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Journal PLUS DECEMBER 2010



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

654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401











ADVERTISING Jan Owens, Kristen Hathaway CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Hilary Grant, Sandy Baer, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Frank Rowan, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Sarah Day, Julian Varela, Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, Ruth Starr, Bob Huttle, Chuck Graham, Kelly Crigger, Gordon Fuglie and Phyllis Benson Mail subscriptions are available at $20 per year. Back issues are $2 each. Inquires concerning advertising or other information made by writing to Steve Owens, JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE, 654 Osos Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. You can call us at 546-0609, our fax line is 546-8827, and our e-mail is View the entire magazine on our website at JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is distributed monthly free by mail to all single family households of San Luis Obispo and is available free at over 600 locations throughout the county. Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE. Cover photo provided by Chuck Graham

PEOPLE 10 12 14 16 16


HOME & OUTDOOR 20 22 24 26 28



30 32 34 35 36 37 38 40 42 54


BUSINESS 43 48 49 50



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everal years ago we profiled Norm Eggen and featured some of his favorite foods and dishes at the Old Country Deli. I still enjoy using his special seasoning when cooking on the BBQ. This month we caught up with his daughter, Elizabeth. A lot of changes have happened to her in the last couple of years. Elizabeth opened a cooking studio called, Mix It Up, got married and much more. You’ll enjoy her story. Our cover story this month is on the Guadalupe – Nipomo Sand Dunes. Chuck Graham gives us a history lesson on the Dunes as well as treating us with some incredible photos of this unique site. We couldn’t help but put one of those photos on the cover.

Most of us are familiar with the writing of Catherine Ryan Hyde, starting with the book and movie, Pay it Forward. We didn’t know that Catherine’s mother, Vance, also lives on the Central Coast. This month Ruth Starr features Vance and tells us how she settled here and how she is helping her daughter today. Each month we like to feature people who make a difference in our community and felt it was most fitting to profile the Community Giving Back program. Student volunteers donate their time at several non-profits and receive credits to go to camp. Read the story and see why we think so much of this program. My parents will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary by the time this issue is published. The Owens family will get the four generations together to begin our holiday season and share plenty of love and memories. May your holiday season be filled with as much love, happiness and laughter as ours.

Enjoy the magazine,

Steve Owens

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upcom ing e v en ts Thursday, Dec. 2, 7:30 pm General Stanley McChrystal

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Saturday, Dec. 18, 8 pm Cuesta Master Chorale Holiday Special

Monday, Dec. 13, 7 pm MBHS & LOMS Winter Band Concert

Sunday, Dec. 19, 3 pm Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert & Sing-Along

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 7 pm MBHS & LOMS Winter Choir Concert

Friday, Dec. 31, 7:30 pm SLO Symphony New Year’s Eve

Saturday, Dec. 4, 8 pm Cal Poly Choirs’ A Christmas Celebration

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 7 pm SLOHS & LMS Winter Choir Concert

Sunday, Jan. 2, 2 pm MET Live in HD: Verdi’s Don Carlo

Cal Poly Music Dept.


Sunday, Dec. 5, 3 pm Joy to the World

Thurs., Dec. 16, 7:30 pm Blind Boys of Alabama

Friday, Jan. 7, 8 pm W. Terrence Spiller Faculty Piano Recital

Cal Poly Arts

Friday, Dec. 3, 8 pm Fall Jazz Concert

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Sat., Dec. 11, 2 & 7 pm Sun., Dec. 12, 2 & 6 pm The Nutcracker


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New Year's Eve with the Symphony! ?KJ?ANPPE?GAPO6 .1) 11






Elizabeth Eggen Lesniak cooking and partying at Mix it up cooking studio By Hilary Grant

Are great chefs inspired by family genes? To the many hundreds of fans who already know about Elizabeth Eggen Lesniak and her Mix It Up Cooking Studio in SLO, it’s not a question, but a fact. The name might sound familiar because of this: Lesniak literally learned the art of creating and serving terrific dishes at the apron strings of her dad Norm Eggen, probably best known to long-time locals as the founder and owner of Old Country Deli. The much beloved barbeque eatery operated for decades on the corner of Broad and Marsh in downtown SLO; it closed in 2006. Of course, like most successful entrepreneurs, Lesniak has been an eager student and doesn’t mind hard work. Hooking up with the right culinary programs and terrific mentors, she has also encountered a dose of good luck along the way. These days, running all sorts of foodie driven parties from the 1,200 square foot studio that’s Lesniak’s home away from home (inside is a demo kitchen and small bar area, plus an office and requisite space to party), she has found her passion. And while some might think Mix It Up’s location is an unlikely spot for this sort of business – an industrial park a stone’s throw from the airport – one guest describes the interior of the location as “bright and very cozy, with a wonderful welcoming vibe.” For Lesniak, the most rewarding part of creating and running Mix It Up, which opened its doors in May of 2009, goes far beyond being her own boss. “It’s the absolute best when I’ve hosted a successful party at the studio, and the group leaves happy,” she says. “Then I hear from someone from that same group the next day, who tells me what a great time they had, that makes it even better,” says Lesniak. “I’m so blessed that people are happy with the food I’ve prepared.”

To that end, Lesniak offers a cornucopia of flavorful choices for just about every kind of event – birthday parties, bridal and wedding showers, corporate thank-you meals, holiday get-togethers, and even small, private dinners. And, while she’ll cook and serve whatever her clients’ might want, Lesniak also has soup-to-nuts menus with those who can’t make up their minds. Mix It Up entrees have included seared sea scallops, chicken breasts stuffed with fresh basil and goat cheese, and grilled spiced lamb chops. Imaginative appetizers are roasted asparagus soup and glazed dates with walnuts; desserts might be cupcakes, coconut lemon meringue or even a many tiered caramel cake inspired from The New York Times bestseller The Help. As a matter of fact, reading is a big part of Lesniak’s life – so she hosts a popular monthly book club at Mix It Up, too. Most recently, every guest brought an appetizer or dessert to share, along with a favorite book. Lesniak provided the entrée, and the evening was free to all who came. Lesniak also offers one-day cooking classes for kids, and is currently working on a more comprehensive series for youngsters slated to begin next summer. Great eats, and living off of the land, have been a part of Lesniak’s life for as long as she can remember. Growing up on a 300-plus acre ranch just south of SLO city limits near Highway 101, Lesniak and brothers Matthew and William had a true country childhood. “We had our own creek, three barns, trees to build forts in and a long road to ride bikes on,” remembers Lesniak. “And over the years, we managed to raise lots of animals – sheep, cattle, horses, turkey, pigs and chickens.” Alongside her siblings, Lesniak began working at Old Country Deli when she was just nine years old. Initially she helped prepare party trays, then graduated to stocking the drink case. Later, Lesniak practiced her math skills by running the cash register during busy lunch hours. “I used to get upset that people were extra hard on me because I was the owner’s daughter,” says Lesniak. “But now I’m grateful because I was taught a strong work ethic.”

Matt, Elizabeth and Will back in the Old Country days D E C E M B E R

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“This was the absolute best job that could ever have happened to me,” says Lesniak. “I was able to be part of a family business, just like what I grew up in. And then Doug and Barbara took me under their wing, made me part of their team, and among so many other things, taught me the importance of using the very best, and freshest, ingredients.” After seven years with the Inn, Lesniak returned to SLO – “the place where I’ve always felt I belonged.” Now on familiar footing, Lesniak added to her resume with work at the Madonna Inn; subsequent gigs were with Farb’s Bakery, Uptown Espresso and McPhee’s Grill. “At Madonna, I learned the importance of tradition, and at Farb’s, I learned that the best bread has no preservatives,” says Lesniak. A recent Mix It Up party

After graduating from San Luis Obispo High School in 1992, Lesniak moved to Northern California and enrolled at the Golden State Culinary Institute in Roseville, not far from Sacramento. After the school went bankrupt and shut its doors – “just as I was about to complete my internship!” – she completed her education at American River College. That’s where Lesniak also received her certification in baking and pastry making. Lesniak’s first stroke of luck after college was landing a job with Silva’s Sheldon Inn in Elk Grove (in the countryside outside of Sacramento). Her bosses were seasoned chef Doug Silva and his wife Barbara, who were – and still are – known for creating a slice of unpretentious elegance in the more than 100-year-old building that houses the restaurant.

“At Uptown, I found out that customers prefer a good home style carrot cake than a fancy one, and with McPhee’s, learned that superb consistency is something that customers respect – and in this economy, the key to a successful restaurant.” Lesniak also found true love, marrying fellow chef Ronnie Lesniak this past spring. Perhaps not surprisingly, the couple met, and once even worked side-by-side, at the Old County Deli; Ronnie is now employed at The Grill at Avila Beach Golf Resort. Now that she has branched out on her own, Lesniak has high hopes that Mix It Up will have a prosperous and happy life. “I am so excited,” she says, “to have the chance to share everything I’ve learned about food and cooking with the people of the Central Coast.” Find out more about Elizabeth Eggen Lesniak and Mix It Up Cooking Studio – including her recipe blog and sample menus -- at


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Landscape arthitecture’s

roger osbalDeston

three mentors, three decades, one teacher By Susan Stewart


hat if an aspiring composer had been tutored under the three batons of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms? What if a student painter had cleaned the brushes of Monet, Matisse, and Picasso? What if a wanna-be photographer had looked through the lenses of Stieglitz, Adams, and Leibovitz? In the world of Landscape Architecture, one lucky local man had just such a life.

Now retired, but continuing to guest teach, Roger Osbaldeston recalls a career that spans more than half a century, a career that began at the elbows of the three most influential names of 20th century landscape architecture: Ian McHarg, Lawrence Halprin, and Dan Kiley. In 1972, Osbaldeston was asked to co-found the Landscape Architecture Department at Cal Poly with Dick Zweifel, current Associate Dean at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Over the next three decades, Roger would share the collective influence of the

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Roger and daughter, Anne

“holy trinity” in landscape architecture – McHarg, Halprin, and Kiley – with thousands of students. He would also establish an enduring presence in the performing arts, lending his deep bass voice to the Mozart Festival, the Vocal Arts Ensemble, and now, the Cuesta Master Chorale, becoming a leading supporter of what is now Festival Mozaic, and taking roles in local theatrical productions. Born in Harrow on the Hill, a suburb of London England, his family was forced to move to Lancashire at the outbreak of WWII, and Roger attended boarding schools on the Isle of Mann and in Yorkshire. “I was bullied a bit in school,” Roger recalls. At 6 feet, 7 inches tall, he was expected to be athletic, but was not; instead Roger preferred music and sang in the school’s choir. Years later, in college, he would cut classes to attend classical concerts. Roger earned a diploma in Architecture from The College of Art and Crafts in Nottingham, and secured his first job as an architect there. But Roger wanted to travel, and at 25, he discovered that there were scholarships offered for graduate architects who might want to study Landscape Architecture. In 1959, he emigrated to the U.S. where he earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania. It was here that he met Ian McHarg, who would be his teacher for the next two years, and who was a profound influence on his subsequent life and career. As early as 1958, McHarg was writing articles such as “The Humane City: Must the Man of Distinction Always Move to the Suburbs?” At the time, Americans were moving en masse from the blight of inner cities to the relative bliss of the new suburbs. “McHarg was way ahead of his time,” Roger explained. “He was interested in working with nature; in gathering data before you design, to preserve and incorporate the natural environment. McHarg was a hugely important influence on today’s profession, having written the seminal book Design with Nature in 1969. As a direct result of having studied with McHarg, Roger landed his next job with the great Lawrence Halprin. “I had no résumé, no interview, and no office visit,” Roger said. “Just being a student of McHarg’s got me in.” He moved to San Francisco in 1961 and would work in Halprin’s office until 1964. Known for his more holistic approach to environmental design, Halprin further shaped the profession by taking our basic human archetypal needs into consideration when planning a space. Among Halprin’s best known projects are

PEOPLE To stay fit, he swims every morning “well, almost every morning;” he sings with the Cuesta Master Chorale, and continues to be a staunch supporter of the SLO Symphony and the Performing Arts Center. Over the years, he has performed in a variety of plays, with perhaps his most memorable role being that of “God” in a medieval morality play called Carmina Burana at UC Berkeley’s Early Music Festival.


ties of a project. “We use our left brain to understand how to build,” he explains, “and our right brain to make it beautiful. Recognize which half of your brain is the strongest, the how-to left brain or the artistic right brain … then work to strengthen the other half.”

Even after 25 years of teaching, he still delights in sharing the wisdom of his three extraordinary mentors with the up and coming students of Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Department. And though he modestly credits them with much of what he brings to the world of Landscape Architecture, Roger has some sage advice that is uniquely his own.

Roger as “God” in a U.C. Berkeley production of Carmina Burana

Ghirardelli Square, the FDR Memorial, and the conversion of the Seattle World’s Fair grounds into a cultural recreation center for the city. A note scrawled on a postcard to a friend back East led to Roger’s next job, with Dan Kiley’s office in Vermont. He would spend six years with this brilliant and eccentric mentor, who is best known for such projects as the JFK Library in Boston, the Lincoln Center, and the Rockefeller Institute, both in New York City. Roger helped Kiley with landscape design projects in Washington D.C., Oakland, Syracuse, Philadelphia, and New York City, among others.

“Go to Europe for goodness sake!” he exclaims when students ask what they should do after college. “See the world before you settle down. Develop a mind of your own; learn to draw and study the process of design throughout history.” For Roger, knowing how to build something is just as important as the artistic quali-

Roger in a publicity shot by Forrest Doud

“From Kiley I learned the importance of detail,” Roger said. “That God – not the devil – is in the details; that concrete doesn’t need to crack.” Two years after his job with Kiley ended, Roger was approached by Cal Poly with the exciting proposition of founding a new department. Now one of the most respected departments in the country, Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture has had its own important role in shaping the field. Now in his seventies, Roger Osbaldeston is a rare gift to his chosen profession, and to our community. Roger has made his home in San Luis Obispo for nearly 40 years. He has two daughters, and two grandchildren. Anne is a stay-at-home mother for Alaya, 10, and Finnegan, 6. Laura plays oboe and harpsichord with baroque orchestras around Europe and is completing her Master’s Degree at Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. D E C E M B E R

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Tim Kennedy

Driven by two careers By Kelly Crigger


ost of us have unrealized goals. That dream house on the beach, a sleek European sedan, maybe an annual fishing trip that seems just another year away from being affordable. San Luis Obispo product Tim Kennedy’s unrealized goals involve combat, both on the battlefield and off. Fighting extremists and becoming the greatest middleweight cage fighter in the world top his Christmas wish list. Kennedy was raised in SLO, attending Eagle Academy in Atascadero, Cuesta College, and then Columbia College before the day that changed America also changed him. “On 9-11 I watched New York burning from my comfy home in California and just felt helpless. I knew I had to do something and joining the military seemed like the natural choice,” Kennedy says. But life as an average Joe wasn’t in his playbook and Kennedy waited until the Army offered the 18 X-Ray program that allowed him to enlist directly in the elite Green Berets, a luxury not previously afforded servicemen. Before 2003, a soldier had to serve 3-5 years before being offered the chance to try out for Special Forces. Leaving behind the tranquil life by the sea (along with his favorite restaurant, The Firestone Grill), Kennedy found life in the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina brought a laundry list of new

challenges. Alpha males gravitate toward elite military units, so Kennedy went from being a standout California boy to just an average soldier. “That first week at Fort Bragg was an eye-opening experience for me,” Kennedy says. “I’m a pretty good runner, and I was struggling to keep up. I’m a really good shot, but I was scoring lower than the other guys on the range. I went from being the best at everything I do to the middle of the pack in a group of superb soldiers.” He vowed to be better and dedicated himself to being the best soldier on his Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA), but the time was short. His unit was due to deploy, and he had to get up to speed on their tactics, techniques, and procedures. Tim trained hard, but like anything, practice is just practice until the moment when a man finds himself in the real deal, the big game, or in this case, combat. Tim Kennedy was a Green Beret, but no amount of training can prepare a man for what he’ll do when real bullets start flying. Tim’s epiphany came on a mission in Afghanistan that justified his decision to leave home and join the Special Forces. Under the cover of darkness, his team leaped off helicopters while under fire and did what he never expected; they ran toward the enemy instead of away from it. “I knew I had chosen the right path right there. My whole team started assaulting the enemy immediately, and so did I. It was amazing and humbling at the same time.” Safely back in the United States, Kennedy carried that humility with him into another combat arena; the cage. Before entering the service, Tim trained at SLO Kickboxing Academy and John Hackelman’s Pit alongside Mixed Martial Arts legend, Chuck Liddell. While on active duty, he was a hired gun, fighting several times, though never consistently and not often enough to be considered a contender. “Those years (2003-2007), it was more about satisfying my need to fight and keeping my skills sharp,” Kennedy says. “I knew I was going


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Photo by Esther Lin of Strikeforce

to pursue it full time someday, but I didn’t know when and didn’t want to get rusty.” When the Army introduced an Army-wide combatives tournament in 2006, Tim entered and won it three years in a row. Fighting was a part of him, and in 2008, the day came when he had to make a choice between the service and the quickly growing sport. “I was in my prime physically, but I was also a good soldier and loved the special operations way of life, so it was heartbreaking that I had to choose between the two.” He tried several times to convince the Army to let him fight full time while remaining on active duty, but none of his superiors would agree

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to it, so Tim reluctantly chose the ring. He felt he could do more good for the Army and his comrades on the ever expanding stage of MMA. Tim Kennedy the world champion fighter was more valuable to the causes he cared about than Tim Kennedy the Soldier. And though he took the commercial career path, no one can ever say he didn’t do his duty to his country first. Tim finally found a way to reconcile both careers when the Army National Guard’s 19th Special Forces Group offered him a position as a sniper instructor and allowed him to remain a full-time fighter. He now lives in Austin, Texas and spends most days training for the day he gets a title shot.

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Trekking to bhutan...with trek leader

kate Froman By Susan Stewart


hey come for all kinds of reasons: Her favorite movie as a child was “Heidi;” it was his grandfather’s most fervent dream to hike the Himalayas; they read an article in National Geographic and made a promise they would come here once the kids were grown. Meeting each other for the first time in exotic cities like Kathmandu and Bangkok, the dozen or so people who sign up for a two-week hiking trek in Nepal or Bhutan typically spend their first evening together sharing the inspiration that brought them together half way round the world.

“It’s a wonderful ice breaker,” says trek leader, Kate Froman. “Everyone has a dream.” For Froman, who has been leading international treks for the Sierra Club since 1995, the dream began when she saw her first real mountain in Yosemite in 1961. Kate was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the eldest of six children. Her mother was a single parent whom Kate describes as being “very strong.” From earliest memory, Kate loved being outside; she joined both the Girls Club of America and the Girl Scouts where camping was a main activity, and she swam competitively all through school. Kate speculates that being the eldest of six steered her toward the helping professions. She earned her degree in Science and Physical Therapy, and after college, an early marriage to a native California man brought her to the Central Coast. Here, she raised two children, Chris and Laura, and enjoyed a long career in physical therapy. In 1976, in the midst of a divorce, Kate found herself missing the backpacking that they had done as a family and decided to take a trip on her own. She signed up for a trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains through the Sierra Club, and fell in love all over again … with the mountains, and with the man who would become her second husband. Over the next few years, Kate signed on for another 14 trips,

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each with the same leader, who taught her all she knows about trekking and camping in rugged mountain settings. It was while hiking in England that Kate was approached about leading her own groups. Unsure at first, the idea of getting such expert training from an organization as well respected as the Sierra Club was too appealing to turn down, and soon Kate was leading her own week-long trips to the Sierras. “I was responsible for everything,” she said. “From writing the descriptions to screening the participants; from planning the menus to preparing the meals. It was all great preparation for my first international trip.” Kate began designing and leading treks to London and Wales in 1995. And in 1999, she went to Bhutan for the first time. “A friend of mine was working there for the U.N.,” Kate explains. “I wanted to offer my help, and spent eight weeks there teaching a pediatric physical therapy course with the Save the Children organization.” During her stay, Kate took a two-week trek into the mountains, hiring cooks, horses, and a local guide to lead her to heights over 15,000 feet. “Not many Americans had seen this country at that time,” she said. “So I proposed a trip to Bhutan through the Sierra Club.” To date, Kate has led three two-week treks to Nepal, and three more to Bhutan, a tiny kingdom wedged between India and Tibet. Smitten by its exotic ethereal beauty, its remote and untouched location; its many colorful temples; and a culture that values happiness over money – Kate never tires of exploring the area and sharing its treasures with others. Just imagine a day that starts at the red-and-gold ruins of a Buddhist temple built in 1647, with the magnificent Mount Chomolhari (24,356 feet) as the backdrop. Visit the only capital city in the world that has not one traffic light. Lunch is a picnic in an emerald green valley where prayer flags of every color flap in the breeze, and school children stop to chat and practice their English. On another day, hike across tropical rice fields and up into forests of pine and cedar draped with lichen. Visit teeming bazaars, majestic fortresses, and the Tiger’s Lair, a goldenroofed monastery built on an impossibly high and rocky ledge in the late 1600s. See rare black-necked cranes, silent scarlet-robed monks, impressive archers, and glimpse the endangered Golden Langur monkey.

PEOPLE “Every trip has a strong conservationist element,” says Kate. “The preservation of nature and culture is an important part of the traditional way of life. The government is working with conservation groups and is integrating their concerns into policy. We meet with some of these groups and hear first-hand how Bhutan is accomplishing these goals.” International treks like the ones to Nepal and Bhutan require a two-year lead time to prepare for it properly. Kate’s next trip to Bhutan is scheduled for April of 2011, and you can read about the trip and how to apply to be a participant at; click first on All Sierra Club Outings, then select National and International Trips. There, you’ll find a detailed description of each trip, who is leading it, how much it costs, plus required training and conditioning. You can even email the leader directly right from the website. “Kate is a terrific leader,” said Valerie Endres, who took one of Kate’s treks to Bhutan. “She’s very well-prepared, and she’s also very democratic. She didn’t put her own agenda ahead of anyone else’s … You won’t find Kate way out in front, but at the center of the group instead.” Over the years, Kate has enjoyed watching first-timers gain confidence and get more comfortable with the basics of trekking, like crossing streams and finding the best

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place to pitch a tent. She’s also dealt with the full gamut of challenges and she’s been successful at talking anxious hikers into staying the course. She recalls one man in particular whose anxiety was so severe, he felt he couldn’t go on – but they were miles from the nearest road to civilization! After a reassuring talk with Kate, he felt confident and refreshed and enjoyed the rest of the trip, grateful he’d stuck with it. “It’s important to talk with your leader ahead of time,” Kate said. “Find out what the walks are like … will there be toilets, rain, insects, heat. Sometimes people decide that the trek they selected is not a good fit, and I’m always happy to suggest alternatives.” In the meantime, she is busy preparing and screening the next group of trekkers who will find themselves around the dinner table in Bangkok or Kathmandu describing the dream that brought them together. “We will see the positive and negative effects of Western culture on a traditional society,” Kate explains. “We will confront the dilemmas arising from our very presence … we may begin to question some of our Western ways, particularly our inequitable consumption of the worlds’ resources. “But perhaps,” she continues, “this experience will make us better world citizens … perhaps we will come away with a new awareness of the world we live in and the way we choose to live in it.”

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vance Hyde

celebrate what you have By Ruth Starr


he name Vance was passed down in her family for generations and by the time Vance Hyde was born, her mother and grandmother were set to name the baby Vance be it boy or girl. It was her grandmother’s maiden name and her mother’s middle name.

The name came in handy during the sixties and seventies when she began writing for women’s magazines because there was still a great deal of prejudice against women writers. Ironically, people thought that Vance was a man and therefore accepted her as a writer. It all began in high school where Vance studied writing and was on the school newspaper staff. She further honed her skills through a creative writing course also offered at her high school. After high school, Vance went to Chatham College in Pennsylvania where she majored in Psychology. That led to her interest in personnel. For nearly 16 years she held jobs in the personnel department in retail stores. During that time Vance’s love for writing continued. She wrote several articles for women’s magazines mostly concerning child rearing. It was a time when people raised children differently than they do today. She decided to put her ideas into a book. Vance wrote her first book in 1957 titled And Everything Nice. It was a parents guide to bringing up a daughter. The book professed that daughters should be prim, proper and nice little ladies. She then wrote, Especially for Mothers, in 1960. It was a scrapbook of things that she had loved to share with her children. Some of the content was poetry, and short stories that she enjoyed reading to them. She was clearly a follower of Dr. Spock, who was very popular at the time. After the two books, she stopped writing, as it did not come easily for her. After living in Los Angeles for several years, Cambria beckoned her in 1962. She fell in love with the beauty of the area. She applied and happily got a job as a caretaker of a small chapel. Vance moved into a charming house and convinced her daughter, Catherine Ryan Hyde, to move up as well. Catherine soon found a job as a guide at Hearst Castle and made the move. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Catherine discovered she had a natural talent for writing and began by writing songs. Catherine’s dream since she was 14-years-old was to become a writer. She became serious about her writing in 1991. It was about 1996-97 when she wrote, Pay It Forward, which became a best seller and was made into a highly acclaimed feature film. Vance was originally intimidated by Catherine’s work. Now she does the proofreading for Catherine’s new books. Catherine has written 17 books. D E C E M B E R

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Vance’s two other daughters are also published writers. An avid reader, Vance enjoys biographies, novels and anything else she can find to read. She is a regular at the nearby library in Cambria. Vance has a reputation for uniquely celebrating her birthday each decade. She explains, with a twinkle in her eye, that she chooses something different each celebration – something that she had never done before. On her fiftieth, she had her ears pierced. Ten years flew by and on her sixtieth, she had a tattoo put on her arm. By the time she reached seventy, she became more adventurous and took a ride in a hot air balloon with her son-in-law. For her eightieth birthday, she took her middle daughter Christie on a ferry trip through the entire inside passage of Alaska. She said it was a wonderful experience just waking up at night in sleeping bags on the deck of the boat. They would see the moon and feel the cold breeze and the sound of the water lapping against the boat. In addition to her birthday adventures, Vance took a trip with Catherine to Peru’s, Machu Picchu. It was a peak experience as they set out early in the morning, sat in the ruins and watched the sun come up. Vance had a strange feeling that she had been there before. There was something sad and beautiful and a bit frightening about that morning that made her think she had prior knowledge of that place. Making plans for her upcoming ninetieth birthday, Vance is planning a trip to Yellowstone Park. She will travel with Catherine in an RV. She loves camping in RVs and is anxious to see the geyser and rock formations. At eighty-eight years young, Vance has been blessed with good health and continues to eat well and exercise regularly. Getting in good shape doesn’t take much, she offers. To her, it means working at it a little at a time. Whenever she has had to give up something she has enjoyed, she finds something new to do and does not regret the loss. Her advice as we age: Always be grateful. Celebrate what you do have…and not what you don’t have.

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dune building: Origins of the guadalupe–Nipomo Sand Dunes By Chuck Graham


he Guadalupe – Nipomo Sand Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in northern Santa Barbara County, California, is the largest, intact coastal dune complex in the western United States. It’s not only pleasing to the eye, but also a constantly shifting natural wonder, transformed daily by wind, waves and tides. The dunes are the tallest on the west coast with some topping 500 feet high right out of the ocean. How did such a massive dune ecosystem such as this come to rest along the central California coast? Its origins go way back, over 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. I was recently standing atop 5,155 foot Cone Peak, located in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the rugged Big Sur coastline. Coastal fog hugged the lower peaks that plummeted down to cascading creeks. It’s here where the formation of the dunes began and still evolve today. The range stretches down through San Luis Obispo County, eventually feeding the Santa Maria Rivermouth. The Cuyama and Sisquoc Rivers in Santa Barbara County also contribute to the Santa Maria River, which spews various rock deposits onto the beach between the Nipomo and Guadalupe Sand Dunes.

“The dunes are pretty recent for the most part,” stated Jeff Parsons, a geologist and earth scientist, speaking in geological terms. “There’s good dune definition over the last 10,000 years here.” During the last Ice Age, a new coastline was formed when the polar ice caps melted. The Santa Lucia Mountains received large amounts of rain at the end of this Pleistocene Era. During these rains, streams carried large quantities of sediments over vast flood plains before depositing them along the coast. Eventually these sediments consisting of Franciscan rock complex that are 90 to 150 million years old and extensive Cenozic rocks – including Monterrey Foundation – that are 67 million years old – were reduced by waves of rising oceans, grinding the heavier sediments to micro granules. Geochemical studies in the D E C E M B E R

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dunes indicate they’re enriched with phosphorous, an important element of soil fertility. “The phosphorous probably originated from mineral matter eroded from phosphorous-rich portions of the Monterrey formation,” explained Parsons. “It’s a neat area out here geologically.” Once the sediments reached the shore and were crushed into sand particles, they were dispersed by prevailing northwest winds, crashing waves and swirling currents. Waves and high tides pull sand offshore during stormy winter months. Summer time deposits sand back onto the beach where prevailing northwesterly winds spreads the tiny grains into existing dune formations. The long, sweeping and artistic ripples in the dunes develop during periods of high winds. Swirling blasts of air move sand in many directions at the same time giving the dunes an interesting appearance of ridges and shapely lines. “The dunes are unstable,” said Parsons. They’re constantly shifting.”

HOME/OUTDOOR Within the dunes live 1400 species of flora and fauna. Dune vegetation has adapted to the harsh environment. The plants start their growth by trapping sand in its root system. Dune formation begins when wind blows dry sand landward from the beach. Sand drifts accumulate around objects such as plants and driftwood that interrupts wind flow. Once the sand moves inland from the shore, dunes stabilize around plants. Certain plants like the silver dune lupine (Lupenis nipomensis) and the mock heather (Ericameria ericoides) are found in the stabilized dunes while growing larger. Various plants growing next to each other can cover an entire dune. The beach morning glory (Calystegia soldanella) is the first plant to colonize the dunes.


“Many of the plants found in the dunes have adapted to the harsh environment,” said Lauren M. Brown, a botanist who leads hikes for the Dunes Center located in Guadalupe. “The silver lupine has adapted by using its tiny hairs to keep water inside its leaves.” Other plants found in the smaller dunes or foredunes found closest to the ocean have adapted by growing lower to the ground to survive. Some of these include purple sand verbena (Abronia umbellata), yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia) and beach evening primrose (Camissonia cheiranthifolia). “These plants grow lower to the ground in open areas to stay out of the wind,” said Brown. “They’ve adapted to being buried and covered and surviving in a challenging environment.” Spotting wildlife in the dunes is a challenge. Most encounters consist of a mere blur from lupine to coreopsis tree, but various sets of tracks are clearly defined in the sand ranging from kangaroo rats and legless lizards to black bears and mule deer. Some mornings appear as if there’s a race track of animal prints around the mounds of silver lupine and other dune flora. “You may not see a lot of animals during the day,” said Chris Barr, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the former refuge manager of the dunes. “Animals are exposed to predators out in the open, so they’re more active during the night.” The back dunes of the refuge harbor 11 freshwater lakes that have helped wildlife adapt to life in the dunes. This has enabled larger predators like bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes and gray foxes to survive in the dunes and prey upon smaller dune dwellers like the kangaroo rat, which utilizes its long, narrow feet to travel the soft sands of the refuge.

Two unique critters that have adapted to the dunes are the California horned lizard and the legless lizard. The latter uses its slender body to burrow under the thin layer of crust found in various regions of the dunes. The horned lizard uses its hard shell to protect itself from the heat in the dunes. “They don’t have to burrow very deep,” said Barr, referring to the legless lizard. “The sand isn’t like a hard pack.” So when you visit the refuge and venture out to the dunes and the northwest winds are filling your shoes with golden grains, take a moment and watch the sand blowing by. You’ll be witnessing dunes in the making.


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change requires change By Julian J. Varela


n my world, defining, achieving and examining goals realized and unrealized are common topics of conversation. Over the past few months I must admit I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Everything from relationship concerns to economic difficulties, and of course, something never far from my mind: my own personal health and fitness have been occupying my mind. Turns out, I’m not alone. Most of us think about these things this time of year. When it comes to goals, it’s easy to procrastinate and put things on the back burner until next week, and the next, and then next month and the next…

until December 31st. There’s something glaringly obvious – and somewhat disappointing – about the New Year for me. The glaringly obvious part is simply that another year has gone by. When I was 10 or 11, I couldn’t wait to “grow up,” but now that I’m in my 30s, I wish things would slow down a bit. Sure, I’ve accomplished many more things than I once thought possible; but there is so much more that I had hoped to achieve. As I rolled these two opposing thoughts around in my head, I came to the conclusion that if I want to achieve more in my life, it’s up to me, and no one else. I’m in control, so what’s holding me back? Do you want to achieve more in life? If so, what’s holding you back? I have a standing monthly coffee date with a few treasured friends. Our busy personal lives prevent us from having the long, luxurious weekly dinners we’d all prefer, but our coffee conversations sure seem to solve the world’s problems for me most days. A couple of weeks ago, one of these dear coffee-mates announced she would go back to school and complete a program, maybe even get a degree. When I pressed her for the details, she told us she hoped to complete a phlebotomy certification, but had little faith she could get through a Bachelor’s degree. “Why not both?” I challenged. To which she replied that she just wasn’t sure how to juggle work and school, didn’t want school to consume her life, was concerned she couldn’t manage a full load and maintain a high GPA, yada yada yada. I didn’t say so, but here’s what I was thinking: Time is going to pass whether we like it or not. The glaring and obvious facts are that in five years, we will either achieve what we hoped for, or we’ll realize with a thud of regret that we didn’t – and all because we didn’t set concrete goals and make a plan to achieve them. What do you want your life to look like five years from now? (This is such a simple and useful


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exercise.) What do you really want? And what will it take to get there? Are you ready to put in the time, effort and possible discomfort to achieve it? You may lose a little sleep. You may have to sacrifice time, money and recreation. But my own experience tells me that with a solid goal, a strong plan, and some determination, you’ll find a way to get it done; even have a little fun in the process. My dad once told me, “Son, just go to school and get a degree. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether you use it or not; the accomplishment itself will be worthwhile.” That may have been one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received because simply setting my educational goal and reaching it made me realize that I can accomplish and complete anything I set my mind to. Was it always comfortable? No. Was it worth it? Definitely. Change requires change; it’s a pretty simple formula. December is here. 2010 is nearly behind us and another twelve months will be here before we know it. Where will you be when that happens? If change is what you want, then change is what you will have to do, and it will be up to you to figure out what, when, and how. But I won’t leave you all alone with this. To help you along your way I suggest you perform the pillow test each night before you fall asleep. Think about what you accomplished earlier in the day and two thoughts should come to mind; either you’ll say “I wish I had” or “I’m glad I did.” Julian J. Varela holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Julian co-owns Equilibrium Fitness and Equilibrium Fitness for Women. Contact Julian at with questions or comments. Follow Julian’s blog at

You can now read the Journal Plus online. Go to and take a look. Easier access for our readers and more exposure for our advertisers. Tell your friends and family who no longer live in the area. CURT RANKIN | THE BROOKS FAMILY | ART AT THE OCTAGON BARN | VETS MUSEUM

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community giving back helping kids go to camp By Natasha Dalton “…man’s greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes – obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes” ---Victor Hugo Moving from Texas to California went pretty smoothly for Zac Austin. He got into sports programs, made new friends and did well at school. His pleasant personality and good work habits were noticed by his teachers and just three months after starting elementary school in Atascadero, Zac was nominated for Leadership Camp. “I was really excited for him,” Zac’s mother, Kim Austin, remembers. “I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity for him to meet other kids who are leaders, and move in a positive direction. But it was expensive. We barely settled down; just started our new jobs, had lots of expenses – we didn’t have the means for a camp.” So, Kim decided to hold a fundraiser. “We need everyone to pitch in,” she said to her family, stressing that it would be good for Zac to work for his goal instead of always expecting parents to foot the bill. And they did it: the family held fundraisers and got the money. Then the unexpected happened: “I went to the teacher and said, ‘Zac is ready to go. Who else is going?’” – Kim remembers. “And the teacher said, ‘Zac is the only one.’” Because of the expenses, none of the other nominees could attend the camp. This really distressed Kim. “It stinks,” she thought. “The kids get recognized by their teachers as having certain abilities, and then they cannot expand on that!” And from this frustration, the idea of a new organization was born. Today Kim is the executive director of Community Giving Back, a non-profit which helps kids go to camp in exchange for some volunteer work in the community. The organization is designed to serve as a volunteer warehouse and provides youngsters with the opportunity to do something good for others. For every hour of volunteer work, the group deposits ten dollars towards the camp of the students’ choice. “I like to match them with specific tasks that utilize their talents,” Kim says. “I want to give them a broad range of experiences with all kinds of non-profits, so that – when they get older – they

Wendy Lewis and Kim Austin

will already have an idea of what they want to do to give back to their community. There are so many ways to do that!” The website of the Community Giving Back differs from other nonprofit sites because it allows advertising – and it gets plenty of traffic. The reason for it is photographs. “We have photographers from all over the area going to various events in the community – like fundraisers or sports competitions – and then posting their quality pictures of all those events on our site – and they are free to download and print,” Kim explains. Professional photographers get their names, the names of their businesses, their specialty and their contact information posted on the page – along with a link to their own websites. Besides, as contributors to the site, the photographers get to attend various happenings, meet new people and demonstrate their professional skills to the broader public. Amateur photographers get recognized as well, and in a way that is more meaningful to them. They’re given an opportunity to promote their favorite non-profits – with links to their websites. Last year The Hilltop News, the Atascadero High School Newspaper, gave Kim all of their photo archives, and is continuing to share with her its current photos. The Atascadero News’ Sports section is doing the same. Besides, Kim, a professional photographer herself, has the approval of the Atascadero and Templeton High School administrations to take

Lindsey and Maddie distributing food

The Fridays at the Food Bank D E C E M B E R

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HOME/OUTDOOR pictures of their sporting events, and is hoping to expand her efforts to Paso Robles. “Every year we’ll have different groups of kids earning their way to camp with our help,” Kim says. To make parents aware of this opportunity, she makes presentations at the schools’ annual meetings. Of course, the kids in Atascadero are very familiar with her website by now, because of the high volume of the pictures on it. Last year the funds raised by this non-profit helped two boys to go to a basketball camp. This year it’s all about girls. “They probably had no idea what they were getting into, but they love it,” Kim comments. “After the first day they were on cloud nine; they felt so important! It matters to them that they’re helping their community, but it’s also very important that they enjoy doing it; it makes them want to do more. I can see now that some of the students might consider investing more time in their work, and then donate it to benefit a kid who is not physically able to volunteer,” she adds. Her group has partnered with a number of local non-profits, including The Red Cross, The Children’s Museum in Paso Robles and the Hero Sports League, but the organization that really embraced its young helpers is the SLO County Food Bank. “The kids mostly volunteer on Friday afternoons; so we call them Fridays,” explains Wendy Lewis, Associate Executive Director of the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County. At the Food Bank the girls put bags together, answer phones, go to grocery stores with staff members to collect donations, load the trucks and even distribute the food. They also participate in campaigns to promote hunger awareness. “Our Fridays will jump at anything we ever ask of them,” Wendy Lewis says. “Their energy is beautiful; they are flexible. What’s neat about this group is that it’s an on-going resource for us, and we know that we can rely on them in a time of need. They’re so excited to be helping and giving back to their community! It’s not just a project for them. They know that by helping us they’re actually helping their neighbors.” The girls’ attitude is remarkable. They all insist that they enjoy helping those in need, and that they feel rewarded when they see positive reactions of the others. “It feels great to help our community, and it’s a lot of fun,” Maddie Leong says. And even though the Fridays are only in grammar school, they’ve already learned many important lessons. “Doing community service has taught me responsibility,” Riley Brown says. Another valuable quality that the girls developed is compassion. “I’ve learned to put myself in other people’s shoes,” Heather Wulff comments. “I know now that if I were in need I would enjoy the help of the community.” Yes, giving can be as gratifying as taking. “Even though the work is hard sometimes (such as when we worked in the Paso Community


Garden), it all pays off when we see people smile, knowing that we did this to help them out – and not ourselves,” Mika Williams says. “I’ve learned that volunteering can really make the community a better place,” Kim’s daughter, Lauren Austin, sums up. Since getting involved in the program, “volunteering has become much more important to my family, and we find ourselves doing it a lot more often,” Lauren says. “I enjoy helping others,” she adds. “The most memorable day so far was when a friend and I were sitting in a small room stapling bags for 2 ½ hours – and this was a lot of fun!” Developing new skills, camaraderie and a sense of fulfillment from a job well done – all this and a trip to the camp of their choice at the end of the year – that’s what kids get from participating in the Community Giving Back program. Besides, the group helps photographers to build their businesses, and supports other non-profits, as well as the community at large. “I’ve never done anything like this before, but the idea keeps evolving, and I believe that it has great potential,” Kim says. “It’s exciting to see how we can help so many people!” Kim likes to quote the former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan: “Young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they can play a leading role in the development of their communities today. Let us hope that their good works today blossom into life-long commitments that will benefit all the world’s people.” He is talking about you, kids. To learn more, go to: or

Update on Dental Care

Today’s Dentistry… Going after life full-blast!


eauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes. And so is self-esteem. The darkened tooth that drives on e i nd iv idu a l Dr. Dassenko crazy may matter little to another. You may have a space between your front teeth that, rather than distract from your appearance, is rather engaging. A good cosmet ic dent a l practice considers your selfimage, as you see it. Fine cosmetic dentistry is not so much about creating “per fection,” but minimizing the defects that interfere with your personal success. Defects that may prevent a smile from coming naturally. So dialogue between you and your dentist is key. You’ll carefully explain what you see that needs shoring up. And the dentist, after

consultation, translates that need into a realistic result. And the translation can be breath-taking. New whitening techniques can brighten teeth visibly in a very short amount of time. A bond here, a bond there, reshapes a chipped tooth in a single visit. Porcelain veneers are a newer option for contouring front teeth. Ou r practice believes in consult ation a nd eva luation before we begin. We get “inside your head” as far as we can to determine what treatment is best for you. We’re here to answer your questions—give us a call. Pamela Dassenko, DDS practices cosmetic and family dentistry at: 1250 Peach Street, Suite G San Luis Obispo CA (805) 549-8483

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Seasonal Decorating Tips By Statepoint Media


etting a home ready for the busy holiday season and guests can leave even the most prepared planners overwhelmed. But you don’t need to be. With the right inspiration and some handy tips, you can easily spread cheer from room to room. Seasonal colors can add Simple updates can change the whole look of a room, according warmth to a room. to designer Lisa LaPorta, host of HGTV’s “Designed to Sell” and “Bang for Your Buck,” and KILZ brand spokesperson. For example, while do-it-yourselfers are overwhelmed by the redecorating proa fresh coat of paint and some new throw pillows may be all you cess, particularly choosing paint colors, in the end they ultimately need to settle in for the season, whether you are ringing in the find the sense of renewal they were looking to achieve. new year with a bash or curling up by a crackling fire. “Planning ahead will ease your mind and brighten your mood. Don’t Stress You will be much more confident in your decisions and ultimately More than half of people who plan to make updates to their happier with the results,” stresses LaPorta. homes say they are concerned they won’t be happy with the results, according to the sixth annual KILZ Brand Roller Report sur- Small Changes, Big Results vey titled “Overcoming Redecorating Fears.” The report finds that This year, LaPorta recommends adding thoughtful but less expen-

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Even though the prospect of moving m I P N F  E F T J H O  E J T U S J Dfuture, U you owe it to yourself to learn h sive touches to make family and friends feel at home. Consider adding some festive updates like embroidered towels for the powder room, a new throw rug or painting in the entryway, or an accent wall behind the Christmas tree. “Picking your favorite color from a room and highlighting it on one wall will create a dramatic pop of color,” she says. “Try a darker shade for a cozy feel or a brighter color to lift the spirits of your guests.” Set the Mood More than 80 percent of re-decorators believe interior wall colors and decor can affect mood. To ensure you get the right shade and mood with your new paint color, first prime your walls with a primer like KILZ Clean Start. If you’re going from a bright color to a neutral one, a special primer, such as KILZ Premium, will hide evidence of your former bright shades. Also, keep in mind a decor change can be done in less conventional ways, such as painting a ceiling or the back of your built-in bookcase.

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Holiday Bark with dark chocolate, cranberries and pecans By Sarah Hedger


here does the year go and how does time go by so quickly? Happy December to all! As the winter season transpires on the Central Coast, I want to deviate a bit to talk about something that deserves some overdue recognition – the topic of fair trade. While some often look at fair trade products as a luxury or a way consumers are asked to pay more, I want to explain it best I can as it is the season of spending and there are few better ways to vote than by voting with your very own dollar. It is our ability, often easily overlooked, and it is the simple concept that every dollar we spend, supports a cause. When we buy honey from our local honey producer, we are supporting him and his product. When we choose to by from a market owned by a local family, we are supporting them and what they choose to sell. When we choose an organic apple over a non-organic apple, we are choosing to support someone who cares about our future by eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. And, lastly, when we choose to buy a product that is fair trade certified, we are choosing

to support an improved, industry-wide standard. While fair trade these days is being classified as a movement into itself, its purpose is good in that it helps producers in developing countries have better trading conditions, as well as enforcing higher social and environmental standards. What does this really mean? It means they are closer to making a living. While coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolates are where we see the majority of the fair trade movement, it extends into the clothing industry as well ( Fortunately, even in the current economic environment, there continues to be an increased volume in fair trade products as more and more people learn of its benefit. I don’t want to preach when it comes to this, but in a time of giving (and often spending to give) it is most important to put some thought into how we spend our dollars. It is a simple philosophy and when it is applied to how we spend our food dollars, I call it Food Philosophy 101! It begins right here, in a beautiful area where seasonal produce is locally produced, year round. It really is one of the few freedoms each of us have, the

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holiday bark with dark chocolate, cranberries and pecans

ability to stop at a roadside family farm selling pumpkins or apples, finding the local fishermen, or your own local farmers’ market. And lastly, when buying your chocolate for this month’s high-antioxidant, special treat Holiday Bark with Dark Chocolate, Cranberries, and Pecans, seek out the local ingredients – they are out there and they taste far superior to anything that has traveled thousands of miles. Use fair trade chocolate and you will be voting to support that family, who produced that chocolate, through getting paid enough to sustain their family. In the chocolate world, we have the amazing (and local) Sweet Earth Organics that are bringing some of the best, organic, fair-trade chocolate to our doorstep here in San Luis Obispo. Seek out these local food heros who are choosing to bring you better (tasting) products that are better for you, better for the environment, better for the families that produce them, and most importantly better for our future (generations). And, with that Food Philosophy 101, you owe it to yourself to create (and enjoy) some wonderful holiday bark! Happy Holidays!

For the bark: 2 cups organic, fair trade dark chocolate (60+ %), coarsely chopped 1 cup organic dried cranberries 2 cups organic, fair trade white chocolate, coarsely chopped 1 cup organic pecans, coarsely chopped ½ tsp. orange zest

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Melt the white chocolate in the same way as the dark chocolate and once melted, fold in the pecans. Spread this mixture either as alternating rows to the dark chocolate or in a similar Van Gogh style. If you spread it in rows, you can drag a knife through the rows, giving it a swirly, ripple effect. If you are wanting to experiment with your own wild side, sprinkle some extra dried cranberries and/or pecans on top. Chill until set in the refrigerator. Once solid (about 30 minutes in the freezer or 1 hour in the fridge), break into chunks and serve with some fresh brewed tea or coffee.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the dark chocolate in a small saucepan, and melt over low heat (this can be accomplished with a bowl in a microwave however the heat is uneven and doesn’t work as well and often takes longer). Once melted, add the cranberries and orange zest. Mix to incorporate. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet, either in a couple even rows or in a more abstract, Van Gogh style. (there is no right or wrong here, just express your artistic side via chocolate)!

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*Feel free to email me at if you have any food-related questions.



The Grange Hall: Fifty Years of Service By Ruth Starr


n any given day, thousands of cars pass by an historical building in San Luis Obispo and most of the passengers don’t know anything about it or the organization responsible for its construction. The Grange has been in this building at 2880 Broad Street for the past 50 years. Originally surrounded by farmland, the City of San Luis Obispo has grown up around The Grange Hall. Local resident Bill Moneymaker has been involved with the Grange organization in San Luis Obispo for close to ten years. As the coordinator for the building and its activities, Bill says that it is all about community services. The hall is rented out for weddings, funerals, voting, and for use with other groups. The local 4H group does some fundraising at the Grange as well. It is community-oriented as much as possible, according to Bill. In its heyday, the SLO Grange had upwards of 400 members, however today it has only about 30.

“It will be nice, for all those traveling down Broad Street, to see the new and improved Grange Hall.” On December 4, 1867 in a small Washington, D.C. building, a group of seven men got together and formed The Grange. Their desire was to keep the railways from taking over their individually owned plots of land. These men, under the auspices of The Grange, successfully fought the government from the takeover attempt. The National Grange is the nation’s oldest national agricultural organization, with units in 2,700 local communities in 40 states. The members, nationwide, provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues. It was formed following the American Civil War to unite private citizens. In the past 143 years, it has evolved to include non-farm rural families and communities. The National Grange was one of the first formal groups to admit women to membership on the basis of equality with men. It remains so today.

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The 11-story National Grange headquarters in Washington, D.C. was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 29, 1960, and is the only private office on the street across from the White House. Major objectives of the national Grange include support of stewardship of America’s natural resources. They promote and support rural education, medical, communications, and road systems. The Grange also provides an opportunity to serve through leadership for local community service projects. Examples of some projects include providing hearing testing, building community centers, sponsoring community fairs, staffing after school child care programs, and conducting voter registration drives. As the local coordinator in San Luis Obispo, Bill realized the potential of the building as a place to hold original plays and a comedy club. He attended Cal Poly before completing his education at San Jose State, but always remembered how much he liked this area. Drawing on his background in the entertainment business, Bill was one of the first tour guides for Universal Studios close to 20 years ago. He went on to form his own production company in Los Angeles. “Moving to San Luis Obispo and buying a house here was my best life decision,” says Bill. Soon after relocating he got involved in the real es-


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tate business, but his heart was still in the entertainment field. Finding the Grange Hall provided the impetus to get back in the business. As a Grange member, Bill was put in charge of the entire Grange operation. The comedy evenings began with only three people in the audience, which was discouraging. However, the first Saturday of each month comedy shows have become so popular that the evenings are crowded with wall to wall people. The comics have assurance that they will not be heckled and they can work on their routines there. Many of the comics are professionals that have been on TV and in films. Sometimes the caliber of talent is a wonderful surprise to the audience. Other community events taking place at the Grange Hall include a weekly Sunday morning service of the Uplift Spiritual Community. To help finance a building restoration, Bill thought it was natural to create a farmers’ market. The Grange Hall Farmers’ Market began in November 2010 on Tuesday afternoons, a time when there are no other farmers’ markets in the area. He also plans to include a Vendor’s Fair on Saturdays for people who have small businesses or products they want to sell.

Bill Moneymaker

Dedicated to preserving the integrity of the historic building and the reparations necessary to ensure its future, Bill hopes to fund a renovation through the Farmers’ Market and Vendor’s Fair, amongst other activities. The building structure is solid, however it needs painting inside and out, as well as some other restorations. “I am encouraged by our new activities and look forward to getting the building updated,” explains Bill. “It will be nice, for all those traveling down Broad Street, to see the new and improved Grange Hall.”

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SLO county art scene randy stromsoe: Of mettle and metal By Gordon Fuglie

with lathe and hammer – and a plethora of tools too numerous to mention, fashioning functional objects of great elegance and authority. Stromsoe’s smithery has ranged from the sacred to the profane, spanning liturgical chalices and domestic table settings, as well as jewelry.


he sinuous, serpentine shapes and fundamental forms of Randy Stromsoe’s metal work bear out his ongoing curiosity about pewter, silver and gold and what these alloys and elements can become in the hands of a seasoned craftsman. For nearly forty years, the Cambria artist has wrought his materials

The sheer beauty of his work makes its users and viewers forget that silver and gold are commodities, precious metals bought and sold by speculators as a hedge against economic slumps. A realist, Stromsoe does not hesitate putting his artistry in an economic context. He told me that when he started out as metalworker, silver sold for $2.25 an ounce. In the Autumn of 2010 it has been pushing $25, and it has been worse. Stromsoe recalls silver soaring to $50 per ounce. When material costs rise, the patronage of a silver smith is restricted to those at the top economic brackets, and he laments the decline of middle class patrons and the ensuing narrowing of taste. Typically for Stromsoe, a high percentage of his work comes from commissions. In the recent past, crafted art, or craft, as it is known within the “functional art community,” was ghetto-ized by the more theoretically minded contemporary art world. Painters, photographers, and so-called new media artists (and their allied critics) liked to think that they were the ones doing the

heavy lifting with “real ideas” or current issues in art. How could a potter, weaver, jewelry artist, etc. be on board when they were concerned about kilns, looms and precious metals? It wasn’t long, however, before a bumptious postmodernism arrived to blow most of these condescending notions to smithereens. If you looked at art history, the

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Stromrose’s hammer and soldering area

postmodernists asserted, there was a range of expressions and media that constituted thoughtful artistic practice. Thus craft re-entered the arena of contemporary art. Stromsoe’s commissions for the Roman Catholic liturgy are one example of craft married to profound meaning. Among his timeless silver chalices produced for various churches, one mesmerizing example simultaneously carries the mystery of the Real Presence in Holy Communion with its basic function as a cup commonly shared by the religious community. Chalices, in their harmonic configuration, also testify to a Catholic philosophy of beauty. By contrast, Stromsoe’s teapots are often vehicles for modernist design principles, such as the Arts and Crafts movement and those later introduced by Germany’s Bauhaus school in the 1930s. In Orb, executed in pewter and ebony, the forms are elemental, clean – following Bauhaus simplicity. But Stromsoe also blends in elements of Futurism, which sought to convey movement, and the streamlined machine sensibility of American Art Deco. These styles – Bauhaus, Futurism, Art Deco, were the “cutting edge” in the US and Europe from 1910 to the 1930s, and Stromsoe has adeptly achieved in Orb a postmodern blend of the three. Stromsoe’s apprenticeship was practical. Like an aspiring teenage medieval craftsman, he entered the studio/shop of a master silver smith – in his case, Porter Blanchard (1886-1973). Blanchard’s work was originally influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, which stressed integrity of materials and workmanship, shunning superfluous ornament to achieve unnecessary decorative effects. “I strive for simpler, finer lines and plainer surfaces,” he said. Stromsoe’s oeuvre shows his debt to Blanchard in its formal simplicity and honoring the essence of the metal he is crafting. But the high volume output of Blanchard’s 1970s shop, filling flatware orders for elite department stores, proved too stressful for the young journeyman. In 1979 Stromsoe moved to Cambria to set up a small studio where he has since worked. Within a year of working on the Central Coast, he had his first significant commission, marking his master status. In the forty years as a craftsman, Stromsoe’s metal work has been selected for the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s holdings of decorative arts and crafts; the White House Collection of American Craft; and the Oakland Museum. In addition, the State Department has commissioned his silver vessels as official gifts to heads of state and royalty worldwide. Through the month of December his artistry will be on view at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1130 Broad Street, SLO, 93401 (, 805-543-8562); for more information on Randy Stromsoe, see

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COMMUNITY – to the lives of my students and to the world outside my classroom door. Sometimes classrooms can be artificial; out THERE it’s real.

huttle up

As I moved away from that classroom and on to new opportunities (including writing for the Journal Plus), I guessed my connection to public school would fade away. But recently, a spectre of unsettling news about the current state of American education seems to bombard me at every turn.

By Bob Huttle

My first inkling of disquietude happened a few months ago when the LA Times ran a series of articles about “values added” testing. A nationwide movement is afoot to critically evaluate teachers based partially on their students’ standardized test scores. The LA Times website has posted a public listing of LA Unified school teachers which ranks them as “most effective” to “least effective” in the areas of language arts and math. As I understand it, these numbers will, in essence, partially determine the worth of a teacher. This idea could come to school districts throughout San Luis Obispo County. For example, principals in the San Luis Unified School District have been informed that, above all else, test scores are the #1 priority for each school site and that these scores need to improve annually. The pressure is on (keep in mind that SLCUSD has the highest overall scores in our county and some schools rank among the best in the state). I fear a Pandora’s box has been unlocked.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination circles the world.” --- Albert Einstein

Still here. Still retired. Life moves forward. Last month I wrote about growing a vegetable garden, a new venture for me. Lately, I’ve been thinking about another kind of growth, the kind that comes from nurturing the minds of young people, our students. Some readers might remember me as a teacher at San Luis Obispo High School. I spent an enormous amount of hours over the years with thousands of students whose parents entrusted me to shape, encourage, educate, and care for their children. The daily challenge for me was to consistently connect the learning – no matter what subject I was teaching


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Please don’t misunderstand me: I am all for authentic teacher evaluation. The current system has often been ineffective and poor teachers have remained in classrooms, often protected by powerful union safeguards and a labyrinth of laws. This practice is abominable, outdated and an affront to our best teachers. But my fear is that the new test-driven method for considering the effectiveness of teachers may sacrifice other essential attributes that the best teachers embody and feel are essential, qualities like compassion, sense of humor, spontaneity, imaginative approaches to lessons, and beneficial enrichment activities. As it so often does in education, the pendulum is swinging and its arc may be unfairly painful to the well-being of many teachers and their students. If education becomes more of a “numbers game” than a “human game” we are in further trouble. Certainly facts, figures, and information are important; I don’t suggest otherwise. The necessity for our citizens to compete in what Thomas Friedman calls our “flat world” is essential. But I fear that we may be losing perspective about the balance we seek for our students. Shouldn’t the education of the WHOLE PERSON be our first priority? I am heartened by the fact that many teachers understand this but will they eventually succumb to this numbers mania or will they continue to battle and fend off this rising tide for the sake of their students’ overall well-being? This column is intended to honor and thank those committed teachers everywhere, who face students by names, not numbers, and who fight the good fight every day in an effort to educate our young people far beyond the rigidity of standardized test scores. A new documentary film, “Waiting for Superman” suggests the American public school system is broken and that the only way it can be saved is if “Superman” races to the rescue. Go to any school in San Luis Obispo County, visit most classrooms; the person standing up front – the teacher – is already Superman (or Wonderwoman) any time of the day, every day. Bob can be reached at He welcomes your comments.


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ellen rockholm



morro bay resident still competing internationally at 62 By Jessa Squellati, Marian Medical Center women’s (ages 60-64) 100 Meter Butterfly Finals with a finish time of 1 minute and 33.70 seconds. Rockholm also placed 5th in the women’s (ages 60-64) 50 Meter Butterfly Finals with a finish time of 36.90 seconds. Lastly, Rockholm finished in 8th place in the 200 Meter Back Stroke Finals with a time of 2 minutes and 29.94 seconds.


his summer Ellen Rockholm, 62, resident of Morro Bay, traveled to Sweden where she competed in the XIII Annual FINA World Masters Championships. FINA, the Swedish Swimming Federation, hosted the international swimming championships in the cities of Göteborg and Borås, Sweden.

“As a physical therapist at Marian Home Care and as a competitive swimmer, I know on a personal level what it takes to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle,” says Rockholm. She trains with KMan swimming team on a weekly basis and swims nearly every day.

“Swimming is such a versatile sport not only to improve athleticism, but it is an especially great exercise for patients to regain their level of physical activity after an injury, accident or surgery,” Rockholm explains. “I try to always promote the benefits of being active and pursuing one’s goals. For me, it has always been a goal of mine to continue maximizing my level of potential and at the age of 62, I just competed and placed in an international swimming championship with the best female swimmers in the world for my age group; it feels amazing!”

Rockholm’s medal wins include placing 4th in the

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There has been much written and decided on this issue by constitutional scholars and the courts, so we are not completely in the dark about how to deal with this issue. But it still evokes By Dr. Julian Crocker, strong feelings at this County Superintendent of Schools time of the year. The basis of the dilemma ach year at this time, is the interpretation of that portion of the schools often find themselves between First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” which states: “Congress shall make no law This happens because it is during the December respecting the establishment of religion, or holidays when the issue of religious expression prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Within in public schools becomes visible. Questions these few words are contained two very powabout the use of sacred music and religious erful concepts, separated by only a comma. symbols and decorations in the classroom On the one hand is the prohibition against put the matter of “separation of church and the state (i.e. government) establishing or state” before us again. The dilemma in which supporting religious belief of practices. This schools are placed is trying to balance the is referred to as the “establishment” clause. appropriate recognition of religion in American On the other hand is the “free exercise” life and society with the clear obligation not clause which guarantees religious freedom to encourage or sponsor a particular religious of American citizens, including students in belief. My experience is that the public is also public schools. confused about how to deal with religion in public schools. There are usually very strong This is not the place to review all the legal opinions on both sides of this issue. opinions on this issue, so here are some general guidelines which hopefully will allow these two equally important freedoms to live peacefully together in our schools.

Our Schools:

the december dilemma: religion in public schools


1. Religion is a personal matter and individual students are free to express their religious beliefs in school as long as it does not interfere with other students, or with the instructional program. One observer noted that as long as there are Algebra tests, there will be prayer in school. 2. Religion is too important in our history and heritage for us to keep it out of our schools, but it should be addressed within the context of the instructional program. This is the classic rule to study “about” reli-



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gion, not to promote a particular religious viewpoint in school. 3. Students are captive audiences. They are required by law to attend school. Therefore, schools need to be very sensitive to practices that may offend students whose families may hold religious beliefs that are not shared by the majority. Just because no one complains, does not give schools the right to become overly involved in religious practices. Students should not be made to feel like an outsider based on religious preferences. 4. Songs, symbols and practices, which clearly have a religious purpose, are not appropriate as stand alone activities in schools. It is possible for schools to address these, but as part of the curriculum with a specific instructional purpose. There are some accepted legal “tests” to guide us in this area. Schools should include a study of a variety of holidays and religious traditions throughout the year and not just in December. 5. Schools should remember that even though symbols such as Santa Claus and trees have become very commercialized, many non-Christian parents and students could see these as religious in nature. The best solution is for schools to remember their educational role and to provide secular instruction about religious traditions and not appear to advocate a particular religion. 6. It is very appropriate for our public schools to teach values such as respect, honesty, caring, the value of hard work and responsibility. Just because public schools may not promote religion, we certainly should be teaching the core values of our American society. In actual practice, this December dilemma is usually handled in our schools without problems. But we need to remember when government and religion occupy the same room, the space between the rock and the hard place can become very narrow.


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Vets Voice By Frank Rowan


s it already December? The last month of the year? Jeez, I still have a headache from last year’s New Year’s Eve party at the Elks. To me, December is remembered for two things: December 7th and Christmas. There are not too many of us left who remember Pearl Harbor Day after 69 years. But, the ones who were alive then can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened. I have related several stories from Pearl Harbor survivors during my seven years writing this column. Here is another one, which was relayed in 1950 with a somewhat humorous ending. One of the officers in my army outfit was sitting in the Day Room in 1950 having a beer with us. He was a WWII veteran who was called up for Korea as well because he was an active duty California National Guardsman. He was one of the leaders who were running Camp San Luis Obispo for the CNG. He had joined the army for a four year hitch out of high school, in 1937, because he couldn’t get a job. It was the ninth year of the depression, and employment was still very difficult. His hitch was up December 12, 1941. So on the morning of December 7, he was waiting at Hickam Field, in Hawaii,

for a plane to take him to the mainland and be processed for an honorable discharge. He had a job lined up in San Francisco and wanted to end his army career. As he sat in the airport waiting room he heard several loud explosions and ran to a window to see what was exploding. “Alas and alack,” he said, “one of the explosions was the airplane that was to take me home.” I don’t remember what he said after that, but I do know his army career was extended until early 1946. And in 1950 he was once again serving. We knew soldiers thought it was funny, but decided we would not join the reserve when we were discharged. The second and possibly more important reason December is remembered is Christmas. Or as many Americans prefer today, The Holiday Season. In any event it is an important time every year for various reasons. Many stores and businesses make over half of their year’s profit between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whenever it rolls around, I remember Christmases past. Since I was an only child all my early Christmases were happy because Santa always brought everything I wanted. Even in 1934 when my Dad was out of work, he and Mom sold our 1928 Essex so they could buy me a Mack Truck pedal car.


completely wartime footing. Our factories were turning out sufficient supplies. 1943 was my first Christmas in San Luis Obispo. I was 13-years-old and so I consider it a good one. However every family who had lost a loved one overseas by then likely remembers it with sorrow. Christmas 1944 was not so hot because of the German resurgence and the Battle of the Bulge. We had thousands of troops trapped in the area of Bastogne, and as I remember, were fearful that the Germans could conceivably drive our troops back to Normandy. However, once again our troops prevailed and went on to win the European continent from Hitler’s forces and saved the world as we know it. Christmas 1945 was a really happy Christmas because we had also defeated Japan and our troops were coming home. The world was at peace for the first time since 1939. OK, keep in touch about veterans issues at 543-1973 or and we’ll get together again right here in January 2011. That is, if I don’t have too bad a hangover from New Year’s!

Let’s look at some wartime Christmases and see how they stack up. The first one of those I remember was in 1941. It was not a very happy Christmas because it was so soon after Pearl Harbor. Christmas 1942 was a happier time. The air raid by the Doolittle Guys in April had shocked the Japanese and made them much more cautious. In June we won the naval battle of Midway at great cost and though the issue was in doubt at Guadalcanal, we were now reasonably confident we would prevail. Christmas 1943 we were now on a

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on the street where you live... first streets in San Luis By Joseph A. Carotenuti


oday is surrounded by yesterday. There is a hint of history in plain view – literally – on most every street corner.

For instance, Cal Poly – formally known as California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo – has had a fair share of historical probing but not so with the neighborhood around the academic oasis. While the school is now over a century old, surrounding street names recall several prominent early pioneers. Each deserves – and will receive – a more complete biography, but here’s some very brief notes on a few of the more famous. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and start walking through time! The Graves family began locally when William J. married into the family of Jose de Jesus Pico, a cousin of California’s last Mexican

W.W. Hays

Governor. One of the earliest petitions to the then-Town of San Luis Obispo is his for property at the site of William Dana’s Casa Grande…today’s Court Street. A veteran of the Mexican-American War, he was one of only two lawyers in the newly designated County and later served as a judge and County Treasurer. A member of both the State Assembly (1854) and Senate (1874), when Graves died in 1884, flags were flown at half-mast for 3 days – a sign of the community’s esteem. A short block nearby remembers one of the earliest pioneers the County seat. Dr. William Williams Hays was born in Maryland, graduated from Georgetown University in 1861, studied at the Smithsonian Institute and was chairman of the Town of San Luis Obispo’s Board of Trustees (1870-72) as well as an avid meteorologist. His adobe home close to the Mission remains beneath years of careful restoration. Hays eventually moved to the area now bearing his name. An early proponent of care for the indigent, he was a founder and first director of the community’s General Hospital. A man of many talents, for years he submitted weather data to the community’s newspaper. Most histories of the County and City remember to note Walter Murray as a co-founder of the Tribune newspaper in 1859. Arriving here six year earlier, his service to the settlement included early efforts as a town trustee, lawyer, Assemblyman (1858) and County judge among numerous accomplishments. Born in England, a veteran of the Mexican-American War (Stevenson’s Regiment), he has left a considerable amount of correspondence detailing life in the D E C E M B E R

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COMMUNITY 1850s and 60s. Of particular historical importance are his newspaper articles of the life and conditions of the early settlement and county – a most interesting glimpse into the past. The terror of lawlessness led him to be one of the founders of the Vigilance Committee (1858). Probably the most recognizable local surname on a statewide basis is Pacheco. Coming to California with Mexican Governor Echeandia in 1825, Romualdo married into the Carrillo family of Santa Barbara and was one of two casualties in the Battle of Cahuenga Pass. His young widow, Dona Ramona, and her two sons entered local history after her second marriage to Scotsman John Wilson who among his extensive land holdings included the Mission of St. Louis.

One possible reason for the omission is the lack of interest in street names in the earliest years of the community except an ordinance changing Mission to Monterey Street. Names were often more directional than specific while others were named by land developers…as happens today. Beginning at the oldest municipal crossroads – the corners of Monterey and Chorro – few streets commemorate individuals or families. There seems neither civic vanity nor pride in personalizing street names. Streets carrying family names simply designated the early owners of the surrounding property. Higuera (Spanish for “fig”) in the downtown area, for instance, most


likely began referring to fruit trees while the expanse south went across land owned by Tomas Higuera and Johnson Avenue traverses some land originally owned by Charles H. Johnson. Unfortunately, there is no current ordinance even suggesting use of pioneer names for streets and other public places. Remembering our civic ancestors would be an appropriate addition to the history of the community. Learn More About It? Do you know the origin of your street name?

Jose Antonio Romualdo, Jr. and his brother Mariano were educated in Hawaii and both played prominent roles in the civic and economic life of the area. Romualdo continued his political career and was elected Lieutenant Governor. He became California’s only Hispanic governor (1875) to complete the term of Governor Newton Booth who went to Washington, D. C. From Sacramento to the Federal capital, he served three terms in the House of Representatives. Certainly, the premier land speculator and developer in the county was Chauncey Hatch Phillips. Arriving here in 1864, he first partnered with H. W. Warden (another street near Hawthorne School) to open the first bank in the county. Among a variety of land developments, he is most remembered for Templeton although there exists on older maps of San Luis Obispo a notation as to the “Phillips Addition.” Phillips was responsible for dividing the Morro y Cayucos Rancho into town lots as well as a less successful attempt to do the same in Los Olivos. Loren Nicholson’s Rails Across the Ranchos provides the best overview of the energetic entrepreneur’s work to bring the railroad to and through the county. Other prominent names surrounded the University: Loomis, Henderson, Carpenter, Hathway, and Stenner. These (and many others) pay tribute to some of the earliest members of what was simply a little noticed settlement in the middle of the new state. There is one glaring omission for some sort of recognition near the university…Myron Angel. If there is one figure regarded as the “father” of the college, Angel’s efforts to have some sort of institution of higher learning located on the central coast deserves some remembrance. D E C E M B E R

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hospice corner living with grief and loss during the holidays By Claire Aagaard


HE HOLIDAYS ARE intended to be a great joy, family togetherness, gift giving and thankfulness. Instead, if someone has died, the holidays can evoke extreme sadness, loneliness and emptiness. While there is no right or wrong way to approach it, the following are some suggestions and guidelines that may be helpful to those experiencing a loss during this time of year. They are adapted from the book How do I Get Through the Holidays by James Miller. 1. Accept the pain: Don’t pretend everything is normal. Remember this first year is one of adjustment. 2. Feel whatever it is you feel: Feelings are a sign you are human, that you have loved deeply. • Sadness – It’s hard to feel your sadness at a time when you are supposed to be happy. • Depression – You may feel overwhelmed, have no energy or feel desolate and despairing. • Anxiety – You may feel nervous or jittery and experience tightness in your chest. • Fear – You may be fearful about the future – what you’ll do, even if you’ll survive. • Anger – Being mad is a normal response. Mad at people who don’t understand. You may be angry at yourself, or at God, or at the whole world. • Guilt – You may dwell on what you did or didn’t do while the person was alive. You may feel guilty you are alive and they are not. • Apathy – You may feel numb. You may feel confused and disoriented or experience almost no feelings at all. 3. Express your Emotions: Talk to family and friends. Journal, exercise, listen to or play music. Create something out of clay, paint a painting. Move your feelings from within yourself to outside yourself. 4. Plan Ahead – Don’t let the holidays just happen. Come up with a plan to get through them. 5. Take Charge Where You Can – Ask for what you need. Your grief can make you feel powerless. Take charge of whom you spend time with, how much you exercise and of the food you eat. Consider new rituals that include opportunities to remember the past. 6. Go to Others for Support – There was a time when mourning practices were very defined. That’s no longer the case. People are afraid of saying the wrong thing so they may avoid you. You can contact your local hospice to find out what additional support is available. 7. Be Gentle with Yourself – Give yourself plenty of time to rest. You’ll have “good” and “bad” days – they simply go with the territory. D E C E M B E R

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COMMUNITY Simplify holiday shopping or forgo it all together. Set easily attainable goals for yourself and make realistic lists to complete. 8. Remember to Remember â&#x20AC;&#x201C; You may feel comfort in linking objects that make you feel closer to your loved one. Wear a necklace that was theirs or a scarf or hat or some other personal item. Some people create a table of remembrance where pictures can be placed and a special candle lit throughout the holidays. For those whose grief is fresh, this may be too painful. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t force yourself. Do what feels right. 9. Search Out and Count your Blessings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This can be difficult to do during dark times, but if we attempt to view life through the lens of gratitude, we can usually find one thing to be thankful for. You may feel comfort in the company of children or the elderly. Cry if tears are near and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid to laugh. 10. Do Something for Others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; It often helps to reach out through your own grieving. You could take care of a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pets or watch someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s child. Find something that gives meaning to your days and to otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. It may help you to put your loss in to a broader perspective, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll often find it helps you as much as the one you are helping.




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11. Give Voice to Your Soul â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Grief affects us physically and emotionally but also spiritually as well. You may not use the word spirit or soul but some inner part of you is involved. Consider making some room in your day to sit and be quiet, take a walk, meditate or pray. Healing often results when we look deeper and connect with our own well of wisdom and strength. 12. Harbor Hope â&#x20AC;&#x201C; No one likes to grieve, but it is the very act of grieving that brings us back to life. It is only by letting yourself feel bad that you can finally feel good again. Hope is a powerful tool. You can hope you will integrate this loss into your life. You can hope you will one day remember your loved one without so much pain and live your life in loving remembrance. Keeping in mind that every person and loss is different, the above suggestions are merely guidelines we believe most bereaved people will find helpful. Incorporate those that fit for you. Your holidays can still be a very significant time for you. They will certainly be different and perhaps painful, but they can still be meaningful. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even possible they can hold peace, serenity and most of allâ&#x20AC;Ś.hope. This monthly Hospice Corner is sponsored by Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Claire Aagaard is the Bereavement Manager of the Center for Grief, Education & Healing at Hospice Partners. For more information call (805) 269-0141.

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san luis county library Art in the library By Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, Youth Services SLO County Library


he San Luis Obispo County Library system has a new tradition for the winter. This tradition does not involve candy canes and trees, or turkeys and mashed potatoes. This tradition involves art. Yes, when the weather turns a little chillier (or not â&#x20AC;&#x201C; since we are in SLO County) we start looking for artwork for our annual Cloud Star/San Luis Obispo Library Art Competition. We round up art from artists all over the county and then pour over them to decide who will win the coveted prizes: $250 and having your art featured all over the county. This is the third year that we have upheld this tradition and quality and range of artwork that we have found from this countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents is so wonderful we truly look forward to this time of year. For this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art competition there are a few things that we ask for:

1) That all entrants are from San Luis County. There are no age, school, or personality requirements. However, the competition is strictly SLO County locals only. 2) That the art fits in with the next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Summer Reading Theme. The winning art submissions are featured on all the following yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book bags for the Library Summer Reading Program. This artwork should reflect the joy of reading with an international flair. This means that the artwork should following the 2011 themes â&#x20AC;&#x153;One World, Many Storiesâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are Here.â&#x20AC;? 3) That the art must meet all technical requirements. Found online at: http://www. 4) All artwork needs to be at the San Luis Obispo County Library or Cloud Star by December 14th. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live in San Luis


Obispo, you can turn your art into your local library the week before, and it will be sent into the San Luis City Library. 5) Have fun! If you enjoy this competition half as much as we do, you have a great chance of winning $250 and being a local art star! What else is happening this winter? Take your favorite child and their teddy to a Teddy Bear Tea Party at their local library. These events feature snacks, dress up, activities and of course tea for the little one and their favorite stuffed friend. There will be a Teddy Bear Tea Party at the following locations in December: Atascadero Library â&#x20AC;&#x201C; December 8th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Call 461-6163 to guarantee your space.

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San Luis Obispo Library â&#x20AC;&#x201C; December 11th from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Call 781-5775 to guarantee your space. Both of these events are for children ages 611 and space is limited so make sure you sign up in advance for these fabulous parties. Cuesta Chamber Singers are at the Arroyo Grande Library on December 4th at 2:00 p.m. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a family program.




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Fossils of the Central Coast: An all-ages event at the San Luis Obispo Library on January 8th at 11:00 a.m. Come learn about the animals that lived millions of years ago in your own back yard.



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


W h a t â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s U p New Business News

December 2010

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ontinuing in our series of showcasing Downtown Arts in Public Places committee. Fike has juried a Association committees, this month we learn number of public art projects over the years including about the people and the programs of the Design the recent BoxArt program of painted utility boxes Committee. Design is one of the ‘four points’ of the in Downtown. Describing why she signed on, “I Main Street program of revitalization, emphasizing wanted to be in the loop of important issues facing the aesthetic component of how we keep our cities’ Downtown and aid in the activism for cleanliness, centers vibrant. The mission statement of the Design lights and working together to increase business by Committee is to promote consistency and quality maintaining an inviting atmosphere for all users of in street furniture, public signage and physical Downtown,” she said. Fike’s favorite projects include improvements; to advocate for the beauty, safety the flag banners and tree lighting, for which the Deborah Cash, CMSM, and usability of Downtown and promote a clean, Downtown Association is currently ‘stumping’… Executive Director safe and attractive district in which businesses will …a good segue into the Downtown Foresters program, an flourish and visitors and residents will enjoy themselves. idea sprouted by city arborist Ron Combs and executive director Deborah Cash several years ago after the Urban ast month, we looked at the ‘fun stuff:’ the promotions, events and activities that provide what I call the ‘action Forest Management Plan was released and it was apparent attraction,’ and serve as a magnet to draw people into that (1) Downtown trees need lots of work and (2) City staff Downtown. But, consider this: without an attractive setting was in need of help to get that work done. The Foresters in which to hold concerts and parades and street fairs, how mission of “Plant, Prune and Protect” inspires the group appealing would they be? Enter the programs of the Design to volunteer on weekends to assist with Downtown tree Committee and the people who have a lot of fun putting maintenance and care. Combs trained the Foresters them all together. They are friends who truly love Downtown on all aspects of tree care and recently reported that and have bonded over making Downtown beautiful. another community is seeking to emulate the concept.



andy Fike, media specialist for The Tribune, has served on the committee for more than 18 years and also sits on the


ommittee chair Stephen Patrick who’s served on the committee for five years says he joined the committee

On the Cover: The Downtown Association Design Committee holds its annual “Holiday Window Decorating Contest” each year.

Downtown businesses transform their windows into showcases of their merchandise all in the spirit of the holiday to vie for prizes in several categories. Pictured here, Paper Sky (located in the Network on Higuera Street) went whimsical with a gingerbread town theme last year. For a list of this year’s entries and winners, visit Photo by Deborah Cash

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because he has an appreciation of art and a genuine concern for the enhancement of Downtown. Owner of Stephen Patrick Design and BladeRunner Salon and Day Spa, Patrick said he believes the committee’s projects breathe new life and luster to create a thriving Downtown that is both inspiring to look at and at the same time deals with cleanliness and safety issues. Patrick’s enthusiasm for BoxArt contributed to that program’s speedy completion—perhaps a public art completion record!


rchitect Bruce Fraser has a discerning eye for color, compatibility and focuses more on the hardscape features of design and architecture that affect the quality and consistency of public improvements. Fraser says he valued entering the dialogue on City decisions impacting the Downtown environment, most recently the review of news rack and trash receptacles that will be installed in the forthcoming Downtown Enhancement project. Fraser recommends joining the committee because, “as committees go, the energy and fun factor here run pretty high.”

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recommend programs to enhance Downtown and advocate for a clean, safe and beautiful Downtown. What’s better than that?” Kile concurs that BoxArt is her favorite project now though she was also instrumental a decade ago in the artist painted flag banner program that graced Downtown streets for several months before the banners were auctioned off.


am Seeley says she joined the design committee in 2005 because “my mind works in a more creative way—I thought it was a good fit.” Seeley, an artist herself and also the owner of SOHO Studio hair salon, says, “We are fun. We are also serious about Downtown and the look and experience of being here. I’d like to see more art and more consistent signage.”


en-year member Bob Seeley, marriage and family therapist, says his favorite program is the Foresters. “Downtown is a Main Street treasure,” he said. “The various programs ensure Downtown will never become ordinary.” Seeley said the design The Design committee poses near one of committee’s biggest charge is to provide the utility boxes “Swiss Cheese” painted by the continual nurturing Downtown aren Kile, executive director of the a local artist for the BoxArt program. L – R needs. “All committees matter,” said San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, has served on the committee for 12 years. Kile Deborah Cash, Bob Seeley, Bruce Fraser, Pam Seeley, “but Design just happens to Seeley, Lynn Hessler, Julie Towery, Landy Fike. be the most creative and enjoyable!” said the design committee might have Not pictured: Stephen Patrick, Karen Kile, the ‘best job’ in Downtown. “We get to Continued next page


Jackie Crane Photo by Sarah Ragan

The Beauty of Natural Stone...


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Design Committee continued from previous page


owntown property owner Julie Towery said she believes an attractive, inviting Downtown brings people in to patronize stores and participate in events. “Word gets out and people tell others about the wonderfulness of SLO; the city prospers and we get more publicity,” she said. Julie’s favorite program is the Foresters and she looks forward to better signage for visitors.



Downtown Foresters celebrate the successful

ost recent addition to the committee, artist Lynn Hessler, says she is happy to be a part of all the beauty and fun that the group generates. Hessler designed the holiday banners and the BoxArt logo in addition to painting the ‘butterfly’ box at the corner of Higuera and Osos streets. Her energy and creativity are in abundance and are a perfect fit for the group.


installation of a new tree! Foresters Julie ember Jackie Crane, semi-retired and a hether it’s trees, street 12-year member, says she “just basically Towery, Landy Fike, Pam Seeley, Bob Seeley, furniture, sidewalk scrubbing, Ron Combs, Brent Vanderhoof and John loves Downtown,” and has enjoyed her banners, art, lights…the Design Forsberg planted a young crepe myrtle at involvement in on going projects including committee probably has a the corner of Chorro and Pacific in October. the annual Beautification Awards where hand in it. Staffed by executive Photo by Deborah Cash Downtown properties are recognized director Deborah Cash and for their contributions to the physical improvements in administrative assistant Brent Vanderhoof, along with de the area. “Our programs funnel new energy into the facto members Ron Combs, city arborist and Shannon Bates, community focusing on beauty, history and emerging issues city public art coordinator, this committee has its eye on that contribute to a dynamic atmosphere,” she said. anything that will catch your eye…around Downtown.

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Luna Red

Robin Covey and Shanny Covey, Owners 1009 Monterey Street (805) 540-5243 Robin Covey and Shanny Covey, restaurant proprietors of NOVO, in Downtown SLO, and Robin’s, in Cambria, just opened a new restaurant also in Downtown SLO. Luna Red, their latest venture, is located on Monterey Street, next to the historic Fremont Theatre. The restaurant offers tapas, distinctive entrees, local produce, house-cured and specialty meats, and Central Coast and imported gourmet cheeses. Based on the European concept of local, traditional, time-intensive cooking, Luna Red prides itself on its unique menu. The menu follows the global-fusion approach that has put NOVO and Robin’s on the map, but Luna Red is

Kreuzberg, CA

N e w s distinct in its European-centered styling.

The building housing Luna Red used to be the San Luis Obispo bus station many years ago. In describing the ambiance of the structure, Robin Covey notes, “I honored the historical space by filling it with eclectic décor, which includes antique windows, doors converted to stunning mirrors, and 1950s George Nelson bubble lamps. And true to the local, sustainable philosophy, I paired antique and modern pieces with woven bamboo floors, Kirei walls, and a cork-lined planter.” Luna Red is located at 1009 Monterey Street, in San Luis Obispo, CA. The restaurant is open for lunch on MondayFriday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and for dinner on SundayThursday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Friday-Sunday. Tapas served daily from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

quality and freshness of all their ingredients to ensure that everyone’s palate is satisfied. Not only does the food taste great, but keeping true to the book bar theme, most items on the menu are named after famous authors so your next order could be an “Ernest Hemingway” or a “Cervantes.” In addition to the traditional amenities of most coffee houses, Kreuzberg, CA also offers the unique feature of buying, selling and trading look further than recently opened Kreuzberg, CA on Monterey used books. The owners said their goal is to carry as many Street across from EcoBambino. Cal Poly graduates James topics and titles as possible. The book bar and coffee Whitaker and Chris Tarcon said their inspiration for this book lounge also offers free WiFi to all customers that want to stay bar and coffee lounge came from trips they took to Germany where they found the atmosphere to be relaxing and welcoming. “connected” while relaxing in a friendly environment. Their hope is to provide a place where people can experience Kreuzberg, CA is open seven days a week from 6-2 a.m., so if great conversation while enjoying wonderful coffee and food. you’re looking for a place to study, relax during the day, play Kreuzberg, CA offers a variety of sandwiches, breakfast entrees, on their house piano or gather with a group of friends then this is a place you can travel to without having to go very far. snacks and coffee. The owners pay close attention to the

James Whitaker & Chris Tarcon, Owners 870 Monterey Street San-Luis-Obispo-CA/Kreuzberg-CA Coffeholics looking for a coffee shop with a little bit of European flair need not


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Palm Street Perspective not goodbye, Just farewell By SLO City Mayor, Dave Romero


feel a certain sadness as I approach the end of my eight years as Mayor and over 52 years of service to our beloved city. My years as City Engineer, Public Works Director, Council Member and Mayor were exciting and fulfilling for me. There were many challenges as SLOTOWN has prospered and become one of the most attractive and livable cities in the Country. I am grateful that our city has enjoyed ongoing excellent relationships with Cal Poly, Cuesta, the Chamber, the County, and the Downtown Association, and for the visionary leadership of past leaders who set us on the path to excellence. During my

years as Mayor we have had exceptional city management, a talented and hard working staff, collegial and productive City Councils and so many citizens who have volunteered their skills, time and money in improving our city. I am one of the most fortunate of men to have spent a lifetime doing work I love in a city where I could make a difference and where everyone is my friend (even those who disagree with me). I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the good wishes and affection by many organizations and so many residents these past weeks. The Retirement Party was an unforgettable event.

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SLOTOWN is still a work in progress, with many more wonderful projects in the planning stages. I am confident our city will carry them out with skill and goodwill, adding even more to our quality of life. This last article as Mayor is not Goodbye. It is just Farewell, till we meet again. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mayor Dave



eye oN business

getting smart about business By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates


’ve been living in SLO County since 1983, and in those 27 years the phrase “public-private partnership” has surfaced many, many times. It’s a common thread in civic reports and news media stories, in political campaigns and in community outreach efforts. We don’t have to look far to see some stellar examples: the Performing Arts Center on campus at Cal Poly, Colony Square/ Galaxy Theatre project in Atascadero and SLO’s Damon Garcia sports fields. Those are visible projects that illustrate the idea of public-private partnerships, but the concept applies beyond buildings. At the recent Central Coast Economic Forecast event, an encouraging new public-private partnership was introduced to the 400 attendees. It’s called the San Luis Obispo County Economic Strategy Project and it’s an idea that is taking off in a big way. The project is being advanced by government and business working together. What’s intriguing is the way the project has caught on with business and ignited “yes we can” passions. The Economic Vitality Corporation and project co-chairs SLO County Supervisors Adam Hill and Frank Mecham attracted the time and interest of more than 100 county business executives who met over the course of a year to determine if something can be done to boost local prosperity and create new jobs. The mere fact that 100+ business leaders committed months of time to the process speaks volumes. Think about it – no business is having an easy ride these days. Staffs are short, time is tight, margins are thin and volunteer hours on top of long days and working weekends are tough to come by. Not the best circumstances for promoting the idea of a business-and-government think tank. Yet the leadership of the EVC and Supervisors Mecham and Hill, along with guidance from the experts of Collaborative Economics, produced a winning program and a promising outcome. More than one previously skeptical business leader has commented to me about the substance of this project. There’s definitely something different going on this round. The project sought to find out what clusters of business support the SLO County economy, and how those cluster members might work together for increased success. A total of six clusters ranging from wine and agriculture to specialty manufacturing were identified, and are discussed at length in the report, available online at www.sloevc. org. The report promotes an economic strategy that the EVC will help implement, working closely with SLO County. The overall findings are too involved to review in this column, but are well worth – and quite interesting – to read. The recommendations hinge on intriguing companies already sprinkled throughout SLO County. If you think the Central Coast is only about government employment and hotel rooms, you’ll be missing a big chunk of our financial backbone. Consider companies like InfoGard, a high tech firm recognized worldwide for its ability to protect electronic information; or Aeromech, who builds unmanned aerospace vehicles for

private and government clients. There’s Ground Control, relied on by an international clientele for mobile internet service devices; Cygnet, a software developer specializing in operational systems for the petroleum industry, and Trust Automation, another manufacturer whose parts-behind-the parts keep motors turning in operating rooms, aboard aircraft carriers and in construction equipment. It may be that you’ve never heard of these companies. And the truth is, some of the companies have never heard of each other. They’re focused on their clients and customers, who are generally not located in SLO County. Yet if we know what companies are at work here and better understand what they need, we can grow other companies that support them. We can take the idea of “shopping local” to a whole new level and in doing so, create jobs, fortify business and prove that the Central Coast is a great place to do business. The SLO County Economic Strategy Project is a public-private partnership worth watching.



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THE BULLETIN BOARD Larry meek and Alan Macmeekin honored

Kiwanis de Tolosa recently honored two members for their outstanding service. Larry Meek was named Kiwanian of the year for his countless hours of community service. Meek has served as president and several other positions including program chairman. Alan MacMeekin was given the President’s Award for serving on the board of directors, two terms as president and several years as treasurer.

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slo symphony celebration on new year’s eve

For Over 32 Years

San Luis Obispo 805.541.1082

Santa Maria 805.922.7742

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Symphony! The SLO Symphony will present its first-ever gala New Year’s Eve Concert on Friday, December 31st at the Performing Arts Center in SLO. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a pre-concert reception, catered by Maegen Loring and featuring Opolo Wines, in the Balcony lobby. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be timed to end at midnight East Coast time (9 p.m. Pacific) just as the ball drops in Times Square and the orchestra plays Auld Lang Syne. The musical program is eclectic and above all, “POPS!” Organist Paul Woodring will begin the concert with selections from Phantom of the Opera on the Forbes Pipe Organ. Then soprano Maria Jette, well-known to NPR audiences, will perform a collection of Broadway tunes. Further details about this concert are available at or 543-3533.

third graders receive engraved dictionary


John Kimball


109 South Street SLO, CA 93401

“Specializing in Honesty and Integrity”

The Elks Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 recently presented over 415 dictionaries to third grade students in Atascadero and Templeton engraved with their name. This is an annual project of the Atascadero Elks who participate locally in a national program that has distributed over ten million dictionaries to third grade students across the country since 1995. Since its inception in 1987 the Atascadero Elks have contributed in excess of $400,000 to various programs including: youth activities, local sports, scholarships, programs for handicapped and needy children, patriotic programs, veterans programs and many community activities. In addition, the Elks participate in drug awareness programs at our local schools.

free senior health screening

Free Senior Health Screening for seniors (50+) 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 diabetes. Take-home screening test kits for colo-rectal cancer available for $5. Nutritional counseling and referrals as needed. Donations welcome. Please call 788-0827 for dates, times and locations.

new exhibit at the museum of art

The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art presents the work of Bella Feldman, a highly regarded San Francisco sculptor thru December 31st. The work featured in the exhibit is from her RPM Series and Reach Series. Ms. Feldman is known for her large-scale sculptures of glass D E C E M B E R

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THE BULLETIN BOARD and steel as well as one-ofa-kind wall constructions. The SLO Museum of Art is located at 1010 Broad Street, on the west end of Mission Plaza. Hours are 11-5 daily. Closed Tuesdays. Free admission.

Hospice SLO “Light up a life” ceremonies

The 26th Annual Hospice SLO “Light up a Life” ceremonies will take place in 11 communities this year including: San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Cambria, Heritage Ranch, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Nipomo. These heartwarming events in honor of our loved ones will be held Sunday, December 5th through Friday, December 10th. For details, call Hospice SLO at 544-2266 or visit our website at


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slo city hires new fire chief

Charlie Hines of Yakima, Washington has been appointed Fire Chief for the City of SLO by City Manager, Katie Lichtig. “Chief Hines was consistently viewed as the best fit for our department, City, and community throughout our extensive assessment process. He brings a ‘big city’ perspective from his extensive career with the Long Beach Fire Department complimented by his recent experience as Fire Chief in Yakima, Washington.” Chief Hines and his wife, Lorie, are planning to relocate to San Luis Obispo.

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Liz Hiatt

Call your hostess or go to


SLO: Mary Bettencourt: 545-0731


Los Osos/Morro Bay/Cayucos/Cambria: Aloma Davis: 235-1131

Nipomo/5 Cities/Avila: Liz Hiatt: 549-7755

North County: Sandy Hexberg: 238-1529


sculpterra winery/sculpture garden honored California Garden Clubs, Inc. (CGCI) Past President, Robert Gordon presented a Landscape Design Commendation to Dr. Warren Frankel, owner of Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden recently, for providing a beautiful and unique garden as an example of good land use, fusion of earth, art and wine and as a showplace for the community. Les Toma, owner of TomaScapes (the garden designer) also received a commendation. The winery is located at 5015 Linne Road, Paso Robles. You can tour and picnic in the sculpture garden and view the life work of renowned sculptor John Jagger. His larger than life sculptures in bronze and granite are truly amazing. They are framed by a path-lined garden where guests can take in the experience. Lighting, benches, patio tables & umbrellas and water features complete the serene setting. Founded in 1931, CGCI is an all-volunteer organization that offers extensive educational programs and resources to promote gardening, floral design, civic beautification, environmental responsibility and the exchange of information and ideas. For more information on CGCI, visit Or call the toll free number, 1-888-702-2075

Exchange club honors ken jones Gary A. Sage License No. 0E02096 100 Cross Street, Suite 203 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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The Exchange Club of SLO honored Ken Jones with a Lifetime Achievement Award last month (pictured left with Club President, Dick Waddell). Jones has been an active member of the club since 1945, the year he opened the first San Luis Ambulance Company. He owned the company for 25 years. Jones has served most every position in the Exchange Club as well as serving our community as a 2-term councilman.



252 Higuera Street San Luis Obispo (805) 541-TIRE

high school students offer grants for youth The United Way of SLO County Youth Board is proud to announce its members for the 2010-2011 year. The board has set a record breaking year, with 33 members hailing from Arroyo Grande to Paso Robles, attending six area high schools. This group of high school students seeks to increase philanthropy and leadership in SLO County youth, improve programs to better serve our community, and promote positive relationships between youth and adults. As part of their philanthropic work, the Youth Board will award three $1,000 grants to local youth driven programs.

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Reach thousands of potential customers by placing your ad in the Journal Plus. 60th slo high school reunion celebrated The SLO High School Class of 1950 recently celebrated their 60th class reunion with a three day weekend filled with fun, reminiscing about old times and renewing old friendships of years ago. The Class of 1950 was approximately 135 and there were 30 in attendance with additional spouses. Activities included a get-together at the home of Dan and Joan Peterson on Friday evening (pictured above). Special guests Principal Will Jones and past Principal Mary Matacovich were present. A Saturday morning tour by mini-bus included stops at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, the new Cal Poly Dormitories, the historic Octagon Barn (one of the classmates lived on that dairy in High School) and an old country school which has been converted into a wine tasting room. Saturday evening, a special dinner was enjoyed at the Madonna Inn with piano music by classmate Jim Flory. The group ended the weekend with a brunch at the home of Herb and Diane Filipponi.


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COMMUNITY out a call to 911. Sheen said, “It was nice to have police come to my house and for once I didn’t have to leave with them.”

December 1915: The one-millionth Ford rolled off the assembly line.

De cembe r Almanac By Phyllis Benson

ford owners joke that the letters are acronyms for anything from First On Race Day to Fords Only Run Downhill.

king of swing Louis Prima, born Dec. 7, 1910, composed popular

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” --- Garrison Keillor

songs including “Sing Sing Sing,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “Just a Gigolo.” This year New Orleans held a centennial tribute for their native son.

December birthday celebrities include Bette Midler, Lou Rawls, Dido, and Harry Chapin.

December is for friends, faith, and feasts. Make a list, check it twice, and open up your calendar.

December 1900: German company Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft delivered its latest car to an enthusiastic buyer. Automotive legend says the driver liked the car design so well that he promoted the new car in the highest social circles. In return for his success, the auto company named the car after his daughter, Mercedes.

this year actor Charlie Sheen’s Mercedes was stolen from his Los Angeles home. When the car rolled over a cliff, its computer sent

harry chapin topped Billboard charts with his “Cat’s In the

Cradle” song in December, 1974. The recording, his only number one hit, made him a millionaire.

75 years ago Parker Brothers brought out the Monopoly game. It quickly became the best-selling board game in the world.

trivia: More than a billion people have played Monopoly with over 275 million games sold worldwide. Even the iPhone has a Monopoly app.

goldopoly: The most expensive Monopoly game may be San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell’s gold Monopoly board with diamond studded dice. Designed with gold-plated cards and gemstones, the game is valued at $2 million.

Happy Holidays From the Staff at


richard pryor was born Dec. 1, 1940. The comedian died in

California on Dec. 10, 2005. In the 65 years between, Pryor performed stand-up routines, acted in movies, and appeared on television.

pryor was crippled with multiple sclerosis in later years. He said,

“I’m slower and some days are better than others, but I’m a fighter.”

60 years ago the Miss World pageant started as a bikini contest. This year about one billion viewers watched the crowning of Kentucky teen Alexandria Mills as the 60th Miss World.

Comedian Jay Leno said, “Isn’t it a little ironic here? We pick

politicians by how they look on TV and Miss America on where she stands on the issues. Isn’t that a little backwards?”

winter begins December 21 with the winter solstice. chumash indians traditionally marked this season change with several days of feasting and dancing in honor of the Sun.

historians say not much has changed – today we feast over holidays and dance to team victories.

kiddie humor: How is the Christmas alphabet different from the regular alphabet? The Christmas alphabet has No L. Noel.


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December 2010 Journal Plus  

December 2010 Journal Plus Magazine

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