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JournalPLUS MARCH 2010






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654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401










COPY EDITOR Anne Stubbs PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Meinhold DISTRIBUTION Keith Malcomson 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, Ruth Starr, Jan Marx, Dan and Lee Anna O’Daniel, Shelley Matson, Julian Varela, Loren Nicholson, Rebecca Juretic, 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.


PEOPLE 8 10 12 14





22 24 26 28 29 30 32 33 34 39 46


BUSINESS 35 40 41 42



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From the publisher


ur use of solar energy continues to be on the increase on the Central Coast. Several of our friends have placed solar panels on their homes and businesses, and they couldn’t be happier with the results. We thought it was very timely when the President of REC Solar, Angiolo Laviziano, agreed to do a profile. The cover photo is Laviziano on the roof of the San Luis Costco. You’ll enjoy his personal story inside. This month we also feature SLO Fire Captain, John MacDonald. John went to school with my children, and they convinced me that he would be a great profile. They were right. John was diagnosed with cancer at an early age. What he has accomplished in his life since then is amazing. Susan Stewart caught up with him and tells us his story.

We also write about two organizations that are celebrating anniversaries. The Retired Active Men’s Club celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. What started out as a small coffee group at the Madonna Inn has grown to more than 150 members. ALPHA celebrates its 30th anniversary. We profile the organization and Jen Miller, the group’s Director.

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We finish with an update on all the good that Goodwill does in this community. Hilary Grant recently interviewed Goodwill’s Executive Director, Jim Burke. Please support them when you can.

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john MacDonald – reveling in health, family, career, and community By Susan Stewart


n 1991, teenager John MacDonald got some devastating news – news that would end up defining his future, the man he would become. At 15, John was a competitive swimmer on his high school’s swim team. Midway through the year, his coach pulled him out of the water when he noticed the cough he’d had for days was not getting any better; that it was, in fact, affecting his performance. Hours later, he was at the hospital getting tests, and a few days after that, a specialist at UCLA diagnosed John with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He had cancer.

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“They told me I could die,” John recalls. “In fact, if I hadn’t gotten help right away, I would have had a fatal heart attack in a matter of days.” But a rigid regimen of chemotherapy, a supportive circle of family and friends, and John’s own determination saved his life. At a time when most teens are completely absorbed by peer pressure and fitting in, John was undergoing chemo twice a month – a three-day ordeal that rendered him nauseous, achy, tired, and eventually…bald. On the days when he wasn’t receiving or recovering from treatment, John resumed as much of his normal life as he could, attending classes and spending time with friends. A year and a half later, John’s condition was pronounced to be in remission. A photograph of five-year-old John on a San Luis Obispo fire truck testifies to the childhood dream that became a reality. At 22, John was one of only nine men hired from a field of 800 applicants for the highly coveted spots open that year at the City Fire Department. Competition was fierce during the rigorous written, oral, and physical agility testing process. Today, John is a full-time Captain Paramedic, having worked his way up from firefighter to engineer to captain. “The cancer I had when I was 15 is the reason I became a fireman,” he said. “It made me realize how precious life is…and I wanted to impact life on a daily basis, especially in San Luis where I’d grown up.”

L to R: Cary Adler, Dave Belmont, & Kevin Dye

John also credits his hard-working parents with the courage and grit it has taken to achieve his success. His mother grew up in Scotland in

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the foster care system and made her own way to America when she was 18. His father was a gunner in World War II who ran a big electronics company in town. “Dad worked six days a week, 12 hours a day, so he wasn’t around much,” said John. “Then he retired when I was thirteen and suddenly, he was around a lot!” Now married with two boys of his own, John is a healthy, grateful guy with a fulfilling career, a loving family life, and…Revel Rides, a new limousine service. Having seen first-hand the devastating effects drunk driving can cause, John wanted to launch a service that would take the “designated driver” concept a couple of steps up. The thriving wine country, picturesque countryside, gorgeous beaches, and perfect wedding locations throughout this county offer limitless opportunities for celebration. Too often the party turns tragic when people choose to drink and drive.

Dynamic single level home great for investor or owner/user. A three bedroom home in a coveted historical neighborhood just minutes from charming downtown San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly. Asking $535,000. See for more information and pictures.

Revel Rides offers people a safe and comfortable ride to and from any event in the county. The 22-passenger luxury limousine bus has plenty of room to ride in style. Whether it’s a tranquil wine tour on a Sunday afternoon or a birthday bash for your best friend, Revel Rides will get the whole party there and back home again safely. John says he chose the name because it connotes pleasure, delight, fun, and luxury. More than just a way to have a good time safely, Revel Rides is good for the community. Nonprofits are encouraged to use the service for their fundraising events; the wine industry will benefit from more frequent visitors, and with fewer drinking drivers on the road, the community will be safer.

Highly sought after Bowden Ranch parcel with plans for a 3128 Sq. Ft. 3 bedroom with den home, plus a 392 Sq. Ft. detached guest house and over 400 Sq. Ft. of deck. A 15,000+ Sq. Ft. lot at the top of Lizzie Court. Fantastic westerly views of the mountains and downtown SLO next to multi-million dollar homes. Asking $445,000. See for more photos.

At 34, John MacDonald appears to have it all. When asked if he had any advice for other entrepreneurs, he had one word to say: “Research!” As much as you can, from wherever you can, including advice from other companies. Was it Nietzsche who said, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?” The news that he had a life-threatening form of cancer at the tender age of 15 could have beaten John MacDonald. Instead, it only served to make a strong kid stronger, a determined spirit more so, a big heart even bigger. In his own words, “It made me who I am today.”

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John MacDonald wanted to be a Fireman at an early age. M A R C H

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Angiolo laviziano rec solar’s ceo By Sandy Baer

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ---John Muir Born in Hamburg, Germany, to an Italian father and German mother, Angiolo Laviziano epitomizes many of today’s entrepreneurs. He is young, bright, internationally educated and committed to a cause. Laviziano is Chief Executive Officer and President of locally based REC Solar, a position he has held since 2005. His vision is to combine business success with the creation of sustainable energy solutions. “I wasn’t always ecologically oriented,” Laviziano says. “But along with a friend I had an opportunity to spend a year in Laos and for the first time I saw environmental degradation first-hand. I realized that nature’s well being and people’s needs go together hand and hand. Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it has tremendous nature. Laos was the catalyst for my environmental orientation. In a very direct way, I saw the problems caused by ignorance and unsustainable activities.” Laviziano worked for the Prime Minister’s Office of Tourism from 1995-1996, helping the government promote Laos as an eco-tourism destination. “Eco-tourism is meant to give people a means to live while still protecting nature,” he says. “Educating the Laotian leaders at that time about eco-tourism was the first step. It was a concept that did not come naturally. I also did international trade shows promoting Laos. Travel agents are always looking for exotic destinations.” “Heavy industrialization after World War II came at a cost,” Laviziano says. “By the beginning of the 1980s the acid rain phenomena became apparent. That and heavy coal burning led to forests dying. But there was only a limited amount of discussion then about global warming.” Laviziano received his undergraduate degree in 1992 and his master’s degree in business in 1995 from the Koblenz School of Corporate Management in Germany. “Internships were mandatory, usually lasting four months,” he says. “I went to Xiamen, China, where I worked for a state-owned company that manufactured bearings. It was an interesting experience when China was just starting to open up. I lived in the workers’ dormitory and learned what the average Chinese life is like.” “I later worked in Shanghai and Beijing, China for various Chinese and foreign banks and financial institutions. I was still young, and I wanted to learn more about Asian economics. I was the first foreigner allowed to spend a couple of days behind the scenes in the Shanghai Stock Exchange. I enjoyed the daily cycling to work which often ended in a race with the locals.” Laviziano says. M A R C H

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Other internships included a stint in Tanzania, Africa, where he worked at a school for handicapped children. “I helped with the dayto-day chores of administering such a facility. I realized how lucky I have been in my life through this experience,” Laviziano says. On the other hand, Laviziano also did an internship at Daimler Chrysler in Stuttgart, Germany, where he says, “This was my first experience understanding what it is like to work in a large company.” Laviziano pursued his interest in economics and worked as an investment banker in Hong Kong. Through a doctoral program sponsored by Citibank, he also attended the University of Hong Kong where he received his PhD degree in Financial Economics in 2000. “I studied Mandarin Chinese in Xiamen, but it is really bad now since it is easy to forget,” Laviziano says. He speaks fluent German, Italian and English and a smattering of French. “I began learning English in Hamburg’s pubic schools when I was nine and continued during my work life.” In 2000, Laviziano was one of the founding members at Conergy AG in Hamburg, then one of the largest solar companies in the world and a leader in renewable energy. As CFO and Chief Sales Officer, he was instrumental in Conergy’s expansion into the international solar market. Eventually operating in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States, Conergy grew from an initial 20 employees to 500 in 2005 when an IPO was issued. When Laviziano relocated from Hamburg to San Luis Obispo County, REC Solar, then based in Los Osos, had 20 employees. Today, the company has 450 employees in several California locations as well as in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Hawaii and New Jersey for a total of 15 branch offices. Founded in 1997 by environmental engineers Judy Staley and Fred Sisson, the company moved its headquarters to its present San Luis Obispo office building in 2008 where it currently employs 100. “We have created a lot of jobs across the spectrum – engineers, installers as well as management,” Laviziano says. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certifies REC Solar’s engineers, a distinction held by only a few solar electric companies in California. Since 2006, REC Solar has been one of the top ranked solar system installation companies in the state by the California Energy Commission. “Our goal is to bring solar electricity into the mainstream to make the world more sustainable,” Laviziano says. “In terms of the number of systems installed, we are the largest photovoltaic installation company in the United States. In 2009, REC Solar sold, planned and installed 1,514 solar systems, but it is still only a drop in the ocean. In 2005, that number was 221 solar systems installed. We want to make solar power a household solution for individualized energy production.” “Of those 2009 installations, 50 were commercial and the rest were residential. One of our largest local installations was for the San Luis Obispo Costco. We have also installed PV solar systems on Costcos in Hawaii. Our other commercial work is largely with governments, schools and wineries.”


Laviziano climbing Mt. Ypsilon in Colorado.

“I live by my beliefs. I installed solar panels on our home, and we produce more energy than we use. We also recycle everything as well as compost,” Laviziano says. He married an Australian citizen in Hong Kong in 2004. They reside in Arroyo Grande where they drive a Prius and a 1989 Subaru retrofitted as an electric car. “I love the nature here. I run wherever I can, and I especially enjoy running in Montana de Oro and the Dunes. It’s usual in Europe to go outdoors to hike, ski, or mountaineer. Running is one of my major passions.” In the past 10 years, mountain and ice climbing have become passions as well. Laviziano has conquered heights the world over, including the


Laviziano dining in Japan

Alps in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. He has climbed the Himalayas in Nepal, the Andes in Ecuador and Argentina, the Caucasus in Russia and the United States’ Rocky Mountains. “The sporty challenge of the mountains is as important as the approach that brings you in contact with the local people and the nature surrounding the mountains. Taking all of the aspects into account, I found the Himalayas the most fascinating,” Laviziano says. “My goals are to be healthy with lots of sports and to give something back to the world – at the moment my engagement in solar power. I have received so much from my experiences in Laos, Africa and the United States. I enjoy doing something for the environmental good of this country and at the same time making money at it.”


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dr. Gregg wolff ...from broadway to broad street By Susan Stewart


regg Wolff likes to joke that he got his first “big” acting break in 1984 as an extra in “The Muppets Take Manhattan” on Broadway. Other acting credits included roles in “The Full Monty” and “Miss Saigon.” Wolff was serious about being an actor. Ten years later, however, he’d graduated from medical school and begun a residency in a large Massachusetts hospital. Today, he is “scary busy” as a member of SLO Select IPA and one of six physicians at Pacific Coast Physician’s Medical Group (located near the corner of Tank Farm Road and Broad Street). Why the switch? Half way through a degree in graphic design, Wolff took a sharp right turn into

pre-med when he got involved with student government and was elected vice president of health. He earned his medical degree at the State University of New York, and when he finished his residency, decided to open a practice as a primary care physician. Dr. Wolff ran a busy practice in Western Massachusetts for 15 years before coming west to California in 2008. In just two short years, Gregg Wolff has established himself here – as a caring physician, talented actor, and dedicated community volunteer. Born and raised on Long Island, Wolff was the only child of two teachers – his mother of fourth grade; his father of high school math. So it is not surprising that he considers teaching an important part of being a good doctor. Docio, he explains, is Latin for “to teach.” A big believer in honoring what the patient wants at all stages of life, Wolff spends as much time as he can listening, and then teaching people how to be good patients so they can advocate for themselves. These days, with time spent per patient at a premium, it’s vital that both patient and physician make the most of their time together.

Wolff with little brother, Matthew


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PEOPLE “I focus my practice on prevention,” he says. “I want to maximize the time I have with my patients. I want them to come prepared, with a list of their most important questions. I’ll be here for them for 20 years, so we both have to be fully committed to the relationship.” To help supplement and reinforce the information he gives his patients in person, Wolff started a blog at Here, patients can find a wealth of recent, relevant, useful information regarding their health, culled and distilled into manageable bites from the overwhelming amount of information available. “How many times have you walked out of a doctor’s office wondering, ‘What did he/she say?’” said Wolff. “By starting the blog, I hope to provide my patients a reliable source to go to for help in maintaining their health.” Wolff is one of the few physicians now using electronic health records. In fact, he hopes to have a web portal up and running this year that will allow patients to access their own records. “It’s a high-tech, high-touch system,” he smiles. “This system will cut down on the number of forms we need, so that I can spend more time with my patients.”


professionals. We set up our own makeshift triage center. We stayed for three days.”

ter Plough Playhouse production of “Love Town” last year.

Wolff is happily married to a psychotherapist who works at Atascadero State Hospital. He and Rob live in San Luis Obispo with their three dogs. For fun, the endlessly energetic Wolff continues to enjoy a life on stage as well as in the office. After playing the lead role of Mitch in a professional production of “Tuesdays with Morrie” just two years ago, Wolff took another lead in the original Pew-

One of his favorite roles, however, is the one he plays in real life as big brother to sevenyear-old Matthew (a match made through Big Brother Big Sisters). Whether building gingerbread houses, going to the movies, or swimming at the neighborhood pool, Matthew learns a lot from his highly accomplished big brother. But Wolff is quick to tell you he learns just as much from Matthew.

French Hospital Saved My Life. “I went in for a routine exam. I had no idea I was on the verge of a heart attack. The award-winning cardiac team at French Hospital recognized the signs and I was admitted THAT DAY for a bypass surgery. Thank goodness I had access to such top-rate care, and it is right here in our community.” — Reese T. Davies, President / CAO Founders Community Bank

Wolff’s plans for the future include the establishment of small groups of people who share the same disease, such as heart disease or diabetes. That way he can meet with them to share the latest information and encourage them to share their experiences with each other. Right in line with his “teach and be taught” philosophy, everyone would benefit. Recently named one of the medical co-directors of Hospice Partners, Wolff said, “I feel so fortunate to be a part of one of the most respected organizations in the county. They do phenomenal work.” No stranger to grief and crisis, Wolff drove from Massachusetts to Atlanta just days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans in 2005. He was one of the first physician volunteers to arrive on the scene. It’s an experience he’ll never forget. “Evacuations were still going on,” he recalls. “Doctors and nurses and EMTs from all over the nation showed up. It was complete chaos. At the airport there were thousands of people, the poorest of the poor. People with diabetes, heart failure, end stage AIDS…some sitting in their own feces and urine…all with the most immediate of needs. I ended up meeting three other health care

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wine country runs run with a purpose By Natasha Dalton


s often happens in life, Wine Country Runs was born as a result of two friends talking. One day in 1997, when Russ Meznarich and Steve McAllen were running together, Russ began to wonder why is it that nobody ever came up with the idea of organizing a race in the North Country. What, with all these rolling hills, pleasant climate and lush wineries, the area is perfect for outdoor athletic events, he argued. The more Steve and Russ talked about it, the more they liked the idea of a local race. In fact, they liked it so much, they actually decided to start that race on their own. The chosen distances were a Half-Marathon (13.1 mi), 5K (3.1 mi) and The Grape Stomp (1/2 mi) for the kids.

Dr. McAllen and Steve Von Dohlen putting wine on the scale for the women’s winner

The two friends began advertising “by putting up posters, mailing flyers, and e-mailing all the running clubs in California,” remembers Steve McAllen. Now the Race has an organizing committee which runs a website and advertises nationwide in Runners World. As the event became more and more popular, more people came forward willing to help. Steve is still the Race’s Director, but now he has a group of friends who help take care of the different parts of the event. “Besides, on the day of the Race, we get some 50-60 volunteers,” says the Marketing Director Liz Lopez Byrnes. This annual competition attracts about 900 runners. “This year we’re expecting about 600 runners for the Half-Marathon alone, and 50-75 kids will be running The Grape Stomp,” Liz says.

The Adult run

Right from the start, the organizers set out to give “a lot of value for the money.” They give out tech-fabric T-shirts with original designs to every participant, logo wineglasses to the finishers, and provide a top-notch breakfast. These perks got the attention of Runners World which ran articles on the “art-gallery” quality of the shirts and the Race’s theme. Of course, in Paso Robles the theme had to be wine. During the Race, wine barrels, with sponsors’ names on them, mark the miles. And the winners of the Half-Marathon, one male and one female, get their weight in wine as their ultimate trophy. They usually end up with no less than five cases of wine.

The Kids run

Liz Lopez Byrnes presenting a $2000 check to Flamson Principal, Gene Miller


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PEOPLE “We were the original Wine Country HalfMarathon,” says Steve McAllen. “Since then, other ‘Wine Country’ Half-Marathons have sprung up in Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties.” However, the important difference is that the Wine Country Runs in Paso Robles is a non-profit. This running competition began as a fundraiser for the St. Rose School, but now about 50% of its proceeds go to several other North County non-profits. “This year, we gave money to about ten charitable organizations,” Liz Lopez Byrnes explains. Several of them: Transitional Food and Shelter, the North County Youth Performing Arts and the San Miguel Lions Club (which provides free swimming for kids in San Miguel) – have been supported by the Race for years. This year, the list of recipients also included Flamson Middle School. “We appreciate the Wine Country Runs’ donation,” says Flamson’s assistant principal Peter Flores. “It will help us buy new furniture and show students that the community cares about them.” In thirteen years, runners raised about $180,000, and are expecting to bring in close to $19,000 this year alone. They’re able to do so, thanks, in part, to their own sponsors who cover the event’s expenses. Among those sponsors are the local branch of RaboBank, and the popular Mexican Restaurant Senor Sancho’s, which wows the athletes with its 900(!) free breakfast burritos. Besides, Dr. McAllen invites other doctors to participate. “Many have been monetary sponsors since the Race’s inception, and many support it by running in it,” Dr. McAllen confirms. Even with careful planning, things don’t always go smoothly. Twice in the past, the Huer Huera River has flowed across one of the roads that are used for the Race. “The first time this happened, Russ decided that he would fabricate a stainless steel footbridge which would span about 20 feet across the flowing river. The river was shallow but the water was flowing rapidly enough that, without a bridge, it would be too dangerous to run across,” Dr. McAllen remembers. “We didn’t realize that in the week it took to make the bridge, the river’s width would increase, even though it hadn’t rained. Well, at 10PM on the night before the Race, we were out there trying to lower this bridge by crane, with nothing but car lights to see by. As soon as the bridge touched the water, it was swept downstream! We had to re-route the Race. The bridge was salvaged by another party and is now being used at Sycamore Mineral Springs in Avila.”

Still, such nature’s surprises don’t deter the Race’s fans. Some runners come from as far as Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Arizona and Washington. Last year a large group from the LA area came to support a friend and ended up running the course, too. Locals also like it: in 2009 the whole of Paso Robles’s Chamber of Commerce did a 5K walk. “Dr. McAllen and his wife Mary are always especially great to work with on a big project like this,” says Steve Von Dohlen, a runner and a St. Rose School parent. “I’ve been running in the Wine Country Runs since 2002,


and I’ve been helping Dr. McAllen with the race for several years – because I love the event and the benefits it brings.” This year’s Race is on March 21st. “I’ve heard good things about it,” says Katie Machingo of Orcutt, who this year is planning to join the Wine Country Runs for the first time. “I ran Half-Marathons in big cities, with thousands of participants. I like that this Race is local and more compact, and my friend and I are looking forward to running it. It should be fun.” To learn more, go to

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SLO named nation’s healthiest city!...maybe By Julian J. Varela


n August, 2001 I officially made San Luis Obispo my permanent “new home.” Throughout the years I’ve lived in Oregon, Arizona and Ventura County but never felt home until I moved here. I can’t really explain why I felt the draw here; perhaps the view of the ocean from almost every hilltop, the ocean air, the small-town feel amongst a thriving college town, or perhaps because residents actually make eye contact with you on the streets and seem to be sincere when asking “How are you today?” The thing that struck me the most however was the fact that on any given day I would see people engaged in the outdoors: cycling, jogging, walking, hiking and playing in the park. Is this place for real? I know that sunny weather is conducive to outdoor activity and health, however with so many active residents San Luis Obispo must be the healthiest county in the nation, right? Wrong: San Luis Obispo has not been named the Healthiest City in the Nation, but I think we have the potential. Here’s how we compare with the rest of the nation. Nationally, approximately 66% of adults are overweight and 32% are obese. For children, the statistic is about 20% and is on the rise. Much to my dismay San Luis Obispo County is not much better off than the rest of the nation; well, maybe a little, but it isn’t worth bragging about. A few years ago, ACTION for Healthy Communities, a collaborative with The San Luis Obispo’s Community Health Foundation, reported 57% of County adults were overweight or obese. The report further notes that “while the number of overweight or obese adults is slightly rising in San Luis Obispo County, the number of overweight or obese adults in California is slightly declining.” As for statistics, most of us are well aware that we have a problem and simply need an effective solution. Unfortunately many of the solutions just don’t seem to be taking effect or are being pulled out from under us. For example, many schools don’t even offer physical education classes and those that do may only offer the class twice per week. This isn’t very effective considering physical activity is necessary on most days of the week. Personally I’m tired of hearing everyone talk about the problem. Government may create policies to encourage us to become healthier, non-profits may offer some kind of programming and our doctors may threaten us to take action; but will we listen and actually do something? Is there a simpler solution? I believe there is.

The simple fact is that technology has removed the necessity for basic daily physical activity. It’s quite possible that we could get away with never leaving our house or our couch for that matter (with the exception for refrigerator and bathroom runs…and hopefully a shower). Groceries can be ordered online and delivered along with most necessary household items. Help with everything from cleaning and gardening can be outsourced and the internet has made it convenient for many of us to work from home. Are you getting my point? Twenty to fifty years ago most of us were spending twice the amount of time outdoors either playing or simply running errands out of sheer necessity. We didn’t have the convenience of the internet. Somehow we’ve engineered basic physical activity out of our lives and introduced a life of sedentary behavior, M A R C H

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i.e. laziness. What are we to do? I will argue that with three simple solutions you can improve your own health leading to the improvement of the health of those around you and finally to our community.

Re-engineer Yourself Once you realize most physical activity is absent from daily life, it should make logical sense that we must find a way to incorporate opportunities to move or in other words, exercise. We simply don’t have a choice anymore; exercise isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. With that in mind, it’s time to look at your calendar and make exercise part of your daily schedule from here on out.

Learn New Skills If you watched the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, you probably noticed the teams’ coaches standing on the sidelines in constant dialog with the athletes. Any great athlete knows that in order to maintain and improve performance it’s vital to work with a coach both on and off the field. So why do so many of us try to improve our health on our own without the assistance of a coach? I’m not suggesting that you work with a personal trainer five days per week; however most individuals working with a trainer on a regular basis, even once per month, are generally more successful than those that try it on their own. Learning a new skill is best done with a great teacher or coach and it’s the same with your health. Do yourself a favor and make the small investment to work with a fitness professional; it will pay significant dividends in the future for both you and your family.

Practice What You Preach & Preach It Once you’ve organized and scheduled time to exercise and invested time to learn new movement skills with a professional, it’s time to make this part of your daily life. I suggest that you continue meeting with a fitness professional on a regular basis to stay on track and be accountable. Here’s the cool part. Once regular exercise and good nutrition are part of your daily life, those around you will start to take notice. If you’re a mother or father, your children will naturally want to get involved in whatever you’re doing. This is a good thing. Keep in mind that your kids are eager to learn new things and get excited when given the opportunity to cook new foods, to get involved growing a garden and every kid I’ve ever worked with has a blast exercising. Teaching your children these skills on a consistent basis will help them become healthier teens and healthier adults. Remember, your children are most likely not given the opportunity to learn these skills at school anymore leaving it up to you to teach them! Creating the healthiest city in the nation is possible and starts with you. Understanding the importance of exercise and learning how to do it consistently will inspire those close to you to do the same. With these simple steps we will create a healthier city and a healthier nation. 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 Inc. and Equilibrium Fitness for Women. Julian can be contacted at




“the incredible, edible egg” By Shelley A. Matson


ecently at breakfast my mom passed on the scrambled eggs. “I’m watching my cholesterol,” she said. Other family and friends buy Egg Beaters at the store, which are basically cholesterol-free yellow colored egg whites. Dietary cholesterol has been a main topic of health concern because of its effect on blood cholesterol levels. The two types of cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol are common knowledge. These days, people seem to shun eggs because of there high cholesterol content. However according to a famed nutrition expert at Harvard University, Dr. Walter Willet, “dietary cholesterol has been greatly oversold, in part because it has a small effect on blood cholesterol.” The biggest influence on blood cholesterol levels is not how much cholesterol one gets from their food, but the mix of fats in the diet. Saturated fat – not cholesterol – substantially impacts blood cholesterol levels. One of the main problems with avoiding eggs for breakfast is that people turn to

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other foods such as muffins, bagels with cream cheese, Danish and other pastries. These types of foods are commonly high in saturated fat or contain trans fat, which actually has a more negative impact on blood cholesterol than the cholesterol from eggs. But, be careful with preparation of eggs for breakfast. Eggs are typically cooked with sausage or in oil or butter, which will add saturated fat as well.

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Re-Stain and Restore Your Hardwood Floors By Statepoint Media


Get your free welcome packet! It includes maps, civic info, coupons from cafes, groceries, wineries, auto hardware, garden, medical, dental, etc.

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Call your hostess or email


SLO: Mary Bettencourt: 545-0731


Los Osos/Morro Bay/Cayucos/Cambria: Annie Clapp: 772-9707

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

North County: Sandy Hexberg: 238-1529



n today’s economy, many homeowners are looking for ways to reinvest in their homes without breaking the bank. Staining wood floors is an inexpensive do-it-yourself project that can restore worn or damaged floors caused by daily foot traffic. Periodically staining and finishing your wood floor helps preserve and protect the wood while adding life and beauty to a decorated room. You don’t even have to hire a professional to achieve great results. Homeowners can save a lot of money by following these helpful staining tips from Sean Morris, Product Manager for Cabot Stains:

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• For large projects, it is best to sand the floor with a drum sander. Sanding to open wood grain is necessary prior to staining so the stain can soak in. If you’re working in a high traffic area, such as a main walkway, sanding the edges to match the center will lessen the contrast once the work is finished. • Depending on the type of wood you are working with, you may want to use a pre-stain conditioner, which helps certain species of wood, such as soft woods, obtain an even, uniform coloration.


• To decide which color of stain to use, test small samples of colors on an extra piece of similar wood, to determine final appearance and what looks best to you. If you’re concerned about odor or ventilation, a water-borne finish may be best. These low odor products dry quickly and provide a suitable alternative to solvent-based materials. Oilbased stain products are still the first choice for most professionals because of their durability. • Stain in sections to allow people to walk across your project area, but make sure to complete full boards without stopping in the middle. Rosin paper can be placed on top of a freshly stained area if it is necessary to walk across it, but this should be avoided if possible. If someone does

accidentally step on the stain before it dries, wipe with a cloth dampened in a cleaning solvent appropriate for the stain and the wood, and re-apply as necessary. • An average-sized living room is typically ready for re-coating the next day, but this depends on the type of finish you use, the coating thickness, ventilation and room temperature. • Safety is a big priority when staining floors. Odors and fumes must be ventilated continuously during the finishing and drying process. If you’re working in a small area, try using an organic vapor respirator. Safety glasses and gloves will never hurt and a good pair of knee pads always helps. Keep in mind that small children respire faster

and are closer to the finishing surface. They may be affected by fumes much faster than an adult, and it’s best to have them out of the house if possible. • After staining, some people opt for a polyurethane finish. Because of its durability, polyurethane is commonly used for application in high traffic areas. These finishes resist scratching and are recommended for many home flooring applications. By applying several coats, the surface will be sealed against most household chemicals. • When you’re finished with your project, clean-up tools safely by following all label instructions.

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perfect oatmeal pancakes/ waffles with fresh organic strawberry topping

at the market

FOR THE PANCAKES/WAFFLES ½ cup oat flour ½ cup sorghum flour or ½ cup rice flour 1/4 cup sweet rice flour (sold in ethnic food section in small, white box) 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoons kosher salt 2 eggs (find local eggs!) 1 ½ cups cooked oatmeal, from rolled oats or steel cut oats (can be made a day ahead or same day), warm or room temperature ½ cup milk (or almond milk or rice milk or soymilk, for those of you who choose dairy-free)

By Sarah Hedger


pring has sprung! While the winter weather here on the Central Coast wraps up its season of creating some of the most vibrant green hills we’ve seen in a while, the beautiful Spring produce options help bring our taste buds out of hibernation as well. March brings an abundance of delightful ingredients to our farmers’ markets, bringing artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green (spring) onions, (green) garlic, strawberries, citrus, and so much more. So many options the problem almost becomes too many options to choose from, which is not a bad thing in the least. The recipe of the month is a simple, delicious (and nutritious) one. To me, it is beautiful because it is so simple that it can be whipped up in minutes, either to be enjoyed as a (semi) quick breakfast, or part of a weekend brunch. Pancakes and waffles are one of my favorite comfort foods, which is why I could probably eat breakfast all day. A couple of quick notes on some of the ingredients in the Perfect Oatmeal Pancakes/Waffles with Fresh Organic Strawberry topping… These pancakes (or waffles depending on how you prefer to cook them) can be gluten-free. While more and more people seem to be noticing their body’s intolerance to gluten, it is also good to keep some variety when it comes to the different types of grains we incorporate into our diets. A lot of people find they have trouble getting away from gluten as it is successfully interwoven into a plethora of processed


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foods we often don’t associate as having any remote resemblance to the ingredients on the packaging. This recipe, as with many other gluten-free recipes being created lately, incorporates more whole foods back into our diet. Brown rice flour, which is the entire rice grain ground into flour, can be successfully substituted into many baked goods recipes. Whole oats are just that, whole oats. Incorporating whole foods into our diet is really important because with the whole food comes more nutrition (and often) fiber, often resulting in improved health. The assumption that health food tastes like cardboard is an old, outdated assumption. These days there are more and more chefs in our area who are incorporating local, seasonal ingredients and this is where you want to eat, not only because their food will taste superior, but because they are utilizing whole foods, resulting in a more nutrient-dense end product. Alright, enough of that! For those sensitive to gluten, you can easily substitute some gluten-free oats for the standard oats and turn these pancakes/waffles into gluten-free delights. The strawberry topping is simple as well and with a little added orange (or lemon) zest, it adds spring flavor as well as nutrition. My last tip is important… use organic or pesticide free strawberries. Find them and taste the difference, do a blind tasting and you’ll notice. Aside from tasting better and being free of artificial pesticides and fertilizers, organic strawberries have been found to have a higher nutritive content than conventionally grown strawberries. It really isn’t rocket science when you figure this little fruit is over 90% water, you really can taste any artificial contaminants (and the quality of the water used). That said, try them, you’ll notice a difference and you’ll feel better about your health, your family’s health, and your puppy’s health if they happen to be eating your leftovers…Happy Spring!

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FOR THE TOPPING: ½ pound organic strawberries, washed, hulled, and thinly sliced 2 T. sugar or agave nectar or maple syrup 1/2 tsp. orange zest, finely grated In a small bowl combine strawberries, sugar, and orange zest. Stir and slightly macerate the strawberries, enabling them to release their juices. Set aside while making the pancakes or waffles. Combine the oat flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside. Whisk the two eggs well in large bowl. Combine the oatmeal and milk in medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Slide the oatmeal/milk mixture into the eggs and whisk them together quickly. Grease a small skillet or pan with butter or lightly brush with canola oil or lightly spray with non-stick type spray. Place skillet on medium heat and after 20-30 seconds, pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet. Don’t touch the pancake until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake and begin to pop. Flip the pancake and let cook another 30 seconds. Remove pancakes as they finish cooking to plate and keep warm in oven if not eating immediately. For Waffles: Follow same instructions as for pancakes, however instead of using skillet, use your own waffle maker and remove when golden brown. Spoon fresh strawberry topping on top of pancakes or waffles and enjoy! Makes 8 small pancakes or 3 good-sized waffles.

HOME/OUTDOOR Kitchen Ideas

Seeing the light part 1 By Lisha Perini, Sarah Day, Lee Anna and Don O’Daniel


s kitchens are now the new entertainment center in the home, frequently used by many family members and guests, it’s more important than ever that they be well-lit. But what do we really mean when we talk about good lighting? A room is most comfortable when it contains layered lighting. Obviously, proper direct light is what allows you to cut your carrots safely, and be able to read your recipes easily. Beyond this simple demand for task lighting, it also helps create an ambience in the space, making it feel larger, cheerier, livelier, or perhaps more dynamic. The term decorative lighting refers to light sources that are more indirect, dimmable for romantic meals, or that create excitement by lighting up a focal point in the room. Finally, ambient lighting is general overhead lighting throughout the home that enables you to find your way without bumping into things. Typically, a kitchen will be designed with several layers of lighting incorporating the above categories. To save money, there may be overlap in the functions of these lights, depending on the fixture choice. For example, under-cabinet lights going around most of what is called the “mid-zone” of the room will create a nice gentle perimeter light effect, as well as providing direct light for countertop work. An overhead source such as a monorail light system, (a modern twist on the traditional track) allows the attachment of various types and styles of individual lights on one curvable-track power source. This can provide general illumination, special spots on a focal point, or “mood lighting” when dimmed. With the use of pretty or colorful glass fixtures, it can also be a decorative focal point all on its own. Another great place to let the light shine is for the display of collections, or special pieces inside a cabinet. Due to the heat generated by lamps, this is the place to go with low voltage. Low-voltage lights come in two categories: those with the voltage transformer built into the base and those requiring a separate, remotely located transformer (usually occurring with a series of small lights such as halogen “puck” lights). The advantage to using low-voltage is that you can operate the lamps on their highest wattage, which makes their color rendering optimal, while still using less power than the same amount of lamp wattage on line voltage. It also may be more efficient to use low-voltage lighting in places such as the mid-zone. The cost of installing energy-efficient fixtures will pay for itself over time. There are many new choices of lighting with more efficient xenon bulbs and even LED lamps. LED, which stands for “lightemitting diode,” is a technology that is currently advancing in terms of available products, and it is energy and cost-effective, as the bulbs last for over 50,000 hours (about 6 years of continuous use). You can create many dramatic effects with lighting. If you’re on a tight budget, take a class or seminar, do some research online and tap the internet for unusual and less expensive fixtures. Just make sure you buy only products that have been UL approved, which


means they were tested for safety by Underwriters’ Laboratory. This caveat is important when considering inexpensive imports. Safety is a primary concern. In the next issue, we’ll address more of lighting’s technical language. See you here next month. Don and Lee Anna O’Daniel have owned and operated San Luis Kitchen Company for the last 25 years. Both are architecture graduates from Cal Poly.

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Jen miller Alpha celebrating 30th year By Hilary Grant


n an economy still struggling with what many are now calling The Great Recession, what does it take for a local non-profit to not only continue to flourish – but to also be respected and admired, and even be able to increase services throughout the Central Coast community? One hint might be its leadership.

That’s certainly the case with Jen Miller, the Executive Director of San Luis Obispo ALPHA Inc. (Pictured right, in center) Now in its 30th year, ALPHA prides itself on providing nonjudgmental support to those facing an unexpected pregnancy, as well as offering loving assistance to mother and baby in the first year of life. Starting as a free pregnancy testing and counseling center, the group celebrated its “Wonderful Journey” birthday in January with a private party – more than 100 persons attended, including its handful of founders – at the historic Monday Club in San Luis Obispo. These days, while ALPHA still has a small staff (four part-time employees, plus a member of AmeriCorps), this little non-profit has greatly expanded its services. Now clients can avail themselves to free maternity and baby clothes, follow-up counseling regardless of choice, and rental deposit assistance. The organization also has infant supplies and equipment on hand, sponsors workshops and support groups, and does referrals for health insurance and medical care. And, in addition to its main SLO location, ALPHA operates satellite offices in Arroyo Grande and Atascadero; both are open six hours every month. Last year, nearly 650 County families used its services. “I’ve put a lot of sweat and tears into ALPHA,” says Miller, who lives in South County and has been at the executive director job a little more than six months. “But frankly, I’d have a very hard time finding happiness in life if I wasn’t working for something I believe in.

“As a woman, and as a friend of so many women who have lived through the good, the bad and the ugly, I recognize that every woman is different, as are the challenges unique to her.” Toward that end, Miller says when a new client walks in ALPHA’s doors, and is unsure about her choices, “we seek to deepen the discernment process, allowing each woman the support to consider the options available to her. “Our goal is to provide information so that the client can make the best educated decision – for herself,” continues Miller. “No matter what the woman’s decision, she will always be fully supported by our staff, and always with compassion and practical assistance.” Life before ALPHA gave Miller a good dose of empathy toward those with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Miller thought she would grow up to be a professional dancer. Indeed, Miller’s teenage years saw her dancing four to five hours every day and, during summers in New York City, studying with the Joffrey Ballet School. Miller relocated to Manhattan after graduation, where she attended Fordham University in the Bronx. Miller’s major was Psychology, with an emphasis in Infant and Child Development. “I continued to dance at Joffrey, but the juggling got to be too much,” says Miller. “Eventually, school won out.” Going away to college, she says, permanently altered her small-town perspective about the world. “Fordham is a Jesuit university, and so it encourages students to tap the full potential of mind and heart, while leading a life beyond self,” explains Miller. “I learned how to love better, and how to live in solidarity.” During this time, Miller traveled to South America, and had the opportunity to work with orphanage children in a leprosy hospital and at a mental institution. “It was the first time I had seen extreme poverty,” she says. “I also came to realize that I liked visiting countries off the beaten path – and that’s what made me decide to go to Africa after graduation.” Intending to be gone only six months at a vocational school in Mozambique, Miller wound up in the Southern coastal province for three years, eventually becoming the school’s co-director. It was here that she also met a woman named Aissa. Unable to have children (“considered undesirable and the lowest standard in her culture,” says Miller), Miller and other friends from


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COMMUNITY “I miss Africa tremendously,” says Miller. “But growing veggies in my own yard, constant fresh food from the fish and farmers’ markets, knowing my neighbors and feeling a sense of community…these things ease my homesickness. We’re connected here in SLO, to each other, and the land. That’s refreshing.” Still, during her long days at ALPHA, Miller says that she often thinks of her friend Aissa.

Aissa and Miller in Africa

“Working with women, their babies and their families in the face of so much adversity could seem distressing to some, but I am honored to share in their joy,” explains Miller. “I cry with them, too, and I help them see hope when it seems that there is none.”


Where does Miller hope to see ALPHA in the next few years? “Right now, we’re a well organized, professional agency that has the heart and soul of a grassroots organization,” she says. “We’ll continue to establish ourselves as an appreciated partner among local family resource centers. “Of course, with a client base that continues to grow, our little four woman show will have to grow, too!” For more information on San Luis Obispo ALPHA, including volunteer opportunities and how to donate, visit, or call (805) 541-3367.

the United States helped Aissa set up an orphanage. Very soon, Aissa had many children under her care, and a primary school and women’s group formed as well. “I cried with her through domestic violence issues – her husband beat her because she couldn’t get pregnant,” says Miller. “I cried with her at the unfairness of the death of her kids at the orphanage, and I accompanied her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with AIDS. “But, I also danced with her and her orphan kids, learned to play the drums and carve, learned to cook and most importantly, learned about understanding one another. They have so little, but in so many ways, they are the richest people in the world.” After six bouts of malaria, a bad case of typhoid fever and “feeling the wear of African life,” Miller headed back to the United States. During her time overseas, Miller’s mother had moved from Reno to Grover Beach, and raved about life on the Central Coast. M A R C H

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retired active men celebrate 20th anniversary more than 150 members strong By Loren Nicholson


o, you’re retired! You may want to become part of the 150-member San Luis Obispo RAM’s Club (Retired Active Men) which meets for lunch at Madonna Inn every second Tuesday of the month. This month the club celebrates its 20th anniversary with good food and a special program in the Garden Room Tuesday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m. Call Paul Tuttle at 528-7924

to be on the waiting list. Pay $21 at the door for a full lunch and a newsletter of coming events. Planned speakers include Tom Sullivan, first Big Ram, lawyer and former CEO; Ralph Reese, second Big Ram and a operations manager with Chevron; and Paul Tuttle, long time RAM secretary and oil company operations manager in Liberia. RAM’s operates within an ingenious format. First, their is no charge for either membership or dues. The group espouses no creed or cause except good fellowship. Meetings include a stimulating program, good humor and plenty of table conversation. But the monthly lunch is only the beginning of a pleasure-filled life with the RAM’s. There are also a variety of sub-groups that meet on a regular basis. Participation in these smaller groups requires membership and attendance at the regular monthly luncheon. For example, as many as 125 RAM’s meet for coffee and a program in the Garden Room of the Madonna Inn every Thursday morning. All of the coffee you can drink costs only $3.00. This group was initiated by retired Cal Poly administrator and naval officer Don Morris beginning 17 years ago. Robert Mott, former school administrator in Lompoc, provides leadership for the club’s walking and hiking sub-group. It is also open to member’s wives. It was first an outgrowth of a health group conducted by Dr. Paul Spangler, a prominent international octogenarian fast walker. Spangler led nutrition discussions and encouraged exercise. After he died during one of his early morning walks, Mott converted the group’s purpose to local recreational walks and hikes.

The RAM’S Coffee group back in 2002 M A R C H

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Avoid the High Cost of MovingCOMMUNITY to A Retirement Facility


This regular monthly group of 25-50 walkers explore local mountains, beaches, and neighborhoods. They also enjoy lunch together after a morning of outdoor exploration.

Beginning in 1992, Past Presidents Ralph passing of Fred Appleton, founder and emeriReese, Loren Nicholson and Club Secretary tus director of Retired Active Men. We cannot Paul Tuttle set-up a travel committee to but be impressed by the manner in which Fred plan trips for members and wives. The first benefitted his fellow man by his persistent efEven thoughoffering the prospect moving maytobe in the distant was a trip byof train from Williams forts to provide a means by which retired men Pravin Bhuta and Jack Peschong,future, longtime you owe to yourself to learn howforyouincan enjoy GranditCanyon with a layover in Laughlan this area were able to renew old friendships members, initiated still another gathering gambling. Three busloads RAM’s and their in your own homeof for many yearsand toestablish acquaintances through of members and their wives in acarefree group they living wives made the trip. An exciting three years membership in the RAM organization. called the Lunch Bunch. Their objective was followed with roundtrip cruises to Alaska, Fred had moved from Aptos to Pismo Beach to offer group dining at restaurants throughseveral cruises to the Mexican Riviera and after retiring as an engineer with Litton out the county, repeating those that proved a Caribbean cruise. The club also arranged Industries. He had been a member of Sons in exceptional. This event is now under the leadIt’s a fact of life that as we get older, Pristine fully numerous 3-4 day bus tripsis including Retirement, SIRS, a social club in the bay area. ership of Fred Toerge and his wife, Carole. Catalina Island,licensed Monterey Peninsula, Santa some day-to-day tasks become too and insured. SIRS enjoys some 39,000 members extending Barbara, Carrisa Plains, Rose Bowl Parade, Truemuch to its name, “Retired Active Men,” the That to handle on our own. All Yosemite of our workers from San Francisco to Monterey. Appleton Zion National Park, National Park club inspired still other sub-groups. Frank doesn’t mean you have to move away are carefully screened hoped to maintain a connection with this and several other recreational sites. Monforte started RAM’s Scramble Golf Bay Area group by establishing a club in San from the comfort of your home. and pass a criminal Tournament. Through changes in leaders Gus Wassel organized The Ram Taster subServices is ais local checkthis Luis Obispo County. But Fred’s request was and Pristine membershipHome participation, this group group in January,background 1999. From its inception denied. At that time, SIRS directors didn’t nowcompany best known asthat SLO Ram Golf. In earliest helps San Luis Obispo andat adrug giving you peace of mind group met monthly winerytest, or members want to extend farther south than Monterey. days, a group met after the monthly lunch home. This sub-group’s membership is carefulCounty residents avoid the high cost when someone from Pristine is working Later, they changed their views, offering to play Bridge. The late Don Morgan, former ly limited to meet the size of member’s homes merger with stipulations, hoping SLO would of moving to a retirement facility. in your home. head of Cal Poly’s Industrial Engineering and the accommodations of wineries visited. join them. However, some of the changes program, established a highly successful “She helps me with bathing and other SIRS required were unacceptable. investment group of 24 members. Each Fred Appleton, the member who initiated and

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care. She by is so“Undaunted wonderful to setback, me. Fred established month participants would put money in their brought the RAM’spersonal idea to fruition, is praised by his All of our services can be provided She should be cloned! …and the price is investment pool. A changing committee club members for his efforts. Paul Tuttle, long a completely new association,” Paul wrote daily, weekly, or on an as-needed basis. very reasonable. She even did my winof three made studied recommendations time secretary and charter member of the SLO in 1995. The first RAM’s club took hold in Youpurchases. pay forOver only services you need on stock thethe years, new club, said it for all indows!” the club newsletter in 1995. the Five Cities Area. Other groups followed R. Watson, San Luis Obispo members joined, and others sold out. This in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Arroyo and we provide those services at“Asa RAM’s pricecelebrate another anniversary,” sub-group eventually terminated to avoid “They took the time to ask me exactly Grande, Morro Bay, Atascadero and a second you can afford. Tuttle wrote, they “especially reflect upon the possible tax problems for the organization. club in San Obispo. what I wanted. They arrived onLuis time, did

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providing jobs and services throughout slo county

goodwill By Hilary Grant


t’s as American as mom’s apple pie, baseball and The Fourth of July: Goodwill Industries – now more than a century old, this sturdy non-profit’s motto is “Our Business Is Changing Lives.” That phrase certainly holds true on the Central Coast, where trained Goodwill employees run busy thrift stores in Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Paso Robles. Staffers also manage a warehouse-like outlet center in San Luis Obispo proper, located next door to the organization’s sprawling administrative facility. In addition, donation center trailers are dotted all over the County. There’s more: many thrift store regulars may not realize that Goodwill also oversees three branches of Shoreline Workforce Development, the SLO area education and job training arm of the organization. It’s here, in fact, that many clients finally find a place to successfully combat difficult barriers to employment, including physical, mental and economic challenges. Because Goodwill wants its graduates to secure employment in the outside labor market, job search skills are emphasized, along with resume development and interviewing techniques. Knowing that finding a job is a job in itself, Shoreline also runs a job club, which helps clients maintain self-esteem during their

employment search. The template seems to be working: in 2007, Goodwill in this area placed more than 300 individuals in competitive employment, with an average hourly rate of more than $11 per hour. Keeping all of these operations running smoothly is Iowa native Jim Burke, who moved to the Central Coast 23 years ago after receiving a college degree in applied science with an emphasis on hotel and restaurant management. “I enjoy this business, because everyday I feel as though I am helping our community by providing jobs, training and placement services to people with barriers to employment,” he says. “I also love to use my organizational skills in challenging ways, plus, I enjoy the variety of challenges that come my way.” Prior to becoming Director of Operations for the SLO region Goodwill, Burke was Vice President and General Manager of F. McLintock’s Saloon & Dining House for 15 years. Not long after, he was hired as Executive Director of the Senior Nutrition Program of SLO County. Now at Goodwill for a little more than three years, it’s not unusual for Burke to begin his job at six o’clock in the morning. Indeed, he averages about 60 hours of work every week. Like so many heads of not-for-profit companies, Burke wears a lot of hats.

Jim Burke, SLO Director of Operations

Besides supervising seven managers and heading up all special local projects, he’s involved in the everyday finance, budgeting, marketing and planning of the organization’s SLO County Operations. For the last several months, Burke has also been overseeing the ambitious remodeling of its administrative space. No extra buildings are in the blueprint, but new classrooms are being built, as well as another parking area. That’s a lot of Goodwill balls in the air, and Burke says that what might be most surprising to some is “how organized the process is when we receive donations. We bring them to the main warehouse for processing and then ship them off to our stores. There are also production schedules and deadlines, every single day.”


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COMMUNITY Speaking about donations, Burke wants to dispel one common myth. “Our employees do not get the first opportunity to pick through donations,” he says. “The reality is this – we have a strict employee purchase policy which prohibits them from purchasing before the general public has had an opportunity to do so.” Another falsehood, says Burke, is that Goodwill’s primary mission is to provide inexpensive clothing and household goods to the various communities where there are Goodwill thrift stores.

to receive fewer donations, but the demand in our stores has increased.” When it comes to his hectic schedule, Burke says that perhaps he was meant to be part of the Goodwill family. “About seven years ago, I came across some papers that I’d done in high school and college,” he says. “I had written about my desire to work in a non-profit or a social service as a goal.


“Having found those writings, I decided that I would try to make that happen. And I have – first with the nutrition program, and now, being here at Goodwill, where I can continue to help so many.” Visit to find out more about Goodwill Industries in SLO County, or call (805) 544-0542. For more information, including Goodwill’s history, mission and its goals for this century, log on to

“The reality here,” he says, “is that our stores are a means to an end. And, that end is jobs, job training and job placement services.” Indeed, Goodwill started as a kind of social experiment for those who needed a hand up, not a hand out. Founded in Boston in 1902 by Methodist minister Edgar J. Helms, Helms began modestly: he collected used household goods and clothing in the wealthier areas of that city, then trained and hired those living in poverty to mend and repair the used items. The goods were then resold or given to the people who repaired them. The idea took hold, and today, Goodwill has become a $3.2 billion non-profit organization, with a network of 166 independent, community based Goodwill offices in the United States and Canada. Goodwill’s presence is also on five continents: figures for 2008 include more than 2,300 retail stores around the world, nearly 65 million donors that year, and about 10 million persons, also that year, taking advantage of the group’s workforce development programs. The organization can also take pride in this: Goodwill has long been considered one of the most effectively run non-profits around, with a full 84 percent of its revenue invested in education, community programs and career services. Goodwill arrived in SLO County via the City of Santa Cruz, which welcomed Goodwill in 1928. Not long after, that first office extended its services to Monterey and San Luis Obispo. Today, these three regions employ close to 400 persons, and in 2007, paid $6.7 million in wages, with nearly $1 million in employer related taxes. Despite these figures, Jim Burke says that today’s economic downturn has definitely affected his office. “It’s a double-edged sword,” he says. “We tend M A R C H

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COMMUNITY SLO county art scene

Peter Zaleski: Process and pattern By Gordon Fuglie Advisory Council, Central California Museum of Art


eter Zaleski maintains a studio west of Templeton, situated in the shady, oak-forested foothills. Born in Chicago, he began his art studies as a printmaker, simultaneously learning painting. Migrating west to enter the MFA program at USC, Zaleski has evolved into an artist who often draws his inspiration from the environment of his adoptive region. The demanding processes of printmaking were key to Zaleski’s foundation. Of the many mediums available to artists, works made on a printing press are perhaps the most difficult to envision as an end product. Many steps, redirections and corrections mark the journey from inspiration to the fully realized print, and that’s not to mention works abandoned in frustration. Artists fully committed to printmaking, that is, in getting to the “target” of the finished work, relish the maneuvers of dodging the “incoming flak” posed by the multifarious means and their technical unpredictability. If cranking an image out of a press is akin to the pilot’s joystick, then printmakers are the aces of the art world.

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Like many American artists who found their voice in the late 20th century, Zaleski is open and pragmatic about his art making. He is of an age to recall when art schools expected a printmaker to be a printmaker, a painter a painter, etc. This constricting mandate was the closing legacy of High Modernism with its insistence on purity of media and materials. By the 1970s waves of younger artists renounced these restrictions, and encouraged the blending of media and hybridization of processes, taking art in new directions. Post modernism was born, and for Zaleski this meant erasing the boundaries between printmaking and painting. There was a downside to the explosive expansion of styles, media and content – and their seemingly promiscuous co-mingling. After some thirty years of globalized post modernism, the art world appears as a vast, dense forest. Many gallery goers are perplexed by the trackless here and now of 21st century art. What we’ve learned in the interim is that successful hybridization requires the artist to be an eagle-eye editor and master of materials. Happily, Zaleski covers both. His images are orchestrations of techniques and materials, tautened by an essentialist vision. The monoprints from the “Cross Canyons – Vine/Line” and “Ripe” series originate with the linear patterns and rows the artist saw in north county vineyards. Zaleski’s new paste-up paintings are composed of individual sheets of paper upon which are printed not quite identical hues of deep blue, aqua, black or gray. Broken, brushy white lines oscillate horizontally across the assembled sheets, sometimes connecting, sometimes not. An assertive network of marks, they suggest natural phenomena – branches, waves, or ridges, and are an amalgamation of commanding calligraphy and calculated composition. Before our eyes they manage to stutter and congeal at the same time, and are some of the more engaging abstract paintings I’ve seen recently in Central California. (See also

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Peter Zaleski

The Cuesta College Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Zalseki’s work from March 12 to April 3, Before the Horizon: Paintings and Monoprints. A public reception for the artist takes place on March 11, 6 - 8 p.m. For further information, call 805-546-3202. Peter Zaleski’s Cuesta exhibition is also a watershed in new efforts to more seriously recognize outstanding artists from San Luis Obispo County and the mid-state region: the Central California Museum of Art. Newly established by artists, curators and art scholars from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, the CCMA primarily will cover art and artists from the heart of the state. It begins with a website (www.centcalmuseuart. org), a series of exhibitions at various galleries, further leading to collaborative regional projects, and eventually, a dedicated, professionally equipped and staffed facility.



Our Schools: sixth annual county education report By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


he County Office of Education recently released the Sixth Annual Education Report for public schools in San Luis Obispo County. The Report gives a snapshot of the public schools in the county including information on student demographics, student achievement, school district budgets, highlights of some selected accomplishments and a forecast of future issues facing our schools. The Report is available on the website for the County Office of Education at I will summarize the major points in the Report below. Who Are Our Students? Approximately ninety percent of the school age (ages 5-18) children and young people in our county attend our public schools. The total enrollment for this year is 34,725 students attending school in one of our ten local school districts. The largest district is the Lucia Mar Unified School District which includes most of the south county and has an enrolment of 10,716 students. The smallest district is the Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary School District in the north county with 121 students in grades K-8. Since 2002-03, our county has experienced a declining enrollment trend of about 1% a year. About 59% of our students are White, 29% are Hispanic, 2% Asian, 2% Black and 8% other ethnicities. We have a lower percentage of Hispanic, Black and Asian students than the averages for the state. We also have a lower percentage of students living in poverty and students who are English learners than the state averages. Student Performance. The Academic Performance Index (API) is the cornerstone for measurement of student academic achievement in California. The index is a range of scores from 200 to 1000, with 800 being the state target for all schools. The API score is based on student performance on tests given in grades 2 through 11 based on California’s academic standards. For the first time, our countywide average API score tops the 800 target with a score of 805, which is 50 points higher than the state average of 755. The California High School Exit Exam is a two-part exam covering English-Language Arts and Mathematics. Students must pass both sections in order to receive a public high school diploma. About 83% of our students pass this exam when they can take it as 10th graders, and over 95% have passed the exam by graduation. We can be proud that our student performance is well above the average for the state; however there is a significant gap in achievement for our English learners when compared to the average for all students. School District Budgets. The total budget amount for all local school districts is approximately $334 million, a large number! Of this total about 55% of the revenue comes from local property taxes, 23% from state sources, 11% from federal sources, 10% from other local sources such as fees, rents and investments, and 1% comes from the state lottery. About 80% of district expenditures are for personnel and that is to be expected since schools deliver our services through people. Schools are a very labor intensive enterprise. As we know, the state budget problems have greatly impacted local school district budgets. Our local schools have lost approximately 20% of their funding over

the past 15 months and we are bracing for additional revenue reductions for 2010-2011. California was 47 out of 50 states in per pupil expenditure even before the current state budget crisis. This loss in revenue translates into larger class sizes, fewer specialists, reduction in training and no updating of technology and materials. Teachers Are The Key to Student Success. The Report highlights the essential role that our teachers play in promoting student success. We have been fortunate in the past to have a high quality teaching force; but that is in danger as we anticipate large numbers of retirees within the next 3 years. Teachers in the areas of math, science and special education will be especially hard to replace. There are some significant challenges and opportunities for our schools in the next several years. The forecast is for the decline in enrollment to continue for at least another three years, and we will continue to face inadequate funding. Our challenge is to focus our resources on the core instructional program to provide excellence and equity for the county’s students.

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charles H. johnson

Part 1 By Joseph A. Carotenuti


ince recalling times past is a selective – hopefully, an authentic – process, too often those who have established the paths of progress are forgotten along with the dimming memories and fading documents of history. Thus, it is refreshing to note that in any registry of the leading pioneer luminaries of San Luis Obispo…County and City…Charles Henry Johnson would be among the most prominent – if not the most prominent – of leaders. Johnson enjoyed a long and productive life of “stirring activity in travel, adventure and public affairs” to quote a short biographical sketch. As the civic proto-ancestor of this area, his role in establishing the municipality is unparalleled by any other. His influence throughout the county’s earliest history was remarkable. As often happens, many of his contributions along the central coast were unplanned and a stunning chance of circumstance. Here’s the story. Johnson was born on November 17, 1825 in Baltimore, Maryland. His extensive education included sea travel especially with an uncle who was an agent for the Baltimore East India Company. A most fateful voyage began as he and friend, John Finley, sailed aboard the Rhone as supernumeraries with a cargo to trade in South America, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and – unintended – California. This initial investment was probably a family venture but proved a splendid opportunity for the young man to explore – and record – a voyage of discovery. The Rhone set sail a few days before Christmas of 1847 from Baltimore on what would eventually be an eight-month voyage including a treacherous stretch around the Cape Horn. With little to do, Johnson kept a journal.

“I have no desire to give a tedious account of a sea voyage,” he promised potential readers. Indeed, he uses few words about the ship except to note the drinking water “was kept under lock and key” and only distributed for a fee. He was more interested in providing wellinformed descriptions of the various ports of call. First, however, Johnson offered comments as to some of the passengers mostly “troubled with sea-sickness.” The son of a sea captain seems to exclude himself from the common malady. His cabin of nine included two men “dentists or professional men as they are pleased to term themselves” who “appear to be exempt from the burdens of a refined education and money.” Again, the young mariner seems to underscore he does not suffer from their failings. The rest of the passengers are summarized as spending their time either sleeping or “reading trifling novels.” His escape was in the magic of nature and the exuberance of words. “How can I give an adequate idea of a tropical sunset?” he asks as he

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COMMUNITY begins a long paragraph of Victorian prose including the rising of the moon: There she comes! Shaking the brine from her virgin brow, shedding the softest glare on all around, tipping the edges of the clouds above her with a silvery light – beaming with love, purity and innocence. It was indeed a long, lonesome voyage. Obviously, the journal was meant to be more than some idle pastime to address the monotony of the days at sea. Johnson was a man of purpose. So, every stop is noted with descriptions of the landscape, village or city, architecture, public squares, churches, art, and people. Cape Horn was reached on March 12 (“the farthest south I’ve ever been”) and Valparaiso, Chili near the end of the same month. Here, Johnson established a pattern of going ashore to roam through the city and environs and record his impressions. The two-week stop included beautiful views from the countryside: “hills piled on hills until they meet the giant range of the cordilleras (mountains) thrusting their crested heads into the regions of everlasting stillness” with seas that seemed to “kiss the very sky.” Johnson was a fan of words and images, a collector of memories, and, in later life, a favorite storyteller. He also enjoyed history commenting on the peoples of South America and beyond as descendants of the Spaniards and natives.

“Their character I like, they are free in their manners and endeavor to please. I have not met with deceit or perfidy whilst among them.” Little did he realize, one would become his wife and many more his neighbors. Shorter stops in Chili included Corija (“a dreary and desolate place”); then Arica (“a pretty town”) followed by some trading in Tacna, hiking through its countryside and a grand ball he enjoyed…especially the “coffee and dancing.” He also missed boarding the Rhone. Fortunately, a steamer was also in port and Johnson actually arrived in the port city of Islay (“another dreary town”) before the ship.


ended the hostilities between Mexico and the United States.” Johnson had started this journey for adventure and wealth. However, he had taken an important step to finding his new home…and fortune. Next month Johnson arrives in San Luis Obispo. Thank you to descendant Pat Volk for her research and help.

By mid-May, Callao and Lima, Peru beyond came into view. There are pages of descriptions of the latter…one of the oldest cities in the hemisphere. Johnson is aware of its history as he relates his impressions of the streams and streets, plaza and people, climate and cathedral. There probably wasn’t much consideration as to the years ahead when he would be trading with the City of Kings. Hawaii was reached on July 18 for what became a short two-week stay. The beautiful climate, “indescribably grand” views and even conversing with the heir-apparent of the island’s royalty could not stop the commerce at hand. Word of the California gold rush had reached Honolulu. On the eleventh of August 1848, the Rhone sailed into the bay of San Francisco “the first American vessel that reached California after the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which


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hospice corner Keeping the hospice team up to date By Miriam Hetsler, RN, CHPN


ospice Partners takes pride in having the most qualified team of professionals in the San Luis Obispo area to provide state-of-the-art hospice care to the residents of our community. It begins with hiring qualified staff members, and continues with making sure the hospice team receives the needed education on the latest developments in their field. Over the past twelve years, Hospice Partners has quadrupled in size, added new programs and services, and mentored many fine professionals. As the organization grew, it became apparent that a separate Education Department was necessary to maintain the high standard achieved in providing hospice care to the patients and their families. In 2007, the Education Department at Hospice Partners was formed and Sue Cikowski, RN, CHPN, a twenty-three

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year staff member and clinical supervisor, was named the Education Manager. In 2009, I was named the Education Assistant, transferring from a nurse case manager position at Hospice Partners. The primary role of the educator at Hospice Partners is the training and development of all staff members. The goal is to make sure that the nurses, social workers, chaplains, musicians, hospice aides, dieticians, bereavement counselors and in-home volunteers have the information needed to provide competent, compassionate end-of-life care to hospice patients and their families. The education department is responsible for training new staff as well as for planning and providing educational opportunities to meet the learning needs of all staff. In addition, there is an “on-call” aspect in that the education team needs to be ready and willing to assist hospice team members with clinical consultations, procedures at the bedside, and computer issues. The last item, computer issues, came into play two years ago when Hospice Partners completed its conversion to electronic medical records and the use of tablet computers in the field. The education team also accompanies the field clinical staff on patient visits, to routinely assess the staff member’s performance, or to assist the staff member with learning a new skill. Sue and I bring to the Education Department a combined seventyfive plus years of experience along with a love of learning as well as teaching. It is these attributes that led us to these positions and that cause us to constantly strive for even better ways of providing quality care and comfort for our hospice patients. Comfort care is the primary guiding principle that directs our decision making and guides patient care delivery. When patients are uncomfortable due to symptoms, we work to resolve those and remove suffering and distress. Medications and other nursing interventions are often effective. The team approach makes it possible to look at many other means of providing comfort, whether it is physical, spiritual or emotional. Since Hospice Partners is a state-licensed, Medicare and Medi-Cal certified hospice agency, it is important that the staff be educated on compliance with the many rules and regulations that govern the providing of end-of-life care to hospice patients. Another aspect to our role is to provide education to the community. We are available to community groups or organizations who call for information. We are happy to give presentations to any group, organization or agency about hospice care services available in the community and how to access that care. Not only do we want to keep the hospice team up to date, we also want to keep the residents of our community up to date. This monthly Hospice Corner is sponsored by Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Miriam Hetsler, RN, CHPN, is the Education Assistant at Hospice Partners. For more information, call (805) 782-8608.


local books homework monster


ernie is a boy who loved to draw more than anything. His favorite thing to draw is superheroes and monsters from his made up planet, Gazork. When his drawing time cuts in to his homework time it becomes a big problem. Bernie wishes that he could be a superhero; then he would not have to do homework ever again. To his surprise, being a superhero and fighting a monster is not as easy as he thinks. Now he has to get his homework done while at the same time trying to get rid of the monster he created.




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First time Author, Karen Culpepper, wrote and self published, The Homework Monster. This is a story, targeted for elementary school students 8-12 years of age, to encourage them through fun and exciting story telling the advantages of getting homework done on time. The Homework Monster, is all about doing homework at the right time and keeping up with assignments that will make school life much easier and happier for the student. Many students do not understand the impact homework has on their overall grade. Even if you get As and Bs on your classroom work, missing a few homework assignments can cost the student a whole grade level. Karen Culpepper was raised in New Jersey with eight brothers and sisters. She moved to California to go to school. She has a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in Los Angeles. After moving to San Luis Obispo to raise her children, she worked as a Special Education Para Educator so that she would have the same hours as her children. The inspiration for this story came during homework time one evening. The Homework Monster is hardcover and full color with a comic book feel to it. It is available in San Luis Obispo at local bookstores and on

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Vets Voice By Frank Rowan

VETERAN’S ALERT. Mike Piepenburg, the SLO County Veterans Service Officer, is retiring and moving to San Diego. The SLO county administration is considering attaching the Veterans Service Office to the Department of Health and reducing the VSO to a supervisorial level. Veterans fear that reducing the VSO status from a department head to a sub office supervisor will lessen the ability of the VSO to properly service SLO county veterans. Tim Haley, Commandant of the Marine Corps League, and I met with veterans at the American Legion Post 66 clubhouse to discuss the matter and form opinions. Milt Batson, Commander of the SLO DAV, Jay Jansson, Adjutant of Post 66, and Bob Bryn and Phil Porter both, Past Commanders of Post 66, were there. On February 5th, Haley, Todd Martin (Veteran coordinator at Cuesta College) and I met with County Administrator, Jim Grant. Grant said the reason for consideration of the change was the county budget problems. He said lowering the salary of the VSO from a department head to a supervisor under the health department would save $40,000 a year. He assured us that no other changes would be made and service to veterans would not be lessened. Here are some excerpts from a subsequent letter from Haley to Grant establishing our agreement and differences at the meeting: “1. The Veterans Service Office shall remain in The Veterans Memorial Building. 2. The Veterans programs and services and staff shall remain the same. Staffing, of course, being subject to change, with increased demand. 3. The position of Veterans Service Officer is still open for consideration to being downgraded to that of a program manager and not a department head and that the Veterans Services shall be placed under the umbrella of the Health Agency. M A R C H

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This is yet to be determined and as such the Veterans community shall have the opportunity to meet with County Administration again to voice our concerns regarding this prior to a final decision.”

Lt. Charles Dills in

There are 26,000 veterans in San Luis Obispo County. With two wars going on in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is likely there will be more returning veterans needing assistance. Hence we cannot agree to reducing the status level of the position. Contact your County Supervisor and give him your thoughts. Our hero of this month is WWII veteran Charles Dills. Charles and his wife Sauny live in the Laguna Lake area. Charles was attending the North Dakota Agricultural College on December 7, 1941. After completing the school year he joined the US Army Air Corps in August 1942. He first trained at Maxwell Field in Nashville, Tennessee. He already knew how to fly but had to be trained to fly the Army way. He continued off to Jackson, Mississippi for Primary, Courtland, Alabama and Craig Field, Alabama for basic and advanced. He then went to Sarasota, Florida for further training, now flying P-40s. In 1943 to Africa attached to the First Fighter Training Group and more training. Finally he joined the 27th fighter bomber group just after the invasion of Salerno, flying P-51 Mustangs outfitted with dive brakes for dive bombing designated as A-36s. During his time with them on 30 minute alerts he flew 94 missions dive bombing and/or strafing in support of the combat troops. He crashed twice during this time but was not seriously hurt. Once while testing his plane, the canopy came off and hit him in the head. He landed on the concrete runway while unaware of what he was doing. He did not remember a thing after being hit by the canopy and crashed attempting to land. Charles came home in August 1944 and held various assignments training pilots. When WWII ended Charles continued his education with a BS from North Dakota Agricultural

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Charles Dills today

College, then to George Washington University for a Masters on the GI Bill and later Harvard for a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry. He and his wife Sauny moved to SLO in 1963 to teach at Cal Poly in Chemistry. Sauny has two degrees in Biology and a Masters in English and taught in the English Department. After 27 years Charles retired in 1988 and Sauny in 2003. They now live the laid back SLO Town life enjoying their beautiful garden and home. I received a call from Bill Estes, a local veteran who had called the number I put in the January issue of the Vets Voice to get a Cold War Certificate. He said he got a doctors office. I checked and found out since it is long distance you have to dial a 1 in front of the number which I will repeat here. 1-703325-5864. Remember to dial the 1 unless you want to get a doctor, OK? Of course if you are a computer geek just Google Cold War Certificate and follow the directions. Remember keep in touch, or 805-543-1973. See you right here again in April.



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


W h a t ’s U p New Business News

March 2010

W h a t ’ s

U p

A r o u n d

D o w n t o w n



any of you may have heard or read Tartaglia. Natalie, who has served on the board about farmers market goings on for four years and whose presidency ends last month and while we think it’s and term limit expires this month, exhibited winding down in the news, it’s at least worth impressive skills in reaching across a divide letting our regular monthly readers know where there were mixed feelings about doing the intentions of the Downtown Association so. Her belief that a sound decision had in the matter were, from the start, to keep been made was weighed against the larger the farmers’ operation intact and ensure considerations of public sentiment—and some public safety. The whole idea of assuming Deborah Cash, CMSM, City Council input to boot—and the solution Executive Director management was to improve communication to it all meant working together—quickly. directly with the farmers and ensure a safe She guided the board through negotiations environment for them and for the public—without and has won the respect of everyone in doing so. any changes to the farmers’ business practices. ut it doesn’t end there. Natalie is a beautiful


nce it became clear that this was more than a matter of ‘strictly business,’ with emotional and personal undertones, the idea of reaching a compromise seemed reasonable and by the time this article is in print, an agreement should be in effect to everyone’s satisfaction with ‘business as usual’ at the market.



person inside and out. She is a family person first and foremost, with most every conversation including a mention of her husband Joe or children Dominic and Ciera. She is a successful businesswoman and very involved in the community. While she is sunny and soft, she can also be serious and firm—often at the same time, which contributes to her ability to work with all kinds of people. If you ever have a chance, please give Natalie a big thumbs up or ‘thank you’ for all she has done for Downtown SLO.

ne person I believe deserves kudos for her helmsmanship throughout the fracas is Downtown Association Board president Natalie On the Cover: San Luis Creek in Downtown 'fills the bill' for local mallards looking to splash around after recent rains brought

water levels up—finally! If the pattern continues, look for a flowing creek all summer long, a boon for one of Downtown's biggest visitor attractions. Photo by Deborah Cash

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’d also like to thank a number of Downtown businesses (more than 30!) that will be receiving Beautification Awards on March 5, including the coveted “Mayor’s Award.” While the mantra of “Save Downtown SLO” has long been chanted, the truth is Downtown changes every single day. Some of those changes involve businesses making improvements to their properties like remodeling, new signage, merchandising—in some cases even brand new construction or a major retrofit. Visit our website after March 5 to view a slideshow of the winners and see how their efforts and investments contribute to the continuing improvement and evolution of our beautiful Downtown.


f you hear rumbling noises, it’s likely the redevelopment projects of Garden Street Terraces, Chinatown and the Naman project coming out of ‘hibernation’ and all will be more present though the review process as

D o w n t o w n


they head toward their assigned deadlines. And, while all three projects have undergone some revisions to their original design, each will still include amenities to bring people (the lifeblood of Downtown’s economy) here to live, vacation, shop, eat and enjoy life.


If it's Saturday, it must be the Foresters! Here, the Design Committee's tree group takes a short break from pruning.

n closing, just to finish up on the farmers market discussion, we have been asked why more information wasn’t provided by the Downtown Association during the debacle. It’s been a long-standing practice of the Downtown Association to ‘not fire back’ through the media or perpetuate controversy with a lot of ‘back and forth.’ This matter was deemed better handled by reaching out and smoothing the waters. If, however, any reader would like to chat about this or any other topic, my staff and I are happy to hear from you and will spend whatever time you need to better understand just what it takes to keep things humming…around Downtown.



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from a closing Gottschalk’s department store. On a whim, she purchased the supplies at Katie McCarthy-Cobler, Owner a low cost and stored them in her garage. 956 Monterey Street After securing a location on Monterey Street, 541-8084 McCarthy-Cobler set up shop, displaying Search for Retrofit on Facebook: Retrofit Slo her roughly 1,000-piece collection of Hours of operation- Sunday: 12clothing, jewelry, bags, belts, shoes and 5 p.m., Monday- Sunday: 10-6 much more. While many of the pieces p.m. (7 p.m. on Thursday) she bought specifically for her business, a For many girls, owning their own good amount of the items on display came clothing store would be the ultimate straight from her personal wardrobe. job, a dream that few might actually Katie’s passion for the 80’s is very apparent upon entering try to achieve. For Katie McCarthy-Cobler, the owner the store. Neon windbreakers, stonewashed jean jackets, of Retrofit, a second-hand clothing store that opened in patterned sweaters, printed dresses and studded belts fill the November of last year, that dream has become a reality. racks and vibrant jewelry is on display in cases; however, After attending college at San Diego State University, Katie there is something for everyone as modern blouses, stylish moved to San Luis Obispo last January and soon after decided to pursue her desire to open her own business. Having collected sandals and boots, and trendy jackets are also aplenty. While McCarthy-Cobler originally thought her store would hand-me-downs from thrift stores, garage sales, and online appeal mostly to college students, she said everyone from sellers from a young age, the idea for her business came 8-80 are able to find something that appeals to them. easily and allowed her to turn her passion into her career. “I’m from the Bay Area where there are a ton of recycled clothing “I wanted anyone to feel comfortable coming here. I feel I’ve succeeded in that. I make sure the music isn’t too loud and stores, but I noticed that there weren’t really any in this area,” keep the displays tasteful,” Katie said. Retrofit is located at 956 McCarthy-Cobler said. “I thought that this would be a great Monterey Street, next to Urban Outfitters and down the street place for a store like this because I see a potential need for it.” One day while doing some shopping, McCarthy-Cobler stumbled from Boo Boo Records, fitting in well with the ambiance of the street. upon clothes racks and other clothing store supplies for sale By: Katie Koschalk which are prepared fresh each day. Chow Great attention to detail is not only Robin Covey & Shanny Covey, Co-owners evident on—but off—the plate as well. 1009 Monterey Street Upon entering Chow, customers are greeted 805-540-5243 by a bamboo rock garden illuminated by sunlight streaming in through numerous Chow, San Luis Obispo’s newest addition skylights. The atmosphere appears modern in Asian dining, offers customers a unique with polished, Asian style wood tables, blend of different Asian cuisines with a paper lamps and structures which are California twist. Combining ingredients from made from bamboo and five different Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and California recycled, sustainable materials. Chow cuisine, Chow serves their dishes in an Robin Covey, center, is pictured here seats about 80 customers and offers a upscale presentation in a setting that borders with two of Chow's biggest fans. wide-range of dishes stemming from about on the line between elegant and casual. 26 menu options including stir-fried marinated beef—one Since opening in November of last year, co-owners Robin and of the most popular dishes according to Robin, along Shanny Covey have been working continuously on enhancing with the duck, served with crepes and hoisin sauce. the menu to find the most unique dishes imaginable. Chow is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Each week, Robin says he purchases all the produce used in Saturday and Sunday from 5 -9 p.m. Appetizers range from $8 to their recipes from local farmers’ markets. All of the food is also $11, salads are around $13, and entrees are under $22. made from scratch in-house, such as the house-made noodles, By: Katie Koschalk


Baxter Moerman

Matthew Moerman and Matthew Baxter, Co-owners 1118 Morro Street 801-9117 Nestled between the delicious Granada Bistro and the hip new San Luis Art Supply, there is a new glimmer on Morro Street. Matthew Moerman and Matthew Baxter opened the doors to Baxter Moerman at 1118 Morro Street in mid-November of 2009, just before the holidays. The two goldsmiths worked together for seven years before deciding to create a collaborative line of 18-karat fine jewelry. They “jumped at the opportunity” to snatch-up a storefront that had been vacant for two months. After some clean-up and refurbishing of the space, they “had a perfect little shop to make the jewelry, and a great little showroom to display it!” “We are best described as a boutique manufacturer of fine jewelry, I guess,” says co-owner Matthew Moerman.

‘Manufacturer’, because they make every piece of jewelry that is displayed in their cases, and ‘boutique’ because they are handcrafting their jewelry one by one right there in their shop. BAXTER MOERMAN only uses recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds because it is important to them and their customers. “Our work is heavily influenced by the local landscape and ocean,“ Baxter explains. You’ll agree there is an undeniable organic feel to each of their pieces, “a warmth to the metal.” Matthew Moerman is a fourth generation native of San Luis Obispo, with a rich family history of local small business owners. Matthew Baxter grew up in Virginia, and has called the Central Coast his home for last ten years. “We love the unique qualities of San Luis Obispo, especially the emphasis on community and opportunity to build an intimate customer base.” The vitality of Downtown San Luis Obispo allows customer’s easy accessibility, while offering surprises to exploring tourists like this exquisite new custom jewelry shop.



san luis county library events at your library By Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, Youth Services SLO County Library


ur county public libraries have been faced with a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that library usage is up, including materials checked out, attendance at free events, and participation in programs such as the Children’s Summer Reading Program.

the Cover to Cover Club. Between March 6 and April 7, kids can sign up for the program, then read five books to earn a free hamburger. So far, the Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Atascadero libraries are offering the program. Visit for more details, or to see if your local branch is participating.

The bad news, unfortunately, is a product of our tough economic times. The library is facing a $150,000 budget shortfall due to state budget cuts. The likely result will be reduced library access. In fact, we are already seeing reductions in library hours, staff size, and the purchase of new materials. Thankfully, there’s more good news: we can all do something about this crisis. The Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries has launched a fund-raising campaign that will allow county residents more after-hours access to their libraries. Their goal is to raise $25,000. Proceeds will go to a variety of programs and resources including online magazine and newspaper subscriptions, wireless internet (WiFi) at all local branches, enhanced Bookmobile services for communities with very limited branch hours, and downloadable eBooks and audiobooks. You can make a tax-deductible donation by mailing a check to the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries, P.O. Box 12942, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406-2942, or by visiting Also happening in March is the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale, which takes place March 4 - 6. Book lovers around the county eagerly anticipate this event where around 15,000 books in every genre, plus audio/visual materials, fill tables in the San Luis Obispo Veterans’ Hall at 801 Grand Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Books are just $1.00 per inch and all CDs and DVDs are 50 cents. All proceeds are used to buy books and audio materials for the San Luis Obispo Library. Thursday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. is a presale for SLO Friends of the Library members only. Annual memberships are $10.00 and can be purchased at the door. The rest of the sale is open to the public: Friday, March 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you’re in the midst of job-hunting, or are facing a layoff or career change, the library can help. The San Luis Obispo Library is offering a series of free Job Hunting Workshops. On March 20 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., learn how to write effective resumes and cover letters. On April 17, get expert advice on interviews. The workshops will be led by Kelly Andreson, M.S. in Counseling and Guidance. Each session will be limited to 15 participants. You can reserve a space by calling 781-5989. Individual assistance on using online resources for job hunting is also available most Tuesday evenings, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Reference Desk at the San Luis Obispo Library. Please call the above number to make an appointment. For kids and teens, the children’s department has teamed up with In n’ Out Burgers to present a new county-wide reading program called M A R C H

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Palm Street Perspective Introducing City Manager, Katie Lichtig By SLO City Councilwoman, Jan Marx

Dear Friends and Neighbors, It is my pleasure to devote this Palm Street Perspective to Katie Lichtig, our new city manager. Council received over 100 applications for the job and interviewed seven outstanding candidates. But when we met Katie, we unanimously agreed that she was number one. Significantly, in a separate interview, Department Heads came to the same unanimous conclusion. Katie’s extensive professional experience, outstanding track record, personal integrity, friendly, collaborative approach and “can do” attitude were an excellent match to the characteristics that came out of the “what we want in a city manager” community workshops. She has what it takes to guide the city through the challenging times ahead.

will build on the legacy of success created by the Council, community and tremendously talented staff while at the same time aspiring to realize the hopes and dreams for the city’s future. An added bonus is living in a place with breathtaking beauty, abundance of outdoor activities, exceptional wine tasting and a lovely climate. Wow, this is going to be fun! My career has spanned from Coast to Coast. I began my career after getting my Masters in Public Administration at Syracuse University in Washington, D.C. (9 years). I then transitioned to local government where I worked for the City of Santa Monica for 9 years, the City of Malibu as City Manager for 4.5 years and the City of Beverly Hills as Chief Operating Officer/Assistant City Manager for 4 years.

On a personal note, I have been married for the past 23 years to my husband Mark (We met as undergrads at U.C. Davis.). We love to travel to exotic locales and both of us are long distance runners (He runs marathons while I stick to half marathons.). Mark has a passion for his work as the CEO of Chrysalis, the Los Angeles based non-profit that provides job training and transitional employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals. So we have decided to live the commuter lifestyle where, for the most part, the burden will fall on Mark to make the trek up the coast for the weekend. Yet in contemplating this opportunity we strongly agree that living in a community like SLO is worth this extra effort. As we get to know one another, I hope that my passion for serving the public and providing exceptional customer service will shine through. Thanks for the warm welcome to the community.

But rather than describing Katie any further, I have decided to share this column by inviting her to introduce herself in her own words. Do not hesitate to call or email ( if you have comments, questions or concerns about our fair city. Looking forward, Jan Hello San Luis Obispo! As the new city manager I’m looking forward to living in and working for such a wonderful community, one known for its quality of life, environmental stewardship, sense of place and top-notch city services. I know together we

Katie and Mark Lichtig

SLO City Manager, Katie Lichtig

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eye oN business diablO canyon power plant generates more than energy By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associate


t’s darn near impossible to talk about local business and overlook one of the biggest – literally – economic engines of all: Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Before I go any further I’ll disclose I am a supporter of PG&E and Diablo Canyon. I’ve worked with PG&E over the years. I’ve gotten to know many of the company’s employees. And I’ve learned a lot about plant operations. PG&E has applied for a license extension for the power plant. Currently, Diablo’s licenses run through 2024 and 2025 (the two reactor units came on line at separate times, hence the two dates). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the lead agency for the permitting and has already begun the process of asking local residents to weigh in. The process is long and arduous and offers many opportunities for public involvement. Of course there are questions about safety and earthquake faults and waste disposal. These are serious issues that deserve scrutiny and safeguards. But I think it’s important to ask these questions while keeping in mind all the good things Diablo contributes to the community. Start with simple economics. If there was no Diablo Canyon, SLO County would lose $1.6 billion a year in economic impact. And if Diablo Canyon is not allowed to continue operations past 2024, the cost for replace-

ment energy over 20 years would be an additional $17 billion dollars that would be borne by ratepayers.


plant or in other PG&E operations and who are dedicated, committed people devoted to our safety and security. They get the power back on when storms thrash power lines down. They mobilize quickly and they work hard to win our trust. As the license extension process unfolds, I encourage you to get involved, be part of the conversation and ask tough questions. Challenge PG&E to keep its standards high and residents’ safety at the forefront of operations. And think about how our county would falter without the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

The plant has been operating safely since it came on line nearly 25 years ago. It offers head of household jobs – lots of them. The plant has 1400 PG&E employees and another 800+ workers. There all kinds of local businesses like suppliers, service providers and professionals who do business with PG&E and count on the revenue that relationship generates. Ask virtually any non profit organization about PG&E and you’ll find out that the company has been a financial backbone in the community and an active supporter of services for kids, seniors, the environment and others. If you have students in San Luis Coastal School District, you know the property tax paid by PG&E for Diablo Canyon boosts school coffers and keeps education’s financial cuts (already painful) from going even deeper. San Luis Coastal Unified is expected to receive $8.9m PG&E generated dollars in 2009-10 alone. PG&E supports economic development initiatives throughout the county, promotes alternative energy and, by my read, works as an outstanding corporate citizen. PG&E is a large corporation and we know corporations are not infallible. But I bet most of you, like me, know people who work at the

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tom’s toys donates to Big Brothers/sisters Real Estate

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Tom’s Toys donated $817 of holiday sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ted Frankel, owner of Tom’s Toys, said supporting childrens’ programs seemed like a natural fit for a toy store. Ted believes himself in the power of mentoring, as he has been a Big Brother for more than 35 years. Frankel reports that one of the most rewarding moments of his life was watching his Little Brother, the child he mentored, graduate from college. The photo left shows Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director, Anna Boyd-Bucy receiving a check from Tom’s Toys owner, Ted Frankel, standing next to Big Brothers Big Sisters Board Member, Marian Anderson.

cayucos 2nd graders raise $1100 for Haiti

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Cayucos Second Grade Class led by Ms. Brees organized a huge bake sale in front of the Cayucos Market and raised over $1100 for the Red Cross Haiti Relief effort. An assortment of pies, cakes and cookies were made by the parents of 1st and 2nd graders, teachers, PTA members and even folks from SLO Rotary Club!

CCFC youth grant

Central Coast Funds for Children recently gave a $4,000 grant to Transitions-Mental Health Association Youth Treatment Program. The grant will help to fund recreation opportunities for youth ages 11-17.

friends of the library booksale

at the Vets Hall, 801 Grand Avenue music, dancing, games and a day trip. Transportation is provided by Ride-On Transportation throughout SLO County. For more information call Bethanie at 543-2039 or visit Open to the Public Friday, March 5, 10 a.m - 5 p.m., Saturday, March 6, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Books on sale at $1 per inch and all CDs and DVDs cost 50 cents. All proceeds used to buy books and audio materials for the SLO Library.

Vocal arts ensemble celtic charm concert


John Kimball

109 South Street SLO, CA 93401

“Specializing in Honesty and Integrity”

Join us for a concert of music from the British Isles. We’ll sing traditional songs, including a jazzy arrangement of Danny Boy, a Welsh lullaby, and Loch Lomond. The music will be accompanied by the Irish harp, bodhrain (Irish drum), penny whistle and hammered dulcimer. We will be singing in SLO Mission on Saturday, March 13, at 8 p.m., and in Cambria at the Community Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 14th, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.vocalarts. org, or by phone at 805-541-6797.

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PUMa aquatic team donates to french hospital

French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) Foundation recently received a generous donation from the PUMA Aquatic Team for the Hearst Cancer Resource Center (HCRC). The swim club raised $9,000 from their second annual Pumpkin Classic swim meet during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2008, the PUMA Team has raised more than $21,000 for the programs and services at the HCRC.

free senior health screening

Free Senior Health Screening for seniors (50+) is available throughout SLO County. 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. Please call 788-0827 for dates, times and locations.


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rotary club of slo donates $50,000 to bike trail


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The Rotary Club of SLO has presented a $50,000 check to help build the section of the City’s Railroad Safety Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail which links Cal Poly and the Downtown. The completed bike trail will enable the community and Cal Poly students, faculty and staff to safely bike between the campus and downtown, reducing traffic congestion on campus and in the city. This 500-foot portion of the trail and safety fencing is nicknamed the “Missing Link.” This dangerous corner is the most heavily bike-traveled intersection in the city, and periodically people are injured or even killed crossing the tracks in this area. The two sections on either end have already been funded. Rotary is joined by more than a dozen community groups, businesses and the City of SLO sponsoring the project. Pictured above is Roxanne Carr presenting the $50,000 check to Mayor Dave Romero at a recent City Council meeting.

hospice volunteer training

Plan to attend the 2010 Hospice of SLO County Volunteer Training if you are interested in learning about Hospice concepts of terminal or life-threatening illness and quality of life. Bilingual individuals are encouraged to participate. The training begins Saturday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., followed by 6 weekly meetings on Thursdays from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Hospice office, 1304 Pacific Street in SLO. Pre-registration is necessary to reserve a space in this class. For more information or to reserve your place, please call (805) 544-2266 or (805) 434-1164.

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pacific breeze concerts at dinosaur caves park

The City of Pismo Beach Recreation Division announces its second annual Pacific Breeze Concert Series at Dinosaur Caves Park. This free, three show spring series will again feature exceptional regional musical groups as well as special family activities. Make sure you bring your lawn chairs for seating in the Rotary Amphitheatre or blankets for use on the park’s expansive lawns overlooking the stage and the Pacific Ocean! If you work up an appetite, don’t worry. Local BBQ and Doc Burnstein’s ice cream will be for sale! The first concert is Sunday, March 28th, from 1-4 p.m. For more information, contact the City at 805-773-7063 or visit

join the estero bay newcomers club

The Estero Bay Newcomers Club is an organization designed to give new residents to Morro Bay, Los Osos and Cayucos the opportunity to make friends and get acquainted with the community. Newcomers meets once a month with guest speakers who share social, economic and service opportunities in our community. We also have a host of activity groups which are centered on special areas of interest such as book clubs, gardening, needle arts, wine tasting, movies, card games, kayaking, photography, walking, dining out groups, golf and many others. For more information call Joan Fee at 286-5993 or email



central coast quilters donate quilts to hospice

A labor of love went into sewing six beautiful “Angel Quilts” to be used by patients receiving end-of-life care from the team at Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Members of Central Coast Quilters donated the uniquely designed quilts in memory of “Ted” William Dreyer. Ted’s wife, Jan, delivered the quilts herself to Hospice Partners. All six quilts quickly found spots on hospice patients’ beds to brighten their days.

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

slo symphony music van in action

The SLO Symphony’s Music Van is back on the road again, visiting 4th grade classrooms countywide through the end of March. Influencing children for more than 20 years now, The Music Van is a critically important music education program that introduces children to the instruments of the orchestra. Led by trained music education docents, many of them SLO Symphony musicians, and assisted by volunteers, the program begins with an inspiring lesson on the different instruments of the orchestra, and a demonstration of each. Then each child is invited to squeak, toot, trill, blast and crash on the violins, cellos, clarinets, trombones, and cymbals that live in the Music Van. Last year the Music Van visited 46 schools making 114 presentations serving 2,850 students. Schools are invited to call the Symphony at 543-3533 ext. 107 to reserve one of the remaining dates.

africa traveling exhibit at slo Childrens’ museum

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Into Africa, a special traveling exhibit has arrived at the SLO Childrens’ Museum. Into Africa replicates a Serengeti village and comes from the KidZone Museum in Truckee. The village set-up lets children shop in an African market, cook meals in a clay oven, camp out in a mud hut, read African stories, try on indigenous costumes, play musical instruments, and learn about animals that call Africa home. Special activities featuring African music, dance, crafts, and cooking will be held while the exhibit is at the Museum. This exhibit gives the children and families who visit the Museum the opportunity to journey through Africa together and shows what is possible when the Museum partners with schools in our community. Into Africa will be at the Museum through the end of April.

call for volunteers at the Jack house

Spring is on the way and with it comes the reopening of Jack House and Gardens at 536 Marsh Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. The Jacks were a prominent local family in the late 1800s, and their beautiful home and gardens are now available for visitors to tour on Sunday afternoons. Special events are held at the Jack House throughout the year. Volunteers are needed to greet visitors and share this wonderful home. Anyone interested in acting as a host or hostess at the Jack House should contact the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department at 781-7303 or stop by the Administrative Offices at 1341 Nipomo Street. M A R C H

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M ARCH Almanac By Phyllis Benson “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” --- Mark Twain

arbor day honors Luther Burbank. Born

March 7, the famed horticulturist introduced over 800 new plants including the Shasta daisy and Idaho spud.

march hosts kite festivals. Weather warms, winds rise and kites hit the clouds.

famous kitefliers include Benjamin

Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Wright Brothers.

this month the iditarod, called the

Last Great Race on Earth, races dog teams over 1,150 miles. The Alaska race follows an old mail trail through towns, native villages, over mountain ranges and frozen rivers.

iditarod dogs wear booties or foot socks

to protect their paws. A team of 16 takes 64 booties. A musher typically changes 2,000 booties on his dogs before the race is done.

dog booties cost about a buck each and

last for one use. Bootie Brigade volunteers make booties for low-budget mushers.

alaska humor: You may be an Alaskan if

your four food groups are fish, moose, Spam, and beer.

it’s humor month. Share a chuckle

with a friend. Tell a joke. Watch a comedy. Just laugh.

march 1930: Babe Ruth signed a 2-year contract for $160,000 with the New York Yankees. He was the highest paid player of the time. General Manager Ed Barrow predicted, “No one will ever be paid more than Ruth.”

march 14 begins Daylight Saving Time

at 2 a.m. Our jogger is not changing clock time this year. She springs forward with the sunrise and stopwatch. Her clocks are right half the year.

pi day, started by the San Francisco

Exploratorium, is held on Einstein’s birthday, March 14. Pi equals 3.14 equals month 3 day 14 for the mathsters.

this year Yankee player Alex Rodriguez

math fans celebrate by eating fruit pies

march birthday boys include baseball

march 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day.

tips the money scale at about $28 million.

announcer Harry Caray, actor Billy Crystal and musician Bobby McFerrin.

and talking about pi.

irish pool player Danny McGoorty said,

while you’re here, then it’s your fault. You only get to do this once.”

“When I realized what I had turned out to be was a lousy, two-bit pool hustler and a drunk, I wasn’t depressed at all. I was glad to have a profession.”

birthday girls include singer Carrie

march madness: For two weeks the

soccer star mia hamm was born with a

player charles shackleford

harry caray said, “If you don’t have fun

Underwood, soccer champion Mia Hamm, and entertainer Queen Latifah.

partial club foot. Now retired, she said, “True champions aren’t always the ones that win, but those with the most guts.”

NCAA basketball tournament tops the sports news.

said, “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.”

fan tip: If you want to watch the game from the best seat in the house, move the dog.

march is puppy month. Novelist

Elizabeth von Arnum said, “I would recommend to those persons who are inclined to stagnate, whose blood is beginning to thicken sluggishly in their veins, to try keeping four dogs, two of which are puppies.”

Come visit our new showroom. 2015 Santa Barbara • San Luis Obispo 805.541.1646 • M A R C H

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spring is here. It slogs through the

mud and jostles rain-fed weeds bringing a welcome sun to chilled gardens. We are marching out to plant, weed, prune and stake. With the umbrella in reach.

NOw OffeRiNg: All Makes – 30k, 60k & 90k Services Check engine Light Diagnosis B Mw inspections 1 & 2 MBZ A&B Services Lexus Services

Service for your family of vehicles Personal service and exceptional car care for over 30 years Your cars are your second largest investment, and we’ll help you take care of them. At Rizzoli’s we understand that different cars have different purposes, we can provide service for all your cars to keep them safe and reliable. And we always keep your budget in mind! For a full line of cars serviced visit


AwARD wiNNeR, 2010

Two Convenient Locations:

2584 Victoria Ave. San Luis Obispo 805.541.1082

1149 W. Tama Lane Santa Maria 805.922.7742


has a new address. Welcome to Bank of America Home Loans. Where you will experience a new approach to lending. So you can choose the mortgage that’s right for you and close it on time. s(OME ,OAN 'UIDE — a new interactive experience that will help you learn about the process, loan options, and what you can comfortably afford. s#LARITY#OMMITMENT™— a one-page summary that explains key terms of your loan in plain language.1 s-ORTGAGELOANOFlCERS — located nearby, ready to serve you when and where you need us. )FYOUAREPLANNINGTOPURCHASEORRElNANCEAHOME PLEASECALLTODAYFORMOREINFORMATION "ILL-OTT Mortgage Loan Associate 805.234.5081


The summary is provided as a convenience, does not serve as a substitute for a borrower’s actual loan documents, and is not a commitment to lend. Borrowers should become fully informed by reviewing all of the loan and disclosure documentation provided. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender Š 2009 Bank of America Corporation. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. AR82729 00-62-1323D 06-2009

Sierra Vista’s new addition doesn’t say much,

but it can sure

perform. Typical lengths of incisions required for most procedures: Traditional surgery = 12-14 cm Robotic surgery = 1 cm

Sierra Vista is the first hospital between Santa Barbara and Salinas to introduce the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System, a robotic minimally invasive surgical tool that needs only 1 cm incisions for most procedures. Smaller incisions usually mean faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities. This nearly $2-million technological investment in the health of San Luis Obispo County meets Sierra Vista’s ongoing mission of providing services that allow people to stay closer to home for their care. To us, an amazing new surgical tool. To you, another innovative way Sierra Vista is caring for the health of our community. Watch for more details in 2010.

1010 Murray Avenue San Luis Obispo

For physician referral call (800) 483-6387

March 2010 Journal Plus  

March 2010 Journal Plus Magazine