors, fireworks, the arts, and economic activity in the community. It is the only venue of its kind in the Cayucos. The Committee has launched a fundraising campaign to demonstrate to the County Board of Supervisors that the Vet’s Hall is a valuable economic resource because it will be a self-supporting, income-generating investment for the County and the community. In addition, the community’s support is meant to emphasize to the Supervisors that the restoration and financing of this historic building is a wise fiscal decision. Funds raised in the effort will be dedicated to reducing County costs, refurbishing the Hall, and emphasizing that the Vet’s Hall should remain an affordable resource for the local community organizations. The Committee intends to raise at least $200,000 in commitments by that date to send an emphatic message to the Board. Their long-term goal is to raise $500,000. Large or small donations are welcome and appreciated—commitments may be made at

About Restore Cayucos Vets Hall Committee

Because SLO County has not been able to identify the source of all needed funds, a “Vet’s Hall Restoration Committee” has formed and has stepped up to help overcome that hurdle. They are committed to encouraging the SLO County Board of Supervisors that the investment of public funds to rebuild the Vet’s Hall is economically justified as well as being essential for the community. As they showed by raising nearly $1m to help rebuild the Cayucos pier, partnerships between SLO County government and Cayucos community organizations are a proven and essential strategy for successfully completing expensive projects. Inspired by that success, the Restoration Committee, made up of representatives of various Cayucos organizations, has pledged to try to raise a minimum of $200,000 to help secure funding for the $5.4M project. Contact Sherry Sim, (805)234-4315

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8 • October 2021 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


CASA’s Work Recognized By Harold J. Miossi Miossi Charitable Trust’s central focus is on youth development in our county STAFF REPORT SAN LUIS OBISPO — Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of San Luis Obispo County recently received a $10,000 grant from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. This is the sixth time grant funding has been awarded to CASA by the Miossi Trust, which has a central focus on youth development in our county. “The long-term support of the Harold J Miossi Charitable Trust has been so important to CASA. Mr. Miossi was passionate about the success of the individual, and CASA’s volunteers help empower children who have been abused and neglected to make the most of their lives,” said Teresa Tardiff, Executive Director of CASA of San Luis Obispo County. She continued, “The Miossi grant helps ensure stability for our program at this unprecedented time.”

For nearly 30 years, CASA has provided advocacy for court-dependent children in this county who have been abused and neglected. Most of the youth CASA serve live in foster care and face many challenges to their health, education, and general well-being. The dedicated CASA volunteer becomes the child’s advocate and trusted, consistent adult, regardless of changes to the child’s school or place of residence. In 2020, CASA provided an advocate to 316 children and oversaw 248 volunteers who visit children weekly to improve their lives. For more information about volunteering or donating, please contact


CASA of San Luis Obispo is a 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 1993. They recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of youth in the county who have been abused and neglected. On a typical day, over 400 children are under the court’s care in this county. CASA provides a dedicated, one-on-one advocate to as many of these children as possible. For more information, see


88 Years of Innovation Continues with JB Dewar’s Commitment to Sustainability Renewable diesel available at SLO location and for delivery across the Central Coast STAFF REPORT SAN LUIS OBISPO —JB Dewar is the first provider on the Central Coast to offer renewable diesel at the pump. While they have been offering the product in bulk via delivery for the last few years, installing the offering at a fueling station opens availability and access to more customers. The latest in sustainable fuel, renewable diesel, will be available at JB Dewar’s San Luis Obispo fueling location on Prado Road, with the hopes to install in other locations in the near future. This announcement follows a declaration by the company earlier this year that it would be rolling out new offerings (including more sustainable alternatives that leave less of a carbon footprint) and strategies to stay at the cutting edge of technology and compete with California’s order to begin phasing out fossil fuel vehicles. Renewable diesel has been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent compared to petroleum diesel without sacrificing performance or driving range. In addition, it is cost-competitive with traditional diesel and may reduce maintenance costs in the long term. Governments throughout California, including San Luis Obispo County, have already made the switch. “Demand for cleaner energy is on the rise worldwide,” said JB Dewar President Ken Dewar. “We are proud to be the first to offer renewable diesel on the Central Coast and hope to expand the number of fueling locations offering this service in the coming months.” Renewable diesel is made from algae or waste products such as natural fats and vegetable oils. It contains no aromatics or impurities and therefore produces no odor. The fuel combusts with maximum efficiency, so engines require less injector maintenance. Renewable diesel can be used in any

JB Dewar is the first provider on the Central Coast to offer renewable diesel at the pump and will be installed around the County. Contributed photo

engine built for conventional diesel without performance issues, an adaptation period, or the need for blending - giving it a leg-up on its predecessor, biodiesel. Additionally, because it does not contain oxygen, it can be used yearround without the need for special storage tanks. JB Dewar has long been committed to offering sustainable products, such as biodiesel, and has been increasing its offering and inventory each year. Their food-grade oils and greases, primarily used in the vineyard and agricultural industries, are also biodegradable, as well as an array of other green products and cleaners. Renewable diesel is available by tankwagon delivery across the entire Central Coast, in addition to JB Dewar’s SLO fueling station.

For more information about JB Dewar products, visit products.

About JB Dewar

JB Dewar is the premier Central Coast-based provider of fuel and automotive products for the agriculture, farming, trucking, construction, energy, and repair shop industries. Since 1933, the company has delivered the f inest quality petroleum industry products with family-run service. JB Dewar also performs equipment installation, repair and inspection, equipment/exchange upgrades, fuel/lube transfers, and more. For more information, visit one of its eight Pacific Pride fueling cardlock locations in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria, and Lompoc, or go to


San Luis Obispo County Set to Leave IWMA by November 15 Supervisors approve two grandfathered lots to proceed with building in Cambria By MELISSA GUERRA of Morro Bay Life SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, Sept. 14, for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9 a.m. The meeting opened with public comment on the consent agenda, which focused mainly on the unhoused community in Los Osos and the initiatives to move them to the area set up on Kansas Avenue. The consent agenda was approved 5-0, with item 22 being held for further discussion. Item 22 is the Board’s intent to withdraw from the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA), and Supervisor John Peschong requested that the item be amended so the notification of removal would be submitted on Oct. 15, making Nov. 15 the effective date of withdrawal from the IWMA. The motion passed 3-2, with Supervisors Dawn OrtizLegg and Bruce Gibson in opposition. Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer, presented the COVID update. In the month of June, there were 163 cases, July had 698, and August had 3,543. This led to the return of the mask mandate when indoors and a strong recommendation to wear masks in outdoor crowded settings as well. Currently, there are 41 people in the hospital, and those in intensive care and on ventilators are at record highs. Deaths have seen an increase as well, with zero deaths between mid-May to mid-July and 33 deaths from Jul. 12 to Sept. 14, with an additional 20 pending final certificates. If the country were still following the blueprint, it would be in deep purple. Unlike the winter surge, the county is fully open, as well as our hospitals, which inputting a strain on our hospital resources. There are 60 different outbreaks being monitored, and currently, it is still only the Delta variant being seen. Borenstein also reiterated that despite many claims, masks, when worn correctly, are effective in preventing the spread of the disease. Item 32 was regarding the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector (ACTTC) to conduct fiscal analyses and prepare fiscal impact statements for any future county ballot measures initiated locally that are deemed to fiscally impact San Luis Obispo County. The goal of this policy is to create a consistent, apolitical, financial analysis of proposed changes after considering all potential costs and fiscal impacts to the County and its economy. The item was approved. Item 33 was a hearing to consider the addition of the Ground Water Sustainability Director and to add the job to the unclassified center, as well as approval of the fund

center 205. The motion to approve was made by Supervisor Debbie Arnold and seconded by Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg. Supervisor Gibson added a discussion to say that while he’ll support the approval, he maintains that the means by which this position is ultimately funded and the position it oversees is an important one for the Board to consider. He states that it should not be funded by the general fund but rather by the beneficiaries of the services. The motion passed 5-0. The Board then went into closed session and a break for lunch, after which there was nothing to report. The afternoon session continued without Chairperson Lynn Compton for undisclosed reasons. Item 35 and 36 were two separate hearings to appeal to allow for residences to be built within Cambria. The proposed project had been approved by the Planning Commission but appealed on the grounds that it wasn’t approved by the Coastal Commission due to the lack of water in the Cambria district. Cambria is an area that has been severely affected by drought and in 2001 put a moratorium on building as further users could not be safely added. Throughout the hearing, it was reported that the two properties in question are part of the grandfathered parcels as prior to the 2001 moratorium, these units already had water meters installed and have been paying meter fees, and thereby are included in the units considered to already exist in Cambria. The argument against the lots maintained that Cambria simply didn’t have enough water, the water available for fires is too minimal, and the streams and rivers are dangerously low, which could cause strain to the wildlife living in those water areas. The Board ultimately decided with a 4-0 vote to deny the appeal and uphold the planning commission’s decision to allow the project to continue. Item 37 was a hearing to consider an appeal by Tyler Mitchell of Engrained LLC to establish an outdoor cannabis growing operation in the Northeast area of Creston. The original project was denied on several grounds, one of which was that the originally proposed project was more of a commercial operation and not a fit for the area. The appellant returned with a revised project to fix the areas of concern. Supervisor Gibson moved to uphold the appeal, approve the project, adding the standard indemnity condition that gets added to appeals, and approve mitigated negative declaration with Supervisor Ortiz-Legg in opposition. The motion passed 3-1 with Supervisor Ortiz-Legg in opposition. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is set to be held on Sept. 28, and the meeting agenda can be found on the district’s website when it becomes available at slocounty.,Agendas-and-Minutes.aspx

Morro Bay Life • October 2021 • 9

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Why Contribute to a Roth IRA? Retirement and Longevity

requirements for a Roth IRA. joint returns with MAGIs of less • No age limit on contributions. You can continue than $198,000. The amount is contributing to your IRA—Roth or traditional— phased out for MAGIs between as long as you have earned income. $198,000 and $208,000. • Withdrawals may be made without penalty for a • Married filing separately: If you first-time home purchase. As with a traditional have not lived with your spouse at IRA, you can withdraw funds from your Roth any point during the year and file IRA (up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000) separately, MAGI limits mirror SARAH SANTANA to make a down payment on a first-time home those for single filers and heads COLUMNIST purchase. A first-time homebuyer is defined as of household. However, if you lived someone who has not owned a home for two with your spouse at any time during the onsider the benefits and limits associated years prior to the purchase of the new home. year and file separately, no Roth with making post-tax contributions to an ROTH IRA contribution is allowed individual retirement account. • Contribute after-tax dollars unless MAGI is Thinking about opening or contributing to a • Withdrawals in retirement can be tax-free less than $10,000. Roth IRA? Learn more about the benefits of this • No required minimum distributions Your financial type of retirement account and whether you may • Income limits apply advisor can answer be eligible to contribute. TRADITIONAL IRA any questions you CONSIDER THE POSITIVES • Contribute pre-tax dollars, subject to certain may have about the The key benefits of Roth IRAs include: conditions features and benefits of • All distributions from the account can be • Withdrawals in retirement are taxable IRAs and help determine tax-free. Although contributions to a Roth • Required minimum distributions at age 72 which type may be appropriIRA are not tax-deductible, earnings grow free • No income limits ate for addressing your retireof taxes. In addition, when you reach age 59 1/2, LEARN YOUR ROTH LIMITS ment needs. if the Roth IRA has been in place for at least In 2021, an individual may contribute up to Please note, changes in tax laws five years, any withdrawal from the contributions $6,000 to their IRAs – $7,000 if they are 50 years of or regulations may occur at any time and earnings is tax-free. Avoiding the tax bite age or older. Keep in mind that modified adjusted and could substantially impact your at the time of withdrawal in retirement can growth income (MAGI) phase-out limits apply. situation. While familiar with the be attractive – particularly for investors who • Single filer or head of household: The full Roth tax provisions of the issues presented anticipate having a higher marginal income tax contribution limit is available to individuals filing herein, Raymond James financial rate at the time of withdrawal than they do at as single or head of household with a MAGI of advisors are not qualified to render advice on the time of contribution. less than $125,000. The amount is phased out tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax • No required minimum distributions. While for MAGIs between $125,000 and $140,000. or legal matters with the appropriate profesdistributions from a traditional IRA must • Married filing jointly: The full Roth contribution sional—material created by Raymond James begin upon reaching age 72, there are no similar limit is available to married individuals filing for use by its advisors.


Sarah Santana is an independent columnist for Morro Bay Life. She is the president of Santana Wealth Management and you can contact her at

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10 • October 2021 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Motion, Second, Discussion and Civility JAMES BRESCIA, Ed.D County Superintendent of Schools


ecause of the pandemic, I have attended most local school board meetings virtually and observed local governance in action. Previously, when I mentioned an upcoming local board meeting requiring my attendance, some people would joke, “You mean a bored meeting, don’t you?” I’m afraid I have to disagree with anyone considering local school board meetings boring, irrelevant, or a waste of time. Today more than at any time in my nearly 40-year career, I find local boards important, relevant, and crucial in navigating turbulent times. Locally elected school board members or “trustees” are non-partisan members of our community that ideally reflect the diversity of the Central Coast. According to the National School Boards Association, a nationwide organization, 44 percent of school trustees are female (more than the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate). Nearly 25 percent of elected school board members are from underrepresented ethnic populations. Every school district in the country has an elected board of trustees. Approximately 95,000 school board members make up the largest group of

elected officials in the country. In addition to parents, teachers, staff, and administrators, school board members directly influence the quality of education provided within the communities they represent. Most school boards convene one-to-two times per month, are open to the public, and provide governance for the schools they represent. A subtle but significant note is that these are meetings of the board in public, not public meetings. Trustees serve four-year terms with staggered terms to prevent large vacancies from occurring all at once. A trustee must be a registered voter who is at least 18 years old, a citizen of the state they represent, live in the jurisdiction boundaries, and are eligible under the state’s constitution to be elected to public office. Depending upon the school district’s size, most trustees are unpaid or receive a small stipend and possibly health insurance coverage. School districts are complex, multi-million dollar organizations. Board members can work from 10 to 40 hours per month on school district governance matters. Governing boards oversee the needs of students, the needs of families, budgets, and provide solid stewardship for the nation’s schools. Highly functional school boards fill a vital role in maintaining local districts by always keeping the best interests of students first. Boards should model civility when celebrating successes or dealing with challenges. Successful school boards understand that boards govern while the superintendent, district administrators, teachers, and staff manage their schools. Five critical components of effective school boards are setting a vision, advancing policy, demonstrating accountability, playing a leadership role in the community, and forging civil consensus. The last component is often one of the most difficult to

maintain in today’s media-drenched political atmosphere. The title of this article is “Motion, Second, Discussion & Civility,” not “my way or the highway.” An effective board is secure with differing votes that reflect the community they represent. Confident boards often encourage diverse opinions while building a consensus that moves items forward with a majority vote representing the people who elected the trustees. Experienced school board members know that true consensus is not about winners and losers. Motion, Second, Discussion asks all participants to consider and eventually affirm the key points: 1) “Are all voices heard?” 2) “Is the item understood?” 3) “Is it clear that the will of the group has emerged around the proposal?” When a motion is made by a trustee and another trustee seconds the motion, the board then discusses/listens/votes on the action. True democracy exists when civility is maintained, authentic dialogue occurs, and a majority vote takes place. I encourage everyone reading this article to thank our locally elected trustees, attend a school board meeting, and engage in the civic process with civility. The Institute for Local Government reminds us that local officials are grappling with complex issues. Bringing as many perspectives on the best solution to a given problem increases the likelihood that the solution will be successful and enduring. Please contact your local school district or the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education for additional information. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.


Life Intelligence: How To Be Attractive of all, appearing available - for a conversation, for a job, or a relationship. If people perceive you as unavailable, unapproachable, unfriendly, you are out. No one likes you or wants you.




eople usually want to know how to attract attention, be noticed, and spark someone’s interest. So, naturally, advice on the subject abounds. A quick Google search will deliver tips on body language, what to wear, how to smell, what to say or not say, even ice-breaker jokes. Except, learning a few tricks to capture someone’s attention for a moment is not the same as cultivating qualities that keep them hooked. First impressions matter only until people get to know you. And they will, probably faster than you’d like them to. So, let’s start there. Making a good first impression requires skill. You could learn how. That’s where body language comes in handy, smiling, smelling good, dressing for the occasion, showing interest in the other person, exhibiting confidence but not arrogance, listening well, remembering people’s names, but most

All that verbal and non-verbal communication must portray you as available. You are present, willing to play, wanting to listen, interested in contributing, ready to engage. Period! Next time you are on a date, at a party, or an interview, ask yourself what other people must see when they look at you. Are you coming across as available? Your significant other complains about you? Ask yourself if you’ve been available? Availability trumps openness. Openness runs on curiosity which may or may not go anywhere. Availability runs on readiness which always takes you somewhere. It could be the bedroom, or to a nice restaurant, or a promotion at work. Now that you know about portraying availability, remember to do it from the heart. It’s not something you can fake. At least not for long. If you fake availability when you don’t like someone or something, you could find yourself driving the runaway car in a murder case or tipping cows in Iowa at midnight. Be selective and deliberate with your availability. Know thyself. Know your values, needs, desires, goals, ideas, and limitations. Know your deal-break-

ers. Know when to say “no.” Then work on your presentation. Even if you fumble the presentation part, people can sense if you are authentic and honest. Some will even find your awkwardness endearing, even sexy.


Emotions fuel existence. Without emotions, life flatlines. When you emotionally connect with something or someone, you willingly invest your time, energy, and resources in it. People who love their jobs stay there longer and work harder. When in love, we make time to be with each other. Passion pulls us. Excitement drives us. We want more of whatever we desire and gravitate away from people, places, and things that frustrate us, make us sad and uncomfortable, confuse us, and bore us. We create an emotional connection with someone when we give them our undivided attention. We become the person they can talk to and feel heard. The stories we tell each other drive us closer because of the feeling we get from telling them and hearing them. They become a shared experience.


Psychology tells us that we gravitate towards what is familiar. This could be bad or good, depending on the context. But if you want to

be and stay attractive to someone, you must find common ground, mutual similarity, and shared interests. You must share experiences. Planning and doing things together that you both enjoy will help you weave your story of togetherness and create the unique shape of your life or work together. I keep saying love, life, and work. That’s because these are universal principles you can apply to all your relationships. So, open up and share. Speak up about your interests, hobbies, dreams, and curiosities. Share your ideas. Have brainstorming sessions together. Solve problems. Build things. Explore. You do not have to overlap completely, as differences create novelty, and we love novelty too. While finding common ground, notice the differences. Unless they are deal-breakers, lean into them. It will be your chance to be supportive, learn something new, and experience things you may not have considered but could very much enjoy. People open worlds for each other. Let them. Spice things up with new exciting adventures. This also builds trust and solidifies you as a valuable team member. For Rule 4 – 8, head over to my blog at Valentina Petrova has helped people with life, health, relationships, financial, and professional goals and challenges since 2015. You can reach her at

Morro Bay Life • October 2021 • 11

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Well Hello There, Gourd-geous!


From the Kitchen of

Barbie Butz

here’s nothing like “pumpkin-time.” From growing them to carving them and cooking them. I simply love pumpkins, and I know I’m not alone, as proved by the many pumpkin stands, festivals, and recipes for its use. In most collections of family photos, you’ll find young children sitting on pumpkins or standing in a field of pumpkins. When our boys were little, we lived in Santa Barbara, and our favorite pumpkin patch was between the Mira Mar Hotel and Santa Claus Lane on the west side of 101 Hwy.

New England is known for pumpkin festivals where you can sample pumpkin cooked in every possible way, from pumpkin stew to pumpkin pancakes. Naturally, pumpkin pie is an all-time favorite. Pumpkins are a symbol of our colonial heritage and the ability of the cooks of those days to use the gourds in more than one recipe. Leftover Jack O’Lanterns are not the preferred pumpkin for pies, but small, sweet pumpkins known as “sugar” pumpkins are available in all of our markets today and are the best for pies. Enjoy!





Ingredients: • 2½ to 3-pound sugar pumpkin (or one 16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin) • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar • ½ cup molasses or maple syrup • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • ½ teaspoon ground ginger • 1¼ teaspoons nutmeg • 1¼ teaspoons ground cloves • 2 eggs • 1 cup heavy cream • Pastry for 1 (9-inch) pie crust Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover jelly roll pan with foil and place pumpkin in the center. Pierce pumpkin about a dozen times with a fork. Bake until flesh is tender and most of the moisture has evaporated, 1 to 1½ hours. Cool. Split the pumpkin in half and discard the seeds. Measure out about 2½ cups pulp, place in a mixing bowl, and mash with mixer or potato masher. Blend in brown sugar, molasses, and spices. Beat in eggs and cream. Pour into prepared pie crust. Preheat oven again, this time to 425 degrees. Place pie on baking sheet in bottom third of the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer. Move pie to the center of the oven and continue baking until filling is set, another 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a light sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Ingredients: Directions: • 2½ cups all-purpose flour Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch • 2½ teaspoons baking powder round cake pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a • 1 teaspoon kosher salt circle of parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper for good • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon measure and set the pan aside. In a large bowl, whisk together • 1 tablespoon ground ginger flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Crack eggs into • 2 eggs another large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add pumpkin, olive • One 15-ounce can oil, and brown sugar and whisk to mix well. Stir flour mixture into puréed pumpkin egg mixture until just combined. Us a rubber spatula to scrape (not pumpkin pie filling, just batter into prepared pan and smooth surface, so it is even. unsweetened puréed pumpkin) • ¾ cup olive oil Bake cake until golden brown, barely firm to the touch, and • ¾ cup packed a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 light brown sugar minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack to room temperature. Use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cake from pan sides and then invert the cake onto a work surface. Peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake one more time onto a serving platter, Cut into wedges and serve.

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12 • October 2021 • Morro Bay Life

Making Communities Better Through Print™


Love what you do and the rest will come. EXPECT MORE

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