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Journal PLUS AUGUST 2012




Twila Arritt


Serving the entire SLO County since 1978


Cindy Newton

Pamela Bliss



Beautiful • Comfortable • Contemporary • Energy Efficient • Mountain Views! Award winning remodel. SLO 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. Must see! $759,000

Quality ranch style 3+ bed, 2 bath home situated on 1 acre in Nipomo. Serene Country setting. Fully equipped 15 x 35 greenhouse. Bonus room could be a great office, den or guest room. Large kitchen, vaulted ceilings and skylights throughout house. For more info call our AG branch 904-6616. $575,000


Near the Village of AG, Gleaming remodeled home in rural setting. 3 car garage + bonus rooms, RV parking, completely fenced oversized lot. More info call 904-6616. $498,500

Spacious Paso Robles home on hilltop w/ hillside views. Paved road & driveway. 4 bd plus den/ office w/ 2 1/2 ba. 500 sqft covered patio. Nicely landscaped, low maint yard with fruit trees. $359,000

Fantastic SLO Location!


Kelly Hannula REALTOR®

Janet Shaner REALTOR®

Larry D. Smyth

Jennifer Hamilton


Relocation Director

Stephanie Hamilton


Mary Rosenthal


Vicky Hall

Laura Rizzoli

Patricia Garrison




Theresa Carroll

Annette Mullen

Sunny, energy efficient, quiet upstairs flat. Gorgeous views of Bishop’s Peak from the SW deck. Close to Cal Poly, shopping, & hiking. Open, airy floor plan with attached one car garage. All units must be owner occupied. $278,000

Nice 2 bed, 1 bath twin home located near Arroyo Grande High School. Fenced backyard with double-gate side entry. Orange tree. More Info call 904-6616. $217,900

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

Chris Stanley REALTOR®

Christine Williams REALTOR®


Saturday AUGUST 25

NOON & AGAIN AT 12:30 PM The San Luis Obispo County Early Warning System sirens will be tested on Saturday, August 25. The sirens will sound twice — at noon and again about 30 minutes later — and will last 3 to 5 minutes. This is a test and does not require any action on your part. During the tests, local radio and television stations will be conducting normal programming. However, if you hear the sirens at any other time go indoors and tune to your local stations for important emergency information and instructions. When at sea, tune to Marine Channel 16.

Saturday, August 25 – it’s only a test.

Sponsored by the County of San Luis Obispo Office of Emergency Services and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Paid for by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.



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

654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401








ADVERTISING Jan Owens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Jennifer Best, Sherry Shahan, Ruth Starr, Muara Johnston, Judy Zimmerman, David Baumgarten, John Ashbaugh, Jeanne Harris, Gordon Fuglie, and Phyllis Benson Mail subscriptions are available at $20 per year. Back issues are $2 each. Inquires concerning advertising or other information made by writing to Steve Owens, JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE, 654 Osos Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. You can call us at 546-0609, our fax line is 546-8827, and our e-mail is View the entire magazine on our website at JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is distributed monthly free by mail to all single family households of San Luis Obispo and is available free at over 600 locations throughout the county. Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE. Cover photo by Tom Meinhold

PEOPLE 10 12 14 16 18


HOME & OUTDOOR 19 20 22 24 26 28


COMMUNITY 30 31 32 34 36 41 46

VETS VOICE OUR SCHOOLS – Dr. Julian Crocker HISTORY: Parker H. French – part 1 HOSPICE CORNER / CROSSWORD PUZZLE PALM STREET – SLO Councilman, Ashbaugh DOG NEXT DOOR ALMANAC – The Month of August






Journal PLUS

A proud tradition of serving our community for over 26 years

CAYUCOS – New Construction in Numbered Streets with Coastal Access at the end of the block. Two master suites with high ceilings, lush carpet, travertine tile and coastal views. Natural Birch cabinetry, granite countertops and oversized Andersen windows allow incredible natural light throughout this custom home. Copper rain gutters and Green Features. Move-in ready with thoughtful design, exceptional craftsmanship and numerous amenities. $839,000 #2944

NIPOMO – This very private single-level home

sits on a one-acre flag lot. The three-bedroom, two-bath home has a detached one-bedroom granny unit. There are two fireplaces in the main home and one in the granny unit, and plenty of room with multiple storage sheds and RV parking. $450,000 #3021

SHELL BEACH – Enjoy panoramic views from this spectacular estate in the gated Bluffs neighborhood. The magnificent wrought iron and glass front entrance opens to the incredible view which is enjoyed by nearly every room. The welldesigned floor plan features a formal living room, dining room and family room on the entry level, private master suite upstairs and two bedrooms and office on the lower level. The gourmet kitchen is complete with granite counters. $3,997,500 #2932

Fantastic North Morro Bay Home MORRO BAY – Pride of ownership best describes this 3br/2ba home in move-in ready condition. Features downstairs family room, 1BR & full bath, while the upstairs features an open living room, river rock stone fireplace & fantastic views of Morro Rock, ocean & lush back yard landscape. Beautiful master bedroom with ocean views & large closet. Knotty pine cabinets, hardwood floors, plantation shutters, indoor laundry room, 2-outdoor decks & small yard. Walking distance to the park & 2 distinguished schools. Hurry & get your buyers through, this won’t last. $529,900 #3031

Must See to Appreciate SAN LUIS OBISPO – Two bedrooms plus a den

(possible 3rd bedroom) and two full baths, this adorable doll house is just blocks to Cal Poly yet on a quiet street. Original hardwood floors though most of the home, private and quiet backyard, new exterior paint, nice views and more! This is a must see home! $489,000 #3038

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Well maintained 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on large lot in desirable Old Country Club neighborhood with detached 1 bedroom, 1 bath guest suite. Marble tile entry, hardwood floors, bright and airy kitchen and two-sided fireplace between living room and family room. Beautiful landscaping, spa located outside master bedroom and detached unit with 3/4 bath perfect as a guest suite or office. Located near Los Ranchos elementary school, golf and Country Club. $629,000 #2936

SAN LUIS OBISPO – This 3 bedroom 2 bath secret garden with a detached full studio is a must see! Located close to downtown SLO, this home has high ceilings, hardwood floors, skylights, free standing fireplace, and many more wonderful features. A new roof was just recently installed as well! $609,000 #3036

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

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

Just a couple minutes to downtown SLO. 3400 sf single level home, 4 bedrooms 3 baths, sitting on a very private 2 acres. Great floor plan for entertaining. The back and front yards are fully irrigated and landscaped with Asian, Western, and Mediterranean gardens as well as multiple fruit trees. Great 3 car garage for the toys. Plenty of room for horses. The adjacent 3.7 acre parcel is also available. Asking $1,125,000.

F Nipomo. Very private home that sits on a usable 1 acre flag lot. A single level three bedroom 2 bath home with a detached 1 bedroom 1 bath granny unit with full kitchen Two fireplaces in main home and one in granny unit. Multiple sheds and RV parking. Mature oaks and circular driveway. Asking $450,000

Cheap Living in San Luis Obispo. Doesn’t get any cheaper than this than to live in a sought after California city. Located in Rancho San Luis, this mobile is on a quiet street and also gives owner access to the many park amenities including a pool, spa, clubhouse and laundry facility. Asking $29,000

Johnny Hough Owner / Broker

(805) 801-5063 962 Mill Street, SLO See more listings at

or the sixth straight year Jan and I attended the Jack’s Helping Hand (JHH) fundraiser at the Santa Margarita Ranch last month. This sold-out BBQ fund-

raiser event for special needs children brought in the highest amount of donations ever received. Over $200,000 was raised for the program. The event included a traditional barbecue buffet, live music, a silent and live auction with seasoned auctioneer Jim Settle and the good company of others who share the passion for assisting special needs children in SLO. It’s the most well organized and efficiently run event that we attend. Pictured above are the founders of JHH, Paul and Bridget Ready, and Owen Beck, one of the first JHH recipients, with Master of Ceremonies, John Summer.

This month completes our eighteenth year in business. We started this venture with a philosophy of sending out the good news happening here, and most everyone welcomes us into their homes. We couldn’t do this without the support of our advertising partners. Several of these businesses have been with us for the entire eighteen years. Most are family-run businesses like this one. The partnership goes both ways...they support us and our readers support them. Please continue this as we begin our nineteenth year.

Plenty of good reading again this month. Enjoy the magazine,

Steve Owens

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

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

UPCOM ING E V EN TS Thursday, August 9, 8 pm Joe Goode Performance Group Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, August 11, 8 pm JUMPBRUSH Cal Poly Arts

Tuesday, August 14, 7:30 pm US Air Force Band of the Golden West CPA & PAC Outreach

Cal Poly Arts

Friday, August 17, 7 pm Sat., August 18, 2 pm & 7 pm Confessions of a Love Junkie

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 7:30 pm The Capitol Steps

CORE Dance Co.

Sunday, August 12, 2 pm Dancin’ 2012

The Academy of Dance

Saturday, Sept. 15, 3 & 8 pm Aloha Today, Tomorrow, Always Ohana Dance Group

Phone | 805.756.4TIX Fax | 805.756.6088


Tuesday, Sept. 25, 7 pm National Circus of the People’s Republic of China

Cal Poly Arts

Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 pm Elvis Costello Cal Poly Arts





G AT E S O P E N AT 2 : 3 0 P M • C O N C E R T AT 4 P M

FE ATU R ING José María Gallardo del Rey, Guitar & Anabel García del Castillo, Violin with Bob Wacker, Master of Ceremonies Fun, sun, music and romance with a Spanish flair . . . Pops Romántico. The BEST way to spend Labor Day Weekend on the Central Coast! ...................................................................................................



Jack and Jill went up a hill... Jack fell down so Jill took him to the Arroyo Grande

Community Hospital Emergency Room, and now they’re heading uphill again. At the Arroyo Grande ER, the average wait time to be seen by a Board Certified Emergency Physician is 20 minutes or less and we never ask you to pay a pre-registration fee. Just a few reasons why the Arroyo Grande ER is nationally ranked for patient satisfaction.

a r r o y o g r a n d e h o s p i t a l . o r g | f r e n c h m e d i c a l c e n t e r. o r g | m a r i a n m e d i c a l c e n t e r. o r g



from Ohio to obispo

...slo symphony’s jim black By Susan Stewart


ow does a wood worker with a degree in economics (and no musical background whatsoever!) come to be named the San Luis Obispo Symphony’s newest Executive Director? Jim Black would tell you (with a revealing smile) that it was because former director Sandi Sigurdson finally “realized the error of her prior ways.” The person Sigurdson had been counting on was Black’s wife, Liz Vogler, a physician who had signed on to a three-year term on the Symphony board. When her busy schedule (as a doctor and mother of two) forced Liz to resign early, Jim was reluctantly permitted to take her place and complete the term. The year was 2003 and Black would serve on the Board for the next eight years before being named Executive Director in late 2011.

“Sandi recruited me to be the chair of the Education Committee,” says Black. “That struck my fancy more than I thought, and I jumped right in.” With Symphony staff, Black created and launched the Everyday Etudes music education program, bringing “classical music to the classroom and the classroom to the concert hall,” (says the Symphony website) and serving as the umbrella for the many other important

Jim Black helping with music in the classroom

music education programs initiated by Music Director Maestro Michael Nowak, and run by Symphony staff and musicians. “Given the threats to music education in public schools,” says Black, “the fact that we can offer a program that addresses core curriculum requirements … is amazing.” As a Symphony board member, Black served on the Music Education, Executive, Finance, Governance, and Ball Committees, as well as a term as board president. He also worked hard to steward the merger with the Youth Symphony, a partnership that greatly benefitted both organizations. For these and many other achievements, Black was the recipient of the Association of California Symphony Orchestra’s Most Valuable Player Award for 2010. So at a time of uncertainty, when unforeseen circumstances left the Symphony rudderless in mid-2011, Black stepped in as Interim Executive Director. He was named Executive Director later that year.



Journal PLUS

PEOPLE him to hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and mountain climbing. There were sailing and racing trips off the coast of Maine with his family. And he met a fellow called “Dean the Extreme” when they were just teenagers, mowing lawns in the neighborhood. “Once we met, we realized we could do much better as a duo than as competitors, so we combined our skills, offered more, and grew our client base,” said Black. “To this day, Dean continues to run a thriving landscape company back home called Dreamscapes.” Black’s first jobs included working as a set carpenter in Hollywood, selling dictation equipment, and managing an insurance claims processing department for Transamerica before he found his real footing in the software business, building multi-media products for CD-ROM in the early ‘90s with his older brother. After myriad projects across a variety of platforms, including complex sites for the Internet, he began pursuing another interest, founding his own wood working company, Blackwood Design, in 2002. The Black family: Liz, Jim, Elyse and JD

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Black was one of six children whose father, David Black, worked for a respected plastics and metal manufacturing company before launching a new career as a retirement planner at the age of 55. Black’s mother died when he was 3 years old, and he remembers his stepmother Polly Perry Black, a teacher, as the woman who raised him through college age. “I am a member of a strong, visible family that values honesty and hard work and naturally gravitates toward leadership positions,” says Black. “We had great fun teasing and spurring each other on to have an impact and live life.” But what really stands out for Black are the lessons he learned at sleep-away summer camp, on family vacations to Maine, and running a landscaping business with his friend Dean. The summer camps exposed

Black speaking to the crowd before the SLO Symphony performs

Black’s father-in-law is responsible for his move to the Central Coast. As a resident of Arroyo Grande and a musician with the Symphony, Roger Vogler enticed the couple to relocate here when it was clear they’d had enough of the L.A. area. Jim and Liz met in 1995, were married at the Edna Valley Vineyard in 1998, and moved here in 1999. In 2003, they purchased their first home in the west hills of Atascadero. Their two children, daughter Elyse, 7, and son JD, 6, are (according their father) “ … happy as clams attending Children’s House Montesorri school.” Citing “continued growth and stability” as the most concise way to sum up his plans for the Symphony’s future, Black elaborated: “I’d like to see us expand our audience, play more concerts, more venues, and adapt our presentations to capture the imaginations of new Symphony fans.” Working day to day with Maestro Nowak to broaden his musical knowledge and expand and create new programs has been “an awesome learning experience,” said Black. He applauds the quality of his board members, staff, musicians, and donors for their dedication, commitment to excellence, and generosity. And he is grateful for the collaborative spirit of his fellow arts


organizations such as Cal Poly Arts, Opera SLO, Festival Mozaic, ArtsObispo (The SLO County Arts Council), SLO Little Theatre, the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, and enthusiastic symphony supporter, Woods Humane Society. One of the most popular Symphony events, Pops by the Sea, happens every Labor Day weekend at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. This year, the theme is Pops Romántico, and will feature famed classical guitarist José María Gallardo del Rey and his wife, violinist Anabel García del Castillo. The festival will feature classics like Ravel’s “Bolero,” as well as popular favorites like the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.” Other upcoming special events include a winter collaboration with Cal Poly Arts when the Symphony teams with the Irish Tenors on December 21st at the Performing Arts Center for an unforgettable evening. In January, the Symphony will play a three-mission chamber tour at San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. And the Youth Symphony is headed for Chicago in June of next year for their own national tour. “Yes, we have a big year ahead of us!” said Black. “And we’ll be all over the county.” Five classics concerts, a slew of internationally famous soloists, plus special events in Los Osos and Nipomo are also planned, not to mention big plans for the nearly complete documentary feature “Botso.” Visit slosymphony. com for tickets, times, and more information. More than just a world class symphony with international venues and stellar performers in its long and revered history, the San Luis Obispo Symphony is also an important educator and inspiration to young people countywide. “People tend to think of the Symphony as the orchestra they see on stage, and the performance as a transient, temporary thing,” Black explained. “But more than a third of our budget is spent on music education programs … They touch the lives of those as young as newborns (at our free dress rehearsals) and as mature as our eldest fans (at the Symphonic Forays). These performances stimulate thought, and provide a welcome distraction from life, a respite from worry and angst. We feed the mind and inspire the soul with what we do.” All this from the heart of an econ major with a penchant for wood working. Who knew? Join Jim Black and the San Luis Obispo Symphony this season for some remarkable performances. Feed your mind, inspire your soul, and get away from it all. As Jim’s own experience proves, you don’t have to be a musician to love music. A U G U S T


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ristin Tara and Yishai Horowitz seem anachronous in this age of micro-managed merry-go-rounds, outlawed teeter-totters and overregulated swing sets. While the legal system sterilizes parks, playgrounds and public places in the interest of personal safety, the young San Luis Obispo couple thrives on designing physically challenging venues and events. “In today’s litigious society, things are sterilized to the point where people get too far away from reality. Reality is dangerous,” Yishai said. These are the founders of SLO-OP Climbing Gym and All Out Events, the designers of Mud Mash and Mud Mash X, and organizers and facilitators of the 12-hour Central Coast Adventure Challenge and Ancient Peaks Mountain Bike Classic. These are world-class events offering challenges that leave the legal set shaking their heads. “People think you have all these dangerous activities, but really, they’re so imposing that they’re also self-limiting; you don’t reach for

that next level or take on that next obstacle until you’re sure you’re ready,” Kristin Tara said. Both Bay Area natives moved to San Luis Obispo to pursue higher education. Yishai followed a friend to Cuesta College, then earned his degree in recreation administration from Cal Poly. Kristin Tara followed her brother to Cal Poly where she earned her degree in English with minors in animal sciences and theater. The couple met at SLO-OP Climbing Gym, a venture Yishai started in 2002 after seeing a similar concept during his travels in New Zealand. Climbers there worked together to design and build the climbing walls, regularly change the climbing routes and cooperate on the funding of projects. Essentially, whatever the climbing members wanted and were willing to fund and build, the climbers got. “I thought it was a cool concept,” he said. SLO-OP Climbing Gym was born in partnership with fewer than a dozen Central Coast climbing enthusiasts. Enter Kristin Tara, who had just moved to SLO from Yosemite. She wrote a climbing blog full of trip reports and recommendations for climbing venues, so writing about SLO-OP was only logical. “The first think I learned when I met Yishai was that I shouldn’t talk about things I know nothing about,” she said. “Without even trying the gym, I wrote something disparaging because my idea of climbing didn’t involve plywood walls and I hate gyms.” A U G U S T


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prise obstacles for the 2012 event won’t be revealed until Mud Mash weekend, but the event has been extended to two days to accommodate growth. “The success of Mud Mash really reflects what SLO-OP is: the community coming out to compete and to enjoy each other,” Kristin Tara said. “We initially sought out-of-towners, but we’re happy it’s become such a community event. It’s an opportunity to build, for San Luis Obispo, something that wasn’t there.”



The Horowitzes have other plans, all of which involve creating outlets for adventurous souls. “We want to build a little empire of fun things for people to do right here. Not cookie cutter stuff. We have the abilities and desire to do something more than that,” Kristin Tara said. For more information visit Other All Out Events activities are available at

In response to her Internet rant, Yishai invited her to experience the gym firsthand, and she was converted. The gym quickly outgrew its first location in a local storage space, then a couple of warehouses before it found its current space at 289 Prado Road in 2009. Now 800 members strong, SLOOP expanded its climbing facilities further in June and sees blue skies in its future. “I’m getting what I want out of it. I started it, and still feel it to be true, as a place for the climbing community to gather, to climb, to get stronger in their abilities and grow stronger as a community,” Yishai said. In 2005, Yishai also began All Out Events, a sole proprietorship focused on developing the Central Coast Adventure Challenge which he’d started as an internship project with ESPN radio. Challenge participants paddle, cycle, run, climb and scramble their way across Santa Margarita Lake, across Santa Margarita Ranch, over Cuesta Ridge, across Cal Poly lands and through San Luis Obispo during the now-annual event. Other events followed, not the least of which is Mud Mash, held at Laguna Lake Park the final weekend in October. The 5k/10k run includes a variety of obstacles sure to leave participants filthy and wet, and surprises around every corner. The first Mud Mash in 2010 attracted 400 participants who were treated with a bagpipe performance at the top of Madonna Mountain and harassed by Vikings at the finish line. The following year, 1,100 participants were introduced to the Alligator Pit. Sur-

Lending Responsibly



Journal PLUS



floral Designer

Katie Noonan By Ruth Starr


urrounded by flowers since she was a child in Sonoma County, Katie Noonan, now 30, fell in love with nature. Her father, an arborist and her mother, an avid gardener, cultivated beautiful flowers around their home. Katie recalls picking flowers from her mother’s garden, but didn’t realize her passion until she took a floral design course offered at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She followed in her father’s footsteps by attending Cal Poly. Through a campus club called Student American Institute of Floral Designers, Katie became active in floral designing. As a college senior, Katie worked at a floral shop on State Street in Santa Barbara. The owner, Michael Quesada, had connections to Cal Poly. While working there, she designed up to ten wedding floral arrangements in a weekend. Katie eventually graduated from Cal Poly with an agricultural business degree. Recently she had the privilege of going on a three-day hands-on floral workshop in Holland with only three other students. It was given with one of the world’s most internationally acclaimed floral designers, Pim van Akker. He taught that the strength of Pimdesigned is to translate nature to the individual. No design is the same and under the influence of nature, every design has its own individuality and value.

As her love of flowers grew, Katie began a business out of her home. To get started, she knew some friends who were getting married and offered to design their flower arrangements. Her most challenging wedding was designing for eight attendants with a unique bouquet for each one. Her business continued to develop through word of mouth in addition to the contacts she made as Events Director at Tolosa Winery, where she is still involved today. Whenever there is an event at the Winery, Katie does the floral designs. Katie, who lives with her husband in San Luis Obispo, has been recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) as a recipient of its coveted Certified Floral Designer (CFD) designation. She was granted this designation after successfully completing the Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFED). The AIFD is a national and international organization of only about 1500-1700 members in the world. People cannot just apply to get in; they have to go through three different stages. The 1st stage is called the Educational Pathway where you have to be a student or have experience in the industry for three years. The 2nd stage is to take online or written tests that includes all the principles and elements of floral design. This includes histories of periods of art and colors. After passing the 2nd stage, the applicant is then invited to test for the final Hands On Design Evaluation. That is the final hurdle to becoming a certified floral designer and ultimately part of the prestigious AIFD. Katie calls this arduous process the “Iron Chef” of Floral Design. There are ninety-five contestants gathered in a room together. They are each given a station where everyone is given buckets of flowers, the same supplies, vases, wire, etc. The people in charge tell the contestants that they have four hours to design five different categories that are: sympathy, arrangement, wedding, flowers to wear, and an exact duplicate of a picture that is given. During this 4 hour testing time, Katie was told to design a non-traditional wedding bouquet. She was judged on a scale of 1-5 on all of her arrangements. To be invited to be a CFD you need a 2.75 on the scale and for an AIFD it is a 3.75 on the scale. Katie is currently a CFD and in July of 2012 she was in Miami to be inducted to AIFD. Normally it takes two or three times to pass and only 20 out of 95 passed the tests. Happily she was one of them along with another former Cal Poly student. She also enjoys doing benefits for local organizations such as the Concours d’ Elegance benefiting Hospice or the upcoming Big Broth-



Journal PLUS

PEOPLE Katie and husband, Coby, at her induction into the AIFD in Miami last month.


ers Big sisters BIG Event. For these types of events Katie is giving her time to the community by providing them with a beautiful setting and floral arrangements in order to make their events memorable. Looking into the future she will be offering a few floral design classes, where people in the community can learn techniques and simple tricks in order to make fresh floral arrangements at home. When not designing, Katie loves to go to the beach with her husband and dog. She enjoys the outdoors where she dreams up some of her designs in nature. When designing a wedding, Katie meets with the bride and groom and finds out what their style is so she can customize the arrangements based on their settings. Every design is unique. The flowers are ordered and delivered from Carpinteria, as well as from the SLO Farmer’s Markets. She says it’s like being a cook where she has the ingredients and puts together the recipe. She usually has a vision is in mind before she receives the flowers. Katie grows some of her own succulents, which she uses in several of her arrangements. Katie’s company, Noonan’s Wine Country Designs, is based in San Luis Obispo and can be viewed at

No design is the same and under the influence of nature, every design has its own individuality and value.

N MacB EW In sto ook Pro ck no w!

N MacB EW In sto ook Pro ck no w!



Journal PLUS



From singing salad chef to managing artistic director

Slo little theatre’s kevin harris By Susan Stewart


is first on stage experience was breakdancing to Madonna’s “Lucky Star” in a 6th grade talent show at Shell Beach Elementary School. By the time he was a junior in high school, Kevin Harris knew he would study acting and theatre in college. He went after all the right credentials from all the right places and still, his first jobs in the Big Apple were typical of so many aspiring performers with stars in their eyes: he waited tables and was a singing salad chef in what he calls a “shady” Italian restaurant. “I was paid in cash,” he says, as if to prove the point. Harris earned his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from New York University, with a minor in music composition, his California teaching credential from Chapman University, and his MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Iowa. Such was the beginning of the long and arduous road to his current job as San Luis Obispo Little Theatre’s (SLOLT) Managing Artistic Director. On Harris’s watch, SLOLT had its most successful season in its 66year history; smashing all previous box office records and earning the coveted 2010 Hind Foundation grant for $50,000. During the past 12 months, our enduring, local, Little Theatre presented no fewer than 17 different productions, 12 of those evenings being all original theatre. When Harris took over two years ago, he says, “The Little Theatre re-committed itself to producing theatre that not only met the highest artistic standards, but theatre that would speak to all facets of our incredibly unique community. … From Rodgers and Hammerstein to Rebecca Gilman, A Christmas Story to Dinner with Friends, we offer the finest, most diverse theatrical entertainment … on 44 weekends out of the year.” Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Harris was the youngest (by far!) of three boys. His brothers, David and Darrin are eight and ten years older, respectively. The Harrises moved to the Central Coast when Kevin was just a few weeks old. His father was a journeyman union electrician and his mother worked in the Lucia Mar Unified School District. Kevin, Dom and Ella at the theatre

After his auspicious beginning as a wanna-be break-dancer, Harris began accumulating a long list of more serious performances. He would continue to act and perform and eventually direct for the next two decades and beyond. Among his favorite roles are The Russian in the musical Chess, Jaime in The Last Five Years, Reverend Hale in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. And he has directed such diverse projects as Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Ghost Sonata, Speed the Plow, Man of la Mancha, and Burn This. Upon graduation from Chapman College, Harris returned to San Luis Obispo in 1997 where he soon became artistic director of Centerpoint Theatre Group, a brave and inventive endeavor located next to the erstwhile Greyhound Bus Station on South Street. When their lease expired in 2003, Harris moved to New Orleans to take a job as theatre manager for the Contemporary Arts Center. Harris and his wife would return to the Central Coast just two years later for the birth of their first child, daughter Ella. Then it was on to Iowa City and graduate school. With his MFA in hand, Harris spent the next two years on the road, testing his directing “chops” with touring companies. But after the birth of their second child, son Dominick, Harris found himself “… looking for something a little more permanent; something that would offer a bit more opportunity for introspection.” He’d performed on the SLO Little Theatre stage during college in the early ‘90s, and in 2008, Harris was named its new executive director. He became Managing Artistic Director in 2010. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the place where I grew up,” he says, “to lead an artistic organization with such an incredible history, and to contribute to the overall cultural climate of the area.” The new logo, said Harris, represents his commitment to the theatre’s core values: inclusiveness, strength, professionalism, intimacy, and



Journal PLUS

PEOPLE experiences: The Best Man, It’s a Wonderful Life, Enchanted April, The Sound of Music, and Watergate and Other Solid Gold Hits. Running August 31 to September 23 is The Marvelous Wonderettes, a trip to Springfield High School’s prom in 1958. The Wonderettes are four girls with big dreams and close harmonies who bring you all the era’s best loved “girl group” hits, including “It’s My Party” and “Dream Lover.”

Kevin and Dom

creativity. “It embodies our desire to be a vital, vibrant contributor to the arts community,” he added.

On the website (, where news of current and upcoming shows can be found, Harris blogs about the daily scene

“Behind the Curtain” at the Best Local Theatre on the Central Coast (according to Best-of-SLO voters for two years running). Season tickets are available now. Today, some SLOLT performers would give up their next starring role (well, almost) to see a video tape of their fearless leader breakdancing to Madonna’s “Lucky Star.” For now, though, they’ll just have to be content to witness instead the contagious commitment to excellence Kevin Harris brings to every show he stages at San Luis Obispo Little Theatre … and thank their lucky stars for it.

In preparation for its 66th season, SLOLT focuses on its rich past and ambitious vision for the future. “The plays chosen for our main-stage season explore the fundamental questions of identity: who are we, where are we going, and what our place in the world will be when we get there,” Harris explained. “These wonderful plays … reflect the same questions our theatre has faced over the past two years.” The 2012/2013 season will offer up a wonderfully eclectic collection of theatrical

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Zheila pouraghabagher taking center stage By Sherry Shahan


heila Pouraghabagher is witty and wellversed in matters of the heart. But around 10:10 PM last Tuesday, just for a moment, she looked genuinely shaken when a certain (secret) prop item went missing. At CORE Dance Studios, rehearsals are under way for “Confessions of a Love Junkie.” The theatrical production—which originated last year after Zheila quipped, “Let’s do a show about love”—was co-created with 5-time Emmy Award winner Suzy Miller. Three hours and six espressos later, the energetic pair had a story line with a handful of character sketches. What began as caffeine-infused improv morphed into a solid plot revolving around a therapist (played by Zheila herself) who specializes in troubled relationships. The one-on-one therapy scenes play out as brief, yet evocative episodes, allowing most of the story to unfold through dance. Here we’re talking everything from hip-hop and lyrical jazz to vaudeville comedy and theatrical forms not yet defined. Zheila was born in Iowa City, Iowa, but her family moved to Los Osos when she was two years old. She’s the younger of two daughters of a mother who’s a veteran in the San Luis Obispo School District and a father who’s a professor at Cal Poly, teaching Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Her husband Ryan Mammarella teaches English at Morro Bay High School. As a young child, Zheila took classes at Central Coast Dance in Los Osos. Her debut recital? She pranced around Mission Plaza in SLO as a reindeer. Sadly, her antlers fell off. She remembers watching the Solid Gold TV series in the 1980s. “Afterward I’d go outside and twirl around the patio,” she told me. “I didn’t know it then but I was teaching myself to emote in a theatrical way.” As her dance training matured she was inspired by teachers, such as “Love Junkies” co-creator Suzy Miller, to develop her own style as a performer. “Not just with my body,” she said. “But by using facial expressions in a way that’s authentic—never fake.” Zheila earned a BS in Psychology from Cal Poly in 2000, and then took a year off to live in New York City where she was an instructor in the children’s program at Steps On Broadway, the epicenter of the city’s dance community. She received a work study scholarship at Broadway Dance Center, training in different types of jazz, and later returned to Cal Poly in SLO where she earned a Masters in Education. Today, Zheila has her own business: Central Coast Coaching. She describes herself as a muse, offering coaching services to help employees and executives develop goals, seek out solutions, and move toward positive action. Zheila became part of the American Dance Company at Pat Jackson’s American Dance Studio in SLO under the direction of Pat Jackson herself. (As serendipity would have it, “Love Junkie’s” cast members Stephen Patrick and Todd LeMay were American Dancers during that time.) When Pat Jackson became ill she asked Zheila to head the company. Zheila was 19 at the time. A U G U S T


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“I remember the first time I walked into American Dance Studios,” Zheila said with a wistful smile. “Miss Pat greeted me with a huge smile and I knew I’d found a special home. Pat Jackson is the reason I teach dance today.” Zheila joined CORE Dance Studio as a co-owner in 2011 and subsequently created an adult company. Her demeanor is agile—an infectious smile beneath a wispy bob of auburn hair. “It can be tricky for adults with fulltime jobs to balance their many commitments,” she said. “I’m unwavering when it comes to creating a space where adults can pursue their love of dance, a space where they can grow as artists, and perform if that’s their goal.” The diverse adult company ranges in age from 17 to 55-plus, and includes full-time students, teachers, business owners, a certified hair-apist, etc. Like the spirited cast, the pace of “Confessions of a Love Junkie” is fast and furious, as required by the choreography, which includes a number by Jesus Solorio, finalist from “So You Think You Can Dance,” and several numbers by Suzy Miller, who brings an impressive background in stage and screen. Rounding it out are tempestuous pieces created by company dancers Edgar Garcia and Eddie Gomez. “Part of our vision was to create a theatrical production for an adult audience,” Zheila said, hazel eyes full of life. “The kind of show that will stimulate discussion long after the curtain drops.” Not to give too much away, but one of the show’s stories revolves around a married couple seeking counseling. Inspired dances show the couple being served papers by a team of lawyers, clothing being packed, dramatic arguments and regret—all a realistic portrayal of a relationship gone wrong. A glimpse into the studio during late night rehearsals reveals as much attention given to each dancer’s storyline—emotions and motivations— as there is to perfecting steps, staging, and costumes. The captivating pop culture characters are guaranteed to make the audience laugh and cry through comical, and sometimes painful, journeys of life and love. “Confessions of a Love Junkie” plays one weekend at the Cal Poly Spanos Theater: Friday August 17th & Saturday August 18th.



a time and a place Museum of art exhibition by Channing Peake and Elaine Badgley arnoux By Muara Johnston Badgley Arnoux - Red Artichoke


n extraordinary meeting of two gifted artists is chronicled in an exhibition at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art titled A TIME AND A PLACE: The Artistic Encounter Between Channing Peak and Elaine Badgley Arnoux 1956 – 1962, on view July 27 – September 2, 2012. The exhibition is a visual diary of this profound encounter. In 1956, Elaine Badgley Arnoux (b. 1926) learned of a painter who was also a rancher in the Santa Ynez Valley. The artist was Channing Peake (1910 – 1989). When Ms. Badgley Arnoux was asked by the San Luis Obispo Art Association to organize a guest exhibit in the lobby of the Recreation Building in March 1957, she visited Mr. Peake at his ranch in Rancho Jabali, near Buellton. There she saw the artist’s paintings which were of inventive studies of farm machinery. At the time, Mr. Peake was preparing for an exhibition that would be presented at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. It was Ms. Badgley Arnoux who excitedly pushed for an exhibit in San Luis Obispo. The resulting exhibition was a landmark event. The combination of the extraordinary talent of Mr. Peake’s artwork curated by Ms. Badgley Arnoux, an enthusiastic young visionary, created a display that sent shock waves through the art community up and

down the California coast. The Cubistinspired works were juxtaposed with actual farm implements, and some of the implements were painted as well. The subject matter was unlikely, and the treatment of it, unexpected. From that time on Mr. Peake treated the young Ms. Badgley Arnoux as a colleague, encouraging her to paint with greater abandon and challenging her to rethink ideas of form. He steered her post-Cubist leanings towards celebrating sculptural presence in her work. His gentle commentary and direction greatly influenced Ms. Badgley Arnoux’s artistic voice. This encounter shaped her future success and she continues to be a celebrated working artist in San Francisco today. Mr. Peake’s place in California art history is undeniable. After studying muralism with Diego Rivera in Mexico, he joined the Art Students League of New York. There, he met Rico LeBrun, and through him, worked on murals with Lewis Rubenstein at Harvard, and LeBrun on a WPA project for Pennsylvania Station. His painting career enabled him to travel and work in Mexico, Central America and Europe. During this time he became friends with the artists Pablo Picasso and Francoise Gilot. The guest curator for A Time and a Place is Paul Bockhorst. It was Mr. Bockhorst’s

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timely and brilliant idea to bring together the artwork of these two artists. His tireless effort gathering information and locating the artwork for the exhibition has resulted in a beautiful catalogue documenting this extraordinary intersection. Mr. Bockhorst is a California cultural historian and an Emmy award-winning writer and producer. He is an expert on the history of art and architecture in California and is presently developing a documentary on the life and work of Channing Peake. An opening reception for the exhibit will take place Friday, August 3, 6-9 pm in conjunction with Art After Dark. A special Masters Lecture by Elaine Badgley Arnoux will be offered on Sunday, July 29, from 1-4 pm. Tickets for the lecture are available at Major support for this exhibition comes from the Hind Foundation. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and exhibiting the visual arts. Located at 1010 Broad Street, on the west end of Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, CA. Hours are 11-5 daily. Free admission, donations appreciated.

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camp cocker ...Helping adorable cocker spaniels find a loving home By Natasha Dalton


athy Stanley is one of those people who can restore anybody’s faith in humanity. She talks about her dog rescue work simply, and it’s only when you see dozens of cute doggie faces saved by her tireless efforts, you realize that without her, these dogs wouldn’t have survived. Cathy’s business model is unique. Originally from Los Angeles, she moved to the Central Coast specifically with the goal of opening a facility for her dog rescue non-profit, Camp Cocker. When a boarding facility in Atascadero became available for lease, Cathy signed up, and turned what was once nothing more than a row of kennels, into a well-organized facility, accommodating two adjacent services. The front of the building is housing a doggie day care Camp Wigglebutt; the rescue operation Camp Cocker is in the back.

“This arrangement is somewhat unusual, but the proceeds from the daycare help to pay for the rescue,” Cathy explains. Cathy dislikes the word “kennels” (it’s “bedrooms” and “playrooms” at her facility). “We’re trying to offer a truly comfortable and human interactive experience for our dogs,” she explains. “Layla, why did you rip up your bed?!” Cathy exclaims, stopping in front of a shivering dog in the “newbie part” of Camp Cocker. Cathy sounds comforting, not angry. “I’ll fix it up for you,” she says, and turns to another little pooch: “Bianca, why are you so tiny?!”— Bianca coughs. “We’ll fatten you up,” Cathy promises and continues her walk. “Hello Clark! You’re Clark Kent, because you’re super, like Superman!” Teeny Clark seems to be encouraged by these words. By the door, Buttons Staff member Mitch Meroney with friends

Cathy Stanley with Fiona and Marmaduke

waits for Cathy’s attention. “You’re cute as a button!” Cathy cheers. Buttons has a low immune system and looks anything but cute right now, but Cathy is sure that in a few months the dog will get better. Outside the newbies’ room, the atmosphere is entirely different: walk in and you’ll be greeted by loud voices of the happy, well-adjusted dogs of Camp Cocker. Cathy picks up two puppies and explains: “Fiona and Marmaduke are mutts. They’re American dogs! They’re born at the shelter, but now they’re ready to be adopted.” The puppies wag their tails and lick Cathy’s face. She gives each one a hug, then lets them go. “I get free facials here. They are the best,” she laughs. You can tell that she means it, too. Seeing the difference spending a few months at Camp Cocker makes, helps you appreciate the effort its staff puts into its work. That’s the reason behind the agency’s firm policy of refusing to give its dogs to people who lock them up in a garage or outside the house. The rescuers believe that a dog is a member of the family and should live indoors. “People don’t just come here and shop for dogs,” Cathy explains. Instead, they have to start with an application. “We really put a lot of thought into it. We explain everything about the breed, and we do reference checks,” Cathy says. Once the application is approved, and the home check is completed, Cathy begins the process of matching a dog to the family. “It’s not just, ‘Oh, you want a dog?’— ‘Here’s your dog.’ Some people want a quiet dog that is cool with a backyard; for them a mellow five-year-old will be perfect,” she says. “Other people are really active, they go hiking and jogging, and we go: ‘Oh, we have a good youngster for you!’ “It’s not just about giving a dog a home; it’s also about making adopters happy with their choice,” Cathy says.



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HOME/OUTDOOR Cathy spent years volunteering with animal rescue groups, but it was her experience during Hurricane Katrina that convinced her to start her own non-profit. When she saw TV reports about people crammed into the Superdome, she felt sad—and worried about animals these people had left behind … She checked Louisiana’s Craigslist (it was in 2005, before Facebook): the site was full of pleas for help to save animals trapped in empty houses. “I got on the first flight when the airport opened, and went down there,” Cathy says. “There were no hotels available. I had to rent a car to sleep in.” For the next two weeks, following the lead of a local rescue group, Cathy was checking out addresses for signs of life. Every day she drove to the city with cans of water and food for lost animals. For the return trip, she had to rent an SUV: she was coming back with six dogs. Once home, she started asking for donations, and


people responded. “I got all the dogs fixed up, then adopted,” Cathy remembers. All, but one. The one that didn’t get adopted was a cocker named Muffin. “She was really a project,” Cathy admits. Rescuers had found Muffin in a New Orleans’s apartment that had been vacated. “The owners came back after Katrina, but left her,” Cathy says. “Muffin was so weak she couldn’t stand up, but she still could howl— and she was howling. After we found her, we put her on fluids; it helped her make the trip to Los Angeles.” Being old and malnourished weren’t Muffin’s only problems: she was blind, and she had heartworms. Since traditional treatment ran the risk of putting Muffin into cardiac arrest, Cathy had to raise funds for a microscopic surgery. It was a seven-hour-long ordeal during which doctors pulled the worms out—and saved the dog. Muffin’s eyes and mange were taken care of as well, and she lived another two and a half years. Cathy cites Muffin’s story as an inspiration for her rescue mission. How it became a cocker rescue mission, even Cathy cannot explain.

Anna Shreeves with Dudley

“I formed a non-profit Katrina Dog Rescue,” she says. “Before I knew it, people were calling me: ‘Are you the one rescuing cockers? Rescue this cocker!’” She never said no, and soon people started saying: “Cathy rescues cockers.” Even though it wasn’t planned, Cathy now sees value in focusing on just one breed: “I can pass on my knowledge to people who adopt,” she says.


“Every five-to-six weeks a cocker gets hit by a car,” Cathy laments. “We have a leash law, but people don’t put leashes on their dogs. People think that the dog should know not to run into the street. No, you have to be responsible for your dog!” Otherwise, sad things happen. Two months ago Doctor Parra from Arroyo Grande called Cathy with one of those heart-breaking questions: would she accept a five-month-old puppy hit by a car? The owners had brought in the puppy a week prior for an exam, but didn’t follow the vet’s orders to take the puppy for surgery. Instead, they returned to ask Dr. Parra to put the puppy to sleep. “When Dr. Parra said ‘puppy,’ I quickly said, ‘YES! Don’t put him to sleep!’” Cathy recalls. “I raced over there that night and met him. It was on a Sunday. On Monday morning, I transferred him to an orthopedic surgeon, and he got his fractured humerus operated on.”

Clark Kent

Thanks to Cathy, this story has a happy ending; Quincy is now seven months old and is doing well. Cathy is confident that she won’t have trouble finding him a nice new home. Unfortunately, not all dogs are so lucky. Sweet five-year-old Dudley has been at Camp Cocker since last Halloween, when he was rescued from the high kill rural shelter in Hesperia. The poor dog had a severe case of pneumonia that had him hospitalized for four weeks. He is healthy now, but out of precaution, he should steer clear of potentially sick dogs—which means that instead of playing at dog parks, he should play with his humans. He really is a charmer, easy to fall in love with, and everyone at Camp Cocker believes that it’d best for him to be an only pet. “He’d be an amazing dog for those who enjoy a cuddling wiggler to share their couch or their bed with, and who love fun walks on the beach (Dudley loves the beach!)”, Cathy says, but so far Dudley’s had no takers. I’m so rooting for Dudley, too! Could you help find him a home? To volunteer, donate, inquire about adoptions, go to For boarding services, go to



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Beautiful angel island ellis island of the west By Judy M. Zimmerman photos courtesy of Angel Island State Park


nly a short ferry ride away from San Francisco or Tiburon, Angel Island is one of the best ways to spend an unforgettable day on San Francisco Bay. It offers breathtaking views of the skyline of the entire city and from Mt. Livermore there is a 350 degree view of the Bay. This gem of the California State Park system has more than 13 miles of hiking trails and nine miles of biking trails that crisscross the land. You can also hop aboard a guided historical tram tour or book a tour on Segways (electric, self-balancing personal transportation devices). Electric scooters are also available for tours. Your guide describes the natural and human history of the island. In addition to the superb recreational opportunities that include picnicking and camping, Angel Island is a fascinating microcosm

of U.S. history, from the Miwok Indian times through the SpanishAmerican War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, to the Cold War era. During the Civil War in 1863, the U.S. Army established Camp Reynolds on Angel Island to protect San Francisco Bay. The island later became a garrison for infantry serving in campaigns against the American Indians in the West. One fascinating aspect of Angel Island’s history is when it served as the “Ellis Island of the West.” From 1910-1940, it was the entry point for about 175,000 Chinese and Japanese Immigrants. However, unlike Ellis Island’s gloried history, Angel Island had a notorious one. Most immigrants were detained on Angel Island two weeks to six months until their applications were approved. Many were denied entry. The Chinese Exclusion Act was enforced on the island to stem the growth of Chinese immigration. Some Chinese detainees expressed their anxiety and despair in poignant poems carved on the wooden walls of the immigrant barracks as they waited to be admitted to the U.S. Many of the poems are still legible today.



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Docent tours recreate what life was like for the detainees. The barracks show the racks, clothing and personal items of the immigrants, some left as if they had just stepped out for tea. Angel Island also served as a recruitment center and discharge point for troops returning from World War I. During World War II, it was an embarkation site for troops headed toward the Pacific and also served as a prisoner of war. Although the military abandoned the island in 1946, it returned during the Cold War to build a Nike missile battery.

Sailing around the Island

A Retirement Facil HOME/OUTDOOR 23

If You Go Angel Island is reached by ferry from San Francisco, call 415-773-1188, Oakland and Alameda, call 510-522-3300. Angel Island-Tiberon Ferry, call 415-4352131, Blue and Gold Fleet, 415-705-8200, www. To reserve group picnic or campsites, call 800-444-7275, Visit or call the Cove Café at 415-435-3392 for tickets and information about bicycle rentals and guided tours. Angel Island’s Cove Café sells barbecued oysters, sandwiches, soups, and desserts.

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at the market

Grilled Quinoa-Stuffed peppers with Cheddar and Cilantro By Sarah Hedger


ummer greetings! how can anyone fail to feel the abundance of summer on the Central Coast? During August, summer’s peak month, we can’t help but get excited about all the beautiful produce to choose from at our local farmers’ markets. The range of produce this month is extensive. From the wildest of heirloom tomatoes to apricots, peaches, and plums, there really is very little that cannot be found this time of year, and that is good news for those of us who like to eat! These days we frequently hear the voices of nutritionists, or dieticians, or opinionated



health/nutrition fanatics, recommending that we eat a diet full of produce with natural vibrant colors. From the “7-day Color Diet” to the “Rainbow Diet,” there are many ways the press is labeling a simple concept we have known for years. Eat fruits and vegetables because they are good for you. So what do the proponents of the colorful diet say and what difference does it make whether we eat colorful meals? The recommendation of these foods, whether it be the likes of pomegranates, blueberries, cranberries, kale, or concord grapes, comes from recent research showing that these bright colors are caused by plant

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pigments like anthocyanins, carotenoids, and lycopene. Big names yes. But the simple concept is yet another (albeit recently labeled) way to show why these potent antioxidants

are good for you. These magical compounds essentially contain powerful antioxidants that boost the body’s ability to protect itself. It’s not to say medicine doesn’t have it’s place, but boosting the immune system even more through high quality, colorful produce is another tool in the health toolbox, so to speak. Thus, eating the rainbow offers a variety of powerful antioxidants to help boost health. And, eating delicious, in-season raspberries isn’t so bad, right? The way I see it, it’s like understanding electricity. Not everyone can explain how it works, yet we can still use it and reap its benefits. This month’s recipe is colorful and delicious. Grilled Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Cheddar and Cilantro has a combination of bright colors in it, including red bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and carrots, as well as the potent antibacterial and antiviral genius of garlic. But, I’ll be honest; when I came up with this recipe it was not out of the inspiration to eat a rainbow diet. It was inspired by what is in season, and wanting it to be grillable, as there are few better ways of enjoying summer than to gather round the barbecue on a warm night at dusk. These peppers satisfy both the vegetarian wanting to grill a main and the omnivore wanting a grilled side dish (to some nice tri-tip). The peppers are healthy in their own right, while packing a real punch in the flavor department. Simple and easy to prepare, the filling can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you only to stuff the pepper while the BBQ is preheating. The grain in the filling is flexible to your liking and while I used a combination of quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice, it can really be your own combination of what you have on hand. Did I mention they are colorful? Enjoy and happy barbecuing!

grilled quinoa-stuffed peppers with cheddar and cilantro 2 T olive oil 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp cumin 2 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp salt *Optional heat: 2 tsp finely minced pickled jalapeno peppers 1 c. corn, preferably fresh but canned works in a pinch 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1 can crushed tomatoes (or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes, roasted) Pinch of garlic salt (plain salt can be substituted) 3 cups cooked grains (I used a combination of brown rice, amaranth, and quinoa) 6 red bell peppers, top and attached core removed 4 ounces good quality cheddar cheese, sliced thin In a good-sized saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat. When hot, add onion and cook for a couple minutes before adding carrot, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for a few minutes, until veggies are soft and aromatic. Add peppers (if using), corn, cilantro, and tomatoes. Give a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add cooked grains and give a good stir. Remove from heat and let sit while you prepare the BBQ. Prepare grill by preheating grill to medium-high heat. Scrape clean and lightly oil grill. While grill is warming, finish the peppers. Sprinkle a little garlic salt in the bottom of each pepper and fill peppers midway with filling. Place a slice of cheese over the filling, then fill the remainder of each pepper, topping again with a final piece of cheese (you can use more cheese for those with a desire to be cheesier). Top with pepper top (should look similar to a pumpkin that has its top removed and reattached). You can skewer the top through the pepper to keep the lid on, or toothpicks. Place peppers on center of grill and if you can, turn off heat directly below peppers. Cover BBQ with lid and let cook for 15-20 minutes, checking mid-way to make sure peppers aren’t charring. Once pepper is lightly colored and soft, remove from grill. Let sit 5 minutes and enjoy. *Feel free to email me at if you have any food-related questions and find this recipe (as well as other versions) at

HOME/OUTDOOR slo county art scene


tim anderson:

the surrealist of slo county


By Gordon Fuglie

rriving on the Central Coast in 2000 after an artistic career in Southern California, Timothy A. Anderson was soon recognized as SLO County’s most experienced curator and exhibition designer. He was well prepared. Prior to settling in Atascadero, he previously worked at the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Downey Museum of Art, Southwest Museum and the gallery at Otis College of Art and Design.

In SLO County he served six years at the San Luis Obispo Art Center, moving on to oversee the gallery at Cuesta College, considered the best-equipped fine art space in the county. While at Cuesta, Anderson also taught gallery practices. Anticipating the loss of the gallery director’s position due to budget cuts at the state level, Anderson resigned in 2011. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Central California Museum of Art where he curates, designs and installs contemporary art exhibitions throughout SLO County and the mid-state. With his easygoing personality and can-do approach, Anderson has proven himself a mainstay in the local art scene, serving the area’s visual arts in many capacities. He gives private art lessons, teaches art at Atascadero High School, lectures on studio practices for the Department of Art & Design at Cal Poly, organizes group murals for young people, juries community art exhibitions, and serves as an auctioneer at local art festivals. Anderson’s contributions to our community, however, are not just pulled from a kit bag of artistic demeanors; rather, his involvement is nurtured by his time in the studio where he imagines and draws novel environments. His truest identity then is as a draftsman, crafting fantasy drawings from the associations that emerge from his subconscious to become consciously rendered realms of an unsettling character. Indeed, Anderson’s drawings appear as combinations of plant and animal life, machine components and human body parts—blending humor, threat and the uncanny. He



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calls them “techno-biological,” simultaneously evoking Surrealism, tattoo iconography, and the Low Brow art movement that emerged in the 1990s. This makes for a rich mix of imagery. From Surrealism, a European art movement from the 1920s, Anderson uses the notion of free association to create imaginary worlds. His cartoonish natural forms seem right out of the tattoo artist’s pattern book. And the Rube Goldberg-style pipes, fittings and organic/mechanical beings/devices are the opposite of functional technology—much less nature; they are witty inventions that rebuke all attempts at sophistication. Whether or not his industrial objects are becoming living creatures, or animal



one-man exhibitions have included a large mural created with a team of art students, who initially follow his creative process, but take over the project to express the collaborative vision of the team.

Made in voyage

Regarded as one of Central California’s most innovative draftsmen, Anderson’s drawings have been exhibited at The SLO Art Center in 2008, as well as Prescott College (AZ); the University of Santa Clara; the Fallout Gallery, Las Vegas; and LA ARTCORE, Los Angeles. His most recent work has shifted from drawing to painting, employing a larger format. For further information:,

forms turning into machines, is always ambiguous. This leaves the work in a state of continual metamorphosis. The artist begins his drawings by casting a loose, random matrix of lightly limned lines over a sheet of paper. This primary stage is done subconsciously. In the second phase, Anderson stands back from the sheet and lets his imagination call up a complex realm of forms wherein, he says, “I see a confluence of nature and the man-made.” In the third and final stage the artist produces a detailed monochromatic drawing, carefully giving weight and form to the images he has created ex nihilo (out of nothing). In the finished drawing the original random pattern has been developed into a full-blown “fantasy reality.” Though Anderson’s work resists interpretation, his whimsical use of titles suggests their content. A title like “Made in Thailand” may or may not indicate literal information about the work. (Spoiler Alert: in 2007 the artist was in an exchange exhibit between Thai and SLO County artists.) Others, like “Sea True Her Ominous Boss,” evoke the Surrealist practice of automatic writing. Is this title a doorway into the artist’s subconscious, or a randomly playful string of words, or some other sort of clue? Well, I can’t resist answering. I’ll wager the nonsensical title can be made sensible with a little adjustment and a detour into art history: I translate the title as an admonition from Anderson, “See through Hieronymus Bosch.” Bosch was an early 16th century Netherlandish painter known for his otherworldly allegorical landscapes featuring—among many other creatures and objects, giant crustaceans with gaping valves; enormous bubbles; outsized berries, cherries, and grapes; and huge seed pods bursting open amidst weird earthen and metallic landscapes (whew!). Bosch’s pioneering unfettered subject matter has since been a model for Surrealist and other artists partial to fantasy and a free ranging imagination. Anderson’s interest and delight in imaginary forms also extends beyond his studio to the community and schools. A number of his

Sea True Her Ominous Boss A U G U S T


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Turner Classic Movie Festival

a virtual time machine By David Baumgarten


n April 14, 2012, I stood in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood waiting to be ushered into the legendary movie palace to see the 1952 musical “Singin’ in the Rain.” The color and sound were even more brilliant than they were so many years ago when I saw the film in its first week at the Grauman’s Egyptian just down the street. The film stars Debbie Reynolds along with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Conner. Now Robert Osborne and Debbie were hosting this showing and the 900-seat theatre was packed. The picture opened with a long shot, of the very theatre we were in, while searchlights welcomed the premier of The Dueling Cavalier. The new audience applauded immediately. We were in a time warp. The presentation was a highlight of the four-day Turner Classic Movie Festival. The star who made the film when she was 19 is 79 now and still as good looking and perky as ever. The audience hung on every back-story she told, particularly her rendition of the filming of the song “You Were Meant for Me” where Kelly was courting her on a sound stage. As the take began, she had removed a piece of gum from her mouth and put it on a rung of the ladder on which she was standing. When Gene danced by his hairpiece caught on the gum and remained on the ladder. This film embodied the spirit of the whole Festival as evidenced by the huge cheering and applause at the end of the showing. Debbie Reynolds at the showing of Singin’ in the Rain

David and Marianne at the Festival

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

We arrived, my wife Marianne and I, one day early for Press Day. Even though we had bought Festival passes, I also represented several news and TV sources. My first chore that day was attending, along with sixteen other press writers, a morning Round Table with Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz. It was a bit of a thrill for me since I am a big fan of TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and the way they present classic films commercial-free and uncut. The next evening the Festival officially opened with the appearances of Liza Minnelli, Joel Gray and Michael York at a Red Carpet presentation of the newly restored film Cabaret. Bleachers and searchlights recreated the old Hollywood premiers at the Grauman’s Chinese. The historic Roosevelt Hotel served as the headquarters for the third annual Festival, while also utilizing the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and its adjacent smaller theatres, the Egyptian Theatre (now the home of the American Cinematheque), the Cinerama Dome and the Club TCM located in the lobby of the Roosevelt. Seventy-five films would be unspooled over the four-day Festival, almost all of them in pristine condition, many of them in digital restorations and shown with state-of-the-art projectors provided by Barco.

Leonard Malkin and Ginnifer Goodwin at the showing of Snow White A U G U S T


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One of the major features of the Festival was an emphasis on style influenced by the movies such as the gown from Sabrina lent by the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. A workshop titled “The History of the Oscars’ Red Carpet” was led by the Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore. Film Noir expert Eddie Muller and actress Rose McGowan led another session devoted to the genre and a number of Noirs were screened, including Night and the City, Raw Deal, Criss Cross, Cry Danger, and Gun Crazy.


How The West Was Won in Cinerama


The hundredth anniversary of Paramount Pictures was celebrated with showings of Marathon Man, Rosemary’s Baby, and Chinatown all hosted by Robert Evans and, in the case of the latter film, screenwriter Robert Towne. Elusive actress Kim Novak came out of retirement to be specially honored with a showing of Vertigo. She had a live interview with Robert Osborne and ceremoniously had her hand prints placed in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese. The memory of the elegant Audrey Hepburn was honored by the showings of Sabrina, Funny Face, Charade, and Two for the Road. The last three films were hosted by director Stanley Donen. The Festival closed with a showing of the silent Thief of Bagdad accompanied by an orchestra and a closing party at club TCM.

A tribute to Universal’s horror pictures included Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Black Cat (1934), Son of Frankenstein (1939), and The Wolf Man (1943). Young Frankenstein (1974) featured an appearance by Mel Brooks. Club Walt Disney and TCM cooperated in two magnificent presentations. One was the showing of the newly restored version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea hosted by 92-year-old Kirk Douglas, who sang “A Whale of a Tale to Tell You,” and the other was the first showing of a splendidly restored Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin. He introduced Marge Champion who, as a young girl, had posed for the Disney artists in order for them to make Snow White’s movements realistic.

The time warp was complete for me with the Cinerama showing of How the West Was Won. The three-projector process had been the beginning of the widescreen film era and now can only be shown in two theatres, the Seattle Cinerama and the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The event was hosted by Robert Osborne and Debbie Reynolds. What a treat. Of course, Marianne and I could only attend about a quarter of the screenings, but there was truly something for every fan of classic films. The San Luis Obispo Film Festival started by Mary Harris, Cathy Peacock, Jim Dee and Patty Dee began as a classic film festival, but through the years the classics have been shown less and less and current independent film more and more. The fourth Turner Classic Movie Festival will be held in April of 2013. Maybe we will see you there.



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Vets voice

The Veterans Oral history project By Jerry Deitz Central Coast Veterans Memorial Oral History Coordinator


ave you got a story to tell? If you are a veteran or if you actively worked to support America’s war efforts, “Uncle Sam wants you.” Actually The Veterans Oral History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., wants you to share your story. After that it will become part of the lasting national legacy of recorded interviews, memoirs, and other documents which chronicle the wartime experiences of veterans and civilians who worked to support the war effort, and how those experiences affected their lives and America itself.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress created the Veterans Oral History Project. The goals of the project are to collect and preserve stories of wartime service and to honor those who served. These stories make it possible for others to learn about the past through the first-hand accounts of men and women like you who lived through extraordinary times and to preserve your legacy for generations to come. In addition to those who served in the Armed Forces, people who were actively involved in supporting groups, such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc., are invited to share their valuable stories. The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum (CCVMM), located on the lower level of the County’s Veterans Memorial Hall at 801 Grand Avenue in San Luis Obispo, was a founding partner in this national historic project. Since 2002, when the CCVMM was established, more than 250 county veterans and supporting personnel from World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been interviewed. Then those interviews were submitted to the Library of Congress for cataloging. Our trained interviewers lead the sessions with people interested in sharing their stories. Joy Becker conducts the interviews, which she calls “chat with a purpose,” in the CCVMM, the designated local site for the recordings. Joanne Cargill interviews people in the Santa Maria area. For veterans who are unable to come to the Museum to be interviewed, our project team can also go to other locations, such as retirement homes, private homes, and care facilities for interviews. Participating in the Veterans History Project is as simple as having a conversation in your own living room. In our comfortable interview room a member of our project team will



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ask you to discuss such topics as what you did before entering the military or the war effort, what you did during the conflict, what you did after that service, and how being in the military or the war effort affected your life afterward. You may even choose to have a friend or family member present during the interview. Some people who have been interviewed have found that the interviews serve as a life review, a way to tell family members things they have never shared with them before. You will receive a free DVD of your interview, and for a nominal fee, you may have additional copies made to present to your family and friends. After a processing period at the Library of Congress, a description of your interview will be posted on the LOC website, You can search postings of all processed interviews at http:// If you would like to share your story of service to the United States, please call Jerry Deitz, Project Coordinator for the CCVMM, at (805) 543-1763 or his assistant Steve Sumii to make an appointment for your interview, or leave a message and a member of our team will return your call. You can find out more about the Oral History Project and about the Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum by stopping in for a tour of the Museum, which honors all veterans—past and present, with emphasis on local veterans. Here we preserve military artifacts and memorabilia, have an extensive reference library, and keep veterans’ recorded memories for future generations. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Look for the big tank in front of the building. Also be sure to check out our website:



Our Schools:

Issues for school year 2012-2013 By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


emember when Labor Day was the traditional start of the school year? I do. Although it has been years since school actually started in September, it is still hard for me to write a “Back to School” article in August. My preferred calendar would have 200 school days spread out evenly over the year with a series of shorter breaks instead of a long “summer vacation.” But that is a topic for another article.

As I look at the 2012-2013 school year, I think there are at least three big issues that our local schools will face.

SCHOOL FUNDING I keep hoping that one year funding will not be a major concern that consumes so much of our time. This is not that year. Over the past five years, our local schools have lost $50 million in funding from the state and the impacts are well known, especially to parents and teachers. Our schools are receiving about 75 cents for every dollar we are owed from the state. California is now ranked 47th out of 50 states in financial support for public schools. If we just supported our schools at the national average (not even at the level of the top ten states) our local schools would have $90,000 more per classroom every year! The state budget adopted in June generally holds schools at level funding, pending the results of the November election which will have a proposal to increase temporarily both sales and income taxes. If this proposal is not approved, then our schools are projected to lose another $15 million in revenue for this year. This loss has been equated to a reduction in the school year of three weeks. Locally, our school districts have adopted

budgets that either have already reduced expenditures in anticipation of the proposal not passing or have made plans for how to reduce funding at mid-year. The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District has adopted a shortened school year by 12 days. If the tax proposal passes, then the district can consider reinstating some of the days. Other districts have adopted specific plans to make expenditure reductions, such as reducing staff, if the November ballot measure fails. From any perspective, all districts will continue to spend a lot of time and attention on the issue of school funding for 2012-2013.

IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON INSTRUCTION We have heard much about how the use of personal electronic devices is affecting the lives of students. The rapidly changing technology backdrop in our lives is also having significant impact on teaching and learning. Coping, adapting and adopting instruction to incorporate the best in technology will certainly be a high profile issue for our local schools. Few societal changes have had the potential impact on schools as has digital technology. With almost universal access to information and the ability to share information worldwide, the nature of the classroom and the role of the teacher are changing rapidly. Traditionally, a major role of the “teacher” has been to dispense information. This also has been the primary function of textbooks. Now, with the capability to access information quickly and broadly, this traditional function is no longer relevant to today’s student. So what is the role of the teacher? This is a question that is growing in urgency to address. I think that the role of the teacher will be to provide rigorous opportunities for

students to use information in a way that addresses problems and that requires students to use higher order thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis and making judgments. While this search for a new role for teachers is exciting, it also can be a bit threatening as we explore new territory.

NATIONAL STANDARDS California is one of 45 states that has voluntarily committed to adopt a common set of standards (student expectations) for English-language arts and mathematics. This is a dramatic change from our traditional allegiance to “local control.” This issue has been driven by the recognition that in our global society, education is indeed a national issue. While there continues to be a role for state and local governing bodies, we cannot tolerate widely different expectations for America’s students. We must also have a common way of measuring student progress across states. This year our local teachers will continue their work to be ready to implement these standards starting in 2012-14.

Over the past five years, our local schools have lost $50 million in funding from the state and the impacts are well known, especially to parents and teachers. A U G U S T


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history – Part 1

Parker H. French By Joseph A. Carotenuti

Villainy is an acquired skill. A fantasy—usually of wealth or power—demands translation into hours of plotting, attention to minute details, systematic application, and years of patient performance in perfecting delivery. Treachery requires a depraved personality of devious cunning and indifference. The victims become mere pawns in the greater scheme and once fleeced are easily forgotten. Its masters form a perversely attractive cadre of sinners. Yet, didn’t someone say the most interesting people wind up in Hell? While worthy nominees for the pages of local history are often forgotten, some deserve

absolute anonymity … such was Parker H. French. Lionized by some, for most who knew him, he’d best be remembered as a meal for one. As French roamed through America, South America and a host of other places, he wreaked havoc in lives as he embellished and was eventually consumed by his fantasies. When one-armed French first appeared in San Luis Obispo, he was mid-point in a career as an accomplished swindler, murderous outlaw, Union (and Confederate) spy, scalp-hunter, military fugitive, ambassador to Washington, D. C., lawyer, filibuster, husband and father. While leaving few personal records, contemporaries were sufficiently impressed to record their painful memories. In retrospect, an “adventurer and scoundrel of first water,” French was an engaging, often deadly, desperado intent on convincing anyone he knew where to find a free pot-ofgold at the end of innumerable imaginary rainbows. He had many takers. Here’s the story. Born in Kentucky about 1826 (or any other year depending on who asked him), French was orphaned but adopted into the family of a Judge Edwards. An early impression described him as “bright, intelligent” and a “general favorite.” Possibly bored by his rural life or simply setting out to carve his own niche in history, the youngster ran away to New Orleans and joined a British man-of-war as a cabin boy. For five years, he joined the war against China probably as a “powder monkey.” Given his later activities, it is not surprising he accumulated some capital before being honorably discharged. Returning home, he married his adopted sister. Lucretia recedes into the background of his life along with their daughter. Parker’s first known attempt at peddling dreams was in early 1849 when he planned to build a 700-ton vessel to sail from St. Louis to New Orleans and then on to the newly announced California gold fields. Investors provided the capital, but he decided this



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quest for gold was too slow and abandoned the project. Typically, Parker disappeared and the backers lost most everything. Soon, his grandest adventure (or misadventure) was brazenly posted in the newspaper. He was “rather below medium height and weight with a build that … suggested more than physical power” wrote Michael Baldridge. The 24-year-old was responding to a New York Herald advertisement promising a 60-day “pleasure trip” to the gold fields via Texas. With no established trails, the vast expanse of arid desert with little water and bands of marauding Apaches was a doomed expedition. French, who “had an eye that could read his man at a glance, was fluent in conversation, affable in manner, and seemed to combine all the qualities a gentleman could possess,” sold dreams. Baldridge was hired as French’s personal secretary at $25 a month plus free passage. Entranced by an elegant spiel with maps and promises of “bushels of gold,” Baldridge was to take notes along the way for French’s planned autobiography. The memoirs were never written, the secretary was never paid, and the gold fields almost a death sentence, but in 1958 A Reminiscence of the Parker H. Expedition Through Texas and Mexico to California in the Spring of 1850 was published providing a first-hand account of both French and the brutal trip to El Dorado. So positive was the promoter that he pledged $5 per day for each day beyond the promised two-month trip. Letters of credit from the prestigious Howland & Aspinwall Steamship Company to be used for expenses lent an impressive air of respectability. These later proved fraudulent or possibly were meant for a revolution then in progress in Cuba. It was not beyond Parker’s talents to convince the ship-


passed with no mention of reimbursement. There was no placating the disgruntled men. The final proof—if any more was needed— occurred when an Army officer arrived to arrest French. The Howland and Aspinwall certificates used to purchase supplies ($1,989.95) had not been honored. French, without his ever-ready explanations, fled across the border into Mexico.

would not for a moment entertain a suggestion of any kind from any one.” It was not surprising there was “no affection for him in the party.” The Lord High Admiral viewed himself as invincible until he threatened a wagon master with his pistol. The seasoned Texan warned him that “if I live two seconds you are a dead man.” Parker, forced to “prove up” or retreat, suffered the “mortification” of backing down. Unfortunately, he soon forgot the lesson.

Fortunately, Baldridge never saw his employer again. He missed French’s exploits— some deadly—including his few years in San Luis Obispo.

Arriving near El Paso in September, the 60 days allowed for the “pleasure trip” had long

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ping moguls to advance him the money to secure men to support the revolution. Possibly, as a reward, the new government would franchise Howland & Aspinwall with steamer trade. The mechanizations of this accomplished swindler are fascinating. The press was most laudatory when on May 13, 1850, the steamer Georgia sailed from New York. Each Argonaut paid $250. At least 50 “enlisted” men could work during the expedition and were charged $100 each. With about 120 reaching Texas, Parker left with a treasure chest of at least $37,000. Once on board, it was soon empty. Aboard the steamer, French lavishly entertained with bottles of champagne … and recruited more pioneers. The first stop in Havana a week later was delayed as the government was suspicious of the Yankee ship’s mission. Parker attempted to convince the men to join the revolution. However, even promises of free land would not dissuade the gold seekers. AN

A month later in Port Lavacca, Texas, a CU Compact of Government was established to regulate the overland expedition. It proved a sham. When promised transportation was not readily available, some grumbling was heard and became worse. It took a month to travel to San Antonio … 150 miles away. Provisions were purchased from the Army post, and Parker declared himself a “Government officer” with authority to requisition supplies. R RT

Issues large and small continued to plague the men but French was ever ready with explanations. Baldridge wrote their leader was “arbitrary and dictatorial to the last degree, and would often say he intended to be the Lord High Admiral while he stood on the deck. He


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Hospice corner Benefits of hospice By Gloria White, MSW

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hen families decide, along with their loved ones facing a serious and/or a life-threatening disease or condition, that they are no longer open to having to go to the ER to address symptoms, then that is when Hospice becomes most beneficial. When patients come under Hospice care they have the availability to call that Hospice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address any concerns, questions or needs that arise. Hospice staff has been told over and over what a benefit this is to the Hospice patient and to their families. A large majority of the time, symptoms and needs can be addressed with a Hospice Nurse on the phone or by a nursing visit (even in the middle of the night if need be). Most often middle-of-the-night visits are avoided due to the routine visits that Hospice Nurses and team members make throughout the week. The Hospice Nurse also coordinates patient care directly with the patient’s primary physician. Families are often unaware of the resources that are available to them in caring for patients. This is where the Hospice Social Workers come in. Social Workers assist patients and their families in taking care of loved ones in a private home or educate on resources and facilities for other patient options of care. Hospice Social Workers continually update themselves on community resources and can be a great source of informational and educational support. They work hand-in-hand with Hospice Nurses and are only two parts of a larger support team. The Hospice team consists of Registered Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses, Medical Social Workers, Spiritual Care Chaplains, Dietitians, Volunteers, Hospice Aides (assisting with showering/ bathing), and Musicians to support the patient and family on their journey. Added to these teams are the many office workers who support Hospice field workers. In addition, our Medical Directors are always available to review patient care.

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Out in the field, Hospice staff members continue to receive appreciation with every visit made. As a medical Social Worker, I can personally attest to that. When patients can be cared for in their own home, or in a family member’s home, the benefits of this can only be measured in the heart. If there is a need for patients to go into a facility, Hospice staff continues to care for and support patients in that facility. Family can visit and spend quality time knowing that Hospice will be continuing to support them.

For Advertising Information Call 546-0609

This monthly Hospice Corner is sponsored by Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Gloria White, MSW is a Medical Social Worker with Hospice Partners. For more information, call (805) 782-8608.


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39. Saint in Mexico 40. Miners’ passage 41. Swamp plant 43. Yelled to shoo a cat 44. Puzzle in pictures 46. “Smells Like ____ Spirit” by Nirvana 47. *A focal point in workouts 48. Type of coat 50. Dame ____, Australian celeb 52. Christian Chi-___ symbol 53. The upper one is used for ruling 55. Coffee pot 57. Allegiance 60. *E or D, e.g. 64. Former French currency 65. Ring of flowers 67. Singer Cara 68. *Some need more of this than others 69. Be in debt 70. What a jazz singer does 71. Bear lairs 72. Not pre-owned 73. Commotions

DOWN 1. Junk e-mail 2. Cone-shaped quarters 3. Often asked to “go away, come again another day” 4. Like a special circle 5. Organized persecution of ethnic group 6. Cambodian money 7. *Not well 8. Very successful 9. What victim did in court 10. Armor-____ 11. USSR to USA during WWII 12. *Usually busy after the holidays 15. *Leafy edibles 20. Indigo dye-yielding shrubs 22. Where bugs are snug? 24. Improper act 25. *Ventricular beater 26. Superior’s command 27. Cherokee or Hopi, e.g. 29. *Regimented eating 31. *Where green tea tradition comes from

32. Bring upon oneself 33. Cache of money, e.g. 34. Official language of Lesotho 36. Nonlethal gun 38. Wine and cheese descriptor 42. Tedium 45. Carry, as in heavy bag 49. Ladies’ Easter accessory 51. 2012 Oscar-winner “The ______” 54. Stocking fiber 56. Those in organized crime relating to narcotics 57. *Your doctor usually keeps one on you 58. Like never-losing Steven 59. Greek god of war 60. “The ____” talk and entertainment show 61. Known for notebooks 62. Keen on 63. Loch ____ 64. Psychedelic drug 66. Female sheep



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palm street perspective city employees go above and beyond ... and that’s what we need them to do By SLO City Councilman, John Ashbaugh


n July 5, our SLO City Fire Chief Charlie Hines and CalFire Chief Rob Lewin sent out a news release announcing a new and improved “Automatic Aid” agreement between the City and the State that assures a more rapid response by both agencies to emergency calls in and around San Luis Obispo. With this new agreement, calls for medical and fire emergency services will get a response from the closest engine company, regardless of whether the incident happens inside or outside the City limits. It’s a good agreement, and it is only logical: When there’s a raging fire, a possible heart attack, or a downed electrical wire, you want to get trained “first responders” to the scene as soon as possible. You’re probably not very particular which agency owns the fire engine. Sometimes, however, simple logic is trumped by bureaucracy—or by a notable LACK of bureaucracy, as the case may be. Sometimes, our City employees go above and beyond their jobs, in spite of bureaucracy. Sometimes—as in the case of our new Automatic Aid agreement—the bureaucracy itself asks our employees to go out of their way and even outside of our jurisdiction to perform their skills, whether they are saving lives or just maintaining our parks, our civic buildings, our streets, storm drains, or utilities. In early July, a swimmer on a Miami beach could have died if a lifeguard had not gone

outside of his jurisdiction to save his life. The lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, was “just doing his job …” except that he was FIRED the next day by his employer because he went “outside his stretch of beach.” And just who was this “evil” employer who would fire a lifeguard for saving someone’s life? The City of Miami Beach? Actually, no—that City had contracted with a private company, Jeff Ellis Management, for lifeguard services. Ellis Management fired Lopez for a “breach of protocol,” running to an area outside his beach zone without waiting for his supervisor to arrive to cover his station. Lifeguard Lopez explained it this way: “Someone was in danger. I wasn’t going to choose my job over someone in danger. My job is to help people in distress. It was a moronic rule in my opinion that they set up. I understand the liability issues, but ...” When a national uproar compelled Ellis Management to offer Lopez his job back, he refused—and for good reason. Who would want to work for a boss with bricks for brains? Three other lifeguards quit the next day in solidarity with Mr. Lopez. Our SLO City employees are expected to use independent judgment in their jobs, and to go “outside their stretch of beach” without fear of reprisal, when good judgment requires it.


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Last year, the City Council designated an Osage Orange tree in Meadow Park as a “Heritage Tree” (pictured above) because a City parks worker, Meg Evans, took an interest in this unusual tree. She learned that the tree is native to Missouri, and is noted for its dense, beautiful hardwood. Meg brought the application for Heritage tree status to the “powers that be,” and the tree got welldeserved recognition. In February, another City parks worker who prefers to remain nameless began to worry about a bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of the 23 victims of the Naval disaster at “Honda Point” in northern Santa Barbara County in 1923. Why was he worried? The plaque was mounted in a strange location—underneath the Warden Bridge next to the Old Mission. It was within reach of a typical winter’s flood from SLO Creek. Our employee couldn’t help but be concerned that its location may make the plaque likely to be vandalized or stolen. He also noticed that it was mounted with a simple adhesive. Moreover, it seemed to be completely out of place—not many visitors to this part of town would end up viewing it. So he removed the plaque carefully, took it back to the City’s Corporation Yard, cleaned it up, and took steps to identify the owner of the plaque and “repatriate it” to a proper location. (You’ll probably be hearing more about this strange plaque and its bizarre tale later). Our City employees are there to do their jobs, but they go beyond the call of duty on a regular basis. Let’s applaud them when they step outside of the confines of their job, or outside the limits of “their stretch of beach” to serve the public interest.



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo


W h a t ’s U p New Business News

August 2012

W h a t ’ s

U p

A r o u n d


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een Downtown this summer? It’s been an incredible season so far—beautiful weather, lots of visitors and guests, and plenty to do. As well, the most recently released City Quarterly Sales Tax Report (for the period ending December, 2011) shows a continued uptick in gross receipts for the City (13% over same time the previous year) and the Downtown area (up 8.7%) with Downtown as the second highest performing defined district in the City.

ou may have enjoyed some of the Concerts in the Plaza—only five left! Every Friday night, the Plaza’s packed with dancers, music lovers, after-workers, families and friends wanting to unwind and have fun. This type of activity is geared for pleasure and to form pleasurable associations with being Downtown. It’s also why “Promotions” is one of four points of the Main Street program for revitalization Deborah Cash, CMSM, (and business success) and why we continue Executive Director to host this activity along with our world he word “district” is key here because famous Thursday Night Farmers’ Market and the Downtown Association is both a Business the area’s most popular winter holiday events. Improvement District and a Main Street organization. Essentially, that means our mission, when stated in five n other news, last month we learned that SLO had been words as recommended by savvy strategic planners, selected by Rand McNally and USA Today as a finalist is “To Create A Favorable Business Environment.” in the America’s Friendliest City competition. I was honored to meet up with the team who was making their o that end, our programs and projects aim to way across the country to visit each selected community offer businesses a leg up on being successful and determine ultimately who will garner the award. On and provide visitors, residents and guests a pleasant our Downtown walking tour, I was pleased at the show experience while they’re here. Judging by the of neighborliness and enthusiasm exhibited by business success (read: attendance) at our events and the owners and friends we encountered on the walkabout, sales tax info, I’d say we’re on the right track. particularly Alex Gough, owner of Adobe Realty whose long history with Downtown could have easily taken up




On the Cover: Young boys, a group of 35 from Tehachapi, CA, join the fun at Thursday Night Farmers’ Market. Their school group was in the area for a long weekend—long for their chaperone that is! Be sure to visit the Market @ Morro, an expansion of the market along Morro Street on your next visit. Photo by Deborah Cash

20th Annual presents

2012 August 3

August 10



Rock & Soul

Rock & Roll

Sponsored by:


Sponsored by:


Wells Fargo

of August 17

Resination Reggae

Sponsored by:

San Luis Obispo Transit

August 24

The JD Project California Roots Rock Sponsored by:

Takken’s Shoes of SLO

brought to you by:

August 31

Big daddy’s Blues band Blues and Old School R&B Sponsored by:

SLO Brew

proudly pouring:

San Luis® 9/12/12

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the entire tour time! Regardless of who wins, I believe our town has received the recognition it has because of the dedication and pride of all of us who work and live here. So way to go folks, whatever the outcome.


lso in July, we were especially excited to launch “Market @ Morro,” a new program to showcase produce vendors along Morro Street between Higuera and Monterey streets. Six new farmers provided specialty products and Jessica’s Jolly Jumps set up an inflatable obstacle course for kids as an end-of-the-street anchor attraction. Keeping the Thursday Night Farmers Market ‘fresh’ and lively ensures the event’s longterm success—this coming year will be our 30th anniversary!


his month, the Downtown Association will be hosting its first annual State of the Downtown Breakfast on August 15. Downtown business owners and leaders will talk about Downtown’s current economic status, business

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trends, challenges and opportunities and review the annual report. The breakfast is open to the public and reservations are required. Information about the event is available at Our goal is to provide solid information for those doing business in the city’s central commercial district and enlighten all guests about the importance of the district’s health and why everyone who lives, shops, eats and plays in SLO should care.

Alex Gough, owner of Adobe Realty and landlord for the adjacent Growing Grounds Downtown talks with GGD sales associate Phil Strahl and the team from Rand McNally USA Today about the plant shop’s mission to support mental health programs and also give a few “insider” tips about the history of the area, including how he used to walk his horse in the alley where GGD is now located. Photo by Deborah Cash


e are excited about the upcoming Taste of San Luis® event, slated for September 12 in Mission Plaza. One of the area’s most elegant gourmet food and wine events, Taste of San Luis® is also a long time tradition, celebrating 20 years in 2012. Attendees will enjoy the best ‘tastes and sips’ from 60 local food and beverage vendors, mingle with friends outdoors under the stars and dance the night away. This year, we’ve added a special feature: tiered-priced ticketing offering guests a choice of Continued next page

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Continued from previous page standard seating or a reduced-price non-seating option. Themed “Spanish Nights, Spanish Lights,” it's a fundraiser to help pay for the Downtown Tree Lighting program that was officially launched on June 6. If you haven’t attended before, you’re in for a treat—and a Taste of the good life!


inally, you may have heard that SLO Brew on Garden Street is poised to move to the “old CCS” building on Higuera Street around the corner. This move will

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serve two major purposes: one, the relocation of SLO Brew is necessary to begin the Garden Street Terraces project featuring mixed-use hotel, commercial and residential components and, two, judging from the plans and staff report, the new location will actually turn out to be a better venue for the restaurant/ brewery/concert and event hall from aesthetic, acoustic, security and functionality perspectives.


es, it’s been a great summer so far—and it’s not over yet … around Downtown!

N e w s

Urbane Café

Tom Holt, Owner 952 Higuera Street 805 – 541 - 5114

now operates six locations across California. Urbane Café offers tasty, high quality food and excellent service. The location has a wonderful patio that’s perfect for a meal with friends and family. Go with the Roast Beef Stack if you’re feeling hungry; or grab a lighter bite and enjoy a freshly made Urbane Café salad. Each day, bread dough is made from scratch and baked in the hearth oven. Urbane Café can provide catering services for your next get-together as well, with tasty sandwich and salad platters that guests will love.

Urbane Café opened in November of last year on the corner of Higuera and Morro streets, formerly San Luis Surf Shop. Known for deliciously light and refined food, Urbane Café has already proved to be a hit as evidenced by diners filling the place and spilling out onto the outdoor seating area on a daily basis. Owner Tom Holt was To build a sense of community, Holt formerly a competitive motorcycle racer chose to locate the San Luis Obispo from Ventura. After suffering a motorcycle Urbane Café in one of the restaurant’s injury, Holt went on to get his degree in Pictured: Amanda Jackson first downtown areas. Holt said, ”Urbane athletic training/physical education and - manager (left) & Tom Holt Café is happy to be here and be accepted later forayed into the juice bar business in owner (right) into the community.” Orders may also be Ventura. Owning and operating multiple placed online. Open Monday- Saturday locations, he eventually sold the business 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM. to a franchiser. Continuing with his entrepreneurial spirit, Holt opened the first Urbane Café in Ventura in 2003 and By: Lacee Nordstrom

Luis Wine Bar

Vanessa North, Owner 1021 Higuera Street 805-762-4747 If you’re looking for local wines, craft beers and a comfortable, inviting lounge setting where you can connect with friends, then your search ends at Luis Wine Bar, newly opened in March. It’s also a lot of fun—whether you’re up for light bites to wine flights, the experience never stops. Owner Vanessa North (pictured), originally from Placerville, is a Cal Poly alumnus who recently joined a growing trend along with other Downtown businesses in creating a perfect hangout place for locals and visitors. The catchy name “Luis Wine Bar” was inspired from the San Luis Obispo town name. A particular feature of the Luis Wine Bar is the encouragement of guests to bring in outside meals to eat while having a drink. Vanessa hopes to keep guests comfortable while providing a chic place to engage in conversation where the music is not too loud and, yet, not too quiet, either. Offerings include more than 50 wines and about as many

offerings of craft beers. The majority of wine is local from Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Each month, wine flights are prepared with a pairing of one local wine and two wines of the same varietal from other regions. The beer menu features four beers on tap that are a rotating, unique offering along with a collection of bottled craft beers. As to her choice of venue, Vanessa reveals her love for the area: “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere but Downtown; that’s where the people are.” The delightful and trendy Luis Wine Bar is located at 1021 Higuera Street between Osos and Santa Rosa streets across from the County Government Center and near BlackHorse Espresso and Bakery. Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3PM11PM, Fridays 3PM-12AM, Saturdays 12PM-12AM & Sundays 12PM-11PM. Closed Tuesdays. Happy Hour offered weekly from 3PM-6PM, weekends 12PM-4PM. By: Lacee Nordstrom



dog next door Lassie to the rescue By Jeanne Harris


assie, a beautiful collie who could be mistaken for the dog of movie and television fame, lives here on the Central Coast. She and her owner, Dave Smee, are a trained search and rescue team. They volunteer with San Luis Obispo County Search and Rescue, as well as elsewhere in California, where Lassie is currently the only collie certified as a search and rescue dog. Lassie is six years old and began training as a search and rescue dog at eight weeks of age. Dave picked her from a litter of thirteen puppies. He knew the temperament he was looking for in his new pup and Lassie stood out from the other adorable, fluffy babies with her intelligent and confident manner. She displayed dominant rather than submissive behavior. These qualities are necessary for a search and rescue dog, and Lassie demonstrated them early on, along with her friendly and fearless nature. She was the dog Dave wanted to train for the job. He knew her future as a search and rescue dog would bring her into contact with people from all walks of life. So he named her Lassie, a name easily remembered because she looked like the famous dog. Dave figured people would naturally be drawn to her. Lassie has become an ideal search and rescue dog, as well as a loving, happy pet. She and Dave have spent countless hours over the years in ongoing training to prepare for search and rescue calls that can come any hour of the day or night. They specialize in wilderness search, but go wherever they are needed. The pair has been called to search for lost and missing people locally, as well as around the state. They have participated in searches in Carmel, Death Valley, Kings County and Mono County. Their most exciting mission occurred last October when they were flown by helicopter into Kings Canyon National Park to search for a missing hiker. Along with fifty other search teams, spread throughout a ninety-mile area, Dave and Lassie hiked thirteen miles of the John Muir Trail seeking a sign or scent of the missing man. The search ended after one day, when the hiker successfully found his own way out of the wilderness. But the experience is one Dave will cherish: to work with his dog in a national park, on an important mission, with park officials assisting him, was a dream come true, and fulfilled a lifelong desire to work as a park ranger. He also felt like he and his dog were living a real-life episode of the Lassie television show.

Photo by David Hughes

him. Suddenly, she turned and ran toward him and gave him a “body slam,” her signal that she has found someone. Dave followed her into the rugged creek bed and found the missing woman, who had sustained moderate injuries after falling in the unfamiliar terrain. When Lassie isn’t searching and rescuing, she just likes to be with Dave. She accompanies him to work every day, riding shotgun in his work truck. She also enjoys spending time with fellow search and rescue buddies, a golden retriever named Jackson and a German shepherd named Jaydn. And during the holidays, she is always a crowd favorite in the San Luis Obispo Christmas parade. But Lassie’s favorite place is Hume Lake, where she and Dave relax and enjoy the outdoors. She spends her vacation time wading in the water and hiking the tranquil mountain trails with Dave. Dave and Lassie recently completed their YODOGS certification. YODOGS stands for Yosemite Search and Rescue Dogs. Dave hopes that he and Lassie will have the opportunity to serve in Yosemite National Park this summer. Regardless of where they are called, if a hiker is lost in the wilderness or Timmy is trapped in a well, Lassie and her partner, Dave, will be prepared and ready to search for them.

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Another memorable and gratifying assignment came last September. Dave and Lassie were called out to search for a missing Los Osos woman who suffered from dementia. Toward the end of the day, Dave, Lassie and other search and rescue teams searched near a creek bed, where Dave and Lassie had descended down a steep embankment and thick brush into an isolated area. Dave watched his impressive girl work the search zone ahead of

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Push-ups for a cause fundraiser

Students from Larry Goldzman and Sean Ricketts’ Physical Education classes at Paulding Middle School recently participated in Push-Ups for a Cause, a fundraiser that earned $4,308.22 to benefit the Kinsley Thomas Wong Donation Foundation. Mr. Thomas Wong is a local, professional kite boarder who is recovering from an accident that left him with paralysis from the neck down. Mr. Thomas Wong, along with his wife, Jamie, hope to bring more adaptive services to central coast residents recovering from, or living with, paralysis, through the help of their foundation. Pictured from left to right are: Larry Goldzman, Paulding students, Jamie Thomas Wong, Kinsley Thomas Wong and Taizen Thomas Wong.

4th annual central coast chili festival

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The Arroyo Grande Rotary Club is proud to host the 4th Annual Western-themed Central Coast Chili Festival, on Sunday, August 12th from 11am to 5pm at Biddle Park. Some of the highlights of the Festival will include the “Old Hand” International Chili Society (ICS) Regional competition judged event. Chili is prepared at the event. There is a $35 Red Chili and $25 for Chili Verde entry fee. All contestants must be an ICS member ($50 membership fee). The Chili Festival will also feature live entertainment, wild west demonstrations, arts and crafts booths, children’s games, a wonderful variety of food booths, beer and wine and much more! The entry fee is $5 per person with free admission for children under 12 years of age. All proceeds of this event benefit local educational scholarships and charities. To reserve a booth or to participate in the Festival, please, contact Chris Garey at (805) 489-7359 and by email at More information can also be found online at

slo Symphony Pops by the sea

SLO Symphony presents “Pops by the Sea 2012: Pops Romantico!” on September 2 from 2:30 -6:30 p.m. at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. Tickets range from $12-85. Classical guitarist José Maria Gallardo del Rey and violinist Anabel García del Castillo will join SLO Symphony Maestro Michael Nowak and the orchestra for a family-friendly concert featuring classical Spanish influences. Info and tickets: www.slosymphony. com or 543-3533.

SLO history center preservation awards

Awards were given to nine local history standouts recently at the historic SLO Dallidet Adobe, for the annual meeting of the SLO History Center, formerly the SLO County Historical Society. Anchor award was given to the Villa/Villavicencio and Pedrotta families for their pioneering role in SLO County history. Awards went to The Guiton family and the Oceano Depot Association, The Town of Halcyon, Dan Carpenter (pictured above, left), The Questers of SLO County, Dennis Judd, Pete Kelley, Dean Miller and Teacher Suzanne Dutra. Erin Newman, Chief Administrative Officer of the Center, also presented a progress report, noting membership growth and an improving financial status for the non-profit. Other achievements include expansion of programs, regular tours and lectures including a recent lecture by Land Conservancy Barn Committee member Lynne Landwehr at the historic Octagon Barn.



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casa receives book donation from 6th grader

Ashley Mace, age 12, a 6th grader at Monarch Grove Elementary School collected more than 400 gently used and like new children’s books to be distributed to children served by CASA of SLO County. Ashley was inspired by her love of reading to obtain books for those who might not have as much access to reading materials. She hopes to inspire other kids to love to read. Visit www. or call 541-6542 for more information.

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. Go . .to:. .................. united way awards $85,000 to local nonprofits Gary A. Sage License No. 0E02096 100 Cross Street, Suite 203 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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

United Way of SLO County brought the year to a successful close by awarding $85,000 in grants and awards to local health and human service programs that provide the community with a wide array of resources. As part of United Way’s annual Community Impact Fund grant process, more than 30 community volunteers reviewed 39 grant applications, requesting financial support to help meet some of the most pressing needs in SLO County. After careful consideration, 22 grants totaling $80,000 were awarded in the areas of education, income and health. For more information about United Way of SLO County, Community Impact Fund grants or the Innovation Award, visit or call (805) 541-1234.

local books

Heidi Gill, a resident of SLO and recently published author of 2 Kurious Kids, a bilingual children’s book series will be at the following locations doing book signings over the next few months: Whiz Kid’s Toys on August 15th at 10:30am. Hive Natural Beauty Collective on September 7 for Art after Dark at 6pm. Come by to say Hi and meet the newest local author in town! 2 Kurious Kids is available online at, www.facebook. com/2kuriouskids,, (eBook format) and If you have any questions or you would like to have Heidi do an author visit, contact her at or 805-242-6803.

movies at the mission

D ressing Windows in San Luis Obispo for over 39 Years

Alan “Himself” A U G U S T

alan’s draperies 544-9405 2012

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During the month of August join the City of SLO Parks and Recreation Department for Movies at the Mission, a free familyfriendly event featuring outdoor movie presentations at the Mission Plaza Amphitheatre. Movies at the Mission schedule and featured films: Saturday, August 4, E.T. Saturday, August 11, Toy Story and Saturday, August 18, Spy Kids. All movies start at dusk. Movie goers are invited to bring chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner. Concessions will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the SLO Skate Park Building Fund. For more information call 781-7300 or visit the City’s website at

free adult wellness & prevention screening

Community Action Partnership, Adult Wellness & Prevention Screening for adults and seniors is available throughout San Luis Obispo County. Free services include: screening for high blood pressure, weight and pulse. Finger prick screening tests for: high cholesterol, anemia and blood sugar. Counseling and referrals as needed. Please call 544-2484 ext.1 for dates, times and locations.



eye on Business

secret service on the job for central coast business By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates


have to confess that when I swipe my credit card at the gas pump I wonder if a crook got there first and installed a credit card skimmer. I look around for plain panel vans that may have someone inside reading passwords from afar (too much CSI viewing). When I get phone calls at home about unusual activity on my credit card, it puts a knot in my stomach until I call back and confirm charges. One friend had a $1 charge on his card (a test at a Florida restaurant), followed by a $10,000 charge in the same city (fraud attempt). I know I need to shred junk mail and change passwords and never respond to weird emails from friends stranded in Ireland and needing cash to get home. I like to think I’m fairly tuned in to the issue of identity theft and above-average in ability to protect myself. The truth is I think I’m like a lot of business people—running hard most of the time, always intending to pay close attention, but maybe not being quite as diligent in action as I am in thinking. And that’s where we lay ourselves open to big problems.

where a thief uses what looks like a legitimate front (for instance, an email allegedly from a national bank) to get you to respond. Smart people get stung every day, and it’s no wonder—it’s a simple fact that business is moving quickly and on any given day, scary information slips through our hands. The good news is that we don’t need to be sitting ducks. There are ways to be more vigilant and tricks that can be learned to protect ourselves, and U.S. Secret Service Agent Doug Cohen is on deck to educate us. Agent Cohen will be the guest speaker for the Arroyo Grande / Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce educational luncheon at the South County Regional Center on August 18. Agent Cohen, who served on the presidential detail for President Bill Clinton, is now headquartered in Ventura and covers San Luis Obispo County for the federal agency. He is an expert on identity theft and has a satchel full of real life stories to help illustrate his points. The luncheon is open to the public but reservations are required by August 10. Cost for members of the Arroyo Grande / Grover Beach or Pismo Chambers is $18; all others are $25. Reserve a ticket by calling the Chamber at (805) 489-1488, then make plans to mingle with business people and nab some peace of mind on August 18. As for me, the CSI and Law and Order watcher is excited to hear from a real Central Coast Secret Service Agent.

Take a business person heading out on vacation, and consider how easy it is to make a misstep. Tight on time and jamming to get out of town, perhaps you grab a handful of household bills that need to be paid before the vacation unfolds. This is not a problem. You’re already set up to pay the bills online, there’s extra time to be had at the airport after checking in and best of all, there’s free wi fi. Problem solved. Or maybe problems are just beginning: unsecured wi fi can be a rich hunting ground for identity thieves. Once a thief has partial information on you, it’s often easy to set up new credit card accounts It’s hard to believe 50 years have passed since at new addresses. The spending our parents, Bud and Pearl Thoma, started Thoma begins, and you’re on vacation and Electric Company. As little kids, we watched them work hard and build a business, raise four kids not paying attention until long after and be good citizens. your holiday has ended and new bills have arrived. A tremendous amount of life can happen in 50

50 years and going strong

There are day-to-day business challenges that dance around the potential for identity theft. Businesses are still at risk from scammers getting your company credit card information, changing the address and getting a new card—unbeknownst to you. There is weak antivirus software that allows hackers into your business network. Phishing still goes on, as does “pretexting,” the practice

years. We’ve grown older and they have grown wiser. And the lessons they taught about family, hard work and caring for our community have stuck. The commitment they made 50 years ago to quality in all phases of our business continues today.

MoM and dad, thanks for everything. We’re doing our best to follow your example.

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COMMUNITY julia child said, “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

AUGUS T Almanac

summer veggies fill Farmers’ Markets. Summer offers shapes, colors, and sizes right out of a cartoon. Our neighbor buys a different veggie every week and prods the seller for recipes.

By Phyllis Benson

night lights: The Perseids Meteor Shower returns in mid-August. The small, bright meteors are fast and race across the skies after midnight. With 50 meteors or more per hour, even kids spot the predawn streakers.

“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.” —Annie Dillard

best viewing for the Perseids is away from city lights and the dogust first replaces August 1st as an unofficial birthday for

ubiquitous glowing screens of handheld electronic devices. Turn off the cell phones.

pet shop: Dogust gives every pet enthusiast an excuse for another toy.

50 years ago hot August nights meant checking out new 1962 ‘Vettes, Impalas, and T-birds priced beyond a teenager’s wallet and then heading toward a buddy’s garage to fix up a ’49 Mercury or Ford for a short oil-smoking ride to the burger joint.

shelter dogs with unknown birth dates. An animal shelter started the light-hearted Dogust event so that every dog could have a birthday.

moon lore: This August has two full moons. The first appears on August 2 and the second on August 31. Watch for the distant V-formations against the moon and listen for night honking of migrating geese. national lighthouse day is August 7. Support your local light-

house. Buy a t-shirt, take a tour, lend a hand.

the point san luis lighthouse near Avila Beach retired in

1974. Lighthouse Keepers raise funds for preserving the site and developing a maritime museum. Visitors reach the park by trolley tours and guided hikes.

Piedras blancas lighthouse near Cambria illuminated the

rocky coast from 1875 to 1975. The grounds, now used for ecological research, are open to guided tours while the lighthouse is restored.

Centennial: In 1912, chocolate maker Clarence Crane designed a candy that would not melt in summer heat. The Ohio entrepreneur made a round mint, punched a hole in the middle, and labeled the candy as Life Savers.

Celebrity chef and author Julia Child was born in Pasadena on

August 15, 1912. She worked for the wartime OSS, attended culinary school in France, hosted numerous cooking shows, and eventually returned to California where she died August 13, 2004, in Montecito just shy of her 92nd birthday.

1962 juke box hits included Little Eva’s “Loco-Motion,” Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” and Gene Chandler’s “Duke of Earl.” movies meant parking on a gravel ridge and listing to “Lawrence of

Arabia” or “The Manchurian Candidate” grumble out of the speaker.

our mechanic says nostalgia filters the grit from the memories. Discard the bad, remember the good. simplify Your Life Week is here. Ease stress by removing clutter. our aunt decluttered by taking baking pans, canning jars, and fruit choppers to the donation station. It was a gift to herself, freeing time and money. california model Cindy Margolis said, “I am spoiled, it’s true. I

don’t even know how to use that thing in the kitchen with the burners.”

august 11 is National Garage Sale Day. Open up and sell your wares or stop at a yard sale and say howdy.

our yard sale is for readers. Magazines are free and books cheap. Just don’t step on the cat or trip over the dogs. They don’t budge easily on summer days.

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