SHELLEY WHEELER | ELIE AXELROTH | CALL TO THE COLORS | JONNY BENTON
Journal NOVEMBER 2015
MAGAZINE OF THE CENTRAL COAST
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Love to entertain? Need extra room and space? This beauty will amaze you with all of the space and upgraded features! Old Avocado Ranch is a beautiful neighborhood located in the beach community of Oceano at the Arroyo Grande city limits. Home boasts an open floor plan, gourmet kitchen, wired for HD surround sound, fireplace, large back patio with gas line for BBQing, alarm, and much more. There are a total of 5 rooms which can be used as bedrooms, office, guest quarters, etc. $549,000
Nice Beach Cottage in Morro Heights. This two bedroom, one bath sports a nice private fenced back yard and a white picket fence in the front. Great starter or weekender. All Close to the business area of Morro Bay. $519,000
High on a hill above the Village of Arroyo Grande. Breathtaking views of valley and hillsides. Entertain with style from this gorgeous 3 bedroom. Beautiful indoor kitchen plus outdoor kitchen with lighted covered patio off the dining room. Great room with natural lighting and vaulted wood beam ceilings opening onto expansive deck. Custom firepit seating area next to the Bocce Ball Court. Garden Room. 1.25 acre. $898,000
I n D e m a n d - L o s Ve r d e s Pa r k I . T h r e e b e d r o o m , t w o b a t h f r e e s t a n d ing unit with a fireplace and two car garage, across the street from the tennis courts. Other amenities include a year round swimming pool, newly upgraded g ym and over three acres of open space with a playground. All this priced at $469,000
This home has it all! Built in 1993, with many upgrades throughout! This 1600 Square foot Double Wide plus, is in Beautiful condition inside and out! 3 Br, 2 Ba plus a bonus sun room. Nice quiet location within popular Laguna Lake Estates, well located All Age Park in San Luis Obispo. Skylights and Cathedral ceilings. New wood decking and stairs. Extra wide carport area, 12â€™ X 8â€™ storage shed. $225,000
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ADVERTISING Steve Owens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. James Brescia, Sarah Hedger, Maggie Cox, Will Jones, Deborah Cash, Heather Young, Don Morris, Ruth Starr, Rebecca LeDuc, Charmaine Coimbra, Sherry Shahan, Gordon Fuglie, Gail Pruitt, Carlyn Christianson and Stephanie Wilbanks. 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 email@example.com. View the entire magazine on our website at www.slojournal.com JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is a free monthly distributed to over 600 locations throughout the Central Coast and is also available online at slojournal.com 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 PHOTO PROVIDED BY WILL JONES
PEOPLE 8 10 12 14 16
SHELLEY WHEELER LISA GRAYSTONE JONNY BENTON ELIE AXELROTH TAYLOR NEWTON
HOME & OUTDOOR
18 DAY TRIP: LOMPOC 20 SHELLIE ANDERSON – WINGSUIT FLYING 24 FOOD / AT THE MARKET
COMMUNITY 7 26 30 32 34 36 42
SLO COUNTY ART SCENE SLO COUNTY ART SCENE CALL TO THE COLORS HISTORY: Walter Murray – part 2 OUR SCHOOLS – Dr. James Brescia PALM STREET – Councilwoman Christianson COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
37 DOWNTOWN SLO What’s Happening 41 CENTRAL COAST’S GREATEST ATHLETES 46 EYE ON BUSINESS
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COMING UP AT THE
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PACO PEÑA - FLAMENCURA November 03 | 7:30 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Arts
WARREN MILLER’S CHASING SHADOWS November 15 | 7:00 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by PAC Outreach Services
JEFF DANIELS AND THE BEN DANIELS BAND
MELISSA ETHERIDGE: THIS IS M.E. SOLO
November 04 | 7:30 p.m.
November 16 | 7:30 p.m.
Christopher Cohan Center
Christopher Cohan Center
Presented by Cal Poly Arts
Presented by Cal Poly Arts
LAKE STREET DIVE
RIVERDANCE 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
November 07 | 8:00 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Arts
November 17, 18 | 7:30 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Arts
CAROL WILLIAMS FORBES PIPE ORGAN RECITAL
CAL POLY ARAB MUSIC ENSEMBLE FALL CONCERT
November 08 | 3:00 p.m.
November 21 | 8:00 p.m.
Christopher Cohan Center
Christopher Cohan Center
Presented by Cal Poly Arts
Presented by Cal Poly Music Department
CHRIS THILE November 09 | 7:30 p.m.
CAL POLY SYMPHONY FALL CONCERT: BACK TO NATURE
Christopher Cohan Center
November 22 | 3:00 p.m.
Presented by Cal Poly Arts
Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Music Department
THE LITTLE PRINCE
November 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 | 8:00 p.m.
November 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre
Christopher Cohan Center
Presented by Cal Poly Theatre Department
Presented by Presented by Cal Poly Arts
CLASSICS CONCERT II November 14 | 7:30 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by San Luis Obispo Symphony WWW.PACSLO.ORG | 805-756-4TIX (4849)
From the publisher
ur November 2013 cover story was on the original Filipponi family home on Calle Jaoquin in San Luis and its upcoming transition to the Filipponi Ranch Wine Cellars tasting room. Last month the tasting room opened to the public and the building is incredible (pictured left the before and after). It would have been easier to tear it down and build new, but the Filipponi family decided to revive this great piece of history and give it new life. When you get a chance, go visit this beauty. The wine they serve is very good too.
Our cover story this month is on high-flying Shellie Anderson. Shellie jumps out of planes and literally flies. You are sure to enjoy her story.
Reach thousands of potential customers by placing your ad in the Journal Plus.
We also have five other people profiles including Shelley Wheeler. Wheeler is the registered dietician and nutritionist for the Veterans Affairs communilty-based outpatient clinic. A perfect profile in the month that celebrates Veterans Day. Enjoy the magazine.
MAGAZINE OF THE CENTRAL COAST
Call 546-0609 for Advertising Information
SLO ART SCENE
THE GALLERY AT THE NETWORK PRESENTS
“Conjoined Hearts” by Rebecca Reibel
What started as a hobby in 1999 turned serious and Fred and Donnell Pasion have created many large-scale public and private mosaic sculptures. For the upcoming show they have created primarily smaller pieces. They also teach mosaic and sculpture workshops in their beautiful Grover Beach studio.
“Wine Goddess” by Anna Meyrick
he Gallery at the Network is pleased to present “Mosaic Madness!” featuring the work of local mosaic artists and sculptors, Rebecca Reibel, Anna Meyrick and Fred & Donnell Pasion of Passiflora Mosaics. The presentation will be displayed through the month of November and features imaginative and sometimes unexpected use of pieces to create gorgeous forms, colors and textures! Anna Meyrick quips, “The process of my art is also a process of working out my own life, finding my own way home, taking the pieces I want and adding them, removing the ones I don’t, creating custom ones that I need for the art to work.” She teaches mosaic workshops at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Passiflora Mosaics latest work consists of either very small pieces such as mosaic jewelry or large site-specific sculptures and murals.
“We appreciate this opportunity to not only show our latest work but to educate the community about the endless possibilities of today’s mosaics and the exciting new direction the art form has taken in recent years”, says Rebecca Reibel, whose work for the show includes hand made ceramic sculptures, face vases and wall panels all
“Khalia’s Curiosity” by Passiflora Mosaics
delicately accented with glass, beads and ceramic mosaic. Meet the artists and view their work at a reception on Friday, November 6, 6-9pm during Art After Dark, with music by Terry Sanville.
NEWCOMER OR NEW HOMEOWNER? Get your free welcome packet! Liz Hiatt Owner firstname.lastname@example.org
It includes maps, civic info, coupons from cafes, groceries, wineries, auto hardware, garden, medical, dental, etc. Call your greeter or go to centralcoastwelcome.com SLO / Avila / 5 Cities: Jan Rouse 458-2394 or 209-405-1111 • Morro Bay / Cayucos / Los Osos / Cambria: Annie Clapp 878-8876 • North County: Sandy Hexberg 235-1529 •
A FREE SERVICE TO NEWCOMERS
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Registered dietician and nutritionist veterans affairs community-based outpatient clinic By Will Jones Vocation: a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation requiring great dedication. If your spirits need a lift, sit down and have a conversation with Shelley Wheeler. Her dark, sparkling eyes, a dimpled smile and a relentlessly positive attitude about her challenging, but rewarding, career as a Registered Dietician and Nutritionist working with veterans will definitely give you a lift. You will also come away inspired by her energy and with a great respect for her profession, both for the rigors of the education required to achieve her title and the dedication needed to succeed in what she does. Cheerfully describing her parents as “big time hippies who met in Haight Ashbury,” Shelley was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1985, before moving with her family to Pacific Grove when she was five. Her parents and her older brother are all in the medical field, her mother as a nurse and her father and brother in radiology. “They’re still hippies. My dad has a hippie workshop with peace and love signs everywhere.” Shelley remembers a happy childhood and a good experience all through her school years. She graduated from Pacific Grove High School in 2004. “It’s a small town with a 25 m.p.h. speed limit. Our street ended at a dead end into the forest and Pebble Beach. It was beautiful, but like most kids I wanted to be somewhere else. My mom grew up in San Luis Obsipo and went to San Luis Obispo High School, so we visited here a lot and I attended camps at Cal Poly in the summertime. My grandmother, Virginia Stoner, was the attendance secretary at SLOHS for twenty years.” Shelley’s interest in nutrition started in her own home. “Family dinners were big in our house. We always had a balanced meal with all the food groups represented. I knew early in high school that I wanted to study nutrition in college.” At first Shelley’s parents wanted her to attend junior college, but she was determined to get into Cal Poly. “I loved science and math and Cal Poly is a college where you have to declare a major right away.” After getting off to a slow start academically, Shelley quickly realized she had to work much harder to succeed in school and in an incredibly competitive field, an area of dietetics and nutrition known as Medical Nutrition Therapy. “You take someone’s medical diagnosis, like high blood pressure, and then apply nutrition therapy to it rather than medication. Nutrition is still undervalued as a primary course of action for prevention and recovery.” Four years of rigorous study in classes like biology, organic chemistry, food microbiology and advanced metabolism, including summer classes, led to Shelley’s graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008. Cooking and food science classes were also part of her education. She summed up her success succinctly: “I learned how to study.” Shelly with husband, Jason and their dogs Chloe and Joaquin.
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Initially Shelley did not get accepted into a required post-graduate internship which candidates must complete before taking the nationally
PEOPLE way to get a start in the profession. Her first job was four months as a clinical dietician at Kaiser Hospital in Fresno. “It’s hard to educate in the hospital setting because there’s so much going on. For someone with cardiovascular disease I would assess a patient’s diet to make sure it was low in saturated fat, low in sodium and heart healthy. I would talk to them about what to do when they went home. There’s usually a direct correlation between diagnosis and diet in cases involving conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Shelley’s motto, “Eat less; move more.”
“I’m trying to promote a healthy relationship with food, although it can be hard because patients sometimes perceive me as the food police, trying to take away their lifestyle. We know eating an apple is better for you than eating apple pie, but it’s hard to get people to take action and change their behavior.”
You take someone’s medical diagnosis, like high blood pressure, and then apply nutrition therapy to it rather than medication. accredited Registered Dietician and Nutritionist examination required by the Commission of Dietetics Registration. “Only 50% of graduates get accepted into internships. After graduation I retook statistics, worked at a gym doing nutrition, and volunteered at the Aids Support Network and at a local hospital. I also wrote a nutrition article for Journal Plus. With the additional experience I got an internship at Fresno State University. It was the most stressful period in my life. I was happy to go wherever I was accepted.” Nine months of unpaid fifty-hour weeks, a total of 1200 hours, followed, with a focus on clinical nutrition, community nutrition and food service. “I worked in colleges, hospitals, and outpatient clinics. No pay, but I did have to pay for the internship, just like tuition at a school. Another year of not making any money,” Shelley said with a characteristic but wry smile. After completing the internship and passing the national test, Shelley found out that having a degree during the economic crisis didn’t mean much when it came to finding a job. “It was a scary time. A lot of my friends took whatever jobs they could find because there were none in their fields of study.” However, since 98% of dieticians are female, filling in for someone on maternity leave is a
their lifestyles. An advocate of balancing good nutrition with exercise, which she believes is 50% of the good health equation, Shelley summed up her good health philosophy: “Eat less, move more. Ten per cent less food and twenty-five minutes of planned activity a day, even if it’s just walking your dog, can make all the difference when combined with a healthier diet. Maintaining good long term health is a marathon, not a sprint. But once committed to change, the benefits can be immediate.” “When I look back on my years of study, including earning my master’s degree in nutritional science, I realize I could just as easily have become a doctor. But I love my job. It’s fun, rewarding, and it’s considered one of the top ten least stressful jobs. I love doing food demonstrations, showing people how to put food together and what nutrition is in it. People thank me for what I do.” Given all the problems associated with poor diets and poor nutrition in America, it’s encouraging to know that someone with Shelley’s expertise and dedication is working hard to make a difference in the lives of individuals who have made sacrifices for our country. It’s Veterans Day month, a good time to be grateful to them and to all those in the medical profession who work with them.
Again through a maternity leave, Shelley was able to transfer to Marian Hospital in Santa Maria where she worked for over three years. She did more outpatient counseling, particularly in the area of weight loss surgery, which she considers an option, but more of a last, rather than a first choice. “It has advantages and can be successful if diet, exercise and lifestyle changes have already been tried without accomplishing the goal.” A friend sent Shelley information about a job working with veterans in a primary care outpatient program. She applied, was hired and started in March 2015. “What I love about the job is that it’s more preventative. I spend more time with each patient. I provide nutrition education and counseling that is easily accessible to them and promote long term health. Whether I am helping the Vietnam veteran with nutrition during the aging process, the young combat veteran from Afghanistan, or a female veteran getting ready to have her first baby, it has been the most patriotic work I have done with my education.” Shelley lives in San Luis Obispo with Jason, her husband, and their dogs Chloe and Joaquin. Although always an optimist, Shelley acknowledges how hard it is to get people to change N O V E M B E R
asking everyone to be celebrated for their abilities By Heather Young Photos by Tom Fowler
lake Hergenroeder of Cambria is only 4 years old, but he’s already garnering attention for a cause— Down Syndrome. A photo of him at the 21st annual Buddy Walk® kick-off gained press coverage after it was included in a video presentation shown in Times Square.
The genetic disorder is not new, nor is it all that rare an occurrence. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, more than 400,000 people in the United States have Down Syndrome—one in every 691 births is a person born with Down Syndrome. Blake’s mother, Lisa Graystone, has a mission to bring awareness to Down Syndrome. “Everyone has value; this community deserves an opportunity to be included. I want to help create a world where people’s differences are celebrated,” Graystone said. The genetic disorder is caused by the presence of a third copy of the 21st chromosome, which is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. The disorder can be detected during pregnancy, but Graystone did not know until Blake was born in May 2011. Though it is a genetic disorder, most cases are not inherited as the abnormality usually occurs in egg cells, and occasionally in sperm cells. Only one percent of all cases have a hereditary component. Graystone said one misconception people tend to have is thinking that children with Down Syndrome are born to “older” mothers. She said 80 percent of babies with Down Syndrome were born to mothers under the age of 35. Graystone herself was 32 when Blake was born. “Having Blake has affected my life and the life of everyone in my family in the most positive and profound ways,” Graystone said. “First, it has made me a better parent and person overall. It is as if he has gifted me with a new lens through which I can now see the world better, from a more inclusive and compassionate perspective. … He is my greatest teacher and I feel he will teach me more than I could ever teach him.” Graystone’s advocacy for Down Syndrome unofficially started the first time she wrote about it on her blog, www.evolutionvtg.blogspot.com.
Lisa and all of her children.
“It became quickly apparent to me how this community is judged still based on outdated and inaccurate information,” Graystone said. “There is a lot to be done to shift perceptions, educate and refine laws to protect people with Down Syndrome and I am happy to do what I can to ensure that people are seen for their abilities and not their disability alone.” One thing she wants to accomplish with her advocacy is to change the perception about people with Down Syndrome. “In our society now we celebrate sameness and I would like to work toward a world that celebrates each other’s differences, unique abilities and strengths,” Graystone said. “Our children are being left behind, segregated, and are left unsupported unless parents fight for their rights. I would like to create a climate that is supportive to all and educate the educators on how to implement inclusion properly so it is operational and beneficial to all.”
“I just knew that this was something that I could contribute to the community shortly after Blake was born in May of 2011,” Graystone said. “I would like to say it was the day he was born but it was a lot to process. I later shared our story via Tori Spelling’s blog … in October of 2011 to coincide with Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the National Down Syndrome Society reached out to me. That specifically was the day my official advocacy efforts started and I have never looked back. In fact I am more involved now than ever.” Though she started her journey with into Down Syndrome advocacy because of her son, she said that once she researched, read, met and learned about people with Down Syndrome, she realized how marginalized that community is as a whole. N O V E M B E R
Lisa and Blake during some quiet time.
The mother to Blake and Kaleigh, 7, and stepmother to Dylan, 17, and Danica, 13, has been involved with the National Down Syndrome Society since 2011. In that organization she works as both an advocate for her son and for the Down Syndrome community at large. She also is a member of the gala fundraising committee for the annual gala held in New York City. She helps collect auction items and raise donations for the event. Graystone, along with two other local mothers, formed San Luis Obispo County’s first Down Syndrome Network with the support of the national organization.
Lisa and Blake playing together
Blake is a student at United Methodist Children’s Center in Morro Bay, where he learns appropriate behavior and speech from his typical peers. “His personality is bubbly, social and humorous,” Graystone said of Blake. “He loves music, dancing and playing with his sister, Kaleigh. He is also very strong-willed and decisive which I feel will serve him well in life.”
“Since it was formed, we are fortunate to be assembling a board of professionals and parents from the community,” Graystone said. “This nonprofit project is currently in its infancy but we have big plans to unite our local community of people with Down Syndrome and their families, educate the community at large, help provide resources and information to families regarding their rights with respect to education, medical resources and more.” When she’s not advocating for Down Syndrome awareness, caring for her children or being wife to David Hergenroeder, CEO of
Blake sharing a day at the beach with dad.
Allways Clean, a local janitorial company, she’s running her own eco and green direct textile recycling business, Evolution Vintage, and working as a local wardrobe stylist. “My goal is to empower and inspire women to dress authentically and at the same time be gentle to the environment by restyling vintage clothing into their current wardrobes,” Graystone said.
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jonathan “Jonny” Benton
service to country, service to others forged the man—husband, father, friend—he was meant to be By Deborah Cash
peaking to the attentive crowd at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Atascadero Veteran’s Faces of Freedom Memorial, Jonny Benton’s touching and impactful words resonated not only with former and current military personnel present but to everyone else listening as well. The forthright telling of his personal war experiences including loss of comrades in a horrific attack by a large force of insurgents on his small platoon, loss of his direction in life after returning home, and nearly losing his family held everyone on the edge of their seats wondering how he had apparently found his way back and now, in a commanding yet humble manner, was sharing his profound story as the Deputy Director of the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program in San Miguel.
Recently he recounted those chapters of his life in more detail. Benton, whose father was in the Army, was born in Tripler Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1980 to Phil and Margene Benton. He has one sister, Holly Panter. They moved, he said, “Every three years including
to Alaska, Oregon and then Germany—when the Berlin Wall came down.” After graduating high school in Colorado, Benton enlisted in police academy. “I was in class on 9/11 and remember staring at the TV screen, frozen. I thought it was a joke, like a movie trailer but soon realized it was real,” Benton said. When the Iraqi war started, he decided to join the Army, shipping off to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training and airborne school. A foot injury kept him stationed stateside, however, and during his stint at Fort Myer, Virginia, he met his wife Lindsey and later, their first daughter, Sierra, was born. “I reenlisted and was stationed in Vicenza, Italy with the Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd First Brigade Combat Team (The Rock),” Benton said. The whole family relocated abroad including new baby twin girls Gabriela Skye and Hayley Savannah. The move was smoothed due to Lindsey’s fluent Italian and past history as a translator. The move was disturbed by Benton’s immediate deployment to Afghanistan. A critically acclaimed and award winning documentary “Restrepo,” provides an understanding of the area of operations and terrain of the setting of Benton’s military life between 2007-2008. Journalist Sebastian Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington were imbedded with the “B
Jonny during his Army days. N O V E M B E R
PEOPLE A few years back, Jonny and his best friend.
matic stress disorder (PTSD). I was home nine days later.” For nearly three and one half years Benton says he “cut himself off from the world.” He was given medication, he said, but that approach only seemed to subdue the symptoms and didn’t address the underlying issues. “It wasn’t helping,” Benton said. “I was swallowing pills and chasing them with alcohol and I became suicidal. Fortunately I wasn’t successful.”
Company” unit during their yearlong presence in the mountainous area of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. “Our unit’s mission was to stop the movement of supplies and troops going into the Korengal Valley, sometimes referred to as the Valley of Death,” said Benton. Those familiar with the 173rd may recall that the unit has been highly decorated since its activation in 1915, most notably perhaps for the Dak To battle during the Vietnam War where more than 6,600 purple hearts were awarded. In Afghanistan, the 173rd endured one of the most deadly events of the war. Recounted Benton, “We engaged in the Battle of Wanat, kind of the ‘Black Hawk Down’ of Afghanistan. In the first hour of combat, nine of our 50 troops were killed and 27 were injured. There were about 10 or 11 guys left to fight about 250 – 300 of the insurgents until reinforcements showed up.” “I walked away fairly unscathed,” Benton said. “Then I was overcome with survivor’s guilt, questioning why I was sent on this journey and I began to struggle inwardly. At the time, I didn’t realize I had post trau-
Jonny and his family at Yosemite.
At 10 years of service, Benton said he was “cresting the hump” meaning it was time to decide to pull the plug or go for another 10. Opting for medical retirement and dealing with a brain injury that he had apparently experienced in Afghanistan, he met Jack Rabisceau who had founded the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program (MOWP) in San Miguel, California. “They had a peer-based ‘Fight Club’ program,” Benton explained, “where I learned two things: One, I wasn’t alone in what I was going through and, two, I could find satisfaction in helping fellow veterans.” Benton participated in the program while still living in Colorado and then moved his family to Templeton in 2014 where he became a staff member for the non-profit organization. While the MOWP is nationally established, San Miguel’s Skyrose Ranch is the flagship location. There, participants attend a six-day, live-in immersion program where they learn to “take back their lives” so they can live as a whole person within their families and communities. Benton points out the program is not a substitute for prescribed medication but serves as a complement to medical treatment and is based on peer-to-peer based counseling. One breakthrough for many suffering PTSD is the revelation that there is nothing “wrong” with them. “We were created to react this way,” Benton said about the feelings
Jonny speaking on the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program.
and struggles that go along with PTSD. “It’s a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.” “More than 800 people have participated in the program and we continue to hear from them and others that through the tools they’ve been given—the brotherhood and aftercare, and community support for the program—we have made a positive difference.” In fact, Benton notes, there’s a backlog of those wanting to join. MOWP also offers programs for women, primarily spouses of veterans. A challenge for the program is that, according to Benton, “Veterans tend to be closed and private, hard to reach. We communicate in a way military and veteran communities can relate to. Here, we’re ALL veterans.” Benton attests that as a result of his experience and his dedication to getting well and helping others, his life has turned around. He said he’s reestablished his family relationship to the point where his wife remarked that she was happy to see “the sparkle in my eye that had been lost.” Benton lights up when talking about his wife and daughters and their life now. “We have a great family life, we like to do things together along with our dogs Elsa and Olaf. My daughters are home schooled and our favorite things to do are to go to the beach, to Yosemite, and out to eat—we’re really foodies!” Benton added he’s big into fly-fishing and even ties his own flies, and his wife and daughters love horseback riding. Currently, he’s enrolled in the Certified Biblical Counseling Program through Cornerstone Community Church and is a speaker for the MOWP, helping to raise awareness and support. “For me,” he said, “it’s important to help others understand we can’t erase memories of the past but we can find ways to cope and move forward toward a better life. I love doing what I do right now.”
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Elie Axelroth writer
By Ruth Starr
ave you ever been in a Thin Place? There are sacred moments when the distance between heaven and earth narrows, and anything is possible. Elie Axelroth has written a novel called Thin Places that is both lyrical and passionate. It’s a story of brokenness and healing. Elie wanted to write for a long time. When she turned 45, she decided not to put off what she wanted to do. That’s when she began writing. Over the years, to improve her writing, she went to several writers’ workshops including one at Port Townsend in Washington, the Cuesta Writers Conference; she took some classes at Cal Poly, and participated in several critique groups.
Having written a short story, Elie took it to a writers workshop at Flathead Lake in Montana. The feedback she received was that it wasn’t a short story, it was a novel. At the time she had two small children and was working full-time, and writing a book felt overwhelming. The author leading the workshop told her to think about it not as a book, but as a longer work. She did finally complete that novel, but was unable to find a publisher and decided to think of it as her practice novel. Following her retirement from Cal Poly four years ago, she began working on another book that she self-published this past June. There is a lot of description in the book Thin Places of the greater San Francisco area. Some of the places she was familiar with. It occurred to her to take a trip to San Francisco and go around to the different areas to get an idea of the settings in the book. She took pictures and made notes and researched the neighborhoods. Though Elie worked in the Cal Poly Counseling Center for twenty-six years, it isn’t autobiographical. There are counseling sessions that take place in the book that she knew a lot about so could draw upon her knowledge. The last seven years she was the Director of the Counseling Center at Cal Poly. A short story Elie wrote, “The Sound Of Emptiness,” was published in the Packingtown Review in January 2015. She was born in Philadelphia, lived there for about nine years until the family moved to New York. She lived in N.Y. through undergraduate school. Elie then moved to Davis, CA for few years where she worked at a Rape Crisis Center. She loved living in Davis; felt it was a very easy community to be in. The Rape Center had a great collaborative relaA photo from Elie’s trip to Antarctica
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tionship with the police and the District Attorney’s office. From Davis the next stop was Denver, CO. There she received a Psy.D from the University of Denver. She came to San Luis for the job at the Counseling Center at Cal Poly. Elie’s family consists of one brother, Phil, who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has a son, Ben, who lives in SLO and works for Mind Body. Her daughter, Sarah, is a graduate student at Duke. Always active in community affairs Elie, back in the 90s, was on the San Luis Obispo County Commission on the Status of Women. They did a county-wide survey and report on sexual harassment in the county. When she retired from Cal Poly four years ago, she wanted to honor the Community Counseling Center and the help they’d provided to Cal Poly students over the years. She set up a fund to provide longer term counseling. It has become a scholarship fund for the trainees at the Community Counseling Center. She also is on the advisory council of the Growing Together Initiative under the auspices of SLO County Community Foundation. GTI provides grants, community education, raises community awareness, and partners with community organizations on LGBT issues. She is also active with Congregation Beth David. In the month of August, Beth David takes the overflow of homeless from the Maxine Lewis Shelter. Each month a church or synagogue houses homeless people and families since there isn’t
in 1991. The most exotic places in her travels were Bhutan and Antarctica (see photos). Bhutan, she found, is a country of humble Buddhist people with tales of flying tigers and sorcery and incarnations. Monks in red robes buff temple floors by sliding stockinged feet across square pads of black yak fur. Whole communities dance away the evil spirits, praying in earnest. In Antarctica, Elie saw icebergs the size of Belgium, reflecting eerie blue light through weather-streaked portholes. There was not a tree in sight, not a patch of grass. Stark and beautiful.
A photo from her recent travels to Bhutan
enough space at the Maxine Lewis Shelter. Elie is coordinating this event for CBD. One of the joys in Elie’s life is world traveling. She has traveled to 6 out of 7 continents—Australia and New Zealand are on her “bucket list.” Among other places, she’s been to Israel, Egypt, Kenya to South Africa, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, England, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina. Elie lived in Honduras for 6 months as a Fulbright Scholar
Golfing and hiking are her way of relaxing in a totally different atmosphere. She loves to play golf and had a hole in one on number 7 at Laguna Lake Golf Course recently. She also loves to hike. Elie is in a hiking group with 20-25 women called the Sierra Sisters who hike all over the county and try not to do the same hike twice in any given year. She is intrigued by the creative process—from writing to art to gardening, dancing, Tai chi, cooking, playing golf. It’s all creative and Elie’s been struck over the years by the similarity of the process no matter the medium. More information on Elie and Thin Places, her debut novel, is on her website: www.ElieAxelroth.com She has blogs on that site that tell about her adventures in the various countries.
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taylor newton service, gardening and “the Guerrillas” By Charmaine Coimbra
e assumed that his academic achievements would put him in the world of science discovery and research. Instead, Taylor Newton now operates a multi-layered program of community service and leadership, environmental awareness, waste management, retail sales, and grows gardeners from at-risk persons who learn to grow gardens for a Morro Bay nonprofit with the unlikely name of The Morro Bay Guerrilla Gardening Club.
One might find this former president of Eco Rotary Club of Morro Bay at one of their meetings, or serving as a board member for the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau, or on his knees showing the guerrillas, as they are affectionately called, how to properly plant a native plant along Morro Bay’s police department, city hall, and community center. And you will also find him in denim coveralls at any one of 50 to 75 annual events or festivals in San Luis Obispo County rooting through and sorting trash.
What makes a well-educated and handsome young man put in dawn to dusk efforts for little income, when he could live a more elite lifestyle employed by a prestigious science lab? “I never thought that I would do this kind of work,” began the Cal Poly graduate who studied ecology and systematic biology with a concentration in botany. “I saw that the earth needed a change and science wasn’t going to do that.” The transformation began after teaching Head Start students, and fifteen months as a lab technician in the University of California, Davis, Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory. He moved to Morro Bay and established Newton Cultivation, a grounds management business. Young men, who might have lost their way in life, were drawn to the business where Newton put them to work. This effort seeded the roots of the Morro Bay Guerrilla Gardening Club (GGC). Good gardening includes integrating compost into the soil. Enter the GGC Zero-Waste and Recycling program. Rarely a weekend passes when there isn’t some sort of festival or nonprofit event being staged in SLO County. Events can pile on the waste. Newton understood that instead of adding to already over-burdened landfills, much of an event’s waste can be recycled, reused, and composted. Since the first GGC zerowaste effort about six years ago, the program now funds about N O V E M B E R
PEOPLE The newest GGC project is learning the retail business at a recently opened thrift shop, The Collective Thrift Shop on Main Street in Morro Bay. Guerrillas can also sell their crafts at the shop which features “gently used and up-cycled product.” Newton’s idea to work with people at-risk grew from municipal gardening here and there in Morro Bay, from homemade trash sorting systems for earlier events, and finding a means to plant purpose in youth and souls lost. His ideas have developed
90-percent of GGC’s 501(c)3, according to Newton. Newton understands that GGC’s efforts to properly distribute and reuse waste generated from local events is equivalent to a drop in the ocean when considering the mass amount of waste generated daily. “My goal,” he said, “is to show people a different way of looking at waste and recycling. What we do at an event makes no difference in the big picture, but we give people all the tools. We become an example through education and entertainment.” Oh yes, the guerrillas will catch one’s attention! Its entire persona is purposeful. “Between our anarchy symbol (garden tools creating the letter A) and our hip-hop style, it makes people curious. They will ask questions.” That’s when the guerrillas educate about waste.
into a somewhat sophisticated program that adds to his resume: part social worker, marketer, coordinator, leader and of course, scientist. For more information go to: www.GuerrillaGardeningClub.com
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“When people see me digging through trash and sorting it at a public or private event, I can connect with them, and I do this with the heart,” Newton explained. The Guerrilla Gardening Club program includes local volunteers and students who want to give back to their community. But about half of the program includes “street-wise men and women,” according to Newton. They meet weekly at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Morro Bay. It’s mandatory, but includes a buffet meal, free counsel by other volunteers, and pep talks designed to bring spirit and purpose into their lives. GGC members have the opportunity to learn a skill and learn how to re-enter society as a working neighbor. N O V E M B E R
day trippin’ in lompoc
The Mission Museum Kitchen
By Sherry Shahan
here’s never been a shortage of reasons to hop in the car and explore nearby cities on a sunny weekend. But how many of us think of the historic enclave and chaparral-covered hills of Lompoc?
La Purisima Mission is the 11th of the 21 Alta California missions and offers a well-rounded introduction to the area’s history. Founded in 1787, the mission’s land holdings once traversed nearly 470 square miles, bordered by the Santa Maria River in the North and the Gaviota coastline in the South. Although the original site was 3 miles south of that location. In 1812, a devastating earthquake shook the region and was followed by torrential rains. The mission was largely destroyed, causing the question: Should the buildings be preserved in their crumbled state? Or should they be restored in historic detail? Young men from the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) were contracted in 1934 to begin the lengthy restoration. Working under the direction of the National Parks Service, the mostly unskilled crew rose at 6 am with the bugle and worked long and hard for nearly a decade. They salvaged some material from the rubble and used it for the new buildings. Most of their $30 monthly pay was sent home to families. By 1941 the mission regained its pre-earthquake appearance. Today, historians regard it as the most faithful restoration of a Spanish mission in the Western United States. Strolling from building to building over brick and tile walkways, and under adobe archways, it’s easy to imagine life in the 1800s. If you stopped by back then Franciscan Padres in La Sala probably would have entertained you. Guests were important to the out-of-the-way community, bringing items for trade as well as news of the outside world. The gardens, farms, and workshops provided most needs for the everfluctuating population—often more than 1,000 residents—including
padres, soldiers, skilled artisans, and Chumash Indians. At its peak, inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep. The livestock seen today represent breeds brought to the New World from Europe. Adobe buildings with two-room apartments were built for Indian families who converted to European customs. That’s the standard narrative, anyway. It’s not untrue. But certain elements of mission life didn’t fit into a cut and dry mold, especially when it comes to the contributions of the native population. Most lived lowly lives, working sunup to sundown in exchange for meager meals. A handful of traditional tule reed huts were living quarters for those who chose not to convert. Now wooden tables and benches are situated amid the reenacted village, in the shadows of ancient olive and oak trees. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic. In addition to the mission, the nearly 2,000-acre park has an in-depth Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall, showcasing highlights of mission history from its founding in 1787 to the present. The volunteer staff is friendly and ready to share lively anecdotes. The park also has 25 miles of hiking trails; some are soft sand and therefore slow-going. (Close-toed shoes recommended.) Most visitors stick to the ½ mile long Cross Trail, which rises through chamise, ceanothus, shagbark manzanita.
Old fashion sewing demonstration.
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Mortimer was commissioned to paint the first mural. Showcasing the cultivation of flower seeds, it’s an industry that dates back to the early 1900s when mustard was harvested for seed. Today, seeds grown in the valley are bulk packaged and sold all over the world. Other murals quickly followed, honoring pioneers and military veterans, Chumash Indians, agriculture, early education, ethnic diversity and dozens of others. Temperance is a sidesplitting depiction of ‘moral’ women using a rope to pull down a watering hole. (Artist Dan Sawatsky, 1992)
Art Alley Mural
As expected the pinnacle of Cross Trail is a giant landmark cross. But it’s the “ah” some vistas of the mission and valley farmlands that make the shadeless trek worth it. Caution: Poison oak spreads its shiny leaves in all areas.
cleaners, paint, and plastic bags. It filters, polishes, absorbs, flattens and fills. Go inside and ask to touch the exposed “chalkrock” block upstairs.
Plan Your Visit: La Purisima Mission State Park is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. November 7. Village Days at La Purisima Mission. Demonstrations include grinding acorns, basket weaving, building a tule hut, playing Chumash games, and more.
The “Big Art” project has exceeded all expectations, drawing visitors from all over the world. Self-guided maps are available at the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce (111 South I St.) or download at www.lompocmurals.com
HAPPY DAY The outside VALENTINE’S wall of the Chamber building is one of the more abstract murals and focuses on the local diatomaceous earth business. Built in 1892, the structure was constructed from blocks of this earth—the fossilized remains of single-cell plants called diatoms.
December 8. Founding Day Mission Concert. The anniversary of the mission’s founding is celebrated with a candlelight musical performance in the historic church. Visit: www.lapurisimamission.org for more information about special events. Floriano’s Mexican Food and Fresh Cuts is a must for authentic homemade food at a ridiculously reasonable price. Dine in or order ahead for take-out. Phone: (805) 737-9396. 1129 North H St. Browse the menu on their Facebook page.
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Visiting the mission is only one way to experience the area’s colorful and oftentimes cantankerous heritage. Lompoc’s Old Town became an al fresco gallery in 1990 when Santa Monica artist Art
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shellie anderson Fly like an eagle By Susan Stewart
hat some of us shrink away from, Shellie Anderson moves toward. What many of us fear, Shellie Anderson loves. What most of us would do anything to avoid, Shellie Anderson craves. “I need the sky,” she says simply. At 45 years of age, Anderson felt a pronounced lull in her life, a vague sense of boredom, the
need to challenge herself, to question what she was doing. “One day I called Perris Valley Sky Dive and signed up for a four-hour jump course,” she said. Pushing past her fear, she exited the plane for the first time and felt an exhilaration unmatched anywhere else in her life. Once on the ground, she said, “Where do I sign?” She calls Skydive Santa Barbara her home drop zone. The staff there and her fellow
Shellie after another successful jump N O V E M B E R
The Dive Team
jumpers are like family. “And the views are unparalleled,” she added. Eight years and more than a thousand jumps later, she is an accomplished sky diver and wingsuit flier, competing around the world with others who love the sport as much as she does. “They are the coolest, most gifted people I’ve ever met,” she says of her fellow fliers.
Jeff and Shellie Anderson
Born and raised in Palm Springs, California, Anderson has three sisters, one of whom is an identical twin. Parents Jim and Laura (a highway patrolman and a retail clerk respectively) were supportive of their daughters. “Dad said we could do anything,” Shellie recalls. “He encouraged us to push past our fears … and I was afraid of everything!” “We were always very competitive,” Shellie admits. “We were always challenging ourselves … in swimming, tree-climbing, water-skiing.” Today, she and her twin, Laurie, own and operate Morro Bay’s Massage & Wellness Center, where they have been
serving clients with massage and healing therapies for the past eight years. Anderson’s career path reflects the over-the-top energy she is known for. She has been a missionary (in such disparate places as Belize and Canada), a back country trail worker for the California Conservation Corps, a court reporter, and a gardener for Hearst Castle—not necessarily in that order. She is also a classically trained pianist studying under Ina Davenport. Her true and current calling, however, are the healing arts: “My passion and my gift,” she says.
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Three way flocking
Anderson attended massage school in Morro Bay and has since accumulated hundreds of additional CEU’s in her field. And she practices what she preaches by continuing to develop her skills through meditation, breathwork, Tai Chi, and yoga—all of which also serve her well in the sky, in her red wingsuit. So, what exactly is wingsuit flying? First developed in the late 1990s, the modern wingsuit creates a surface area with fabric (like webbing between the legs and under the arms). This adds surface area to the human body, increasing “lift” and forward drive, just like flying. The fliers board airplanes just like with regular sky diving, and at the
Group formation over Perris N O V E M B E R
right altitude—1300 feet—they jump out. The flier wears parachute equipment and ends a typical two-minute “flight” by deploying the chute and completing the descent in about three more minutes. With regular sky diving, a person goes straight down; while wearing a wingsuit flight is horizontal, not vertical. To qualify to wear a wingsuit, sky divers must first complete 200 jumps. The sport has grown over the years to include international competitions that can include elaborate formations, “docking” (grabbing on and holding hands with a fellow flier), and “carving” (where a single flier orbits a formation).
Chicago formation record
Anderson has attended dozens, among them the Wingsuit Boogie held in Puerto Rico in 2013, and the Guinness World Record competition held in Perris in 2012. For the latter, 100 wingsuit fliers from 21 countries and 6 continents, men and women of all ages and every walk of life, came together to train and compete to set a world record. They trained on the ground first, in sessions called “dirt dives,” practicing the maneuvers over and over again. The remarkable videos of the triumphant day show a spectacular diamond-shaped formation comprised of 100 humans in greens, blues, reds, and whites—looking for all the world like a flock of birds winging their way in a disciplined migration high above the clouds.
Puerto Rico flight
Though Anderson loves the energy of working with a team, in the end she says “It’s just you and the sky … and the breath. It’s fast, it’s exhilaratingly fun, and it’s very liberating, very personal.” But what about the fear? Isn’t there danger? Yes, of course. Anderson says the people who love her worry about her safety, and it’s a challenge some days to push past their fear. Of her own, she says, “I’m past the fear because I know I’m capable. However, I’m acutely aware that anything can go wrong at any time. … I’m careful, I’m controlled, and I stay within my comfort and skill level. But I continue to push myself to get better.”
Flying over Perris, Ca.
Hearing all the sparkling accolades, it’s hard to see the down side. But Anderson said that the needed travel takes her away from her husband, Jeff, and their three much-loved cats more often than they’d like. And she has recently lost a close friend to the sport. Just before she interviewed for this article, news came that fellow flier and close friend Avishai, a young man in his twenties, had just died in a BASE flying accident in Switzerland. He was the latest of a dozen friends she has lost to the sport. Visibly shaken, Anderson’s eyes were shiny with tears as she described Avi’s commitment to the sport, his love for life, and how much she will miss him. About the future, Anderson is optimistic. She looks forward to competing in the upcoming Wingsuit World Record Formation on October 18 (past by the time this issue goes to print). And she aspires to improve her acrobatic wingsuit flying skills. “I’m a back flyer,” she grins. “I love to have acrobatic fun in the sky.”
In formation dive
“Skydiving, especially in a wingsuit, teaches me that there’s no limit to what you can do in life,” said Anderson. “That anything is possible. … It keeps me in the present moment, which is the happiest place I can be.”
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at the market
the best banana bread (yet!) By Sarah Hedger
ovember on the Central Coast brings (hopefully) a change in the season, with an additional crispness in the air. The apples become sweeter as their season progresses, with the
likes of the Brassicaceae family (broccoli, brussels, kale), becoming available (and sweet as well). If one piece of produce were to represent November, it would most likely be the pumpkin and Winter squashes ... so many to choose from! Someday I dream of our future ancestors looking back and questioning the fact we grew so many pumpkins just to carve! Wouldn’t it be nice if all those pumpkins were edible and delicious for roast pumpkin or pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie (I may be the only one with this idealist version of pumpkin eating/dreaming)! That said, there are heaps available at the market in November for us to begin creating warming dishes. This month’s recipe is a little less seasonal and a little more warming. Sometimes I
just feel the need to get my bake on. Turning on the oven, making something warming and delicious, and letting the aroma fill the house, is probably why I love baking so much. My mom always questioned my sanity a bit as I love to bake, but not for the sake of eating what I baked, but for the sake of loving how baking made me feel (think therapeutic and meditative in one), and how it made the house smell, and how happy it made the people around me who got to eat the baked goods. I still love it so much to this day. This month’s recipe, The Best Banana Bread (Yet!), is the latest baked good favorite. Sometimes I try to make something I had fond childhood memories of (my mom used to bake an amazing banana bread from the Smallest Planet cookbook), yet even healthier (less
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the best banana bread (yet!) makes one large loaf For the Bread: 3 bananas (+ 1 banana for the top) 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla pod 5 eggs *Optional- 1 T good local honey 2 T coconut oil 1 tsp cinnamon + extra for topping ½ cup tapioca starch 1 ½ cups almond flour (or other nut flour such as chestnut) ½ tsp baking soda ¼ cup psyllium husk ½ tsp salt *Optional other flavors- 1 cup chopped walnuts or 1 cup dark chocolate bits or ¼ cup minced crystallized ginger Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place standard loaf pan in oven with coconut oil until melted.
sugar and less refined anything), while tasting even better than I remember. Thus, this latest version of banana bread (there is at least one new version of banana bread a year), is perhaps the best, or at least the best of this year! Bananas are something I try to eat a little less of only because they are nearly all imported. But they are so full of goodness, so I eat them a less on a daily basis, and try to save them for special occasions such as this banana bread. The bread itself has no added sugar, just the sweetness of the bananas and some good vanilla and cinnamon that lends enough sweetness. It also is full of almond flour, which makes the bread full of healthy fats and proteins, so a more even offering of energy. The psyillium husk is a good binder, as well as adding healthy fiber. And eggs, not to be overlooked for their brilliance as I believe them to be one of the most perfect foods out there. The eggs should always be free-range, hopefully from your backyard, but if not from a nice neighbor or farmer who loves his chickens. Eggs bring healthy fats and protein to the mix, as well as helping the cohesion when there isn’t the normal white flour + white sugar + butter combo that lends itself to making deliciously dangerous baked goods. This bread goes together easily, and in a snap, and if it makes it to the next day, the flavors develop even more and I think it is even a little bit more delicious. But, my patience is usually not that great when treats like this are coming out of the oven, so I make a nice cuppa and enjoy it on the spot. Wishing you a nice November, and a home smelling of some of the best banana bread (yet)!
Place the 3 bananas into a mixing bowl and beat for a couple minutes, until light in color, smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in melted coconut oil (just pour it from the hot pan from the oven). In a small bowl mix dry ingredients thoroughly, then pour dry ingredients into wet banana mixture, mixing well. Mix in any other additional flavors, if adding. Scrape into prepared loaf pan, slice final banana and place on top of loaf, sprinkling with a little cinnamon, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden on top and knife or toothpick inserted into center, comes out clean.
Paso Art Scene
small treasures delivering a big surprise By Stephanie Wilbanks
haron Skinner waits at the gallery door of the Small Treasures Preview Party each year to be one of the first to discover a small, one-of-a-kind gem. “That’s the neat thing. I wait in line to have first chance at a Small Treasure because there are so many artists, the work is so unique and I can get an amazing piece for such a tiny price. Sometimes I know the artist, often not.” There is an element of surprise in this annual Small Treasures Fundraiser for the Paso Robles Art Association (PRAA). Artists of every level, age and medium donate an 8” x 8” painting, photograph or 3-dimensional piece of art. The art is signed on the back, not the front, so the work is first judged on its appeal. Visitors to the showroom gallery view an abundance of charming 8” x 8” art. All artwork is sold for $100, regardless of the artist, their medium or experience. Only after someone chooses a piece that speaks to them personally do they turn over the work to find out the artist’s name. Supporters of the arts and the artists themselves come back to the preview event year after year to select their favorite and then have the artist revealed to them. The Small Treasures exhibition and sale run from mid-November through the holidays. The 2015 Small Treasures Art Preview Party and fundraiser is held in the Atrium of Studios on the Park before the exhibit opens to the public—on Wednesday, November 11, from 7 - 9 pm; doors open at 6:45. The Preview event will feature a gourmet dessert bar, wine tasting, live music, a silent auction and a special opportunity to purchase from the Small Treasures exhibition before it opens to the public. Grammy-nominated Dulcie Taylor will perform live music, desserts will be created by Trumpet Vine Catering and wine tasting will be offered by three premier wineries: Castoro Cellars, Bianchi Winery and Pomar Junction. “This truly is a fun event and exhibition,” said Susan Naughton, Chair of the Small Treasures Fundraising Committee. “Artists donate small, lovely pieces of art. Visitors acquire original pieces of art for their homes. Many buy them as gifts. It is a win-win for everyone as the prices are so affordable and all of the proceeds benefit the Paso Robles Art Association.” Sharon Skinner adds, “I tell you, it is such a warm and friendly evening because most everyone there is an artist. There is live music,
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amazing food and wine; this is a great opportunity to go home with a nice piece of artwork.” She would actually love to learn to paint someday. But in the meantime, she is proud to be a supporter of the Arts, attends fundraisers and hangs the work of local artists at her business—Designs School of Cosmetology—to help promote their work. The variety of subject matter is part of the charm of the exhibition. In 2014, a sampling of the art included hand painted silk; photographs of winter scenes printed on metal; mixed media works featuring a vibrant heart or vintage salt and pepper cans; jewelry, hand-painted wine glasses; kiln-formed glass plates; acrylics of brightly hued pigs, cows, flowers or dogs. Artists include well known Central Coast to emerging artists and even talented students from the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. “Supporters of the Arts stand in line year after year to have their first choice of Small Treasures,” said Barbara Brogan, PRAA President. “Thanks to the generous and creative donations by our member artists, donors feel they can make a reasonable gift to the Art Association and receive a very special work of art in return.” The Paso Robles Art Association is a Community of Art, committed to offering artists and art lovers unique opportunities to interact through the medium of art. The ongoing quest is to engage, excite, appreciate, entertain and inspire art through exhibits in the Showroom Gallery; in art classes, demos, workshops; and in community festivals and exhibitions throughout the County. Small Treasures will be exhibited in the Showroom Gallery, Thursdays through Sundays, inside Studios on the Park at 1130 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA. The exhibition and sale run from November 12, 2015 through January 3, 2016. For tickets or more information, go to www.pasoroblesartassociation.org
SLO art Scene
SLo museum of art presents rhythm and hues By Rebecca LeDuc 6, from 6–9 pm, in conjunction with Art After Dark. The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, dedicated to the education, presentation and preservation of the visual arts on the Central Coast, is located at 1010 Broad Street, on the west end of Mission Plaza. Hours are 11am – 5pm daily. Free admission, donations appreciated. For more info visit SLOMA.org.
he San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in conjunction with The Painter’s Group presents Rhythm and Hues, a juried exhibition of paintings inspired by its title. The exhibition, open to Museum members, will be on view until November 29, 2015. The exhibition juror, Tera Galanti, grew up in Southern California and studied art at California State University, Long Beach where she earned her MFA in 1995. Since then, she has been actively producing and showing her work in numerous regional, national, and international venues. Ms. Galanti moved to California’s Central Coast in 1998 to teach at Cuesta College and Cal Poly. She
is currently an associate professor in the Department of Art & Design at Cal Poly. The mission of The Painters Group, an affiliate of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, is to connect artists with other artists, to support group members by providing a sense of community and an atmosphere conducive to artistic experimentation and learning, and to provide a forum where member artists can participate in exhibitions and workshops. The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. A reception and opportunity to meet the artists will take place on Friday, November
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SLO Art Scene
and his atmospheric pictoralism By Gordon Fuglie
n the waning but still warm days of our September summer, I received an email from Cambria artist Peter Zaleski. He was putting the finishing touches on a new body of work and invited me to see them. Having followed Peter’s work since 2010, I was happy for the opportunity. The drive west to the coastal town on Hiway 46 brought back the reality of the California drought: stiff, yellow grasses and struggling conifers with dying branches greeted my arrival as I drove up the hilly lane to Peter’s home amidst the woods. Welcoming me into his studio, I saw a row of paintings propped against the walls, ready for crating. At his worktable, he unfolded the flaps of a large cardboard box to show me a stack of recently published monoprints. (It is not uncommon for him to work simultaneously in two mediums.) Peter was preparing for an exhibition in November at L.A. Artcore, one of the oldest and more respected nonprofit galleries in downtown Los Angeles.
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Viewing the work, I was somewhat taken by surprise, especially since Peter’s previous set of images were such a departure from his earlier direction, images that responded to the natural environment of the Central Coast. In 2013 he pursued a tangent that led to purely abstract, angular and unevenly shaped and inter-locking forms executed in bold, contrasting colors. A prevailing asymmetry marked these compositions. Peter credited this work to an encounter with the famous African-American quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and his admiration for the fresh expressions of rural craft artists. From my perspective they recalled the bright-hued experimental cutouts that the French artist Henri Matisse produced in the 1940s. In his new work, however, Peter returned to seeking inspiration in the natural environment surrounding his home: thin groves of towering pine trees and the sun-bleached grasses that carpet the slopes above Cambria. The new mixed media paintings derive from his observations of the desiccated forest just beyond his front porch. Conceived abstractly, his trees are radically distilled, focusing exclusively on the trunks, creating via multiplicity a stark figure-to-ground motif. Varying his palette from one image to the other, Peter portrays these “shafts” in varied seasons and atmospheric conditions. Verticals in blacks, greys, tans and creamy tints call to mind the woodlands enveloped in morning fogs. When using reds, oranges and yellows in a similar composition, we are mindful of the combustibility of Cambria’s parched groves. In another painting, when he adds bars of green and light blue to his muted palette, Peter seems to be isolating and re-arranging the colors of both land and sea, achieving a synthesis of coastal chromatics. To construct his compositions, the artist uses cut strips of painted rectangular paper sheets snugly fitted adjacent to each other—one larger, the other, smaller, and sometimes in threes and fours. These bands of offset forest/vertical imagery suggest multiple vistas—views from near and far. Most of Peter’s monoprints employ a black ink ground; others are done in greys. Both play with the natural patterns the artist sees in the grasses around Cambria. Inking a plate, the artist uses a stylus to draw into the wet pigment, creating a rhythmic pattern of white tendrils. The resulting imagery recalls classic Chinese ink and brush landscape painting. Propelling Peter’s latest body of work was his teaching of atmospheric perspective to his drawing students at Cal Poly. Atmospheric perspective is a technique of painters and draughtsmen for rendering either depth or distance in a work of art by modifying the tone or hue, and the distinctness of objects that the viewer perceives as receding into the twodimensional illusional “distance” within the picture plane. The artist
ing a major follow-up exhibition with a more extensive tour.) What was most astonishing about these artist quilters from one of the more remote parts of the rural South was their development of a highly distinctive visual style apart from art world trends, a style bursting with bold color, lively improvisations and sustained with a geometric simplicity. Amazingly, the quilts were functional items— not works of art, made from cloth scraps gleaned by poor women to keep their families warm in unheated shacks that often lacked running water, telephones and electricity. The humble rural craft of the strikingly innovative quilts of Gee’s Bend kicked open a creative door for Zaleski through which he joyously hastened. accomplishes this by reducing distinctive local colors, as well as contrasts of light and dark, to a uniform muted color. For Peter, this technique allowed him to translate his observation of the be-fogged coastal landscape into art. An acknowledged cliché and truism, artistic experimentation can enhance the potential of an existing image. Peter’s series of vertical compositions in his mixed media paintings prompted him to consider adding horizontal elements. This led to single image “pure” paintings that recall plaid fabric patterns; the use of atmospheric perspective is stronger than ever in these works. This owes to his process of thinning his colors and using a wide brush to make overlapping translucent bands in four or more colors, lending them an uncanny depth and delightful spatial ambiguity. Whether in printmaking, mixed media, or painting, I have always been attracted to Peter’s images for their clean resolve, even when they venture into playfulness. I am certain his recent body of work will make a compelling exhibition in Los Angeles, winning him new admirers. (For further information, see www.peterzalseki.com.) Peter Zaleski: Like Jazz, Like Architecture In the three and one half years since I wrote about SLO County artist Peter Zaleski in these pages (SLO Journal Plus, March 2010, and available online) the artist underwent three life events that impacted his art. First, he and his partner—the art consultant Neal Menzies, had to sell their beloved ranch home and studio in the oaky hills of Templeton, moving to cloudy Cambria. In 2011 Zaleski was hired by the Cal Poly Department of Art & Design, teaching painting and drawing
for the first time in decades. Finally, after a creative hiatus and struggle, he found a new way forward in his art. This was validated in June when one of his “graphic paintings” was awarded second prize by renowned LA art critic Peter Frank in a tri-county competitive exhibition at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, Santa Barbara. While Zaleski’s techniques remain much the same, his graphic paintings have increased in their forcefulness, becoming hyper-hued, more playful and structurally architectural. He continues to make his imagery by rolling colored inks on copper plates and printing them on Japanese paper. He then cuts them into shapes, fitting the different colored shapes to one another, and assembling them like floor tiles on a substratum. Often the shapes reference the land, and how it is subdivided into tracts on a map. As the former owner of an irregularly shaped parcel, Zaleski began to see the artistic possibilities of abstract, angular and uneven forms in contrasting but inter-locked colors as the basis for a new body of work. This sent him looking for an example, an inspirational art with bold colors that employed asymmetry in its composition. Not long thereafter, he came across the African-American bedding quilts of Gee’s Bend from the tiny town of Boykin on the Alabama River in south central Alabama. For Zaleski, his encounter with the quilts was a revelation. In 2002, the art world was rocked by a traveling exhibition of Gee’s Bend quilts that toured Houston and New York to rave reviews and great public enthusiasm. The works were hailed as “some of the most miraculous works of art America has produced.” (See also, Paul Arnett et al, Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt, Tinwood Books: 2006, document-
The artist encountered a different kind of humility in teaching undergraduate art students at Cal Poly. Long accustomed to the solitude of his studio where he carefully refined his work through sophisticated technical and aesthetic processes, Zaleski was surprised to be energized by the social interaction between himself (the veteran artist) and his neophyte pupils standing at the threshold of creativity. Through the rubrics of the classroom, art making became basic once again. This unknotted the cords of his stifled creativity, and combined with the discovery of the Gee’s Bend quilts, along with organizing a new studio, Zaleski was poised to produce a new body of work. There are at least two tendencies evident in his recent work: the playful and improvisational; and the minimalist/architectural. The former broadcasts irregularly patterned fields in “fiesta” colors and seems the equivalent of jazz—alternating between the soloist’s freedom and ensemble playing, as in “Planting Sequence,” a monoprint from 2012. On the other hand, “Blue Border,” a graphic painting, is tight, a compacted cacophony of dense inter-connected forms in three colors: tan, blue and black. The unprinted white paper becomes the fourth color. The tense composition emphasizes the hued, angular forms, producing an image that is athletic and structurally masculine. As Zaleski says about his new work, “I am after an art that is bold yet intimate; purposely geometric and spontaneously expressive. Key to my approach is the editing and arranging of these responses to arrive at an image that is a true representation of my vision.” Whether openly playful like jazz, or tightly structured, Zaleski’s recent works can light up a gallery like few other works I’ve recently seen. (www.peterzaleski.com)
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call to the colors
The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum Telling the stories of military veterans so that all generations may more fully understand the costs of peace and the realities of war. By Gail Pruitt Vincent Tibbles, Student Docent, Receives Letter of Commendation from the Chief of Naval Operations Tibbles is also a Cadet in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps Quick thinking by Vincent “Vince” Tibbles (pictured left), a student docent at the Museum and Naval Sea Cadet, may have saved a woman from further injury in an accident on the Amtrak train Tibbles was travelling on recently. He and another Sea Cadet, Petty Officer 3rd Class William Madsen rushed to the aid of a woman who was injured and bleeding badly from a deep gash on her leg. A few weeks after the incident, Vince’s commanding officer received a call from the Navy Department and the Pentagon and Vincent received a commendation letter from the Chief of Naval Operations, thanking him for his actions aboard the Amtrak train. Vince is a student docent at the Museum, a San Luis Obispo High School junior, and a Cadet in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC). Here’s what Vince had to say about what happened on the train. “This summer from July 4th to 18th, I was at USMC Base Camp Pendleton training to be a Master at Arms, Class 4. Shortly after graduation the morning of July 18th and while still in my dress white uniform, I boarded a train in Oceanside heading home to San Luis Obispo. On the train I was sitting with another NSCC Cadet Petty Officer 3rd Class William Madsen (pictured above with Tibbles). About an hour into the trip I left my seat heading for the food cart to get a bottle of water. “While I waited in line at the food cart, the wheel chair ramp that was strapped to the wall behind me somehow came loose and fell down hitting my foot and making a deep gash on the leg of a woman standing in front of me. The ramp was a five foot tall steel sheet with hooks welded onto each end, and it was held to the wall by one strap with a plastic buckle. I lifted the ramp away from the woman and put it back on the wall making sure it was secure. “After securing the ramp I saw that the woman had sat down on a N O V E M B E R
bench in the train car, and I realized there was a lot of blood coming from her leg. The wheel chair ramp had cut a pretty severe wound. I called for the medical kit and began taking out the necessary bandages, gloves, and so forth. I have forgotten a lot of what I did in the next 30 or so minutes but I did revive the woman after [she fainted]. Then I asked a man standing nearby to locate Petty Officer William Madsen and tell him to come and help me. “Working together, Petty Officer Madsen and I applied a bandage and later a makeshift tourniquet to the woman’s leg. I believe Emergency Services did board the train at some point. When the train arrived at the station in Santa Barbara Petty Officer Madsen and I together carried the injured woman from the train to her husband’s vehicle so he could take her to a local hospital emergency room for treatment. Petty Officer Madsen and I then continued our trip home to San Luis Obispo. Since then I’ve gotten word that the woman is okay, but her leg and ankle were injured.” “Oh, one more thing. A shout out to Master at Arms, Class 4. Honor. Courage. Commitment. Integrity.” Spotlight on: Steve Sumii, Interviewer for the Museum’s Veterans History Project Since 2008 Steve Sumii (pictured left) has been a valued member of the Museum family, working tirelessly and energetically to strengthen our Library of Congress Veterans History Project. He has interviewed dozens of veterans, recording their recollections of their military service, and of their return to civilian life. If veterans were unable to travel to the Museum, Steve has traveled to them. Steve has spent countless hours reaching out to senior citizen homes and community organizations to spur veterans’ interest in participating in the project. To date Museum interviewers like Steve have collected the memories of more than 350 local veterans and sent DVDs of the interview to the Library of Congress. Steve’s mother came to the United States in 1919 at the age of 9; his father was an American citizen. After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order which stated that Japanese-Americans had to evacuate the West Coast. Steve’s family left Pasadena, CA and was assigned to a relocation camp in Gila River, AZ, where Steve was born in 1943. Two-thirds of those relocated were American citizens with only one-third born in Japan. After World War II ended, Steve and his extended family moved to Cleveland, OH, where his mother believed there would be less prejudice toward Japanese-Americans. After eight years the family returned to
California where Steve completed junior high and high school. After his high school graduation in 1961, his mother wisely suggested that Steve join the Navy Reserve. After boot camp, Steve enrolled at Los Angeles City College, where for the first time he became interested in school. During one of his required two-week periods of active duty Steve was assigned to the venerable World War II aircraft carrier Yorktown and sailed from Long Beach to San Francisco. He was awestruck as he and his crew mates stood on the deck in their dress blues as the historic ship sailed under Golden Gate Bridge. Coming into port was always a stirring moment, but this was extraordinary. He was called to active duty and assigned to the USS Prairie, a destroyer tender, and sent to Hawaii.
Supervisor Debbie Arnold stopped by the Museum in September. L—R: Jack Jones, president, Museum Board of Directors; Supervisor Arnold; Harry Hoover, Museum Director/Curator; Don Mueller, Member, Museum Board of Directors and Docent Supervisor.
We need MORE hands on deck ! Please, come and volunteer at the Museum. Ask us about how you can get involved in supporting the actual day-to-day Museum operations. We’re all volunteers. Won’t you be one, too? Call us 543-1763.
After his discharge, Steve studied at California State University Los Angeles, City University of New York, and UCLA and became a social worker. Ten years later Steve moved from the big city to the scenic, laid-back Central Coast. We will miss Steve as he takes a hiatus from his work on behalf of the Museum. He’s returning to his passions: doing social work and traveling the world with his wonderful wife. We salute Steve for his service, for his dedication to the Museum and for his devotion to all the veterans he so gently guided through often emotional recollections of their military service. Call to the Colors Happenings: Sheriff Ian Parkinson and Jack Jones, president of the Museum Board of Directors at the Museum’s table at Sheriff’s Family Day. Cool hat Sheriff Parkinson !
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walter murray part 2 – Mud, blood, and gold By Joe Carotenuti
t was fall of 1848 and he was 22, a young man searching for the promises of a life over the next hill of adventure. Walter (now universally called Murray) within the last five years had left his home and family in England to endure a perilous sea journey for the allure of America. In his quest for a secure future, he impulsively joined a military expedition with exaggerated claims of fame and fortune to be found on the Union’s western rim in yet another risky sea voyage around Cape Horn. The adventure was two-fold: to aid in the conflict with Mexico and (hopefully) remain to settle in the new territory of California. Although the troops arrived when hostilities were minimal, Walter’s battalion was one of a relatively few of Stevenson’s Regiment to face combat in another relatively young nation of Mexico. Fortunately unharmed by the conflict, he now was ending a large cul-de-sac in his life’s journey with a return to civilian life. The future looked bleak. Mustered out of the service in Monterey in October, it was inevitable for Walter to attempt finding wealth in the newly found gold-running rivers and streams of California discovered by John Marshall the previous January. Quickly, news of the discovery was fanned into near hysteria by the dramatic (and business savvy) Sam Brannan. While panning for gold proved elusive, Murray decided to capitalize on the surging needs of the growing gold miners flooding the landscape around San Francisco by supplying them with provisions. Especially in 1849, tens of thousands arrived in the Bay City. Mud, Blood, and Gold by Rand Richards devotes over 200 pages of an extensively researched book on just the one year. Walter must have been lost in the sea of humanity suddenly thrust upon the former pueblo. According to Murray’s granddaughter, at this time, he met the young 17-year-old Romualdo Pacheco. The teenager also had tried the elusive quest for el dorado as well as bringing north needed cattle from his step-father’s ranch in the San Luis Obispo area. Pacheco was undoubtedly impressed by the literate, bilingual man with a British accent. If anything, the County seat on the central coast needed him. While the latter returned home to an established family and fledgling
community to begin a political career leading to the State’s Governor’s Mansion and beyond, Walter needed to plan for his future. His story continues. It is not hard to imagine Murray stopping to mentally assess his life and his assets as he weighed his options in the raw countryside of California at the advent of the Gold Rush. He had been a soldier and accepted his duty but had no plans or desire to continue a career in the military. Gold mining and supply master were not particularly rewarding or worthy of a lifetime of effort. He had a bit of law training but was not sufficiently proficient to enter the profession. Returning to England seems not an option but he definitely wanted to escape the developing mayhem of San Francisco and return to the more civilized society of the east coast. It was not a difficult process to arrive at the doorstep of a potential income generating ability: he could write! From his apprenticeships in England and America, Walter had written. Indeed, the literate Englishman had already composed a great deal. He enjoyed writing. Documents remaining from his life point to not only the more prosaic forms of writing but a fondness for poetry and an essential skill: the ability to rally and convince others through the power of the pen. Thus, almost inevitably, he became a newspaperman.
A current photo of the Murray Adobe in SLO’s Mission Plaza. N O V E M B E R
The first newspaper in Tuolumne County was the Sonora Herald established in 1850. Walter became the owner the following year along with his former comrade in arms, James O’Sullivan. A printer by trade, O’Sullivan remained in California and among other ac-
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Even though the prospect of moving m Obviously—with possibly 1000 residents—San the area. During his military years, he had Luis Obispo lacked the ambiance he had been to Santa Barbara and was most impressed future, you owe it to yourself to learn h experienced in England, Boston, New York or by the sparsely settled region. Most likely, he livingSan in Francisco. your own home he for man even a turbulent Surprisingly, traveled by ship from either Monterey or San carefree remained until his death. Francisco but he also may have come by land and passed through the new County seat. As he began the most notable phase of his career, he couldn’t have known his life had The newlyweds settled in a home near Cuesta a fact of aslife that aspassed we get older,mark. Pristine is fully its halfway Pass and Walter putIt’s his skills to work a teacher in the town’s onlysome school asday-to-day well as investing tasks become too licensed and insu in a grist mill. In late November, he wrote to the muchthattoit cost handle on our own. That All of our worke Alta California newspaper $1 to rent Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org a horse and he founddoesn’t the community “very dull.”have to move away mean you are carefully scre • • Murray’s wife, Mercedes Espinosa
complishments was a delegate to the State’s Second Constitutional Convention (1879) from San Francisco and will provide a touching remembrance at his friend’s funeral. Planning to move south, in the summer of 1853, Murray sold his interest back to the paper’s founder, Dr. L. C. Gunn. However, it was not the end of a Murray presence in Sonoma as his younger brother, Alexander, joined the paper. Eventually following his older brother, Alexander becomes the local postmaster, marries but dies in 1870. However, it is his wife, Andrea, who will be a key character in a notable Murray effort, the 1858 Vigilance Committee. 1853 was a most notable year for the young man as he left his newspaper career (at least temporarily) and moved to the central coast—not alone—but with a wife. Born in Chili in 1822, Mercedes Espinosa and Walter were married at the Mission in San Luis Obispo by Fr. Jose Miguel Gomez, the first ordained priest in California. By now, the fifth of Junipero Serra’s “spiritual outposts” was a parish church in the small town. Exactly why he chose to leave the northern part of the state is not known. Intriguingly told in A Cast of Hawks by Milton S. Gould, possibly the growing violence wrought by the onslaught of tens of thousands of men (and a few women) in search of gold offended him. He did learn from this time, however, as a few years later addressing violence in San Francisco was replicated on the dangerous central coast. His friendship with Romualdo Pacheco may have been another inducement as by now the Californio was serving as the Superior Court judge. Furthermore, Murray was familiar with
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our schools budget issues facing our schools By James J. Brescia, Ed.D. County Superintendent of Schools “The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.” —Jacob Lew Economists across the globe agree that California has a large and fast-growing economy. Recent data indicates that our state accounts for over 13% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product GDP, by far the largest of any state in the union. California’s GDP grew by an estimated 3.3% in 2014, outpacing the national growth rate of 2.4%. California is a national leader in the technology, aerospace, and life sciences industries as well as entertainment, tourism and agriculture. In recent years, California firms have attracted venture capital funding that has equaled or exceeded the amount received by businesses in the other 49 states combined. Since 2012, the state has added jobs at a faster rate than the nation as a whole and in June 2014, recovered all the wage and salary jobs that were lost during the recession—just one month behind the nation. California’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily over the past three years and is at present below its average long-run annual rate.
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According to the Kyser Center for Economic Research, progress in the national and state economies has boosted confidence. However, optimism on the part of both consumers and businesses is still tempered by caution. Following a 2.2% increase in 2014, nonfarm jobs are expected to rise by 2.2% again in 2015, slowing slightly to 2.1% in 2016. The unemployment rate will fall from 7.5% in 2014 to 6.7% this year and 6.3% in 2016. Many predict continued improvement in the labor market and that both personal incomes, as well as total taxable sales, should increase by four percent this year, accelerating to six percent in 2016. In consideration of this positive economic news, educational budgets must still proceed with cautious and systematic prudence because of long-term pension liabilities. Sacramento lawmakers authored legislation in 2014 that requires school districts to increase their annual benefits contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System CalSTRS. The state, teachers, and school districts all contribute to the pension fund. However, for years, investment returns fell below the expected rate of return required to fund the pension liability. Additionally, the numbers of participating contributors were smaller than needed to reach full funding, and employee retirement benefits obligations increased. All of these factors led to the fund’s decline from 100% funded in 2000 to only 67% funded by 2013. This translated into an unfunded liability that required the legislature to take actions designed to provide long-term funding over the next three decades. The proposed funding schedule raises contribution levels by increasing school districts’, the state’s, and CalSTRS members’ contribution rates to CalSTRS. These contribution increases are defined as a percent of payroll costs. In 2015, school districts will pay 9% of payroll to CalSTRS, while the state and members will contribute 3% and 8%, respectively. Rates escalate the most over the next five year period, with school districts’, the state, and CalSTRS members’ rates each peaking in 2020. Among the contributing entities, it is important to note that school districts’ rate will increase the most. In 2015, school districts will pay 11% of payroll costs, but their rate increases to 18% in 2019, where it will stay until 2046. The state’s contribution peaks at 10%, while members’ contributions peak at 8% of payroll. One can overlook the dramatic increase as being simply the burden of a school district or the state. However, this increase in contributions translates into less available funding for the classroom and employee wages. The California Employment Development Department reports that government and educational services will experience a combined increase of 7.7% in fiscal year 2015-2016. As payroll costs are projected to grow, the actual dollar values of these obligations increase year-over-year. By 2046, school districts’ CalSTRS contribution will be nearly five times larger than its 2013-14 obligation. Over the entire 30-year funding schedule, school districts will be responsible for approximately half of the contributions. These higher required annual teacher pension costs will ramp up as Proposition 30 phases out. Proposition 30 temporarily raised income tax rates beginning in 2012. Voters approved Proposition 30’s tax increases with the condition that newly raised revenues cannot apply to administrative purposes. It increased K-12 funding levels significantly and Proposition 30 funds have been used to help offset decreased revenues during recessionary years, supplementing school districts’ general fund revenues. Effectively, this means CalSTRS pension benefits costs will consume the bulk of Proposition 30 revenues by the proposition’s final
year. By 2019, school districts’ CalSTRS contributions will exceed Proposition 30 revenue. By 2020, when school districts owe CalSTRS even more, Proposition 30 will have expired, and school districts will have no funding buffer to help them cover additional CalSTRS costs. While some educational groups are calling for a Proposition 30 extension on the 2016 ballot, currently, Proposition 30 is set to expire and school districts that relied on Proposition 30’s temporary revenue boost will need to identify alternative revenue sources and/or cut programming to cover their additional CalSTRS costs. This is one issue that the legislature and the public must collectively resolve to meet the long-term budget needs of our schools. It is also important to note that as a major state expenditure there has been little conversation in Sacramento regarding this looming liability.
NOVEMBER CROSSWORD SOLUTIONS ON PAGE 43
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower
References Available on Request
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STATEPOINT CROSSWORD THEME: TV CHARACTERS ACROSS 1. HR concern 6. *Like TV’s Oscar and Felix 9. Roofed colonnade 13. *Where Hawkeye Pierce was stationed 14. Luau dish 15. Use elbow grease 16. Are not 17. Tiny toiler 18. Haul up 19. *Hair trend-setting friend 21. *Lady Mary or Lady Violet 23. Immeasurable period 24. Herring-like food fishes 25. Commonwealth of Independent States 28. Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior 30. Opposite of lead 35. Burden 37. *Most of the characters in Oz 39. Sound of a fast move
40. Harbor ill feelings 41. Greyish brown 43. South American monkey 44. Army doc 46. Good earth 47. State of irritation 48. ____ Trail 50. Functions 52. Fraternity 53. Stir fry pans 55. Indefinite degree 57. *Gandolfini’s character 61. Ancient theaters 64. Not our 65. Found at the end of a series 67. More wry 69. What sitcom did 70. ____ Zeppelin 71. Opener 72. Recipe direction 73. Sometimes they just pop up 74. City in North Rhine-Westphalia
DOWN 1. Calypso cousin 2. Unit of pressure 3. a≤ of a square 4. Made of pickets 5. 6 feet, to a captain 6. “Because of Winn-Dixie” protagonist 7. *Mad Man 8. Dine and ____ 9. Flat-bottomed boat 10. Work hard 11. English river, of Virginia Woolf fame 12. Bohemian 15. What Peter Pan lost 20. Perform in a play 22. Luftwaffe’s WWII enemy 24. Like a curvy line 25. *Given name of Seinfeld’s neighbor 26. Lay to rest 27. Blue fabric in Elvis song 29. Guarded by Hope Solo 31. Land parcels 32. Under fig leaves?
33. Plural of ostium 34. *a.k.a. Heisenberg 36. ____ of whiskey 38. R&R destinations 42. Make corrections 45. English playwright NoÎl 49. 4 ____ Blondes, rock band 51. *The youngest Griffin 54. Aussie bear 56. French brass, pl. 57. Bayonet wound 58. Home to Columbus 59. Prefix with scope or meter 60. Cambodian money 61. Horse’s chances 62. Things to pick 63. Dehydrated 66. *Eddard Stark, for short 68. *He played Opie Taylor
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palm street perspective honoring our past, inspiring our future
By SLO City Councilwoman, Christianson
hat’s that huge cluster of tall narrow poles doing standing serenely on the wildly busy corner of Broad Street and South/Santa Barbara? Well, on September 11, 2015, the City celebrated the completion and dedication of a very special public art project! The 9/11 Memorial at Fire Station 1 (2160 Santa Barbara at Broad) is called “Standing Tall.” It pays tribute to those public safety professionals who gave their lives at the World Trade Centers in New York City. The artwork includes a large steel I-beam as the centerpiece, surrounded by a low wall and the 403 tall poles that I mentioned, reaching to the sky. The I-beam was part of one of the Twin Towers and the poles are painted red and black to symbolize each lost firefighter and police officer’s life. There are 343 red poles for the 343 firefighters who perished that day, and there are 60 black poles for the 60 law enforcement officers who died. Etched in the face of the surrounding low pedestal wall are words
9/11 Memorial at SLO’s Fire Station 1.
reflective of the values of our public safety professionals, such as Service, Commitment and Courage. This public art project took broad collaboration among City staff and our community to make it a reality. It took a lot of time, too—8 years! It began in 2007 when a local fire fighter petitioned the federal government for a piece of the Twin Towers, with the intent of incorporating it into a local 9/11 memorial for our City. The steel was ultimately secured by the San Luis Obispo Firefighters Local 3523 through the City of New York. A local Rotary Club helped fund the transport of the steel to SLO, and a local resident and his grandson did the truck hauling of the heavy beam from the east coast. The project was advertised for proposals in 2012, and in 2013 an Art Jury of neighbors, local business, educators, artists, school district representative and both Police and Fire Department staff came together to review the proposals from 93 interested artists, with sculptor Kathleen Caricof’s outstanding design selected. The artist has extensive public art and memorial experience in her background and submitted her unusual and humble design after doing a great deal of research about our particular I-beam. After review by the City’s various Advisory Bodies and the City Council, the project was ready to go in autumn of 2014. City staff, working arm-in-arm with local contractors, many of which donated their time and talent to this project, made the actual construction happen. Truly a public work of art! Unique among memorials, “Standing Tall” is designed to encourage a physical connection with our country’s history. The steel I-beam sits at the center of the memorial and is positioned to encourage visitors to carefully lay their hands on the rusted and scarred metal. It is available day and night as a destination for inspiration, reflection, and appreciation. Benches are incorporated in the design to allow viewers to sit and contemplate their surroundings, and walkways are cut so that it’s easy to slip inside to reach the memorial’s centerpiece. Soft, night-sky-appropriate LED uplighting further enhances the site, illuminating the metal posts and the I-beam. One very interesting tidbit. Out of all the proposals, Kathleen was the only artist that researched our actual section of beam; she determined it was most likely a horizontal brace and was the only artist that placed the beam in a horizontal manner in her design. To visually see the beam as if lying in a state of rest made a huge impact on the Art Jury— and ultimately what made her proposal stand out above all the rest. As was mentioned in the dedication ceremony, right now almost one in five Americans were not born until after 9/11. This memorial is truly for everyone, and particular focus was given to make sure it would speak to generations yet to come. I urge everyone, young and old alike, to find a little time to experience this very special space: honoring our past, inspiring our future.
N O V E M B E R
The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo
Inside: W hat â€™s U p Downtown B usiness Spo tlights
W h a t ’ s
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question I'm often asked is, “What makes a downtown economically vibrant?” This question stems from our Mission Statement at the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association, which clearly defines our mission to “Foster an Economically Vibrant Downtown.” In reality, there are a lot of different variables that factor into a healthy downtown economy that range from small things like picking stickers off of signposts to much bigger things like responsible urban development.
raditional developments in our Downtown have not been as versatile and their use has been limited to working hours. At closing time the buildings vacate and employees and customers go home, essentially leaving a shell of a building for the night. That is, unless there is a nightlife element that starts when the workday concludes. Dominic Tartaglia, Several of the projects in development will engage Executive Director the nightlife that will make Downtown a vibrant cultural and economic center for all 24 hours of ith responsible development a community the day. Whether people are paying rent for the place they can benefit from a shot in the arm both culturally as call home or they are out enjoying a late night dinner, they well as economically. If we look at the Chinatown project, are contributing to and participating in the nightlife of an we see a block which has long been in need of thoughtful economically vibrant Downtown. redevelopment incorporating historical preservation and the current needs of our Downtown into a project that will t the Downtown Association we recognize that as invigorate the surrounding blocks. The project will include our economy has changed over the years, we need to residential housing, office space, retail space and dining provide activities for guests beyond serving as a shopping opportunities for the public. Meanwhile, the infill process district. November features three traditions that contribute will turn what was formerly surface lot parking into a to a vibrant Downtown. This month starts with the space that is more desirable from a land use standpoint. Veterans Day Celebration at the Downtown SLO Farmers’ The desired outcome is an ecodense project that serves Market, which is followed by the Holiday Breakfast and multiple purposes and is utilized 24 hours a day, 7 days concludes with Santa’s House Opening Day.
On the Cover: On the cover: Construction of the Chinatown project taking shape as steel beams go up at the site on Monterey Street. Photo by Mukta Naran
OPENING DAY Friday, November 27th at 10 AM Come visit Santa and enjoy snacks, entertainment, and more! For more details on opening day and Santa’s House hours call 541-0286 or visit www.downtownslo.com
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We maintain these traditions in the name of preservation so our Downtown culture doesn’t subside into the suburbs as so many Main Streets across the country experienced in the middle of the last century. With events like Veterans Celebration at The Market on November 12th, the community has a reason to come together.
his November 20 th will be my second year hosting the Holiday Breakfast and in the spirit of this article, the program largely consists of a developer forum. The forum will feature several of the developers with active projects Downtown and will conclude with a Q&A period for interested business owners. With so many developments currently underway, this occasion certainly warrants a chance to gather each developer and to learn about their projects and their impact in Downtown. The program is sure to provide insight into the way the projects will contribute to the future of our community. While guests are taking in this dose of information they will also get a hearty Downtown breakfast at Mother’s Tavern.
raditionally, it is at this breakfast that we announce all of the holiday activities and officially kick off the holiday season in Downtown. For the last 40 years, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association has produced the biggest holiday calendar of events in SLO County. That calendar always starts with the opening of Santa’s House
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in Mission Plaza the day after Thanksgiving and soon after the Classic Carousel accompanies the festivities. Over the years, thousands of children have visited the little red house to meet Santa Claus and his elves and this year we are serving up another portion of cheer with your Thanksgiving dinner... Rumor has it, Santa and his elves have been hard at work on his house in preparation for his big trip to Mission Plaza. It is going to look and sound better than ever. When visiting Santa, be sure to share your wish Join Santa and his friends in Mission Plaza for Santa's House Opening Day on November 27. Photo list with him by Mukta Naran before taking a walk around town and getting your holiday shopping done. Fitting enough, Santa’s house won’t be too far away from the Chinatown project, a perfect juxtaposition of a time-honored tradition, childhood whimsy and the new development of an ever-changing Downtown economy.
D o w n t o w n
B u s i n e s s
Ten Over Studio, Inc.
Jim Duffy, President Joel Snyder, Vice President 539 Marsh Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 541-1010 www.TenOverStudio.com
S p o t l i g h t s
top notch service to everyone involved in a project from our clients and contractors to the agencies and consultants we work with,” explains Duffy.
nyder adds, “Our team is passionate owntown San Luis Obispo is filled with great dining about the industry options, exceptional retail shops, art and historical and we collaborate Pictured: Ten Over Studio, Inc. Team & Family buildings. However, hidden among all these charming to design spaces that attributes of Downtown are many professional businesses. are not only functional but also creative and environmentally One of the newest professional offices to reside in Downtown sensitive.” It’s no wonder why Ten Over Studio is an awardis Ten Over Studio, an architectural firm located at 539 winning firm with a portfolio that includes commercial Marsh Street. Their space itself reflects the firm’s modern and projects such as the new SRAM research and development innovative design philosophy. With clean modern lines and facility, The Wine Shed, Shell Beach Brewhouse as well as sustainable materials incorporated into the design, Jim Duffy, public buildings like the new campus for the Old Mission President of Ten Over Studio and Vice President Joel Snyder School and numerous fire and police stations throughout have created a professional workspace for their experienced the state. The firm portfolio also includes many outstanding team of architects and landscape architects. custom homes and outdoor spaces.
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cruelty-free work ethic. I love working for a company that believes and stands by its values of providing the freshest handmade cosmetics, using ingredients that are ethically sourced and not tested on animals.”
en Over Studio offers full architectural, landscape and o learn more on how to get your next project started with interior design services with attention to the highest levels Ten Over Studio, please stop by their offices or visit of customer service. “We named our firm, Ten Over Studio, www.TenOverStudio.com. because we always strive to give 110% effort to our clients By: Mukta Naran and projects. It is our goal to exceed their expectations in terms of service and design. We are committed to providing
Susan Cemo, Floor Leader 1070 Court Street (805) 543-2723 www.lushusa.com
f you are looking for natural hair and beauty products, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is the place to go! This new business is located at 1070 Court Street and is the first one to open in San Luis Obispo. It caters to anyone who wants to relax and have a fun experience that will excite the senses. Lush uses the freshest organic fruit, vegetables, and essential oils to create effective and innovative beauty products.
ith the opening Pictured: Susan Cemo, Floor Leader of this new location Lush now has a total of 230 stores across North America and is continuing to expand across the globe. “We wanted to be a part of the happiest town in California!” says his company is committed to inspiring customers and Alyssa Gates, the Lush Cosmetics Director of US Real Estate. prides itself on being a community-focused retailer. It actively supports local charities, community groups, and care Lush is a company that continues to create eco-friendly stores and provide products that have the least impact on the organizations through the Charity Pot program. Customers are encouraged to touch and try everything they can get their environment. hands on in the store. Lush will also assist their customers ou can find Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics in the Court by making products in front of them and providing mini spa Street Plaza in Downtown SLO, as well as on Twitter, treatments and complementary skin and hair consultations. Facebook, Instagram or online at www.lushusa.com. usan Cemo, the shop’s Floor Leader, says, “Lush is a Written by: Rachel Furtado brilliant place to work with a productive, fun, fresh and
For more information on Downtown Association events, programs and activities, or to sign up for our weekly Deliver-E newsletter, visit www.DowntownSLO.com
the greatest athletes on the central coast By Dr. Don Morris
Editor’s note: The reader response to the question “Who are the Greatest Athletes in the history of the Central Coast?” has been overwhelming. More than 100 nominations have been received from readers from Ventura to Salinas and almost all the high schools and various sports were represented. (Many of the nominations were about central coast men and women athletes who have gone on to compete professionally in sports like Olympic events, football, baseball, track and field, golf, boxing, ultimate fighting, tennis, kick boxing, basketball, rodeo, race-car drivers, etc). So far the following athletes have been featured: Ed Brown, Stephanie Brown Trafton, Chuck Liddell, Loren Roberts, Steve Patterson, Gene Rambo, Robin Ventura, Jordan Hasay, Chuck Estrada, Mike Larrabee, Ron Capps, Jamie Martin, Rusty Kuntz, Randall Cunningham, Jim Lonborg, Kami Craig, John Rudometkin and Ivan Huff. Please send nominations to Dr. Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
michael louis bratz Basketball player Michael Louis Bratz graduated from Lompoc High School and competed for Allan Hancock College and Stanford University. He played professionally in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento Kings and is currently the Asst. General Manager for the Sacramento Kings. Bratz played nine seasons with the Suns. He is famous for being the last Bulls player to wear number 23 prior to Michael Jordan. As a side note, Bratz appeared in a commercial for a Chicago area sports bar in 2008. The commercial said that “A certain Chicago Bull that wore number 23” would be coming by to eat dinner. The employees believed that Michael Jordan was coming to the restaurant to eat, but they were disappointed as it was revealed that Bratz was the one coming to eat, to which he said “What, you’re expecting someone else?”
Pole Vaulter Chelsea Johnson attended Atascadero High School and is the daughter of Jan Johnson who coached her while at Atascadero High School. (Coach Jan Johnson won three NCAA championships and a bronze medal in the pole vault at the 1972 Summer Olympics). During Chelsea’s track career she placed 5th in the California State High School 300 hurdles and then three years later she won the pole vault at the CIF California State meet. She went on to star at UCLA where she was a two time NCAA Champion pole vaulter and was a two time indoor and outdoor Champion. She then went on to win the silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and retired from the sport two years later. N O V E M B E R
THE BULLETIN BOARD
Programs of SLO. Tickets are available online at www.wspslo.org or call Beth Raub at the Women’s Shelter at (805) 781- 6401x 202. For information and/or donations to produce this performance, contact email@example.com.
Morro bay sings motown!
Mb historical society seeks wwII memories
Do you have memories or memorabilia of Morro Bay during World War II? If so, the Historical Society of Morro Bay is looking for your help in planning a special Veterans Day celebration, set for Sunday, Nov. 8, from noon to 2pm at the MB Veterans Center. The event will focus on the Pacific Fleet’s amphibious training command at Morro Bay. In the mid-1940s, thousands of military personnel came to Morro Bay for training in preparation for deployment to the Pacific. The military provided many improvements to the harbor area that are still in use today. In preparation the Historical Society is reaching out to people who lived in the area or had family in the area during World War II who can contribute photos or stories related to how the training base changed the landscape and the economy of Morro Bay. Anyone who has information to share is asked to contact the Historical Society of Morro Bay at MorroBayHistorical@gmail.com or (805) 399-2772 as soon as possible. The photo above is the WWII Morro Bay Training Bridge in the 1940s.
one night/one play: the other woman
On Monday night, November 9, at 6:45, San Luis Obispo Monday Club will join community theaters, libraries, and colleges nationwide in the simultaneous staged readings of The Other Woman, a full-length, one-act play adapted from five essays appearing in the bestselling anthology The Other Woman: Twentyone Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal. Co-producers Cynthia Comsky and Victoria Zackheim (anthology editor and playwright) have engaged the participation of artistic directors across the country to reflecting the diversity of our population in the United States. Locally, we are offering this unique performance for $25 per person with all proceeds benefiting locally and directly to the Women’s Shelter
On Saturday, November 7th, the Morro Bay Community Foundation will present its seventh annual fundraising show “Morro Bay Sings” with this year’s focus on the Motown Sound. Jody Mulgrew will be crooning his cool arrangements on classics from the Supremes to Smokey Robinson. The acoustic trio of Green to White will bring their eclectic vibe to tracks made famous by The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and more. Captain Nasty is a 9-piece funk ensemble that will no doubt provide a soulful funky spin on some Motown favorites. A light dinner, included in the price of the ticket, offers soup, salad and bread, catered by The Galley Seafood Grill. There will be a live and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at www. morrobaycommunityfoundation.org/events.
books – honoring civil war veterans
A new 65-page booklet titled An Historical Walk at the Santa Maria Cemetery: American Civil War Veterans honors the 42 Civil War veterans from both the Union and Confederate armies who are buried in the Santa Maria Cemetery. Author Cindy Ransick, the curator of the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum, has timed the book’s release to coincide with the sesquicentennial year marking the end of the American Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A book signing and walking tour at the Santa Maria Cemetery is planned for November 7 at 1 p.m. Published by Janaway Publishing, Inc., ISBN #978-1-59641-363-4, An Historical Walk at the Santa Maria Cemetery: American Civil War Veterans is available in soft cover only for $12 at www.janawaygeneology.com or through the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum where orders may be placed by phoning the museum at: (805) 922-3130.
new slo symphony general manager
When Executive Director Francie Levy said farewell to the Tulare County Symphony last year, the organization was enjoying recordbreaking attendance and a budget surplus. During her 7-year tenure, she raised the organization out of a significant deficit and oversaw the search and appointment of a new music director. The San Luis Obispo Symphony is proud to announce that Francie Levy accepted the position of General Manager. As the head administrator, she will guide the Symphony staff and focus primarily on donor and community relations. She will also be a key member of the search and selection committee for the Symphony’s new music director. That search will begin in the next two months.
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donation for womenade
SLO County Womenade recently received $1683 from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SLO County. Through this donation, Rev. Rod Richards, Judy Hornaday, Maggie Maly, and the SLO UU Fellowship help Womenade meet the needs of neighbors in our county who need food, rent, medical care and more. Photo: Judy Hornaday, SLO UU Fellowship and Sandy Richardson, Womenade
2015 vegan fall feast
Come to the South Bay Community Center to celebrate a turkey-free Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 22nd. Enjoy the cool breezes of Los Osos while chatting with fellow veg-friendly folks. Dinner will be the new vegan traditional dinner of plant-based roasts with all the trimmings. You are welcome to bring your own wine. Doors open at 2pm, serving starts at 2:30pm. Reserve your space now, as seating is limited and there will be no sales at the door. $20/adult, $10/6-17, under 5 free. RSVP and purchase tickets at Fall Feast 2015. Please call Jenny with any questions 805-234-7279.
slo botanical garden upcoming events
Succulent Wreath Workshop at SLO Botanical Garden. Tuesday, November 10, 12pm-3pm. Create your own beautiful, living wreath just in time for the holidays! With care, your wreath will last for years. Hang it or use it as a centerpiece throughout the season. All materials are provided for this hands-on class, and proceeds benefit
C rossword S O L U T I O N S
THE BULLETIN BOARD
the Garden. The workshop is $55 for Garden members/$65 non-members. Class is limited. Details at slobg.org/wreath.
Condors: Back from the Brink at SLO Botanical Garden. Saturday, November 14, 1pm-3pm. The largest birds in North America were reintroduced into the wild in 1991 after being on the brink of extinction. Now there are hundreds of condors found in the western U.S., but their struggle isnâ€™t over yet. Join lead Biologist of the Condor Recovery Team, Dave Clendenen, as he shares his story of working with the condors, what is being done and what CAN be done to make sure condors stay a permanent feature of California. $5 Garden members / $10 public. More info at slobg.org/condor.
teddy bears to sierra vista
The SLO County Air Pollution Control District (SLO APCD), Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center (Sierra Vista), and the SLO Blues Baseball Organization (Blues) partnered in a unique promotion this summer to help ease youth visits to the Emergency Room. For every double play the Blues turned during their 2015 campaign, the SLO County APCD donated two (2) teddy bears to Sierra Vistaâ€™s Emergency Room. The bears will be given to boys and girls visiting the facility between the ages of 3 and 12. During this past season, the Blues were able to complete forty-seven double plays; meaning that ninety-four (94) youngsters will receive this gift in an attempt to make the visit a little less worrisome.
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canzona sings “for the beauty of the earth”
Canzona Women’s Ensemble presents its autumn concert entitled “For the Beauty of the Earth” on Sunday afternoon, November 8, at 4 p.m. at the Cuesta Performing Arts Center (CPAC) on Cuesta College campus. The 27-voice group is led by co-directors Cricket Handler and Jill Anderson and accompanied by pianist Janis Johnson. Suzanne Duffy, flutist, a very active orchestral, chamber music and solo performer and studio teacher throughout the Central Coast, will be the featured guest artist. In this concert, Canzona explores the poetry of nature, taking inspiration from Joan Szymko’s The Peace of Wild Things set to a text by American poet Wendell Berry. From a romantic, rainy night in Uruguay, to the rugged peaks and big sky of Montana; from the harvest moon in autumn to the most beautiful of evening stars, the music expresses our longing to “rest in the grace of the world.” Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and $10 for students. They can be ordered online through the Canzona website: www.canzonawomen.org, or through brownpapertickets.com. For information, call (805) 542-0506. The CPAC is located off Highway 1 on the Cuesta College campus.
books: susan branch’s, the fairy tale girl
Are you looking for an enchanting story to spark your creative side? If so, The Fairy Tale Girl (Spring Street Publishing, November 2015) by Susan Branch is perfect for you. Susan Branch is a world-renowned artist and writer. Her blog and books inspire people to start journaling, crafting, and painting. In The Fairy Tale Girl Susan Branch explores her journey as an artist and as a woman
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coming of age in the ’70s. Her relationships and heartbreaks are intertwined throughout the memoir along with exquisite water color images and handwritten notes. Take a trip through this fun-filled memoir and explore the life of Susan Branch. The Fairy Tale Girl began as just one volume but by the time it was finished, when art and photos were added, it was almost 700 pages, too big, so Susan decided to turn it into two books. The second book will be coming soon after the first, and will be called Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. Both The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams are prequels to Susan’s last book, A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside.
FPAC reaches endowment goal—but not done yet
The recent $250,000 pledge by the SLO County Board of Supervisors takes the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center over goal in their Encore Endowment Campaign for Community Access. Encore Campaign Chair, Ben McAdams (front row, center), who has led the charge on the ground with his committee, said, “Though we have reached our cash goal, there is a tidal wave of energy around this effort. Everyday donors large and small emerge wanting to be part of this landmark campaign. We are not done yet!” For more information on the Foundation or the Encore Endowment Campaign call 541-5401 or visit www. fpacslo.org/Encore.
free senior health care screening
Screening for adults and seniors is available throughout San Luis Obispo County. Free services include: screening for high blood pressure, weight and pulse. Finger prick screening tests for: high cholesterol, anemia and blood sugar. Counseling and referrals as needed. Please call 544-2484 ext. 1 for dates, times and locations.
THE BULLETIN BOARD help our local veterans
VA clinic in San Luis is asking for volunteers to serve our Veterans as shuttle drivers. To help pay tribute and express your appreciation for their service, learn about volunteering at your local VA clinic. For more information contact your local VA volunteer representative Mr. Larry Foster at 805-354-6004 or send an email to Lawrence.Foster@va.gov
housing trust fund informational workshop
The SLO County Housing Trust Fund (the “HTF”) is inviting private housing developers, nonprofit corporations that wish to provide housing for their clients, local governments and other lenders to an informational workshop on its various loans and services. The workshop will provide information on the HTF’s LHTF, CDFI and other loan programs. The information will include the loan guidelines, rates and terms, application and review process, and the criteria that are used to approve loans. The workshop will be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 3:00 to 5:00pm in the HTF’s office. The office is located at 71 Zaca Lane, Suite 130 in SLO, which is off lower Higuera Street between Prado Road and Los Osos Valley Road. Additional information on the workshop is available online at www. slochtf.org/workshop.htm. RSVPs to (805) 543-5970 are encouraged, but not required.
golf n’ grub tournament raises $91,000
The Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH) Foundation is proud to announce that $91,000 was raised during the Annual Golf n’ Grub Golf Tournament held recently at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo. The funds raised will support programs and services of AGCH, including a community-wide effort to update critical areas of the hospital, expand patient care capacity, and implement new medical technology. This year’s co-chairs Dr. Eddie Hayashi and Brian Talley welcomed 40 volunteers, 30 local food and beverage vendors, and 144 golfers to the sold out tournament. The group welcomed a morning of rain, delicacies from local restaurants, breweries, and wineries and a great afternoon of golf at Monarch Dunes.
slcusd bus technician honored
San Luis Coastal’s bus fleet is in top-notch shape thanks to a dedicated and awardwinning mechanic. Joshua Chaney’s story is part of SLCUSD’s series: “Class Notes.” Bus technician Joshua Chaney keeps things running smoothly on the fleet of more than three dozen school buses that transport students in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD). Chaney’s story is featured in the recently released blog series called “Class Notes,” which SLCUSD unveiled this summer. The monthly profiles feature exceptional people, programs and departments that make the district unique. You can find the articles on SLCUSD Superintendent Dr. Eric Prater’s blog here: http://wordpress.slcusd. org/eprater/ “We have a great team,” Chaney said. The mechanic is one of 35 members on the SLCUSD transportation team. In June, Chaney was named California’s best at the CA Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO) bus technician competition in South Lake Tahoe. The competition included identifying parts and repairing different issues. Each component was timed and judged on accuracy. In November, he’ll travel to Arlington, VA to compete at the international level where winning teams from regional competitions across the U.S. and Canada will go head-to-head to find the best technician. Visit Dr. Prater’s blog to read the entire story. A new blog is published each month.
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eye on business
our veterans have much to do with business
By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates
n 2009 I used my “Eye on Business” column to write about a powerful experience I had had with my family attending a reunion of my dad, Jim Henderson’s, WWII Infantry Division reunion. My dad was 86 and a member of the 104th Infantry Division Timberwolves.
Now it’s six years later. Dad is 92 and still going strong. Earlier this fall my siblings and I accompanied him to New Orleans for one more reunion. The group of 100 attendees included 12 of the original division members. I can think of no better way to acknowledge Veterans Day coming up November 11 than by recounting some details of a trip that I will never forget. We were given a VIP tour of the World War II Museum in New Orleans, the foremost institution of its kind in the world. The museum tells a nearly overwhelming story of the war, shared through the first person stories of its soldiers. Chill winds blow in the rooms dedicated to the fierce winter fighting. Sound effects and memorabilia, photographs and movies make it all too real. The museum occupies several buildings over a city block and it was teeming with visitors, many of whom, like our group members, rode in wheelchairs or walked with walkers and canes. Stan Bunger, well-known KCBS News Radio anchor, was a special guest of the Timberwolves. Stan had produced a remarkable news story a few years ago, bringing together two Bay Area residents: one a Nordhausen Concentration Camp survivor, and the other, a Timberwolf who was in the division that liberated the camp. Stan spoke of the war and played an excerpt of the interview. The interplay of the perspectives of a solider and a nearly-dead survivor recounting their memories of April 12, 1945 was both riveting and chilling.
Jim Henderson and Tom Bomford, friends of 70+ years.
At the conclusion of the presentation, the group moved to its memorial service, in which the surviving vets each snuff a candle in memory of their fallen comrades. The vets’ hands may be shaky and their gaits uneven, but they stand and salute and are every bit the soldiers they were as very young men, some barely out of their teens when they served our country. These reunions are powerful events. The depth of friendship and concern for each other in relationships that reach back 70 years is amazing to witness. My dad’s own best buddy, Tom Bomford of Miami, Oklahoma, made the trip with his adult grandchildren. Seeing those two nonagenarians together laughing and telling tales of their good times was just amazing. Thinking about what they had endured, and witnessing the joyful lives full of optimism that followed spoke volumes. Not long after we returned from the reunion, a group of local vets flew from San Luis Obispo to Washington DC on an Honor Flight designed for veterans of WWII and Korea. They were heralded at every step of the way, an honor they more than earned. Similarly deserving are all of our military veterans and those currently serving. These are people dedicated to the principles of freedom. As Veterans Day approaches, I hope we will all take a moment to think about these remarkable men and women and extend our profound gratitude for their service. Because of their sacrifices and courage, we have extraordinary privileges that are easily taken for granted. We can start companies. Own businesses. Work, succeed and get ahead. We are able to live in a wonderful community. We speak freely and live without the fear that gripped a world decades ago. Very few WWII vets are still with us, but their legacy lives on. We owe it to them to make the most of what ThomaElectric.com we have been given. In business, and more (805) 543-3850 importantly, in life.
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