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Journal PLUS MARCH 2009



A name you know and trust.

Bob Wacker of R.E. Wacker Associates

Our sincere congratulations to B W, President of R.E. Wacker Associates, for being named the 2008 Citizen of the Year by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. Bob plays a key role in numerous local nonprofits and organizations, and we are honored to have him as part of our financial team and as a member of our community.



Citizen of the Year BY T HE

San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

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I’ve known Al Moriarty since I started working at Cuesta College Student Services 12 years ago. Al was referred to me by a coworker to handle a retirement savings that was available at the district. I consider myself fortunate to have had Al Moriarty manage my finances. As a single mother with a 12-year-old daughter, and a one-year-old mortgage in SLO, I was in no position to engage in risky investments. Al personalized a portfolio for me that minimized risks and invested my money in a way that I was comfortable with. He always said, “a bird in hand is worth two in a bush,” and to ”keep myself intelligently broke.” Al Moriarty puts tremendous emphasis in teaching his clients about financing, explaining all options and painting the big picture. Throughout the years I have seen my savings grow. My daughter now has a Master’s degree and works as Program Director at a non-governmental organization in Washington, D.C. I am now presented with options to expand my assets, according to Al Moriarty, to do as much as leverage into another house. This financial freedom would not have been possible without Al. I am most grateful to Al for his outstanding disposition, his friendliness and ability to inspire confidence. He puts one at ease with his patience, and great flexibility to accommodate ones needs and schedule. But most of all, I am grateful for Al’s wisdom and guidance over the years to allow me to get to my retirement years and enjoy them financially secure.

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Journal PLUS The People, Community, and Business of Our Beautiful Central Coast 654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401





EDITOR & PUBLISHER Steve Owens ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Erin Mott GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bahman Safari COPY EDITOR Anne Stubbs PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Meinhold DISTRIBUTION Keith Malcomson ADVERTISING Jan Owens, Tom Owens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Hilary Grant, Sandy Baer, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Frank Rowan, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Joan Sullivan, Ruth Starr, Heather Hellman, Wendy Eidson, Loren Nicholson, Rebecca Juretic, Gordon Fuglie, Andrew Carter 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 5460609, our fax line is 546-8827, and our e-mail is slojournal@fix. net. Our website is JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is distributed monthly free by mail to all single family households of San Luis Obispo and is available free at over 600 locations throughout the county. Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE.







PEOPLE 8 10 12 14 16 18


COMMUNITY 20 22 23 24 26 28



AROUND TOWN 29 30 32 33 34 41



35 39 40 42



Cover Photo by Tom Meinhold



Journal PLUS

From the publisher


e have a new columnist beginning this month, Gordon Fuglie. Gordon is the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the SLO Art Center. His column will keep us informed on what’s happening in the Arts field each month. For all you old-timers out there, Joan Sullivan has written a profile on Richard Yaco. Richard was famous locally for his caricatures that were placed on the walls of the Chocolate Soup Restaurant in San Luis. The SLO Historical Society recently discovered more than 30 pieces of his art and plan to display them this Spring.

Our business feature celebrates the changing of the guard at Quaglino Flooring. Phil Quaglino recently turned over operations to his daughter, Sandra and son, Patrick, making this a three generation family business. Our cover of the Fremont Theatre reminds us that the SLO International Film Festival is about to begin. Executive Director, Wendy Eidson, gives us a sneak preview of what’s in store this year. Enjoy the magazine,

Steve Owens

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richard yaco san luis obispo’s legendary portrait artist – chocolate soup era By Joan Sullivan


he San Luis Obispo County Historical Society and Museum will open its new exhibit in the spring of 2009 with a collection of Chocolate Soup pencil portraits by Richard Yaco, a San Luis Obispo legendary portrait artist from the local art scene of the 1970s.

Richard Yaco at work

Carnegie Library Building

Museum Executive Director, Kim Alfaro, and Cal Poly graduate student, Steve Walker, will feature more than 30 of the drawings with historical notations for the exhibit, titled, “At the Heart of Our History,” The Sketches and Stories are by Richard Yaco. Whatever happened to the pencil portraits that graced the walls of the Chocolate Soup restaurant on the corner of Morro and Monterey Streets in San Luis Obispo in the 1970s? Many locals have asked over the years. Much to the surprise of everyone, 32 of the pencil drawings were discovered and uncovered at the County Museum recently by Executive Director, Kim Alfaro. It seems that Forest Watts, second or third owner of Chocolate Soup, donated the drawings to the Museum when he sold his restaurant in the 1980s. The restaurant was patterned after one with an identical name in New York City and featured a pudding sort of desert – a chocolate sponge cake covered with gooey chocolate.

Carnegie Library Building

The Saur Adobes

When contacted about the upcoming exhibit, Richard Yaco, who now resides in upper New York, was surprised the portraits still existed and that they were going to be exhibited. He offered to share his memories as the Chocolate Soup artist. In the process of doing so, and to get away from his studio, he was also inspired to do portraiture again and has arranged with the owner of the Market & Bistro restaurant, near where he now resides, to set up regular hours to sketch the local patrons; the main objective being to create more community connectivity in a suburban environment, he related, and so now the Bistro is the bustling eatery of an artist and his subjects. The Bistro posted this announcement: ENTER THE CITIZENS’ GALLERY. Beginning January 15th, local artist, Richard Yaco, will draw our town’s citizens. The portraits will be hung on our walls to establish our “Citizens’ Gallery.” This is our way of getting better acquainted with the members of our community. Yaco will draw these charcoal studies each Tuesday through Saturday. Yaco was a former Marine Combat Artist (Viet Nam War) and has been an exhibiting artist and designer in many parts of the US and around the world. Market & Bistro At Exit 8 (Near CVS) 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park, New York 12065.

Howard Louis


Myron Graham


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Yaco was as a combat artist and photographer taking thousands of pictures during the Viet Nam War. Following his release in 1969 from the Marine Corps, he wandered the States for two years, sketching, painting and drawing townspeople around the country. He eventually sold the idea of publishing his work to Brown and Co. Strangering is the title of the book that is still in the making – which he continues


to fill with strangers’ portraits. Today, the many-faceted, multi-talented artist designs architectural work for a suburban town in upper New York. Yet he still finds time to connect with, and record the local citizens for posterity.

restaurant details with John, his manager, in the patio of Sebastians restaurant on the creek. I knew the candy maker, Mr. Chong and Mr. Louis across the street at the Chinese import shop. In time, many of these business people became my clients in commercial art projects.”

Returning to San Luis Obispo in 1973, Yaco was hired to teach drawing courses, color theory, and various rendering disciplines at Cal Poly in the Architecture Department. Although he didn’t have a degree in architecture, Dean Hasslein and Paul Neel placed extraordinary faith in his abilities, based on his portfolio of buildings he designed in Viet Nam and Los Angeles. “What was curious to me was that while drawing and painting had always been an integral part of my life, I became briefly enamored with architectural pursuits as a high-school student. However, early on I disqualified myself from such illusions because of my miserable performances in math and physics classes. To quickly get up to speed, I visited various architectural firms in my hometown and studied quality rendering techniques and their graphic requirements.”

“If time machines existed, I would be tempted to return to that glorious Chocolate Soup era of drawing and living in San Luis Obispo (1974 to 1979), armed with three more decades of experience and insight and gratitude under my belt. I would seek out all of those friends and parties I failed to originally record. I would renew that sacred conversation with the body, the very organism of that society, one might call the face of humanity and attempt to fill out the spectrum of community in my ‘citizens’ gallery.’ I remain humbly grateful to the citizenry of San Luis Obispo for receiving me as a ‘townie’ while having been a ‘southerner’ originally from Santa Barbara. I am grateful for the fullness of drawing opportunities San Luis granted me, to express my hand, heart and vision.”

An integral part of our local San Luis Obispo history begins with Richard’s story of how the Chocolate Soup era came about. He was teaching Architecture classes at Cal Poly and had settled into the Saur Adobe in town and was out walking one evening when he came upon a couple of Cal Poly architecture students whose restaurant business was under construction on the corner of Morro and Monterey. He liked living in town because he felt he could easily become acquainted with shopkeepers, sketch on street corners and turn a dollar here and there, as well as being sociable. Yaco introduced himself to the young couple and said, “Why don’t we surround your eating booths with portraits of your patrons and townspeople, I suggested, after showing them some samples of the citizens I’d drawn during my US trip. We soon cemented the deal with a handshake for me to become the Chocolate Soup artist. I agreed to supply them with drawings, at a drawing fee of $15 per head. Being a townie, I easily discovered other townies, as in people who were highly visible and active in the dynamics of downtown life in San Luis Obispo. They became my subjects. My subjects would come to my studio, which shifted from the Sauer Adobe on Chorro Street to one of the Warden Block atrium apartments on Higuera Street, where spacious ten-foot high windows looked out over the Mission Plaza.” Yaco said he still uses a carbon Wolf pencil, usually BB, B and HB (a better grade of a charcoal pencil), a French stump for modeling the gray tones, and a chiseled eraser to lift out strands of hair or highlights. He likes various Bristol or smooth finish heavy paper stock. When drawing from life he faces the model balancing his drawing board between his knees. “I know that in the past I have managed to do these drawing in about an hour. In these recent drawing sessions I am going over an hour since I’m very rusty.... haven’t done this for almost three decades.” Yaco reminisces about his halcyon days in San Luis Obispo in the recent interview. “That period, the mid-seventies in San Luis Obispo, was a magical era for me. Generally, as soon as my feet touched the sidewalk on Higuera Street, I would be waving a “hello” to a friend in a passing car or greeting a pedestrian acquaintance. SLO was friendly that way. I would meet up with Mickey setting up her flower stall in front of the Network or Jim opening the door to his camera shop. Across the street, Christine Nybak would be wrestling with the bargain books’ cart at Gabby’s. Shopkeepers would roll out their awnings, sweep up the fronts and check or alter their window displays. Jesse, always neatly outfitted in his green uniform, would be hosing down pavements around the Mission Plaza and have several flats of flowers awaiting his dispersal. Stan Clinton would be remarking on

Richard Yaco’s contributions to San Luis Obispo County as a talented portrait artist, architect and writer has united our community through his work, leaving a rich visual heritage of the people who lived and worked in our close knit town. We look forward to sharing his love of San Luis Obispo at the upcoming Chocolate Soup exhibit in the County Museum this year. For more information about the Chocolate Soup exhibit, please contact: San Luis Obispo County Historical Society and Museum, 696 Monterey Street, S.L.O., CA 93401. (805) 543-0638 e-mail: kalfaro@ website:

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daily occurrence. Reading together was the next stage. And then, what POWER to be able to read on one’s own!

in her own words –

maryellen simkins chairwoman of the central coast Book and author festival


rom the age of SEVEN, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley with my mother, father, older sister, maternal grandmother and dog. My best friend Andrea lived kittycorner behind us with her mom, dad and older brother. Our back fences were offset by about 18 inches due to some snafu in the lot lines, making it very easy for us to squeeze through as a short cut to one another’s houses.

Fast forward to 1988 when my husband, daughter, two Shelties and I moved to Los Osos where Michael was to be the principal at Baywood Elementary. There are many things we each loved about the house we eventually bought. For our preteen daughter, the huge bathroom attached to her bedroom was a major selling point. For Michael, who grew up in Manhattan Beach, the view of the estuary and bay. For me, the many windows which make the house naturally bright even on the dullest day. For the dogs, the huge yard to run around in. But for all of us (maybe not the dogs), the bookshelves that line the family room and living room walls were a major selling point. And, of course, we couldn’t imagine being able to fill them all, while at the same time taking it as something of a challenge. Again, fast forward to 2008, when I read in the Tribune that the Central Coast Book and Author Festival would not happen because there was no one to chair the event.

Andrea and I each got the princely sum of $.25 per week allowance. Once we had each saved $1.00, we would walk to our local bookstore and buy a book – usually the next in the series of Nancy Drew mysteries. (Hard to imagine being able to buy a real book, including tax, for $2.00!). We traded off who got to read it first as well as where the book would actually “live.” While we were saving up for our own books, we frequented the library.

Between 1988 and 2008, various community activities have kept me busy – in addition to being the Legal Administrator at Andre, Morris & Buttery for 16 ½ of those years. I served on CSA9 (predating the Los Osos CSD – a “kinder, gentler” Los Osos) and the Los Osos Community Advisory Council (LOCAC) in addition to being president of our neighborhood property owners association. I also served on the board of the Central Coast Natural History Association (CCNHA) and was its chairman for several years.

While these are my first recollections of my “own” books (either bought or borrowed), I don’t ever remember a time when books were not a part of life. Before I could do it on my own, being read to was a

I retired from full-time employment soon after our granddaughter was born for reasons any grandmother can understand. But, of course, one can’t spend all one’s time doting on one’s granddaughter. So I



Journal PLUS

PEOPLE As luck would have it, just as I was winding up my second term on the Grand Jury, wondering what I would do with all my free time, the notice about the hiatus the Book and Author Festival was forced to take was published. I had met Brian Reynolds, Library Director for San Luis Obispo County, when he made presentations to both CSA9 and LOCAC on the state of the libraries, and knew he’d give me the straight scoop, so I asked to meet with him. How could this happen that something as important and fun as celebrating books and the people who write and illustrate them was falling by the wayside? How hard would it be to make this Festival happen again?

joined the PCPA Foundation board (Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts at Alan Hancock College) and applied to be on the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury. I spent two fascinating years on the Grand Jury, one as foreperson. In addition, I spend a fair amount of time using the management skills which were honed at Andre, Morris & Buttery consulting for various legal and nonprofit groups.

WELL, I can now tell you that there are many, many moving parts to putting on the Book and Author Festival. Over the years I’ve organized weddings large and small, sit-down dinners for 500, fundraiser dinners that took guests from Morro Bay to Hearst Castle and back with multiple stops along the way, art auctions to fund medical research, live and silent auctions and many other events of all shapes and sizes. All have been a challenge; all have been rewarding; all have been the work of a good team. This event is the next in that series for me.


The Central Coast Book and Author Festival began as a celebration of reading and writing in 1999 and grew over the following eight years. It’s coming back after a year off, under the auspices of the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries, to continue the celebration and also as a mechanism to raise funds for the Summer Reading Program in our county libraries. This year we are working with the Cuesta College Writers’ Conference, celebrating its 25th anniversary. For more information, to donate or volunteer, please contact: Maryellen R. Simkins, Chairwoman, Central Coast Book and Author Festival P.O. Box 12942, San Luis Obispo 93406-2942; 805.546.1392;; Central Coast Book and Author Festival Sunday, October 4, 2009, in Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo. For information on the Cuesta Writers’ Conference, see www.communityprograms. net/wc/wcindex.htm 25th Annual Central Coast Writers’ Conference, Friday & Saturday, October 2 & 3, 2009 at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo



Journal PLUS

PEOPLE samantha brosette, claudia auth and suzanne hoier 12

teachers recognized by the tri-county gate council By Natasha Dalton


ld-timers might still remember a phenomenal amateur astronomer, Steven Overholt, who used to live in our county. On bright starry nights, he’d set up his portable telescopes (many of which he personally designed and built) in a library parking lot, or in a park, and encourage passers-by to look at the stars. Steven is a tremendously gifted person, charming and inspirational in his passion for science, with hundreds of inventions and patents to his name. Yet, he did poorly in school, and as an adult he’s always had trouble getting a job. Any job. A prolific author and inventor, who truly belongs in a university lab or Observatory, Steve found his applications rejected even at a convenience store, because he couldn’t pass their scantron test. If Steve attended school in Paso Robles today, he might’ve had a better chance to get both his talents, and his weaker skills developed. That’s because PRUSD is one of the California school districts that runs a program (GATE) which is designed to help educate its gifted and talented students. Steve Overholt, who remembers the dimensions of hundreds of stars, doesn’t recognize his neighbors: astrophysics is all that matters to him. And even though the intellectual interests of GATE people have a very wide range, this ability to get completely engrossed into a particular subject – even at the expense of everything else – is quite typical. “For many GATE students, it’s both a blessing, and a curse to be gifted,” explains Suzanne Hoier, a GATE teacher from Daniel Lewis Middle School, one of three teachers, who will be recognized in March by the Tri-County GATE Council. “Often society is under the impression that GATE kids have it easy, because they are naturally smart, but every child struggles in one’s own way, and every child needs a strong support system to ensure success both in school, and in life.” Suzanne is one of the three Paso teachers being recognized this year by the Tri-County GATE Council for their dedication to children who, although accomplished academically, often “provide a wide variety of challenges to themselves and the teaching staff.” “These students can be ‘their own worst enemies’ in their educational journey,” says Angela Hollander, a parent of Mrs. Hoier’s student, John Hollander. “These kids’ intellectual skills may be advanced, while motor and social skills, in many cases, lag behind. In addition, they don’t easily conform to a traditional learning style.” M A R C H


Samantha Brosette

Many experts believe that such historic giants as DaVinci, Michelangelo, Einstein, Franklin, Galileo, Mozart – and probably many others – were highly gifted, but, in Mrs. Hollander’s opinion, “In today’s society, none would have achieved their potential.” A lot of it has to do with our system of education. Mrs. Hollander’s son’s IQ is in the highly gifted range: 145 - 159. Only one child out of 1,000 - 10,000 falls into that category. “It’s crucial that we identify and serve these children because they are at high risk for not achieving their potential. Besides, they are frequently isolated, as there are no age-level peers,” says Mrs. Hollander. “An IQ score of 125 to 145 is not so bright as to be noticeably different from others ... It is easier to feel that she belongs than it is for a person with an IQ of 150 or more,” writes prominent GATE psychologist Dr. Webb in his book Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children. “For kids like John, these teachers who are being honored, may be the only people in the school who get them. They, rather than peers, may be the child’s only refuge. These children need a teacher who specializes in GATE, much like a Special Education teacher specializes in working with those at the lower end of the spectrum,” Mrs. Hollander says. Before Daniel Lewis Middle School, John Hollander attended Pat Butler Elementary, where another award recipient, Claudia Auth, now retired, used to teach fifth grade. She was the one who started GATE at her school. Mrs. Auth knew from the start, that she needed to provide her GATE students with experiences they wouldn’t receive in their regular classroom. Over the years Mrs. Auth offered her students an array of creative programs - including School Video Crew, and

Journal PLUS

Claudia Auth

Suzanne Hoier

A Publishing Company, where kids wrote, illustrated, and bound their own books – and under her guidance, students made it all the way to the Tri-County Mental Olympics. Drawing from her experience and intuition, Mrs. Auth found effective ways to make school exciting even for the “know-it alls.” By placing them in smaller groups, Mrs. Auth helped the advanced learners to work at an accelerated pace and go deeper into the curriculum. “This is the ONLY proven research-based method for instructing these children,” says Angela Hollander. “It does harm not to group them. Claudia was

PEOPLE one of those who challenged the status quo and convinced their principals that this was the right thing to do for these kids.” “Most GATE students are inherent critical thinkers. They want to understand the processes of how and why,” adds the third award winner, Samantha Brossette, a GATE Coordinator and Social Science teacher from George Flamson Middle School. “This is why I love teaching GATE – I love to provoke this method of thinking through our class discussion. I’m presenting history within the context of cause and effect, and my students are learning not just that something OCCURRED in history, but that “THIS occurred as a direct result of THAT.’”


ing that they are capable of doing well in school, and I hope that they leave my class believing in the power of hard work and dedication. My favorite quote from a child after the ‘social issue’ presentations was, ‘Mrs. Hoier, I had no idea that I was capable of that. Thank you for making me do it.’” “We need to have higher expectations for all of our students,” Mrs. Hoier continues. “We must provide the students with modern technology, and, as a society, we must give our teachers the freedom to do what is best for their students.”Well said. And well done, GATE teachers. Congratulations on your awards!

“When my daughter was in 3rd grade,” Mrs. Brossette continues, “I was appalled to learn that her weekly spelling tests were bubble scantrons®! The children weren’t expected to actually spell out the word! This was done to prepare them for the standardized test. This, of course, is an educational crime, in my humble opinion.” Even in today’s society, with its over-reliance on standardized formulas and scantron tests, it’s still the teacher-student interaction that creates the most powerful learning experience. Quality programs and textbooks are important, but it’s the Maria Montessoris, Samantha Brossettes, Claudia Auths, Suzanne Hoierses and their passion and creativity, that make the subjects they teach exciting. Everyone can probably remember at least one favorite teacher, who made a difference in his or her life. The best teachers know how to motivate, inspire, challenge and encourage, and by doing so, they shape the future of our nation. There’s nothing GATE kids crave more than an intellectual challenge, and Mrs. Auth explains how to do it right: instead of simply giving them extra work, or allowing them to just glide through, the teacher has to work with them individually. Granted, gifted kids keep teachers on their toes. Still, teaching them can be very rewarding. Here is one of Mrs. Brossette’s first accounts of working with GATE students: “I remember giving an assignment to label a world map with some specific geographic features. I was astounded to see one student’s map: he had spent God knows how many hours labeling every single country, river, geo-feature precisely, and neatly colored, featuring a well organized key, noting distances, etc. I was stunned. These students go way above and beyond even my highest expectations!” With this much potential, our society needs to make good education our highest priority again. “Children are the future,” says Mrs. Hoier, “and we’ll only benefit from the time and effort that we put into educating our future leaders. My students come into my class believ-



Journal PLUS



Elisabeth and Joe abrahams a passionate pair By Susan Pyburn


hey met on a blind date and they danced. Joseph and Elisabeth Abrahams have been dancing ever since. You might have seen them twirling at the Madonna Inn. A boy from Texas, a girl from England, pursuing disparate dreams until 1973, when they found each other in San Diego. I arrive breathless from my climb up the hill to their home. First, I am shown Joe’s library with its two-story stacks of books and a sun drenched room for writing and reflecting. (I want one just like it!) We cross the patio to the house and sit around the dining table. It is mid-afternoon; Joe is back from his daily swim at the ‘Y’. Elisabeth prepares a large pot of tea, and talks about her love of dance she got from her mother who was a talented pianist. She opens a fresh box of biscuits – the English kind, not too sweet, cream filled, and sets them out on a plate. By the time they met, they had already led several lives. Joe left Texas for the East coast, lived in Connecticut as well as New York’s lower east side, then landed in Washington D.C. in the forties to work with mentally ill offenders at St. Elizabeth’s Maximum Security Mental Hospital. He has authored six books, and is writing a two-volume set to enlarge his legacy series on the therapeutic dynamics of healing the most difficult of patients. His favorite kind.

Elisabeth grew up in England during the war, and though she longed to study dance, she chose law instead as the more practical option. She also longed to be Canadian, so she lived there for a time before returning to England. Back home, she met and married a young would-be writer avoiding the Vietnam War. The couple settled in North America. When the marriage failed, she found herself once again at home, devastated.

She taught physically handicapped kids at the FDR School in London. Then, she took up tai chi and yoga. Soon she was back to dance class three times a week. Before long she was teaching movement and dance. In 1973, Elisabeth came to California to study Dance Therapy at UCLA. A school chum from England invited her to San Diego where she accepted that blind date with Joe. He was recovering from the end of a long marriage. “I was a lost soul. Elisabeth muscled in on my self-realization project,” he reminisces. “I wanted someone I could talk with who was interesting, with whom I could make a future. Someone sensible.”

Family Tradition of Ownership 2015 Santa Barbara • San Luis Obispo 805.541.1646 • M A R C H


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As a boy, Joe yearned to be a writer, a ballet dancer, a cowboy… At this, he leaps from his chair to fetch a Xerox picture of young Joseph on a horse. His first poem was composed at the age of eight about the life and loves of a cockroach. But it was his passion for psychoanalysis that won out. In his book Turning Lives Around, Joe writes about his work during World War II. “We got

PEOPLE to succeed at treating criminals, so they became good guys.” His writing documents the trailblazing treatment regimens of those years, in the hope that others will replicate them, that lives might be saved instead of lost to mental illness.


For thousands

Eleven years after their first dance, Joe tossed a catalog in Elisabeth’s lap while en route to Oceanside to view a timeshare. Glancing down at a brochure of rings, she asked, “Does this mean that you want to become engaged?” Yes! he said. A most unusual marriage proposal was evoked by the timeshare lady while filling out papers. The woman inquired about their different names and wondered if they intended to marry. YES! answered Joe. They passed on the timeshare, and planned a garden wedding.

of industrial workers, it wasn’t their boss who was working them to death....

After 25 years in private practice, Joe signed on at Atascadero State Hospital, and Elisabeth accepted a position as a Dance Therapist. The couple settled in San Luis Obispo and made a life here. “We have grown together,” says Joe, admitting he does not enter relationships easily, because it’s “…hell to pay for me to break it off.” Elisabeth tosses him a smile. “The more I get to know him, the more I love him. He’s the best thing that happened to me!” “Dance has been a big thing in my life,” says Joe. “I fancied myself a scientist, primarily but increasingly, I recognize my artistic side. I want to end my days writing fiction, and poetry.” The passion that permeates their lives extends to their community. They often turn up at City Council meetings, and both have been active in the Democratic Club. Elisabeth teaches a weekly yoga class at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. She is a stern taskmaster. One day in class, as I took what I fancied was a decent triangle pose, I sensed her standing behind me and pulling me here and there until my balance was completely undone. Excellent! She pronounced. And I came back for more. “My life has gotten better as I’ve grown older,” says Elisabeth. When asked about longevity and the vitality of their lives, she confesses hers may have to do with being a Capricorn. That, and a semi-vegetarian diet, a lot of yoga and a marked avoidance of doctors. As for Joe, he eats cereal twice and day, and a simple dinner; then, there is all that swimming, the exercise of the mind, and longevity genes. They inspire. She is working on a one-act play based on the story of Samuel Hahnemann, a homeopathic doctor. “But, I am not a writer!” she protests. Heretofore, she has not written anything aside from papers and marvelous letters (the latter, per Joe).

It was exposure to asbestos. Exposure that years later is causing Mesothelioma. And the worst part is, this tragedy could have been avoided. But the asbestos industry ignored the problem and denied their responsibility. Now it’s time for patients and their families to fight back and receive compensation for the wrong done to them. The people at HendlerLaw understand the pain, frustration and anger that patients and their families are suffering. If you or a family member have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, call The Hendler Law Firm today. It’s time to see justice done.

Upon leaving their hilltop house packed with books and art, the grand piano by the window…. (Who plays?), Joe hands me three of his books. One, A Passionate Psychoanalyst, so befits this hardy man of 93 years. After completing his “legacy” series, he will start that novel; then, an opera about Virginia Woolf, who he calls a woman of operatic proportion. Somewhere in there he longs to work with stones and mortar, to create something in the garden. By himself, thank you very much, at the age of 93. It’s not yet 5:00; there’s still time for him to zip back down to the YMCA for his daily sauna. Two hours with Joseph and Elisabeth Abrahams – and I am still breathless. They have packed their combined 170 years to the brim with dance, music, psychoanalysis, teaching, writing, and politics. It is both exhilarating and exhausting to behold.

1-800-4-HENDLER (1-800-443-6353) or visit our resource web site

www.Mesothelioma-Advice.Org Help. Advice. Justice. “You’re not alone.” ™ Scott M. Hendler, HendlerLaw, P.C., 816 Congress Avenue, Suite 1670 Austin, Texas 78701. No attorney’s fees unless you recover. Court costs and litigation expenses are paid from your share of the recovery. If there is no recovery, you will not be responsible for any court costs or litigation expenses. Cases handled with co counsel in the State of filing. Copyright ©1995 by The Hendler Law Firm, P.C. All rights reserved.

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david Serwitz founder and ceo of grade potential By Heather Hellman


oes the following scenario sound familiar? Your child or grandchild is a really smart kid, but not applying him or herself in school. They are intelligent, capable and imaginative, but they don’t engage or embrace schoolwork. They’re ambivalent or just plain frustrated. You can’t stress enough how important an education is these days, but every time you have that conversation, they give you an annoyed stare. David Serwitz, Founder and CEO of Grade Potential, a tutoring company serving San Luis Obispo County, empathizes with that child. A successful 25-year-old entrepreneur, he understands his parents’ and teachers’ past concerns. You see, David Serwitz was that child. “My father used to say, ‘David, you have a V8 engine and you’re only using four cylinders.’ My teachers lectured me after school often,” recalls Serwitz. “I heard them all, but I just didn’t know how to articulate my frustrations and anxiety about school. At that age you’re judged primarily on your academics, so my confidence wasn’t so great. And on top of my struggles in school, I had seven siblings who were brilliant academically. The frustration all around just got compounded.” It was sports, specifically wrestling, that David believes saved his life. He followed in his older brothers’ footsteps, committing to the sport in junior high school. It was the first thing that he had an absolute passion for, and he excelled. In his second year of competition, he became the second best wrestler in Santa Clara County.



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“I was finally good at something that I cared about,” says Serwitz. “Wrestling gave me more confidence. I still wasn’t the greatest student, but wrestling taught me about setting goals, hard work and commitment. My experience with wrestling served me well later in school and business.” David became a sought after wrestler. He earned an athletic scholarship to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After competing his freshman year, he had surgery on his knee and shoulder and decided to stop wrestling. He needed to channel his passion for wrestling into another pursuit. Coming from a family of successful entrepreneurs, David shifted his focus to business. “I always planned on going to work for my father, but I’ve known that I wanted my own business since a very young age,” says Serwitz. “My grandfather and father built their fortunes through their own passions. I wanted something I could build on my own.” David decided to stay at Cal Poly, but he had to switch his major to Business. To do that, he had to get a better than average grade in a calculus class. David knew he would need help, so he went in search of a tutor. “I panicked about this calculus class,” remembers Serwitz. “Passing it was pivotal, and I was starting to have all that anxiety again.”

tutors (from college students to teachers and industry professionals); added four full-time staff members; and is opening a second Grade Potential office this fall in Santa Barbara. “That tutoring experience changed my life,” says Serwitz. “I want to help lift that frustration and anxiety that I once felt by offering a service to students and families experiencing the same issues. We make getting a tutor easy and learning a fun experience. And, in the process, we help build self-confidence.” David specifically matches his tutors to the personality and needs of the student. David makes sure that all Grade Potential tutors are reliable, friendly and “someone I would invite into my own home.” He’s also committed to



value. Grade Potential doesn’t take any payment information until after their student’s first session. If for any reason their client is not completely satisfied, he or she is not charged. David also participates in many community programs, offering tutoring to foster children at no charge and a $1,000 scholarship to a local high school student each year. So far, Grade Potential has helped more than 2,000 students in San Luis Obispo County achieve their academic goals. “I hope my dad would say that I am firing on all 8 cylinders now,” laughs Serwitz, “or maybe even 12, because our plans are to open 500 Grade Potential offices over the next 10 years. We’re totally committed to making a difference for every student that we can.”

David earned a wrestling scholarship at Cal Poly

David went to a free tutoring lab on campus, but there was a high ratio of students to the lone tutor. He knew he needed one-on-one attention. He tried the Math Department and they gave him a stack of papers with tutors listed on them. David soon found out the list was outdated, with many people never returning his call. He called more than 100 people over a span of almost two weeks and found it incredibly difficult to find someone who seemed competent, and could meet him where and when he wanted. Luckily, he didn’t fall too far behind in his class, and with his tutors help, he passed his calculus class and got into the Business major. After that difficult experience, David had the thought of organizing a tutorial group to help other students caught in his former predicament. He drew out an organizational chart, finally realizing he had the beginnings of his business. He spoke with high school guidance counselors and teachers, who said there was a real need for organized and professional tutoring in the community. At 19, as a sophomore at Cal Poly, David Serwitz founded Make the Grade, later named Grade Potential. Throughout college, David worked hard to build his business and graduate with a Business degree. He accomplished both. In the seven years that Grade Potential has been in business, David has expanded his tutor offerings to include all class subjects at the area high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, as well as Cal Poly and Cuesta College; employed more than 500 part-time M A R C H


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michael Fawcett cal poly professor and former L.A. tour guide By Ruth Starr


ichael Fawcett, PH.D., who teaches Spanish at Cal Poly, has had a long-standing involvement with Marilyn Monroe. Michael grew up in the funeral business that both his Dad and Granddad were involved with. He even dug graves at an early age. Michael spent his childhood in Kansas where every Saturday afternoon in the late 1940s through the 1950s he would watch a double feature, a newsreel and a cartoon at the Klock Theater in Neodesha. He fell in love with the world of movies. After moving to California and teaching high school for five years in Brentwood, Michael knew he had to stop teaching high school and decided to form a tour company. He had always been interested in Hollywood history, so it was a natural, he thought, to be an interesting tour guide. While he was studying for a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages

and Literature at UCLA, he also took classes in stage lighting, scenery, sound and the history of film that gave him more background. He began doing tours of Santa Monica and Venice and was the only tour guide in these areas. He had a van customized to accommodate 13 people with a bubble top so he could stand giving the tour with a mic headset. Michael had a written commentary, but knew it so well that he could ad lib along the way to make it more interesting. Finding that the larger hotels would only call the larger tour guides, he came up with the idea of the Marilyn Monroe Tour. Michael spent countless hours doing research for the tour. She had spent most of her life in L.A., so there were a lot of sites associated with her. He enjoyed doing the tour business for two years. Then the liability insurance went sky high on him, and the hotels were still sending most of the business to the large tour agencies. It was time to move on. He moved up to Los Osos in 1992 and teaches Spanish at Cal Poly where he has produced a Spanish teaching CD. The book that he modeled was a huge undertaking, written by four authors and 23 helpers. He created a workbook on his own to complement it. Before creating the Spanish CD, Michael created The Tour CD that is a tour of Los Angeles and surrounding areas where Marilyn Monroe lived, went to school, and the places she frequented. The following is some of the information Michael came up with during his research on Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn changed residences some 60 times during her life. Her eightyear association with the Doheny Dr. apartment was the longest. It was here where George Masters gave her the “white on white” look, and she and Joe DiMaggio spent her last Christmas. Marilyn was actually two people – Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe. Norma Jean could transform herself into Marilyn with her acting ability. When she was being Norma Jean, people did not recognize her on the street. Later in life, Norma Jean came to hate Marilyn, the dumb blond that had been created. The power of the original tour was that it covered all parts of her life. The Tour went to her elementary school, middle school, and high school. All of these schools are still there and look the same as they did when she was a student there. The people on the tour got to see 14 different residences where she lived, a few movie studios including 20th Century Fox where she did most of her work including the movie Some Like It Hot. Many people thought it was her best film. Taking the tour van to the different sites, visitors got to see a lot of the city. Since the climate in L.A. is so good, the architecture has not crumbled, but has stayed in good condition. It is a great city to show off residential homes. The tour began with the Palisades that overlooked Peter Lawford’s house. He and Marilyn were close friends. Michael thought it was a great place to begin the tour because of the Santa Monica beach and a lot of old celebrity homes on Pacific Coast Highway. The tour lasted for eight hours and could be divided up into two days. One of the sites on the tour was the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. She lived over the Tropicana Bar where a lot of stars hang out today. The tour ended at her crypt. In addition to the places his tour took visitors to, he gave them a smattering of information on Marilyn’s personal life.



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Norma Jean (Marilyn) had a mother who was mentally unstable, could not take care of her shortly after her birth, and she ended up in foster homes. At about seven or eight, her mother was somewhat better and bought a house in Hollywood where the Hollywood Bowl is now. Norma Jean (Marilyn) quit high school after her second year, and at the tender age of 16, got married to Jim Daugherty. Jim had gone overseas and during that time, she outgrew him, and the marriage was over. She began to get modeling jobs and was on some magazine covers where eventually Howard Hughes took an interest in her and got her a screen test at 20th Century Fox. According to director, Billy Wilder, Marilyn had, what they called, flesh impact. She was always a bit overweight and had to be stuffed into her clothes. She is buried in the Pierce Brothers Cemetery in L.A. It is a very small cemetery and most people don’t know where it is. It is in Westwood right next to UCLA. There are always fan letters and flowers at her crypt. Peter Lawford called her the night she died and she was somewhat coherent. When he called back later, she was gone. She had apparently taken a lot of pills during the day and when her housekeeper gave her a chloral hydrate enema, it sent her over the top. The housekeeper did not know she was high on drugs. Marilyn had a nice home for the first time in her life and did not appear to be depressed, so it did not seem to be a suicide. Plans are underway to do a screen play on the Marilyn Monroe Tour. Michael’s Website for the Marilyn Monroe Tour is:

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three generations at quaglino flooring By Sandy Baer While working on a roofing job at the local Mainini Ranch, James met Pierina, daughter of Alex and Caterina Cottini Mainini. According to Phil, “a gorgeous, young teenage girl of 15.” Pierina, known by family members as “Peggy”, was born in the adobe on the Cuesta College campus. As Phil’s daughter, Sandra, remembers, “We used to tease her that her name was a dog food company!” The couple married in the early 1920’s and had their three children in rather rapid succession. “We were a young family during the Depression and we were poor but the Mainini’s had the ranch with chickens, goats and dairy cows so we always had food to eat,” Phil says. Members of the Quaglino Team: Patrick, Phil, Sandra and Diane

There are no less than 20 Quaglino’s in the San Luis Obispo County phone book, some directly related by a common ancestor, James A. Quaglino, others distantly. James A. Quaglino, born in Sicily, Italy in 1901, was only three years old when he emigrated in 1904 from Corleone, Sicily to New York City with his family. As most immigrants at the turn of the century, the Quaglino’s were processed through Ellis Island and settled in and managed an Italian tenement in New York City.

“When we came to the United States, we were all wearing tee shirts emblazoned with ‘TONY” as in ‘TO New York,’ but everybody thought we were all named Tony!” Philip Quaglino, one of three children of James A. Quaglino quips. “When I was 40 and applied for my first passport, my birth certificate said “Boy Quaglino.” “I’m not sure when or why our family moved to Southern California, but I do know my father graduated from Jefferson High School, founded in 1916 in South Central Los Angeles, before moving to San Luis Obispo. Born in the Depression in 1929, Philip sold newspapers on Los Angeles street corners to supplement the family income of his dad’s masonry work. “My dad owned rental real estate in Los Angeles, a courtyard where we lived down the alley in our family home,” Phil recalls. Phil had an older brother, Alex, and sister Mary Jane. Mary Jane married Solvang native Jack Sutcliffe who after working as a mortician at two local mortuaries, Richardson’s as well as Palmer and Waters in San Luis Obispo, opened Sutcliffe Mortuary on South Higuera Street. As Phil jokes, “We had to a have a cemetery in the family; after all we are Sicilian.” When James moved to San Luis Obispo County to work for the John Mandeville Roofing Company, “Dad saw this area and liked it so he decided to start his own business here,” Quaglino says.



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Quaglino’s Roofing and Flooring Company was established by James A. Quaglino in 1922. They operated the roofing, flooring and building supplies business from the still-standing family home at Broad and Mitchell Streets, using a garage on either side of the house for inventory storage. “I used to walk to school at Hawthorne Elementary then later when we moved down to Marsh Street, I walked to Emerson, then the junior and high schools,” Phil recalls. “Ironically, all four of those school buildings have since been demolished and replaced. My teachers used to tell me to ‘watch my ‘p’s’ and ‘q’s’, my initials.” James befriended the manager of the Southern Pacific Milling Company (where Pacific Home & Garden is currently located) and had a small office there. In 1947 he built the still- existing building on Santa Barbara Street across the street at its current location, 2015 Santa Barbara Street. James and Peggy on the ranch



Some years after their dad’s retirement and death in August 1994, Alex and Philip decided to divide the two-pronged business, with Phil assuming the flooring and Alex taking over the roofing and properties. After Alex’s death in March 2006, son Matt assumed responsibilities for that portion of the business. Phil says, “We both worked with dad when they were young. I started out working on the tar pot first,” says Quaglino. “That’s where they started as novices and I hated it. I didn’t like the dirty, messy work of roofing, or the heights!” In the early years, the Quaglino’s worked frequently with Maino Construction on such projects as the California Mens Colony, Cal Poly, the Veterans’ Memorial Hall and Hearst Castle, among other many notable commercial and residential jobs, county land marks still intact today. “I started doing some stocking while I was in high school and after graduation, I started roofing, then I joined my dad in the flooring business.” Heir apparent to the three generation, family-owned business, Phil’s son Patrick says, “Grandpa James had a partner at one time but he took off with all of the money so that was the last partner he had, until Dad and Uncle Alex became fulltime business partners.” But Patrick has hopes that his son Brad, a Cal Poly graduate in business, will someday take over as the fourth generation of the Quaglino’s flooring business. “For right now, he’s doing his own thing.” Wedding Picture of Peggy and James

Phil attended the University of California-Santa Barbara for one year before transferring to Cal Poly. He recalls, “I learned to play beach volleyball and drink beer in Santa Barbara but I never did like school so that’s when I went to work for my dad. I wanted to be an architect but there was too much math for me. My favorite part of the business was helping clients design their flooring.”

Alex, Phil and MaryJane in 1950

Since Phil’s retirement three years ago, Patrick, his youngest of five children, has become sole proprietor and recently reoriented the Santa Barbara Street storefront with the showroom taking advantage of the street traffic on this cross-town thoroughfare. “I believe each flooring situation is unique, and I negotiate with distributors to receive the best price possible,” says Patrick. The showroom displays a wide variety of carpet, hardwood, ceramic tile and vinyl. Patrick’s sister, Sandra, also works at the store.

Alex, James and Phil at the BBQ

Patrick has donated flooring materials to the Cal Poly’s Industrial Manufacturing Department “Poly House” project since 2005. “We believe it is our responsibility to give back to the community,” Patrick says. As far as Phil’s retirement (even though he drops by the business nearly every day), he is has been an active member of the Monday Rotary Club since 1972, the local Elk’s Club and the Cal Poly Booster’s Club. Longtime close friend, Don Silva, recalls that they have known one another since grammar school. “We even shared a locker together during high school. We’ve always been buddies,” he comments. “As fellow Mustang Booster’s, we often go to football and basketball games together.” Another of Phil’s loves, along with son Patrick and grandson Brad, is travel. “I love Europe…the old buildings and the slower pace,” Phil says. He has visited Tuscany, Rome, Milan and Florence but not yet his native Sicily. He visited the Great Wall and China with Silva in 2007 and recently returned from a tour of the Greek Islands.

The Storefront today

Whether on the road or at home, Quaglino enjoys photography, golfing, bicycling, gardening and raising peacocks. “I’ve enjoyed having fun in life. My philosophy is to live it to the fullest. I learned a long time ago not to worry,” Quaglino reflects. The tradition of entrepreneurial James A. Quaglino rooted in his Italian heritage lives on, hopefully through the generations to come. M A R C H


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the little film festival that could By Wendy Eidson


or ten days this March, San Luis Obispo County will play host to international filmmakers, Hollywood celebrities, sports legends and film-lovers from around the state and beyond. The 15th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival will take another small step towards becoming a world-class film festival, screening a wide variety of quality independent features, documentaries and shorts, with an unprecedented number of films being screened with more filmmakers and cast members than ever, traveling to San Luis Obispo from Europe, Canada and many U.S. states.

“We are really excited about this year’s line-up of films,” said Wendy Eidson, SLOIFF Festival Director. “We’ve had a very tough time making decisions on which films to choose from the competition entries

Josh Brolin

because there were so many good ones this year.” The George Sidney Independent Film Competition makes up the bulk of the Festival offerings, rounded out by a variety of international and domestic films the SLOIFF finds throughout the year. “We try to offer our community an exciting selection of films that fit our mission statement – ‘to educate, enlighten and entertain.’ We go to several other Festivals each year and look for films that we feel will have local appeal.”

The Festival also plans to have at least one special event almost every day or evening – everything from a tribute to stunt cowboys at Santa Margarita Ranch, to the Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase highlighting the work of young filmmakers, K through 12; to the internationally renowned Surf Night in SLO; to the Closing Night Gala when the King Vidor Award will be presented to an exceptional Hollywood celebrity. Last year’s King Vidor Award went to actor/director/producer, Peter Fonda. The Independent Film Awards are also presented that evening with over $5000 in cash prizes being awarded this year. The Festival is also proud of its diverse educational “behind-the-scenes” workshops and panels. This year, there will be panels discussing contemporary filmmaking issues, as well as workshops on auditioning for films, making a film in a day, stunt work, editing and more. The SLOIFF’s many special guests volunteer their time to share industry secrets and their talents. Panels and workshops are only $5, so this is a rare, inexpensive chance to take advantage of the expertise of some very well respected Hollywood pros. Once again this year, the SLOIFF will be presenting films and events all over San Luis Obispo County. Hollywood & Vines Events, pairing old classics with local wines and great food will be happening in Paso Robles, Santa Margarita, Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo. Second screenings of many films will be offered at the Park Cinemas in Paso Robles, several San Luis Obispo theatres as well as the Steynberg Gallery, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach and at Joe Momma’s Café in Avila Beach. And, for the first time ever, several screenings will be presented on the Cal Poly campus. For more information and to buy tickets and passes, go to or call (805) 546-3456. Support the 15th Annual SLOIFF, Where Movies Matter! M A R C H


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OAT MUFFINS WITH DATES AND PECANS FOR THE MUFFINS: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup rolled oats or quick oats 3/4 cup pecans, chopped 1 cup dates, chopped 1 cup flour (white, whole wheat, spelt, or a gluten-free flour mixture) ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder Pinch (1/4 teaspoon) salt ¾ cup plain yogurt (regular or goat yogurt) ¼ cup brown sugar 1 large egg FOR THE TOPPING: 2 tablespoons oats 2 tablespoons chopped pecans 2 tablespoons brown sugar

at the market By Sarah Hedger

Preheat the oven to 400degrees. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin (or line with muffin papers) and set aside. Heat the butter in a decent sized pan over medium heat until it is a nutty brown color (approximately 2 minutes). Quickly add the oats and pecans and toss for a minute until you smell their aroma and nuttiness. Remove from heat and cool in pan or separate bowl. Add flour, soda, baking powder, and salt to the oats. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and egg. Stir well. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Mix in the chopped dates. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over anxiously waiting muffins. Bake 20 minutes and check to see if they are golden (a great test is to stick a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean if they are cooked to perfection). Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Most importantly…Taste and enjoy! They are delicious and great for you!! Less than 200 calories per muffin, 8 grams of (good) fat, 8 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber



arch brings the closest feeling to a shoulder season that we get to experience here on the Central Coast. The weather often still feels of winter, lightly seasoned with a little spring. The options at Farmers’ Markets bring a transformation from winter vegetables and a prelude of the new year’s first spring produce. Vibrantly colored oranges and other citrus have a presence at the markets, their color dependent upon how much chill they received. Winter greens and squashes wrap up their season with the introduction of some spring varieties of artichokes, asparagus, kiwi fruit, and the much-awaited strawberry. This month’s recipe is a tried and true recipe that brings goodness all the way around. It is an oat muffin with dates and pecans and it really is an across-the-board winner. It is complete enough with naturally derived carbohydrates, while having proteins and healthy fats enabling it to be eaten alone, without spiking the blood sugar levels usually associated with breakfast baked goods. Once baked, the muffins freeze well and can be warmed up in the microwave on an as needed basis. If you can find some tasty late season pears, I encourage you to either add them to the muffins or substitute them in place of the dates. There is little not to like about this muffin. The main contribution to the muffin tasting as though it shouldn’t be good for you is a little amount of browned butter, giving them a rich, nutty taste. By now it is widely known the endless benefits of

ingredients such as oats, pecans, and yogurt. However, the stealth ingredient in these muffins is a sweet little gem we know as the date. Even better, one can find fresh dates at our local farmers’ markets. Date variety! Dates have a fair amount of naturally occurring sugars which allows these muffins to have a minimal amount of added sugar. A brief summary of the date includes the fact it comes from a date palm tree originating and still highly cultivated in the Middle East. Dates are generally placed into three categories depending on their ratio of sugars, being their glucose, fructose, and sucrose content. Dates are a premium source of Vitamin C, which diminishes as the date becomes more dried and loses its water content. They are high in fiber and also known medicinally for having an amazing cleansing ability for the digestive system. For those who need additional convincing of the many benefits of dates, look no further to counteract alcohol intoxication, toothaches, sore throats, colds, or infertility. Need I say more? That said, think of these delicious, tender little muffins as a gift to yourself to start or jump start your day. However, there are no rules as to when they can be eaten and they truly can be enjoyed anytime!



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reaching out to pacific sands By Loren Nicholson Across Buffalo Plains, Through Evergreen Forests Over Blistering Hot Desert For example: “Chapter 1 - Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean” performed by order of the United States government in 1804, 05 and 06 and led by Captains Merriwether Lewis and William Clark.” After President Thomas Jefferson successfully initiated the Louisiana Purchase with France, the United States suddenly owned thousands of new miles of land that opened the way for exploration all the way to the Pacific Coast. Jefferson called upon his personal secretary, Merriwether Lewis, to lead a group all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In turn, Lewis asked his friend, William Clark, to join him as cocaptain. They were volunteering to give up nearly three years of their lives to explore a huge swath of unoccupied America.

U.S. Railroad Exploration and Surveys along 41st Parallel. May 24, 1854 at 10 a.m. This location in the Humboldt mountains inspired building railroad track into the California territory.

For recording the trip, the group carried chronometers, sextants, and artificial horizons. Among them, more than one was an artist and both captains provided prolific diaries of what they observed.

U.S. Railroad Exploration Surveys along the 41st Parallel. Sheeprock Canyon of Weber River. April 1854 at 1 p.m., 1854. Depicts surveyors, horses and pack mules.


fter speaking to a group at the Morro Bay State Park Museum one evening a few years ago, a very pleasant lady came to the rostrum and handed me a book. It was a prized possession of her long-ill husband, who wanted someone to have it who might appreciate it as he did. For me, it was a treasure. It’s a big book loaded with maps, measures and land descriptions bringing together America’s greatest explorers and their findings. It describes the expeditions undertaken in a vast territory that would become known as the United States of America, from sea-to-shiningsea. It was not for general distribution. It was published by and for members of the “33rd Congress, House of Representatives.” It would be used “to ascertain the most predictable and economical route for a railroad running from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” It is titled simply, “Reports of Explorations and Surveys,” dated 1855. It includes several explanatory subheads. My hope after receiving the book was to better understand preliminaries leading to construction of three transcontinental railroads across our country. M A R C H


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They began by locating the headwaters of the Missouri River. They spent a part of 1804 and 1805 at Fort Mandan, opposite the Indian Village, Ree, later named Fort Clark. During the next season, they “ascended” the Missouri to Three Forks. They named the river forks Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin. The explorers developed a U.S. map that showed no human settlements. It took form as flows of waterways and rises and falls of land. More than a year later, they reached the Columbia River. Here, the men built and rebuilt canoes and flat-bottom boats needed for the next waters they must navigate. In places, they walked, dragging their boats with supplies along river shores. They faced days of starvation, eating both their horses and dogs. After exploring the river banks and the land around, they prepared for a winter encampment at a place they identified as Fort Clotsop in Oregon, an Indian gathering place. These explorers had proven that trails and roads could be marked and identified from Atlantic to Pacific. A railroad entrepreneur named James J. Hill hoped to build a northern railroad across the country. He and three partners started with an existing Minnesota line named the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Hill was a coal and freight merchant, who believed he could make the decaying SP&P into a great railroad. First, he extended lines north to Canada to connect with Winnipeg. Then, he built westward through the Dakotas and Montana, reaching Great Falls in 1887 and Everett, Washington in 1893. Hill persuaded thousands of homesteaders, mostly from Scandinavia, to settle along the new tracks as he built westward. With Great Northern Railway, Hill’s job responsibilities included three other companies, becoming the Burlington Northern. Lewis and Clark had opened the way. The Santa Fe Trail may be the most famous of all the early trails of the West. From the beginning, it was commercial and an entity separate from government. It was opened by a nineteenth century trader named

COMMUNITY William Becknell. Becknell ran covered wagons of merchandise out of Missouri to Santa Fe beginning in 1821. His success led both traders and travelers to want to join him, and they willingly paid him a fee for his protection and guidance. Becknell’s know-how saved travelers from Indian attacks, the overflow of rivers, internal wagon-train disputes and wagon breakdowns. Wagons moved in parallel pairs and formed double circles during an occasional Indian attack. Attacks were most common between 1864 and 1869. Cyrus K. Holliday, a Topeka lawyer and business promoter, wanted to build a railroad along the Santa Fe Trail between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The railroad would replace merchant’s covered wagons and U.S. mail coaches in 1875. The ATS acquired the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad and the Colorado Midland Railroad. It also built line into Los Angeles to compete with Southern Pacific Railroad. With 9,000 miles of track, it had more line than any other company in the United States. However, in 1893, during financial difficulties, it lost much of it. In later times, Santa Fe became famous for passenger trains like the Super Chief, but they sold this part of the business to Amtrak by 1970. With the beginning of the 20th Century, both Santa Fe and Southern Pacific operated lines in California. For a time, California passenger trains of both companies offered nationwide luxury and service, but they could not sustain it.

Judah convinced the “Big Four” to join him in applying to Congress for a contract to begin work on a transcontenental railroad line in Sacramento to meet a line in construction from the East. A disagreement between Judah and the Big Four about their first billing of Congress led to a breakup. Judah started to Washington D.C. to seek amends. He died of yellow fever while crossing the Panama Canal. The “Big Four” continued construction under the name Central Pacific Railroad. In 1869, they reached Promontory, Utah, their agreed


meeting place. Central Pacific, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific along with Acheson, Topeka and Santa Fe had each started as separate entities. Government regulation and competition led to mergers and separations, helping them gain favorable tax and legal positions. All of these companies succeeded in giving the United States extraordinary transportation and trade positions by providing transcontinental railroad connections from “sea-to-shining-sea.” Today, all of them serve under a single name, Union.

Nonetheless, the Acheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad goes down in the annals of our railroad history as one of the companies that changed our country’s destiny by connecting us with both Pacific and Atlantic oceans. With the discovery of gold along the American River not far from Sacramento in 1848, the call for all forms of transportation could be heard around the world. Covered wagons by land and ships by sea brought thousands of hopeful young men seeking riches. Each person who made the trek left an imprint inspiring others to try it. Some arrivals sought their gold by bringing an inventory they could sell for gold dust. Among those were Sacramento businessmen Leland Stanford, Colis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. They would become known as the Big Four. All of them established retail stores in Sacramento. Not quite two decades after arrival, they met a young engineer named Theodore Dehone Judah. Recently from the East Coast, he had a contract to build a short railroad track for a businessman who expected to charge passengers traveling to and from a mining area. M A R C H


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future help for belize

the dental health relief project

By Hilary Grant A sketch at what the facility will look like when completed.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” --- The Dalai Lama It’s a fact: thanks to its “Learning by Doing” motto, Cal Poly students have made the Central Coast a better place to live. Indeed, because seniors are required to take part in, and then complete, a project that must benefit the community at large, Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant is in San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, and Jamba Juice has franchises crisscrossing the country. A Cal Poly student envisioned the new meditative healing garden at French Medical Center, and children of all ages can thank a handful of undergraduates for imagining many of the innovative exhibits at the Avila Beach Marine Institute and the renovated SLO Children’s Museum. Sometimes the assignments go beyond the United States. The newest one in this grouping dares us all to dream big… and as a happy consequence, become true humanitarians. Called the Dental Health Relief Project, the project’s goal – spearheaded by 21-year-old M A R C H


Daniel Wiens, a fourth year, Cal Poly construction engineering management student – is to create and staff a two-story, green build dental clinic in Belize. (Extremely poverty stricken, the dot-on-the-globe country is about 2,500 miles from SLO, and shares its borders with Mexico and Guatemala.) Two other Cal Poly students, architect major Steve Shimmin, and Christe Withem, a recreation administration major, comprise the rest of the student team. The Cal Poly group is also co-partnering with Global Outreach Missions (GOM), a 66-year-old evangelical, non-denominational Christian organization based in Buffalo, New York. Its website encourages those seeking to help others to “Fulfill Your Calling Under Our Umbrella,” and Wiens, long an active Christian at Cal Poly, says, “We decided to work with GOM because we had contacts there we knew and trusted.” In fact, GOM has already purchased two adjacent lots in the coastal town of Independence, where the 3,000 square foot clinic will be headquartered, and hired three local men to level and prepare the site for the clinic. That trio has just completed building a brick pe-

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rimeter fence around the area, and this spring, plans to install a septic tank and driveway, as well as create a culvert for water drainage. Another $75,000 is still needed to make Wiens’ dream a reality. “We’re pursuing a few grants and looking for more opportunities,” says Wiens. “GOM has told their consistent donors about the clinic; we’re raising money from friends and family, and now we’re beginning a fundraising campaign focusing on large construction companies in California, local businesses and dentists, and large dental corporations.” For those potential sponsors, Wiens has broken down needed funds into 14 categories, with each of those areas further specifying how the monies will be spent. At the high end is framing and sheathing materials, priced at $8,200; at the opposite side of the spectrum, $250 is needed for countertops. All of the assets are being handed over to GOM, who will then financially support and manage the clinic, which will include a dentist and missionary (who will live upstairs) on site. Patients will be charged for dental services, with the option of forgiveness of debt extended to those who truly cannot afford it.



is not important in developing countries. The people there are just trying to survive.

Daniel Wiens, and his Belize clinic partner, Christe Withem, looking at plans for the clinic.

“However, if our team can provide a model of a construction method that is cheaper in the long run, requires fewer utilities, less maintenance and improves the well-being of residents, we could start a trend.” Toward that end, the Dental Health Relief Project may be only the beginning for Wiens. Hoping for a quick three-month build in the summer of 2010, he and Steve Shimmin then plan to recruit other American construction companies to design and build other LEED projects around the world. “Long term,” he says, “I want to start a nonprofit whose primary goal is to promote green building standards. “The need for dental care in SLO County comes nowhere near the need for a place like Belize,” explains Wiens. “It only takes one visit to any third world country to recognize the desperation. Most people in the area we’re building in have never even seen a dentist. The entire region is in an oral health crisis. “We don’t want to replace the local medical economy,” he adds. “We do want to help those who are struggling with costs.” Providing quality dental care is essential – but Wiens emphasizes that introducing green building principles to the region is paramount as well.

To reach that goal, the entire clinic build will be inspired by LEED guidelines, a point system developed by the United States Green Building Council. Indeed, a primary mission of the USGBC – founded in l993, the non-profit is made up of 17,000 building professionals and based in Washington, D.C. – is to make green buildings available to everyone within one generation. The timing to go green, adds Wiens, is also “right” because this sort of build has not only recently become economically feasible, but in some cases, can even reduce overall costs. “Let’s face it,” says Wiens. “Building efficiently

“You see, this project has provided a vision for me. I am passionate about construction and service. As a Christian, I believe it’s my duty to use our God-given gifts to bless the world.” Find out more about the Dental Health Relief Project in Belize at and To donate online, go to www.missiongo,org/ giving.html. To donate by check, the address is Global Outreach Mission, Belize Dental Project, Box 2010, Buffalo, NY 14231-2010.



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art scene

art center update and upcoming events By Gordon Fuglie, SLO Art Center Curator of Exibitions and Collections


t’s been a year since I started as the curator of exhibitions and collections at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. And quite a year it has been! During 2008, the architectural drawings for a completely new (and contemporary) building on our Mission Plaza site have been making the rounds through various civic agencies. By the time you read this, we will have heard from the SLO City Council on where they stand on the approval of the design. Their input will determine the next phase of the project. We’re crossing our fingers. Other major changes for the Art Center include the implementation of a $225,000 grant the Art Center received from the James Irvine Foundation last year. As the recession worsens, we are grateful for their recognition of the Art Center’s goal to play a leading role in the growth of the visual arts in the city and county of San Luis Obispo. The Irvine Foundation grant is designated for the broadening and deepen-

ing of our current mission “to promote diverse visual arts experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibition, education, creation, and collaboration.” That’s a challenge the staff and board find exhilarating and humbling. This spring, the Art Center is moving ahead with stimulating exhibition and educational programs. For March, we will be presenting two exhibitions with regional themes. Arthur Tress: Central Coast Skateboard Park Series is a showing of black and white and color photography by Tress who lives in Cambria (pictured below). Enjoying an international reputation, he is one of the more renowned artists in our county. In recent years, he has turned his poetic lens on the skateboard parks of the Central Coast, interpreting them as sites of male rites of passage. The Tress exhibit will be accompanied by Forever Stoked, which features the surf culture canvases and painted surfboards of Charlie Clingman of Los Osos. Supplementing the experience of these exhibitions are two engaging documentary films, Stuntwood and The Shapemakers, screening at the Art Center at 7 pm, March 14. Don’t miss Prof. Stephen Hall’s public lecture and discussion, Surf Culture: Inspiration in Society’s Tidal Zones, on March 22 from 3 to 5 pm. Check out these and other programs at our web site: or 805-543-8562. Lovers of challenging art are encouraged to venture west on Highway 1 to Cuesta College’s Art Gallery where another compelling thematic exhibit, The Fabric of Race: Racial Violence and Lynching in America, will be on view through April 2. The artist is Renee Billingslea who teaches at Santa Clara University. Her work is a multi-faceted, mixed media installation “embodying the emotions and thoughts of those involved in the suppressed history of lynching in America.” For this piece, the artist (who is white) did extensive research and created clothing and personal objects that represent the victims and the participants of a lynching. Further information: http://academic.cuesta. edu/finearts/ or 805-546-3100, ext. 2753. For a lighter bit of Americana, I recommend the downtown East Village Cambria gallery of a former high school classmate who delighted me with a welcoming email upon my arrival. Linda Foster Finley is the proprietor of the ECR Gallery (Every Cowboy’s Ranch House, pictured above) and offers an amazing selection of fine California and western art, sculpture and craft, home, kitchen and garden items, jewelry, clothing, handcrafted furniture and decor and more – all abundantly arrayed in the restored historical Little Blue House (c. 1890s). Linda is a great host, too. Further information: http://www. or 805-927-1369.



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Our Schools: DE-MYSTIFYING MATH By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools


tudents make up their minds early in school if they are “good” or “bad” at math. Some teachers point to the end of the fifth grade as the time of decision about math for many students. Others point to how a student fares with their encounter in Algebra I (usually in 8th or 9th grade) as the math turning point. We cannot afford to let students make up their minds about their math competence without considering how we can influence this decision. This is an important matter for schools, students and families because we need to increase the number of students choosing math as a course of study after high school. Math has always been a “gateway” subject for scientific careers such as engineering and the health occupations. However, there is now an increased urgency for students to excel in math and science for our country to remain economically competitive. The global economy is increasingly based on science, math and technology. I have written before about the partnerships our county schools have with Cal Poly to promote the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. Helping students to overcome their early fear of math is an essential part of this endeavor.

problems can make math seem less abstract. A rich preschool curriculum for math is all about solving problems, often using puzzles, geometric shapes and counters. Athletic coaches know that it is in games that players use what they have actually learned from those hours spent in drills and practice. The liberal use of real problems in math instruction can have the same motivation for students that games have for athletes. The economic issues that dominate the news certainly provide an ample context for real-world problems using math. The unemployment figures, the changes in the median home prices, and the loss of value in the stock market all have great potential for using percentages and other math skills and problem solving, as well as lessons in economics.

Simplify and Focus. When we examine the structure of the math curriculum in countries that score well on international math tests, we learn that these countries tend to study significantly fewer math topics in a year than we in the United States do. However, other countries also go into much greater depth with the topics they choose and insure that students have a clear understanding of these topics. For example, Singapore’s math curriculum covers about 15 topics in a year, as compared to about 50 for the United States.

Teach Math in English Class. I’ve heard it said that one reason students think math is useless is because the only people they see who use math are math teachers! The point is that students need to see math as part of life, not just math class. Schools can integrate math into other subjects so that math is not seen as something isolated. English teachers can give the explanation of how to solve an

Here are three approaches that schools and families should consider to create a positive math self-image for students. Focus on Solving Problems. There are three general components of feeling comfortable with math, including mastery of math skills (addition, subtraction, etc.), understanding math concepts, and solving problems requiring math. If we spend too much time with just practicing the skills, or explaining math theory, students can get bored and not understand the relevance of math to their lives. The use of real-world problems needs to accompany the learning of skills and understanding of concepts. The solving of real-life math

Algebra equation as a writing prompt. The study of the recent presidential elections and the interplay of the popular vote and the electoral vote can be a math lesson as well as social studies. The more that students see math, including the use of data and numerical reasoning, as part of other subjects, the more useful and relevant math becomes for them. Parents can use a trip to the market as an ideal time to talk about the math of discounts, unit pricing and weights and measures with young children.

Convincing more students at an early age that they can succeed in math is an important precursor for students choosing a career in math and science.

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an interview with junipero serra Edited by Joseph A. Carotenuti Recently found documents included several lengthy interviews with Junipero Serra who was superior of the missions from 1769 to 1784. Editor comments are in italics. Thank you for speaking with me. I am humbled, but I am only one of many who have labored here for many years. Yes, but I think you have the best perspective given your duties and travel. First, why did you come? I am a Franciscan and simply followed my Superior’s decision. Being an apostolic missionary is of the highest calling, and there were never any Franciscans in Alta, California. I was most willing to go. I was grateful when Senor Galvez also approved. (Joseph Galvez was King Carlos III’s personal representative in New Spain (Mexico). What did you find? After the arid Baja, San Diego was a paradise with trees, water, fields of roses and many natives. (Serra arrived on July 1, 1769). Wasn’t travel difficult? All travel was difficult. The sea route was a disaster as scurvy took many lives. Padre Crespi came before me by land and suffered severely from hunger. (Crespi was a former student and chronicler of these early years.) For my part, the journey was not too tiring. But then again I was much younger. (Serra was born on August 13, 1713 in Petra on the Spanish island of Mallorca.)

“First used at his beatification ceremony in 1988, this is a composite painting of Junipero Serra.”

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AROUND TOWN But you had a leg problem. Yes, when I arrived in the New World in 1749, I received some sort of insect bite which infected and has caused some discomfort. The Captain wanted me carried on a litter. I refused but asked the muleteer to mix a poultice. It worked fine. (A career soldier, Gaspar de Portola lead the expedition.) You are known for walking everywhere. I’m afraid that is a little exaggerated. Here in Alta, I cannot travel without an escort. The men will not wait for an old man to limp along the trail. (Nonetheless, estimates of lifelong walking are about 25,000 miles.)

Yes, I regret there were no baptisms while I was there.


The men used their weapons and the attackers left. Besides Juan, Viscaino was wounded but recovered. (The soldiers never told Serra of native casualties.)

How did you communicate? In those days, it was all by signs as our Baja natives spoke a different tongue. Of all the adversities, language was one of the most trying. It still is as different tribes have different dialects.

So when Portola returned, the expedition was in a desperate condition. It was very discouraging. No baptisms, no Monterey, few supplies and death a frequent visitor. Portola decided to return to Mexico City, but we were saved by a miracle.

Didn’t matters become worse? Indeed they did! From being curious, the gentiles became bold and took whatever they wanted. There was little we could do to stop them. (Besides Serra, Padres Viscaino and Parron and 8 soldiers remained in camp.)

What miracle? I would like to tell you, but I must beg your forgiveness as vespers are starting shortly.

Didn’t they attack the camp?

All the padres (there were five of us) prayed for help so as to save the expedition.

It was a beautiful spot on the bay…although a little cold. For so many, it became their grave as the scurvy spared few in one way or another. There were not enough sailors to sail to Monterey, so Portola decided to continue on land. Since a rapid pace was planned, I was to stay behind. As it happened, everyone traveling north also became very ill.

Yes, the attack. I thought it was the Day of Judgment for us all, and my poor Juan was a casualty.

It was a miracle but I must save the story for another time as vespers are about to begin.


In hopes of conversion, we established a mission on July 16. We had little and it became worse.

Worse of all, after about six months, he returned without finding Monterey. We now know he went too far north and discovered the bay named after our seraphic father St. Francis.

How did it end?

Let’s go back to that first camp. What happened?

He was a youth who served us. With an arrow through his neck, he died in my arms. The hut was a sea of blood. Unfortunately, an attack years later was even worse.

Nonetheless, I was very perplexed. I knew Vizcaino’s description was over 150 years old, but a bay is not easy to hide.

Captain Portola says you told him he had been to Rome but failed to see the pope. I don’t remember saying that, but I hope he will forgive me. I couldn’t understand how he missed the bay. It was well documented since Vizcaino’s voyage. (Vizcaino named the bay of Monterey in 1602.) Padre Crespi simply thought the bay was swallowed up! What did you do in the meanwhile? It was difficult trying to find enough food and build shelters, but I most remember the natives. At first, they were curious. They had never seen a horse or mule. We later realized they thought the men and animals were one creature! Even later, we realized they looked upon the beasts as food. They also were fascinated by cloth. The men went about as bare as the day their mothers brought them into the world. The women wore a skirt of reeds. We were shocked, but being shocked was a small price to bring these souls to heaven. After Portola left, we dedicated the first mission, but it did little good at first. (Mission San Diego de Alcala was founded on July 16.) San Diego was always a difficult establishment. M A R C H


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hospice medical directors an integral part of hospice care By David Palchak, MD


ll licensed hospices have one or more physician Medical Directors. The Medical Director’s responsibility is to ensure that hospice patients receive the best possible treatment of their symptoms. Hospice Partners has two Medical Directors, myself and Mark Ward, MD. Dr. Ward and I have extensive training and experience in the care of the terminally ill. I have completed a Medical Oncology fellowship, then six months of intensive training with one of the pioneers in hospice medicine at the San Diego Hospice Acute Care Center. I have served as Medical Director for Hospice Partners for ten years. Dr. Ward trained with one of the largest hospice organizations in Florida, and is the only physician in San Luis Obispo County that is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Ward has served as one of Hospice Partners’ Medical Directors for four years. When a patient chooses to receive hospice care, their personal (attending) physician will continue to manage most of their care. On occasion, the attending physician may want help managing symptoms, or may be unavailable to resolve problems. This is when we, as hospice Medical Directors, will step in to assist. In addition, Dr. Ward and I attend weekly Inter-Disciplinary Team (IDT) meetings, reviewing the care of each hospice patient. The IDT is made up of the nurses, homehealth aides, medical social workers, spiritual counselors, bereavement counselors, hospice musicians, dietitians and volunteers of Hospice Partners. As Medical Directors, we help the team establish the plan of care for each patient.

Dr. Palchak and Dr. Ward

Mark and I frequently see hospice patients personally. The face-to-face visits are among the most interesting and rewarding of our duties. Here are two stories to illustrate a few elements of the job: At one recent house call, I met a man with lung cancer and his daughter, who was serving as his primary caregiver. He was asleep when I arrived, but woke easily and was able to give his history. He was exceedingly well cared for, clean and comfortable. During my visit he became short of breath, then comfortable again after being medicated. When he was comfortable, I joined the daughter in the living room and assured her she was doing an excellent job. She shared some of her fears, asked a few questions and we finished the visit. The most important thing accomplished during this visit was assuring the daughter that she was providing superb care and leaving her confident in herself that she was in fact doing a great job.

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AROUND TOWN The second patient had pain that was out of control. I saw her in my office and started intravenous pain medication via a PatientControlled pump. She left the office with her pain under control, but called later that night when her pain was no longer controlled. She was already receiving most of the commonly used pain medicines, and I knew she would require an infrequently used pain medicine. I switched her to that pain medicine, and she quickly became comfortable again. In this case, the patient required my intervention to get symptoms back under control.



As Medical Directors, our goal is to work with community physicians and the hospice team to provide the very best end-of-life care to hospice patients and their families. I can attest that, having worked with two outstanding hospice organizations in other parts of the country, Hospice Partners of the Central Coast does provide the most up-to-date hospice care for the residents of our community, and its hospice staff is the most qualified in our area. This monthly Hospice Corner is sponsored by Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Dr. David Palchak and Dr. Mark Ward serve as Hospice Medical Directors for Hospice Partners. For more information, call (805) 782-8608.

Statepoint Media Crossword Theme: City Life ACROSS 1. Saddam Hussein’s Islam 6. *A friend in Paris 9. Aretha’s “_ _ _ _ E C T” 13. Black and white treats 14. *In a city like New York, you don’t need one 15. Vengeful wife of Jason in Greek mythology 16. On the move 17. Gardening tool 18. Big brother, e.g. 19. “Right of _______” 21. *Carrie Bradshaw’s city 23. Poetic “ever” 24. Text messenger 25. *Where many city folk live, abbr. 28. Kids’ building block 30. Remove zinc coating 35. Douglas to his buddies? 37. Uric acid build-up

39. Go under it so as not to be noticed 40. Floor covering 41. Rap in music or horror in movies, e.g. 43. Greek sandwich 44. Relating to the ilium 46. Nonlethal gun 47. A bunch 48. *Hustle and ______ 50. RPMs 52. Acid drug 53. Abounding with elms 55. Opposite of their 57. *Point of stress for some 61. Japanese grill 65. IRS’ threat 66. Tax helper 68. Will strike if necessary 69. Docks 70. “There Will Be Blood” movie was based on this book 71. Relating to kidneys 72. Writer Rice

73. Not ___, a point in time 74. Smelling of beer DOWN 1. TV opera 2. Celestial bear 3. *Basketball team that wants to move to Brooklyn 4. *Most city-dwellers get used to it? 5. *Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are two of its cities 6. Heart feeling 7. Chinese communist Zedong 8. “Flashdance” Cara 9. Bank on 10. Cocoyam 11. Tiresias in “Oedipus Rex” 12. *Common area 15. One who mewls 20. Hall of fame footballer Forrest 22. Old age, archaic 24. *A get-away 25. Improvise 26. Southern chicken stew M A R C H

27. Capital of Tunisia 29. “Mr. Smith ____ to Washington” 31. Follows zigs 32. *Type of poem not about the city 33. Canada-Greenland strait 34. *A common city site 36. Fall guy in sports 38. T on a test 42. Short stanza at end of poem 45. Split chin, pl. 49. Cotton gin inventor 51. *After life in the city? 54. The real thing 56. Wife of a raja 57. Spanish snack 58. The Colosseum in ‘08, e.g. 59. Yemen port 60. *Chicago had a great one in 1871 61. Abrupt stop 62. Usually refers to home movie formats 63. Gray-haired 64. Inwardly 67. Type of chart 2009

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AROUND TOWN doubt in connection with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The amendment was proposed by Oklahoma Senator, Jim Inhofe, a veteran of the US army. I consider this a great way to recognize veterans of our armed forces from all wars. It doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything. So come on all you veterans let’s proudly show our veteran status to our fellow citizens. Always render the military salute in recognition of your service to our country.

Vets Voice By Frank Rowan


everal months ago I noted the changes in the American flag code, saluting by veterans. I referred to it several times since and encouraged veterans to avail themselves of this honorable recognition. Yet when I’m at public gatherings and they mass the colors or pledge allegiance to our flag, or play the National Anthem, most everyone still has their hands over their heart. I am told the military salute is only for retired military, or that is only for the flag salute not when they play the Star Spangled Banner. Evidently, some elucidation is needed, so here is the exact explanation from the bill. “President Bush signed this amendment into law as part of HR 4986 Bill under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008. Section 9 of Title 4 of the United States code is amended by striking, all persons present, and all that follows through the end of the code, and inserting the following: “Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute.’” A later addition of the defense Authorization Act of 2009 states in part, “Veterans and U.S, Service members not in uniform may render the military salute during the playing of the national Anthem.” This was the intent of the 2008 legislation, but the wording left some

Lawrence Jones is a San Luis Obispo native who graduated from SLO High in 1956 and Cuesta College later. He now resides in Clovis, New Mexico. Larry sent me a bunch of information about another SLO native son who was one of the 30-plus county men killed in action during WWII. I have heard of him before and remember when the Tribune had an article about his being missing in action. Elwyn Righetti was killed on his 30th birthday, April 17, 1945 and just a month before the war in Europe ended. Lt. Colonel Righetti was flying a P-51 Mustang. Colonel Righetti was an Ace, having shot down seven planes during air battles. He was also known as the, “KING OF STRAFERS.” Righetti became a member of the 55th Fighter group of the 8th Air Force in October 1944 and soon made a name for himself as one of the top pilots in the US Air Force. Between November 1944, when he joined the 55th, and April 17, 1945, he was credited with destroying or severely damaging twenty-seven German planes on the ground. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, The Air Medal, and the Army Medal of Honor. During WWII the Air Force was not a separate group. They had the Army Air Corps, the Navy Air Corps and the Marine Air Corps. In 1948 they formed the United States Air Force as a separate unit. Eager El Righetti was a member of the Army Air Force. I had heard of Elwyn Guido Righetti before, but I had no idea what an outstanding hero he was. He is mentioned prominently in the 55th Fighter group maga-

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Photos of Elwyn Righetti

zine. Unfortunately, on April 17th while strafing near Dresden, his plane, “Katy Did,” was badly damaged by Flak and he crash landed. After landing he radioed to his wing man, Lt. Carroll Henry, stating that he broke his nose on landing, but was otherwise OK. His last words to Lt. Henry were, “Tell my family I am Ok and it has been swell working with you.” I got nine today. His body was never recovered. A military investigation after the war found that he was captured and killed by angry farmers. He will be remembered as another American hero to whom we owe so much. The American Red Cross has begun a special program to help families of active duty military at no cost to the families. They are having health and safety classes – first aid, with CPR, lifeguarding and babysitting. They also have opportunities for family activities with some free passes, phone cards etc. If a member of your family is in the service of our country, give them a call at 543-0696 ext. 16 or email<mersone@slo-redcross org>. Keep in touch, at 543-1973 or frowan248@ Next month lets start telling me about your local Memorial Day plans.



The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo March 2009


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


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many Downtown business owners ecently, out-of-town consultants assisting the (and not just retailers!) are asking Downtown Association with a Strategic Plan


free the chocolates in February with a footwear hen Ioffered talked about “homeless/panhandling” situation as

even inin-store safeThe waysituawell,purchase) seemingly larger presenceregistries more than(aever. themselves these days. Watching more than to get someone what they really, really want). I Update walked the Downtown with me. Jeff, tion smacks ugly right now to those of us used to walking down a few major corporations and businesses go heard from professional service providers who Darlene and I were looking for the obvious “hot the street in relative unhassled complacency, but to my guests the under has spurred to action those who still say they’re working with their clients’ budgets, spots,” those areas that would require attention and few gypsies weone encountered on our tour offered “urban color” have the ability to stay afloat, inventing Mae like stylist who suggested anmore easier-care remedy so that said pros can come back with a and “street kid” hoo-ha than any real problem. Not to say it doesn’t West-style business plans and watching the cut and longer times between appointments for Deborah Cash tides. One example is the new dining house a loyal customer she didn’t want to lose. One game plan after viewing our weaknesses. “Such as exist, but when I tried to illustrate the urgency, I looked a little like Administrator Deborah Cash, CMSM, therapist said she augments her clients’ sessions Ciopinot where—and this is not a typo—there that,” I shuddered, gesturing in the direction of a Chicken Little. Executive Director is no corkage fee for wines brought into the with materials and videos they can check out. dirty news rack, the base of which stood among cigarette butts, bits kay, well, let’s talk street lighting, then. At a recent City restaurant. A clever strategy: it’s likely to attract Kudos to the really savvy business folk who of paper trash and broken glass. “Broken glass?” Jeff asked, Council meeting, heads bobbed about how old-fashionedcustomers who’ll discover how great the food is and continue—or increase—their marketing and advertising “where?” He back, peeredwith closerorwhen, with their my toe, I kicked a little style pedestrian lighting would benefit Downtown—my head will come without own vinoover since when everyone else is cutting back. Guess whose name bit jagged-edged beerwonderful. bottle, “rightAthere.” foremost them. After when Council’s approval of the aoverall “plan,” theofwine list is also full story on Leonard peopleamong will remember they later need service? and Wendy is featured further I think we’re another step closer to moving forward. I’d like to offer ow, toCohen’s put this inCiopinot perspective, Jeff Eichenfield andon. his associt the Downtown excited to one that if folks want to sponsor aAssociation, street light, getwe on are my list now and ate, Darlene Rios Drapkin, are from the Bay Area. When I nother new business, Creekside Brewing Co., is be able to work with our members who have of the first fixtures to come along can be yours. If you email me at rooted out the glass-tritus, Jeff said he had to get out his betting that the nighttime economy is where it’s questions and concerns and connect them with, we can talk details over cyberspace. This magnifying glass to see it. Point is, our trash pales when compared at, staying open late seven nights a week. (A great resources they may not have otherwise considered. program can entrepreneurial go a long way to address least so to me—perto “their” really, it isbite a perspective But, no butts place totrash get aand late night as well). matter. Other tactics Since the spirit isanother—at what created ceived spot:” dark streetsit’s at this night.same Notespirit to consultants: we about it, if I see touristsinclude see it, you see it, somebody seesand it. I say businesses areit,using keeping a data base many“hot of our members, that engages sending customers, their theirto desire makesome things work, to be creative and do need walk thetostreets evening. we need tomailers sweep itto up, “we” being refreshing a paid person whoimage, does moving toduty smaller quarters consolidating multiple things Keep your eye on Disneyland and by their veryorpresence says, “We’re working on t really differently. hit home in the office this week thatDowntown, the summer’s it almost it. We have pride. This is a nice place, thank you for coming here.”


here—and not just because the weather’s been in the 80s.

in the Plaza bands have been chosen, Fiesta de SLO is On the Cover: Spring is nearly here along with a slate of activities and events in theConcerts Downtown. With longer days beginning on March 8, it will be easy to take of shopping after creek workruns or going Farmers for beautiful flowers, produce, fun.strollers Photoand bysunbathers Deborahenjoy Cash Onadvantage the Cover: Downtown...a throughtoit!the A month afterMarket a huge storm felled a giant pine onfresh the nearby bankfood (noteand stump),

the calm, warm winter afternoon along Downtown's creekwalk. Photo by Deborah Cash

March 2006 • SLO County JOURNAL •

Five Fabulous Reasons To Shop Downtown SLO:

1. Food Dozens of great eateries! 2. Friends Cool places to get together! 3. Fashion Great shops for the whole family! 4. Fun Events! Events! Events! 5. Film Theatres, the SLO Film Festival! Fabulous! Why go anywhere else? For more info: SLO Downtown Association

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will be an example of rugged stick-to-it-tiveness that will position businesses well when the economy rights itself. And, should it take a while or be a different animal when it does return, they’ll be ready for that as well.


eanwhile, the show must go on and we’re busy at work preparing for a slate of spring and summer fun that offers opportunities for you to come and enjoy your own front yard. This month, we’ll host a Main Stage concert at Farmers Market on the 5th featuring House Red Band; that same evening the aforementioned Creekside Brewing Co. will make its debut as a barbecue vendor, having garnered one of the coveted spots vacated by Old County Deli, a long time market tradition. (Old County Deli owners Norm, Elizabeth and Willie Eggen made the “creative” decision to reinvent themselves in the deli industry while keeping their catering business—the Thursday Night gig was, in the end, more than they could manage and run the day job too.)


hen, it’s “lights, camera, action!” as the SLO International Film Festival begins on Friday, March 6—the same evening as Art After Dark—and runs through the 15th. Visit their website for a full lineup of activities. Daylight savings time ends early (yea! Now if they would only leave it that way!) and spring begins, around the corner is an April full of more fun you’ll definitely want to check out including

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the Annual Rib Cook Off and Tribute to Larry Kowalski on April 23. Until his untimely death last year, Larry was the founder and operator of Mo’s Smokehouse Barbecue.


n between, we’ll be honoring businessmen and women who’ve been creative with their beautification efforts at the Quarterly Breakfast on April 3, holding Board elections and an annual retreat and looking to hire a new promotions coordinator as our current staffer in that position, Christy Tiaga, will be leaving in early summer. Anyone interested in obtaining a job description and application for the position can contact the office at 541-0286.


eanwhile, we’re all wearing our creative thinking caps, working together and looking forward to your continued visits…around Downtown.

For more information on Downtown Association events, programs and activities, or to sign up for our bi-weekley e-newsletter, visit

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B u s i n e s s

N e w s

Ciopinot Seafood Grille

1051 Nipomo St. 547-1111 New and exciting seafood bistro in Downtown SLO, Ciopinot (chee o pee no, a word play on cioppino seafood stew and pinot noir wine) is all about combining San Francisco style with the friendliness of San Luis Obispo. Leonard Cohen has been in the restaurant business since purchasing Olde Port Inn from his father in 1991 and well understands the ins and outs of what makes a restaurant successful. However his desire isn’t just to have a successful restaurant, he says, it’s to have a restaurant that makes friends. It’s this desire that drove Cohen to dream up Ciopinot with his wife, Wendy, and they recently opened the doors to their dream in the former Tortilla Flats location. “What’s wrong with going to a nice place to eat and not being told your rights when you sit down?” Cohen says as he welcomes people into his restaurant with their own bottles of wine. “I’m not going to charge people for bringing in their own

Creekside Brewing Company

1040 Broad Street 542-9804

Craft Good news for beer enthusiasts, there’s a new ‘bierhaus’ to toast in Downtown SLO: Creekside Brewing Company (in the former Grappolo site on Broad Street). Recently, coowner John Moule (also Brewer and kitchen manager) talked about the decision he and his partner Eric Beaton made to start up their brewery/restaurant and why they located in Downtown SLO. “We were both longtime home brewers,” said Moule, adding they both had a vision of starting a “small town brew pub with comfort food and handcrafted beer sold on the premises. After looking around, they felt Downtown was “where our market is.” Moule, who holds a degree in biology, has worked at other breweries including Humboldt Brewing Co. and Brewbakers in Visalia. Beaton brings to the venture his expertise: he’s a materials engineer teacher at Cuesta; as well, he’s a

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

Court Street Center 1020 Court Street 543-7933 www.PowellsSweetShoppe

If you haven’t gone into Powell’s Sweet Shoppe yet, wait no longer! The newly opened candy store in the Court Street Center makes this number 17 in the franchise billed as the “West Coast’s beloved Sweet Shoppe,” originated in 2003 by Michael Powell in Windsor, CA. Powell’s vision was to offer a nostalgic re-creation of the classic and by-gone era of the local neighborhood candy store, a concept that has been well demonstrated in this Downtown SLO location. “When you step into a Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, it’s like taking a walk down memory lane and being reminded of good things and good times,” said Josh Goodwin, co-owner of the local franchise. Indeed, the interior is one of stepping back in time with its old-time photos, games and signs and more than 5,000 varieties of candy including old-fashioned and hard-to-get favorites: remember Jujubes, Charleston Chews, Candy Button, Pop Rocks, Necco Wafers, Abba Zaba, Flicks, Sky Bars? The San Francisco Chronicle has appropriately dubbed

wine, I’m glad they’re coming here! If they want to have crab on top of their salad or if they want something sautéed, no problem.” No corkage fees and no split plate fees are some of the ideas that separate Ciopinot from other restaurants. Then, for those that don’t bring their own wine, they’ll find vintages at very affordable prices. “Money is tied to volume. I’d rather have a full restaurant than a couple people paying $100 for their meal,” Cohen said, adding,“At Ciopinot, people will find an open air restaurant with an oyster bar right in plain view and wines they won’t find elsewhere in the county. And they’ll get all of this with old-school service.” Inside, the ambiance is that of an open-air historic warehouse with its exposed brick walls and wood beams. And the menu doesn’t disappoint either: the delicious seafood plates are well presented and represent the California/wine country cuisine with international influences that can be matched perfectly with their extensive wine list. Ciopinot is open 5 PM to midnight, seven days a week. By Tristan Fuenmayer professional beer tasting judge, which according to Moule, is along the lines of being a sommelier—rigorous guidelines and certification notwithstanding. “We hope to find a happy medium,” Moule said of being a dining house (but not pretentious!) with a tailored menu while also being a friendly brewpub. Moule is happy to explain the brewing system to customers producing “West Coast” style ales including: IPA (India Pale Ale), Stout, Porter, Vienna Amber, Hefeweisen, Monarch Light and a seasonal recipe. They’re also community minded; Moule said he’d like to see a brewery alliance formed of Central Coast Brewers to advance the idea of well made beers and bring awareness of the industry to those who enjoy beer. For now, he’d just like to have people visit Creekside Brewing and see what the “brew ha ha” is all about! Serving Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week, 11 AM - 12 AM Sun - Wed, 11 AM - 1:30 AM Thurs - Sat. By Deborah Cash Powell’s “The Smithsonian of candy stores!” Visiting Powell’s will also take you back to the first time you watched Willy Wonka and longed so badly to try a Wonka Bar or pick candy out of the grass, which, as you may remember, was also edible. It’s that feeling of magic and imagination that makes Powell’s Sweet Shoppe unique, inviting and irresistible. Besides all the candy favorites, Powell’s offers gelato and homemade chocolates, pre-wrapped boxed chocolates and customized gifts—birthday parties too! The owners, local residents and franchisees Spencer, Josh and Sonora Goodwin, opened their first store in Paso Robles in 2007 and say they were delighted to be invited into the Court St. development. “We wanted to be Downtown on Higuera Street and because of this location we can be open until 11 PM on weekends,” said Spencer (pictured above), who’s usually somewhere around the store. The store is located next to Palazzo Giuseppe’s and is open seven days a week at 10 AM until 9 PM Monday - Wednesday and until 11 PM Thursday - Sunday. By Tristan Fuenmayor



Palm Street Perspective The city budget– tough choices ahead By SLO City Council Member, Andrew Carter


wo years ago, the national economy was booming, the citizens of San Luis Obispo had recently passed Measure Y, city revenues were up, and city government had money available to launch new programs. Today, the economy is going through the worst recession since World War II, city revenues are down even with Measure Y, and city government is trying to figure out what to cut and what to keep, not what to add. What a sad difference two years have made! For the current 2008/09 fiscal year, the city is expecting revenue to be down at least $1.3 million, and the number could be worse if the economy continues to fall. It will be the first revenue loss for the city since 1993/94. In 2009/10, the city is expecting revenue to fall another $1.8 million. It’s not until 2010/11 that we believe city revenues will grow again. At the same time that city revenues are falling, city operating costs are rising. Why is that? Because 80% of operating costs are for wages and benefits, and those tend to increase at least as fast as inflation. That’s true for all employers, but it’s especially true for public sector employers with a unionized workforce. Any wage and benefit reductions, whether in absolute terms or at a rate less than inflation, must be negotiated with employees and can’t simply be mandated by management. That’s particularly true in an environment where Public Safety employees have binding arbitration. To deal with the 2008/09 budget gap, City Council made $4.8 million in cuts in late September. That included $3.0 million in capital improvement cuts, $1.1 million in operating program cuts, and the use of $700,000 in reserves. On February 24th, we’ll find out if further cuts in 2008/09 are needed.

failed, since all we will have achieved is to reduce important city services and reduce our reserve cushion for future budget shocks. The city has a short-term revenue problem due to the economy, but we also have a long-term problem that expenses, particularly personnel costs, are rising dramatically faster than inflation. We have to address this long-term issue. The need to address it is doubly important if we are to fulfill the original intent of Measure Y. Citizens passed Measure Y with the understanding that the revenue realized would be used to restore prior program cuts caused by state revenue takeaways and to fund new services. Measure Y revenue was not meant to be used to just hold the line against future budget cuts. It’s for this reason that city council recently set the following major city goal. “Adopt a balanced budget that retains the city’s fiscal health, preserves critical services, and implements long term productivity improvements and cost-reduction strategies.” To accomplish that, city managers and line employees are looking at the budgets for all city departments. All line items are being considered. The city is already under a hiring freeze, and city managers will be looking at the on-going need for all authorized positions, whether filled or unfilled. Managers will be considering the possibility of contracting out currently provided city services if that can bring budget savings without significant cuts in service quality. Most importantly, we have already begun talking with union leaders to seek their cooperation in holding down future personnel costs. They know that if we are unable to find savings in personnel line items, lay-offs will most likely take place. I’ve only been on the city council for two years. I’ve never been through a down budget cycle, so I don’t know what to expect. I’m cautiously optimistic, but the challenge is a big one, particularly on the cost side of the equation.

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What’s more sobering is that we’re facing a budget gap of at least $10.9 million in 2009/10 and $9.9 million in 2010/11. That budget gap would be $16.5 million in 2009/10 and $15.7 million in 2010/11 without Measure Y.

Memorial Services

We’re currently in the budget setting process for 2009-11. How to close the budget gap is the key challenge we face. We could meet the entire challenge by making further cuts in capital improvements and operating programs and making greater use of reserves. But that’s a zero-sum game. If we do only that, we will have

Cremation Care 2890 S. Higuera, San Luis Obispo Located next to San Luis Cemetery




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eye oN business By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates

bob wacker: citizen honor well deserved


he Wackers were not outsiders for long. They were captivated by San Luis Obispo, made it their home and started businesses here – Debbie, a CPA practice, and Bob, R.E. Wacker Associates, a financial planning firm. Daughter Stephanie and son Randy, along with Bob’s mom, Alma, rounded out the family. The last two decades reflect a long tradition of community service that led to Bob’s recent naming as Citizen of the Year by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been following the citizens named city by city in our county and want to congratulate – and thank – them all. The group reflects remarkable accomplishment and selfless giving. I have the great honor of knowing Bob Wacker and want to share some of the details that made him an easy choice for SLO citizen. Bob is a past Chairman of the Board for the SLO Chamber of Commerce and a former president of SLO Rotary. He lends his expertise as a board member to groups including Cuesta College, the Cal Poly Foundation and the SLO Wellness Community. Bob is a stand out in his profession and is well recognized on a national basis, having been both president and Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Personal Financial Planners. He has been named a “Top Financial Advisor” seven times by Worth magazine. He’s a whiz at what he does, but that’s not why Bob was named Citizen of the Year.

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One of Bob’s most beloved talents is his fast humor. He is one very funny guy and is at ease in front of a microphone, and has been pressed into service as MC for dozens of community events. He was a many-year volunteer game announcer for Morro Bay High School athletic events. And despite it all, Bob is a soft-spoken, unassuming individual. He is self-effacing and adamantly avoids credit for his community work. He is a devoted husband, father and son. Two small anecdotes illustrate how easily Bob moves into help mode. Hunger Awareness Day, 2008: plans for a well promoted, day-long radio remote broadcast in the parking lot adjacent to First Bank hit a snag – late in the day before the scheduled 6 a.m. live event. No power source was available, and one was desperately needed.

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Bob Wacker

Bob and Debbie Wacker arrived in San Luis Obispo just over twenty years ago. They were checking out the community as a potential place to move, and proved their outsider status by turning the wrong way onto Higuera Street. Bob offered to allow event organizers to run a 200-foot extension cord from his upstairs offices down to the parking lot – saving the day for the broadcast and helping the site lead fundraising with over $15,000 in contributions in one day. Bob not only jumped in without a moment’s hesitation, he personally delivered a key to a volunteer late in the evening on his way home after a long day at work. December, 2002: Bob was asked to provide some badly needed financial counsel to a woman whose 40-year-old husband had died unexpectedly just days before Christmas. The mother of two small children needed help with many difficult decisions needing resolution before year end. Bob donated weekend time during the holidays to work with the family and help sort out financial details – all at no charge and with great comfort to the family. These are just two small stories of the kind we generally don’t hear about, but that offer a vivid perspective. Bob Wacker is a business wunderkind, family man, funny guy, tireless volunteer and, oh yeah, great golfer – and that’s just the part we see. Lucky for us to have people like Bob Wacker in our community. And the funny thing is, if you were to ask Bob, he’d tell you he’s the lucky one. That’s just the kind of man he is.


MARCH Almanac

march madness marks the NCAA Bas-

By Phyllis Benson “Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I’m halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God ... I could be eating a slow learner.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

march winds bring out kite flyers and kiteboarders. The best kite shows are at beaches as the pros fly.

march 7: Arbor Day honors Luther Bur-

bank’s birthday. The horticulturist boosted California agriculture with new fruit, vegetable and flower varieties.

burbank said, “Flowers always make people


250 years ago Alex Guinness began brew-

ing ales in Ireland. He signed a 9,000-year lease on the old St. James’s Gate Brewery. Today yearly production is about 50 million barrels. Over 750,000 visitors a year visit the brewery.

irish soccer player George Best said,

“In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol, and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”

ketball tournament. Pro player Wilt Chamberlain said, “They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.”

puppy month is in March. Our neighbor

volunteers at dog rescue homes. She says puppy is in the heart, not the years. Some sweet old dogs still have soft puppy eyes and kisses.

march 29, 1999: The Dow Jones indus-

trial average closed above 10,000 for the first time. Our accountant does not watch the market. He watches clients and says smiles and frowns mark ups and downs.

march birthdays include physicist

better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

spring begins March 20.

Albert Einstein, actor Dean Stockwell and saxophonist Frank Catalano.

iditarod: The annual Alaska dog sled race

miracle march: California survives on

miracles. In 1991 the parched state soaked up higher than normal rainfall in March and dodged drought disaster.

march birthday mavens include tennis

starts March 7. Over 70 mushers signed up to race dog teams over a thousand miles. The entry fee is $4,000 not including supplies such as dog food, treats and dog booties.

mock iditarods are held as charity fundraisers in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles with dog-costumed teams pulling shopping carts full of beer and other cargo.

march 8 starts Daylight Savings Time.

our weathercaster says we need an-

other rain miracle in March. Plus April and May for good measure.

march is humor month. Comedian Bill Cosby said, “If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.”

pro Jennifer Capriati, basketball star Sheryl Swoopes, and singer Reba McEntire.

reba gave this advice: Be different, stand out, and work your butt off.

spring is finally here. We are getting

out garden tools and oiling gate hinges. Storms are hovering, but butterflies and birds know winter is over. Plant a daisy and enjoy the show.

Clock time springs forward one hour.

march 9, 1959: Mattel inventor Ruth

Mosko Handler introduced her Barbie Doll, named after her daughter, at a New York toy fair. Retail price was $3.

barbie party: Barbie kicks off her 50th

birthday this year dressed in a gold tulle gown and $50 retail tag. Mattel boasts, “It’s Barbie’s world. We just play in it.”

flat tops: In 1959 the Coors Brewing Company offered its brew in a two-piece aluminum beverage can to replace steel flat-top cans. It was lighter in weight and beer chilled faster.

opener 1959: Ermal Cleon Fraze invented the pop-top aluminum can. Openers or keys were needed to open cans until Fraze designed the opener on the can itself.

march 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrants

start the day with Irish coffee and end with Guinness beer.

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applications for mid-state fair pageant

Real Estate

LynnBroker R. Cooper Associate Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Office: 805-543-7727 Fax: 805-543-7838 Cell: 805-235-0493 Home: 805-544-0673

711 Tank Farm, Suite 100 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 E-mail: Website:

Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 Miss California MidState Fair Pageant. Contestants must be between the ages of 17-22 on opening day of the 2009 Fair, be a current resident of SLO County, and never been married. Each contestant will compete in five categories, Interview, Platform, Talent, Swimsuit and Evening Wear. In addition, each contestant will establish a platform of service for the Fair. Contestants will receive numerous goodies, with the Queen and Princesses receiving prizes from local businesses. The pageant takes place on opening day of the Fair, July 22, 2009 on the Budweiser Fort Frontier Stage. A no-obligation orientation meeting will be held Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at the Paso Robles Event Center. For more information, contact pageant coordinator Patti Lucas at 805-239-2360 or via email at

ymca annual fundraiser kicks off

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The SLO County YMCA announces the kick-off of its 2009 Annual Support Campaign, a fundraising effort to increase support for the SLO County YMCA’s financial assistance fund. Funds raised will be used to provide scholarships for individuals and families who want and need YMCA programs, but otherwise may not be able to afford them. This year, there are three co-chairs heading the county-wide effort. Retired businessman, Dick Blankenburg, along with realtor Cindy Blankenburg, will lead the campaign for the South County. Jim Gall, owner of Jim Gall Insurance, will head up San Luis Obispo, and Police Chief Lisa Solomon is the campaign chair for the North County. Other key members of the campaign committee include; Jim Battersby, retired Cal Poly Professor, Reese Davies, CEO of Founders Community Bank, Annie Robb, Director of Library and Recreation Services for the City of Paso Robles, and Barbara Partridge, retired Director of Library and Recreation Services, Paso Robles. “Our goal this year is to raise $240,000 to provide the financial assistance to those who need it most,” said Jim Gall. Visit www.sloymca. org or call Katie Allison, 805-543-8235, to learn more about the San Luis Obispo County YMCA programs, the annual support campaign, and volunteer opportunities.

CCFC grant helps bring childrens concert to pac A $2,500 grant from Central Coast Funds for Children will help bring this year’s Childrens’ Concerts to the Performing Arts Center on Monday, March 30th, at 9:30 & 11:30 am. Elementary school children from all over the county will be treated to one of the most well-known orchestral works written just for young listeners. In the course of the concert, children will learn about each family of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Always accessible, and immensely entertaining, Maestro Nowak makes this concert a favorite event among students and teachers alike. This year’s Childrens’ Concerts are also made possible by generous donations from Brendan V. & Kathryn L. McAdams, Café Roma and the Rizzo Family, and Rabobank. Tickets are $8 per person for groups of 20 or more; individual tickets are $10. A limited number of tickets are still available for both the 9:30 and 11:30 am performances. Teachers are encouraged to make reservations early for this almost always sold-out event. For more information, or to order tickets, call (805) 543-3533, ext 103.



fpac welcomes new board president john dunn After more than a decade it’s easy to take it for granted. That sweeping glass and metallic beauty on the edge of Cal Poly’s campus. It’s the Christopher Cohan Center, home to the magnificent 1,300-seat Harman Hall. Faced with challenging economic times, the board of directors of the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center – the organization responsible for raising funds from the private sector to support the Center – is more determined than ever to keep it thriving. This year the Foundation must raise more than $500,000 to support the operations, maintenance and sustainability of the Christopher Cohan Center. “It’s a tough year to raise money,” said Dunn, “but there’s no question we’ll do it. Our biggest challenge is that most people assume the Center supports itself through ticket sales. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Like all performing arts centers, ours requires the support of the community, and when people realize that they’re happy to do their part.” To learn more, visit the Foundation’s website at or call (805) 541-5401.

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liberty tattoo removal program

Part of the Community

(805) 549-7800

Personalized Phone and Internet Service for Business

Adler Belmont dye

CAM_3.75X1.75.indd 2

A collaboration between Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and the Liberty Tattoo Removal Program has received national recognition by the American Hospital Association in its publication Community Connections: Ideas & Innovations for Hospital Leaders. The Liberty Tattoo Removal Program, under the auspices of the EOC of San Luis Obispo County, offers free removal of unwanted, antisocial and/or gang related tattoos that inhibit employment or otherwise interfere with life. Participants are required to perform 16 hours of community service in exchange for their hours of treatment. Community WWW.CALLAMERICACOM.COM physicians Charles Fishman, MD and Frederick Novy, MD donate their time each month to the program. In 2008, Liberty Tattoo provided 221 tattoo removal treatments to 73 individuals, resulting in 3,456 community service 9/10/07 1:11:02 PM InsurAnce servIces volunteer hours. Since 2000, 2,180 treatments have been performed.

pRo presents madama butterfly


License #0G09892

Pacific Repertory Opera presents Madama Butterfly, Puccini’s operatic treasure of power, passion and turbulence in Japan – the world’s most popular opera. Friday and Saturday, March 27 & 28, 2009 at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Tickets on sale now, $25 - $65 with students half-price. Order Online or by calling the PAC box office at 756-2787.

st. patrick’s day dinner at st. patrick’s church St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 501 Fair Oaks Avenue, Arroyo Grande, is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings and dessert on March 14 from 4 – 7 p.m. in the parish hall. Dinner tickets ranging in price from $3 to $7 are available at the door or at the church office. Raffle tickets are being sold for three cash prizes and gift baskets. Winners need not be present. Door prizes will be given out during the evening. For more information contact Grace at or 458-1512.

29 more acres protected REAL PROPERTY INVESTMENTS Commercial Investment Real Estate

Robert Petterson GRI Sales and Leasing 570 Marsh St • SLO cell: 805.801.1188 • office: 805.544.4422 •

The Land Conservancy of SLO County was honored by the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos (DANA) for their collaborative community partnership which resulted in the permanent protection of 29 acres of land directly surrounding the historic Dana Adobe. The land and the Adobe were the heart of the 37,888 acre land grant, known as Rancho Nipomo, awarded Captain William Dana and his wife Maria Josefa Carillo Dana in 1836. The 29-acre parcel with be joined with another 100-acre parcel which The Land Conservancy and other county-wide partners helped preserve in June and is now owned by San Luis Obispo County. For more information call 544-9096 x10.

guy doud to speak at fundraiser

Dressing Windows in San Luis Obispo for over 35 Years

alan’s draperies 544-9405

Alan “Himself” M A R C H


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World renowned speaker, Dr. Guy Doud, “Molder of Dreams” is speaking at the Dinner & Auction to benefit North County Christian School on Saturday March 14th, at 5:30 pm at the Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero. Dr. Doud is an author of three best sellers and was also honored as national teacher of the year in the 80s. He has an incredible story to share, delivering a message of life, love, family, relationships, success and dreaming dreams. Tickets are on sale now for $45/piece. The event will also host live music, a prime-rib dinner and both silent and live auctions. This event is held to benefit programs at North County Christian School. Call 4664457 for tickets or email for more information.

THE BULLETIN BOARD pacific wildlife care fundraiser Please join Pacific Wildlife Care for food, fun, wine, music, and the company of some of our county’s wildest creatures! Pacific Wildlife Care will be holding its first annual fundraising event on Sunday, March 8 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and sponsorships are available. Funds from this event will support operations at the Pacific Wildlife Care Rehabilitation Center in Morro Bay, a non-profit organization that cares for our county’s sick and orphaned wildlife. This elegant evening includes professional shuttle service by The Wine Wrangler to and from the event with pick up service in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Morro Bay and Cambria. Appetizers, dinner, and desserts prepared by local chefs will be served with expertly selected wine pairings from Bianchi Vineyards and Robert Hall Winery. Please help us make this fundraiser a huge success! For more information or to purchase tickets, please call: 286-0854 today to reserve or for more details

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


We specialize in customer satisfaction with immediate and friendly service. Featuring Toyo, Michelin, Bridgestone and Remington brand tires with the largest inventory on the Central Coast. The Tire Store also features complete brake and computerized alignment service.

22nd annual musical revue for women’s shelter Tickets are now on sale for Phyllis’ Musical Revue 22nd Annual Show benefiting the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo. The event takes place on Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th, at the Alex Madonna Expo Building. The Lunch Show is at 11 a.m. and tickets are $70 ramp and $60 general. The dinner show is at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $120 ramp and $110 general. Live music and dancing will begin at 10 p.m. For more information, contact My Favorite Things Boutique, Madonna Inn 784-2441

symphony music van back on the road Despite daunting setbacks that included losing the van itself, the SLO Symphony Board decided that after 23 years of bringing the magic of music into the schools, the Music Van program would be back on the road again for its 24th year – no matter what the cost! When the loss of the van and many of its instruments was announced at a Symphony event last May, a generous private citizen, Claude Hartman, donated his Ford Aerostar to the cause. And John Baer, longtime music education advocate, went to work acquiring the instruments. From now until the end of March, the Music Van will bring a bus-load of instruments to all 3rd grade classrooms from Nipomo to San Miguel for an up-close and personal encounter with music.

new officers for prado day center Dan Pronsolino was elected as the President of the Friends of Prado Day Center Board of Directors during the Annual Meeting and Board Retreat held in January. Pronsolino joined the board in 2006 to represent the Interfaith Coalition for the Homeless. Joining Pronsolino as officers are Vice-President Lee Gulliver, Secretary Dorie Larson, Treasurer Brigitte Elke, and Past President Dave Smiley. Recently inducted members of the Board of Directors include Dan Carpenter, Barri Dymott, Beth Marino, and Gregg Wolff, M.D. Continuing board members include community representatives Chuck Crotser, Alex Gough, Nancy Sugarman, and Paul Wolff. Friends of Prado Day Center is a unique collaboration comprised of several diverse community organizations with the common goal of helping the homeless. The organization’s mission is to provide support funding for the operations of Prado Day Center, the only daytime service center for the homeless and hungry in San Luis Obispo County.

San Luis Obispo’s Best Kept Secret 10 PLAY CARD- can be used any day of the week including weekends and holidays.

CARD = Adults $77.50 • Jr (18 & under) & Seniors (62+) $62.50 ts Tournamen Welcome!

Call for Tee Time


11175 Los Osos Valley Rd. • San Luis Obispo, CA

Law Offices of Jan Howell Marx A Client-Centered Practice Business Mediation Environmental Law Elder Law Real Estate Wills & Trusts Free Advance Health Care Directive


P.O. Box 1445, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 E-mail:

Keeping it in the Family. Personal Service. Exceptional Car Care.

For Over 30 years

San Luis Obispo 805.541.1082

Santa Maria 805.922.7742



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Shawn Minton 1042 Pacific Street, Suite E, SLO

805.546.8113 Lic #0F43815

Becher Design Associates Timothy B. Becher, AIA Architect

793 Higuera Street #1, SLO 805 549 0218 ¥

New board members of partnership for children Partnership for the Children of SLO County is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to their board of directors. David Booker, president of American Principle Bank and Kena Burke, executive director of the San Luis Obispo Children’s Health Initiative. They join current board members Marty Craven DDS, president (pictured left), Jac Pedersen DDS, past president, Maureen Titus RHDAP, vice president, Sara Horne, secretary, Hilliard Wood, treasurer, Larry Bacus, Lynn Cooper, Jon Hollister DDS, Shae Luchetta, James Oates DDS, and Laurie Torgerson. Partnership for the Children oversees and supports the nonprofit children’s dental clinic, La Clinica de Tolosa. Its mission is to help ensure access to dental care and improve the overall health of underserved children in SLO County through quality dental treatment, prevention and education. The clinic, located in Paso Robles, has been in existence since July 2003 and sees children from age 1 to 12. It is currently the dental home to over 6,000 children residing in SLO County. For more information about children’s dental services, call 238-5334 or log onto .

new executive director for big brothers/sisters Exterior & Interior Plastering

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

Terry Evans, President

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

HARVEY’S HONEY HUTS “Exceptional Portable Sanitation” FOR ALL OCCASIONS Jennifer & Harvey Smith 800.222.4887 805.927.8554

Professional Painting Interior • Exterior Residential • Commercial

Donald Franklin Owner/Operator

805-466-6407 M A R C H


Serving SLO County Licensed • Bonded • Insured Journal PLUS

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County is pleased to announce that Anna Boyd-Bucy is now serving as Executive Director. Anna has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Cal Poly and has been with BBBS for four years. Outgoing Executive Director Rick Cohen has joined the BBBS Board of Directors, and is currently working for the Avila Beach Community Foundation and consulting with other small non-profits. Other new Board members for Big Brothers Big Sisters include Jim Hamari of Charles Schwab and Christopher Waterbury of J.W. Design and Construction, Inc. For information about Big Brothers Big Sisters call 781-3226, or log onto

rizzoli’s extends food drive As news of the worsening economy continues to dominate the airwaves, the number of Californians who go hungry every day rises as well. Responding to this crisis, Rizzoli’s Automotive has extended their 2nd Annual Holiday Food Drive throughout 2009. They are one of only two drop-off locations in San Luis Obispo for Food Bank donations. To show their appreciation, those who contribute at Rizzoli’s will receive a $5 off service or repair voucher good through April 2009. Rizzoli’s Automotive is located at 2584 Victoria Lane in San Luis Obispo and 1149 W. Tama Lane off Skyway Drive in Santa Maria. Non-perishable food items of any size are welcome. For more information, please call (805) 541-1082 or 922-7742.

free health screening “EOC Sr. Health Screening for seniors (50+) offers free testing for: blood pressure, weight, total cholesterol, anemia and blood sugar. Take-home screening tests for colo-rectal cancer available for $5. Nutritional counseling and referrals throughout SLO County. Please call 788-0827 for details.”

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Eileen and Sandra will show you how simple banking with San Luis Trust Bank can be.

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San Luis Trust Bank would like to simplify your life. Whether you are a business owner or an individual, we offer many free services to help you manage your accounts. Remote deposit capture will save you time and money by enabling you to make deposits electronically without leaving your business. You can also view your statements and pay your bills online from your home or business with our online banking and bill pay features. Life can be complicated, banking shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be.

1001 Marsh Street San Luis Obispo 805-541-9200

Member FDIC

March 09 Journal Plus  

March 2009 Journal Plus