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JournalPLUS JUNE 2014





21 Santa Rosa Street #100 San Luis Obispo

110 E. Branch Street Arroyo Grande

Larry D. Smyth

Jennifer Hamilton


Relocation Director

Inviting, Large 3 bedroom 2 bath home in a quiet Santa Maria neighborhood. Graceful, private gated courtyard leads to the double door entry. Linda Aiello-Madison Large living, family and formal dining rooms boast high vaulted ceilings with Broker-Associate fans giving this home a very room feel! Nice size shed/workshop is included. Large side paved area with gate for your ‘toys’ or dog run. $339,000

Sweet Templeton Single Level 3 bedroom 1 bath. Nice Neighborhood, Westside Location, Move-in Condition. Fully Landscaped, including several cool shade trees. Beautiful “Lone Oak” in the private fenced backyard. Easy to see! Priced to sell at $339,000

Ken Arritt

Valerie Simpson


Twila Arritt





Simone Viola


Conveniently located just minutes from shopping areas, beaches and championship golf courses. This lovely Two-story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home provides a spacious living room with a self-starting, heat venting fireplace. There is a private from court yard, private rear arbor and a bonus covered, patio area. $465,000

Costa Bella, 3 Bedroom 2 bath home in a private cul-desac neighborhood. Close to the BEACH and Shopping. $465,000


Mary Rosenthal REALTOR®

Carol Beard

Laura Pyzer

Pamela Bliss

Richard Potter





Colonial style Berry Gardens Beauty. Great location. Close to the Beach and just about everything you need. Well cared for 3 bedroom 2 bath home, has been tastefully landscaped for low maintenance living. $549,900

Theresa Carroll

Where else would you find a Vineyard, home, & 3.76 acres with fully insulated 4900+ square foot steel shop plus living quarters in a rural setting close to downtown. 400 AMP 3 phase power, two 14 x 16 roll up doors + one 10 x 18 door. Dry farming Zinfandel grapes. Deep rooted vines are over ten years old. Electric gate. Steel shop could be car collector’s dream. $1,500,000


Jerry Collins REALTOR®

Deane Naylor REALTOR®

Paddy Doron REALTOR®

Patricia Garrison REALTOR®

Vicky Hall REALTOR®

David Hamilton REALTOR®

Linda Irigaray REALTOR®

Annette Mullen REALTOR®





Edison French, M.D. brings leading edge medicine to San Luis Obispo

French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) leads the region and opens their first Cardiac Center

FHMC installs the most advanced stateof-the-art technology in the new Copeland, Forbes & Rossi Cardiac Care Center

FHMC is named one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Truven Analytics



The most advanced surgical suite between Los Angeles and San Francisco


1911 Johnson Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93401



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, Will Jones, Deborah Cash, Ray Cauwet, Leslie Jones, Gordon Fuglie, Kathy Smith, Vicki León, Ruth Starr, Heather Young, and Courtney Haile. 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 a free monthly distributed to over 600 locations throughout the Central Coast and is also available online at Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE. Cover photo by Tom Meinhold


8 10 12 14 16 18


HOME & OUTDOOR 20 22 24 26


COMMUNITY 28 29 30 32 34 36 41







Journal PLUS

A proud tradition of serving our community for over 30 years

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Private and upscale

Franciscan built home in De Tolosa Ranch. Single level three bedroom home with detached guest unit with full bath. Home has many upgrades including professional landscape, updated kitchen, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, kitchen island, huge master with two closets, soaking tub, shower, & dual vanity sinks. Directly behind the house is the Irish Hills Natural Reserve with miles of trails. The house has a private patio and backyard which complement the open floor plan for entertaining. $799,000 #3222

Modern Luxury with an Historic Twist

ARROYO GRANDE – Located within walking distance to the historic Village of Arroyo Grande, this beautiful single level 3 bed/2 bath home is nestled in a cul-de-sac with incredible views and has been remodeled from head to toe. All new Milgard windows, rich handscraped hickory wood floors & tile throughout, new roof, new exterior paint, all new interior doors, entire kitchen remodeled complete with hand-made cherry wood cabinets and beautiful fixtures. New furnace and back fence! Don’t miss the fully paved driveway! Top it off with the entire interior textured, primed and custom painted. All this home needs now is a new owner! $499,999 #3227

SAN LUIS OBISPO – This 2007 Victorian-

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Single level, custom built and meticulously maintained home at the top of the cul-de-sac with privacy and views. Vaulted ceilings bring in abundant natural light and the impressive fireplace and wet-bar make it ideal for entertaining. Plenty of parking and storage, and professionally landscaped with mature trees... This is a property you will not want to miss! $829,000 #3228

inspired custom home comes equipped with more than meets the eye. The main house is 3 beds, 3 full baths, bonus room and elevator ready. Wired for security system and surround sound, hardwood and stone floors, vaulted ceilings, stainless appliances and central vac! Attached is a studio with full kitchen and bath, hardwood floors and private entrance! Detached is a 3 car garage with one conversion into storage, and a nice apartment above with fireplace and private patio! This two story beauty was also awarded for New Construction in a Residential Neighborhood $1,549,000 #3216

PASO ROBLES – Spectacular 3200 sq. ft. 4 bedroom 3 bath home ready to move in! This home features upgrades throughout including hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless appliances and much more! Lovely front deck, loads of natural light inside, high ceilings, spacious formal living and dining room, large bathrooms and much more! $545,000 #3224

Breathtaking Views

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Spectacular views from

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Very nice home, updated kitchen, appliances, flooring, three bedrooms, 2 baths on main level with 4th bedroom and 3rd bath on upper level. Numerous flowers and plants highlight a very large private rear yard. Close to schools, shopping, golf course, and Laguna Lake. $629,000 #3220

this 4 bedroom 3 bath home in the Monterey Heights area. Upgrades include new deck in front and back, beautiful outdoor kitchen, new master bedroom w/ sitting room & wet bar. The spa like master bath includes two walk in showers, steam room, and jetted bathtub. Hardwood flooring. Limestone countertops & backsplash in kitchen w/ Viking fridge & 6 burner stove. This is a must see. $849,000 #3230

LOS OSOS – Well kept 4 bedroom home in the desirable Redfield Woods area. Large 4th bedroom with separate entrance is plumbed and could be guest quarters, home office, artist studio, etc. Check with city. This property is nicely landscaped with two separate yards. $415,000 #3212

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


What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. JOSEPH ADDISON

Virginia Kennedy and MLK President, Mary Matakovich

Call us at

805-541-5800 to schedule an appointment

MLK Boardmember, Robert Flores honoring, Al Amaral of the Elks Club



MLK Boardmember, Robert Flores with President’s Award winner, Al Gordon


am proud to be a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) High School Memorial Scholarship Committee, now in its 46th year. This year eleven $1100 scholarships and one $1300 scholarship were awarded (eight of the 12 winners pictured). The funds generated come from an annual Chicken BBQ in San Luis Obispo each Super Bowl Sunday (Put Sunday, February 1st on your calendar now and contact me for tickets). The students fill out an application for the potential scholarship and committee members interview the finalists. It’s amazing what these students have accomplished at such an early age. There is no doubt that the future of this community is in good hands. At the MLK award ceremony last month, four recognition awards were given out. Brittney Stockdale and Virginia Kennedy received the Directors Award for their continued support of the program. The SLO Elks Club received the Community Service Award for their generosity each year, and Al Gordon received the President’s Award for his countless hours of volunteering . In this month’s issue we feature three women and three men that make a difference on the Central Coast, beginning with our cover story on Amy Kardel. Amy has a hectic schedule with four children to raise, is active on several non-profit boards, runs her own IT business and still has made time to house and visit exchange students. You’ll enjoy this amazing woman’s story and the other five inside.


PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Infusion 6/1 • 6 p.m. Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre Presented by Cal Poly Theatre & Dance

Disney Mania: DPAC Summer Rec ital 2014 6/21 • 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre Presented by DPAC

RSVP XIX: Vox Balaena 6/3 & 6/5 • 8 p.m.

Encore! CORE 6/22 • 4 p.m.

PAC Pavilion Presented by Cal Poly Music Dept.

Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre Presented by CORE Dance

Wind Bands' Spring Conc ert: Raise the Roof! 6/6 • 8 p.m.

Marisela 6/28 • 7 p.m.

Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Music Dept.

Symphony Spring Concert with the Cal Poly Choirs 6/7 • 8 p.m. Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Cal Poly Music Dept.

Christopher Cohan Center Presented by Monarca

Started from the Bottom 6/28 • 7 p.m. & 6/29 • 2 p.m. Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre Presented by Ryan's American Dance




One Clever Duck:

amy kardel

“it’s the little things...” By Susan Stewart


he best advice Amy Kardel doles out to those who might aspire to her kind of success is … Wait for it: that the best advice from others might not be best for you. “The most difficult challenge we face,” says this business owner and mother of four, “is learning how to filter the truth from the noise.”

As Clever Ducks (the small business IT company she co-owns with her husband, Peter) enters its 23rd year in business, and as her four children explore their teenage years, Kardel can claim the wisdom behind that comment. Born one of two daughters to Bob and Karen Kile—retired structural engineer and executive director of SLO Museum of Art respectively—Amy describes her childhood in the idyllic style typical of kids raised in San Luis Obispo. “My mom, grandmother and great grandmother were great gardeners,” she said. “I spent lots of time in the garden … in the creeks building forts … and in the library where I remember the children’s librarian, Liz Krieger, who always knew what we should read next!” When she was 12, the whole family sailed to Mexico in a “beautiful schooner” her father built. At 15, Amy was an exchange student to Germany. And she was active in Girl Scouts, the Morro Bay Junior Yacht Club, and the International Club at SLO High School. “These were the roots of my community service ethic,” she says, “as well as my global and sailing interests.” Kardel’s education began with a BA in German Studies from Cal Berkeley in 1990. She then went on to earn an MA in Germanic Languages and Literatures, and did post graduate work in business at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Kardel started her own business, Global Accent Translation Services, in 1992.

Described by their website as a company that “designs, builds and supports computer networks for small and medium sized busi-

Peter and Amy in China, with their four children and host son, Weijun Song, in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics.

Peter and Amy Kardel J U N E

Amy met Peter Kardel in high school but, though they had many of the same friends, they didn’t date until after college. “I always thought he was cute,” she admits. Together, they birthed four children: Jorgen, 11; Sophie, 14; Erik, 16; and Haven, 17; as well as Clever Ducks (which began life as Computer Network Services) in 1992.


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nesses,” their solutions are focused on: Enhanced Communication, Business Process and Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, and Data Management. A multi-award-winning company, Clever Ducks was cleverly re-named, inspired by the collaborative and efficient Vformation demonstrated in nature by … clever flying ducks. “With such a natural tendency for cooperation,” says Kardel, “these social animals have something valuable to teach us about teamwork and compassion and we thought they were a great metaphor for how we work.” Taking another cue from nature, where survival is enhanced when insects and animals work together for the good of the species, Kardel is also a big believer in supporting her community as a whole, not just in business. That old saw that says if you want something done, ask a busy person, must have come into being to describe Amy. She leads, chairs, or is a board member and participant in an uncountable number of local events and organizations, including: The Chamber of Commerce, where she helped write the first San Luis Obispo Technology Report; mentor and project sponsor for Cal Poly Business students; and the “Make SLO Fast” campaign which lobbied to bring Google Fiber to our city. She is also a major supporter of the arts, donating time and money regularly to the Performing Arts Center, the SLO Symphony, the SLO Museum of ART, and the SLO Community Foundation. Amy is involved in helping others in the IT industry. She is active in three international computer organizations that help other IT businesses do their best, and serves on the board of directors of CompTIA. Globally, Kardel is an active member of the American Field Service, hosting foreign exchange students since 2004; the Teach Foundation; Rotary International Youth Exchange; and the International Service Project serving children in Malawi, Africa. “Some people collect things,” she explains. “We collect people!”

Amy and Peter with the team that helped realize their new office on Broad Street. (L-R) Jeff Martin, Pierre Rademaker, Amy, Leah Pauly, Peter, Bill Thoma and Claire Clark.

circles and I think that gives us a special opportunity to build relationships and make our world just a little bit better.” Looking ahead, Kardel is planning a trip to Romania with her daughter this fall, “… to help a sister church in its service to others less fortunate.” And down the road? “Our former exchange students are all in college or just finishing up, so I suspect we’ll be attending some international weddings!” Meantime, Kardel vows not to miss a thing. “You can’t skip the little things,” she says. “The little things you do for other people, the little things you do day after day, the little things that almost always are the key to bigger successes. They matter.”

All this, while raising four children, running a household, and leading a business. Her secret? Spend a little time each day diving deeply into a subject, she advises, and eventually you’ll be an expert. “Trust yourself to be an expert,” she adds. While she certainly has international leanings, Kardel is like Oz’s Dorothy, believing there’s no place like home, no place quite like San Luis Obispo. “It’s my hometown so I love seeing friends and family everywhere we go. In a day, I can run into anyone from my second grade teacher, to business leaders at Rotary or at a Boy Scout meeting. Our community is tightly connected through these overlapping


Amy and her international sons who spent a year with her family and attended SLO High School.

For Tickets: visit or call (805) 541-6797



Journal PLUS



jack artusio artist, pianist, teacher By Will Jones


n his youth, local artist and classical pianist Jack Artusio received guidance to develop his talents from two important sources: his parents and an elementary school teacher. One of ten children growing up in Palos Verdes, as early as kindergarten Jack enjoyed “finger painting with all the bright bowls of color.” Soon his father encouraged him to start freehand drawing, and by the time he was in 3rd grade he was working with watercolors and oils.

“One of the nuns at St. John Fisher, Sister Cecilia, started looking at my work. She began tutoring me after school, doing life drawings modeled on Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael. It had a really big influence on me. She told me to draw my family while we were watching television at night.” Jack also found inspiration in the landscape of Palos Verdes, especially the cliffs near the ocean. By the time he was in eighth grade, Jack was teaching art classes to kids in the neighborhood. His siblings were into music, and at the time he listened to the Beatles and played guitar, but art was his passion. “In high school I got a scholarship to the LA Arts Center, where I took the life drawing classes. I also became interested in the surrealist work of Salvador Dali.” After three years at Rolling Hills High School, Jack spent his senior year at Palos Verdes High School and then moved to Morro Bay in the early seventies. He fell in love with the ocean landscapes of Cayucos and San Simeon. He started showing his work right after Linnaea’s Café opened in San Luis Obispo. “I was primarily into surrealism, representational work with a twist.” As the years went by, Jack became disillusioned with representational, realistic art. He became more influenced by abstract artists like Francis Bacon, Richard Diebenkorn and

Willem de Kooning. He stopped showing his work for eleven years. “I started working at the California Men’s Colony and at Atascadero State Hospital under the arts and corrections program. There were restrictions on the type of art we could do. I moved straight to abstract painting. I’d become a slave to lifelike drawing and painting, and I saw the patients and inmates leaning in that direction, not wanting break out and expand. We started working with just the properties of the paint, loading up the paint on palette knives and the lids of the cans, getting accidental happenings and then working with the accidents. I felt so much more liberated, joyous, carefree, the spontaneity I remembered from being a kid.” Jack still depends on his early training and he also values his study of art history, learning who influenced the artists who influenced him. “For example, Picasso turning to Cezanne, copying his harlequins and bringing them into his own style. We’re not really creating in a vacuum. It’s so important to see where we fit in.” Jack took a lot of classes at Cuesta, including a couple of years of art history with Bob Pelfrey. The Chumash culture has always influenced Jack’s work, and his new show, which opens at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo on June 1st, is called “Meditations from Tishlini,” a reference to the Chumash name for San Luis Obispo and the Mission area. “I see the new paintings as meditations, portals into the past, the people who were here before us, which is the theme of the show.” Thirteen large paintings will be displayed on the walls and smaller works on the partition throughout the month and for Art After Dark on June 6th. Jack’s home, which is also his studio, will be featured in the Open Art studio tour this year. Jack and I talked about how age and experience changes the creative process in terms of freedom and less concern about public reaction. “I want to paint what isn’t seen, I want to create



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out of the principles of art: light, dark, big, small, color-saturated grays … I find that to be very challenging but very rewarding. I feel excited about moving into and continuing with this work, working with the accidents. I find myself influenced by Van Gogh recently, with all the texture and freedom. He went through so much and you can see that he found something that saved his life and gave him the only real enjoyment he had. I find him tremendously inspiring, and I feel the same way about the indigenous culture here, which I respect and revere.” In addition to art, Jack studied classical piano for over ten years at Cal Poly with Dr. Terry Spiller and he gives lessons to local students. He has raised two daughters, Shenna, who attends Otis Art School in Los Angeles, and Li Li, a student at San Luis Obispo High School. Looking forward, Jack hopes his art will help to “transcend some of the negative aspects of the human condition and try to get into the whole spectrum of color and joy that you see in artists like Van Gogh and Picasso. It’s the idea of looking at art or listening to music or poetry that gets you off of the negativity and into the infinite creativity. Art work that turns me on takes me away from the burdens, allows me for the moment to say, ‘Wow, look at that.’ It’s not even a conscious thought, just that something works. That’s what drew me in as a kid, and that’s what I’m back to now, something outside the ordinary that I’m allowed to connect with. It’s what I call ‘joie de paint,’ the freedom to explore and discover.” When my wife and I were first married over thirty years ago, we lived in a small apartment on Morro Street between Pismo and Buchon. Sometimes while walking the neighborhood, we’d hear beautiful classical piano music coming from an unknown pianist in another nearby apartment. Turns out it was Jack Artusio, doing then what he continues to do now: add artistic beauty and wonder to life on the Central Coast.

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Bill O’neil

on his role in space exploration Part 2 of 2 – “We give it our all” By Natasha Dalton

“One of the surest ways to bring wealth and prosperity to the country is to innovate in science and technology.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson William O’Neil took charge of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Mission Design Section after working on the Surveyor Lunar Lander and successfully leading navigation teams on the Mariner 9 and Viking Projects. His department produced preliminary designs for future missions and—after receiving approval from NASA, Washington D.C. and the Advisory Boards—refined and finalized them. “There was more effort needed to secure the resources than to actually do the work,” O’Neil says, referring to the process. “Every time the architecture of a project was created, it underestimated how much money and time it would take.” However, the Shuttle and Apollo had a blank check. Apollo was Kennedy’s trump card in the space race, therefore, everyone doing something for Apollo, had a blank check. This certainly helped the Surveyor mission, since it was launched on Apollo. In comparison, Galileo—a mission which sent a spacecraft to Jupiter and its satellites—had a much more complicated route to success, both literally and figuratively. The spacecraft carried onboard an orbiter to transmit pictures of Jupiter to Earth, and a probe to study the Jovian atmosphere. Creating equipment that could withstand storms, raging for hundreds of years, with bolts of lightning stretching for thousands of miles, and winds blowing at 400 mph, required a real feat of engineering ingenuity. Same goes for the launching system that had to be able to generate enough energy to bring the spaceship to the escape velocity.

A special high-energy booster had to be added to the launch vehicle. The original idea of building a 3-stage booster specifically designed for planetary voyage appeared to be too difficult (and too expensive) to build. Meanwhile, the government insisted that this first planetary mission had to be launched by the Shuttle. “The Shuttle was presented to Congress as something that could do everything; up-and-down, nothing to it,” O’Neil comments. “That was the most over-sold and over-rated program ever.” Indeed, recycling the parts returning from space proved to be problematic, and the Shuttle was constantly battling engine and tile problems. So much so, that Galileo couldn’t be launched in 1992 as scheduled. “We had to wait a few years for the next opportunity,” explains O’Neil, who in 1980 became Galileo’s Science and Mission Design Manager. While the Shuttle’s troubles caused delays and multiple re-programmings of the mission, the Galileo team kept looking for fixes. It tried splitting its mission into two by separating the launches of the orbiter and the probe; it also looked into using a Russian launcher and the Centaur rocket—but had to abandon the latter due to cost concerns. The third re-programming, in early 1982, directed JPL to design a third stage for an Air-Force launcher, but a few months later, Congress changed its collective mind once again: “Galileo must be launched by the Shuttle,” the politicians insisted. They also wanted (the previously dismissed) Centaur to be on that launcher as the high-energy booster for interplanetary flight. Back to the drawing board! After nine months of working on other options, the team was ordered to do yet another reprogramming and get ready for launch in May 1986. And JPL delivered. “In December of 1985 we sent the spacecraft down to the Kennedy Space Center. Centaur was also there. We were ready,” O’Neil remembers. Unfortunately, the Challenger’s explosion in January 1986 put a stop to all Shuttle launches and prompted cancellation of the Centaur rocket. Having onboard very high-energy propellants along with nuclear power

42 images from Galileo of the Andes Mountains. J U N E


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suddenly became a no-no. “Frustratingly, trying to get to Jupiter got us into nuclear debates instead,” O’Neil remembers. Everyone remembered the 3-Mile Island accident, and then, on April 26, Chernobyl happened. “We had a terrible time getting approval to fly.” In this climate, attempts to convince people that their rocket was safe were failing. “It suddenly looked that the only place we could now put our Galileo, was not on Jupiter, but in the Smithsonian,” O’Neil quips. In this seemingly impossible situation, JPL’s specialists found an amazingly clever way to finally get their rocket to Jupiter. “In fact, their timing was phenomenal. I had a meeting in Washington scheduled for Monday, and on Friday, as we were getting ready for the trip, our guys found a solution that wouldn’t require us to do anything to the aircraft. We quickly put together a presentation, which I delivered on Monday morning,” O’Neil remembers. Instead of the original 2.5 years of travel time, his team proposed a six-year-long trajectory that would first take the spacecraft by Venus, and then (in order to gain the gravity assist) bring it back for another fly by Earth. “I said: we just came up with this, and it’s much better,” O’Neil recalls. It was a perfect solution! But—incredibly—the authorities said that they didn’t want “to spend time flying around the solar system.” It was a good thing that the mission project manager was very well connected, and didn’t take that no for an answer. In the end, science prevailed, and on October 18, 1989 the Galileo spacecraft was launched into orbit by the Shuttle Atlantis. O’Neil spent 1989 as resident Project Office Representative at Cape Canaveral, overseeing preparations for the launch. Then he became the Mission Project Manager, and remained on the job for 8 exciting years: first tracking Galileo’s 6 year-long journey to Jupiter, later— once Galileo reached Jupiter—working on the primary mission. Being a part of a project, which brought us many scientific firsts, was a real thrill for everyone involved. A movie, made by JPL out of photographs of Earth, taken by Galileo every minute for 24 hours, is just one such first. But the thrill was mixed with anxieties. “People think that the most nerve-wracking part is launching,” O’Neil says. “No. So many things go wrong in-flight, and you have to be like Sherlock Holmes figuring out here, on Earth, what to do when it happens.” And a few things did go wrong: Galileo’s antenna failed to open. Galileo mission 1995.

The Moon orbiting Earth from the Galileo Satellite.

Then the probe, released from the orbiter, didn’t communicate, until it reached Jupiter. Galileo’s tape recorder got stuck trying to rewind. But mishaps were mostly of a simple, mechanical nature, and the mission went down in history as a resounding, unprecedented success. Galileo was the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter; it achieved the first asteroid flyby; it discovered the first asteroid moon and observed comet Shoemaker-Levy’s collision with Jupiter. “It’s not well recognized that all 21 fragments of the comet that went into Jupiter were around the limb as seen from Earth, and observers looking at them from the Earth couldn’t see them,” O’Neil explains. “Jupiter spins very fast, and all the photos taken on Earth show the aftermath of the collision, while Galileo captured a number of realtime impact images. It’s very exciting.” The probe transmitted to the orbiter important data on Jupiter’s composition, temperature, pressure, and cloud structure. The session lasted 57 minutes before the device overheated, and ultimately burned up. Meanwhile, over the next two years, the orbiter kept flying around the planet, encountering four of Jupiter’s moons on its way. But Galileo’s greatest—and surprising—achievement was the discovery of the strong possibility of water on one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. “We were interested in finding water in the atmosphere—we want to do it even in Paso,” O’Neil says. “But the biggest discovery was ice on Europa that brought us the realization that Europa might be the mostly likely place for life outside Earth.” “When we built Galileo, we didn’t expect any strong evidence for life on or near Jupiter,” O’Neil says. As a result, the spaceship wasn’t sterilized. But because of a good—and exciting—chance of life on Europa, it was decided that Galileo had to be destroyed. “We just couldn’t allow a chance for it to ever hit Europa,” O’Neil explains. “What an irony!” Galileo got house arrest for his discovery of the Jovian moons. His namesake got a death sentence for possibly discovering life on one of them. “Voyager, Viking and Galileo—they were all flagship missions,” O’Neil says of the work he’s done. “We succeeded. It feels good to be able to say this.” J U N E


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ome women shop for clothes, makeup or jewelry. Pattea Torrence, a lifelong area resident and business owner had other intentions for her money. “I bought a town!” she proudly exclaimed when asked about what she thought was a monumental choice in her life that led to what she says is “a dream come true.”

ini iPad gm at just

Affectionately known as the “Mayor of Old Edna,” Pattea relishes the role and her part in developing the wine country corner along Hwy 227 in the vineyard-dotted Edna Valley as a unique “Farm Stay” and “a day in the country” attraction. The small but charming property offers the quaintly appointed DeSolina’s Place for honeymoon jaunts and the larger Suite Edna, a short-term rental for vacationers; there’s also a tasting room and deli housing Sextant Winery, a hen house, goat yard, gardens, even a tree house—much of it reminiscent of its origins as a early 1900s town site where stood two saloons, a post office, dancehall, blacksmith, hotel and a general merchandise store that served a large area of San Luis Obispo’s farm community before the two world wars. Neighbor Vicki Carroll says local lore has it that “Edna was a real wild place.” In the 70s, Pattea recalls as a young girl visiting the property that had become an artist colony of sorts. “I played under the



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PEOPLE “Mayor” of Old Edna by Robin Barnes

The venture has been written up in travel and special interest magazines and is potentially slated to debut on a reality-type program based on “a woman who resurrects a town,” developed by a producer who’d been following Pattea’s postings about Old Edna on Facebook and saw an opportunity to showcase the drive, enthusiasm and love that essentially rebuilt the compound. Pattea was born in Santa Maria to Walter and Jeannine (DellaGrace) Torrence. While money was tight growing up, Pattea says she lived in a beautiful place—Morning Star acres in Los Berros near Laetitia Vineyards—but had to work hard for everything. “We didn’t take vacations,” she said. “My dad came to California to find a dream. We were very close and he taught me a lot, especially about how to make something of myself. We came from the same cloth.”

giant pepper tree while the grownups were having a good time. All I wanted ever since was to be back here and fix it up.” Evidence of wonderful rich history about Old Edna—from the original tin building to the “Blue Belly Barn”—is on display but it’s Pattea herself who really connects with the past and transforms it into a rather magical experience for her visitors. She started with revitalizing the most visible structure along the roadway as an antique store and then, one at a time, refurbished the smaller buildings around the property for a variety of uses. “I collect small houses,” she laughed, taking a break to graciously tour a group from Holland into, first, the Gypsy House, then the yet-to-be-completed “Sipping Room,” and ending with introductions to the resident livestock.

Pattea, Jeff and son Kienun, 1999 by Robin Barnes


Pattea began her work career in the tile industry where she said her contact with architects, designers and contractors provided her an amazing education that’s served her well as she goes about the preservation and reconstruction efforts on her property. She said she also appreciates the lessons learned about customer service and working with the public in the store. From there, she opened her own business in Downtown SLO, Finders Keepers, where her flair for style and incorporating vintage and contemporary elements was definitely on trend. But, while she gained even more understanding about business such as how to tend a store and keep books, she says she knew she wanted more. “I loved my shop but after a while, I just wanted to be in nature,” she said. “I saw this opportunity (to purchase the Old Edna real estate) and it looked like a diamond in the rough. I just wanted to put my hands on the property.” Selling Finders Keepers, Pattea said, was pivotal to making that happen. And, as life goes, it was about this same time that she married husband Jeff Kocan and went about refurbishing their home in Shell Beach. “Jeff is my rock,” Pattea says. “He’s a saver and moneywise. He believed in me and invested in me; he also works hard here in addition to working a full time job. It’s wonderful to have his support and be able to live my dream.” Their mutual love, son Kienun, also plays a role in the story of Old Edna. Now 15, Kienun has grown up on the property where his mom used to play as a little girl and he has a growing appreciation of his role as a future custodian. After school, he can be found riding the tractor and helping out around the place with an “owner’s eye” and enjoying the freedom of being outdoors

The building at Old Edna by Pattea Torrance

in the country or hanging out in the tree house that bears his name. It looks like the town’s future may eventually reflect the glory days of its past—there’re plans for a cheese making operation, continued upgrades of facilities, entertainment, venues for special gatherings and parties. “Phase Two,” says Pattea. “I’m on a mission to revive it all!” With her talent for “finding things” such as the wooden beams she discovered were about to be discarded by a mall that was being torn down and are now repurposed into a deck—all she had to do was haul them away—to her flair for design, comfort and fun, it’s likely that she’ll really “go to town,” but expect the unexpected in her cart! Pattea’s philosophy: “Destiny Calls and I Go” from Don Quixote

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john lamas:

GUYs (Growing Up Young Men) group Story and photos by Heather Young


ohn Lamas’ passion in life is helping teen boys get through a tough and important part of life—growing up and becoming strong men. He is a real estate appraiser by advocation, but says his vocation is counseling teen boys, something he has been doing through GUYs Group since 2002. GUYs Group (Growing Up Young men), which serves boys in eighth grade through 12th grade, is under the umbrella of The Good Steward, a nonprofit, Christian outreach organization that fosters good stewardship in its members through the sharing of their time, talent and money. The group’s mission is to “provide a forum in which [boys] can learn about and openly discuss issues of character, integrity, sexuality and morality from God’s perspective with dads involved when possible.” The group reads several books that are used as study and discussion guides: “Disciplines of a Godly Man,” “Sacred Sex,” “All It’s Meant to Be,” “Every Young Man’s Battle,” “Life Strategies for Teens,” “Theology of His/Her Body,” and the Bible. While The Good Steward is a Christian organization, Lamas said the group fosters spirituality not religion. The group came about after the Columbine disaster in 1999. At the time, his son was a counselor in Lakewood, Co., which is next to Littleton, Co. “I used to go to work with him and work with [the boys],” Lamas said. “They were just boys. ... We fill our kids’ lives with things, what they want is our time.”

While Lamas has been working with teen boys through GUYs Group since 2002, he is not new to working with young people. When he graduated from Cal Poly, he worked as an ag shop teacher, because, he said, “I wanted to work with young people.” He soon began working for a bank, and then got into bank appraisal, which led him to move to Atascadero in the late 1970s with his wife, Cindy. They built their current house then and raised their three children, Sally, Cathy and John Jr., in Atascadero. After having their children, Lamas started working with teens again and said he’s been working with them ever since. He’s worked as an

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PEOPLE Lamas has attempted to get the Catholic Church—he attends St. William’s Catholic Church in Atascadero—to talk about sex with teens, but has not been successful.

backpack trip for sometime in July. He invited 40 to 50 boys to attend and usually gets about 15, but has had as few as four and as many as 25.

“I’m not only discouraged but angry that the Catholic Church won’t touch it,” Lamas said. “They won’t even start a dialogue.”

“If one boy is empowered, enlightened, helped [it’s successful],” Lamas said. “Numbers are not the goal.”

He said that learning how to appreciate and bring life to each other instead of using each other is becoming lost.

Additionally, Lamas is available to the boys any time of day or night. He tells them to call him if they need something and he will meet with them. He said that women naturally emotionally support each other, but men do not, so he has created emotional support for the teenage boys.

Throughout each GUYs Group meeting, which Lamas said happens as often as he’s able to get the boys together, there is an open container in which the teens can anonymously place questions written on notecards.

Lamas holding a fishing lure and a Coyote trap, which he uses to illustrate what addiction can do to a person. Once it gets in, you can’t get it out without a lot of pain.

associate youth pastor, pastoring teens and working with youths who have struggles in their homes. “I work with both children and parents,” Lamas said. He said that one thing he touches on the most is communication and the underlying issues that cause miscommunication. “If people understood how to communicate and if they understood the importance of their emotions [there’d be less miscommunication],” Lamas said. He said that each person experiences four elements: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. If one is out of balance, then the person will be out of balance. He teaches the boys to balance those four elements and how to pair it with communication. “The basic human need is for human connection,” Lamas said, which leads him to talk about sex. “I devote a lot of our studies to our human sexuality,” Lamas said. He focuses on how sexuality relates to the boys’ emotional, psychological and spiritual selves. He said he doesn’t focus as much on the physical because it’s everywhere in society. “[I try] to teach the power and beauty of our nature as sexual spiritual and spiritual sexual beings,” Lamas said. “We are God’s creation—we were created sexual, why are we not talking about sex in church?”


“This feeds my soul, helping boys succeed— find out who they are,” Lamas said. He asks them, “Who are you?” “Until you know who you are, the world runs you; once you know who you are, the world can’t touch you.” Lamas gives each boy—and the men who work with them—a laminated business-card sized reminder. On one side has a list of “Life Laws:”

“[You] can’t do it alone,” Lamas said. “The enemy inside is bigger if once given an opportunity.” What Lamas teaches the boys is what he thinks everyone needs to learn: happy is an emotion, it can come and go quickly. He said that being fulfilled is what leads to happiness. To learn more about the organization or to make a donation, contact Lamas at lamasj@ or call 461-1635.

1. You either get it or you don’t 2. You create your own experience 3. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge 4. Life rewards action 5. There is not reality, only perception 6. Life is managed; it’s not cured 7. We teach people how to treat us 8. There is power in forgiveness 9. You have to name it before you can claim it The other side of the card talks about what love is: Patient and kind “It is never jealous, envious, boastful, arrogant, prideful, selfish, rude, irritable/touchy, demanding, resentful, bitter. It hardly notices when others do it wrong. Love is sad about injustice, happy when truth wins, loyal no matter the costs, it expects the best in others and stands its ground in defense of others. Love will go on forever.” 1 Cor. 13. “You get love by giving love, by being who you are,” Lamas said. “There are many realities of love—but love is not a feeling, it’s a choice.” In addition to meetings around Atascadero— Lamas meets the boys where they are, which includes 6 a.m. breakfasts before some of them head to school or sports practice—the GUYs Group also has retreats throughout the year. Currently, Lamas is planning a J U N E


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lisa ray

A woman of action By Ruth Starr


isa Ray had no idea that her life was about to change as she stood in line at her pharmacy to get some meds for her Asthma. She will never forget that day in 2009 when her pharmacist approached her telling her that she knew of a single Mom with a couple of kids who needed some clothes and backpacks to go to school. It was just about a week before school began. The pharmacist wanted to know if Lisa could help.

It was a no-brainer for Lisa to mobilize her own kids, Joshua, then seven and Olivia, then 10, and herself to get clothes and backpacks for these needy kids. Joshua and Olivia knew just what should go into the backpacks. Facebook was not a site she used very often, but Lisa put a message on that site that there were some kids who needed clothes and help. Immediately thirty-five of her friends responded and within 48 hours they delivered six tall green trash bags of clothing and backpacks to the pharmacy to give to the Mom. The Mom, when she saw the bags, was stunned and began to cry with the unexpected gift. There were so many of these donations left over that Lisa realized there were probably other kids who needed clothing and other supplies. She reached out to the school district and they referred her to the Family Resource Center in Oceano. The advocate in Oceano said there was a huge need for kids to have these supplies as some of them went to school carrying plastic bags for backpacks and had shoes that were too big or too small and some were embarrassed to go to school looking so shabby.

Knowing it was a solvable problem, Lisa decided to get into action and do more. It all happened in one week. From the beginning request from the pharmacist to the huge number of donations from her Facebook request, Lisa knew she was on to something. Her own kids’ Parents Night was coming up at their school. Lisa asked the teachers if she could get up and say a few words at this event. She began to talk and with the third word out, she began to cry. It was at that moment her life changed. It was no longer about her, but about this mission Lisa felt she had to do. After her talk many in the audience were also crying and they all got together and donated their children’s clothes and backpacks. The General Manager from Walmart, who had also come to the Parents Night, heard Lisa’s speech and donated about 30 new backpacks. Lisa became the bag lady at school and collected donations every day. There was no way she could say no to anyone in need or anyone who wanted to donate. This was the start, in her mind, of a non-profit. In December of 2009 Lisa filed for 501c3 charitable nonprofit and by 2010 she got it. Lisa Ray had become the founder and CEO of Children’s Resource Network. She feels that the Children’s Resource Network was started by an unintended happening in that line in the pharmacy. Lisa, who lives in Pismo Beach, began putting all these donations in her garage and soon the garage was over-flowing and filled. She feels it is a testimony to how the community responded. It mushroomed out from her lines on Facebook and her talk at the school. During those first years, advocates all the way from Santa Maria to San Miguel came to her home to fill the needs of the children they were servicing. Both Joshua and Olivia, who are now thirteen and fifteen help her with every part of this operation and enjoy the help they are giving.



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trailer with brand new fantastic toys for children. Lisa took the trailer to a poverty stricken Mobile Home Park and had a guy dressed as Santa Claus distribute brand new Christmas presents and clothing. It was such a success, that this year the Resource Network partnered with the Highway Patrol and the SLO County Sheriff’s Department who filled up the trailer twice serving over 600 children. McDonalds donated over 500 happy meals. On Halloween Lisa and her helpers provided Halloween costumes for needy kids.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the age spectrum, at the Arroyo Grande Care Center are seniors who need to be cared for. They are in various stages of dementia, but they still could be useful in helping. Matthew Lysobey is Administrator of the care center who partnered with Lisa to have the seniors help with all the clothing coming in. He offered a building where they could put part of the clothing and get some of it out of her garage. Lisa turned an old portable building into a Teen Closet where teens could pick out their own clothes. The seniors managed this one program. The seniors now had purpose in their otherwise uneventful lives. It could be called one generation helping another.

Lisa Ray is one busy woman finding all of these resources and people to help. Finding her calling in life, Lisa absolutely loves what she does.

A very powerful two-minute video was made about a teen getting clothes at the Teens Closet. You can see the video by going to In 2012, Lisa had an idea of getting the clothes to the children who were not nearby. She borrowed a horse trailer and filled it full of clothes and school supplies and went to the Eldorado Farms in Santa Maria in partnership with the Mexican Consulate. When she got there, there were over 120 families waiting for her. From that success she had a custom trailer built extra wide and extra high so people could come in and walk about comfortably. The Home Depot Foundation paid for the trailer that Lisa drives all the way from Lompoc to San Simeon and San Miguel helping kids to get clothing and other items they might need. In San Luis Obispo, Lisa has partnered with the SLO Coastal Unified School District and the Food Bank. Lisa drives to the same place where the Food Bank is and then the people who are getting food can also get the clothing and any other items they need. The clothing in the trailer is from infant to size 10. The trailer is stuffed with clothing, school supplies, diapers, children’s books, and toiletries. The trailer helps up to 598 children. The truck was donated by PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric). They also gave funds to help with the inside of the trailer. The Children’s Resource Network helps 4000 children a year. SLO Unified School District gave the Resource Network two buildings to use to store some of the clothes. The Resource Network has 650 Cal Poly students a year who help with sorting the donations. The San Luis High School Honor Society also helps with various projects. Any child who has a need for clothing or other supplies can go to any of the Resource Stores and get clothing at no cost. Pacific Beach High School in SLO is for high risk kids who need specialized support. They need extra TLC and to have clothes that make them feel comfortable. There is a Teen Closet on the Pacific Beach campus where the students can go for any clothes or supplies they need without any questions asked and it is all free. Two other Teen Closets are in Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria. Last year for Christmas the Resource Network trailer was taken to San Miguel. The SLO County Highway Patrol filled that entire J U N E


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pyramid power:

found in the oddfellowist places By Vicki León Photos by Chris Daly and Vicki León


ine is a lifelong addiction. I’ve tried to stop but it’s no good. I’m compelled to keep searching for the hard stuff. “Hard” as in stone pyramids, that is.

Mystified, I asked what was up. Both gals smirked, declaring their intentions to give me a San Luis Obispo-style “insider” night at the movies.

My first sighting occurred in the 1950s on the Big Screen at the Liberty Theater in Astoria, Oregon. What a trip! There it was, filling the screen, a psychedelically glowing pyramid, golden hot in the Egyptian sun. As I recall, the movie featured Queen Cleopatra as the pyramid’s unlikely architect. Immediately I got hooked.

They loaded me down with cushions and a knapsack crammed with junk food. They sternly demanded silence—and a strict moratorium on giggling. Under cover of darkness, we stealthily crept into position. I could tell we were climbing—but to what?

Even after I knew better, the memory of that cinematic monument made me long to see pyramids in person. In the 1970s, I got my wish. What were the odds of making landfall in a little California town that had its own pyramid? Vanishingly small. And yet I did. Not being local, it took awhile before I stumbled upon this quirky landmark. It was a classic SLO summer evening, the skies turning pinky purple. A couple of newfound pals had invited me to a double feature at the drive-in theatre. Instead of joining other cars at the entrance to the Sunset Drive-in, however, my friends parked along a street nearby.

Suddenly, it reared up in front of me, an ominous black silhouette. An impeccable stone pyramid, 25 feet high, surrounded by lush grasses. Standing next to it, I looked down at the Technicolor of the drive-in’s now-shrunken screen, surrounded by its neat rows of toy cars. Then I turned to gaze downhill in the other direction. At a glance, the area was a random arrangement of white blobs amid the vegetation. “Funny-looking playground,” I said. They both snickered. “More like a boneyard,” one replied. I squinted hard. There was just enough ambient light from street lamps to make out details. I gulped. Upon study, most of the ghostly white shapes looked suspiciously like tombstones. “And this is Big Mama,” friend number two contributed, grinning as she patted the beautifully fitted granite blocks. That’s how I got my own personal introduction to the Dorn pyramid. Just like the Egyptian pyramids of antiquity, it’s a genuine mausoleum. Like them, it bears mysterious symbols and carries an ominous warning: “Disturb Not the Sleep of Death.” Being Obispans, these gals knew the history of the entire graveyard. As the movie screen below came alive with a Disney film, they filled me in. In 1904, a successful San Luis Obispo attorney named Fred Dorn and his wife Cora Russel found out they were expecting a baby; he was 40, she was 37. Perhaps their ages had some bearing on the tragedy that befell them. In May



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of 1905, the newborn boy died, followed three days later by his mother. Being an active member of the Free Mason Society, the stricken husband chose to memorialize his loss and his departed family with a pyramid mausoleum adorned with Masonic symbols, such as the square and compass. Fred spared no expense, either; the granite was quarried in Porterville, then shipped to San Luis Obispo. Once there, builders found that the only area in the San Luis cemetery (also

HOME/OUTDOOR I never watched another movie from pyramid seating, but my fond introduction to the Sunset Drive-in would flourish in the decades ahead. Opened in 1950 as one of nearly 5,000 drive-ins in the U.S., the Sunset proudly boasts a “family” of longtime fans and is one of roughly 400 drive-ins still in business. Sunset Drive-in is also one of rare venues anywhere to screen movies year-round. In recent years, we’ve gotten even bigger doses of pyramid powers and cryptic messages

known as the Oddfellows cemetery) that could support the immense weight of all that rock was the small hill we stood upon. That pyramid cost Mr. Dorn somewhere around a cool $100,000—and that was in 1905 dollars. Just like the mysteries that have swirled around pyramids in Egypt, Mexico, and Central America, I was intrigued to learn that “our” pyramid has its own unsolved secrets. Although the words “mother, son, father” and their birth/death dates are written on the mausoleum, the tomb has yet to be sealed. Fred Dorn is not listed as having died; although it would be much more chilling fun to think that he never expired, other data indicates that he probably got buried with wife number two in San Mateo County. And—just like the movies!—the pyramid is also rumored to have its own resident ghost, which allegedly makes alarming sound effects on Hallowe’en. The cemetery in which this pyramid resides may hold as many as 12,000 burials, so any Dorn ghost could have lots of company. As my friends finished their tales, the second film began to play on the Sunset screen. Although we had no access to the sound track, the images said it all—a horror flick. Our seats became spine-chilling in every sense of the word, and we hastily bailed before movie’s end. (By the way, please do not emulate our questionable actions, which these days might trigger legal or police interest.)


in stone through the books of Dan Brown and his imitators, along with the flood of movies, TV shows, and media spawned from them. In point of fact, we’re not even the only community in California to have our own pyramid—there are eight of ‘em! including one in Santa Barbara. Nevertheless, speaking as a lifelong devotee of drive-in movies and the tombs of pharaohs, this may be the only place on earth where both of my “addictions” come together to inspire and delight.

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is anything but boring By Ray Cauwet


pproximately 90 miles east of Bakersfield along Highway 58 is a fascinating town called Boron. It has a population of only 2,000 people, but it has two elaborate museums devoted to the history of borate mining in the area. The town gets its name from the mineral boron, the fifth element on the Periodic Table. Borates are rare minerals that contain boron. In the downtown area is the 20 Mule Team Museum. It focuses on the past methods of borate mining in Death Valley and Boron. The other attraction is the Borax Visitor Center. It is located at the site of the largest open pit mine in California. It provides detailed information on modern borate mining practices and the role of borate in our lives. The 20 Mule Team Museum is filled with mining artifacts, miners’ memorabilia, antique machinery, tools, a beauty shop and kitchen typical of the 1930s in Boron and large models of mining wagons and ore trucks. It also has information on the well-known radio/television show, “Death Valley Days.” It was broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1945 and on television from 1952 to 1975. It was the most successful syndicated television western and featured the 20 mules in its commercials. Hosts included Ronald Reagan, Dale Robertson and others.

Of course, the principal subject of the museum is the mule team. There are many photos, paintings, small models and a 25-foot replica of the mule train. There also is a display of borax soaps and other borax products, information on the muleskinners and examples of mule team post cards, playing cards and puzzles that were popular in the past. Some of these items are sold in the museum’s gift shop. According to Museum Director Barbara Pratt, the story begins in 1881 when borax was discovered near the Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley. Borax is one type of borates. Shortly after its discovery, borax was processed at the Harmony Borax Works. Forty men could produce three tons of borax per day. “The only problem was getting the processed borax to the Mojave rail head 165 miles away. The owner, Bill Coleman, came up with

The actual ore wagons and the water wagon viewed at the Visitors Center. J U N E


A Twenty Mule Team comes to life in a sculpture at he Borax Visitor Center.

The old Borax sign in the Museum

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A 2,500-pound Kernite (sodium borate) boulder is on display.

The operation mines about three million tons of borate per year and produces one million tons of refined borate. This is one of the richest borate deposits on the planet and supplies half of the world’s demand. Visitors are entertained with a video and displays that describe modern mining practices and the role of borate in daily life. Borates can be found in the wide variety of products. The most famous ones are the 20 Mule Team Borax and Boraxo soap. It also is used in vitamins, fertilizers, paint, ceramics, fiberglass, medicines, glue, electronics, cosmetics and even Silly Putty. The Twenty Mule Team Museum is located in Downtown Boron.

the idea of hooking up 20 mules to two enormous ore wagons and a 1,200-gallon water wagon. A muleskinner and helper would guide them. His idea worked. From 1883 to 1889, his wagons hauled nearly 10,000 tons of processed borax without a breakdown,” she stated. The muleskinners and their teams were amazing. They could cover 16 to 18 miles per day and endure summer temperatures ranging from 136 to 150 degrees. The journey to Mojave took 10 days. The skinners rode the rear, left side mules and controlled the team with a 120-foot jerk line. They were known to shout colorful orders to the mules and called each by name. The wagons were said to be the largest and strongest wagons of their kind. Each one was 16 feet long, 4 feet wide and 6 feet deep. The rear wheels were 7 feet tall and the front wheels were 5 feet tall. Loaded, they held 25 tons of ore. The actual wagons, along with life-size sculptures of the mule trains, can be viewed at Furnace Creek in Death Valley and the Borax Visitor Center. The mule teams captured the imagination of everyone and were one of the most memorable icons of the old west. With the coming of the railroad, the mule teams were no longer needed. Mining continued at Death Valley until 1927 when a rich deposit of borate ore was found at Boron. An underground mine was opened and continued until 1957 when it was transformed into an open pit mine. The Borax Visitor Center is located near the two-square-mile mine, just north of Boron.

Both the 20 Mule Team Museum and the Borax Visitor Center are open year-round, except holidays. There is no charge for the mule team museum, while there is a $3 parking fee for the visitor center. Information about the museum is available at (760) 762-5810 and the visitor center at (760) 762-7588. A visit to Boron offers an opportunity to dig into the rich history of borate mining in the area and gain insights into the importance of this mineral in our lives. I think you will find that Boron is definitely anything but boring.

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at the market

Sourdough French Toast with Manuka Peaches and Mascarpone By Sarah Hedger

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une marks Summer goodness at our local markets with an abundance of options to build great meals that are both good for us and delicious at the same time. While some often say we lack (the traditional) four seasons, Summer is a season that is distinct and noted, especially when viewing all the amazing Summer fruits and vegetables on offer. We begin to see stone fruits such as peaches, apricots, plums, as well as the berry family, tomatoes, beans, eggplant, summer squash, and peppers/ chilies of all varieties. To say it is an abundant time of year may truly be an understatement! This month’s recipe is a bit of a fresh version of one of my lifetime favorites, french toast. A few months back, I purchased a book I had been anticipating its print date for some time. It is called Tartine 3, and it is written by Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, owners (and bakers) at Tartine Bakery that originated in the Bay area. The bakery itself has quite a following as it is a labor of love, and one that continues to improve with time. I wanted this cookbook in particular because it discusses sprouting grains, incorporating different ancient grains, and sourdoughs in some detail. After it arrived, and I was able to give it the attention it deserved, I realized I had never seen a cookbook quite like this. The research that went into it must have taken years as it is science-based, experiencebased, and contains tried and tested recipes from the bakery. What is unusual is also how they trace many of the breads back to the regions in which they originated in the world, so it is a bit of a history lesson at the same time, but an interesting one that gives tribute to the endless number of grains we have to choose from aside from wheat. The book uses kamut flour throughout and illustrates numerous ways to go about creating sourdoughs from different grains (sprouted grains as well). If any of these topics interest you, I highly recommend this book, even checked out from the library (initially), as it is truly an amazing read.

sourdough french toast with manuka honey, peaches, and mascarpone Makes French Toast for 2 (can easily be doubled by adding additional slices of bread and doubling egg mixture) For the French toast: 2 eggs ¼ cup milk or cream (rice, soy, or almond milk options) Pinch of sugar ½ tsp cinnamon 2x 1 cm slices of high quality sourdough bread 1 Tablespoon oil or butter (for pan)

I grew up eating heaps of sourdough in so many forms, and french toast was by far one of my favorites. This month’s recipe, Sourdough French Toast with Manuka Peaches and Mascarpone, is a special treat breakfast dish that is easy to put together, while any fresh summer fruit goes great on top. Berries would also be a great addition, with the tartness cutting through the sweetness of the peaches and honey. Manuka honey is a special ingredient in its own right and we have been seeing its presence more and more on our local shelves as a bit of a new novelty item. It hails originally from New Zealand, where the bees utilize the native Manuka bush to create a version of honey that has medicinal qualities enabling it to be used as more of a supplement even, as the antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial qualities are said to be ridiculously good for us. The flavor is unique in its own right, and packs a punch in small quantities, without overpowering the rest of the dish. Enjoy Summer and treat yourself to some seasonal french toast that will fuel your activities for the day!

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Beat eggs, milk/cream, sugar, and cinnamon in large bowl; Place bread in egg mixture and let sit for 5+ minutes. Place skillet over medium heat; Add oil or butter and once pan is hot (a drop of water sizzles when splashed on it), place soaked bread in skillet and let sit for a minute (until golden). Flip and cook for another 30 seconds, until bread ‘poofs’ up a bit in the middle as this reflects the custard-soaked bread has cooked through. For the Caramelized peaches: 2 peaches thickly sliced 1 T butter or coconut oil 2 T manuka honey 4 T water Place a non-stick pan on medium high heat. Place peaches in pan and let sit for about a minute, or until the under side is beginning to brown/caramelize. Add honey and butter/oil and cook for 30 seconds. Add water and cook peaches until soft (if there is not enough syrup add a little more water, spoon over and around the french toast). Spoon on 1 T of mascarpone and top with some fresh mint.

Find this recipe and more seasonal inspiration at http://www.



slo county art scene

Tera Galanti: Art meets Nature, meets Science, meets art By Gordon Fuglie For Galanti this meant questioning “our relationship with the domesticated and wild creatures and the culturally perceived notion of what constitutes ‘the wild.’ I found a new direction which led me to examine the intersection of human beings and animals.” Galanti’s interest in silk moths (Bombyx Mori, a domesticated insect) intensified when she raised a thousand of these insects, even going to the pains of providing them twice a day with leafy mulberry branches, without which the moths cannot thrive. For thousands of years silk moths have been bred not to fly and are no longer found in the wild. But while breeding them, Galanti was surprised to notice that a few of her moths actually were able to fly. Encouraged by earlier eco art projects that blended science, natural life and art, she focused on those moths favoring flight with the intention of using them for selective breeding.


n the spirit and practice of postmodern art, Los Osos artist Tera Galanti integrates drawing, painting and contemporary sculpture that are inspired by an attentiveness to biological science and a disciplined, compassionate observation and care for nature and animals.

This led to her planning gallery installations of her experiments. In 2002 she created a fanciful sculptural structure of blue platforms for an exhibition called “Ecoventions” at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Galanti attached cocooned silk worms to the top of the structure, hoping that when the moths emerged a few would attempt to fly “a short distance onto the nets that she had set up around the perimeter below.” For those that flew, the artist would cross breed in hopes of producing a strain that could fly, and then return them to their “wild” state.

Galanti grew up in Huntington Beach and studied art at Cal State Long Beach where she received both her BA and MFA, graduating in 1995. Since then, she has been active producing and showing her work in numerous venues in California and beyond, as well as exhibitions in Viet Nam and Thailand. She moved to the Central Coast in 1998 to teach art at Cuesta College and Cal Poly. Galanti is now assistant professor of Studio Art at Cal Poly where she teaches exclusively. Her earliest work showed a penchant for “bringing in the world” as a kind of cultural inquiry. While at CSULB she approached residents of her old neighborhood in nearby Huntington Beach, interviewing them and asking for donations of old clothing. From these she re-fabricated new forms, creating sculptural environments of multi-colored textile webs and droopy surreal biomorphs. I liken them to stage sets for a Dr. Seussinspired musical. More formally, however, Galanti describes them as “intersections of the real and imaginary as the fabric artifacts form connections between the viewer and individuals who once inhabited them.” Since 2002, her artistic practice has fused biological studies, drawing, painting and sculptural experiments in “eco-art,” a sub category of contemporary art. The term refers to ecological art, mixed media work that addresses local and global environmental situations. Originating in the late 1960s, Eco-artists often take their art making to functional displays that educate viewers about environmental matters. J U N E


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Beautiful Moths flying



Galanti’s interest in animals led her to volunteer at the Pacific Wildlife Care Rehabilitation Center in Morro Bay. The Center is dedicated to caring for injured wild animals. One of her tasks was assisting in the rehabilitation of injured hawks and owls. To support the nourishment of the raptors up to their release in the wild, cartons of frozen mice are purchased and stored in the Center’s freezer. As needed, the mice are thawed and fed to the recovering birds by volunteers. This experience led her to produce a series of intimate pencil drawings and paintings of the recumbent rodents—memorial portraits before the tiny mammals are swallowed up in the food chain. As Galanti notes, “the figures in these drawings pose just as I found them in their containers, tiny sacrifices, resisting inconsequentiality.” Escape Velocity

(For more information on Tera Galanti and her art, see or contact

Over the years Galanti produced variations of her moth experiments, showing them in galleries in California—an evolving and ongoing project. Well-meaning gallery visitors attending these exhibits have been observed trying to help emergent moths to fly, or act as matchmakers between male and female moths to encourage flying progeny, “augmenting” the artistic experiment. This prompted the artist to wryly reflect that should she be successful in breeding flying moths, where then would they go to start a colony? Another Galanti’s gallery project addressed murmuration, the massed uniform rapid and sudden movements that a flock of starlings makes in flight. Her gallery installation included a dynamic calligraphic sculpture of wire and fabric suspended from the ceiling and evocative black and white drawings of these avian formations.

Mouse drawing J U N E


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Our Schools A year of great change By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


he school year (2013-14) that is ending this month has been one of great change. However, it seems to me that the magnitude of this change has gone largely unnoticed by those outside of our schools. In fact, I believe this past school year marks the beginning of the most significant changes in the structure of California public education since the landmark Serrano v. Priest California Supreme Court decision in 1971. This was the decision that led to changing the way our public schools had been financed for over 100 years and began a system of “equalization” to reduce the disparities that existed between affluent school districts and less wealthy districts in providing funding for schools. Actually, there are three very important changes with which our schools have been engaged during this past school year and will continue for next school year. As referenced earlier, the manner in which our schools are funded has dramatically changed. A second change is the manner in which our schools are demonstrating accountability to our public. The third change is the implementation of a new set of academic expectations for students known as the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessment system for students. Here is a brief synopsis of each of these three changes. Funding. Governor Brown succeeded in getting the legislature to pass a very different method of funding our schools this year. From the time of the legislation that implemented the Serrano decision in the early 70s, our schools have had a two-part funding system. One part is commonly thought of as the general fund and the other part known as categorical, or special purpose, funding. The general fund was basically under the control of the local Board of Trustees, while categorical funding included directions and restrictions from the state on how to use the money, and a set of rules to insure compliance with the rules. Categorical funding covered such items as instruc-



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tional materials, staff training, class size reduction, technology, etc. The new funding system is called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and shifts the great majority of previous categorical funding into the general fund. In addition, there is additional funding for three targeted groups of students including students who live in poverty, students who are English-language learners and Foster Youth. These groups of students have always had some version of additional funding, but now this funding is under the control of the local Board of Trustees. This return to local control is very consistent with Governor Brown’s belief in “subsidiarity,” or decisions being made as close as possible to where they are to be implemented. Accountability. With the funding decisions shifted to local school districts, the question is how to insure that the decisions made locally are indeed in the best interests of students and do the results demonstrate this. Each school district is now required to adopt a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that documents the goals for students and the plan for expending funds to achieve these goals. There is also a requirement for extensive participation by parents, staff and citizens in the development of the Plan. This spring, all of our districts have been involved in the development and adoption of their LCAP. I believe this has been a healthy process even as it has seemed a bit similar to learning to walk on our own after years of using a walker (i.e. directions from the state). Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”). The third big change is the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in our classrooms. The Common Core refers to the set of academic standards (expectations) that we as a state have for all students in English-language arts and math. California is one of 45 states that have voluntarily adopted these standards with the goal of encouraging higher order thinking skills, mastery of skills needed to be competitive in the world economy and assisting our students to be qualified for careers and jobs in the future. Our state has had a set of rigorous standards for over ten years, and the Common Core builds on this rigor and streamlines the standards in order to go deeper rather than broader. This spring all of our schools have been piloting the new assessment system for the Common Core that also relies on electronic devices for the testing. Yes, this past year has seen great changes for our schools. I am sure our teachers are glad for a brief respite during the summer as the pace will resume in the fall.

casa volunteers honored



By Courtney Haile


n Monday April 14 after the conclusion of National Volunteer Week, The honorable Judge Hurst, California Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, and a representative from the office of Lois Capps celebrated with CASA’s volunteers at a Volunteer Appreciation Reception. “I always knew that CASA helps the system, now I feel that CASA helps the system,” said Judge Hurst to a packed office of volunteers before distributing the President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities, and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CASA’s Child Advocates spend hundreds of hours having fun with their assigned youth. They also spend numerous hours interviewing everyone involved in the child’s life, as well as researching, and participating in educational and other meetings so they can provide the court with the most accurate information about the child’s situation and make informed recommendations about the child’s best interest. In addition to Advocates, CASA recruits and trains volunteer CASA Mentors who help former foster youth ages 18-21 through their transition to adulthood. CASA also depends on volunteer staff to keep the office running, volunteer Guild members to help plan and execute

CASA volunteers socializing before the ceremony.

Betsy Umhofer, Teresa Tardiff and Judge Linda Hurst

fundraisers, and volunteer Board members to guide the organization. Fifty CASA volunteers completed and reported enough hours in 2013 to receive the President’s Award. Of the 50, 40 earned the Bronze Award with 100-249 hours served in 2013; six received the Silver Award putting in 250-499 hours. CASA also recognized one youth honoree, Lauren Smith, who qualified at the Silver Level. Kathy Woodruff received the Gold for serving 500+ hours as a CASA Advocate. Kathy has been an Advocate since 2011, and regularly juggles two cases at once. Patricia Fuller and Linda Rawlings, not in attendance, have each served at-least 4,000 hours for CASA and received the President’s Call to Service Award for Lifetime service. Each volunteer received a personal certificate, official President’s Service Award pin and a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. The volunteers and staff were proud to be recognized by local officials.

Judge Hurst read a letter from Judge Harman, presiding Judge of the Superior Court, which reads in part “We are extremely fortunate to have CASA in our court community and I, on behalf of the entire San Luis Obispo Superior Court bench, extend the heartfelt thanks of all of the Judges.” Betsy Umhofer read a letter written by Congresswoman Lois Capps who was in Washington. “Since CASA began in 1993, CASA volunteers and program staff have made a real, positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and on our community as a whole.” The honored volunteers have donated over 14,000 hours to CASA of San Luis Obispo County. To enable the recruitment, on-going training and supervision of these volunteers, CASA holds four major fundraising events per year including the annual Rendezvous event slated for September 20 at the San Luis Obispo Country Club. For more information on CASA, see www.

California Assemblymen Katcho Achadjian (pictured left) presented a Certificate of Recognition to CASA Executive Director Teresa Tardiff, which reads “In Recognition of the commitment and dedication of the volunteer CASA Board members, Guild, volunteer staff, child advocates and mentors who cumulatively donate thousands of hours to improve the lives of foster children and youth in San Luis Obispo County.”

Teresa Tardiff, Tom Dobyns and Debbie Arnold J U N E


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transitions–mental health association

training our community’s business leaders on why wellness works By Leslie Jones


ne in four Americans is currently living with a diagnosable mental health condition, with the majority being between the ages of 18 and 65. And what are most of us doing between those ages? We’re working! We could all be susceptible to experiencing a mental health challenge due to the presence of risk factors in our lives such as genetics, trauma, and personal or workplace stress. Yet, only one in three people who could benefit from treatment actually seek help because they are afraid of stigma and discrimination, especially at work. If we have supportive workplaces, who know how to talk about these issues more effectively, with managers who know how to approach and collaborate on effective solutions, everyone benefits. Wellness Works!, is a statewide workplace mental health training and education program of Mental Health Association in California (MHAC), funded by the California Mental Health Services Act, and developed in collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health of the American Psychiatric Foundation. Wellness Works! uses the core training material of CMHA’s award-winning Mental Health Works program which has successfully collaborated with businesses across all employment sectors for the past ten years in Canada. Wellness Works! is the first program of its kind in the United States and the sole distributor of Mental Health Works in California. Locally, Wellness Works! trainings are offered by Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA), a nonprofit organization that seeks to support businesses and organizations throughout our community to address issues related to employee mental health more effectively. The purpose of the Wellness Works! training program is to help employers build capacity to effectively address issues related to employee mental health while promoting a healthy workplace culture that prevents problems from arising. It offers a selection of highly specialized, targeted trainings for managers, executive leadership

Transitions Employment Program team, (standing) Jeff Pienack, and Leslie Jones. (Seated) Starr Cloyd and Deanna Strachan

team members, human resources professionals, union representatives, and employees. When an employee is struggling, the employee’s relationship with their manager is pivotal as to whether or not a situation is resolved successfully. Yet managers often feel so afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing that they say nothing at all and the situation becomes worse. Standard approaches like attendance management, discipline or sick leave often do not resolve the situation to anyone’s satisfaction. Productivity does not improve and good employees are lost when they don’t have to be if managers had the capacity to notice issues earlier, and to communicate more effectively with employees.

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“The training guide we received is such a valuable tool that I keep at my desk,” she added. “It’s a helpful reminder of what questions we can ask to gain that perspective of someone who is struggling. Work is such an important part of our lives and it should be available to everyone in a safe, supportive environment.” TMHA Wellness Works! Trainer, Deanna Strachan, shared that the highlight of her experience with the program has been the willingness of highly seasoned professionals to think differently about mental health in the



workplace. “Participants come away with practical tools that can be implemented right away. It’s exciting for me to see when the light goes on for a participant and suddenly there is potential for a different outcome to a difficult situation.” Wellness Works! is one of numerous outreach and educational trainings offered by TMHA throughout San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties for over 30 years. To learn more about Wellness Works! training opportunities and how they can positively impact your workplace, please contact Leslie Jones at

Louise Matheny

Sara Kennedy, Human Resources Manager for Miner’s Ace Hardware, successfully completed this training series with her management team. “Our managers completed a training program with Wellness Works! and found it highly valuable,” said Kennedy. “They learned that sometimes poor performance can be linked to more deeply-rooted issues, and although it is not their sole responsibility to fix things, with some key training and tools they are better equipped to recognize and navigate the complex issues surrounding mental health conditions in the workplace. In the end, they are more able to support their employees’ path to success which affects the entire team.” “We can’t assume that poor performance from an employee means that this is necessarily a bad employee,” she added. “Personal problems do sometimes arrive at work and we learned that together we can find solutions for improved productivity and overall happiness.” Louise Matheny, Human Resources Director at Morris & Garritano Insurance, also benefitted greatly from the training series with staff and other members of the Human Resources Association of the Central Coast. “I learned through this training the importance of listening and showing a genuine interest in gaining the perspective from someone who is struggling at work,” she explained. “It can be a challenge for managers not to just want someone to get the job done. It takes valuable time away from other job duties and already very busy days but I feel strongly that we need to take care of those who might be struggling.” Participants learn that it is indeed a good investment of a manager’s time to engage in collaborative conversations early when an employee is struggling for any reason. J U N E


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slo mayors By Joe Carotenuti Somebody has to do it. Most every community has an elected or appointed leader charged with directing the community’s business. From sprawling metropolises to country crossroads, titles and duties may vary, but an essential task for the leader is to give voice to the community. By whatever name, the position carries with it responsibilities large and small, praise and criticism, victories and frustrations. Nonetheless, every band needs a conductor and so do governmental entities. Rarely unanimous, as life becomes increasingly more complex, so does its leadership. This was not always the case for the former mission settlement of San Luis Obispo. A Franciscan padre was the spiritual leader but the temporal affairs were the responsibility of an appointed alcalde. Strange to the American notion of the separation of powers, an alcalde could make the laws, enforce them and judge any offenders. Indeed, the first judge of this county in 1850 was the former alcalde of San Luis Obispo. Statehood inaugurated an evolution of local government leadership under various names and duties. Here’s the story. From Statehood to 1876—from a mission settlement to being designated as a City—San Luis Obispo was the subject of several bits of legislation directing its municipal government, business and organization. Admittedly, while early legislation was more concerned with county issues, there were a few community items. The evolution of local governance is more completely addressed in this writer’s San Luis Obispo: 1850-1876. In a brief one-page legislative act in 1856, the Town of San Luis Obispo was created with vested authority in three men, elected yearly. The generic 1850 State legislation creating towns was to be used for additional local concerns. Those elected chose their own leader. There seems to be no allowable compensation for the elected but in 1863, $1 a year was prescribed. Certainly a novel idea today, legislation prohibited any community debt. If there was a bill, the money to pay for it must first be

Fred Walters and Fred Lucksinger, Mayors in the 50s

in the treasury. With a minimal population as well as a growing county bureaucracy, the impression is little attention was necessary or given to municipal business. Noted one commentator, while “town government has been kept alive … it gave small sign of vitality.” With few official municipal records until 1870, leadership is ascertained from a report listing repealed ordinances beginning with some issued in 1859. In that year, Charles H. Johnson is named as “President” of a Board of Trustees for a Town of about 1000 residents. The repealed ordinances noting his leadership conclude in 1870 when he was not reelected to the town’s governing body. Johnson was a pivotal figure in the history of the community having lived here from the mid-1850s until his death in 1915. With the annual election in 1870 (by now of five representatives), another legendary figure, Dr. William W. Hays, was chosen by his peers to be the chairman of the Board of Town Trustees. By then, taxation was raised to one percent of any assessment. Much of a leader’s duties addressed being sure funds were available to pay bills. It was not unusual for a bill’s total to be reduced, if paid at all! Based on the existing Minutes, the Trustees were not overly concerned with governance. In the first year of recorded Minutes, 23 meetings were called, none were adjourned for lack of a quorum, but only three found all five men present. Not for the faint of heart, reading the Minutes—often in exquisite penmanship (and sometimes in mind-numbing scrawls)—is a journey through the collective hopes and dreams and realities of the growing community. This organization that included a few appointed officials continued for six years when yet another bit of legislation from Sacramento created the City of San Luis Obispo and reorganized governance to include a yearly election of a mayor and five members of a Common Council.

Three former mayors: Allen Settle (far left), Dave Romero (far right) honoring Ken Schwartz. J U N E


The first elected official with the title of “mayor,” Samuel P. McDougal, was characterized as having given a “rousing speech” and then Journal PLUS

Avoid the High Cost of M COMMUNITY Facil A Retirement 33

Mayor O’Reilly and family, 1952

community became a Charter City. There per year. Almost immediately after adoption, was not a stampede of female candidates loelections were called to amend the Charter, a callythough except for the the interesting and of enterprisprocess continuing to this day. Even prospect moving m ing Queenie Warden. Into 1917, she announced future, you owe it yourself to learn h For the mayor, besides presiding over meetings, her candidacy for mayor. Running against carefree living in your own homegar-for man an additional major duty included a yearly incumbent Dr. William Stover, Queenie report on city affairs, employing a competent nered 715 votes to his 791. Mayor Marx is the accountant to examine all books and records third woman in the position since 1981. with an “unlimited privilege of investigation.” If you’d like a list of our leaders, please conIt’s a have factoccupied of lifethe that astactwetheget older, Pristine is fully To date, twenty residents writer at office with varying some terms. The longest servday-to-day tasks become too licensed and insu ing (1919-1939) was Louis Sinsheimer. In a much to handle on our own. That All of our worke serendipitous alignment of dates, women doesn’t mean you have to move away are carefully scre gained the right to vote in the same year the

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from the comfort of your home. and pass a crimi • Pristine Home Services is aHousekeeping local background che Personal Care company that helps San Luis Obispo and drug test, gi • Yard Maintenance • Handyman County residents avoid the high cost when someone f Servingof moving All oftoSan Luis Obispo County a retirement facility. in your home. •

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as “father of the great organ” entertained potential voters. Unfortunately, he may have been more interested in running—rather than fulfilling—a civic duty. He never completed his term. After prolonged absences from meetings—not an uncommon practice among the elected—he was replaced within four months. The mayor was not allowed to vote unless there was a tie but he could veto any ordinance or resolution passed by the Council members. Given the absences of Council members, the Mayor cast a frequent vote. Legislation in 1884 returned the leader’s title to president for the Board of Trustees with an equal vote and no veto powers. Chosen by his peers, the term was for two years. Given resignations, changes in terms dictated by legislation, twenty-eight men led the community to 1911. The last major realignment of duties occurred in that year when the citizens (the 1910 Federal Census tabulated 5157 residents) voted to declare San Luis Obispo a Charter City. Carrying with it a variety of entitlements differing from a “general law” community, the interest here is the term of the separately elected office of mayor for a two-year term. The first was Archibald McAlister. A prominent real estate and insurance broker, he founded what today is known as Morris and Garritano Insurance Services. In recognition of the increasing duties associated with the office, the Mayor was granted $600 year in compensation. The highest paying job was that of clerk at $1500

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hospice corner

We are here for you.


4 things you should ask every terminally ill person By Mark Wilson

Lester Rogart& Nicole Pazdan, CSA


“Placing a loved one is full of complicated choices. | You can call on us to help guide and support you | | | through this emotional decision .” |


tarting a conversation with a terminally ill person about their situation is difficult. I don’t • A FREE service - No Cost to you. care if you’re a family member, a friend or • Extensive knowledge of Central their physician. It’s just plain hard. Dr. Atul AL A ZIN | SLO RNATION MAG Coast facilities. TE ST IN A O Gawande, surgeon and contributor to The C • Tour only appropriate facilities. T FILMSTIVAL RAL ENT AS FE EC O H New Yorker, believes there are four questions T C • Over 20 years of experience. F L E EO TRA LIF ZIN GA • Specializing CENand D that every terminally ill patient should be MA in Alzheimer’s IL Assisted Living placements.W A NEW TRAIL IN OUR FUTUREasked. You don’t need to a doctor to ask the questions either. CU





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Elder Placement Professionals, Inc Downtown




The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


Home &The four questions are: CENTRAL COAST


1. Do you know your prognosis? If not, the person deserves the most honest answer possible.

Still want to receive the Journal Plus in your mailbox? Sign up for a subscription for only $20 a year. Please start my one year subscription to the Journal Plus. Enclosed is $20. Name __________________________ Address ________________________ City ____________________________ State ________ Zip ______________ Return to: Journal Plus 654 Osos St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-546-0609 J U N E


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2. What are your fears about what is to come? People with terminal conditions need to know the truth about what they are facing. They also need reassurance from people with expertise who can guide them through their fears and help minimize unnecessary anxieties. 3. What would you like to accomplish as time runs short? What are your goals for the remainder of your life? Knowing what is important to the person can help you guide them through some of the tough decisions they will have to make … and help you understand why they are making them.


4. What are you willing to trade off for the possibility of added time? Are you willing to suffer more pain and discomfort for the sake of living longer? Some people prefer quality over quantity while others want to live as long as possible regardless of the consequences.



One of the comments we often hear from patients and families is, “We wish we’d known about hospice sooner.” When you need advice about anything having to do with a terminal illness and your options for care, Wilshire Hospice stands ready to have that conversation, even if it’s just about helping you start a conversation with someone else. Anyone—family member, friend, clergy, physician, can inquire about hospice services. And by contacting hospice early in the diagnosis, it enables the patient and family to have additional time to understand their options and choose a path that will have the most impact on quality of life.

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD THEME: U.S. GEOGRAPHY ACROSS 1. Prince or king in India 6. Bit of binary code 9. *Baltimore’s has deep enough water for largest ships 13. Ancient assembly area 14. Boy toy 15. Ancient Scandinavian characters 16. Bird action 17. Howard of “Happy Days” 18. To open 19. *Location of highest point in U.S. 21. Victorian era overcoat 23. William Penn to Sir William Penn 24. Civil rights concern 25. Watergate device 28. O. Henry’s “The Gift of the ___” 30. Baking soda 35. Seaward 37. Paris Hilton’s and Kelly Osborne’s dogs

39. Black cat crossing the street, e.g. 40. Try, as in a case 41. Wise guys 43. Frost-covered 44. *What Harvard Crew did on Lake Charles 46. Crystal ____ 47. Country alliance 48. Call for 50. Aforementioned 52. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 53. Retained 55. Strive 57. *The deepest lake 60. *Archipelago state 63. Disorderly disruption 64. Roswell subject 66. What sinners are expected to do 68. “The Waste Land” poet 69. Animal house 70. Pretend 71. Be dependent 72. Part of a hurricane 73. Absurd

DOWN 1. 50 Cent piece 2. Taj Mahal city 3. “Piano Man” Billy 4. Domains or expanses 5. Type of horse-drawn carriage 6. Creole vegetable 7. “New” prefix 8. Boredom 9. Often done on 4th down 10. Enough, for some 11. End of the line 12. Recipe amt. 15. *U.S. maritime neighbor 20. Breaks off abruptly 22. Dr. Frankenstein’s workplace 24. *Lake Superior holds this U.S. distinction 25. *Lake located on CA-NV border 26. Southeast Asia association 27. Active or lively 29. *Pacific Ocean territory 31. Sidewalk/road divide 32. Nimble

33. Word of mouth 34. *_____ Canyon 36. Singular of #4 Down 38. ___ _ good example 42. Judaic mourning 45. Stalin’s order, e.g. 49. Confederate general 51. Hindu Festival of Lights 54. One excessively concerned about decorum 56. Like yesterday’s meal? 57. Jazz musician Nat 58. Agitate 59. Call to matey 60. Use a whetstone 61. I, to a Greek 62. To let someone “__ __ it” 63. Joaquin Phoenix’ 2013 film 65. Whimiscal and otherworldly 67. Compass reading



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COMMUNITY Looking at the big issues ahead before the end of this term, it’s hard to rank them in terms of their lasting effect on San Luis Obispo. We’re still a small town (Population: 45,000). We need to be mindful and protective of that distinguishing and desirable character.

palm street perspective

• Cal Poly wants to disrupt a long-standing neighborhood with a dorm project. I predict a lengthy legal challenge and, if I’m still a voting member. I’ll support SLO City financial support of the neighbors’ initiative.

the countdown...

By SLO City Councilwoman, Kathy Smith The countdown is beginning:

• The term ends 12/1/14

• Six more months

• Life begins anew . . .

• 12 more Regular Council Meetings • Maybe 7,000+ more pages to study—Agendas, Environmental Impact Reports, Zoning Amendments, Funding Reports, Ballot Measures, Development Proposals, Legal Recommendations, Utility Service Rates, Compensation Studies, Homeless Considerations, Pension Alterations, Town-Gown Squabbles, etc. • Untold numbers of advisory meetings, ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, celebrations of this or that . . . • One more Journal column to write—after this one

For those who aren’t aware, I’m referring to this SLO City Council term and the fact I am not running for re-election. As a matter of fact I’m proclaiming that Eric Meyer is the 51-year-old independent candidate I support to take my chair at the Dias. His creativity, integrity and commitment are beyond reproach. His thoughtful positions will challenge all leadership. Make no mistake, there are many significant San Luis Obispo decisions on the horizon before I officially step down. And, you may be assured, I will be taking each one as seriously as I would if I were continuing. My soul includes an inherent need to “make a difference” for all in this community.

• The proposed Homeless Center on 40 Prado Road has great possibilities. The City will be financially invested and somehow, I pray we can find a way to develop a badly-needed de-tox center. I had an alcoholic friend who could not have survived “off the sauce” without that treatment. • The “Bible” of our City is the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) and we’re about to make some major changes: possible alteration of the noise/safety zone as it relates to the Airport; a “form-based” codes concept that promotes a ditto effect on accelerated development; straightening out our historic, wandering streets pattern in the name of ease of circulation; and much more. • Developments lining up include Chevron (Tank Farm Rd.), San Luis Ranch (Dalidio), Sunny Acres (Transitions Mental Health).

Governance of a fine City like San Luis Obispo is an honor. It’s not possible to go to the gym, grocery store, movie, dog park, a simple walk, etc. without being engaged in some conversation about a city issue. And, while that can get old and bothersome when you’re in a hurry, listening to the views of a diverse population is what it’s all about.

• Looming decisions—all important to our financial health—compensation parameters comparing City Staff with SLO businesses; a legal approach to the Binding Arbitration dilemma; and considering the investment of major dollars in assuring the maximum availability of Nacimiento water resources.

One’s depth of perception about human nature and the differing life conditions is enhanced immeasurably. I have always thought, “if you listen long enough, you will understand why an individual feels as he/she does.” The education never ends.

For the next 182 days, I pledge to continue to represent the best interests of the broadest possible segment of this community ... especially those who can look beyond their own personal interests and see the spirit of our multi-dimensional population.


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

Liz Hiatt 805 Aerovista #103, San Luis Obispo



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SLO and Avila: Liz Hiatt 773-6418


Los Osos/Morro Bay/Cayucos/Cambria: Annie Clapp 878-8876


South County: Barbara Nicholson 748-4705

North County: Sandy Hexberg 235-1529



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


June 2014

W hat ’s U p Downtown B usiness Spo tlights

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look at those students with a moment of nostalgia une is a great month to be American in San as I recall all of the great experiences that I had Luis Obispo and the Downtown Association is when I was in their shoes. These are the future excited to be a part of the mix. Nothing can be business owners, directors and politicians that will more American than small town businesses and run this country someday and I hope that they can residents getting together over hometown politics look back on their experiences in our Downtown and Concerts in the Plaza and we are proud to be with fondness and not with the bitterness of town involved with all three of those elements. Perhaps and gown issues. That being said, there is no free Concerts in the Plaza isn’t American per se but pass that grants any of our residents the right to it does exhibit true American spirit in the form Dominic Tartaglia, Executive Director burden one another and that is why it is important of uniting people of diverse backgrounds, ages, that our citizens remember the value of articulate tastes and musical preferences for the pursuit dialogue among stakeholders. If it sounds like I am of happiness. We the people of the San Luis Obispo referring to politics, that’s because I am. Downtown Association, in order to form a more perfect downtown, ensure domestic tranquility and promote the hile the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association is general welfare do ordain and establish that this June, great not a political entity by definition I would be remiss things are happening in Downtown. to say that we aren’t involved in local politics. There seems to be a misperception about our involvement in local his month we will see students graduating from local government and it has become more apparent lately. The high schools and preparing to go off to careers and fact of the matter is we as an organization represent the universities all across the country as well as watching Cal collective voices of the Downtown business and property Poly students donning caps and gowns before taking the owners within a very specific geographic area. Therefore, rite of passage from student to professional and walking at we can only speak up when an issue directly affects our commencement. As a SLO High and Cal Poly Alumnus, I members. Local issues like Measure Y,



On the Cover: Nada Rasta jammin' at last year's Concerts in the Plaza presented by Sunset Honda. Nada Rasta will kick off the muchanticipated summer concert series for the fourth straight year on June 13! The free family-friendly music event happens every Friday night from 5 - 8 PM in Downtown's beautiful Mission Plaza and runs through September 5 with a double header on July 4. Photo by Mukta Naran.

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Downtown parking, and helping the homeless are concerns our membership has consistently told us affect them. Once our members make the Downtown Association Board of Directors aware of their position in those regards, we take the discussion to our elected officials just as any other citizen or citizen group would, in hopes that we can articulate a message addressing their concerns. At other times, a message comes to us from those officials and we are here to direct the message to our membership. In either situation, we are not the entity that prescribes the policies, but we do our best to carry the message and open greater dialogue.


s we move closer to Election Day there is no doubt that our association will be called upon by our members to carry a message to our elected officials and to be engaged in the discussion surrounding issues that affect local business and I welcome that. Not only as the Executive Director of this association but also as an American I encourage the community to remember the power of voting in November and to exercise that right. That being said, you don’t need to wait until November to start exercising. For the third year in a row, Sunset Honda presents Concerts in the Plaza with Nada Rasta kicking off the first show of the season and your first chance to come dance in the Mission Plaza.

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ver the course of 13 consecutive weeks, 14 local bands will put on the best free concerts in San Luis Obispo County with a lineup as diverse as all 44 United States presidents. On any given Friday night, sounds of Reggae, Blues, Electronica or Gypsy Rock will transform Mission Plaza into one of the most unique concert venues along the Central Coast. To ensure the tranquility and general welfare of the people, the Downtown Association and vendors will be ready with local food, beer and wine because we know that nothing makes our guests in the plaza happier than a cold drink and a bite to eat with a crowd of your friends. This year we are proud to introduce four new bands to our lineup including Rio Salinas, Diego’s Umbrella and Fialta. Don’t forget that the 4th of July falls on a Friday this year which means we will be having a double header show with our fourth new band Próxima Parada and a veteran to our series, Cuesta Ridge.


his June I look forward to a productive primary election as well as a joyous graduation for all of our students as they move on to the next chapter in their lives and of course, I am excited to see all of our loyal Concerts in the Plaza fans showing up at the Mission Plaza to get down and cut loose.

D o w n t o w n

B u s i n e s s

Lynda Flynn at Willow Nest

S p o t l i g h t s


er passion for beauty is evident not only inside the shop, but also outside in their luxuriously ust when you think Downtown San Luis Obispo couldn’t quaint and awardwinning gardens. get any more charming, it does! Lynda Flynn and her The serene outdoor husband, Ludmil Marcov are bringing old-world European charm and romance to charming Downtown SLO with their space filled with new boutique, Lynda Flynn at Willow Nest! Located across colorful flowers and foliage from beautiful Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa at 970 Chorro Street, Lynda Flynn at Willow Nest is a wonderment recently won the honors of a Beautification Award from the of all things pretty and delicate. The boutique is filled with Downtown Association. While the ambiance of this secret carefully curated European textiles, French linens and lace, garden is breathtaking, it’s merely a beautiful backdrop to vintage finds and an assortment of fine, hand-selected items the real hidden treasures—the highly sought after works of Ludmil’s handcrafted garden pieces. Ludmil, an architect to adorn your home. Lynda says, “It’s a way of life. I’m turned artiste, specializes in rejuvenating iron fragments and inspired by beauty and I like to share it.” various elements, giving them new life in the form of ornate arbors, aviaries and garden follies. he lifestyle shop also houses religious artifacts, old chateau keys, 17th century relic boxes, vintage ome take in the beauty, romance and charm of Lynda notebooks and upcycled furniture and décor pieces. They Flynn at Willow Nest, Tuesday through Saturday from even carry delicate baby clothes, nightdresses as well as 11 AM – 6 PM and Sunday 12 PM – 4 PM. clothing and jewelry lines for today’s woman featuring elegant, but casual, easy care fabrics with a European Written By: Mukta Naran flavor.

Lynda Flynn & Ludmil Marcov, Owners 970 Chorro Street (805) 548-1880




While Haro recognizes other Elliot Haro, Owner similar agencies 1065 Higuera Street, Suite 301 in the area as (805) 204-4483 being excellent, he believes that what sets apart Haro Environmental, Inc. owntown San Luis Obispo is known for its shops, from competitors restaurants, ambiance and intertwined among it all is quality service you’ll find several professional business offices. It’s the and responsiveness. heart of the Central Coast! So when faced with the dilemma “Service is #1 with of leaving the area for his former job in San Clemente, Haro Environmental. I am available when clients need us owner Elliot Haro made the decision to open his own and they can count on us to be there,” he said. business right here in Downtown SLO. With a Bachelors and Masters in Soil Science from Cal Poly, as well as 14 hoosing Downtown SLO for his business was an years of experience in the environmental field, he opened obvious decision for Haro. His main reason for opening Haro Environmental, Inc. in an office at 1065 Higuera, up in Downtown SLO was the proximity to his clients and Suite 301 sharing space with Sage Institute, Inc., another other business connections. Haro says it’s nice to be able to environmental consulting firm. easily visit his clients’ businesses and provide his standard

Haro Environmental, Inc.




aro Environmental, Inc. is a consulting firm that provides site assessment as well as remediation services in the case of contamination. The firm works mainly with commercial real estate, developers and banks to assess sites and in some cases clean up contamination.

of service in person. Plus, Haro said, “Who doesn’t love Downtown SLO?” (We couldn’t agree more). By: Emily Seropian

For more information on Downtown Association events, programs and activities, or to sign up for our weekly Deliver-E newsletter, visit

June 13

Nada Rasta Sponsor:

reggae rock

Moondoggies Beach Club


funk - n - soul

June 27


live indie electronica


Jules D.

July 4

Próxima Parada*3-5 PM soul, blues & americana

Sponsor: Grand Central Music Store B L ER U DO ADE Cuesta Ridge*5:30-7:30 PM HE california jamgrass Sponsor: Frog & Peach

in the

FREE LIVE MUSIC, Fridays 5 - 8 PM* in Downtown SLO’s Mission Plaza


June 20

Burning James and the Funky Flames

July 11

Rio Salinas


rock, country, blues & cal-mex Sponsor: Law Office of

Diane M. Itzenhauser July 18

Diego’s Umbrella

gypsy rock Sponsor: Mother’s


July 25



indie - pop

Kreuzberg Coffee Company August 1

The Kicks

conscious modern roots reggae Sponsor: Creeky Tiki

August 8

Damon Castillo Band brought to you by:


rock & soul

Cornerstone Real Estate August 15


Truth About Seafood BIKE VALET SPONSOR:

rock & blues

Adamski Moroski Madden Cumberland & Green LLP


August 22

proudly pouring:

Resination Sponsor:


San Luis Obispo Transit August 29

The JD Project

california roots rock Sponsor: Wallace Group

September 5

For details, contact the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association at (805) 541-0286 or No Smoking in Mission Plaza | No Pets | Food & Drink Available | No Outside Alcoholic Beverages

Big Daddy’s Blues Band r&b, bluesy jazz Sponsor: San Luis Luggage



Libraries awarded funds toward four projects,

The Foundation for SLO County Public Libraries awarded a total of $14,069.46 from the Barbara Baltimore Library Endowment to fund four projects in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. This year the Morro Bay and San Miguel Libraries each received a grant to purchase Early Literacy Stations. Funds were also used by the Shell Beach Library to help purchase a Self-Check Station, with matching funds provided by the Friends of the Shell Beach Library. Giving patrons the ability to check out their own books will free up Michele Holland, the sole librarian at the small branch, to help other patrons with computer searches, or to locate materials. The Library Foundation approved a grant to the A.G. Library to enhance and reconfigure its Teen Section (pictured above).

Improved bike racks at c.L. Smith

Nationally celebrated Bike to School Day kicked off locally with the installation of significantly improved bike racks at C.L. Smith Elementary School, at no cost to the school or San Luis Coastal Unified School District. A special ribbon cutting event was held last month to unveil the new racks. The new racks are the result of the collaborative support of a local group of parents and citizens, Foothill Cyclery, and San Luis Obispo Regional Rideshare. Parents at the school first brought up their concerns about the current racks after recognizing how impacted and outdated they were.

volunteers needed at literacy council

The Literacy Council for SLO County has an ongoing and urgent need for volunteer tutors throughout the county. To volunteer, please visit our website for more information. The next tutor training will be on Saturday, June 7th from 10am-3:30pm at the SLO County Library. For more information call 541-4219.

this day is for the dogs

Community wayfinding sign project in slo

As part of the SLO wayfinding sign project, nine prototype wayfinding signs were recently installed in downtown. A ribboncutting ceremony was held at the corner of Palm and Morro Streets last month to unveil the new signs.

Come run with your dog at the 2nd Annual Fire Hydrant 5K. The Fire Hydrant 5K returns to Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach on Saturday June 7th. Participants and their four-legged friends will run a beautiful out-and-back course along Ocean Blvd. The race starts at 8am and the fastest human-dog duos will be awarded medals. All pre-registered runners will receive an event t-shirt, pet bandanna, and Doggie Bag. After the race, stay and enjoy the Dog Expo (8am – 12pm) which will feature K9 demonstrations, a Doggie Fashion Show, and entertainment. You can also try out our new Fire Hydrant Agility Course and participate in free contests with your dog. The Dog Expo is free to the public. Registration for the 5K is just $30 through May 23rd and then increases to $35. To register or find more information visit our website at


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research. “The Quest” Golf Tournament at Monarch Dunes on June 20th begins at 9:30 am. A shot-gun start, four person scramble, starts at 11:00 am. The registration fee is $150.00 per person and includes dinner after the tournament at Trilogy, a variety of prizes, a goodie bag plus an additional free round of golf at Monarch Dunes. Anyone who would like to play, donate items for the auctions, or sponsor the tournament, should contact Sharon Rude at (805) 473-8980 or by email at sharonrude@ More information about the Sharon Leigh Ovarian Cancer Foundation is available at the website:

slo noor foundation fundraiser

The SLO Noor Foundation is the beneficiary of all attendee donations at the Wednesday, June 18th Summer Green and Healthy Living Expo, to be held at Avila Bay Athletic Club and Spa, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. There will be free food sampling and live music with Jon Stephen. There will also be over 30 booths plus $1,000 worth of free giveaways. For more information: 805.473.5064.

central coast’s first cardiac hybrid suite

French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) recently unveiled the new eight-million dollar George Hoag Family Advanced Hybrid Surgical Suite. This technologically advanced hybrid suite will combine the benefits of a specialized catheterization laboratory with a state-of-theart operating room. It is specifically designed to allow different teams of specialists to operate on a patient without moving him or her as various procedures are conducted. This is the only such surgical suite between Los Angeles and San Francisco. At a recent tour, Luke Faber M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Michael Famularo M.D. (not pictured), Cardiologist, Jay Parmar M.D., Interventional Radiologist, and FHMC’s CEO, Alan Iftiniuk spoke about this big leap into the future.

3rd annual “the Quest” Golf tourney

The Sharon Leigh Ovarian Cancer Foundation [a 501(c)3 organization] is proud to announce that its 3rd Annual “The Quest” Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, June 20th at the Monarch Dunes Golf Course in Nipomo. Since 2012, the Foundation has raised nearly $80,000 with net proceeds donated to Cedars-Sinai for early detection of ovarian cancer

celebration benefits two non-profits

The Five Cities Men’s Club, a nonprofit service club known for its support of local youthrelated activities and organizations, presented Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County, which operates Tolosa Children’s Dental Center, and the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum each a check for $3,553 representing net proceeds from a dinner-dance celebration in honor of the 10th anniversary of Unfinished Business, a local ‘60s rock and roll band. Over 180 people attended the event on April 5th at the Pismo Beach Veteran’s Memorial Building. Special guest performers included former band members Terry Lawless of U2 and Pink, and Kerry Sanner, a former lead-singer for the band.

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city to sea bike trail extension

A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the project completion of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail extension was held recently. This project successfully extended the Class 1 bikeway from its former southerly terminus at the Water Resource Reclamation Facility to Los Osos Valley Road. The Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail is conceptualized as a safe alternative transportation route extending from SLO to Avila Beach. The scope of this project included the installation of a bike and pedestrian friendly bridge over Prefumo Creek, and modifications to the traffic signal at Los Osos Valley Road and Highway 101. These signal modifications allow for an alldirection bicycle phase, which assists bicyclists in safely traversing the intersection, independent of vehicle traffic.

slo transit celebrates 40th anniversary

The City of SLO designated May 8th as the official day it celebrated SLO Transit’s 40th year anniversary. The event was marked with a recognition ceremony for past & present Mass Transit Committee members, Council members and invited community members who have contributed to the success of the local transit system. In April 1974 SLO Transit rolled into service with two 17 passenger Micro Buses (pictured above). The new service consisted of two routes: Route 1 provided half hour service to Foothill Boulevard and Route 2 provided service to Johnson Avenue and to the Laguna Lake area with hourly service. SLO Transit transported approximately 168,000 passengers in its first year of service. Today, SLO Transit now operates eight routes and transports over 1,100,000 riders annually on its fleet of 16 vehicles. SLO Transit has received numerous awards and recognitions, including qualifying for Federal Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC) funding; provided only to “small cities (which) provide a level of transit service far greater than their size and density characteristics would typically suggest (” SLO Transit will be introducing FREE Wi-Fi on two of its vehicles, as of May 8th, as an additional amenity on its vehicles.



Journal PLUS

SLO Country Club’s Mike Stanton honored

SLO Country Club General Manager, Mike Stanton, has been chosen for the “Excellence in Club Management Award” (ECM). This very prestigious award is given annually to only two country club managers in the United States. One is for individuals who manage clubs with more than 600 equity members, and the other is for general managers of clubs with less than 600 equity members such as SLOCC. The selection committee consists of 14 general manager/ COO’s from very well regarded clubs around the country. The process is lengthy and the award is based strictly on a manager’s performance at his/her club. Mike was honored in early February at an awards banquet in Florida at the Country Club of Orlando.



Ervin of SLO was named “Hero Volunteer of the Year.” Scottie Morris of SLO was honored as a Life Member for her 16 consecutive years of service encompassing more than 5,000 hours of volunteerism as well. Last year, Sierra Vista Volunteers contributed more than 20,000 hours to the hospital in a variety of services. In addition, they donated nearly $21,000 to local scholarships and non-profit organizations.

slo wine country’s “roll out the barrels”

Ushering in the official kickoff to the summer season, SLO Wine Country launches its 24th-annual “Roll Out the Barrels” celebration with new expanded events happening on June 19–22. Reservations may be made by phone at (888) 825-5484.

slo rotary donates over $1 million since 1984

In 1984, a handful of members from an existing Rotary Club decided it was time to form a new club, and spread the good works of Rotary deeper into the community. Thirty years later, the Rotary Club of SLO de Tolosa is 93 members strong, representing all areas of the community. Recently the Rotary de Tolosa members came together to recognize the club’s 30-year anniversary, and celebrate three decades of local and international service, true to the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.” Over the past 30 years, it is estimated that more than $1 million has been given in grants and support to local organizations, as well as international projects.

slo toastmasters club takes home first place

The SLO Toastmasters Club, #83, proudly represented SLO by sending two speaking contestants to the Division E-Spring Speaking Contest, which comprises all of SLO and Santa Barbara Counties. Sharelle Harms and Jeff Forrest took home first place. Toastmasters is an international organization whose mission is to help each member become a better communicator and leader. Club #83 meets every Thursday morning. For more information about SLO Toastmasters visit or like us on Facebook.

outstanding volunteer of the year

Sandy Rans of Los Osos was named “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” by the Volunteer Auxiliary at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center at its 40th Annual Awards Luncheon held at Sierra Vista. The event recognized the hospital’s more than 100 active volunteers, including 30 college students, for their years of dedicated service. Jim

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eye on Business

Sherrie Fisher: From Bus Driver to boss By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates

And like everything Sherrie does, she just jumped in, and did it. She was eager to learn—on the job and in the night classes she took at Santa Barbara City College. After she had been driving for a few years, a spider bite proved to be unlikely good fortune. Sherrie had a bad reaction to the bite, leading to an infection and a badly swollen leg. She couldn’t drive, so her employer instead had her come in and help in the office. She was assigned to work with the planner who scheduled bus routes and times. She dove into the work, enjoyed it, got great at it, and when that staff member left MTD, she moved into the planner position. And so it continued up a many-runged ladder. I asked Sherrie how a rookie bus driver becomes the boss of a 200+ employee organization with an annual operating budget of $23 million (and an additional $16M for capital) and she answered without a pause: “I just kept raising my hand.” Sherrie took classes, added work assignments and kept moving forward taking what she called many “small steps.” She didn’t set out to be the general manager. From scheduling and planning she was promoted into marketing; from there to risk, personnel and operations. In 1988 Sherrie was named assistant general manager (a post she held while juggling her other assignments). Sherrie learned to negotiate labor contracts and insurance packages. She mastered the ins and outs of HR management. She’s held almost every job at the district and knows how they all work.


herrie Fisher will have logged 40 years in the transportation industry when she retires this July, but something tells me she’ll be off and running with new plans. This is a woman on the go. Sherrie is the general manager of the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD), a large, demanding position— but it’s her trek to the top spot that got my attention. I had the opportunity recently to spend some time with Sherrie and get to know her better, and I can tell you she is one of those people who just elevates any conversation. Her enthusiasm and passion shine through. Sherrie is a Minnesota native who landed in California as a young adult. She was interested in education, but as a single mom, had to work fulltime and couldn’t afford college. She needed a job at a time when jobs for women were tough to come by. She made her way to the then-much-smaller Santa Barbara Transit District and got hired on as a bus driver. Sherrie still remembers that she was driver #19. She also held the distinction of being the first female driver in the system. J U N E


Journal PLUS

Sherrie became acting general manager in 2003 and was named general manager a year later. She will have been GM for ten years when she retires. Sherrie’s resume is an enviable read of career progression, but I suspect it’s the “something more” that really makes things hum: Sherrie is a woman who connects. With MTD employees, members of her board of directors, the community at large and the thousands of riders who depend on the transit system every day. Today the mother of five and grandmother of five is excited about where life may take her next. She’s wistful about leaving the organization that’s been home for the last four decades. She promoted the industry as a great career track for women and men alike. And what will she miss most when she turns in her keys? “The people. People haven’t changed.” So there you have it. Sherrie Fisher, a runaway success of a career; an admired and respected professional who has touched hundreds of thousands of lives, and a down-to-earth, engaging conversationalist. She’s fun. And she got to the top the old-fashioned way, probably one of the reasons I’m so admiring: she raised her hand. Congratulations and thanks to Sherrie for following a most inspiring path. Job well done.

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Profile for SLO Journal

June 2014 Journal Plus Magazine  

June 2014 Journal Plus Magazine