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Journal PLUS OCTOBER 2012




Linda Aiello-Madison Broker-Associate

Serving the entire SLO County since 1978


Unique Opportunity in Paso Robles!

Annette Mullen

Ken Arritt


Cindy Newton

Twila Arritt

Pamela Bliss



Gentleman’s Ranch 3.76 acres with vineyard and fully insulated 4900+ square foot steel shop with living quarters. Dry farming Zinfandel grapes. Electric gate + alarm system with cameras. Great opportunity for a car collector, or nicely located for potential tasting room. For more info call 904-6616. $1,275,000

Spacious 4 bedroom + large greenhouse on 1 acre near golf course in Nipomo. Large Kitchen, vaulted ceilings and skylights throughout. For more info call 904-6616. $545,000

Santa Maria – Orcutt

Theresa Carroll


Near the Village of AG, Gleaming remodeled home in rural setting. 3 car garage + bonus rooms, RV parking, completely fenced oversized lot. More info call 904-6616. $474,900

Abundant space in this 4 bedroom, 3 bath home located in a Cul-de-sac. Featuring 1954 sqft of living space, foyer, fireplace in living room, back yard, 2 car garage on .23 acre. Near Orcutt high school. For more info call 904-6616. $429,500

Fantastic SLO Location!

Arroyo Grande

Vicky Hall


Stephanie Hamilton REALTOR®



Janet Shaner REALTOR®

Larry D. Smyth


David Hamilton

Laura Rizzoli

Mary Rosenthal


Patricia Garrison




Kelly Hannula


Sunny, energy efficient, quiet upstairs flat. Gorgeous views of Bishop’s Peak from the SW deck. Close to Cal Poly, shopping, & hiking. Open, airy floor plan with attached one car garage. All units must be owner occupied. $275,000

Lots of potential! 1977 double-wide, 2 bed, 2 bath MH in an all age park. Needs some TLC, bank owned sold in as-is condition. $42,000

Conveniently located in the heart of SLO & the Village of Arroyo Grande 21 Santa Rosa Street, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 102 E. Branch Street, Suites C & D, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Chris Stanley REALTOR®

Christine Williams REALTOR®

Anniversary Sale!

26% Off Any Purchase

26 years in SLO, same store, same owner. With this ad only. Offer expires October 31, 2012. Not valid with any other offer or promotion.

682 Higuera St. • San Luis Obispo • 541-2896 Santa Maria Town Center Mall • Santa Maria • 922-9700



The People, Community, and Business of Our Beautiful Central Coast ADDRESS

654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401








ADVERTISING Jan Owens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Will Jones, Ruth Starr, Taylor Coffman, Stacey Hunt, Anna Brannen, Charlotte Alexander, Bob Huttle, Andrew Carter, Gordon Fuglie, and Phyllis Benson Mail subscriptions are available at $20 per year. Back issues are $2 each. Inquires concerning advertising or other information made by writing to Steve Owens, JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE, 654 Osos Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. You can call us at 546-0609, our fax line is 546-8827, and our e-mail is View the entire magazine on our website at JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is distributed monthly free by mail to all single family households of San Luis Obispo and is available free at over 600 locations throughout the county. Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE. Cover provided by SLO County Arts Council





10 12 14 16 18


HOME & OUTDOOR 20 21 22 24 26 27 28


30 32 34 36 41 46

HISTORY: Parker H. French–part 3 HOSPICE CORNER / CROSSWORD PUZZLE PALM STREET–SLO Councilman, Carter OUR SCHOOLS–Dr. Julian Crocker ALMANAC–The Month of October






Journal PLUS

A proud tradition of serving our community for over 26 years

PISMO BEACH – Great beach condo, excellent condition & low maintenance. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, view deck, slate fireplace & stainless steel appliances. Located just 2 blocks from the sand and water! Truly a must see! $475,000 #3020

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Beautiful single-story

home located on a cul-de-sac at the foot of Islay Hill. Four bedrooms, two baths, approximately 2,185 square feet. Open and spacious floor plan with large master suite and 3 car garage $599,000 #3052

Steps to the Beach and Pier!

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Charming 2 bedroom, 1 bath home located near downtown. Original hardwood floors, kitchen updated with new countertops and tile floors, updated bath, newer roof and some updated plumbing and electrical. Fenced backyard, back deck, and detached single car garage/workshop. Additional basement space great for storage or wine cellar. $475,000 #3053

CAYUCOS – Rare Oceanfront mixed use investment property located in the heart of Downtown Cayucos. Built in 2005, this exceptional property consists of a beautiful ocean view residence with 400 sf rooftop deck, prime Ocean Avenue retail space, 3 private offices and a 1300+ sf garage. A must see! $1,695,000 #2864

ARROYO GRANDE – Desirable location at

a great price! This 2-story 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home has it all! Granite counters and stainless appliances with a large open floor plan and great functionality. It is perfect for entertaining and a very comfortable home. All 3 bedrooms are located upstairs with a 1/2 bath downstairs. The rear yard is not too large, but fully fenced for low maintenance. Located on a corner lot! $389,000 #3055

Downtown Charmer SAN LUIS OBISPO – Updated and charming

SANTA MARIA – Spacious 4 bedroom, 2-3/4

bath home tucked away in a corner of the Cherry Blossom development. Cathedral ceilings and lots of windows create a spacious and bright floor plan. Popular neighborhood with the lovely Preisker Park just around the corner. No HOA fees! $225,000 #3050

3 bedroom, 1 bath home with den located in the highly desirable Anholm District. Original character showcased throughout with coved ceilings, hardwood floors and picture windows. New interior paint and carpet in bedrooms. Private fenced backyard with covered patio and mature fruit trees. $575,000 #3049

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Very clean, well cared for home with updated bathrooms. Four bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage approximately 1730+ square feet. Lots of outdoor space, backs up to creek and several fruit trees. This is a great family house. $499,000 #3051

For more information on these and other Real Estate Group of SLO listings call us at


962 Mill Street • San Luis Obispo, California 93401 •

From the publisher


e recently received the nicest note from the SLO Symphony Executive Director, Jim Black. We have been a strong supporter of the Symphony over the years and when they have some advertising dollars to spend they support us as well. It’s notes like this one that make my day.

“I just wanted to drop a quick note of thanks for the terrific article in Journal Plus. I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned favorably to me and my wife about this article. I’ve never known such celebrity! I also have to hand it to you—your magazine gets EVERYWHERE! Thank you again for all your support of the Symphony.” —Jim Black

French country estate sitting on over 3.5 acres just a couple minutes to downtown San Luis Obispo. Four bedroom home plus office with approximately 3900 sq. ft. of living space. Formal living and dining rooms, family room, three baths and an entertainer’s kitchen. Secluded backyard complete with mature landscape and a gazebo with B-B-Q area off the kitchen. Private driveway off Tiburon Drive.

Johnny Hough

This month we feature several other Arts organizations and individuals including the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council’s annual Artists Helping Artists event, the Open Studios Tour. This special event takes place in October and Charlotte Alexander gives us an overview of this wonderful event. The Art Center’s Plein Air painters festival takes place this month as well and you can read all about it inside. Finally, we profile Brian Alexander. Brian stays behind the scenes and tunes several pianos and organs on the Central Coast. You’ll enjoy his story.

Plenty of good reading again this month. Enjoy the magazine,

Owner / Broker

(805) 801-5063 962 Mill Street, SLO See more listings at

Steve Owens


PERFORMING ARTS CENTER STOMP 10/2 & 10/3 • 7:30 p.m.

Carville & Matalin 10/14 • 7 p.m.

Christopher Cohan Center

Christopher Cohan Center

Delhi 2 Dublin 10/5 • 8 p.m.

US Air Force Concert Band & Singing Sergeants 10/15 • 7 p.m.

Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre Presented by Cal Poly Arts

Presented by Cal Poly Arts

Presented by CP Music Dept.

Opening Night at the Symphony 10/6 • 8 p.m.

"8" the Play 10/18 • 7 p.m.

Christopher Cohan Center

Presented by Central Coast PFLAG

Doc Severinsen & The San Miguel Five 10/7 • 7 p.m.

Quetzal 10/19 • 8 p.m.

Christopher Cohan Center

Presented by Cal Poly Arts

CP Parents' Weekend Ensemble Showcase 10/12 • 8 p.m.

BravoSLO 2012 10/21 • 10 a.m.

Presented by SLO Symphony

Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre

Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre

Presented by Cal Poly Arts

Presented by CP Music Dept.

Presented by PAC Outreach & the Foundation for the PAC

MET Live in HD: L'Elisir d'Amore 10/13 • 9:55 a.m.

Alton Brown 10/26 • 8 p.m.

Presented by Opera SLO & Cal Poly Arts

Presented by Cal Poly Arts

Arts for Autism Gala Performance 10/13 • 5:30 p.m.

MET Live in HD: Otello 10/27 • 9:55 a.m.

Presented by Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center

Presented by Opera SLO & Cal Poly Arts

Pacifica Quartet 10/13 • 8 p.m.

Jake Shimabukuro 10/27 • 7 p.m.

Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre

Presented by PAC Outreach & Cinema Paradisio

Presented by Cal Poly Arts

Christopher Cohan Center

Clifford the Big Red Dog LIVE 10/31 • 6 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Arts


e g e l l Co t h g i N 2012 Workshops

 Financial Aid information

NCAA eligibility information

How to write a

Personal Essay

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All San Luis Obispo County high school upperclassmen and parents are invited. Free transportation from north county will be available. Cuesta College Student Center Building 5400, San Luis Obispo Campus Monday, November 5, 2012 6:00 - 8:00 pm For more information please check Scholarships or Events at

Sponsored by


For Advertising Information Call 546-0609 路 654 Osos Street 路 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401



chuck crotser helping out the prado day center By Ruth Starr


n 1966 Chuck Crotser moved to San Luis Obispo from southern California to study Architecture at Cal Poly. He says the stars must have been in alignment to keep him here. After graduation he worked in construction, and for a couple of local architectural firms before opening his own architectural business in 1984. He began teaching in the Architecture Department at Cal Poly in 1975 where he taught until his retirement in 2010. Chuck has been involved with the Prado Day Center since the mid-90s. Initially he began work to find a new location for the People’s Kitchen. Fortunately the effort resulted in the building currently located on Prado Road. The City of San Luis Obispo donated the land and he drew up the plans pro bono because he thought it was that important. A local contractor, Maino Construction Co., did the construction of the building. There was a whole cadre of community volunteers who seemed to come out of the woodwork to help build the center. Many of these people were from Habitat For Humanity who helped with the framing. It was like a barn raising. The building framing actually got

raised in one weekend. The Grand Opening of the Prado Day Center was in 1997. It is a simple building that accommodates the important needs for the homeless in this community. Chuck then joined the board for Interfaith Coalition for Homeless, ICH. That group managed the Center for a number of years.

“I stand on my record and am committed to serving the citizens of San Luis Obispo with the utmost integrity and fiscal responsibility to ensure a quality of life that we can all be proud of.” Dan Carpenter San Luis Obispo City Councilman Vice Mayor

A committed leader. A voice for the citizens’ priorities.

Paid for by Committee to Elect Dan Carpenter for SLO City Council 2012 ID #1346426 O C T O B E R


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Staying busy and contributing to our community, he is also on the Board of Directors for the History Center and on the Board of the San Luis Obispo Non-Profit Housing Corporation. This group develops affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County. They have recently completed a new project in Paso Robles, Hidden Creek Village. Another 80-unit project, Moylan Terrace, is being constructed off Broad Street here in SLO. People who want to live there have to meet the requirements of the SLO Housing Authority including income requirements. They are being built as townhome condominiums. If anyone has questions regarding the Center, they are more than welcome to contact Chuck directly at

Dee Torres came on as the Manager of Prado in late ’90s. She is the current Director of Homeless Services for CAPSLO (Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo). Chuck and Dee worked together to develop a program for a centralized homeless services center. They thought it would be more efficient to have one place where people could eat, clean up, do their laundry, sleep, and have the help of case workers. When he became interested in being involved in this project, it was during the time when he taught at Cal Poly. He had a student in the Architecture Department, Helena Garrovillas, who was doing a senior project and wanted to create a homeless services center building. He encouraged her to find a local location and use the program that he and Dee had worked on. They shared her final ideas with city staff and CAPSLO and with the public. She was the person who selected the site in 2005. Currently, a non-profit organization called the Friends of Prado Day Center raises funds for the Center. In 2000 Chuck became a board member of this group. Their only mission is fundraising for the Day Center. During the past several years they have worked with the City, the County and CAPSLO in a serious effort to accomplish a new and larger 24-7 homeless services center. This new Center has been in the planning for a long time. In August 2011 a review committee selected by CAPSLO, reviewed eighteen submittals from architects. Happily they selected a local architect, George Garcia to do the design and construction drawings. They were very pleased that out of the eighteen submissions, he was a local architect. Currently, CAPSLO and the Friends of Prado Day Center are seeking funds to build this new center. They need approximately six and a half million dollars to build the building, and about another one million to relocate from existing facilities and for operations. They have almost two million committed as of today so they are very hopeful. The 1.1 acre property near Lower Higuera and Prado St. has been donated by the County, and preliminary approvals from the City and County were obtained last year, so it’s full speed ahead. Chuck has lived in this community for 45 years and has seen the homeless population grow. He feels that everyone should have an opportunity to make a good life for themselves. He lives with his wife, Lois, in San Luis Obispo and feels very fortunate with the opportunities that he has experienced in his own life. His dream is that others can have that kind of feeling also. The goal and plan for the new Center is that it will be complete and in operation by 2014. O C T O B E R


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brian peter alexander ...behind the velvet curtains –and under the piano By Susan Stewart


hen he was just 8 years old, Brian Peter Alexander tipped over the can of tools his father was using to tune pianos. That was the moment his lifelong education in the esoteric art of piano tuning and restoration began. Today, Alexander is a busy, highly sought-after craftsman called upon to tune, repair, restore, and move the most precious instruments in the county, and around the world. “I enjoyed working with my hands and my ears,” he said, giving the familiar declaration a new twist. Born in 1956 in Hayward, Calif., Alexander and his family (his five siblings were all born on the east coast) moved back to Upstate New York and into a rambling three-story farmhouse. From earliest memory, Alexander says he “…abused every square inch of that building, removing or disassembling whatever I could, investigating what it was … and how it worked.” His father—Wade F. Alexander, Jr.—spent most of his working life as a public school music teacher and orchestra director. He augmented this income by tuning and repairing pianos. “Dad still tunes pianos,” said Alexander, “and is now a wonderfully over-educated classical music critic.” His mother, Mariane Goulin Alexander, graduated (with her future husband, Wade) from the Ithaca College School of Music, and is an accomplished violist. In addition to the myriad tasks of running a household where 8 to 12 people lived (the Alexanders were often joined by 2 or 3 “semi-adoptees”), Mariane would eventually establish a wellrespected breeding farm for Connemara ponies on the property. Later, the business would morph into a company called Personal Ponies, which imports, breeds, and then lends miniature Shetland ponies to special needs children. ( Extolling the virtues of growing up in a large family, Alexander said, “The sharing, the warring, the factions shifting and changing over time, the brokered policies, the privacies, the special loves, kisses and hugs, the unending differences of opinion, and the great agreements— made youth a fun and fondly remembered period in my life.”

Alexander with his father, Wade, installing a new sound board. O C T O B E R


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At a very young age, Alexander was reading everything he could get his little hands on, including the great classics, science fiction, the romantic poets and history—but especially seeking out books about manufacturing methods and

Alexander on stage at Yoshi’s San Francisco

machines. His most fervent and repeated wish was for a “machine trip,” a wish his father finally granted with a trip to a milk processing plant. He remembers it well. By age 9, in Dryden, NY, he was fixing school film projectors and hanging out backstage at the old school theater, “fiddling” with the ropes and weights, the lighting, and the control board. By the time he reached high school, he was excelling in wood and metal shop classes. And “every evening I could, I played a good Gibson guitar and sang in a rock and roll band named Max,” he said. The band was good enough to get paying gigs locally and across the state. But as his interest in public schools and traditional education waned, his zeal for all things musical and mechanical grew. “I liked to build strange structures with no plan,” he said. In fact, he and a friend once discovered that a welding rod used on one-inch steel, and a certain velocity of rotating motion, can create a minivolcano that will spew small flaming bits of steel around the room. “I also learned about the large and efficient CO2 fire extinguishers and how to handle them,” he smiled. To this day, his own shop is well equipped with fire extinguishers as he goes about the business of being a—You ready? Take a deep breath—piano technician, producer, musician, fine instrument repair technician, woodworker, machinist, auto mechanic, electrician, plumber, builder, carpenter, and avid long-range shootist and armorer. Whew, now that’s a list! His apprenticeship is long and storied, training at the elbows of the world’s great craftsmen: San Francisco’s Ricard De La Rosa of Pro Piano, the great Keith Hardesty and the esteemed Willis Snyder; as well as his own father, Wade Alexander, to whom he was apprenticed for several years. “From 1976 to 1987, I grew into a fine tuner, a re-builder of Steinway pianos, as well as concert preparation and stage piano technician,” he said. Alexander supplemented his hands-on training with books and documentaries and video lectures. He also worked for such rock and roll greats as Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Jefferson Starship, Journey, Pablo Cruise, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Fleetwood Mac; and country stars Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton. “That was a wonderful era and I enjoyed every bit of it,” he said, “except the poverty.” He spent many years with Pro Piano, working with top classical and jazz concert pianists such as Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. But the low pay, coupled with a feeling he had no real “ownership” and no “final opinion,” prompted Alex-


Caribbean Islands, a dozen European cities (including Oslo, St. Petersburg, Zurich, and Berlin), plus South America and the Far East. Locally, he is revered for his solo work on a rare and exquisite family heirloom, putting in a total of 600 hours to bring this beautiful Steinway back to life, just in time for this year’s Festival Mozaic. Mere days before this article was written, Alexander found himself on the stage at San Francisco’s famed Yoshi’s. He had finally finished preparing and tuning the house Hamburg Steinway Model D Con-

ander to start his own business. In 1988, he opened Key One, where he could be “… shop foreman and piano crafts artisan, my real love,” he explained. He owned and operated Key One in the downtown Los Angeles art district for many years, restoring pianos for musicians, schools, and recording studios, and teaching his own apprentices the trade he knew so well.


cert Grand piano for Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, and Jack De Jonnette. He’s come a long way from the 8-year-old who knocked over a kit of tools a lifetime ago. In a condensed history of his work experience, Alexander said that during the years 1956 to 1961 (birth to 5 years old), he was “seeking consciousness and relevance.” His many clients, fans, and music lovers everywhere would agree that, as the owner of and sole artisan at Brian Alexander Fine Pianos, he has certainly found both.

Back in gear. Thanks, da Vinci.

CYCLING’S MY PASSION. So, the prospect of prostate surgery had me in a spin. That’s why I chose Sierra Vista and the da Vinci Surgical Robot. Less pain, shorter recovery time and I was back on the

In 2002, Alexander moved to the Central Coast of California, and opened Brian Alexander Fine Pianos in Adelaide. Here, he continues to work quietly behind the velvet curtains on local stages such as The Cuesta College Performing Arts Center, The Clark Center in Arroyo Grande, and Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center. He also continues to travel the world with famous jazz pianist, Chick Corea. Over three decades, he has worked in numerous U.S. states, several

road in no time.

Peter Sterling Santa Maria

Quality. Service. Innovation. 1010 Murray Avenue, San Luis Obispo | |



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history of painters

josh cody and justin hooper By Will Jones The earth and all its colors are as vibrant as this feeling stepping past the worries of the day A whisper tells me something that I’ve known all along The poetry of life is never gone —Chorus from Cathedrals by History of Painters By the time they were eighteen, Josh Cody and Justin Hooper had already performed at Carnegie Hall…not with their band, History of Painters, but as senior members of the San Luis Obispo High School Concert Choir in March, 2005, under the direction of legendary conductor, Gary Lamprecht. The choir, combined with the Morro Bay High School Concert Choir, was one of three chosen from around the country to sing with a full orchestra, conducted by Craig Jessup, director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Josh and Justin were both first-year choir students, baritones who couldn’t read music. “Learning from Mr. Lamprecht and singing at Carnegie Hall was a huge privilege. First he taught us how to push for perfection and then further to passion. He expertly combined kindness with discipline, and emphasized having an awareness and appreciation for the moment.”

Justin and Josh

They became good friends while participating in choir, eventually leading to the creation of their current band, History of Painters, which released its first CD, “The World is Greener,” in February 2011. A follow-up EP was released later that year. The CD was engineered and recorded by Darren Clarke at his Modern Music Academy studio. Darren then produced the EP and continues to work with the band. Most of their music, self-described as alternative folk, can be heard on YouTube and downloaded from iTunes. Lifetime residents of the Central Coast, Justin and Josh both dabbled in music when they were young. Josh started out on drums while attending Laguna Middle School and later added guitar, with guidance from his father. “Four chords and the truth, he would say, and then play some songs as examples.” Justin took piano lessons when he was nine, but stopped playing for a long time. “When Josh and I became friends, he asked me to play in his band and he assigned me to keyboards. I painstakingly taught myself chords by listening to a chord on the guitar and then closing my eyes and trying to find the notes in that chord on the piano.” Both took guitar classes offered at San Luis Obispo High School and learned a lot by “digging into our instruments and working hard.” Josh has added mandolin to his instrumental repertoire. When I saw History of Painters perform at the Live Oak Music Festival, Josh also used a bass drum pedal to “play” a percussion instrument made from an empty Samsonite suitcase and a tambourine. It is part of the charm of the group that odd instruments, like a toy red piano, pop up during a show. Less odd, but equally unique, History of Painters includes two violinists and a cellist, local musicians Raelene Larson, Melissa Newby and Danielle Morrison. The strings add an ethereal quality and dignity to the music, which is also aided by the vocals of Kayla Hooper, Justin’s wife. “Strings have been speaking to the beauty of the soul for a long time.” Justin and Josh acknowledge being influenced by familiar bands like U2, Counting Crows, Cold Play, and even Simon and Garfunkel, and less familiar bands like Rush of Blood to the Head, Sigur Ros and Sea Wolf. While not overt, strong Christian beliefs also influence the quality of their sound and the content of their lyrics.



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part comes from a shared interest in history, which Justin studied at Poly and Josh enjoyed in high school. Some of their songs include historical themes or references, including “Ninety-five Theses,” based on Martin Luther and the Reformation. A goal is to have at least one well-written history song on each album. “We respect the past and learn from it and want to reflect that in our work,” Justin said.

While some song-writing teams split responsibility for music and lyrics, Josh and Justin contribute equally to both. Each might write some lyrics and music independently, but then they work on it collaboratively. They take songwriting seriously, and their goal when they work together is to make heartfelt, genuine music, but also to have fun and laugh along the way, something they learned from Darren Clarke: be serious, but don’t take themselves too seriously. In the end they write songs that they describe as “grand, fun and catchy.” Much of their music is autobiographical, which is reflected in the “painters” part of their band’s name. While working their way through Cal Poly (Justin) and Hancock (Josh), they took a job canvassing neighborhoods for a painting company. “It was good preparation for the music business: a lot of rejection. If you were annoyed at your home a couple of years ago it was probably us.” The “History”

Over the years since high school and college, Justin has worked as a history teacher at a private school and currently gives guitar and piano lessons. He has been happily married for two years. Josh, still single but hoping to be a family man in the future, pursued a career in firefighting and as an EMT and spent three years in that line of work. “As much as we loved our other work, we decided to pursue our passion for music fulltime, which includes the business and management side as well as writing and performing.” They give a lot of credit for their early success to Darren Clarke and also to Alex Kizanis, a local owner of a home studio where they first started getting studio musician experience. Both have received tremendous support from friends and family. Josh and Justin were encouraged by the reception to their first recorded efforts, “pleasantly surprised,” as they put it. Listeners commented on a sense of hope and a meditative quality they experienced in the music. Totally committed to their art, the dream of the History of Painters duo is to “create the music we hear in our minds, to provide for our families doing what we love,” and to do that for as long as possible. Impressed by what I heard at Live Oak and by the combination of modesty, maturity, humor and dedication I noted in my interview with them, I expect to be one of those happy locals who can someday say, “I knew them when.” To hear their music and learn more about History of Painters, including where you can hear them play live, go to

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PEOPLE huttle up

james bruce lighting a fire By Bob Huttle

“Follow your bliss.” —Joseph Campbell It was heat like I’d never felt before or since. We were all gathered in the sweltering furnace that was the Athens, Greece airport in July, 1998. “We” were forty-five high school students and adult chaperones weathering our eight-hour flight delay at the end of a three-week European study trip. One more leg and then home. I was exhausted—in need of a quiet vacation really—from shepherding a group of teenagers around and through, up and down cities in England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece. The temperature steadily spiked as we headed south, culminating this day at the airport. There was enough sweat from all of us to cover the floor that kids could use to “slip and slide” through the terminal building. Or at least it seemed that way. One of our students took another approach to the challenge of the day. Earlier, I had noticed two Greek parents struggling to maintain calm as they also waited for their delayed flight. Their young son was restless, cranky, and bored (much like me, come to think of it) and his parents seemed at their wits end. Suddenly, out of the nearby men’s restroom appeared a mummy. Or someone who looked like a mummy. Wrapped in toilet paper from head to toe, arms out in a spooky Halloween-like stance, the “mummy” approached the little boy and began to

dance. The mummy was actually one of my students, James Bruce, and he took control of the situation in a most delightful, child-like manner. Soon, the boy was laughing and a few people gathered round to take pictures. It was just a moment in time, under poor conditions, and yet it’s stuck in my head all these years. James long ago shed his toilet paper wrapping, but not his ability to delight, inspire, and humanize any situation. This is a story about a young man who has recently become a valued professional addition to our community, a guy I hope you meet in the future, a lighter of fires. James Bruce is another former San Luis Obispo High School Tiger who graduated in 2000, a fitting leader for the new millennium. He begins at UC Davis (UCD), a communications major and literature/film minor, with a fleeting interest in Ultimate Frisbee, which is quickly replaced by a spot on the UCD mens’ crew (rowing) team. Strong friendships are forged through hours of strenuous workouts and competitions in California and across the country.

One day a few teammates and James are sitting around and somebody mentions a Forest Service meeting for those who might be interested in a summer job fighting fires. James believes “you have to be open to any experience” so he attends the meeting and, in 2002, joins a Type 2 “mop up” crew—“the lowest of the low, with little pay but an opportunity for me to Bruce fighting fires take classes for advancement at no cost. Mop up crews come in toward the end of a fire and help clean up, making sure the flames are out and the situation is under control. It’s dirty, thankless work, but it got me in the door.” Over the next two fire seasons James worked more and more, was given extra responsibilities, and even took a quarter off from UCD to work a longer fire season. In 2004 his experience led him to a



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position as a student firefighter with the UCD Fire Department, one of only three out of 300 applicants chosen. He moved into the firehouse on campus and in 2005 was accepted to the Federal U.S. Forest Service station in Pozo and then, in 2006, he joined a “helishots” crew at Lopez Lake. It seemed for a time that James had finally made it. He remembers: “I was a member of a highly-regarded helicopter unit, led by a man who became my hero and friend, Captain John Hickey—‘Hick’ as we called him—a larger than life figure, who showed me the ropes and watched my back. I wanted more action and I got it. I went through extensive training, learning to repel from a hovering helicopter, almost drowning in a dunk tank, and taking on more and more dangerous challenges.” And then came James’ first wake-up call: a helicopter crash while landing in Arizona at the end of the season. No injuries except to the program, which was scrapped for lack of funding. In 2007 James moved into a new position with the Arroyo Grande Hotshots, also led by Hick, but he quickly discovered this anchored him to the ground more than he wanted and his moving on to a similar job



Which brings us to now. The new career became teaching, the school was Cal Poly, and the conduit was Eldra Avery’s English class at SLOHS. “I had to get out of the house and I began dropping in on Eldra’s classes after she urged me to do so. I had been her student as a junior and she inspired and encouraged me. One thing led to another and, with a plan now in place, I ended up as Eldra’s student teacher during the 2010-11 school year and was hired to teach Advanced Placement English at Nipomo High School during the 2011-12 school year.” In the spring of 2010 a fire buddy of James’ told him about a River Guide school on the Kern River and James, as always, walked through another door of opportunity. Now, during part of the summer, you might find him on the Rogue River in Oregon, guiding folks from all over the world. Bruce and his classroom

in Mendocino in 2009 was not the adrenaline-producing experience he sought. A change of scenery and much-needed breath of fresh air led James to Guatamala in 2009 to study Spanish language. “I had started to grow a bit tired of firefighting and my trip to Guatamala opened some new doors but the change was not complete and my focus was still on firefighting. It was good money.” The second “alarm bell” rang on June 12, 2009. James explains: “I was doing maintenance on a fire truck when it rolled backward into me, the tire on the five-ton front axle crushing my foot. Through a series of fortunate circumstances, I was taken to a hospital in Chico, where a renowned orthopedic surgeon happened to be on call. In the emergency room, one of the nurses said to me ‘I wouldn’t want to have your injury. You might not walk again.’ It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.”

And here’s the capper, maybe the best part of the story: James has taken a teaching position at SLOHS, just down the hall from Eldra Avery. The kid and the mentor are together again. I ask James why he chose teaching. He tells me, “I love to read, write, and discuss. To expose young people to the world and to the power of words. You have to be able to communicate, to interpret the world. And I want to inspire my students in the same way my best teachers inspired me.” James Bruce—aka “The Mummy”—is still working his magic to the delight of his students. But he’s no longer wrapped in toilet paper; dapper clothing now suffices. Maybe he sweats a little before his class begins—what teacher doesn’t?—but his students will never know. And now, no longer extinguishing fires, he lights them instead—in the minds and hearts of those fortunate enough to have him in class. Is he following his bliss? You know it.

James came back to SLO to recuperate at his parents’ home. “Here I was, 28 years old, 3 months in bed, immobile, out of shape, my career over, my future cloudy, dependent on my amazing parents and concerned brother, Nelson. I experienced a serious identity crisis. Now what? What can I do now?” To the rescue—just in time—came the California Vocational Rehabilitation Program for people who have lost the ability to do their jobs. “This amazing agency paid for me to go back to school to pursue another career.” On the rapids



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PEOPLE CCW member, Roberta Foster, weaving

the central coast weavers guild weaving the fabrics of our lives...for a half a century By Susan Stewart


ifty years and Still Warped” reads the slogan embossed on aprons, coffee mugs, and wine glasses—proudly marking the 50th anniversary of the Central Coast Weavers Guild (CCW). The first weekend in November, just in time for Christmas, at the yellow straw-bale barn near Garden Farms, the annual CCW sale will be held, featuring one-of-a-kind, handmade items from garments to kitchen linens, scarves to hats, baby clothes to blankets, jewelry to greeting cards.

“It’s a popular event!” said Norma Dengler, a longtime member of the Guild. Why? Well firstly, because the work is beautiful, unique, and distinctive—every single item hand-made, many from fibers spun by talented spinners, then magically warped and woven into one-of-a-kind pieces anyone would be proud to give, and pleased to receive. And secondly, because many of us long for a return to a sweeter, simpler time—a time long before the Madison Avenue-driven, must-have-the-latest-same-stuff-myneighbor-has culture that dominates our buying habits today. Along with a return to local, organically grown food, hand-crafted cheese from our own dairies, and at least one local radio station with a real live DJ, the ancient and practical art of weaving fabrics into beautiful, useful items is alive and thriving in the members of the CCW—proof positive that sweeter and simpler is often better, too! On a cold, gray morning in January 1962, a small group of weavers and spinners met in a cozy living room in Morro Bay to support each other and to celebrate hand-weaving and spinning on the Central Coast. That first meeting grew into what is now the CCW, serving all of SLO County, and Northern Santa Barbara County as well. Now more than 150 members strong, and now also including basket makers, dyers, braiders, and other fiber artisans, the Guild is still a warm and welcoming group with the same goals it began with half a century ago. “‘Friendship is the shining path we weave,’ is more than just a motto,” says Guild President Rosemary Thorne. “It’s what guides each member and Rosemary Thorne weaving on a 200-year-old loom every meeting.” O C T O B E R


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Now offering three separate meeting times to accommodate all weavers and spinners, the CCW meets on the second Thursday and last Saturday of the month from September through November and January through May. A group they call “the spinners” meets every Tuesday morning. Venues vary from churches to members’ homes, and members can log onto for locations and times. But the goals remain constant: to support and encourage each other, to improve skills, and to promote the art of weaving and spinning through education and public events. Some members are weavers, some are spinners, and some are both. “Most spinners weave,” explained Dengler, “but not all weavers spin.” At the big yellow barn owned by CCW President Rosemary Thorne and her sister Kay, spinning wheels and looms of all sizes, ages, and types can be found. Dengler said these machines vary widely from simple, antique hand-looms to complex, computer-controlled looms. Many members own more than one. A glance at the website reveals the endless variety of colors, fibers, patterns, and items that can emerge from these machines with the help of talented hands. The event that really showcases the complete circle of the craft is called “Sheep to Shawl,” and it’s coming right up! On Sunday October 7th, at the Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., members of the CCW will weave their magic before your very eyes. Some members even raise the animals (sheep, alpaca, etc.) from whence the raw materials come; then spin the sheared wool into



Rosemary Thorne and Kay Thorne remove a Scottish wedding blanket from the loom

strong fibers, dye the fibers, weave the cloth, and make the shawl (or other item)—bringing the process full circle. Inspiring lessons like that one are taken into elementary schools and historical sites such as Nipomo’s Dana Adobe, the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum, the Mid-State Fair, and the Dalidet Adobe on a regular basis by the CCW. “It’s always so rewarding to see a child with math and attention problems, sit down at a loom for an hour and enjoy weaving,” said Thorne, “using math skills that neither teacher nor parent knew he had! … Children are fascinated with the spinning process,” she continued, “the soft and fuzzy fiber being turned into a useful string amazes them.” But not all lessons are that primitive. Some very sophisticated fashions show up each year at the national and international weavers conferences such as the one Jannie Taylor recently attended in Long Beach, California. Every two years, the world’s most talented artisans assemble (host cities change each year) from every corner of the globe to learn, compete in juried competitions, and participate in fashion shows. This year, Taylor’s work received the top award for Excellence in Hand Weaving, an honor bestowed by the Hand Weavers of America. Taylor’s outfit— skirt, blouse, and shawl—was first selected from among dozens of competitors to be one of the 58 finalists whose work is then strutted down the runway before an audience of hundreds. Inside two of the front pleats on Taylor’s skirt, the image of woven violins were revealed, evoking gasps of surprise and pleasure from the audience.

“It was thrilling to see my piece on stage and then sitting in the audience when the winners were announced,” said Taylor. Taylor has been a CCW member for 35 years, and is now an in-demand teacher of her craft. “She’s become quite the celebrity,” said Dengler. Taylor is just one of many “celebrity” members, including Sandra Rude and Diana Brenna, master weavers; Judy Schuster, who shows her work at Cambria’s fiber show; Jeannie Pratt, whose woven metal pieces have won numerous awards; and D’Elin Lohr and Patricia Martin, expert dyers. The CCW is a member of the Conference of Northern California Hand Weavers and of the Hand Weavers Guild of America.

In addition to the Annual November Sale and this month’s Sheep to Shawl event, they hold an all-guild picnic in June, and a January Tea, where members dress up in their own hand-made creations and “admire each other,” said Dengler. Expressing gratitude for the handful of artisans who started the guild half a century ago, current President Thorne said, “My sister learned to weave from one of those founding members. And the names of those early members are frequently mentioned with respect and, indeed, with love, for the legacy and memories they’ve left us.”

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11th annual san luis obispo plein art festival San Luis Obispo Museum of Art By Muara Johnston


he rolling hills, lush farmland, and cascading vineyards of the Central Coast will provide inspiration for thirty-five artists who come to visit San Luis Obispo County during the 11th Annual Plein Air Festival. Plein Air (pronounced pleyn air) comes from the French term “en plein air,” meaning “in the open air.” It is a style of creating art outdoors in the moment, primarily from nature. A true plein air painting is done on location and is valued for its sense of spontaneity. Artists must quickly and deftly capture the essence of a moment using the light or shadow on a subject.

and the surrounding downtown area to paint live against the clock. The completed paintings will be on display and juried for awards in front of the Mission until 1 p.m. when they will be AUCTIONED live to the crowd in the Mission Plaza Amphitheater. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the Mission Plaza from Kunfusion or Porters, or a prix-fixe lunch at Luna Red. It’s free to watch, info 805.543.8562 or Also in the morning from 10 a.m. – noon will be a KIDS PAINT-OUT for children 5 –15. All materials provided, first come first served on the SLOMA lawn. This event is in celebration of Arts Month and is in collaboration with Arts Obispo and the Cal Poly’s Center for Arts Education.

THE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Sunday, September 30, 2012 This year’s WELCOME PARTY is a brand new opening event presented as a benefit to members of the Museum and Friends of the Festival. The traditional welcome party in celebration of the artists will be an outdoor reception at the Victorian Jack House in downtown SLO from 6 – 8 p.m. This opening event will offer guests the chance to meet this year’s competitors who are some of the most renowned artists in the world of plein air painting. The talented artists will be eager to connect or re-connect with our community, make new friends, and gather tips on the best places to paint in the upcoming competition week. Reservations are required. $25 for SLOMA members, $50 general. Monday – Friday, October 1-6, 2012 All week, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, at the corner of Broad and Monterey is festival HEADQUARTERS for information, maps, and a chance to view one representative artwork by each artist showcasing their colorful palettes and diverse styles. Friends of the Festival can get tips on where to hunt for their favorite artists throughout the county; following the artists to scenic places and hidden vistas. During the week while the artists are painting there will be exhibits, lectures, films and poetry appealing to all ages. Wednesday, October 3, 2012 PAINT SLO DAY. Artists concentrate their talents within the City of San Luis Obispo, capturing the charm of the historic homes, O C T O B E R


parks, outdoor cafes, gardens and creek side views. At 6 p.m., outstanding artist Richard Lindenberg presents an ART TALK, “How We Paint.” He will provide insight about the plein air painting experience and challenges. Free to SLOMA members, $5 general. For more information about Mr. Lindenberg, visit Thursday, October 4, 2012 FILM & POETRY NIGHT from 6 – 9 p.m. Enjoy several light-hearted short documentary films about plein air life followed by poetry readings by local poets who have shadowed this year’s Festival and painted the vistas with words. $5 SLOMA members, $10 general. Friday, October 5, 2012 BEST OF SHOW. The Museum of Art becomes the exclusive location for the OPENING NIGHT EXHIBITION AND SALE. The top 100 plus paintings created during the week will be on view and available for purchase during Art After Dark, from 6 – 9 p.m. Meet and mingle with the artists, vote for your favorite painting, and enjoy first pick. Wine tasting by Sculpturra Winery. Free for SLOMA members, $10 general public. Saturday, October 6, 2012 QUICK DRAW PAINT-OUT, 9–11:30 a.m., the Festival painters gather in Mission Plaza

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Sunday, October 7, 2012 EXHIBITION AND SALE It’s bittersweet when the plein air artists pack up their paints and stow their gear to hit the road at the end of the week-long marathon. But for some lucky art lovers and collectors, they have purchased a memory on canvas that gives them a glimpse of Plein Air every day of the year. Stop by to find your treasure from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Open to the public. This year’s juror for the 11th Annual Plein Air Festival is Stephen Berg-Hansen of Bear Valley Springs. Mr. Berg-Hansen is a preeminent plein air collector. The San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival is the most impressive visual art event of the Central Coast and attracts national art enthusiasts and collectors. For an up-to-date detailed list of activities, times and locations, as well as links to the nationally acclaimed artists who are gathering for this year’s festival visit Support for the annual Plein Air Festival comes from the City of San Luis Obispo and the New Times. Additional sponsorship of the events is available. Please contact Karen Kile, Individuals can become a FRIEND OF THE FESTIVAL for $200. Friends will receive tickets to all events, their name on the gallery wall, receive special updates about the artists during the week, and an invitation to the SNEAK PEEK.



Healthy Living healthy weight for moms and babies By Anna Brannen, Cal Poly, SLO


n the Kinesiology Department on Cal Poly’s campus, a team of researchers is aiming to make a difference in women’s health. Two NIHfunded large scale studies are underway that are testing innovative lifestyle programs designed to prevent and treat obesity in the time surrounding pregnancy and beyond. Healthy Beginnings/Comienzos Saludables is studying how best to help overweight and obese pregnant women gain the right amount of weight during their pregnancy. “Gaining too much weight during pregnancy puts women at high risk for complications during their pregnancy, such as Gestational Diabetes, high blood pressure, and c-sections. These complications can make pregnancy harder on the mother and also can lead to long-term chronic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes,” says lead researcher and Associate Professor in Kinesiology Suzanne Phelan, PhD. Gaining too much weight in pregnancy also increase the chances that babies will become overweight later in life. Healthy Beginnings/ Comienzos Saludables is one of the first studies examining whether healthy weight gain in mothers during pregnancy can prevent obesity in their children. Past programs have had limited success in helping overweight moms gain the right amount of weight. While normal weight women are recommended to gain up to 35 pounds in pregnancy, current recommendations for overweight women are to gain only 25 pounds or less and for obese women to gain 20 pounds or less. This new program is designed to teach women about healthy eating and provides a structured meal plan to control food intake and meet nutritional needs. In this plan, women replace two meals with a meal replacement shake and eat 2-3 healthy snacks and a portion controlled meal each day. The women are also taught ways to increase physical activity and maintain these health behavior changes during the postpartum year. The study will include 175 overweight/obese pregnant women in San Luis Obispo County

and 175 in Providence, Rhode Island. The program is open to English and Spanish speakers and will begin enrolling pregnant women in September. Fit Moms/Mamas Activas is investigating the effects of an online weight loss program for women who have kept on added pounds after having a baby, which is can lead to long-term weight gain, obesity, and related diseases. “Unpredictable schedules of new moms have made attendance at standard, face-to-face weight loss programs problematic. So we’re trying to make it easier for new moms to access effective weight loss programs from the comfort of their home and with their babies in tow,” said Phelan. Researchers at Cal Poly and the University of North Carolina have created a state-of-the-art, behavioral weight loss program delivered over the Internet through weekly weight loss lessons and through text-messages and monthly in person group meetings. The website for Fit Moms/Mamas Activas provides women with both written and audiovisual weekly lessons teaching the essential skills needed to lose weight. The site has an online food and activity diary, interactive message board, and progress page where women can acquire “diaper points” and reward for logging on and keeping track of their daily weight, calories, and activity. The NIH-funded program is being tested among English and Spanish speakers in the

Central Coast who are participants in WIC, a food and nutrition program for low income women and children. Low income women traditionally have limited access to effective weight loss tools. By integrating the program in WIC, the study is aiming to change this access disparity. The Fit Moms program was tested in Summer of 2010 in the Paso Robles WIC clinic and results were promising, but too small of a sample size caused the results to be inconclusive. So, the researchers applied for and received a larger, $3.5 million dollar grant to complete this study over a 5-year term throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. This larger trial will be studying the effects of the program in over 400 women in these counties. If the program is shown to be effective, the researchers hope the program will become a standard part of WIC postpartum care. These studies are being conducted as part of the STRIDE (Science through Translational Research in Diet and Exercise) research center which is housed in the Kinesiology department at Cal Poly. STRIDE is a collaborative partnership across disciplines focusing on Research, Service Learning, Education and Outreach, Program Design and Evaluation, and Consulting. If you have any questions or would like to see if you qualify for any of these studies, please contact the studies’ coordinator, Anna Brannen at 805-756-5365.

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Now with a beautiful horseshoe bar and banquet room. Upper Crust has been serving fresh Mediterranean cuisine in San Luis Obispo for over 22 years.



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artists helping artists

Glynis Chaffin-Tinglof, “Plan Four” (oil on canvas)

the open studios art tour By Charlotte Alexander


he Open Studios Art Tour (OSAT) has become an eagerly awaited annual October event for art lovers throughout the county and beyond, but each year it generates a little-known opportunity for local artists to learn from fellow artists as well. OSAT, now the county’s largest visual arts event with more than 230 participating artists, was created by ARTS Obispo 14 years ago as a way for county residents and visitors to experience visual art in the spaces where it is created. But inviting the general public into artists’ studios and homes can be a bit daunting for artists with limited experience marketing their work or who are simply eager to make the most of the experience. So several years ago Paso Robles artist Lynn Kishiyama came up with an inspired idea: offer a free marketing workshop through ARTS Obispo to help participating artists get the most out of this unique opportunity for interaction with those curious about how and where they create their work. “It can be a terrifying idea, especially to new artists, to open their studios and often their homes to complete strangers,” she says. “Hearing from artists who have done it before takes some of that anxiety away, and helps them know what works and what doesn’t to make the experience a success for them as well as their visitors.” Kishiyama created a “Handbook for a Successful Open Studio” that she shares with those who attend the seminar each year. The handout has grown to more than 12 pages jam-packed with resources and advice. Other local artists often share the podium with her to offer their best marketing tips. This year OSAT veterans Steven deLuque and Glynis Chaffin-Tinglof joined Kishiyama to answer questions and lend a friendly ear to the 50 or so artists who showed up on a warm August evening at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo to hear about best practices and the latest methods to share their creative expressions. “I enjoy passing on my experience to other artists,” says Kishiyama, who explains that sometimes artists have difficulty switching between right brain (intuitive) and left brain (analytical) activities. She believes that OSAT requires a connection between the two if artists want to provide a stimulating and enjoyable experience for their guests. “We impart information in 1-2-3 steps and keep it simple so it’s not so overwhelming.” ARTS Obispo Program Director Jenna Hartzell says it isn’t just new artists who come to the workshop each year. “Some of the most experienced artists come back every year, and they say they always come away with at least one great new idea they can use.” Kishiyama believes that artists in SLO County are incredibly supportive of each other for the most part. “We couldn’t have collaboraO C T O B E R


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tive ventures like Studios on the Park in Paso Robles or the Open Studios Art Tour without artists being willing to help each other.” DeLuque has much to share from the many years he has offered up his work out of his converted garage studio in Los Osos. “The first year I had way too many pieces,” he says. He learned by doing that it’s important to select pieces carefully so that visitors can see and enjoy each piece on its own. If an artist has additional work, deLuque suggests using photos compiled into an easy-to-view portfolio. “Let your artistic process shine,” Chaffin-Tinglof advises artists. “Don’t clean up your studio too much … remember that a person coming to your studio is wanting an ‘artistic experience.’ Have an inspiration board that shows how you get from idea to finished product. Have one piece in progress, front and center, so you can demonstrate your materials and techniques.” She thinks it can be difficult to put the artistic process into words, and her ideas help artists learn how to talk with visitors about their work and about themselves as artists. After sharing their wisdom with other artists for the 2012 event, what advice do these three seasoned veterans offer up for first-time OSAT visitors? “Plan your route in advance,” Kishiyama suggests. Hartzell agrees, pointing to the maps in the OSAT catalog that can be used to carefully organize the most effective course for reaching chosen destinations.



“And don’t try to do 20 studios in one day!” deLuque says. “Plan to visit six, with no more than two others as alternates—if you aren’t already exhausted.” He also encourages people to visit ARTS Obispo’s Visual Artists Directory online at “If you see an artist’s work in the Open Studios catalog and think you might like their work, check out more photos of their work in the Directory. It’s free and it can help you decide which artists are a mustsee on your tour.” Kishiyama encourages people to talk to the artists once they arrive at a studio. “I tell them to come for the art, but stay for the experience.” She also encourages parents to bring their older children, who she says are often “hungry” for creative interactions with art and those who make it. Chaffin-Tinglof agrees. “Ask questions,” she says. “Something made you curious to see a particular artist or group of artists in their studios. Learn something about their process or materials. Perhaps even get inspired to follow your own artistic path.” DeLuque’s final words for Open Studios Art Tour artists and visitors alike? “Have fun!”

Patricia Griffin with etched stoneware from her Woodcut Series.

A great way to do just that is to attend the OSAT Kick-Off Party during Art After Dark in downtown SLO October 5 at Court Street Terrace adjacent to Pottery Barn and Sephora. Party-goers can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win $300 in “ART Bucks” to spend during OSAT 2012.

Charlotte Alexander is Executive Director of ARTS Obispo, the local partner of the California Arts Council that advances the visual, literary and performing arts in SLO County.

N MacB EW In sto ook Pro ck no w!

N MacB EW In sto ook Pro ck no w!



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at the market

whole apple tea cake with yogurt By Sarah Hedger


ello Fall! It’s hard to not get overly excited with the leaves changing color and the underlying crispness in the air. I really do think, this time of the year, if you close your eyes and take in a deep breath, you can smell the apples getting ripe! Maybe that’s a stretch for some, but for those of you who have experienced the smell of an apple orchard, it is an etched-in memory, never far from the short-term past. Aside from apples coming into full swing, there are some amazing items to find at the local farmers’ market. Winter squash begins to make its presence known, as well as arugula, celeriac (celery root), chard, chiles, kale, pears, persimmons, and pumpkins to name a few. Lately there has been more and more press about food sensitivities and intolerances, leading to a variety of restricted this or that diets. Aside from the ongoing low fat, low carb, low protein, low sugar, vegetarian diets, there is now the candida diet, dairy free, egg free, gluten free,



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grain free, and paleo diets, to name a few! I often think, did all these food issues exist before or, what has brought on this wave of sensitive individuals? (No judgement by the way as I am as guilty as the next in this regard). What I like to think is that people are tuning into the awareness that what we eat can make a huge difference in how we feel and our everyday well being. It also helps that with this new awareness, people are making the connection between their body’s symptoms, be it headaches or tummy aches, to what they recently ate. I was talking to a chef from a luxury, boutique lodge, and he said that recently, of the 12 people staying at their lodge, 9 had special dietary requirements! What this meant to him, was 9 different menus, for every meal, for the duration of their stay. Separately I was talking to a friend who asked why I avoid wheat and gluten. After explaining my symptoms, she was quiet for a minute before coming back and saying her daughter complains of tummy aches a few hours after breakfast every day, which consists of wheat-based cereal. Thus, resolving the health symptoms we can, through improving our diet and listening to our bodies, is a good thing. This month’s recipe, Whole Apple Tea Cake with Yogurt, happens to fall into the vegetarian and gluten free category. What I have enjoyed about eating gluten free, is that it has helped me think outside the box when it comes to other flours aside from wheat. What this often does is add a new level of flavor to a recipe as flours such as buckwheat, rice, amaranth, millet, and quinoa, all contribute their own unique flavors. If this topic interests you, there is a great book called Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce, making it easy and fun to explore the many different grains (in their flour form) and some delicious, inspiring recipes to choose from. In the meantime, give this month’s recipe a go with some fresh, local apples. Pick them yourself and the cake will taste that much better. Enjoy!

Whole apple tea cake with zesty yogurt FOR THE CAKE: 2 cups gluten free flour mix (or make your own with 1 cup sorghum or rice flour, ¾ cup tapioca starch, and ¼ cup cornstarch) 1 cup brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg ½ tsp salt 3 free range eggs, beaten ¼ cup neutral oil 1 T good quality molasses ¼ cup non-dairy milk (rice, almond, or soy) 2 tsp vanilla extract 3 cups raw, unpeeled organic apples, 2 cups grated and 1 cup finely diced FOR THE ZESTY YOGURT TOPPING 1 cup good quality plain yogurt 1 tsp organic or pesticide free lemon zest 1 T good local honey Pinch of salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch baking dish or cake pan with removable bottom, with baking paper. In a large bowl, blend flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well to incorporate. In a small bowl, beat together eggs, oil, molasses, ‘milk’, and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold in apples. Once it is incorporated, scrape into prepared pan and tap gently on counter to release any bubbles. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in centre. Allow to rest for 30 minutes in pan before cutting and eating. Meanwhile, while cake bakes, mix together yogurt, lemon zest, honey, and salt. Serve a slice of cake with yogurt on the side. Serves 10 depending how you slice it. Feel free to email me at if you have any food-related questions and find this recipe (as well as other versions) at



slo county art scene THE SALINAS RIVER GETS A SCULPTURE By Gordon Fuglie


he past month has immersed me in the amorphous and sometimes disparaged genre of public art. For those who are a bit hazy on this subject, public art is civic, county, state or government funded art for public places—cities, parks, or more recently, mass transit stations. Ideally, public art serves as a source of community pride, signifying our best aspirations, and a creative response to the area in which it is placed. But there can be a down side to public art. A community can recoil at inappropriate works imposed on the landscape by “elitist juries” and local bureaucrats, or it may deride awkwardly realized sculptures that provoke unintentional interpretations and embarrassing situations. Last year, Chicago was roiled in controversy when Seward Johnson’s 26-foot-tall, 17-ton, polychrome sculpture of Marilyn Monroe—in her iconic leggy pose from The Seven Year Itch trying to hold down her flyaway halter dress, went on temporary display on Michigan Avenue. Unimaginatively named “Marilyn Forever,” curious visitors swarmed between her gargantuan gams to pose for photographs. To the chagrin of some and titillation of others, this inevitably led to peering up her legs at her super-size, lacetrimmed underwear. HMMMMM—what did I say about our best aspirations? Such work is classic “plop art,” the derisive term for misguided public art installations. The best public art commissions, however,

Robert Roemisch O C T O B E R


reflect careful forethought, contextual planning and clear execution of the art that goes into our communities. Such a work is Robert Roemisch’s “Circle of Life,” an elemental and functional steel sculpture commissioned for the Salinas River Corridor Project in Paso Robles. Composed of a large tubular steel concentric ring welded onto a base, the piece conveys the natural cycle of animal life along the Salinas River. Silhouettes of birds, animals and fish—including some that are endangered, are arrayed upon a mesh screen. A sinuously slatted bench flows along and through the ring, an analogy to the Salinas River and the eco-system it sustains. “Circle of Life” is sponsored by the Paso Robles REC Foundation that will oversee the placement of the sculpture along the new Salinas River Parkway Trail, the first work of public art on corridor land. (The REC Foundation is a nonprofit fundraising corporation that creates “enhanced programs, places and open spaces for quality recreational experiences.”) According to Meg Williamson, Paso Robles Assistant City Manager, the Salinas River Corridor Project is a visionary strategic effort by the city and its partners that will link the natural world of the riparian course with the downtown on its west bank, with additional trails and parks on the east bank. The project goal is to conserve and restore the Salinas River Corridor and make it available for public recreation. This effort dates to 2005 when the city received a National Park Service Grant to launch a study to find the best means to make the Salinas River into an accessible resource rather than stay an “impediment” between the east and west sections of the city. After a number of studies, support from the San Luis Obispo County Land Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land enabled Paso Robles to acquire 150 acres along the river, between 13th Street and Navajo. This section will have a paved trail for pedestrians and bicyclists and will open this Fall. Upon its completion, the city can boast nearly a mile and a half trail way connecting Union Road to Larry Moore Park, with subsidiary looping walking trails. Readers should be aware that “Circle of Life” was not a pre-existing work to be plopped down along the Parkway Trail. In Spring 2012, the

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Robert Roemisch’s “Circle of Life”

REC Foundation with help from Studios on the Park and Central Coast Sculptors sent out a request for proposals soliciting sculptors to submit a work that “will help catalyze the public to understand and envision the Salinas River corridor as a place of environmental, educational, and recreational value.” With modest funds, the RFP sought work that engaged the wildlife/ habitat theme and “the water connection.” The selection panel felt Roemisch’s proposal was far and away the most suitable submission and the Ojai artist was awarded the contract. Cambria sculptor Mike Redell served on the selection committee that reviewed Roemisch’s pencil sketches of “Circle of Life.” Redell told me that the simplicity of the design, his expertise in construction materials and methods, and Roemisch’s willingness to take suggestions from the committee were key to deciding upon the commission. “Roemisch was hungry for a project like this because it was an opportunity to expand his artistic range. For that reason he was willing to work within our small budget,” said Redell. Raising funds for the work came through the annual Paso Robles Festival of the Arts, held downtown every Spring and which incorporates the Salinas River Corridor Project. A part of the proceeds from the Festival went towards the “Circle of Life,” which was partially complete and displayed in the City Park for visitors along with information about the sculpture and the Parkway Trail. The completed sculpture will be on display in Paso Robles this month before it is permanently installed on the river corridor. For further information about Robert Roemisch, see To learn about the Paso Robles Salinas River Corridor Project, see http:// commdev/salinas_river.asp

a future environment of hope



central coast bioneers conference By Stacey Hunt


ow in its 23rd year, the National Bioneers conference brings together social and scientific innovators focused on breakthrough solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity. Central Coast Bioneers, serving San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties, is one of 23 regional satellite sites around the country for the conference, which this year will take place October 19-21, headquartered at the historic Monday Club. The conference experience begins each morning with live streaming of the plenary speakers from the National Bioneers stage in San Rafael. There will be thirteen featured presenters this year including Bill McKibben, founder of, Carol Jenkins, founder of the Women’s Media Center, Nikki Henderson, founder of the People’s Grocery in Oakland, and Paul Hawken. These inspirational talks address the over-arching Bioneers theme of “Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature.” Following lunch there is a wide selection of workshops, films and field trips of local interest. This year’s offerings will include tracks in renewable energy, ecopreneurship and locanomics, food and farming, health/nature/spirit, activism and social justice, and green design. Music, art displays, yoga, a Green Marketplace, and organic food round out the weekend. New this year will be the Extreme Green car show on Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, featuring vehicles that already meet the 2025 emission requirements. Also new is the Green Chef Cook-off and Food & Farming Celebration and dance on Saturday, October 20.

Dr. Jackson brings health and urban planning issues together in his talk, entitled “People can’t be healthy in unhealthy environments— shaping environments to keep people in shape.” Bioneers is a call to action. People have described the conference as “an inoculation of hope” in these challenging times. As one attendee put it, “If you’re tired of talking about the world’s issues and ready to start doing something about them, Bioneers is the place to be.” One-day and all-weekend passes and more information are available at or by calling (805) 548-0597. Tickets for individual field trips, keynote lecture and Food & Farming celebration can also be purchased.


There will be three field trips offered. On Friday, attendees can choose between a tour to two local organic farms or a docent-led tour of the environmental archives in the Special Collections Department of the Robert E. Kennedy Library at Cal Poly. On Saturday there will be a tour of three green homes in San Luis Obispo, one net zero energy, one which has been remodeled using repurposed building materials, and one LEED platinum-certified. An all day pre-conference field trip scheduled for October 18 will travel to Wind Wolves Preserve, the largest private preserve on the West Coast. Two documentary films will be screened at the conference. “Nothing Like Chocolate,” directed by UC Santa Barbara professor Kum-Kum Bhavnani, tells the tale of the creation of a chocolate co-op and factory on the island of Grenada, and brings attention to the dilemma of child slave labor at Ivory Coast cacao plantations. In true Bioneers fashion, it helps us explore ways in which we personally can be a part of the solution to this terrible problem. The second film, “Truck Farm,” looks at the question what does a man do when he wants to plant a garden in Manhattan, but has no land? He turns his pickup truck into a traveling garden and inspires other urban dwellers who want to grow their own food. The featured keynote speaker at this year’s conference on Friday night, October 19, will be pediatrician and UCLA professor, Richard Jackson, M.D., host of the PBS series “Designing Healthy Communities.”

VISIT: WWW.BARBARAGEORGE2012.COM EMAIL: INFO@BARBARAGEORGE2012.COM Paid for by the Committee to Elect Barbara George for Cuesta College Trustee, 2012, ID #1348484 O C T O B E R


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a statue of paderewski to be unveiled in paso robles By Natasha Dalton

“sound as perfect as an orchid or a rose” —American poet John H. Finley on Paderewski’s music As the world is preparing to celebrate Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s 152nd birthday, Paso Robles is set to pay its own tribute to the worldfamous pianist: in November it will unveil the musician’s statue in its City Park. I met with Steven Cass—the man behind the local efforts to honor the Polish musician—and asked him about Paderewski’s connection to Paso Robles.

Steve, Paderewski died in 1941. Why do you think he is still so revered world-wide? He was one of the world’s most popular performers. A hundred years ago there were no CDs, downloads, or music videos. The only way for a musician to become known was to play live performances. So he did. He toured the world, including the United States. When it comes to famous Polish musicians, many people today think of Chopin. But Chopin was in the business of writing compositions: during his life he sold 300 opuses. Paderewski wrote maybe thirty compositions, but he also played Mozart and Beethoven. Besides, he was a humanitarian. He made a massive amount of money as a performer and donated virtually all of it to the victims of WWI. He was the only celebrity in his day who was involved in extensive fund-raising for the war refugees. Besides, Paderewski was a speaker for freedom and democracy. He had been twice on Time magazine’s cover. Until 1919, Poland didn’t exist as a country, and Polish politicians asked Paderewski to represent them. He talked to the Allied Powers about the need for Poland to become an independent country, and was the one to sign the Versailles Treaty on behalf of Poland!

Paderewski considered Paso Robles his second home. He introduced the Zinfandel wine grape to the area. Isn’t that reason enough to remember him with gratitude? Yes. For all these reasons, Paso Robles’ teacher Virginia Peterson thought that Paderewski was a man we ought to recognize. In 1991 she started an annual festival. In 2001 Virginia Peterson passed on, and that year’s festival was cancelled. A year became two years, two years became three years … all of a sudden the festival was gone.

But you brought it back… We opened our winery in 2005. And we wanted to do as many events as possible. So we organized a rock-n-roll music competition. Rock fans were coming from SLO—mostly Cal Poly kids. By the time we picked O C T O B E R


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the winning band, we had a full house—that was good news. The bad news was that we brought in young people with the idea to party. At that festival we found more drinking issues during the four nights of the competitions than in the seven following years combined. So we decided not to do that again. Still, we’ve got a reputation that we’re doing music, and my wife is Polish, and she plays piano. Through the Polish Music Center’s Director at USC, Marek Zabrawski, we met the brilliant British pianist Jonathan Plowright, who came here and played a spectacular concert. Some thirty of our community leaders came up here to hear him. We all had a great time, and decided to restart the festival.

What’s different about the new festival? We formed a new non-profit with a new board of directors. We added a piano competition. We have cash prizes and medals, and we run it

as any professional piano competition, except ours is more difficult, because in two weeks the winners of the competition perform the same pieces for the general public. We also established a cultural exchange with Poland. When our board of supervisors and I went to Poland to set it up, we were invited to have tea with the first lady. It was supposed to be fifteen minutes long, but actually lasted two hours. We felt sadness when we learned that the first lady and her chief of staff, whom we also met, were killed in an airplane crash a year later. We’ve sent our kids to Poland twice, and each time we had two different types of performances and master classes for them. Polish kids came here once, and they’re coming again. They are going to play concerts at the Cass winery and at Vino Robles, and we’re looking for opportunities to do more outreach. In answer to your question: we’ve taken the original premise and made it a little bigger.

Tell us about the statue. Originally, it was one of the current owners of the Paderewski’s property, Hy Blythe, who commissioned Jesse Corsaut to make the statue. Hy owns a huge collection of Paderewski’s memorabilia, from little items like programs from concerts, to the bed, on which Paderewski slept in Buckingham Hotel. (This bed is now on display at the Pioneer Museum; some other things are exhibited at the Carnegie Library.)

Things have changed… Yes! What happened was this: Hy took that statue and planted it in his yard. He maintained the rights to the mold, which made it inexpensive to make copies. So Hy donated one copy of the statue to the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC, where it still stands today. He donated another copy to Jagiellowan University in Krakow, Poland, and yet another copy to the Thornton School of Music at USC. Two years ago the Paderewski Festival’s board of directors asked Hy to allow us to approach the city to see if they’d change their mind. We went ahead and had the statue made before we asked for permission. We told them: ‘This is the picture of it; these are all the other places where it’s been placed, you cannot make dozens and dozens of copies because the mold eventually deteriorates. Besides, we’re willing to cover the costs of building and installing the statue through fundraisers. We’re asking for your permission and if you don’t give us the permission, it’ll be put at the Cass winery.’ The proposal was approved unanimously. But the city officials weren’t exactly unanimous as to where the statue should go. Everyone seemed to have a different opinion. We had a month-long talk-fest about it, and we got the Park and Recreation Department and the Carnegie Foundation and the Main Street Foundation to agree that the statue should be placed next to the Carnegie Library, just to the right of the entrance.

Paderewski was the first musician to give a sold-out solo recital in then newly-built Carnegie Hall in New

York City. Did this fact influence the decision to put the statue close to Carnegie Library? Certainly. Carnegie and Paderewski were known to be good friends. We know that they had a close connection—which leads me to speculate that it was the very connection that provided the funds for building Carnegie Library in Paso Robles.

When will this year’s Paderewski Festival take place? And when will the new statue be unveiled? The festival will take place from November 8 through November 11, with the main event scheduled for Saturday, November 10. This will be the day of the unveiling, which is planned for 12:30 p.m. At four o’clock the winners of this year’s competition will play a free concert in the Paso Robles Inn’s Ballroom. We expect Polish dignitaries and California dignitaries and lots of media. On Friday night, a concert pianist Igor Lipinski will entertain guests at the Cass Winery tasting room. An award-winning magician, Igor Lipinski incorporates magic into his performance. The Festival Gala Concert will be a part of the annual Paso Robles Elegant Evening in the city’s Downtown. This year’s guest musicians, violinist Kinga Augustyn and pianist Efi Hackmey, will play music of Paderewski and other Polish composers.



es for tum op os ! Sh en C dwill we oo llo t G Ha a

Hy had several pictures of Paderewski and asked Corsaut to do a composite. All these pictures show what Paderewski looked like when he was giving a speech. Corsaut is a well-known artist. He did the statue of John Wayne that for eight years sat on Ronald Reagan’s desk in the oval office. So, after spending close to $250,000 on the statue, Hy presented it to the city of Paso Robles with a request to place it in the City Park … but the City refused it. This was in the ’90s, and at that time the city officials were against big sculptures in public places.



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jack warner at san simeon, 1972 By Taylor Coffman


HE WEATHER WAS PERFECT. With temperatures well into the eighties all afternoon, the evening stayed in the seventies—mild and balmy, without a trace of humidity. The date was Friday, October 6, 1972. The place: Hearst Castle, San Simeon. The California State Parks Foundation was staging a firstever fundraiser on the hilltop. Security was informal, and the guests were made to feel as if William Randolph Hearst himself were about to appear. The event was billed as “San Simeon Revisited.” Merv Corning (of Westways fame) illustrated that theme for a stunning poster that everyone got to take home.

Debbie Reynolds was on hand, still a youthful forty in 1972. Bill Hearst also came, the affable second son of his dynamic father; Bill, whom I would later know, was then a jaunty sixty-four. But the celebrity I best recall was Jack Warner. He had just turned eighty and was still a movie mogul of the old school, the head man at Warner Bros. in Burbank. Warner had known Bill Hearst’s father in the 1930s, maybe earlier. W. R. Hearst and Marion Davies had originally been aligned in the film industry with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. As of 1935, they began making their Cosmopolitan Productions through Jack Warner’s studio. The Cosmopolitan-Warners arrangement ran through 1938. One of the Davies pictures was Page Miss Glory (1935); Dick Powell was the leading man. Another was Cain and Mabel (1936), when Marion played opposite Clark Gable. Warner and his wife, Ann Boyar, went to San Simeon during those years. They also saw Mr. Hearst and Miss Davies at Wyntoon after the Cosmopolitan deal ended. In January 1941, while the Hearst-Davies entourage was at that northern estate, Warner sent a wire from Hollywood beginning, “Dear Marion and W. R.” Jack had long been on a first-name basis with those famous hosts. Unfortunately, the Warners were having to cancel. “Can’t tell you how sorry we both feel that we have to remain in this vicinity,” he said, “as we both had our hearts set on leaving here tomorrow night. Love. Best wishes to you both.” There’d be other trips to Wyntoon to offset this intended one, dating from right before World War II. That was who I saw at Hearst Castle on that fall evening in 1972: Jack Warner, a man well-tanned and still fit at eighty, looking trim and natty in his tuxedo, a cigar forever in hand. I was twenty-two. I’d just put in my first summer as a tour guide at San Simeon, and I was already deeply hooked, a devotee of “Hearstiana” who was now undergoing a baptism, with Debbie Reynolds, Bill Hearst, and Jack Warner as my godparents. Cary Grant was there too, but I never saw him (how could he possibly have eluded me?). Before dinner, while everyone enjoyed champagne and hors d’ oeuvres at the Neptune Pool, a band started playing. Was that truly how it was O C T O B E R


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Marion Davies and Jack Warner

in the 1930s heyday, when W. R. and Marion held their casually royal court? We guides, as Parks Foundation hosts for the evening, were dumbstruck, spellbound, all but swept off our feet. Just the same, we kept eyeing the shrimp and other delights on the serving tables. We knew there’d soon be plenty for us as well. Next, still before dinner, we formed small groups to see the upper floors of the Castle, rooms including the private Hearst quarters, the Gothic Suite. I don’t remember whom I drew (it wasn’t Debbie Reynolds). The ladies wore evening dresses and the gents tuxedos; everyone looked dazzling. Dinner was finally announced and we employees withdrew, making our own evening meal of the lavish spread left behind at the pool. We returned to duty afterwards. The guests had dined in the Refectory itself, the grand, medieval hall within the Castle, over which Mr. Hearst and Miss Davies had presided back in their day. And just as in that period, bygone and rightly revered, the guests had smoked as if there were no tomorrow; that’s no longer done, of course, at more recent fundraisers staged by today’s Friends of Hearst Castle, a group I helped found in 1984. But this was 1972. You can think of it as forty years before 2012. Or you can regard it as forty years after the historic moment, in 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt captured the Democratic nomination with key support from the Hearst voting bloc—or even as the year that Jack Warner and his brothers made Winner Take All, starring James Cagney and Marian Nixon. “San Simeon Revisited” fell precisely in the middle of that eighty-year span.

A Retirement Facil I recall standing under the wrought-iron screen adjoining the Refectory. The guests had cleared out; no one was around except for one man; I saw him out of the corner of my eye. It was Jack Warner, committing what at San Simeon amounts to a cardinal sin. Namely, he was lounging in one of the Gothic choir stalls that line the great dining room, puffing on his cigar. On the daily tours, a nudge against those fragile seats could lead to an impassioned scolding, depending on the guide of the hour. But this was October 7, 1972, and no one was about to tell Jack Warner that he was being blasphemous. We looked at each other for a second or two. He kept on puffing, his eyes deep in thought, deep in reflection: he was thinking of olden times, I’m sure, times that few others had known firsthand the way he had. I turned and left the room, leaving Mr. Warner to his own devices. I never saw him again. Today, as I look back on forty years of studying William Randolph Hearst, I sometimes think of Jack Warner, who died in 1978, and that incomparable fall evening. I especially think of him whenever there’s a Warner Bros. movie, whether on TV or in a theater.

It happens without fail: that bold and mighty WB logo, so confident, so powerful, gives me goose bumps every time.



Even though the prospect moving m archives. The photograph of Marionof Davies and Jack Warner (taken in 1935 at Warner future, you owe it to yourself to learn h Bros., Burbank, for the movie Page Miss Glory carefree living in your own home for man and never published until now) is courtesy of

NOTE: Taylor Coffman continued working the Michael Peter Yakaitis Collection, Santa at Hearst Castle until 1983. The author Monica. Your comments or questions are of several books, he’s recently begun a new welcome at; see also project called Hearst and St. Louis, inspired It’s a fact lifeLouis that we get older, Pristine is fully by the former Hearst items in theof Saint Art Museum, one ofsome the Midwest’s finest day-to-day tasks become too licensed and ins repositories. The quote from Jack Warner is much to handle on our own. That All of our worke courtesy of William R. Hearst III’s personal

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history – Part 3

Parker H. French By Joseph A. Carotenuti he, the vendor, sold himself at the same time.” For French, life held more opportunities than merely defrauding merchants. His story concludes. Abandoning his misadventures (and cohorts) in Mexico was typical behavior for French. Now characterized as One-Arm French (or el coto by others), his sights were set on escaping to San Francisco and Sacramento. The flood of gold and the boom of prosperity meant there was an endless supply of clients for his particular talents. Who better to separate fools from their wealth? San Luis Obispo was most likely an unintended stop but stories claim he sailed north on the Hallowell but disembarked at Avila because there was little to eat—or alternatively—he mutinied against a tyrannical captain. Some 30 years later, his sojourn locally still was “well remembered” by residents. Myron Angel recalls some of the French years in his History of San Luis Obispo County (1883). One who remembered the flim-flam man was John J. Simmler—another significant figure mostly ignored in local history. The bi-lingual, one-armed stranger (purposefully attributing incorrectly his handicap was a result of a duel or lost in the Durango prison) declared himself a lawyer and, again, the truth and fiction of history blends as he charmed the nascent settlement with his personality.


rom swindling to banditry to amputation, 1850 was certainly a busy year for Parker H. French and his mounting list of victims. From smooth-talking con man, to scalp-hunter then fugitive, to killer and amputee, a fresh start in a new state could have been a turning point in his sorted life. The turn was only partial.

In Los Angeles when Horace Bell first encountered French—“a most remarkable character”—the lawman recalls in Reminiscences of a Ranger (1881) the “ardent adventurer” had the “musty smell of a Mexican prison.” Soon attired in “elegant vestments” (not paying for them, of course), he at least looked respectable. To Bell, “Parker’s rarest gift was ingratitude. So whenever a person sold anything to him YOUR CENTRAL COAST MORTGAGE CONSULTANT

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Nonetheless, according to Edward McCowan in The Strange, Eventful History of Parker H. French, the quintessential hustler was not through with his fraudulent ways. He relates how French cheated local ranchers William G. Dana and Francis Branch. French “by his plausible manner” convinced the ranchers he would assist them with their cattle sales in San Francisco. While one sale resulted in payment to the owners, another resulted in French keeping the proceeds. Furthermore, in the transactions, he gained control of the Branch property. While this scenario is plausible given French’s expertise in defrauding others, no local records have yet been uncovered to verify the accusations. He remained in the area and in 1853, his legal expertise resulted in the acquittal of the notorious Jack Powers and his gang on a variety of charges. Powers, one of the deadliest bandits of the 1850s, shared French’s ability to charm those he did not rob or kill. French’s popularity continued and he was elected to the State Assembly serving in the 1854 session. Appointed to the powerful and lucrative Ways and Means Committee, French was personally present 80% of the time … a reasonable record for the time. At the time, another “high profile” episode involved protracted litigation with James Lick over property in San Francisco. Considered the wealthiest man in California, Lick donated funds for the observatory (and his tomb) bearing his name.

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His charm was not wasted as in late 1852, French was appointed District Attorney for the County with a handsome annual salary of $500.

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“has no moral qualities to command any degree of confidence in his promises.” He was jailed briefly but, again, explained his way to freedom.

es of history beginning as a newspaper editor of the State Tribune and becoming involved with the quixotic William Walker.

Last noted in the winter of 1876, “a perfect wreck of his former self,” French was an alcoholic who reportedly enjoyed a “modicum of chloroform” with each drink.

Captivated by the revolutionary spirit of the freebooter, French joined the cause to “free” Nicaragua. Unsuited for combat with one arm, he could certainly oversee the treasury. Walker quickly tired of French and sent him packing with the grandiose title Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to the United States. While ignored in Washington, D. C., French was sure to live a lavish life as an ambassador until he threatened to leave the cause or become one of its casualties. Angel seems confused as he mused “Why he (French) became a resident of the quiet county of San Luis Obispo, in view of his character, it would be difficult to surmise.” Obviously, Angel never knew of French’s sordid background. After his legislative stint, French fades from local history, but the man was not destined for obscurity … just yet. One source reports he left California with “lots of money” but returns after remarrying his wife. For the rest of his life (the date of his death is unknown), French rambles through the fring-


From hatching schemes to bilking others, French had long ago convinced himself of his invincibility. Those who accepted his version of the truth simply reaffirmed his lies. However, when the schemes proved empty, the words rang hollow and were ignored, the believers non-existent, the one-armed schemer had depleted the oxygen of his existence. His fading into a deserved, but fiercely resisted, anonymity was inevitable and appropriate. Ultimately, the “transcendent & misguided genius” choose to squander his ability, energy, and perseverance. He exits life as a villainous footnote enamored with the bottom of a whiskey glass and, just possibly, realizing his worse casualty was himself.

His ambassadorial career short lived, French is next found attempting to buy and sell goods during the Civil War, but was considered a spy (albeit harmless) by the Union forces. Arrested in 1861 in Branford, Connecticut, French indignantly told the federal authorities: “I have lectured on temperance and religion; have a class in the Sabbath school; and am courting one of the prettiest girls in Connecticut.” His housekeeper fainted knowing she had served a Confederate spy. Nonetheless, while professing loyalty to the Union, the authorities decide Parker French


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Hospice corner hospice care – frequently asked questions By Megan Prendeville, MSW Administrator


ouldn’t life be great if we knew about every service that is available to us to make life easier as we go though it? And, when we get to the end of life, wouldn’t it be a little bit easier if we knew about the services that are available to get through that final stage? At Hospice Partners, we try to educate the residents of our community about hospice care and end-of-life services. Over the years, we hear many of the same questions concerning hospice. Here are some of those frequently asked questions:

is also an option. At Hospice Partners, about 50% of the patients who come onto our hospice service contacted us directly for information and an evaluation, prior to any discussion with their physicians.

Are all hospices the same?

Does hospice provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Is caring for the patient at home the only place hospice care can be delivered? No. Hospice patients can receive care in their personal residences, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, board and care facilities and inpatient hospice units/facilities.

No. Most of the 4,500 hospices in the United States are licensed to provide a comprehensive program that includes medical care as well as emotional and spiritual support. Many communities have more than one licensed and certified hospice. There are both non-profit and for-profit hospices in the United States. Medicare requires that all certified hospices provide a basic level of care, but the quantity and quality of all services can vary from one hospice to another. Hospice Partners is a non-profit, state licensed, Medicare and MediCal certified Hospice Agency that goes beyond the basic Medicare requirements by providing quality, state-of-the-art hospice care to the residents of our community.

Generally, no. Hospice care does not include a nurse in the home 24/7. Qualified hospice staff is on call for emergencies 24 hours a day. The patient will have periodic visits from the hospice team which, at Hospice Partners, includes physicians, nurses, home health aides, medical social workers, dietitians, therapists, spiritual and bereavement counselors, hospice musicians and volunteers.

Should patients and families wait for their physician to bring up the subject of hospice?

If the patient is not covered by Medicare or any other health insurance, will hospice still provide care?

People need information to make informed decisions. Patients and families should feel free to initiate the discussion with their physician on the possibility of hospice care as an option. Some physicians are hesitant about bringing up the subject; but once the subject is broached, they usually are comfortable in discussing hospice as a positive course of care for patients who meet the criteria. Contacting a licensed and Medicare-certified hospice agency for information and an evaluation



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What specific assistance does hospice provide? In addition to comprehensive medical care and emotional and spiritual support, hospices provide medications, supplies, equipment, and other services related to the terminal illness.

If there appears to be no coverage, the first thing licensed hospices will do is to assist families in finding out whether the patient is eligible for any coverage they may not be aware of. Most non-profit hospices will provide for anyone who cannot pay using money raised from the community through donations, fundraising events, bequests and grants. Hospice Partners will not turn away qualified hospice patients who have no insurance or means of payment.


What if the patient gets better? If the patient’s condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, patients can be discharged (“graduated”) from hospice and return to aggressive therapy or go on about their daily life. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most private insurance will allow additional coverage for this purpose.



Does hospice provide any help to the family after the patient dies? Yes. Most licensed hospices provide continuing contact and support for family members for at least a year following the death of a loved one. In addition, some hospices, including Hospice Partners, provide bereavement support for anyone in the community who has experienced a death of a family member, a friend, or similar loss, regardless of whether the person died on hospice. For answers to additional questions, visit our website at, click on “Our Services” and then “Frequently Asked Questions.” This monthly Hospice Corner is sponsored by Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Megan Prendeville, MSW is the Administrator at Hospice Partners. For more information, call (805) 782-8608.

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD THEME: FOOTBALL ACROSS 1. Writer _____ Asimov 6. *Quality of a football lineman 9. Shakespeare, e.g. 13. Stallion’s cry 14. University of Rhode Island 15. Used in printing 16. Gymnast Comaneci 17. Man’s tasseled hat 18. Unlace 19. FEMA help, e.g. 21. *He’s now a Bronco 23. *Defensive ___ 24. Deal with it 25. *It airs Sunday night football 28. Silage holder 30. *Last year’s BCS runner-up 35. Having wings 37. *NCAA’s initial ____-team playoff 39. Academy in Annapolis

40. Welt 41. Yesteryears 43. *1977 football flick, “____ Tough” 44. Type of acid 46. Manufactured 47. “____ and proper” 48. Pollute 50. “The ____ Show” (1976-1980) 52. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” band 53. Film shot 55. Dog command 57. *Tide’s color 61. Not very far 64. Raja’s wife 65. Major time period 67. Water nymph 69. Beginning of illness 70. ENT’s first concern? 71. Ownership document 72. Jolie’s other half 73. *Conference of last 6 college champs

74. *Pittsburgh’s “_____ Curtain” DOWN 1. Overnight lodging 2. Make very hot and dry 3. ____-de-camp 4. *Quality of a good player 5. *Moves with each first down 6. It makes a car shine 7. Wrath 8. Most famous gremlin 9. Capital of West Germany, 1949-1989 10. Unfavorable prefix 11. Seabiscuit control 12. Small amount of residue 15. Go to NPR, e.g. 20. Enlighten 22. Suitable 24. Quality of a good soldier 25. Muslim ruler, respectfully 26. What scapegoat is given 27. Shorter than California 29. Used for weaving

31. *Tackler’s breath? 32. Each and all 33. Chinese silk plant 34. Takes off weight 36. *Nevada Wolf Pack’s home 38. Do over 42. Touch is one of these 45. Starting time 49. One from Laos 51. *Brother of #21 Across is a leader of this team 54. Genuflecting joints 56. Loyalty to the loyal, e.g. 57. Farmer’s output 58. Alternate spelling of #64 Across 59. In or of the present month 60. Athletic event 61. Narcotics agent 62. Evander Holyfield’s ear mark 63. *Ivy League’s Bulldogs 66. Charlotte of “Facts of Life” fame 68. Ctrl+Alt+___



Journal PLUS



palm street perspective the cost of public service By SLO City Councilman, Andrew Carter

expected to be writing this article in the midst of a mayoral campaign. But as most readers know, I withdrew from the San Luis Obispo mayoral race for the simple reason that I cannot financially afford to re-up for another six to eight years of public service. I do plan to serve out the remaining two years of my city council term. At that point, I will be termed out and someone else will be elected to take my place.


When I was elected to city council in 2006, I was employed full-time at CellularOne of San Luis Obispo. I was the Sales and Marketing Manager there and was making a head of household income.

I’ve enjoyed my time on city council. It’s been the most rewarding experience of my professional career. I believe I’ve done a good job. I’ve certainly saved the community a lot of money thanks to my leadership of the Measure A and B initiatives last year. The repeal of binding arbitration and the authority granted by the citizens to initiate public employee pension reform have enabled council to negotiate new employee contracts which will save the city over $3 million a year.

Why have I not been able to find another full-time job? Because I’m employed as a council member. Companies in San Luis Obispo know how much time fulfilling that responsibility takes. They wonder how I would have enough time to work effectively for them while also serving on council. Some companies also worry about the potential conflict of interest which might be involved. That’s the case if they do business with the city or hope to influence city decisions.

So let me talk about the financial cost of public service.

Over the course of the last four years, I’ve been told numerous times I would be “perfect” for a position if I weren’t on city council. I’ve also been asked if I would resign my council seat in order to take a position. I’ve been unwilling to do that. The problem, of course, is that city council pays just $11,388 a year. Not a lot for anyone, especially for someone like me with four kids, two of whom are in college.

CellularOne closed its doors in 2008. It was sold to AT&T and all local positions, including mine, were eliminated. I have not been able to find full-time employment since, although I do teach part-time at Cuesta College.

The financial impact to my family and me since 2008 has been about $20,000 a year in increased debt, with parent loans for college on top of that. My wife and I have also spent over $30,000 of retirement savings to pay our bills.



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So how much time does serving on city council take? Right now, it’s at least a 30-hour-a-week commitment, and some of us spend 40 hours or more a week at it. The time requirement has been increasing throughout my years in office. Given the time commitment, does $11,388 per year represent reasonable compensation? I don’t think so. My personal belief is that council members should be paid $40,000 a year. Enough to live on, but not enough to get rich on. $40,000 is what council members in Santa Barbara are currently paid. A decision to significantly increase council wages is not likely to be made during my final two years in office. Even if such a decision were made, per city charter, that decision could not be implemented until after an ensuing council election—thus after I leave office. My personal belief is that any major change in council compensation should be directly approved by the electorate. The situation we have now is that only a select group of people can afford to serve on city council—retired people, those who are independently wealthy, those who own a business which they can leave in a paid manager’s hands, and those who have a spouse who can shoulder the financial burden. I’m not sure it’s wise for us to exclude most working-age people. Despite the financial cost, I look forward to my final two years on council and I thank everyone for the opportunity to serve.



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


W h a t ’s U p New Business News

October 2012

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ith a successful Concerts in the Plaza season now behind us, we turn our promotions efforts to a slate of exciting and popular activities that will continue to attract people to Downtown and enjoy all that we have to offer.

’m proud to introduce the team starting with Brent Vanderhoof who’s been on board since 2006. Figuring out how to talk about Brent’s accomplishments in one paragraph definitely presents a challenge: as the Administrative Assistant, he also serves as the office manager his month, I’d like to take the opportunity to and gate keeper, he’s the Lead Organizer for Taste share with readers about the “machine” that of San Luis® and oversees nearly every detail of churns out some of the area’s finest, first-rate and running the daily operations including laying out high-profile annual events. That entity would be this section of the magazine. He is the office ‘glue,’ Deborah Cash, CMSM, my staff. From the outside looking in, most people and my right hand person. Executive Director are amazed to learn that my team of five, one a More than that, Brent has part-timer, is responsible for 14 concerts, a full complete dedication to not only the slate of Holiday activities including the county’s largest position but to the organization and to parade, Thursday Night Farmers’ Market, special events all Downtown—in fact, he’s a Downtown year long at the market, Taste of San Luis®, Beautification resident and wouldn’t have it any other Awards, and lots more. Yes, along with the guidance way. Off duty, you might find Brent and in some cases, participation, of committees and the running through the streets and hills assistance of volunteers and interns, my staff and I are training for this marathon or that halfproud of what we achieve in terms of the organization’s marathon or whatever’s coming up; he mission: to create an economically viable Downtown. has amazing energy that is evident in Brent Vanderhoof


On the Cover: Lil' goblins, jesters, and even their costume-clad parents joined the fun at last year's Downtown Hallowe'en Costume Contest. This year, festivities begin at 5:00PM on October 25 at Thursday Night Farmers’ Market with the Downtown Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Walk, Costume Contest and new to the lineup of activities, "The Munchkin March" (starts at in Mission Plaza and then marches through the market from Broad Street to Chorro Street where the Costume Contest is held.) Trick or treat bags and maps with locations of participating businesses will be available at the Downtown Association information booth and sign up for the contest on Chorro Street starting at 6:15PM. For more information or to view a photo gallery of last year's contest entries, visit Special thanks to returning event sponsors: Trick - or - Treat - Sean M. Lee Broker, GRI. THE REAL ESTATE COMPANY, Costume Contest - Yogurt Creations. Photo by Deborah Cash

SLO Downtown Association Presents...

Hallowe’en Festivities @ Thursday Night Promotions Farmers’ Market

T h u r s d ay , O c t o b e r 2 5 D o w n t o w n T r i c k - o r - T r e at

Sponsored by: Sean

M. Lee, Broker, GRI .


KIDS! SAFE and FUN Trick - or - Treating in participating Downtown Businesses 5 - 8 PM. Maps and treat bags at the corner of Chorro and Higuera streets.

Hallowe’en costume contest

Sponsored by:

Yogurt Creations

Goblins and Princesses wanted! Get creative and compete for some ‘wickedly’ cool prizes. Age groups: 0 - 2, 3 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, and Pairs (can include older children, parents and pets!) Sign - ups begin at 5 PM at the corner of Chorro and Higuera streets, contest runs from 6:15 - 8 PM.

Munchkin March Brought to you by: City of SLO Parks & Recreation

and Mindful Mothers Children and their families will meet in Mission Plaza at 5 PM and parade through Downtown Farmers’ Market at 6 PM. Come early for a treat bag and take a photo in the photo booth for a small fee. Parade participants are asked to bring a can of food or monetary donation for the Food Bank.

(805) 541 - 0286 or for more info

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on Downtown whether it’s the aforementioned summer music series, all the holiday activities including Santa’s House, the Carousel, the 100-entry holiday parade, and this month’s Hallowe’en Downtown Trick or Treating and Costume Contest. Sarah usually has several balls in the air as event-planning stages overlap and require a lot of shifting gears throughout the day. One minute we’re talking about a theme for the holiday activities, and then reviewing the financials from the Concerts the next. Sarah has gained a lot of respect from many sectors of the community—media, sponsors, vendors, musicians, suppliers…she loves people and loves getting things done. A winning combination! Favorite pet: black lab.

his work. Favorite pet: dachshund.


iana Cotta also joined the team in 2006 and has served as the Thursday Night Promotions (TNP) Event Coordinator, or as I think of her, Coordinator in Chief. This lady runs a tight ship with professionalism and personality; that a single person with a part time assistant, a market Diana Cotta assistant and an intern or two can pull off the “world famous” weekly activity like she does is hard to believe. Diana oversees applications, entertainment, scheduling, set up, take down, working with security and City agencies, information booth…her organization skills are impeccable and while she’s very approachable, her no-nonsense stance is highly respected on the street. Because we often have to divvy up duties that aren’t exactly “in the job description,” Diana has become our Human Resources and Insurance czar as well. Diana has a master’s degree in Counseling & Guidance. Favorite pet: rabbit.


oey Chavez’s title has still not solidified, much like his job description. For now, it’s Special Projects, Social Media, Volunteer Coordinator, Voluntary Membership Joey Chavez Coordinator and at least one or two other things. Joey, a graduate of University of New Mexico, performs a widely diverse slate of assignments that he’s streamlined efficiently and successfully. When a new project comes up, such as the Downtown Lighting, it was Joey who came Downtown at 4 AM to videotape the construction and later on, grabbed his toolbox and installed the sponsorship


romotions Coordinator Sarah Ragan started her stint with our organization as an intern four years ago. Now a Cal Poly graduate, Sarah is in charge of the “big deals” you see going Sarah Ragan

Continued next page

20th annual

Taste of San Luis ® Thank You For Another Spectacular Year! Our Fabulous Vendors:

2nd Chance Winery Adelaida Cellars Apple Farm Restaurant & Bakery Baba Foods SLO Baileyana Winery Bianchi Winery Big Sky Café BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery Castoro Cellars Cattaneo Bros. Cayucos Cellars Center of Effort Winery Chamisal Vineyards Chateau Margene Winery

Chino’s Rock & Tacos Ciopinot Seafood Grille Claiborne & Churchill Winery Cowboy Cookie N’ Grub Creeky Tiki Bar & Grill DiFronzo Vineyards Eberle Winery Edna Valley Vineyard Eureka! Burger F. McLintock’s Saloon Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Hearst Ranch Winery House of Bread Justin Vineyards & Winery

Our Amazing Donors & Volunteers: Aleigh Hogan Banana Republic Ben Miller Bill Gaines Audio Brittnay Marr Caitlyn Sanders City of San Luis Obispo

Creeky Tiki Bar & Grill Crystal Springs Water Eddie Gomez Edgar Garcia Erin Gray Jen Klein Jennifer Behrens Jess Ballard

John Forsberg Julie Losche Kathy Collins Keith Tracy Kelsey Wilson Kias Porter Lacee Nordstrom Lacy Neal

A very special thank you to our wine glass sponsor: Founders Community Bank

Kynsi Winery Laetitia Vineyard & Winery Lotus Asia’s Best Luna Red Mama’s Meatball Mo | Tav Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ Novo Restaurant & Lounge Old San Luis BBQ Company Palazzo Giuseppe RAKU Japanese Fusion Cuisine Saucelito Canyon Vineyard SeaVenture Restaurant Sidecar

SLO Brew Spike’s Pub Splash Café ~ Artisan Bakery Spyglass Inn Restaurant/ Rose’s Landing Still Waters Vineyards Sugar Daddy’s Bake Shop Summerwood Winery & Inn Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Talley Vineyards Tap It Brewing Thai Palace Tolosa Winery Treana & Hope Family Wines

Laetitia Vineyard & Winery Leah Rutdledge Luna Red Megan Cassidy Melissa Barton Samantha Periera Scott Thompson Sherry Wright

Stan Carpenter Stephanie Johnson Stephen Patrick Tim Barnes TJ May Todd LeMay

Two Cooks Catering Vina Robles Winery WCP Cellars Wolff Vineyards Wood Winery

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ecently, we added a part time position, TNP Operations Assistant, to help Diana at the Thursday night market, particularly now that we’re able to provide electricity to some of the vendors. Joel McClain came on board this past summer and brings his military background into the mix with his extreme efficiency and ability to think things through,

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n addition, we also have two other market staffers: Bryson Bailey, who helps with set up, take down and mans the info booth, and Evan Carr who brings Downtown Brown to life and dispenses Joel McClain hugs and high fives to all the kids.


o, I want to express publicly my gratitude and appreciation for these terrific, hard-working and dedicated employees who run quite a show, without a show…around Downtown.

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wanted a location that mimicked the Farmers' Markets with little to no seating where guests could pick up their food and choose where to eat.

Old San Luis BBQ Company Matt Pearce, Owner 670 Higuera St, Suite B. (805) 285 – 2473 OldSanLuisBBQ

Step right up to the newly opened Old San Luis BBQ Company’s walkup window and enjoy a delicious Matt Pearce meal handmade with old family recipes. Venturing from Simi Valley, Pearce moved to San Luis to pursue his degree in civil engineering at Cal Poly. After graduating, he began a career as a design engineer at Diablo Canyon. Nearly five years later, Pearce decided he would follow his dream to open a restaurant. Pearce had been renting a kitchen in Atascadero and was selling his tasty food at Farmers’ Markets around the area. As Old San Luis BBQ Company became popular to many people within the markets, Pearce decided it was time to open a storefront. And he thought, “There’s no better place to open than in San Luis Obispo’s breathtaking Downtown.” So, when it came time to open his restaurant, Pearce

CornerStone Real Estate

Tim Gayda, Steve Weiss, David Fuentes and Carl Tyler (not pictured); Owners 559 Marsh Street (805) 543 – 8500


his quick response to direction and his desire to be helpful. We appreciate and learn more about Joel as each week goes by. Favorite pet: Springer Spaniel

plaques on the tree grates (harder than it looked). He keeps the world informed about our organization and events via internet; he coordinates the huge numbers of volunteers we rely on throughout the year and, best of all, he never gets flustered. Favorite pet: dachshunds.

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Customers can look forward to experiencing family recipes dating back to the 1920s cooked in the authentic Santa Maria style. Some of Pearce's signature dishes include tritip and chicken grilled over a red oak barbecue, locally farmed vegetables, local artisan sausages, corn pie, freshly made salads and plenty more to please your taste buds. Old San Luis BBQ Co. is conveniently located on the corner of Higuera St. and Nipomo St. in Downtown SLO. Old San Luis BBQ Company is the perfect place to stop and pick up food after work or before you make your way to Thursday Nights Farmers’ Market. Feel free to grab-n-go or relax and savor each bite on the patio seating provided. Old San Luis BBQ Company is open daily. Monday – Sunday; 11:00AM to 9:00PM. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 11:00AM to 2:00AM. By: Lacee Nordstrom Today, the main branch is located in Shell Beach and affiliates with a branch in Santa Maria. The name of the company was established through a masonic meaning; the cornerstone is the most important building block for any foundation on which the entire building rests upon. You can find CornerStone Real Estate’s booth at Thursday Night Promotions at Farmers’ Market to ask questions and get a jumpstart on your search for housing.

For anyone searching for a home, investment or land, CornerStone Real Estate offers San Luis David Fuentes, Tim Gayda & Steve Weiss Obispo and Northern Santa Open seven days a week, regular business hours, Barbara County a full service real estate solution. CornerStone Real Estate has agents ready for action Cornerstone Real Estate and their agents are dedicated at your convenience. Additional appointments can be to placing clients’ needs as their top priority with the scheduled as needed. All agents are trained professionals highest regard to ethical values and standards. with essential experience in the real estate business. Located at 559 Marsh Street, across from the Historic Jack Owners Tim Gayda, David Fuentes, Carl Tyler House. The office can be reached at 805-543-8500. Or and Steve Weiss are proud to be located in visit their website at beautiful Downtown SLO, as the area is the ideal access to both north and south counties. By: Lacee Nordstrom CornerStone Real Estate originated in the early 1980s.

Our Schools:

the presidential candidates and education By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


e regularly hear from President Obama and Governor Romney about their beliefs and proposals for the economy, for increasing employment and how to maintain national security. I believe there is a direct correlation between our ability to provide a high quality education for all students and each of the above three issues. Our country’s ability to provide a welleducated and skilled workforce is a major factor in both our economic health and individual employment opportunities. Also, our ability to compete internationally in the global marketplace with emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math clearly has a direct relationship to the perceived strength and influence of our country on the international stage. So what do the two candidates have to say about education? Actually, there are several areas of general agreement, although you probably would not know it to read the party platforms. Both candidates say that education is important for individuals and the country and they agree that improvement in our schools is needed, but for perhaps different reasons. The other commonality is that education is clearly a second tier issue for both candidates, behind the economy and job expansion and national security. Consider these three issues in education for each candidate.

2. No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) This Act is one of the two main vehicles for current federal influence and funding for our local public schools. The other significant federal program is the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) that addresses the needs of students with disabilities. It is important to remember that NCLB was signed into law in 2002 by President George W. Bush with strong bi-partisan support. There continues to be a level of very general support by both parties as well as agreement that there are some significant improvements that need to be made. Both parties support transparent accountability for student achievement and also agree that the current expectation for all students to be “above average� by 2014 is unrealistic. NCLB could be seen as the symbol for the role of the federal government in education and on this point there is a difference. The Democratic Party supports a continued active role for the federal government to intervene in failing schools and to ensure educational opportunity for all students. The Republican Party favors less federal



control and more emphasis on state and local governance and control. When he ran for the senate in Massachusetts, Governor Romney supported the abolishment of the US Department of Education, but that is no longer the case.

3. Teacher Unions This is an area of clear difference between the parties. The Republican party seeks to limit the influence of teacher unions and is critical of unions as an impediment to school reform. Governor Romney has been very vocal in his criticism of teacher unions and their opposition to paying teachers based on student achievement. The Democratic party does not refer to teacher unions in their platform but rather expresses support for all teachers. Traditionally, teacher unions have been significant contributors to Democratic candidates and that appears to be the case in this election. Even with this difference on the role of teacher unions, both parties agree on the need to have some part of the teacher evaluation system based on student achievement. This support of including student achievement as part of the evaluation system for teachers has raised great concern from the unions, but not enough to change their support for President Obama. In summary, the differences between the two presidential candidates on education are primarily matters of degree. Both candidates recognize the importance of education and the need to continue to improve our schools. They disagree on how best to cause this improvement to happen.

1. Charter Schools and School Choice There is general agreement from both men on the concept of parent choice in education, but at significantly different levels. Governor Romney proposes a wide range of options for parents including charter schools, virtual schools (on-line), home schooling and vouchers for private schools all of which would be funded with public funds. President Obama also supports options, but primarily within the existing education structure and under approval and some control by local or state authorities. These options also include charter schools as well as magnet schools and career academies. O C T O B E R


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new exhibits at slo children’s museum

The SLO Children’s Museum has installed exciting new exhibits to increase children’s love of science and learning. Each of these exhibits showcases the collaborative relationship the museum has with the Cal Poly Engineering Department. Now, four new exhibits have been added to the mix, including The LEGO DUPLO™ Dam, Pedal Power, Spinny Disc, and Fun with Ferrofluids exhibits, which can all be found on the ground floor of the museum. The LEGO DUPLO™ Dam was installed in the restored sluice by local members of Cal Poly’s Engineers Without Borders and managed by Cannon, a San Luis Obispo-based engineering consulting firm that has been an active supporter of the Children’s Museum. Engineers Without Borders is a national nonprofit organization committed to communitydriven, sustainable engineering projects. The exhibit allows children to explore the power of water by manipulating its flow and form. Pedal Power showcases the force created by gear ratios, and challenges visitors to “lift” a small ping-pong ball upward in a clear tube. The Spinny Disc table encourages children to attempt to balance and spin different objects on a spinning turntable. Fun with Ferrofluids invites interactions with various magnetic materials, including an opportunity to manipulate magnetic fluid to create beautiful and artistic patterns. The museum inspires learning through play for children ages 2-10, and is located at 1010 Nipomo St. in downtown SLO. Program and activity information can be found at or by calling (805) 545-5874.

2012 Cambria scarecrow festival

San Luis Obispo’s Best Kept Secret Power Carts Senior Discount (55) • 10 Play C ards • Tournaments Welcome • •

Tee Times on our website: or call 805-781-7309

11175 Los Osos Valley Road, SLO

Bill Mott

Loan Officer / DRE Lic #01359516

805.234.5081 O C T O B E R


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For the entire month of October, over 250 of the most amazing, artistic and liveliest scarecrows will be taking up residence throughout Cambria’s East & West Villages and Moonstone Beach Drive. Cambria will celebrate the arrival of the scarecrows with food, music and fun during Harvest Festival the 2nd weekend in October. Check out our website at for updates. Or, ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook (facebook/cambriascarecrows) to receive regular updates and be entered for a chance to win a free bottle of wine! Contact: Taylor Hilden Phone: 909-9000 or Sue Robinson 927-2597 Web site:

heart association walk to honor rob bryn

The American Heart Association (AHA) will host its 20th Annual SLO Heart Walk at the Avila Beach Promenade and Bob Jones Trail on Saturday, October 13th. The event is one of the AHA’s largest fundraisers, committed to honoring local heart disease and stroke survivors. This year, the annual Heart Walk will be dedicated to Robert Bryn, former Sherriff’s Public Information Officer who lost his life to cardiac arrest due to coronary artery disease on March 12th. Festivities will begin at 9 am and opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 am. The non-competitive 5k walk aims to raise $155,000 and the AHA is urging SLO families, companies and employees to join the celebration and take a stand against heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death in San Luis. For more information or registering, contact Emily Reneau at (805) 602-0435 or or go directly to

slo Film festival/women’s legacy fund fundraiser

The SLO International Film Festival (SLOIFF) is teaming up once again with the Women’s Legacy Fund (WLF) to present a unique evening of film, fun and conversation on Wednesday, October 10th, at. 7:30 p.m., at the Fremont Theatre in downtown SLO. This is a free screening, with a suggested donation of $15 with proceeds to benefit both organizations. The focus of the event is a new documentary, Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story, which chronicles the true story behind the books, movies and TV shows that made “Gidget” a household name. The original “Gidget,” Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, will be in attendance to talk about the challenges and the excitement of inadvertently becoming an inspirational icon for several new generations of female athletes now participating in traditional male sports. A meet-and-greet reception will precede the screening for up to 70 guests with a fee of $50. To purchase reception tickets: or (805) 546-3456. These tickets include reserved seating and are limited to 70 guests. Individual movie tickets for the 900-seat Fremont Theatre will be available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. and seats can be reserved by email:

golf tournament nets $8000 for hospice

While remembering Dan McCornack’s humor and love of golf, members of the McCornack Family wanted to give back to one of the organizations that helped them through their loss. The 4th Annual Dan McCornack Golf Tournament at Chalk Mountain Golf Course on Aug. 4 raised $8,000 to benefit Hospice of SLO County. Funds will go to support grief counseling, support groups, community education and training exclusively in the agency’s Paso Robles location, said Kris Kington-Barker, executive director of Hospice SLO. Hospice SLO serves all of SLO County, with its main office located at 304 Pacific Street, SLO. For more information, please visit



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M a i n ta i n i n g E xcEllEn c E

Gary A. Sage License No. 0E02096 100 Cross Street, Suite 203 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

helistop at sierra vista medical center

Sierra Vista Medical Center was recently licensed for helistop delivery atop of its 5-story parking structure. A helistop is a temporary landing site where the helicopter must land, load or unload a patient, and then fly off again. The $1.8 million project, sized to accommodate helicopters up to the size of a Blackhawk military transport is for emergency use only. The helistop will be a critical factor in the safety of SLO County for transportation of critically ill babies to and from the Sierra Vista Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, trauma and other critical patients, and disaster preparedness in the event of a natural disaster requiring emergency transport of patients or supplies. Last March, Sierra Vista was designated as the first-ever Trauma Center by SLO County. Pictured above with the first helicopter landing are SVMC Administrators, Ron Yukelson, Candy Markwith and Joseph DeSchryver.

(805) 593-1400 (805) 593-1401 fax (805) 593-1413 direct (805) 235-1043 cell

new building for Family Care Network

The Family Care Network (FCN) organization recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new facility out near the SLO Airport. Earlier in this special day Family Care Network was honored by the SLO County Board of Supervisors for 25 years of service. Pictured above is FCN’s founder and CEO, Jim Roberts and many of the staff and friends celebrating the first dig on the property site.

D ressing Windows in San Luis Obispo for over 39 Years

Alan “Himself” O C T O B E R

alan’s draperies 544-9405 2012

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Haunted jack house

Join the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department for the annual Haunted Jack House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 21 and Sunday, October 28. Explore the Historic Jack House, 536 Marsh Street, as Victorian charm meets haunted fun. Tour the dimly-lit Haunted Jack House for $5 (free for children under 12) while learning Jack family history. The Jack Family lived in the home for nearly 100 years, but it has been many a decade since anyone occupied the old place and there are still many stories to tell. For more information, contact the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department at (805) 781-7300 or visit the City’s website at



eye on Business

economic forecast offers 2013 heads up By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates


very year, there’s a countywide economic forecast event held in San Luis Obispo County and attended by nearly 500 local business, government and non profit organization leaders. The Central Coast Economic Forecast (CCEF) is always enlightening and eye opening; some years fostering hope in the local economy and others giving us counsel to hunker down and wait for better times. I usually write about the event after the fact, sharing the insight and projections of the forecasters. But this round I want to change things up and write about it ahead of the upcoming November 9th event date. I may not know what the speakers will say, but I do know the information will be terribly useful and very important.

Business—from local to the international arena—has been on an exhausting roller coaster ride of ups and downs since 2008 (for some, even before that). There’s not an industry or organization that hasn’t felt the sting. And while in some quarters today business is improving, in others it’s still languishing and in a painful few it will never be back.

and Oakland and the LA Unified School District and moves on to the California Mortgage Association, the American Institute of CPAs, the Sacramento Kings and Kaiser Permanente. Chris will focus on the national and state scene. New to the dais this year is Jordan Levine, Beacon’s director of economic research. The UCSB alum who received an MA in International Economics from the University of Sussex is as skilled at providing analysis as he is offering comment to the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Jordan will review local indicators—employment, building statistics, consumer spending and more, integrate it with on-the-ground interviews with local industry leaders, and then offer a briefing on what-to-expect in the coming year. That kind of information is gold: it offers an educated means of trying to stay ahead of the curve.

who might be interested saves the date (November 9) and plans to attend. I feel strongly because I remember a time when this kind of solid information wasn’t available in SLO County. I remember pasting together numbers from three-year-old retail sales tax reports, trying to figure out the real estate market and calling hotels one by one to get a sense of how tourism was doing. We all did a lot of guessing and while there’s still no certainty guaranteed, at least now we can make decisions based on real world, real time information. That seems like something to write about. Find out more at

We are here for you.

In the middle of it all comes the Central Coast Economic Forecast. Why is this event important? For me, there are a number of reasons. The caliber of the speakers and the quality of the information just gets better and better. Start with the masterful and entertaining MC duties performed by Bob Wacker of RE Wacker Associates. Bob is fast and funny on his feet, asks questions that keeps the experts on their toes and knows how to keep a program moving.

And rounding the program out is a local favorite, John Myers. John was a long-ago reporter and news anchor at KSBY TV whose career took him to Sacramento and a post at KQED Public Radio. He became the go-to guy for analyzing Sacramento politics, filing stories through the popular California Report. When Sacramento-based KXTV News 10 created a position just for John, he jumped at the chance to return to TV as the station’s political editor. John will be addressing the CCEF just three days after the General Election and with some big issues on the California ballot, his presentation is certain to be a barnburner.

And the experts this year are quite expert. Chrism Thornberg, founding principal of Beacons Economics, is familiar to Central Coast audiences. He’s brash and confident, which he can get away with because he’s so knowledgeable. Chris’ firm is recognized throughout California for its spot-on forecasting. Beacon’s clients include a who’s who of public and private sectors organizations starting with the State of California’s Office of the Controller, the Cities of Los Angeles

You might get the feeling I’m a big believer in the CCEF. I am. I’ve been on the board for a number of years and I continue to be impressed with what a group of volunteers can do to generate such a valuable program for our community. We have the support of dozens of local sponsors who fund the research and the November presentation. I’m not writing about the program to hustle ticket sales—those take care of themselves. I’m writing about it now to make sure anyone

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COMMUNITY our weathercaster says a mild El Nino is stirring offshore. It means a dry winter according to the weather bureau or a wet year according to farmers. Our forecaster says wet. He keeps peace with his veggie farming grandmother.


october is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

By Phyllis Benson

california dogs that moved from shelters to stardom include

“On Halloween, witches come true; Wild ghosts escape from dreams. Each monster dances in the park....” —Nicholas Gordon

canine stars of Benji, Old Yeller, and Mad About You.

october 1912: Political candidate Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by a saloon-keeper. In his coat pocket an eyeglass case and his thick 50-page manuscript of the evening’s speech slowed the bullet.

oktoberfest: In Munich, the famous festival starts in September, but our barber says by golly Americans know the beer party belongs in October.

our historian says Roosevelt was long-winded and the speech was thick enough to stop anything except the Bull Moose.

craft beers, cheese tasting, and harvest festivals start at one end

National Storytelling Festival. Yarn-spinners gather to swap tales and story lovers gather to listen.

of the county and amble to the other end. Pick a weekend and head out to see leaves fall and beverages flow in the autumn days.

Poet William Blake said, “A good local pub has much in common

with a church, except that a pub is warmer, and there’s more conversation.”

october: Storytellers travel to Tennessee for the 40th annual

california offers its own tall tales. Sierra folks swap stories of

Tahoe Tessie. Tribes in the 19th century reported seeing a large serpentine lake-dwelling fish-eating creature. Recent sightings by police officers and kayakers describe a 60-foot snake-like shape bobbing through the Lake Tahoe waters.

This month birthdays include novelist Michael Crichton, singer Minnie Pearl, actor Bela Lugosi, cowgirl Dale Evans, and entertainer Johnny Carson.

tessie may be a myth, but she became a cartoon logo for Tahoebased companies. The popular Tahoe character is good for business.

october 1962: Johnny Carson took Jack Paar’s place as The Tonight

october 1976: Swine Flu Fever, closely related to the pandemic 1918 flu, spurred the largest immunization program in American history.

Columbus day marks the Christopher Columbus landing in the

swine flu surfaced again this year with the first fatality in August. The current flu strain is spread by pigs to people, but not people to people. Health officials advise, “Don’t pet the pigs.”

Show host. Carson hosted the show for three decades. He said, “People will pay more to be entertained than educated.”

New World.

golfer lee trevino said, “Columbus went around the world in 1492. That isn’t a lot of strokes when you consider the course.”

october 1962: A cyclone slammed into Northern California,

this week we peel apples for pies and share slices with the dogs. The apples are okay, but the real pooch fun is next month when ripe jack-o-lanterns turn into dog treats. Enjoy your boo-tiful October.

Oregon, and Washington with winds up to 150 miles per hour. The Columbus Day Storm killed over 30 people, damaged over 50,000 dwellings, and flattened over 15 billion board feet of timber.

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October 2012 Journal Plus  

October 2012 Journal Plus