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Journal PLUS APRIL 2012


HOUSING TRUST FUND’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY Julian Crocker, Jim Brabeck, Jerry Rioux and Bruce Gibson

Twila Arritt


Serving the entire SLO County since 1978


Cindy Newton

Pamela Bliss



Rhodes R ancho, 2.77 Acres with development potential in San Luis Obispo. Anyone interested in this property should speak to the city planning and utility departments. Price is based on appraisal. $845,000

Sweet 2 BR Bungalow & Separate Studio close to Cal Poly. Must see! 2 BR Bungalow: w/ lots of character, Hardwood Floors, Laundry Room. Studio: Stylish Concrete Counters, Light & Bright. Separate Private Fenced Yards for ea. unit. Both in Excellent condition. $519,000

Patricia Garrison

Vicky Hall

Four bed room, two bath home close to shopping, restaurants, and transportation. Easy maintenance front yard. Great investment property or first time home buyer. Sold AS IS. $354,500

Peach Street Location. Great potential for investment/income or make it your dream bungalow. It’s an R-2 zoned lot. Two bed room, one bath. Sold in as is condition. Price Reduced! $339,000



Larry D. Smyth

Jennifer Hamilton

Kelly Hannula

Janet Shaner


Relocation Director




Fantastic SLO Location!

Stephanie Hamilton

Laura Rizzoli

Mary Rosenthal





Theresa Carroll

Annette Mullen

Sunny, energy efficient, quiet upstairs flat. Gorgeous views of Bishop’s Peak from the SW deck. Close to Cal Poly, shopping, & hiking. Open, airy floor plan with attached one car garage. All units must be owner occupied. $289,000

Ridge Point Unit. Kitchen and Living room on top level. Bedrooms and Laundry on Lower Level. Private decks on each level. Upper level end unit. $259,000

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

Chris Stanley REALTOR®

Christine Williams REALTOR®


n this era of corporate crime and personal greed, who can you trust with your financial future?

An ethical local firm with a 50-year track record

I met Al Moriarty quite by accident. A friend of mine and I had our investments in one of the large brokerage houses, and we we’re both worried about the economy and what was happening to our money. She attended one of Al’s investment seminars, and was so impressed by him that she immediately called him. She also called me, with great enthusiasm after consulting him. And so, I met Al Moriarty. I can truly say that he has saved my financial life. He took a great deal of time, going over my investments and explaining everything in a very detailed manner. He was very kind and patient with a client (me) who had read a few books on investment, and had let myself be talked into some costly investments and some risky ones, for my age, by the brokerage house. Al gave me critical and detailed advice on my finances and after long discussions and considerations for investments, I am now in a portfolio that has saved me a great deal of money, and has given me a better lifestyle. He is always accessible whenever I have a question. And my capital is always accessible if needed. I now feel safe and secure in my investments. Al is a person who loves people, and loves his work, which is helping people to be financially secure in these uncertain times.

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efore you make another major financial decision, call for a no-obligation appointment to evaluate your resources and goals.


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P.O. Box 970, Grover Beach, CA 93483

Phone: (805) 481-4990 Lic. No. 0144566

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

654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401








ADVERTISING Jan Owens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Will Jones, Ray Cauwet, Ruth Starr, Dan Carpenter, Bob Huttle, 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. ON THE COVER: Housing Trust Fund Board Chairman and County Superintendent of Schools, Julian Crocker Farm Supply CEO, Jim Brabeck Housing Trust Fund Executive Director, Jerry Rioux SLO County Supervisor, Bruce Gibson Cover photo by Vivian Krug

PEOPLE 8 10 12 14 16


HOME & OUTDOOR 18 20 22 23 24 26


COMMUNITY 28 30 32 34 36 41 46







Journal PLUS

A proud tradition of serving our community for over 26 years

SAN LUIS OBISPO – This nearly new 1920’s 2br/1.5ba w/enclosed sun porch and singlecar garage has been completely remodeled from top to bottom with countless upgrades and fine details. The back house is 8 years old & is in perfect condition: Large 1 bedroom + office & den/1.5ba with attached garage. Large fenced private fully landscaped yard. This property is very versatile, can work as an investment property or live in one & rent the other. $674,000 #2950

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Wine Country retreat on

Stunning Spanish Style Home 7 acres featuring an approx 3,250 square foot main residence and separate guest house. This privately gated property is located in highly desirable Corbett Highlands with fabulous views of the rolling hills and beyond. Strong attention to detail is showcased in the 4 bedroom main residence as well as the newly built 1,250 square foot single bedroom guest house. Expansive gourmet kitchen, open beam vaulted ceilings, skylights, solid core interior doors, and custom finishes throughout. Professional landscaping includes lush lawn areas, 50 established olive trees, flagstone patios and built-in BBQ area. $1,499,000 #2939

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Location! Ferrini Heights home situated on a large lot. Hardwood floors are throughout with 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths, great room, and living room with fireplace. There are several sliding doors that lead to a beautifully landscaped backyard. Remodel plans available. $689,000 #2941

approx. 4.6 acres featuring a 5 bedroom Farm House style single level home, large two-story barn/workshop, corral, and room to plant your own vineyard! This Edna Valley Appellation has prime soil and climate for vineyards. Sweeping views of San Luis Obispo rolling hills. Extremely versatile property – bring your horses, plant an orchard, utilize barn/workshop for any hobbies and enjoy all the Central Coast has to offer! $899,000 #2969

ARROYO GRANDE – Enjoy panoramic views and sunsets from this 3.7 acre property, minutes from Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande. Several south-facing sites to build your dream home on this cul-de-sac of gorgeous custom homes, all on large parcels. Beaches, golf, wine tasting... the Central Coast lifestyle awaits. $329,000 #2965

Custom Designed and Built

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Established neighborhood

in SLO! This custom home located on a quiet cul-de-sac has a lot to offer... With the master bedroom and living areas both located upstairs, it is convenient to have the additional two bedrooms separate for others to enjoy. The kitchen is open to the living space with granite counters, custom cabinets, upgraded appliances and Douglas Fir wood ceilings. Pergo wood floors throughout. $535,000 #2968

This fantastic 5 bedroom Stoneridge home takes advantage of its unique location with breathtaking views. Illuminated with natural light from gorgeous wood-cased windows, doors and vaulted ceilings in the main living areas. High-end finishes found throughout from stunning travertine tile flooring, custom cabinetry, bamboo flooring and more. Enjoy entertaining guests in entry level living room with fireplace, or step out onto the private view deck and enjoy the fabulous San Luis Obispo weather, or stroll through multiple secret garden settings and lush landscaping surrounding the home. Near dedicated open space and hiking/ biking trails. Close to shopping. $765,000 #2970

SANTA MARGARITA – REO in Garden Farms! 4

bedrooms and 3.5 baths plus an office sprawling over just under 2,500 square feet. Stainless steel appliances, custom tile counters, distressed hardwood floors. Floor to ceiling glass doors bring in natural light and access to the covered rear patio with in-ground spa. 3 car garage and 3 car carport are perfect for all of your toys! RV parking with hookups, circle driveway and fully fenced property! YOU MUST SEE THIS! $395,000 #2973

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


962 Mill Street • San Luis Obispo, California 93401 •

From the publisher Family and Cosmetic Dentistry


ast month we attended several ribbon cuttings and anniversary events. Three of these events included: Santa Barbara Bank and Trust’s ribbon cutting on its new complimentary meeting room in San Luis. The SLO County Housing Trust held a 10th anniversary breakfast and told us all about their continuing success, and Upper Crust showed off its newly remodeled bar, restaurant and meeting room. You can read about these and more inside.

This community lost a good friend in Rob Bryn last month. Rob and I became friends back in the early ’80s when we lived near each other and our children were the same ages. We remained good friends throughout the years and as the Sheriff’s PIO he often suggested great profiles and stories for the magazine over our 18 years. He was always fun to be around with his quick wit and great personality. Rob will be missed.

“A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.” We want to keep your smile memorable and bright this new year. Call our office today to set up your appointment.

ph 805.541.5800 567 Marsh Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

New patients welcome! New additional hygiene hours now available

Last month the County Board of Supervisors honored several people from the Juvenile Detention Center for their quick first aid treatment, which saved lives when a car rolled over near their building. Several passengers were inside and needed immediate attention. My son Kyle (the handsome one pictured above third from right) was on duty at the time and rushed out to help. What else could a proud father do but put his picture in this column. Great job Kyle and the rest of your team as well! Enjoy the magazine,

Steve Owens

We’ve gone green.

Now view our printed calendar of events entirely online. Visit our website today and find your way to the best seats in the house.

W W W . P A C S L O . O R G

UPCOM ING E V EN TS Thursday, April 5, 7:30 pm Andre Watts Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, April 7, 9 am MET Live in HD: Massenet’s Manon

Opera San Luis Obispo & Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, April 7, 7 pm Mexico de Noche

Imagen y Espiritu Ballet Folklorio Club

Saturday, April 14, 8 pm Bettye LaVette

Sunday, April 22, 6 pm Mock Rock

Cal Poly Arts

San Luis Obispo County Friday Night Live Partnership

Sunday, April 15, 2:30 pm Cal Poly All-State Festival Concert

Sunday, April 22, 7:30 pm Crosby, Stills & Nash

Cal Poly Music Dept.

Cal Poly Arts and Otter Productions, Inc.

Sunday, April 15, 3 pm Ken Waldman & The Secret Visitors

Saturday, April 24, 7:30 pm Craig Ferguson Cal Poly Arts

Cal Poly Arts

Friday, April 13, 8 pm Sunday, April 15, 7 pm Deyo Dances

Friday, April 20, 7 pm Saturday, April 21, 7 pm Undine

Ballet Theatre SLO

Ballet Theatre SLO

Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, April 14, 8 pm Cal Poly Open House Concert

Saturday, April 21, 8 pm California & Montreal Guitar Trios

Sunday, April 29, 2 pm MET Live in HD: Verdi’s La Traviata

Cal Poly Music Dept.

805.SLO.ARTS Phone | 805.756.2787 Fax | 805.756.6088


Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, April 28, 8 pm Bollywood Delicious

Opera San Luis Obispo & Cal Poly Arts



Darren and jessie Clarke the modern music academy By Will Jones, photos by Cameron Ingalls Photography If you wake up and don’t want to smile, If it takes just a little while, Open your eyes and look at the day, You’ll see things in a different way. —From “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac The San Luis Obispo Art Museum. The Little Theater. The Academy of Dance. The Palm Theater. The Vocal Arts Ensemble. Followers of the visual and performing arts in San Luis Obispo have instant associations with these centers of culture in our community. They are part of what makes our town great. But how many are familiar with the work being done at an equally important local cultural center, the Modern Music Academy, by Darren and Jessie Clarke? Located at 265 Pacific Street, behind Central Coast Pools, the Modern Music Academy includes ample teaching, practice and performance space as well as a state-of-the art recording studio.

The Clarke family: Jessie, Darren, Reuben and Talulah

After many years of offering a variety of guitar workshops and other musical collaborations, Darren and Jessie have settled on three primary opportunities for budding music professionals: House of Bands, for 12- to 16-year-old musicians who are comfortable with their instruments; Artist Development and Songwriting, for serious musicians ready to move to the next level; and Songwriting and Music Production for songwriters who want to learn how to produce great music by working with a professional producer. Darren describes the atmosphere at MMA as “a collaborative community of musicians with its own identity where great musicians show up every day to create amazing music.” More than nine hundred students have taken classes at MMA. Today the emphasis is on improving skills, working with others, songwriting, getting songs recorded and production work. “The goal is to optimize the music in your blood, to focus and direct your talent, gain self-esteem, confidence and discipline. There’s nothing better in life than being able to play music,” Darren told me. The adventure that Darren and Jessie set out on in 2003 to create MMA is the stuff of the American Dream, but like most dreams that involve turning a passion into a small business, their story also includes a certain amount of peril, a lot of hard work, and personal stories that make their achievement even more impressive. Darren, thirty-eight, born in Newcastle, England, and Jessie, thirtyfive, born in Harrowgate, both spent most of their early lives in and around London. By the time he was thirteen Darren was playing guitar in rock-and-roll bands throughout London, emulating the style of Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac, and participating in “the rock and roll lifestyle.” At nineteen he experienced what he calls “a spiritual awakening,” which led him back to Christianity and into writing, playing and recording worship music, which included working and touring with Matt Redman, a well-known modern day hymn writer. One of Darren’s songs “I Love Your Presence,” has been covered by many bands and has over one million plays on YouTube. In the meantime, and long before they met, Jessie was being raised in a Christian home and singing in the church choir. Darren, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the Academy of Contemporary Music in London, became involved in the Vineyard Church in England, and came to San Luis Obispo in



Journal PLUS


1993 for a three month ministerial training program. He stayed on to intern at the SLO Vineyard, which included a musical outreach program. In 1994, when Jessie was sixteen, her father, a pastor, was invited to speak at the SLO Vineyard, so the entire family traveled here. Although she had never met Darren, she knew of him through her sisters who attended school with him in London. They met one day when, according to Darren, “I was cleaning bathrooms at the San Luis Coastal Adult School cafeteria, where the Vineyard congregation worshipped.” With a smile he added, “It was part of my intern duties.” They became friends and then Jessie and her family returned to England. Darren became worship director at 5 Cities Vineyard and was busy with outreach and putting together a church band. Jessie had finished high school and with support from her family and the church she returned to assist Darren through a busy period for what she thought would be a three-month visit. However, Vineyard invited her to return as a paid employee and offered to help her get a green card. After one more trip to England to earn money, at twenty she came back to the Central Coast for good. According to Jessie, “I never expected to live here. I was a home girl, the least outgoing of four siblings.” After five years of courtship, Darren and Jessie married in 2002. They have two wonderful children, Reuben, 3, and Talulah, 1. In addition to working with the church, for the first eighteen months of their marriage Darren toured with a band half of each month. Modern Music Academy started as Guitar Lab in 2003 with classes at night at the Bagel Café on Higuera Street, moving to Pacific Street in 2004 as the business grew, and becoming the MMA in 2008 when additional space was added. By then it was a full time job for the Clarkes, including Darren’s work as a producer. In December I attended an MMA Showcase performance at Kreuzberg Café in San Luis Obispo. Packed with enthusiastic friends, family and regular patrons, the café rocked with great original music for over two hours, with numerous musicians participating. Everyone smiled, shouted encouragement and had a good time at what I have come to recognize as a classic SLO community event: phenomenal artistry supported by knowledgeable locals who worship the arts and are eager to help artists succeed. I recently attended an Artist Development and Songwriting Diploma class and spoke to several of the participating musicians. San Luis Obispo High School graduate Jeff Mitchell said, “My guitar playing has improved immensely. I’ve been released from the pentatonic box!” According to Nathan Zak, who, along with Academy student


Bri Bloemendahl, co-wrote “You Don’t Believe in Anything,” a catchy indie song recently produced and recorded by Darren, “This is a professional music class where both my playing and theory skills have improved immensely. It includes aspects not offered at Cuesta.” Sidney Willson Young, recovering from cancer, said that the class is “partly therapy, like belonging to a supportive, creative family.” Current student and Morro Bay High School graduate Molly Reeves performs in the popular Red Skunk Band. Students who complete the class earn diplomas from the London Academy of Contemporary Music. Guest lecturers include world famous musicians like Jon Anderson of Yes; local jazz vocalist and guitarist Inga Swearingen; Kenny Lee Lewis, guitarist for the Steve Miller Band; and Terry Lawless, keyboards for U2. Darren and Jessie Clarke have created and worked hard to sustain another center for the arts in San Luis Obispo that benefits everyone who comes in contact with them. While the weak economy has made their road a difficult one over the last couple of years, at MMA they are dedicated to music, teaching and helping musicians fulfill their dreams. As the song says, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”

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Journal PLUS



A shout-out for Teachers:

robert skinner and aaron cantrell By Natasha Dalton


ho would argue with the fact that nice people make everything better? Still, in some professions, a good, compassionate person can have a truly dramatic impact on people’s lives. Teaching is one such profession, and good teachers are always good people first. These teachers are easy to find on campus: they frequently come to school early and stay late. They’re respected by colleagues and trusted by students, and often become the first adults kids turn to in the time of crisis. In the classroom, these teachers encourage intellectual curiosity, thoughtfulness and creativity. Perhaps these qualities are not spelled out in the curricula, but they’re no less important for personal success than knowledge of the Oxford comma or the quadratic formula.

Aaron Cantrell and Robert Skinner of Paso Robles High understand this well and see their classrooms as a place for strong academic performance and individual growth. Robert Skinner, who is fluent in Spanish, came to Paso High twenty years ago as a Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development specialist. Originally, he only worked with English Language learners. Now he teaches History, but continues to be the goto man for those who struggle academically. It’s not unusual to see students staying in his classroom after the bell rings. “I want to think

that everyone feels comfortable and safe here,” Mr. Skinner says. During his lessons he focuses on “reading, writing, discussion, but also rights and responsibilities in our democracy.” “History is something that young people have a harder time embracing,” Mr. Skinner says. But I hope that I’m planting seeds in their minds that will grow and blossom.” He believes that knowing history will help his students “understand and appreciate where they’ll be as adults in our society.” Setting their educational goals, he emphasizes the importance of building study skills, and feels triumphant when students “can finally get something down on paper.” “Helping them in their struggle, watching them find a more precise voice is very gratifying,” Mr. Skinner admits. “We’re here to teach basic skills,” he says, “but also to instill respect for others, spark critical thinking and nurture these young people going out into the world.” And with this view of the teacher’s mission, Mr. Skinner occasionally finds himself compelled to go beyond what is expected of him as a History teacher. “Once, when Mr. Skinner and I were teamteaching, we had a student from Mexico, who was nice and respectful, but always late to class,” Mr. Cooper of PRHS remembers. Eventually these two teachers found out the reason for her tardiness: the girl lived with her sister, who worked nights, and the girl couldn’t

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Journal PLUS

Robert Skinner

Aaron Cantrell

come to school until her sister got home from work. Upon turning eighteen, the student was informed by the school district that she was no longer expected to be in school. So, she dropped out—without receiving her high school diploma. “We went and complained, and got her back in,” Mr. Skinner says. As a result, the girl was able to graduate from high school and then go for additional training. She’s now working for a doctor in Templeton. “I saw her a couple of months ago,” Mr. Skinner says. “Her words were: ‘If it weren’t for you and Mr. Cooper, I probably would’ve been working in the fields right now.” How many episodes like that are there in the life of a caring teacher? Finding help for a suicidal teenager; tutoring a child from a troubled family; convincing a lonely student


Aaron Cantrell with a group of students at Stanford University.

to drop his aggressive demeanor … “You cannot forget these kids,” Mr. Skinner says. “Yes, we work in the classroom, but then there’re these other things that happen. Not all of them are related to instruction, but many of them touch you on a personal level.” Robert Skinner’s colleague, AP English teacher Aaron Cantrell, who works with students on the other end of the academic spectrum, started at PRHS teaching Study Skills, and since then has taught practically every English class PRHS offers. But his first teaching job was Music Appreciation and Choir at King City High School. “Legendary SLO-High teacher Gary Lamprecht took me under his wing and showed me how I could put on a pretty good concert if I would pay someone to play and record each of the voice parts,” Mr. Cantrell remembers. “We could then divide the students into four corners of the room and practice the soprano, alto and baritone parts with the voice parts all harmonized. It was then easy to hear which voice part was off, and modify our rehearsals. And so, although I’m completely non-musical, we put on this really fun and wonderful spring concert. The kids were amazing. We brought the house down and I got Teacher of the Month and everything (although I was only a long-term sub).” “Even though I have lots of odd little accomplishments and have had plenty of adventures in my life, the single coolest thing about me, from my students’ perspective, is that I wrestled with Chuck Liddell at Cal Poly,” Mr. Cantrell laughs. “When I show students my team photo or the scar Chuck gave me, they stand in amazement as if they have caught a glimpse of the Holy Grail!” In fact, it was Aaron’s wrestling talent that sent him to college. At high school he was approached by several top universities, in-

cluding Stanford, but chose Cal Poly, because during the recruitment trip the university put him up at the Embassy Suites. “I was completely blown away,” he remembers. “‘Wow, I’ve got my own hotel room!’ I had a blast.” The euphoria subsided when Aaron realized he didn’t really like the classes he began taking as a part of his business major. He also discovered that Bakersfield had a stronger wrestling program. Now Mr. Cantrell wants to help his students avoid the sort of uninformed decisions he once made.


“You shouldn’t ignore your emotions,” he insists, recalling a student, who was miserable at Columbia because she didn’t like snow. Another student went to a cheaper school, instead of the school of her dreams. “She’s still sad about it,” Mr. Cantrell says. “Her family didn’t want to shell out $200,000, and I maybe overstepped my bounds by telling them that the way to eat a rhinoceros is not to do it in one bite.” Mr. Cantrell pushes his students to do ‘the leg work.’ After seventeen years of teaching at high school, he is convinced that the financial aspect of higher education “tends to work itself out.” “I credit it to my mom: I know how to compare-shop, because growing up we always went to garage sales,” Mr. Cantrell chuckles. So he encourages students to go on college trips to make sure that their final decisions are based on personal research. These two Cal Poly alumni have strong principles and commitment to their work. But it’s their humanity and their compassion that make them stand out. After all, the measure of a good teacher isn’t in the number of years spent in the classroom. The measure is in the hearts of the grateful students they helped succeed. For more about college visits, go to

His personal college story had a happy ending: he might’ve hated accounting, but he loved his English classes, and graduated with a degree in English. Being more deliberate in the pursuit of his Master’s, he ended up at Stanford. At Stanford, the whole experience was “wonderful.” “College can be life-transforming,” Mr. Cantrell says. “It gives you an appreciation of what it means to be a human being.” Aaron Cantrell spends endless hours with kids agonizing over their college selection. “Getting into college is a complicated process if you don’t know anything about it,” he says, and he’s determined to help students break it down into manageable pieces. He is a demanding teacher in the classroom—and a compassionate friend outside of it. Through annual rummage sales and the Academic Boosters Club, he already helped raise $50,000 in scholarships. And then there’re his famous college trips, which he’s been leading for the last eleven years. “Choosing a college is akin to choosing a spouse,” Mr. Cantrell says. “There’s how we look in pictures, and then there’s the chemistry in the relationships. Both are important. If you just go by the brochure—it’s like picking someone on e-harmony.” A P R I L


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PEOPLE steve key: 12

songwriters at play By Ruth Starr


t’s amazing how many gifted songwriters there are everywhere. What happens to these wonderful songs? Who gets to hear them? Will they be right “up” there as the most popular songs of all time?

Steve Key is the originator of Songwriters At Play, a showcase of the best local, regional, and international talent at different venues in the greater San Luis Obispo area. Steve also hosts a local show on radio station KRUSH 92.5 FM. Songwriters at Play is held in a variety of venues, including Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles, Kreuzberg Coffee House in SLO, The Porch in Santa Margarita, The Spot in Arroyo Grande, and the Laetitia Winery in Arroyo Grande. Some of these events are free to the public, and some charge a small fee that goes directly to the performers. A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Steve, who was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., began in the early ’70s as a professional musician in the Bay area performing at open mic shows. He later hosted many of those same shows. In a flash, thirty years have strummed by since those early performance days. He reminisces back to that time when it was easier for

amateurs to perform alongside professionals. In the late ’80s, Greenwich Village in New York held Hootenannies where anyone who wanted to could perform. Steve always thought that this was a good way to introduce musicians into the mix. When Steve moved to Nashville in 1995, he founded his first weekly live showcase. These were called Writers Nights. His hope was to be a songwriter in Nashville. Fortunately, one of his folk songs was soon recorded by a major artist, Kathy Mattea. The song “Record Time” was about things that were going out of fashion at the time, like vinyl records, percolators, and rotary phones, to name a few. She included “Record Time” on her CD, and performed the song at major shows. The Nashville stint lasted for about 5 years and proved to be a prolific time for writing songs and recording them on his own. After his second year in Nashville, he connected with a performance place called Radio Café where he hosted songwriters. He returned to the DC area in 2000 where he released his Scattered Seeds CD and performed at various folk festivals. He

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he looked for something to do musically. He began by booking acts for Linnaea’s Café and eventually launched Songwriters at Play throughout the County. Steve looks at the shows as community events. Some performers are featured musicians who may be traveling nationally. Others may be local first time performers. Steve’s goal is to provide a good show for the audience with a mix of talent.

Abe Perlstein photo

performed at the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, at the Tacoma Park Folk Festival and the Washington Folk Festival. In 2006, Steve ended up on the Central Coast where his mother and sister both live. He currently resides in Pismo Beach. Initially, Steve did some day jobs in warehouses while


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Finding performers is one of Steve’s talents. Some of the people come to him, while some he has known for many years. He checks around to see who is playing and keeps his ears open to new performers. Occasionally he has to say no to someone he doesn’t think would present well in his shows. Often times performers are a surprise talent that comes along keeping the show fresh. There have been performers as young as 9 or 10 as well as some in their 70s. Steve prefers to get a variety of styles such as blues, rock, folk etc. When talking to performers he will get a sense of their ability by the way they present themselves. Ninety-nine percent of the performers are good. If someone bombs, he suffers for twenty minutes and waits for the next one to come along. When someone


is a featured performer, he passes around a tip bucket for the audience to contribute. The performers can also sell their CDs, t-shirts, jewelry, and books of poetry which helps them earn some money. Often he will feature an evening devoted to a certain songwriter, like Paul Simon. However, most of the shows are original songs that people have written themselves. In his five years here on the Central Coast Steve has made a lot of progress finding good locales in addition to his radio show. The radio show is one hour on Mondays at 6 p.m. It repeats on Fridays at 1 p.m. He features live performers that were recorded at one of the Songwriters at Play shows. He has a friend that attends the shows with his digital recorder. He then uses a software program to put together the radio show. Next Steve listens to it and writes a script to go with it. Since his humble beginnings starting with learning the clarinet in the fifth grade and then learning how to play a guitar when he was twelve, Steve has created a unique niche in the music industry right here on the Central Coast. To find out more about the times and locations of the shows, you can log onto

Rizzoli’s Automotive is my mechanic. Thanks Rizzol i’s ! Dave and Melanie know that, if they take care of their car, their car will take care of them. That’s why they always drive back to Rizzoli’s Automotive.

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“Break mirrors. Stop looking at yourself. Stop being so self-absorbed. Learn more about others—know their hopes and dreams, find out what makes them smile and what makes them weep. Break those mirrors, direct that energy and ambition not towards [yourself] but to serving others. In the end, a [person’s] life is measured not by what [s]he has but by what [s]he has given.” —Sargent Shriver (founder of the Peace Corps) It was the summer of 1998 and my future wife and I were preparing to lead a group of SLOHS students to Europe for three weeks. Among the travelers were a few destined to forge their lives serving others. It was not unusual for me to sometimes suggest to my students a simplified way of categorizing people: “There are the ‘takers’ and the ‘givers,’ I would say. “Are you more ‘taker’ or ‘giver’? I believe your life will be richer and fuller if you are a ‘giver.’” Some of those local students, who were afforded the opportunity to visit England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Greece, went on to serve others in significant ways. I am aware that Kelli and Annie C. (sisters), James B. and Jenny M. all became teachers, Emily H. served in the Peace Corps and now helps run (with her husband, David, a teacher) an after school non-profit called The Greenhouse in Sacramento, and Mckay H., only 11 at the time, is finishing his teaching credential and masters degree in elementary education in Seattle. Emily and David also traveled to Haiti to provide help following the earthquake and she and Mckay spent one summer in Sri Lanka volunteering at an orphanage damaged by the tsunami of 2004 (full disclosure: Emily and Mckay are my own children, Jenny is my step daughter. A proud father? You bet).

The Journey of Hope Event A P R I L

James and Cami

Another student named James joined us that summer and he has gone on to accomplish significant contributions to our community. His name is James Statler and little did I know back in 1998 what was in store for him. He, too, is a giver of the highest order. I recently sat down with James after not seeing him for quite awhile. We had much to talk about and I discovered over the course of our time together his involvement in a number of noteworthy programs around our county. I remembered that James was much involved with music in high school—still is, in fact—but self-absorbed in a way that was somewhat detrimental to him at the time. The young man who took in the sights in Europe was dealing with a severe eating/body image disorder that would take its toll on his physical, mental, and emotional health. “The pressure to excel, to live up to both ‘jock’ and ‘rock musician’ images during high school wreaked havoc with my body and mind. After graduation, I headed for UC Santa Cruz and hoped to get a degree in history to eventually become a high school teacher. But the transition from living at home to being away at college was too much. I wasn’t well enough to take advantage of the opportunity so I returned to SLO after only one quarter. I needed some help and fortunately found it in the person of Nancy, a nutritionist. It was because of her that my passion for mentoring youth, investigating public health services, and gaining tools for coping was sparked.”

James and the Community Counseling staff


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Recently CCC has secured space for a facility in Paso Robles, which will join the rented SLO site. James hopes the future will bring a CCC-owned building in SLO. To this end, he is hopeful that a sponsor/donor will step up to help realize this dream. A major fundraising event called “Therapy for Your Taste Buds” is scheduled for the weekend of May 19-20 and will be catered by Megan Loring of The Neon Carrot.

James enrolled at Cuesta College, received his AA degree, then re-enrolled at UCSC, where he earned a BA degree in history in 2004, and, after a break, a Masters in US History in 2006. James said “I loved history and was influenced by some great teachers at SLOHS: Dave Frick, Joe Leonard, Dick Mueller, Dale Overland, and Hal Belch.” The pursuit of the Master’s Degree was put on hold in 2004 because James accepted a position working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceano and Grover Beach. Here was his opportunity to give something back and these kids became the focus of his passion for helping young people with public health issues. He also headed up a Student At Risk project. Eventually, funding for his position dried up so it was back to Santa Cruz to finish what he had started. Armed with degrees in history but no job, and knowing that his passion for helping others still burned, James began a search for available non-profit positions in our county. At the time, EOC Health Services (later to become CAPSLO) was looking for a health educator for its Lifebound Leadership program. James had found what he was looking for and, in 2007, became its program manager. He oversaw after-school programs at the Nipomo and Paso Robles teen centers and mentored 12- to 18-year-olds in health issues, homework support, job skills training, and outdoor education. He also helped establish service learning projects at the Caesar Chavez Native Garden in Nipomo, which still flourishes today. Never one to slow down, James also taught history part time at Cuesta. In 2008, James used his Master’s thesis, “Baseball in Japanese Internment Camps,” as the basis for a well-reviewed exhibition sponsored by the South County Historical Society. This brings us to the present and James’s current position as Executive Director of the Community Counseling Center (CCC), a countywide non-profit agency since 1968, whose primary focus is to provide low cost counseling services to uninsured members of our community. The vision of the CCC focuses on the idea that a strong mind helps build strong individuals and families in our community. All ages are served. Four staff members and over 60 licensed and intraining therapists volunteer their services (mostly “pro bono”—free of charge—or for a very small fee based on a client’s ability to pay) and specific referrals to other agencies are often made for people who need

James still loves his music and has begun to incorporate songwriting into his work and life, which he shares with his partner, Cami Rouse. This Giving Man, unassuming, passionate, and selfless, no longer needs mirrors to survey body issues. Instead, he directs his energy towards serving others. He passionately believes it’s not what he has that’s most important, it’s what he gives.

help with family problems, relationships, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, anger management, grief therapy, or post partum depression. Annually, over $700,000 worth of time is donated to help people in need. CCC collaborates with County Mental Health Services, Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA), and independent professionals. The 2011-2012 primary goal for CCC is to increase the number of volunteer therapists and bring up client contacts by 20%. Currently, over 800 clients are seen annually by CCC therapists. I’d say the well-being and sound mental health of our community are in very capable hands with this group of “givers.”

(For more information about Community Counseling Services, contact www.cccslo. com or James Statler at director@cccslo. com, (805) 543-7969) Bob Huttle (Up) can be reached at rhuttle@ He is grateful for and inspired by all the “givers” among you.

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upper Crust’s

ron tyni insurance man discovers a palate for pizza By Susan Stewart


hen Ron Tyni earned his degree in business from Boston College back in the mid-1960s, buying and running a pizza joint was not a part of his plan. In fact, Tyni’s first job as a college graduate was with Prudential Insurance, where he worked for a decade before opening his own insurance agency. But timing, circumstance, and his mother’s cooking would conspire to lead Tyni into a 30-year career as a successful restaurateur. This December, Ron and his wife Terez, along with property owners the Molina family, celebrated the completion of a $1 million expansion project on San Luis Obispo’s Upper Crust Trattoria, a restaurant the Tynis have owned for 12 years. Born and raised in the small Massachusetts town of Abbington, Ron Tyni and his twin brother Don were the sons of Tovia and Theo Tyni (a Finnish name). “Toy” (Tovia’s nickname) was the athletic director at the local high school, and Theo ran the school’s kitchen. “My mother was always in the kitchen,” said Ron. “She even cooked for Cardinal Cushing, who lived in the next town over.” Theo would one day be invited by the Cardinal to cook dinner for the Kennedys (when JFK was President) at the Cardinal’s residence. By the early 1970s, Tyni had moved to Southern California and opened an insurance agency in Downey. One of his employees bought a very small pizza joint that depended almost entirely on delivery customers. Bright as he was, the man couldn’t turn a profit, and he approached Tyni for a loan to keep it afloat. Knowing nothing about pizza, Tyni eventually agreed to help out and after a long look at the place, agreed to buy it in order to rescue it. “The numbers were the easiest part,” he said. “The key was hiring the right people and managing them well.” Within a very short time, Barro’s Pizza boasted 21 drivers and was the busiest place in town. Two years later, Tyni opened a second shop, this The Tyni family: Ron and Terez with sons Trent and Ryan

Ron and Terez Tyni

one with an expanded menu and a full-service dining room. Business boomed, and Tyni found he no longer needed to work two jobs. He sold the agency in order to run the restaurants full time. Soon he would meet and marry a pretty artist named Terez and by 1982, they had the first of two sons, Trent. Their second, Ryan, would come along two years later. In 1985, the Tynis moved to San Luis Obispo. They had been visiting friends on the Central Coast for years, and had fallen in love with the area. So they scouted out locations for a restaurant, and opened Upper Crust in the Foothill Shopping Center, serving gourmet pizzas and salads. Enjoying almost immediate success, Upper Crust has built a large and loyal following over 22 years—at the original location for the first 10 years, and at its current spot in the Laguna Village Shopping Center for the past 12 years. Designed and built by Santa Barbara architect Paul Poirier, Upper Crust serves a popular menu of Mediterranean Italian dishes, decadent desserts, and an extensive list of local and imported wines. Tyni credits his wife Terez with much of the restaurant’s continued success. It was her recipes and interior design talents that created the look and the taste of Upper Crust. “Terez is the backbone of Upper Crust,” said Ron. “She loves to cook and is a professional artist. … Terez developed the recipes for our pizzas, and all the salad dressings are hers [including the now-famous raspberry salad being imitated everywhere]. She is responsible for the interior design; and all the paintings are hers.” An entrepreneur in her own right, Terez started Upper Crust Biscotti, and sold her cookies all over the U.S. After 13 years, she sold the business in 2005 in order to spend more time painting. Terez is a member of the Art Association in Paso Robles, and has a legion of satisfied buyers of her plein air paintings, many of which also hang at Upper Crust, the perfect complement to the new décor. The recent remodel was originally planned for 2008, the year the economy crashed. So the Tynis waited until the summer of 2011 to



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day, his management team includes John Fergus, Tammy Arlen, and Ben Ferguson as well as head chef, Martin Gonzales, who has been with the Tynis for nearly 20 years.

The new meeting and banquet room

Theo Tyni, Ron’s mother, passed away just a few months ago at the age of 93. She served as the inspiration for his devotion to great food and consistent quality, and she was proud of her son’s longstanding success. Visit for more information, menu, banquet, and catering details. Discover the synergy that came about when an insurance guy trusted his instincts, crunched the numbers, and parlayed his mother’s talent and his father’s work ethic into a deeply satisfying career.

begin. “We stayed open the whole time,” said Ron. “We had six full time staff with families to support. So we felt we just couldn’t lay them off. Our customers were extremely patient with us for the six months we were under construction. We never knew which door would be open on any given day … there was no parking, and the noise factor was terrible. But people kept coming anyway.” With nearly double the space, Upper Crust now features a full bar, wine room, banquet room, and an expanded catering division, bringing their workforce up to 45 employees. “Our landlords have been very generous,” said Tyni. “They paid for the entire construction cost, which is very unusual.” A gleaming horseshoe-shaped bar invites patrons to sip world class wines, or order a favorite cocktail, while chatting with other guests. Comfortable booths and welcoming fireplaces offer a warm and intimate setting; while the new and private dining hall gives larger groups a very good reason to celebrate. Upper Crust fans run the gamut, from young professionals to retirees, travelers to regulars, romantic couples to families, Red Hatters to Kiwanis club members. Today, the Tynis are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Their two sons are all grown up and living in Portland, Oregon. Trent, now 29, holds an M.A. from UCSB and is currently teaching. Ryan, now 25, is earning a graduate degree in architecture. From the time he stepped away from the insurance business to save a faltering pizza joint in Southern California, Ron Tyni has always maintained, “You are only as good as those who surround you.” ToThe beautiful and new horseshoe bar



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10th Anniversary

san luis obispo housing trust fund Photos by Vivian Krug Dr. Julian Crocker accepts a check from The Community Foundation’s, Barry VanderKelen


ast month the San Luis Obispo Housing Trust Fund (HTF) organization held a special 10th Anniversary Breakfast at the Masonic Lodge in Downtown San Luis Obispo. The purpose of the breakfast was to celebrate the accomplishments made over the past decade and make the community more aware of the Housing Trust Fund and what it does. Invited guests included city managers and their key staff members, city and county elected officials and some key people from each Chamber of Commerce.

Board Chairman, County Superintendent of Schools, Julian Crocker was the Master of Ceremonies. After the welcome, he introduced the Board of Directors and speakers Barry VanderKelen, Anita Robinson and Mary Brooks. Vanderkelen gave the HTF a check from the Community Foundation to help continue the program. Robinson and Brooks updated the guests on HTF and gave out special awards. A plaque was presented to Mary Brooks from the SLO Supportive Housing consortium, honoring and thanking Mary for all of her support over the years and helping to create the SLO County Hous-

Rachel Richardson (left) presented a special award to Mary Brooks for her continued support of the HTF program.

ing Trust Fund. The Board also recognized current HTF Executive Director, Jerry Rioux and Administrative Director, Vivian Krug for the work they do and to recognize them publicly. After the meeting we met with Vivian Krug and she gave us the following information to pass on to our readers. The San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund is a private nonprofit corporation that was incorporated in 2003. The HTF was formed through a broad-based organizing effort by local health and social service providers, businesses and government agencies to address local housing needs in San Luis Obispo County.

Local Housing Needs San Luis Obispo County is consistently one of the least affordable housing markets in California and the nation. The National Association of Home Builders ranked the county as the eighth least affordable housing market in the nation during the last quarter of 2011. The 2010 Census found that 35.8% of the renters in this county had a severe housing cost burden. This was a higher percent than in Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco and New York City.

Anita Robinson read the special award given to HTF Executive Director, Jerry Rioux Anita Robinson presented a special award to HTF Administrative Director, Vivian Krug

Mission & Purpose The HTF’s mission is to increase the supply of affordable housing for very low, low and moderate income households in San Luis Obispo County, including those with special needs. Rather than develop or operate housing, they provide financing and technical assistance to private developers, non-profit agencies and local governments to help them create, preserve and improve housing that working families, seniors with limited incomes and households with special needs can afford to rent or buy. A P R I L


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A Retirement Facil HOME/OUTDOOR


Even though the prospect of moving m

developer purchase complete a smallto learn h In 2011, HTF helped the future, you owe and it to yourself foreclosed subdivision for sale to moderate Women’s Shelter Proliving in your own home for man income buyers. gram acquire four units carefree of transitional housing Revolving Loan Funds for its clients. They also The HTF operates various revolving loan helped the Tri-Counties funds to provide financing for affordable housCommunity Housing Corprojects. These loan funds include $3.6 is fully It’s a fact life that asing we get older, Pristine poration saveof three units million in social and community investments for individuals with develsome day-to-day tasks too and insu andbecome $3.3 million in grants and licensed contributions. opmental disabilities from much to Inhandle That on the Housing All ofTrust our worke For own. more information foreclosure. addition,on our Fund call 543-5970 or go to the HTF helped a private doesn’t mean you have to move away are carefully scre

You Don’t Have to Move

Guests included four of the five SLO City Councilmembers: Jan Marx, John Ashbaugh, Dan Carpenter and Andrew Carter.

Programs & Services The HTF provides three programs or services to achieve its mission: financing, technical assistance (TA) and advocacy. The HTF provides short-term loans and technical assistance to support affordable housing projects. We also provide TA on housing programs and policies. In addition, we advocate for affordable housing at the federal, state and local level.

Major Accomplishments Since closing their first loan in 2005, the HTF has provided $8 million in financing to assist 225 units of affordable housing. In 2010, 30% of all the housing starts in the entire county were in projects that HTF helped finance.

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a look at wind energy:

Tehachapi has 5,000 wind turbines dotting its hillsides, including these giant 1.5 megawatt units.

it’s not a lot of hot air By Ray Cauwet


f you’ve traveled east of Tehachapi on Highway 58, you undoubtedly noticed a lot of wind turbines dotting the hillsides. There are, in fact, 5,000 wind turbines, also known as wind machines, in the Tehachapi Pass. Besides Tehachapi, there are wind turbines in the Altamont Pass near Livermore and in the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs.

All totaled, there are 16,000 wind turbines in California and they annually generate 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough to meet the yearly electricity needs of 500,000 people. Wind machines have been around a long time. The Chinese are said to have used simple windmills in 200 B.C. to pump water, while woven reed sails were grinding grain at the same time in Persia. The Crusaders brought the idea back to Europe and the Dutch refined the windmill to drain lakes and marshes. Settlers shared this new technology in the New World and used it to pump water for farms, and later, to generate electricity for homes. This lasted until the 1930s when electricity came to rural America. The oil shortage of the 1970s spurred interest in the development of the wind industry. In the early 1980s, California passed legislation that provided tax incentives for renewable energy production. The City of Tehachapi was quick to take advantage of the tax breaks. It installed four wind turbines to help power its wastewater treatment plant. Located just west of the downtown, the turbines were rated at 30 kW and are still in use today. They generate from 45,000 to 50,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That is sufficient to supply 20 percent of the annual energy needs of the plant.

A self guided tour can be taken of Tehachapi wind turbines allowing visitors to get close-up views of these machines.

By 1985, the hills around the city began to be filled with wind turbines. Private energy companies established clusters of turbines, known as wind farms. These turbines were larger and generated 65 kilowatts. As time progressed, more firms became involved and the capacities of the turbines increased. Today, there are 12 energy companies in Tehachapi. They operate a large number of 1.5 megawatt turbines, standing 200 feet tall. All this discussion about watts may seem a little confusing. The American Wind Energy Association on its website explains that the ability to generate electricity is measured in watts. A kilowatt, kW, is 1,000 watts; a megawatt, MW, is 1 million watts; and a gigawatt, GW, is 1 billion watts. A kilowatt-hour means 1,000 watts used in one hour. So if you leave a 50-watt light on for 20 hours, you would be burning up 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity. There is one type of wind turbine used almost exclusively in California. It has two or three propeller-like blades that sit atop a tower. As wind A P R I L


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HOME/OUTDOOR flows over the blades, it creates lift, similar to the effect on aircraft wings. This causes the blades to turn and generate electricity. Tehachapi was chosen as a site for wind energy production because it is thought to be one of the windiest places in the world. The winds through the pass average between 14 and 20 miles per hour from year to year. Thus far, we’ve been discussing what we do with wind. I must admit, however, that I’ve never given much thought to the wind. It’s always just been there. But, where does it come from? Is it the result of some guy with a puffy face blowing or what?

lution. It’s renewable and will always blow as long as the sun shines. On the other hand, it uses large tracts of land, is harmful to wild bird populations and is perceived to have a negative visual impact on the landscape. I hope in the years to come our nation will take more of a balanced approach to energy production. I think there is a need for oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind and solar


energy. It isn’t an all or nothing situation. Perhaps, wind energy can play a larger role. It is said that there is enough potential wind energy in the United States to power the entire country. I don’t know. I invite you to tour Tehachapi’s wind farms. They definitely are a sight to see and may give you a glimpse of where we could be going in the future in order meet our energy needs.

To explain this phenomenon, I again went to the wind association. It states that wind is simply air in motion and is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface, whether it’s land or water. During the day, the air above the land heats up more quickly than the air over water. The warm air over the land expands and rises. As it does, it reduces the atmospheric pressure near the surface and the heavier, cooler air rushes in to take its place, thus creating wind. This is what happens when extreme heat is generated in the Mojave Desert. As it rises, the cooler air above the Pacific Ocean flows through the Tehachapi Pass. The City of Tehachapi offers an opportunity to get a close-up look at its wind turbines through a self-guided wind farm tour. In its Visitor’s Guide, detailed instructions are given for a one-hour auto tour that allows you to observe the evolution of the wind energy industry. It begins at the wastewater treatment plant and leads to the wind ridge. There, you get a great view of hundreds of turbines, representing 20 years of technology. Nearby are some huge 1.5 megawatt turbines. After a while, the road intersects the Pacific Crest Trail. You can leave your car and go for a hike. You will see more of the giant turbines and may encounter a herd of wild horses running beneath the turbines. The tour concludes with a look at some smaller turbines. I do find Tehachapi’s wind turbines fascinating and enjoy watching them as their glistening blades go round and round. I can’t help wonder, though, how they fit into our nation’s energy puzzle? How do they stack up in comparison to other forms of electricity generation? From a positive standpoint, wind energy is a clean fuel and produces no air or water polA P R I L


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Spring into family garden education

A planting party

slo botanical garden hosts a variety of children’s activities


he San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden’s event calendar is chalk-full of exciting and engaging family education events happening this spring. The Garden’s child and family friendly events are healthy and fun, while inspiring and remaining inexpensive. With a goal of “education through exploration,” children ages 2 to 102 will learn about sustainability, ecology, where food comes from, and the importance of plants in our everyday lives. Join us at the Garden and connect your family with nature! April 14, 1-3 p.m.—Lip Balm and Sunscreen Making! Can’t pronounce the ingredients in your lip balm or sunscreen? Learn to create your own yummy smelling natural lip balm and sunscreen using plants from the Garden. Bring your own small container, or buy one here! Activity is $5 donation per family. April 22, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.—Earth Day at the Garden! Enjoy a whole day of outdoor activities, hikes, live music, gardening, snacks from the solar oven, and so much more…all for FREE! Join us at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden to celebrate Earth Day 2012 in col-

laboration with Earth Day Alliance. Take a free family trip on the bus from every corner of the county, to the park and back, all day long. May 5, 1-3:30 p.m.—Garden Fresh Family Cooking Plants can be pretty and pretty tasty too! Kids do all the harvesting and cooking during this fun and informative class featuring local, seasonal produce. The Garden partners with Cal Poly’s Healthy Living Advocates STRIDE to bring you a wonderful hands-on gardening and cooking class filled with “easy to swallow” nutrition advice. Class is $25 for child and guardian, additional $5 per person. Call (805) 541-1400 ext. 304 to reserve your space, as class size is limited. May 12, 1-3 p.m.—Colors of Nature: Plant Dyes! From bright pink to deep green, sunny colors in nature can be used to color your wardrobe. Enjoy a day of creative exploration as we delve into dyes. Bring something white and made of cotton or wool you want to “jazz” up with plant dyes. Activity is $5 suggested donation per family. With the purchase of an annual family membership to the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden for $50, families enjoy reduced cost monthly Saturday at the Garden workshops, a 10% discount on summer camp, discounts on plants at local nurseries, support a wonderful A great Saturday at the Garden



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learning environment, and much more. For more information, please call (805) 541-1400 ext. 304 or email The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is located on 150 acres in El Chorro Regional Park off Highway One between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. When the master plan is complete, the Garden will be the only one of its kind in the United States exclusively devoted to the ecosystems and plants of the five mediterranean climate regions of the world. Through its programs and facilities, the Garden fosters an appreciation and understanding of the relationship between people and nature and encourages a sense of stewardship toward the natural environment. Visit us online at Cooking

S L O home design district

Ways to Beautify Your Garden By Statepoint Media


hether your garden is a source of food for your family, a way to beautify your home’s outdoor spaces, or a gathering place for parties, you already know how beneficial your outdoor hobby can be. But a garden needn’t only be a human habitat. If you cultivate it right, you can encourage beautiful wildlife to become regular visitors to your garden all season long. Here are some tips to get started: • Plant native flowers, shrubs and trees to give local wildlife the proper sustenance they need to survive. Skip flowers bred strictly for size and color and opt for highnectar yielding flowers instead. • Incorporate birdfeeders into your garden. Not only will they look great, they are an excellent supplemental food source for your feathered friends. And you can keep furry friends at bay with a squirrel-proof feeder. • If you build a water source, they will come (and stay). A pond or birdbath will help prevent birds from eating and going in search of water.

share your garden, you’re going to need to take some steps to make it safe for them. While a garden might be a safe haven, your home can be a death trap According to Wyoming-based Western EcoSystems Technology, an estimated 98 million birds are killed annually in the U.S. from colliding with glass windows. That is one bird fatality per house.

• Birds need cover to protect themselves from predators. Planting densely with a mix of smaller trees, shrubs and beds of annuals But you don’t need to be part of the proband perennials will do the trick. lem. Applying static-cling decals to your windows will prevent birds from mistaking • Avoid pesticides. These chemicals are potentially harmful to you and your family, your windows for thin air. And you can and the same goes for wildlife. Also, by kill- apply such a decal without affecting the appearance of your home. For example, ing garden pests, you will eliminate a pridecals from WindowAlert rely on a special mary source of protein for birds in search ultraviolet-reflecting coating that is invisof nourishment for their migration ahead. ible to humans but looks like a brilliant Once you’ve invited all these creatures to glow to birds.

“Your home needn’t pose a danger to birds,” stresses Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert, Inc. If you spot an injured bird in your garden, don’t rescue it. If it’s young, its parents are likely nearby. If you want to take action, call your wildlife office for information on licensed rehabilitators. With a few tweaks to your garden, you can create an eco-friendly habitat for the birds and the bees and everything in between. After all, there’s nothing more beautiful than a garden that is not only good to you and your family, but to wildlife, as well.



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at the market

Spring green salad with roast beets, caramelized onion and balsamic dressing By Sarah Hedger


pril marks a wonderful time of the year. Spring has sprung, regardless of those who want another Winter, more rain, etc. The plants seem to know what time of year it is and there is no denying the shift in seasons is felt more at the local Farmers’ Markets than most places. We are lucky in that the size of our county is vast enough to offer a variety of options of local produce. While one farm may be still experiencing some Winter weather, within their own unique microclimate, another farm will be well into Spring because of their unique location and climate. The coastal hills alone provide a significant variance in temperatures and climate, resulting in a variety of produce available at the same time. Regardless of where the local fruits and vegetables are coming from, we are lucky enough to see the first of the season strawberries, asparagus, carrots, beets, peas, spring (green) onions, spring garlic, spinach, and spring lettuces to name a few. Lots of options to choose from!

I was recently looking for a current list of local farmers with their seasonal produce and came across a great website that seems to have a lot of good info as well as a chart of local seasonal produce. The site is called Central Coast Grown ( It not only



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lists what is in season and where it is grown, but also where to buy, information about Farm to School programs, and local restaurants using this amazing local, seasonal produce. This month’s recipe came about when looking for ways to incorporate one of my favorite ingredients, roasted beets. I also recently made a good batch of caramelized onions and have been enjoying them as a pantry/staple item that is now a regular, always on hand in our fridge. Thus, the Spring Green Salad with Roast Beets, Caramelized Onions, and Balsamic Dressing came about. Usually my best inspiration for coming up with a recipe is looking to see what is on hand without having to make a trip to the store. It’s not that I don’t enjoy grocery shopping, I actually really do, but that doesn’t mean I want to have to go whenever I need an ingredient. Thus, this salad is a tribute to using not only what is in season, but what is on hand. Beets are an amazing nutritional resource and punch above their weight in many regards. Aside from naturally being low in calories, while being high in fiber and antioxidants, they also are high in Vitamin C, Folate, B Vitamins, as well as potassium. There are more and more heirloom varieties coming (back) to the market and thus when I made this recipe, I used the traditional beet as well as the candy-striped Chioggia. While the caramelized onions may taste a bit like candy, red onions are one of the best natural sources of quercetin, known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. The other ingredient of note is the goat feta cheese. We are lucky in that we have a local producer of amazing goat cheese and products at Happy Acres Family Farm in Templeton. Local resources like this make it easy to enjoy simple recipes made from outstanding (and delicious) local, seasonal ingredients. Happy eating!

Spring Green salad with roast beets, caramelized onion and balsamic dressing FOR THE ROAST BEETS: 1 lb fresh beets, scrubbed clean, tops and ends removed, and halved (if large) Place beets in covered baking dish with ¼ c. water. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender in middle. Remove from oven, cool, gently peel skins off with a paper towel (or fingers if you don’t mind them turning red) and slice into ¼ inch sections. FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS: 1 T. olive oil 2-3 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced ¼ cup brown sugar 1 T. balsamic vinegar Place oil in heavy duty saucepan over medium low heat. Add onions and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When onions are soft and beginning to turn golden, add sugar and vinegar. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until onions have a sticky (almost jam) consistency. Cool and store in refrigerator until ready to use (will keep for at least a couple of weeks). FOR THE SALAD: ¼ cup caramelized onions 3 T. balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup good olive oil Salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste) Large bunch/handful spring greens, washed and spun to get rid of extra water ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, minced 3 ounces goat feta (or fresh goat cheese from Happy Acres in Templeton) About 5 minutes before eating, place caramelized onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in large salad bowl. Give a good stir/whisk and taste to check seasoning. Add beets and stir to incorporate into dressing. Place fresh spring greens on top. Give a good toss, then add parsley and feta. Gently toss (your hands work best for this) and serve. Feel free to email me at if you have any food-related questions and find this recipe (as well as other versions) at


HOME/OUTDOOR slo county art scene

Dave and Susan

companions in clay: susan shutt wulfeck and Dave wulfeck By Gordon Fuglie


usan Shutt Wulfeck and Dave Wulfeck exemplify a primal tension within contemporary ceramic art. The Atascadero couple, ceramics instructors at Cuesta College, represents two complementary modes of practice. Dave embodies the vessel, or pot, tradition, while Susan personifies ceramics as formalist sculptural art. Of the first, the aesthetic vessel extends deep into antiquity; sculptural ceramics, however, are more recent, with 1960 marking a firm arrival on the post war US art scene.

Today both tendencies continue in serious ceramic practice, but they constantly struggle to demarcate their efforts from recreational craft, commercial art fairs, “adult ed,” hobby or therapeutic associations that the general public often has trouble distinguishing from first rate achievements in fired and glazed clay. It’s a variation on the old saw, “my kid could do that.” Art education in schools could remedy this unfortunate state of affairs, introducing children and adolescents to master artists and masterworks from the higher tiers of quality—but good luck with advocating a curriculum of artistic knowledge, beauty and humanizing tactility in a state with a grave budget deficit. Typical of those “the small art world” moments, in the 1980s I was an art history graduate student at UCLA while Susan was completing her MFA and Dave staffed the UCLA ceramic and sculpture labs. Now 25 years later we live two counties north of LA and in the same town. In March they hosted me in their studio where I got caught up with their careers. (The Wulfecks came to SLO County in 1998 to teach at Cuesta College.) Dave Wulfeck first studied ceramics at San Fernando Valley College under Howard Tollefson where he was exposed to the Japanese and Scandinavian clay traditions. Not long thereafter, Dave disciplined his craft by working commercially as a production potter. Those familiar with the “10,000 hour thesis” of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers know that excellence comes from a steady and prolonged devotion to master foundational practices in order for the artist/musician/software program-

mer/hockey player, etc. to build experience upon which to ascend to superior achievement. In his 60s, Dave now describes his work on the potter’s wheel as intuitive and unlabored, the result of decades of handwork shaping wet spinning lumps of clay into elegant swelling and tapering forms. Making pots becomes second nature, appearing effortless. All that awaits the artist is for him to broadcast bold calligraphy in the round, via a glossy umberous glaze, resulting in a dynamic and serenely self-contained form. Dave tells me he has never felt freer to “unlearn” past practices and follow new directions. This liberates him from the conceit of attaching preciousness to each work. Indeed, his recent experimentation entails making and remaking, fabricating a form, musing on it, then wetting the clay to pummel it back to its original indeterminate mass, to start once again. Born into an artistic family in Sunset Beach, Calif., Susan Shutt studied ceramics with Donald Pilcher and Donald E. Frith at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. (Small art world again: Frith now lives in Santa Maria.) Completing her degree, she returned to Southern California where she was accepted into the MFA program at UCLA. Susan studied principally with Adrian Saxe, graduating in 1984. While at UCLA she met Dave, and they subsequently married. In contrast to Dave, Susan does not use a potter’s wheel to produce her work, though her forms often use the vessel as inspiration. But they are not “pots,” conventionally understood. Instead, Susan’s ceramics are slab-

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Three pieces by Susan


umns, contemporary art is not about merely representing aspects of the world around us, demoting the artist to a handmaid of mere fact. Rather, the contemporary artist re-visions an ordinary object from the literal, expanding the viewer’s encounter in the bargain. Susan’s recent works are indebted to the calibrated abstract patterns of the painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Like Martin, her use of pattern is not decorative, but creates a tension between the surface and the form, a sculptor’s syntax that establishes an intimacy to the human hand.

built, a technique that involves drawing a number of patterns on paper. These are imposed on slabs of malleable clay that are cut and adhered together, resulting in a composite but unitary “fitted sculpture” that is textured, fired and glazed. The pieces I recall from Susan’s MFA show were color-muted, abstract rectangular bottle forms that did not conceal their seams. They looked as if the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi’s (1890-1964) astringent still-lifes had been transformed into a third dimension. Perhaps that was the point: conceptually, the non-functional “bottles” were sculptures, defining space. As I have said in previous col-

For further information about the Wulfeck’s ceramics, contact them at muddyplace@att. net. Dave is represented by Freehand Gallery, 8413 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-655-2607, www.

A pot made by Dave



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COMMUNITY Randy and Becky Gray

becky gray...

doing what she must! By Susan Stewart


id you know that the word “must” has two meanings? One is, of course, the call to action, to be compelled to fulfill some need or achieve an aim. The other is a wine term referring to the unfermented juices, skins, and seeds of the crushed grapes from which wine is drawn. Both definitions are especially apt for a brand new nonprofit of the same name: MUST Charities—and for its new Executive Director, Becky Gray.

“It’s not often that an opportunity comes along in life that allows you to take a proven skill set, in my case as an executive director,” said Gray, “and put it to work on the things you are personally most passionate about.” Based in North San Luis Obispo County, MUST is a collaboration of business and community leaders dedicated to making a sustainable impact on the Central Coast by working to alleviate poverty, and address related issues such as education, health care, women’s and children’s needs. The goal, said Gray, is to build partnership programs, pool resources, and make a significant impact in these areas of need. Together, MUST’s partners will raise funds, gather resources, and share expertise to distribute among qualified grant applicants. With a résumé that includes an education from Cal Poly, early management positions with local companies, a long stint with Edna Valley Vineyard in several capacities, and six years as executive director with the SLO County Vintners Association, Becky Gray is the perfect fit for her new position. Born in Thousand Oaks and raised in Ventura, Calif., Gray was the youngest of three girls in a family headed by community-minded parents. Describing her childhood as “… a lot like life on the Central Coast now,” Gray said her parents, Jim and Judy, modeled their caring and generous behavior in parenting, service, and marriage, and passed those traits on to their daughters. Jim was a pastor of a non-denominational Christian church, transitioned into family and grief counseling, and ended up running a local mortuary. He was active in Rotary, Hospice, and the School Board. Judy stayed at home with her girls until Becky was in middle school, and then went to work for the school district, taking leadership roles with the Girl Scouts and the school’s PTA.

The Gray family: Becky, Randy, Emma and Ava

“Our house was the one that everyone piled into after football or basketball games,” said Gray. “It was not uncommon to have 20 or 30 kids over all at once, having pizza or watching movies.” Growing up, Gray played a lot of basketball and was involved in her church youth group, as well as student government. She studied Soil Science at Cal Poly, where she “ … did a lot of growing up … and met the love of my life and best friend, Randy Gray.” Gray’s first full-time job was as manager for two of Juice Club’s San Luis Obispo stores. In 1997, Edna Valley Vineyard’s Niven family hired her to run their Hospitality Center and Public Relations department. In 2006, after taking time off to spend time with her own growing family (daughters Emma and Ava, now 12 and 9 years old A P R I L


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Ava and Emma at the beach

held her to a higher standard, and told her what it means to never give up. Today, Gray uses many of the lessons she learned from her mentors in her role as coach of the girls’ basketball team at Templeton Middle School. One of her favorites is: “Whatever you do, do it with 100% integrity and effort all the time, even when no one is watching,” a goal that applies both on and off the court.



juices, skins, and seeds of the grapes that will eventually become a fine and full bodied wine. MUST Charities, as its namesake implies, is fermenting with the promise of a fine and full bodied organization ready to serve the neediest in our county. Becky Gray and the new nonprofit she heads feel “compelled to fulfill that need, to achieve that aim,”—in other words, doing what they must.

At the moment, both Gray and the organization she leads are like the unfermented

respectively), Gray was asked to take the top spot at the SLO Vintners Association. “I was flattered and very excited … the feeling was like going back home,” said Gray. Over the next six years, under Gray’s direction, the organization more than tripled in size. Gray was approached by MUST Charities just a few months ago to lead the new startup nonprofit. “Leaving SLO Vintners was a tough decision,” Gray admits, “but I was blown away by the premise behind this group. It lined up incredibly well with my own beliefs and the values I was raised on. There’s a potential to make some really significant differences in my community for those in need.” Just a month or two into her new job, Gray has held a board member retreat, conducted extensive research, and met with other organizations, to identify and understand our county’s biggest areas of need as they relate to MUST’s mission statement. “I always knew the Central Coast was a special place,” said Gray, “but the more key people I meet, the more I realize why: it’s because the people of our community make it that way. I get so excited thinking about the impacts we can make over the next five to ten years as MUST grows and develops.” Gray credits her parents, her faith, and two high school basketball coaches with providing much of the inspiration that drives her today. They taught her about goal-setting, A P R I L


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COMMUNITY Kids science programs at the slo library 30

funded by the harold J. Miossi charitable trust By Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, SLO County Library Youth Services Coordinator


arold J. Miossi was a well established figure in San Luis Obispo history. When you start looking for his influence, you will find his mark almost everywhere. Born in San Luis Obispo in 1922, Miossi was raised on a ranch, studied in local schools, and went on to help shape the foundation of SLO County. An ardent environmentalist; he was pivotal in the creation of the Santa Lucia Wilderness area, the protection of Cuesta Canyon, and support of Montana de Oro State Park. He served as an integral part of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club and the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Archives. His fingerprints can be found on the Cuesta College Foundation, the Farm Bureau, the Knights of Columbus, and numerous other County organizations. This is a man who truly felt a calling to his community. According to the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust website, “[Miossi was] a firm believer that individuals shape the world in which they live, Harold was motivated to have a positive effect on the environment of his community.” He was a tireless advocate for causes he felt passionate about.

Before passing away in 2011 Harold J. Miossi established a trust in his name, so that others could continue to do his life’s work. He felt a strong belief that this trust could continue to promote many of the things he valued in the San Luis Obispo County community. This trust offers funding to non-profits that promote the following six key areas in support of San Luis Obispo County residents: animal-related programs, education, the environment, the Catholic Church, fine arts and youth development. Some of the many recipients of Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust grants include: Friends of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, the History Center of San Luis Obispo County, Woods Humane Society, the Senior Nutrition Program, and more than 13 other organizations.

Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, Gwendelyn Wensloff and Noran Rahim A P R I L


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One of the newest recipients of the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust is the San Luis Obispo County Friends of the Library. The San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library was able to develop a grant that sponsors an internship program for two teenagers from San Luis. Two local San Luis Obispo High School students, Gwendelyn Wensloff and Noran Rahim, were selected as the 2012 interns. Their job as interns is to develop science connections for kids at the library. Through the internship, Wensloff and Rahim will redesign the library’s teen space, update the San Luis Library’s science books and movies, create six science project kits that can be borrowed from the library by families, and work with local mentors to create free hands-on science programs for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. This last component of the grant has already created a lot of buzz in the local community. Kids from all over the county have gathered on Saturdays in the San Luis Obispo Library Community Room to try out animal, earthquake, and ice cream science projects. Gwendelyn and Noran, the teen interns, have led student workshops that help kids try teaching a dog to sit, experience an earthquake’s waves, learn the proper way to work with seeing eye dogs, create an earthquake



proof building, and learn what scientific principles go into making a really good scoop of ice cream. These free science programs for kids have been an exciting way for local kids to be introduced to the amazing world of science and they are not over yet! These programs will continue on Saturdays through the month of May. Through the generosity of the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust children are being exposed to complicated and fascinating concepts of science that they might not have a chance to learn about otherwise. The science internship has also created a first work experience for two area high school students that have talents in science and education. Through this program youth are being introduced to ideas of science, community, and learning. These are things that Harold J. Miossi valued and wanted other San Luis Obispo County residents to feel connected to. During his lifetime, Harold J. Miossi created an indelible mark on our community, and through his Trust, his legacy continues to do so. Free science programs for kids at the San Luis Obispo County Library are continuing

at the SLO County Library Community Room on April 14th and May 19th at 11 a.m. For more information about these programs you can call the San Luis Obispo Library’s Children’s Department at 7815775, or check out the library’s new events calender on their Facebook page. To find

out more information about the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, take a look online at Grant proposals for the upcoming year are due on May 30th, 2012.



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Downtown Cayucos in the early years

chauncey hatch phillips part 2 By Joseph A. Carotenuti


any people are so dependent on the circumstances of the times that they wait until opportunities have passed before they decide, but Mr. Phillips makes circumstances of the times conform to his desires, and is at once ready to reap all the advantages that may arise.

So writes Myron Angel in his indispensable History of San Luis Obispo County (1883). Long before the book’s publication, Chauncey Hatch Phillips had gained an impressive record of civic achievements. Among many efforts, besides bringing the first bank to the community and county, was promoting the first railroad from Avila into San Luis Obispo. It was not long before he decided progress was spelled p-e-o-p-l-e. His story continues. By the mid-1870s, the energetic Phillips was in his last term of office as a Town Trustee in what would become the City of San Luis Obispo



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in 1876. While still representing the small settlement (fewer than 2000 residents), he was a trustee for the Library Association, part owner of the water company, active in the Episcopal Church, had revised the laws of the community, and continued as the cashier for the Bank of San Luis Obispo. Not yet 40, the father of seven (the last child, a son, would be born in 1881) looked beyond the immediate vicinity to begin another career that lasted for the rest of his life—land developer. In a growing county and economy, population increases were essential. A key step was to promote transportation beyond the sea and stagecoach. Phillips embraced and anticipated the inevitable changes promised by the railroads. He provided the by-laws for the recently incorporated San Luis Obispo Rail Road Company (1873) serving as secretary with his brother-in-law as president. The goal of the company was to bring a narrow-gauge railroad into town from Avila at a cost of $140,000. It was one of his few ventures that did not succeed. For a variety of reasons, the undertaking did not result in a new railway. Goodall, Nelson and Perkins absorbed the company and within a year, the narrow-gauge (funded by ample resources from local investors and those in San Francisco) puffed its way into town. Finally, the new City of San Luis Obispo had a rail connection to the world via Port Harford (now Port San Luis)! Indeed, Chauncey—keenly awaiting a booming economy—owned much of the prime land around the eventual depot location and led the drive to raise even more local capital to complete the narrow-gauge. Loren Nicholson’s Rails Across the Ranchos and Gerald Best’s Ships and Narrow-Gauge Rails are necessary books for further study. “Perseverance is not one long race; it is many short races one after another” writes Walter Elliot. While written a century after Phillips’ demise, the quote nonetheless captures his character. For Chauncey, failure was simply one door closing so he could open another. After the railroad attempt, the new door was named Cayucos. When James Cass settled on 320 acres of the original Mexican land grant in the 1860s, his interest was eventually to build a pier, trade goods and accommodate passengers. To Phillips, the pier meant increased numbers of people to service the growing trade as well as the need for acreage for small farms and lots for building homes and businesses. Acquiring title to about 8000 acres, Chauncey was sure to map “broad and straight” streets starting with the mile long Ocean Avenue as the main thoroughfare of 100 feet in width and side streets from 70 to 80 feet wide. Approximately 30 parcels from about 40 to nearly 1000 acres were ready for new families. Extolling the virtues of California, he expended even more praise on the potential resources of the coastal rancho. Cost for “good farms”

COMMUNITY Cayucos Landing in the early days

was from five to twenty-five dollars per acre, he announced, “on terms of one-fourth cash, and the balance in three annual installments, at a low rate of interest per annum.” The appeal was to potential dairy farms. Promising a railroad would soon make its way through the new community (it never came), land prices would skyrocket to “one and two hundred dollars” per acre. Those who came would find a hotel, lumberyard,

carpenter shop and “two stores…two blacksmith shops and two saloons.” Records of sales are scarce but they were enough to convince Phillips he needed to leave banking. He resigned in 1877 and undoubtedly spent a great deal of time researching and writing Southern California (1879), a remarkable, glowing tribute to the Golden State and San Luis Obispo County. Its subtitle promised “A Few Facts of Interest To Tourists and Immigrants” and detailed the geography, climate, and agriculture of the State all destined for “crowning success.” Ten thousand copies were published in San Francisco and distributed elsewhere. Page after page of advertisers is an historical bonus.


“Any one desirous of seeing the world in a nutshell can see it here,” he explained, and then lists eleven former ranchos for sale. While he wasn’t directly involved with all the real estate, he soon became at least a shareholder in several. As an adjunct writing career, he purchased a small local newspaper The South Coast in 1879, renamed it the Southern California Advocate—“Devoted to Progress and Development”—but sold his interest within a year. Land development would leave him little time to write and manage a newspaper. Chauncey Hatch Phillips was certainly a prominent local resident and impressive enough to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the State Railroad Commission. Described as a “strictly temperance man,” he lost to General George Stoneman of the Workingman’s Party. True to character, Phillips simply went on to provide more land for more people. Within ten years he would establish a new town. CONTACT:

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COMMUNITY Hospice corner 34

members, but to hospice organizations across the globe. To me, those who volunteer for endof-life care, travel through life offering to be of service; creating a life that can be described as “a journey with love.” I see our volunteers lead with love time and again as they make new friends with people for whom death is near; greeting them with a new “hello” even while they prepare to say “goodbye.”

The last new friend By Noerena Abookire, Ph.D.


s we quickly approach mid-April, and with it the celebration of National Volunteer Week, I am drawn to write about the many hospice volunteers and the contributions they make; not only to our patients and family

Friendships that are built during the last days, weeks or months of a person’s life, when every moment is cherished, are free from trivia. A direct care hospice volunteer making regular visits is in the position to become the last new friend a terminal patient will have before dying. Not every volunteer assignment allows for the opportunity for

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repeated visits; but for the patients who let hospice services in earlier rather than later, the volunteer often establishes a relationship that can go on for weeks or months, where each visit provides a much needed break from the routine of waiting for the inevitable. These are amazing people who give much more than just time. They give heart-felt energy that comes from an uncanny sensitivity to the importance of providing a break from the routine; a time apart from hours or days filled with juggling emotions. They carry unconditional love through the door; offering compassion and understanding of the challenges patients and families face once a terminal diagnosis has been made. If the relationship lasts weeks or days, the bonds made are deep and lasting, regardless of the amount of time spent together. The level of truth required creates a situation where very real interactions happen and live on long after the patient dies. Simple things like eyes meeting; or sharing a gentle touch of hand upon arm; and books or newspapers read aloud are balanced with rare but incredible opportunities, like helping a grandparent to write love letters to his or her grandchildren. All encounters provide remarkably intimate moments shared by strangers who soon become friends. Meaningless conversations do not exist when time is short. Talks about an election for which the patient may not be around to hear the results; comments on the weather; or even laughing together while watching re-runs of “I Love Lucy” become deep and multi-leveled communications that enhance the lives of both. Even if the time is filled with the volunteer sitting in silence as the patient sleeps, a bond is formed. With or without words, the mere presence of this new person who has been trained and approved by the hospice agency carries tremendous weight. It is a wonderful connection for both; volunteer after volunteer comment that they get so much more from the visits than they give; for they have gained a new friend too; one they will remember as short in days but long in impact. And for many terminally diagnosed patients this is a time when there are fewer visits than expected from old friends and even family members who are not able to face the fact that there is going to be an unwanted change. The fear of the unknown and the discomfort in not knowing how to act does not exist within a trained hospice volunteer. They walk in without any agenda other than to be kind and offer compassion and love. The patient is not disappointing them by being ill, or by dying. There is freshness and an infusion of energy that acknowledges the patient as someone


who is not only still with us, but is deemed valuable enough that visits are gifted without any agenda other than to be of service.



The new relationship affirms that life is still happening and can seem in the moment to be a time when well-being is the norm again. Each visit is a chance to meet one more time and continue to establish a trusting and critical friendship that not only improves the quality of life for both, but lives long after the last breath. That is the way of it; this type of new last friend is forever. Dr. Abookire is the Director of Development and Volunteer Services for Hospice Partners of Southern California in Santa Monica, CA. In her role with this non-profit hospice she has had the honor to work with over 150 direct care volunteers. She was introduced to the importance of the volunteer role in end-of-life care because she had an amazing experience when hospice services helped her walk through the last months of her husband Ray Whitfield’s life. The night before he passed, Jill, the massage therapist who was a volunteer, came and provided him with gentle touch. Ray’s last day was a good day in part because he looked forward to Jill showing up, as she always did, with a smile and the ability to help him feel better. Dr. Abookire believes those who volunteer for hospice are unique and amazing people who carry light and hope with them where it is appreciated and often needed most as “the best medicine possible.”

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD THEME: THE FIFTIES ACROSS 1. Jasmine’s kin 6. Former Soviet Socialist Republics, acr. 9. Fancy marbles used as shooters 13. Are you _ ____ or a hawk? 14. One of Indiana Jones’ quests 15. Having three dimensions 16. Same as mesotron 17. ___ Patrol 18. *First network TV soap ____ debuted in 1950 19. *Overthrown Cuban 21. *Arthur Miller’s wife 23. Jones’ Wall Street partner 24. What Rumpelstiltskin did 25. School support organization 28. Reduced Instruction Set Computer 30. Boiling pot 35. Globes and eyeballs 37. *Site of Egyptian Crisis

39. Dominion 40. Italian currency, pl. 41. Ringworm 43. Lover’s strike 44. Prayer leaders in mosques 46. *One of Ike’s two 47. Pitched at Occupy Wall Street 48. Os 50. Be agitated 52. Sushi sauce 53. Offensively curious 55. Sin over tan 57. *Its launch started the Space Race 61. Thumbelina’s raft 65. Smallest number in a crowd 66. “___ we there yet?” 68. Late Saddam Hussein, e.g. 69. Helped 70. Sheep not yet sheared 71. “Swan Lake” skirts 72. Brooding 73. A.k.a. Tokyo 74. In vertical position

DOWN 1. Mary’s little pet 2. Light bulb over head? 3. ABC’s adventure, 2004-2010 4. Stay clear 5. Book burner, e.g. 6. Mine is yours 7. Irritate 8. Save money on rent, e.g. 9. South American Indian people 10. Cain’s victim 11. Lean like an athlete 12. PET or CAT 15. Little Jack Horner’s spot 20. Do this and shout 22. Black and white sea bird 24. *New York in “Guys and Dolls,” e.g. 25. *Jonas Salk fought it 26. Decorates Christmas tree 27. Biblical Abraham’s original name 29. *”The Man in the Gray Flannel ____” 31. Exam

32. Stories “from the Crypt” 33. Treeless plain 34. E on dashboard 36. 18-wheeler 38. Freezing temperature in Celsius 42. Friends in Italy 45. What cat did on the window sill? 49. Me in Paris 51. *Humbert Humbert’s interest 54. Edible ray 56. Maple tree treat 57. Dateless male 58. *This Yankee was MVP in 1950 59. Pakistan’s official language 60. To abound or swarm 61. Toy building block 62. Liver delicacy 63. Greenish blue 64. Floppy storage device 67. *Color of Scare



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palm street perspective

transparency and clarity in local government By SLO City Vice-Mayor, Dan Carpenter


ike the growing trend around the nation, the citizens of San Luis Obispo expect their government to be transparent about fiscal, safety, and policy issues that affect them. Up until recently, there was very little research done on transparency at the city level. Recent literature on government transparency provides a robust definition that includes sharing substantial and useful information, citizen involvement, being accountable, and open to public scrutiny. The controversy with the City of Bell created a moment where the citizens woke up to what’s possible when citizens don’t know what’s going on in local government, and don’t have access to information to hold elected officials accountable. While the actions of few in the City of Bell were unconscionable, it has had a positive impact on citizens’ curiosity. It is getting better, but it should happen faster with today’s technology. Transparency is the foundation of accountability. It can be a powerful means of promoting efficiency, only when citizens hold its elected officials and public

bodies accountable over how their tax is being spent and decisions are made. Not only does transparency allow people to see where their money goes and what it delivers, it also creates an environment of confidence for those who want to open new businesses and encourage greater innovation and entrepreneurship. Clarity in fiscal disclosures, will act as a trigger enabling local taxpayers to see how their elected officials are appropriating public money, shine a spotlight on waste, and in general bolster the confidence of those who are served. A proper balance between governmental secrecy and open government is at the forefront of contemporary public debate. Citizens have different degrees of interest in and demand for governmental transparency. The responsibility for sharing information that allows for more transparent governance falls squarely on the shoulders of those we elect into public office. We cannot shift that obligation. Open transparency encourages its citizens to get actively involved and engaged in their government. Purposeful and concise communication between government and its citizens is a moral obligation that each of us in public office commit to. A commonly used ten-point transparency checklist is always good practice: 1) Contact information to elected officials readily available on the City’s website, 2) Meeting information completely and clearly made available to public, 3) Public records regarding the activities of government agencies, 4) Budgets for current and previous years, 5) Financial Audits that show how well the government performs on its goals, 6) Expenditures with timely and pertinent information about government operations, 7) Salary and Benefits, as they are the biggest expense for most government agencies, 8) Contracts should be available for review so the public can evaluate the responsible use of taxpayer monies, 9) Lobbying organizations that the government agency belongs to that lobbies on their behalf with other government entities, 10) Taxes and fees should be readily accessible to the citizens so they will know the cost of government and access the value of the services they receive in return. In early January, the City Council reviewed and revised many segments of our Policies and Procedures to insure more accountability and transparency to the public. We continue to adjust those guidelines as issues surface that need addressing. Recently, we’ve addressed how communications from the public to Council are facilitated, and how meetings are conducted with clarity in our voting procedures. These and many other actions we take promote a more open government right here in San Luis Obispo and that in itself better serves the people in our community. I personally value and welcome your input regarding these and any other issues you feel are important to the public. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and concerns ( or 805-431-3174). Dan Carpenter



Journal PLUS



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


W h a t ’s U p New Business News

April 2012

W h a t ’ s

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A r o u n d


D o w n t o w n


the resurrection of Downtown’s historic roots with many of the recently retrofitted buildings now incorporating the original elements of their construction—transom windows, restored wooden flooring, columns, bulkheads—that tie in neatly with upgrades and modern touches.

’ve mentioned before that the one constant in Downtown is change. And I’ve also postulated that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s true. While businesses come and go and the streetscape alters, it’s still Downtown—and people love it. Witness the recent comment by Blake Irving, CPO of Yahoo when asked recently, “You could live anywhere, yet you live in SLO County. What is it that keeps you here, if only part time?”


s we watch this transformation, we at the Downtown Association also have the privilege Deborah Cash, CMSM, of being part of its refinement as seen in the recent Downtown Maintenance, Beautification Executive Director and Lighting project, soon to be completed. The rving responded, “I live in the city of SLO and project area will be graced with turn of the century-style there are so many features here: the climate, the myriad street lamps but will boast upgrades to enhance both the outdoor activities, the incredible downtown…” Irving ‘old’ and the new that make up the continual changing also included the colleges and the community among face of Downtown. If for you, as for Mr. Irving, Downtown the influences that “coalesce to produce some kind of is one of the reasons you love living here, then I can secret elixir that makes people more connected and way assure you, that’s one thing that’s NOT going to change. more active than in other areas.” But note that for Irving— and countless others who list the virtues of the area— long the lines of keeping Downtown beautiful is Downtown is a key factor influencing a major life decision. the Downtown Association Design Committee’s Beautification Awards program. Recently, awards were o my point is, regardless of the ongoing evolution of presented to more than two dozen businesses for their the city’s center, it’s still Downtown. Witness, too,




On the Cover: Tired crews finish up early AM on an all-night sidewalk, curb and gutter concrete pour. The Downtown Maintenance, Beautification and Lighting project construction occurs mainly between 2 AM and 10 AM, reducing the impacts on businesses and visitors. Look for project completion later this month and a Lighting celebration in early May. Many thanks to the cooperative and communicative crews from John Madonna Construction and their subcontractors along with Mark Williams and Bridget Fraser, City of SLO and Downtown Association Tree Lighting vendors Thoma Electric, Mission Community Bank, Greenvale Tree Co., Celestial Lighting, PG&E and California Electric Supply. Photo by Deborah Cash

Bunny Trail Downtown April 5


- 6:00-8:30pm

Hop the bunny trail in Downtown SLO during Thursday Night Promotions Farmers’ Market, visit local businesses and collect candy! Pick up your treat bag and map of participating businesses at the information booth at the corner of Chorro & Higuera streets. Don’t forget to take your photo with E. Bunny in the alcove at Jim’s Campus Camera at 770 Higuera Street! Sponsored by:

More information: (805) 541-0286 or

Health & Fitness Night at Thursday Night Promotions Farmers’ Market

April 26th - 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Live a Healthier Lifestyle Join local health & fitness related agencies on all side streets at the Market Participate in interactive demonstrations, view exciting and fun displays & visit information booths

W h a t ’ s

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A r o u n d

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efforts in aesthetic contributions. The awards ceremony, enant Improvements: Marlow Interiors, Atmodsphere, held March 2, saw a record crowd seeking the coveted alegria wine and ware, Kreuzberg, Ca, Enzo’s East Coast prizes that culminated with the Executive Director’s Eatery, Raku Japanese Fusion Restaurant, Urbane Café, award, given to Arts Obispo’s Art After Dark program, Eureka! Burger, SLOCO Pasty Co., The Wild Donkey Café, the Chairman’s Award, presented to the City of San Luis Davidson’s Furniture and Interiors, the Martin Building. Obispo for its Outdoor Café Signage/Awnings: SLO Museum of Dining Ordinance, and the top Art. Merchandising: Anita’s Pillow prize: Mayor’s Award, given to Pets, SLO Chamber of Commerce, the Stream Building Retrofit and Harlow, Luna Rustica, Minerva, Renovation (corner Chorro and Revolve, Vintage Etc. Maintenance: Monterey housing Moondoggies, Bello Mundo Café, Charles Sal’s, SLOCO Pasty Co. and Bull’s Schwab & Co., Inc., The Parsonage plus upstairs offices). A complete at Old Church Place, The Cuesta listing follows. We hope you Financial Center, Garden Street will take an afternoon and walk Inn, Liberty Café, Mattison Law around to view some of the award Firm, NOVO, Renaissance Salon winners and appreciate their and Boutique, Sidecar, Teaberry efforts. If you figure that this many Yogurt. Community Art: Ian businesses per year are investing Saude Gallery. For a complete in Downtown, along with the listing with addresses and photos, Winner of the prestigious Mayor's Award is the Stream City’s continual care and feeding, visit Building, corner of Monterey and Chorro Streets. Built then we're likely to continue to in 1909, this building was completely renovated inside Stay tuned for a ‘grand lighting exude that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that’s ceremony’ and viewing of the and out with an effort to bring back the structure's been our trademark over time. public improvements soon to be original look along with all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Many original materials were completed…around Downtown. erewith the award reused and many elements were reconstructed to winners (in addition replicate historic features such as transom windows. Photo by Joey Chavez to those listed above):


Light Up Downtown “Downtown Tree Lighting Program”

Now Available A Limited Number of Tree Sponsorships Commemorate a loved one, civic club, business or entity

For information about sponsoring a lighted tree, visit and view the information and map on our home page

N e w

B u s i n e s s

N e w s “Making people feel good about themselves” is why Heiden loves her job. The joy she gets from seeing the positive changes in people after they get their hair done makes everything worth it. Heiden loves everything about her job and says, “I’m at Shift until the day I retire.”

Lauren Heiden, Stylist Shift Hair Salon 1050 Broad Street 805-546-9900 Find them on Facebook: Shift Hair

Lauren Heiden, one of the newest members to the Shift Hair Salon team, has the enthusiasm and passion for hair and has been pleasing her clients at Shift since 2010. Heiden, originally from Massachusetts, received her accreditation at Paul Mitchell Chameleons. After moving to SLO, Heiden renewed her license at SLO Beauty College. Since the day that she arrived in SLO she knew that she wanted to work at Shift Hair Salon and did everything she could to ensure that she made this dream come true. This meant taking an assistant position at the salon, and after a year and a half working as an assistant Heiden was offered her own chair at the salon and took it immediately without looking back.

Brazilian blowouts and highlighting are two of Heiden’s favorite treatments. She uses Kérastase, an exclusive product, on all of her clients and Goldwell when coloring hair. She loves working with clients who like to get adventurous with their hair. Heiden treats all of her clients to a relaxing scalp massage at the beginning of their appointment. She accepts both reservations and walk-ins at Shift Hair Salon on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM – 7 PM and alternates every other Friday and Saturday from 9 AM – 5 PM. By Ally Dahl

dedicated to her clients and to designing through their eyes in order to produce what they are envisioning. “I am very creative and hands on and if we can not find what our clients are looking for we have it made or make it ourselves.”

Marlow Interiors

Lisa Marlow, Owner 1043 Higuera Street 805-594-1877 Marlow Interiors is a full service design firm that creatively and passionately develops and transforms all the projects it takes on. This design firm starts projects from the ground up, so clients can always expect a unique, personal finished product. Lisa Marlow, the owner of Marlow Interiors, has been working as a designer for 33 years. She graduated at the top of her class with a degree in interior design and art history. She started off her career in designing model homes as well as manufacturing handmade wallpaper and currently designs new homes, house remodels, hotels, wine bars and more. Marlow is

Marlow Interiors is a design firm, a retail store and an art gallery displaying Marlow’s own artwork. Marlow describes her taste and style as traditional and eclectic. “I also work in a contemporary style, but my first love are antiques.” In the future, Marlow hopes to host mixers and other events in the store; until then she invites you to come in and check out the store. Marlow Interiors is opened Monday – Tuesday and evenings by appointment and Wednesday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM. By Ally Dahl In August 2010, Buerger opened Altus Wealth Solutions. Altus Wealth Solutions is a unique firm of its type because Buerger uses the Cash Flow Hydrant™, a selfcreated program that helps both business owners and individuals understand what they spend their money on and how much money they have flowing through their fingers. Altus Wealth Solutions specializes in college funding and financial aid, alternative investment strategies, and financial planning for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Altus Wealth Solutions

John D. Buerger, CFP 684 Higuera Street, Suite D 805-476-0333 ®

John Buerger, the owner and manager of Altus Wealth Solutions, is a wealth coach who says he is “helping people make smart choices with money so they can enjoy a better quality of life.” Before becoming a wealth coach, Buerger was a radio personality originally from Los Angeles but has relocated many times throughout his life due to his radio career. His last and final move was to Atascadero where he currently resides. There, Buerger started a family and decided to quit his radio job. In 1993, Buerger and his wife opened Accents, a custom picture frame and home décor store. Accents has been extremely successful which led many people to ask Buerger for business advice which in turn evolved into his career as a wealth coach.

Buerger says his number one financial tip is “to be conscious with your money and to realize that every dollar you spend on one thing you can’t spend on anything else.” To get more tips like this check out his website which has links to his blog and his social media accounts. Buerger also encourages and welcomes business and individuals to meet with him in person. Altus Wealth Solutions is opened Monday – Friday 9 AM – 5 PM. By Ally Dahl



Our Schools:

two community issues impacting schools By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


am often asked what a community can do to have good schools. For our schools to be consistently effective there must be a three-way partnership. The three partners are our schools, the family and the community. Our goal should be that all three of the partners are working together for the success of all students. As in any successful partnership, there should be shared values, respect among the partners, a willingness to work outside the boundaries of our areas of responsibility, and sharing of resources. The importance of the partnership between the school and family is generally well accepted. Close communication and sharing of expectations between the school and family usually results in a positive school experience for the student. However, the importance of a partnership between the school and the community might not be so apparent. Here are two examples, one from housing and one from health, of how our local community is assisting students to be successful in school.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING The issue of affordable housing in our county is certainly not a new one, but it continues to impact children daily. When we hear about the problems facing the homeless in the county, we may not know that a surprising number of the homeless in our county are children. Last year, the best estimate is that almost 1,800 of the estimated 3,700 homeless persons were under the age of 18, with most being of school age between 6 and 18. This means that approximately 1,000 students do not have a stable and secure home on any given school night. The negative impact of this uncertainty and family stress on children is obvious. How can we expect students in this situation to attend to their academic tasks? It should come as no surprise that this lack of a consistent place to return to each day after school is a precursor to truancy and dropping out of school.

We are fortunate to have several local groups (public and community based) that are working daily to increase the supply of affordable housing, particularly for low-income residents. The San Luis Obispo Housing Authority, the Paso Robles Housing Authority, Peoples Self Help Housing, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County and the Housing Trust Fund are some of these groups. For example, The Housing Trust Fund is able to secure government grants and loans from local banks to provide financing for private and public providers of affordable housing for families. Over the last ten years, the Housing Trust Fund has assisted in the financing of 225 low income units, many serving families with children. Hopefully, this attention to increasing the supply of affordable housing will also decrease the number of children who are homeless and is one example of how a community can assist students to be successful in school.

schools to provide exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and parent education. These vans are operated by the Community Health Centers of the Central Coast. The primary focus of these community efforts is to establish good oral health practices and habits in the early years (preschool and early grades) for fewer missed days of school later and lifelong dental health. With both affordable housing and good oral health, we have some local examples of community partners helping students to be successful in school.

DENTAL and ORAL HEALTH More students are absent from school due to dental and oral health problems than from any other illness or disease. We also know there are children who come to school each day with discomfort and pain from tooth or gum disease that impairs their ability to concentrate. The lack of affordable dental care for many families means that they simply do not have access to a dental home for their children which in turn can have a negative impact on the child’s education. Again a group of community partners including local dentists, school districts, the County Public Health Department, the Community Health Centers, the First Five Commission and others have formed a Coalition to address the major barriers to better children’s oral health in the county. Some of the accomplishments of this Coalition include early screening for oral health problems in many of our public preschools; the screening of almost 1,000 children ages 1-5 at local clinics; dental health education provided to parents; two mobile dental vans visit local A P R I L


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Homeowners Specialist

Insuring what you value most

SHAWN MINTON SHAWN MINTON Multiple Line LineBroker Broker•·Lic# Lic#OF43815 OF43815 Multiple

1042 Pacific Street, Suite E

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 office 805.546.8113 office 805.546.8113 AU • HOME LIFE ••COmmErCiAL HEALTH AuTO tO • HOmE • LifE ••HEALtH

Barefoot Momease Wellness Spa Lillie King

Organic Skin Care and Therapeutic Massage 23 Years Experience San Luis Obispo, CA 805-801-9699

Member of American Massage Therapy Association

New marian regional medical center dedicated

The new Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC) was dedicated last month and will open officially in April. The $218 million dollar project offers a state-of-the-art facility that is the showcase of what our medical centers will look like in the future. MRMC has more than 200,000 square feet of spacious rooms that look more like a Ritz Carlton Hotel than a hospital. If you get a chance, go take a look at this beautiful facility.

annual morro bay parade and kite festival


John Kimball

109 South Street SLO, CA 93401

“Specializing in Honesty and Integrity”

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


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

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Once a year, the sky over Morro Bay comes to life as hundreds of colorful kites take flight during the annual Morro Bay Parade and Kite Festival. This year’s event will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. The events begin Saturday with a 10 a.m. parade on Morro Bay Boulevard, and move at 11:30 a.m., to the waterfront parking lot at iconic Morro Rock. Members of the Salinan Tribe will offer the “Blessing of the Wind,” followed immediately by the launch of the kites. Throughout the weekend, professional kite wranglers and pilots will demonstrate their aerial acrobatics to music, flying kite trains and spinning turbines. The first 400 children in attendance at the kite festival will be given a free kite to decorate at the Central Coast Funds for Children Tent. The kite festival runs until 5 p.m. on Saturday and continues 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For more information go to or call the Morro Bay Chamber at 800-231-0592.

casa walk for the child fundraiser

Walk around Atascadero Lake, music, bounce houses, post-walk BBQ and raffle prizes for the walkers! Everyone who raises a minimum of $100 gets a t-shirt, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 14th. For more information and to sign up, go to Funds raised at the CASA Walk for the Child are used for recruiting, screening, training and supervising volunteer advocates.



Pacific Oak Foreclosure Services INC

Lynn R. CoopeR PresIdeNt

711 tank Farm road • suite 100 san Luis Obispo, CA 93401 teL (805) 544-9242 • CeLL (805) 235-0493 FAX (805) 543-7838 eMAIL

new complimentary meeting room in slo

Last month Santa Barbara Bank and Trust held an open house and ribbon cutting at its new complimentary meeting room available for non-profits. The meeting room is located on the third floor at 997 Monterey Street, SLO. The spacious room has more than 5000 sq. feet of space for meetings and seminars. For more information on the room call SPOKES Membership Manager, Lindsey Haring at 547-2244.

morro bay aauw annual garden tour

The Morro Bay American Association of University Women’s annual garden tour will be held on Sunday April 29th, from noon to 5. Five gardens in Morro Bay and Los Osos will be featured in the selfguided tour. Tickets are $10. The proceeds are used to support local educational and community based programs. Tickets may be purchased at all Miner’s Hardware stores, Farm Supply SLO, Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay, and any AAUW member of the Morro Bay Branch. For more information, or call 805-748-4731.


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

Liz Hiatt Owner



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

SLO/South County/Avila: Liz Hiatt: 773-6418

North County: Sandy Hexberg: 238-1529

templeton community library fundraiser

“An Affair to Remember,” 3rd annual fashion show and luncheon to benefit building the new Templeton Community Library, Saturday April 28, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Robert Hall Winery, 3443 Mill Rd., Paso Robles. Don’t miss this exciting show, hot and haute stylish fashion for all ages modeled by loyal supporters, accompanied by delectable food and music, with honorary MC Supervisor Frank Mecham. Tickets $35, Contact Templeton Community Library Assn 805-434-0069 or www.

crossword S O L U T I O N S Exterior & Interior Plastering

Custom Homes and Patch Repairs · Free Estimates · Call or stop by

Terry Evans, President

4180 Vachell Lane · San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805/541-4750 · 805/541-4118 FAX · CA LIC#759246




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805.783.4000 phone 805.235.0463 cell 805.783.4005 fax 711 Tank Farm Rd., Ste. 100 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

hind foundation awards $20,000 to festival mozaic

252 Higuera Street San Luis Obispo (805) 541-TIRE San Luis Obispo’s Best Kept Secret Power Carts Senior Discount (55) • 10 Play C ards • Tournaments Welcome • •

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

11175 Los Osos Valley Road, SLO

D ressing Windows in San Luis Obispo for over 39 Years

Alan “Himself” A P R I L

alan’s draperies 544-9405 2012

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The Hind Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to Festival Mozaic to underwrite artistic fees for musicians performing during the 2012 Summer Festival, July 11-22. This is the first year the Hind Foundation has funded this program. Under the direction of Music Director Scott Yoo, Festival Mozaic draws players from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony and other orchestras across the country. “A partnership between Festival Mozaic and the Hind Foundation is a natural fit due to our shared belief that great art provides a means for expression, inspiration, cultural awareness and fulfillment,” said Festival Mozaic Executive Director Bettina Swigger. “The Festival promotes the expansion and awareness of music in our community by presenting artistic experiences of unparalleled artistic quality.” Each summer, more than 7,000 attendees enjoy Festival Mozaic concerts. More information is available at or by phone (805) 781-3009 / (877) 881-8899.

books: death on the silk road

Charlie Connelly is a contemporary traveler’s tale of international intrigue involving an ordinary man facing extraordinary circumstances in a highly unusual location. Charlie Connelly, a retired international executive with tenuous ties to the Central Intelligence Agency finds himself on a consulting project for a global banking corporation assigned to a mining project in the remote Tien Shan Mountains of newly independent Kazakhstan. A silent killer with obscure motives threatens Connelly and a group of mis-matched international specialists who are isolated by a blinding snowstorm. As members of the project begin to disappear, Connelly’s handler at Langley attempts to sort out the identities and motives of an indigenous Islamic group competing with China and Russia for the oil and rare mineral deposits in the resource-rich Kazakh Republic. Russell Miller, winner of the American Authors Association Silver Quill Award for his previous novel The Spy with a Clean Face, relies on his extensive international experience traveling to over 100 countries to craft a complex geopolitical thriller ripped from today’s headlines. The book is available on, in print & Kindle.



eye on Business thank you, norm

By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates


or years, visitors and residents entering downtown San Luis Obispo from the Marsh Street exit were welcomed by the tantalizing aromas of Old Country Deli. From bbq’ed ribs to handcrafted hams and homemade salads, the deli was a landmark and a local favorite. And when the deli’s founder and foodie master Norm Eggen passed away recently, he left behind far more than just memories of great cooking. Norm had a profound effect on our community.

Norm originally moved here with his wife, Mary, for a position in Cal Poly’s Animal Science Department. The couple had three young children when Mary, a beloved local ER nurse, was herself diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Norm was now a single dad and the founder of Old Country Deli, where he put his hands-on knowledge about meat preparation to work. In addition to managing his own grief, he tackled the challenges of raising three children under the age of ten while owning and operating a small business. But it didn’t stop there. By all accounts the most devoted dad ever (and it shows in his now-grown children), Norm was also a giving boss and a generous community supporter. Old Country Deli was a first job for hundreds of local kids, and Norm took them under his wing, teaching them the business and taking personal interest in their 4-H, sports, student government and other activities. With his support came mountains of food donations and fundraising BBQ’s. Norm’s giving spirit was legend in San Luis Obispo. When the Cuesta College Foundation hosted a period-authentic BBQ at the Avila Ranch, Norm stepped up and donated his time, a crew, and food at cost. He pored over old recipes and went the extra mile to create something special. He took care of more Cal Poly BBQ’s and wedding celebrations and family parties than can be counted.

Norm with family and Deli Crew

Norm Eggen

I met Norm in 1984 and was charmed by his big bear hug of a personality and his easy friendliness. We became fast friends and unfortunately for Norm, that meant when I was involved in some charity event or auction and the inevitable “Will Old Country Deli help?” question arose, I made the call. He never said no. Never. One of the most touching times Norm helped out was for the funeral service of a young man we knew. Norm insisted on providing the food needed for several hundred people—all at no charge. His generosity was extended even when times were tight and business was faltering. He gave food where he could and always donated his time at no charge. For many years Norm was one of the backbones of what is today the SLO Downtown Association. He volunteered time and effort to help create and operate the Thursday night activities. Old Country Deli provided the caboose on the train of BBQ’s that lined Higuera. Norm always worked the grill personally, meeting and greeting while he flipped ribs and tri tip with ease. He was just a gregarious, fun guy and he was fiercely proud of being many-times-over the winner of the rib cook-off. Norm closed the deli a few years ago to focus on catering. All three of his children helped grow the business and tell fond and funny stories of life with a ham-making Dad who valued hard work but prized family above all else. Norm Eggen was a wonderful man who left us far too soon. If you’d like to do a little something to remember him, take a look at the Old Country Deli website, and consider purchasing a jar of Norm’s secret recipe “Rib Round Up.” It’s loaded with good memories and good mojo. And it tastes great. A P R I L


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COMMUNITY THIS month serves up Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, Egg Salad Week,

APRIL Almanac By Phyllis Benson “Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” —P.J. O’Rourke

APRIL FOOL’S DAY is here with BMW funny car ads, Google logo pranks, and Wall Street Journal spoofs.

and Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month.

LOS ANGELES hosts the 10th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational

in a quest for the perfect Grilled Cheese Sammich. Chefs start with the basic bread, butter, and cheese. Then they get creative with gourmet ham, fresh veggies, and anything else that makes the stomach growl happy.

APRIL tees off with the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Masters winner Jack Nicklaus said, “Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20 percent of the time, you’re the best.” PLAYER Lee Trevino said, “My swing is so bad, I look like a caveman killing his lunch.”

THE best April foolery is savored by both the trickster and the tricked. CENTENNIAL: In April, 1912, the passenger liner Titanic sank on her

maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Over a thousand people lost their lives.

QUASQUICENTENNIAL: The Hearst Corporation celebrates its 125th anniversary. In 1887, William Randolph Hearst appeared on the masthead of the San Francisco Examiner, a small newspaper acquired by Hearst’s father as repayment on a gambling debt. 55 YEARS ago Hearst Castle was deeded to the State of California.

Friends of Hearst Castle raise money for restoration and preservation projects with special tours as well as movie showings on the five-story theater screen.

MARATHON MONDAY: The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, draws world competitors. Runners train months for the April 16 race. TAX TUESDAY: Our accountant says his clients delay for months, making them eligible as last-minute sprinters for the April 17 deadline. JAY LENO said, “Worried about an IRS audit? Avoid what’s called a red flag. That’s something the IRS always looks for. For example, say you have some money left in your bank account after paying taxes. That’s a red flag.” EARTH DAY is April 22. CALIFORNIA festivals celebrate cherry blossoms, strawberries, apple

APRIL is National Garden Month. Replace high-care plants with low-

blossoms, and asparagus. Our tour guide says pack the tissues and allergy meds. April breezes bring pollen sneezes.

NATIVE California poppies are self-seeding. Our gardener says just

APRIL 26 is Administrative Professionals Day. Created in 1952, the event honors secretaries and other administrative personnel.

care native flowers and grasses.

pop them with a weed-whacker and wait for spring.

NATIONAL Library Week promotes library use and support. AUTHOR Sandra Cisneros said, “I always tell people that I became a

writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library. I wanted to become a writer so I could see my name in the card catalog.”

WEBSTER: What did the spider do inside the library computer? It made a Web page.



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APRIL brings out birds, flowers, and butterflies. Plus kids and dogs searching the yard for colored eggs and Easter bunnies. Break out the jelly beans and enjoy a spring break.

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April 2012 Journal Plus  

April 2012 Journal Plus

April 2012 Journal Plus  

April 2012 Journal Plus