DR . CR A IG RU S S E L L | M A RI S S A B L OOM | A L E X A NDE R K AT O -W IL L IS
Journal PLUS MAY 2011
MAGAZINE OF THE CENTRAL COAST
AND THE SLO HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
Serving the entire SLO County since 1978 Twila Arritt Broker-Associate
Pamela Bliss Broker-Associate
Ridgepoint Condo on Rockview. Living room, dining area, kitchen and 1/2 bath on entry level; 2 bedrooms, full bath and laundry on lower level. Decks off living and bedrooms. Private patio/deck off lower level. 2 car covered car port. $277,500
Nicely upgraded, 2 bed, 2 bath. Replacement windows, new from door, new fireplace hearth w/ energy efficient gas insert, new kitchen counters and appliances and a cozy back yard patio. Neat as a pin in Los Verdes Park 1. $309,000
Theresa Carroll REALTOR®
Patricia Garrison REALTOR®
Annette Mullen REALTOR®
Laura Rizzoli REALTOR®
SLO Pride-of-ownership home. Wonderful neighborhood, Gorgeous yard and grounds, Great floor plan and ALL single-level! 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,742 sq.ft. of turn-key SLO living, close to shopping, schools and services. Heads above the rest. Don’t miss this one! $499,000 www.347Branch.com
Lovely single-level Country Club Estates. 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home located on the 16th Tee, with beautiful mountain and golf course views. Charming, gated community. $929,000
Mary Rosenthal REALTOR®
Janet Shaner REALTOR®
Vicky Hall REALTOR® Great 3 bedroom home w/ additional two - 1 bedroom units. Main house has been redone to reflect the period of the home. Hardwood floors wood sash arched windows. A real doll house. Each unit has washer/dryer hookups, on site parking. $744,900 Jennifer Hamilton Relocation Director
Stephanie Hamilton REALTOR®
Classic 1960’s Four-Plex half a block from the Highland entrance to Cal Poly. All two bedroom, one bath units, with large bedrooms and on-site laundry. Lower units have back doors to patio area and upper units have private decks. $829,000
21 Santa Rosa Street, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Conveniently located in the heart of San Luis Obispo. Our office is open 7 days a week.
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n this era of corporate crime and personal greed, who can you trust with your financial future?
An ethical local firm with a 50-year track record
A number of years ago when my wife and I began looking at retiring from teaching we asked around about a wise, successful, personable, and reliable investment advisor. We wanted someone with a proven track record over time, someone who could guide and advise us with wisdom and experience. The name that kept surfacing was Al Moriarity. We called him, set up an appointment, and when he arrived at our home, we felt like we had known him forever. Al didn't pressure us into anything; he asked us many questions and developed an investment plan that was comfortable, affordable, and low risk. He was charming, witty, and knowledgeable and we knew right away that he would help us. Few could have predicted the economic meltdown of the past few years but because of Al's guidance, our portfolio remained solid while many people suffered significant losses. Al's calm manner and steady hand assured us that we would be OK and we were. While many people invest with Al and trust his judgment there is another facet of of Al that appealed to us: his good nature and steadfast reliance on time-honored values such as honesty, integrity, hard work and family. Al gives back to our community in many ways. He invests in college and youth sports, the fine arts, and fundraising opportunities. We appreciate this about Al. If you are looking for investment opportunities with a genuinely good man who has helped people in our community for over 50 years, Al is your guy.
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27 Journal PLUS MAGAZINE OF THE CENTRAL COAST
The People, Community, and Business of Our Beautiful Central Coast ADDRESS
654 Osos Street San Luis Obispo California 93401
APPLE GRAFTING IN OUR SCHOOLS
EDITOR & PUBLISHER Steve Owens ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Erin Mott GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dora Mountain COPY EDITOR Susan Stewart PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Meinhold DISTRIBUTION Keith Malcomson
DR. CRAIG RUSSELL
ADVERTISING Jan Owens, Kristen Hathaway CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Stewart, Natasha Dalton, Hilary Grant, Joseph Carotenuti, Dr. Julian Crocker, Sarah Hedger, Maggie Cox, Deborah Cash, Leslie Jones, Dan Carpenter, Lori Lawson, Bob Huttle, Gordon Fuglie and Phyllis Benson Mail subscriptions are available at $20 per year. Back issues are $2 each. Inquires concerning advertising or other information made by writing to Steve Owens, JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE, 654 Osos Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. You can call us at 546-0609, our fax line is 546-8827, and our e-mail is email@example.com. View the entire magazine on our website at www.slojournal.com JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE is distributed monthly free by mail to all single family households of San Luis Obispo and is available free at over 600 locations throughout the county. Editorial submissions are welcome but are published at the discretion of the publisher. Submissions will be returned if accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. No material published in the magazine can be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in the byline articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the JOURNAL PLUS MAGAZINE. Cover photo by Tom Meinhold
PEOPLE 10 12 14 16 18
DR. CRAIG RUSSELL PAUL OSBORNE ALEXANDER KATO-WILLIS MARISSA BLOOM LINDA LONG
HOME & OUTDOOR 20 TEACH FOUNDATION 22 HOME DESIGN DISTRICT 24 FOOD / AT THE MARKET
26 27 28 29 30 32 33 34 36 46
SLO ART SCENE APPLE GRAFTING HUTTLE UP – Following our guys GARDEN TOUR – Atascadero Library Fundraiser OUR SCHOOLS Dr. Julian Crocker HISTORY: Charter City San Luis Obispo SAILING ON SAN LUIS OBISPO BAY HOSPICE CORNER / SUDOKU PUZZLE PALM STREET – SLO Councilman, Carpenter ALMANAC – The Month of May
37 DOWNTOWN SLO What’s Happening 42 THE BULLETIN BOARD 45 EYE ON BUSINESS M A Y
From the publisher Highly sought after neighborhood in San Luis Obispo. Single level four bedroom homes are hard to find, especially with a pool. Newly landscaped front and back yards, refinished hard-wood floors, new interior and exterior paint, hallway bath remodeled, new fridge and cook top, new pool motor. Sunken living room with fireplace and a private entry courtyard. Go to www.680rancho.com for more details. Asking $669,000.
If you consider yourself a lover of modern architecture, high end design, seamless construction or state of the art electronics then you must see this marvel. It is simply unlike any other house in the City of San Luis Obispo. Perfect location with the ideal climate. Very private. See the web-site for additional photos and more information. Asking $1,250,000. www.2191santaynezave.com
his month we feature four people in music. We start out with award winning Cal Poly professor, prolific composer and world-renowned author, Dr. Craig Russell. Russell has written a 20-minute program for the SLO Symphony’s upcoming final concert of the season. He is followed by SLOHS Choir Director, Paul Osborne. Osborne is taking the choir back to Stuttgart, Germany, and a special fundraiser is planned. Next we feature pianist, Alexander KatoWillis. Kato-Willis has been playing the piano since he was six, and while working on his doctorate at USC he is “wowing” audiences worldwide. Finally, we feature Opera San Luis Obispo’s Marissa Bloom. Bloom is giving recitals locally, introducing classical music to a wider audience. You’ll enjoy all four profiles.
We move on to Joe Sabol, President of the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) and retired Cal Poly Agricultural Education and Communication Professor. Sabol started the high school grafting project in 1998, which has turned into an annual event. In these times of constant cuts, it’s a treat to see this type of extra-curricular activity still in our schools. Plenty of good reading again this month. Remodeled unit just a short distance to downtown San Luis Obispo. Modern kitchen features stainless steel appliances, stainless steel counter-tops, new cabinets, new wood flooring, new carpet, front & rear patios, landscaping, second floor balcony, indoor laundry, good storage. Washer, dryer, refrigerator are all included in price. $305,000. www.2250kingtcourt.com
Enjoy the magazine,
Johnny Hough Owner / Broker
firstname.lastname@example.org 962 Mill Street, SLO See more listings at www.realestategroup.com
N\Ëm\^fe\^i\\e% Now view our printed calendar of events entirely online. Visit our website today and find your way to the best seats in the house.
w w w . p a c s l o . o r g
upcom ing e v en ts Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 pm The Mikado
Saturday, May 14, 9 am MET Live in HD: Wagner’s Die Walkure
Saturday, May 21, 8 pm Jazz Night
Saturday, May 14, 8 pm Forbes Pipe Organ Recital: David Briggs
Sunday, May 22, 7 pm The Groundlings
Sunday, May 15, 3 pm SLO Youth Symphony Season Finale
Tuesday, May 24, 8 pm Two-Piano Recital: Thies and Spiller
SLO Youth Symphony
Tuesday, May 10, 7:30 pm Jim Brickman: Beautiful World
Wed., May 18, 7:30 pm The Moody Blues
Tuesday, May 24, 7 pm MBHS & LOMS Choirs Spring Concert
Cal Poly Arts
Cal Poly Music Dept.
Wed., May 4, 6:30 pm Mock Rock Friday Night Live
SLO Hep C Project
Cal Poly Arts
Saturday, May 7, 8 pm Sunday, May 8, 3 pm SLO Symphony Season Finale
Cal Poly Arts
Cal Poly Arts & Otter Productions
Thurs., May 12, 7:30 pm Chinese Acrobats of Hebei
Thursday, May 19, 7 pm Surf Film Night at the PAC
Cal Poly Arts
May 12-14 & 19-21, 8 pm Smash Cal Poly Theatre & Dance Dept.
805.SLO.ARTS Phone | 805.756.2787 Fax | 805.756.6088
Youth Outreach for the PAC (YOPAC)
Friday, May 20, 8 pm Early Music Ensemble Concert Cal Poly Music Dept.
Cal Poly Music Dept.
MBHS & LOMS
Wed., May 25, 7 pm MBHS & LOMS Bands Spring Concert MBHS & LOMS
Saturday, May 28, 8 pm Cal Poly Symphony Spring Concert Cal Poly Music Dept.
A proud tradition of serving our community for over 26 years
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Rare single level end unit in Villa Rosa – a beautifully maintained development. This home has attractive 18 x 18 tile floors in the main living area and carpet in the bedrooms. The open floor plan and high ceilings give this home great ambiance. The spacious back patio with fountain has plenty of room for entertaining. $350,000 #2814
TEMPLETON – This property sells itself! 25 gorgeous acres tucked away behind York Mountain Winery. Incredible views right from the living room, decks and from almost every part of the 25 acres. Tranquility, peace, serenity, beauty and seclusion describe your experience here. Yet it’s only approximately 10 minutes to town, when you see it you’ll buy it. $650,000 #2832
ARROYO GRANDE – Beautifully upgraded home with views from the city to the dunes. Large gourmet kitchen with granite center island. Beautiful stone fireplace. This home is in excellent condition. You must see the inside of this home to appreciate it! $699,000 #2820
SAN LUIS OBISPO – This wood-adorned, 3-bedroom, 3-bath home is near downtown, Madonna Mountain and Cal Poly but is set back on a private, half-acre flag lot. A large, open living area includes oak floors, fir ceiling and beams, pine cabinets and an abundance of light. The lot backs up to a year-round creek and provides views of Madonna Mountain. There’s about 700 sq. ft. of decking for entertaining. $1,125,000 #2827
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Fantastic location at the base of Bishops Peak for this four bedroom, two bath home. Recently painted, with updated flooring and bathrooms, new retaining wall, large bedrooms, on an oversized corner lot, with wonderful views and more! $539,000 #2835
Ferrini Heights Home SAN LUIS OBISPO – One of San Luis Obispo’s favorite neighborhoods. Hardwood floors, three bedrooms, two baths and adorable kitchen. Wood burning stove in family room and lots of natural light throughout home. The large backyard is perfect for gardening, entertaining, and would be ideal for a busy family. Dream location for short distance to town, don’t miss out on this one! $529,000 #2829
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Single level home, approximately 3800 sf. Nice entrance, large foyer leads to formal living room & fireplace. 4 bedrooms - 1 currently used as an office. Media/family room w/ fireplace & wetbar. Master suite offers balcony, walk-in closet & fireplace. Beautiful entertaining balcony off the kitchen w/ balustrade railing. Backyard features flagstone stairs & lush landscape to the top of the lot. Private seating area w/ heat & outside speakers to watch spectacular sunsets over the City & mountains. $1,189,000 #2818
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Stone Creek is a secluded and gated community of stunning homes and is located in the heart of Edna Valley. This area has also been recognized for world-class vineyards and distinguished Edna Valley Appellation. Here you will find a lifestyle that offers many opportunities given the rare acreage size. $899,000 #2831
For more information on these and other Real Estate Group of SLO listings call us at
962 Mill Street U San Luis Obispo, California 93401 U www.RealEstateGroup.com
0(93)#)!.3 #(/)#% MEDICAL GROUP
Dr. craig russell ...hear “Celebration!” at the slo symphony’s season finale By Susan Stewart
ucked away on the top floor of a stately Victorian near downtown San Luis Obispo is a quaint five-room apartment—with panoramic views and two pianos—where musical history was made. Working on either the full-sized piano in his bedroom, or on the electric keyboard/ computer in his living room, composer Craig Russell conceived and wrote “Celebration!” a 20-minute musical conversation between the Youth Symphony and the SLO Symphony that will open the season finale concerts slated for May 7th and 8th at the Performing Arts Center. As of press time, only the members of the two orchestras and a select few others have heard this new piece from the awardwinning Cal Poly professor, prolific composer, and world-renowned author.
Commissioned by SLO Symphony’s Music Director Michael Nowak, Russell’s “Celebration!” will open the concerts commemorating the Symphony’s 50th landmark anniversary season. Though he has written several compositions for the SLO Symphony during a collaboration that began more than 25 years ago, this one is a first.
“I’m not sure whose idea it was, Mike’s [Nowak] or mine,” said Russell. “But we decided to keep the two orchestras [youth and adult] separate, rather than blend them. … We wanted to write for them too, not just for us old time rock and rollers.” Rock and rollers? That comment, plus a painting of a Jefferson Airplane album cover, begs the question: This multi-award-winning composer of numerous classical works, this Ph.D. in Historical Musicology, this National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient and globally recognized expert in Mexican Baroque and California Mission music — likes Rock and Roll? Russell’s answer is a resounding yes, especially the ground-breaking rock music of the 1960s. In fact, he teaches a course and has written the textbook for “Music of the ‘60s, War and Peace.” Born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Craig Russell describes an idyllic childhood with his parents and three siblings in a thennew town that was “vibrantly alive” with children—nearly all of whom, he says, played both sports and music. For Russell, the sport was tennis and the instrument was piano. “In junior high, I was just an average piano player,” said Russell. But when his older sister brought home a baritone ukulele, he was enchanted. And when he received a guitar from Juarez, Mexico as a gift a short time later, he was hooked; the guitar became his constant companion, and by high school, Russell had formed his own band and fallen passionately in love with rock and roll. Finding no conflict with his classical music studies, Russell wrote his first orchestral piece as a high school sophomore. At the University of New Mexico, Russell enrolled as a physics major. It was there that he met guitar virtuoso Héctor García, whom he begged to give him lessons. Soon after, he changed his major to music.
Russell in front of Carnegie Hall M A Y
“That was the real turning point,” said Russell, who credits Garcia with conveying to him a Journal PLUS
whole new depth and direction in music. “I fell in love with making music with guitar.” Russell earned bachelors and masters degrees in guitar and lute performance, and completed a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1982. He found his way from a winter ice storm to the paradise that is California’s Central Coast when he accepted a post as a professor at Cal Poly. “I thought San Luis Obispo was a suburb of Los Angeles at first,” said Russell, who has called the area home for nearly three decades now. In addition to numerous other awards, Russell was one of just two faculty selected from 23 campuses to receive the California State University Trustees’ Outstanding Professor Award for 1994-95. He was also the only member of the Cal Poly staff ever to receive the Wang Family Excellence Award in 2007. Russell met Michael Nowak, SLO Symphony’s Music Director, in 1987, during a guest lecturing stint for Festival Mozaic (then known as the Mozart Festival). He had written Concierto Romantico for Guitar & Orchestra some years before, and decided to share it with Nowak, hoping he might agree to perform it. “I’ll just get in line with everyone else,” he thought at the time, knowing there must be hundreds of others submitting music to the maestro. But to his surprise, Nowak agreed, starting a long and mutually devoted collaboration with the Symphony. In 1993, a compact disc of Concierto Romantico recorded with SLO Symphony was released, followed by several recordings with Chanticleer, and Rhapsody for Horn & Orchestra & Middle Earth, also with SLO Symphony, in 2003.
A Retirement Facil PEOPLE
Sipping a glass of sparkling blackberry juice one recent warm afternoon, Russell played samples of the new work “Celebration!” and explained how it evolved. Using a two-note theme, he demonstrated how differently it could be rendered, deftly moving from delicate, eloquent phrases to resoundingly triumphant chord progressions, but leaving the totality of the piece as of a mystery. “The prospect of writing for my friends is especially exhilarating,” he said. “I’m writing these notes for people I know … I’m crafting a piece especially for those I love. They’re not just notes on a page.” “This new composition includes all of the signature Craig Russell elements,” said Nowak. “It’s thoughtful, lyrical, whimsical, and jubilant … it even contains a musical homage to Beethoven’s 9th.” “Craig’s compositions … always contain clever surprises and inside jokes for the orchestra, soloists, conductor and audience,” said Concert Master Pam Dassenko. The “quote” from Beethoven’s 9th will be one to listen for. According to Youth Symphony Director, Nancy Nagano, “Celebration!” is challenging her young musicians like never before. “This is not an easy piece,” she said, “but they are doing very well. They are so determined to make this work.” Acclaimed mezzo soprano soloist and Cal Poly music lecturer, Jacalyn Kreitzer, is delighted with both choices: Russell’s new piece to open the concert, and Beethoven’s 9th to follow. Calling the latter “one of the greatest musical compositions ever written,” Kreitzer explained that at the time Beethoven wrote his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, he was “filled with deafness and loneliness, plagued with stomach and liver disease, and alienation from society.” This symphony is the expression of his search for a way to express joy. Kreitzer will sing the dramatic mezzo soprano solo lines in the last movement as she has done many times, including the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “Beethoven’s 9th renews my faith and enthusiasm for life, and the joy of the giving and loving spirit,” she said. Of Craig Russell, Kreitzer said, “His works are lovely, lively, spiritual pieces that leave one feeling joyous and whole. … A better treasure of the Central Coast could not be found to help us all celebrate this very special 50th anniversary.” As if Russell’s new composition and Beethoven’s 9th were not enough, the San
Luis Obispo Food Bank offers a third compelling reason to attend this concert: The Symphony will be partnering with the SLO County Food Bank who will be sponsoring food drives at both concerts.
Even though the prospect of moving m On Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8, more future, you owe it to yourself than 200 musicians—including memberstoof learn h the Cal Poly Choirs, Cuesta Master Chocarefree living in the your own home for man
rale, the San Luis Obispo Youth and Adult Symphonies, plus soloists Julia Kierstine, Soprano; Jacalyn Kreitzer, Alto; Jon Garrison, “By partnering, we make a statement: The Tenor; and Gary Aldrich, Bass/Baritone—will arts are a basic need, a part of health and stageolder, for a celebrationPristine of music, eduIt’s a fact of life that astake wetheget is fully wholeness that enhances the quality of life cation, and community lasting half a century. some day-to-day tasks become too licensed and insu we all share,” said the Food Bank Coalition’s For ticket information, call the Performing Carl Hansen. “Congratulations SLO Symmuch to [to handle on our All756-2787 of ourorworker Artsown. Center That Ticket Office at (805) phony] on 50 years of feeding the soul of the visit www.slosymphony.org or www.pacslo.org. doesn’tmusic.” mean you have to move away are carefully scre community with wonderful
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today the pac, tomorrow stuttgart
paul osborne taking the slo high choir to germany By Susan Stewart
aul Osborne wants to give the members of his San Luis Obispo High School Concert Choir an experience they’ll never forget; the kind of experience he had; the kind that paved the way to his own career as a high school choir director. This summer, he’ll have his wish—when his 52-member concert choir will travel to SLO High’s sister school in Stuttgart, Germany, where the singers will perform a mix of American and German music in honor of the school’s 325th anniversary. The partnership with Eberhard-Ludwigs Gymasium (Ebelu) began in 1948 as a goodwill effort following World War II. Every year, Ebelu sends a student to attend SLOHS and every year, SLOHS sends a student to attend Ebelu. In 1998, the 50th anniversary of the exchange program, a musical exchange was added. The orchestra from Ebelu came to SLO that year, and later that same year, the SLO High School
SLO High School Choir Director, Paul Osborne
choir traveled to Stuttgart. This summer, SLO singers will stay in the homes of German families and will rehearse selected music they’ll perform alongside the German choir. “When you travel to another country, people want to hear what your country’s music is,” said Osborne. “So we’ll present quintessentially American pieces such as southern folk songs and Negro spirituals, plus those of more modern American composers … as well as selections from the wealth of German choral repertoire, such as the folk songs of Brahms and the more complex works of Bach.” Osborne joined the high school staff in the fall of 2007, and has been building enthusiasm and membership in the choir ever since. Starting with just 25 members in Concert Choir when he started, this year’s choir is 52 strong. “This year is special, because the students who are seniors in the choir were freshman when I started this job,” said Osborne. “I will have to say goodbye to the first group of students I’ve had for all four years. ” Osborne knows first-hand about the emotional elements of singing with a choir. Raised mostly in Lompoc, California, Osborne was first introduced to music through the trumpet, the instrument he played in a fifth grade band. He joined the choir at Lompoc High in 10th grade and it was then that he discovered music was his passion. “It was there that I learned to work hard and really, truly commit to
Practice Session M A Y
After graduation, Osborne moved to the Central Coast and worked in a sporting goods store while he substitute-taught and waited for an opening as a teacher. He applied for and won the position at San Luis High, taking over the baton in the fall of 2007. “This is my first time doing this trip,” he said. “My hope is that not only will my students have a fun and memorable trip, but I hope it will show the power of what musical sharing can do, and that they’ll continue to sing all their lives.”
SLO High School Choir singing at the Performing Arts Center
something,” he said. “I owe a lot of that to my director, Nicolai Anikouchine, who now directs choirs in Palos Verdes.” Research revealed that Concordia College, in the unlikely state of Minnesota, has one of the best schools for choral music in the country. So Osborne chose this college, whose program is deeply entrenched in the Midwestern Lutheran tradition, and earned his degrees there. The Concordia Choir is 75 strong, and competition for membership is so keen that the real-life tales around the nervewracking audition process, and the winning (or losing) of coveted spots would excite even the most jaded of Hollywood script-writers. Osborne tells such tales with great affection and sincere gratitude for being given the chance to sing with the storied choir, and to study with choral conductor and composer, René Clausen.
The choir needs help with travel expenses and will be giving a concert on Wednesday, June 8th at 7 pm at the Performing Arts Center in SLO, with proceeds going to support their trip. The public will have a chance to hear some of the music the choir will perform in Stuttgart, as well as pieces selected for the season. Osborne’s delight in the work he is doing is infectious and effective. He is working to build a choral program that will allow his choir to compete with the best. Together with his colleagues, Osborne is working to create a district-wide choral program for 6th graders that will improve the quality and build enrollment of music programs at the middle school levels, which will in turn filter up to the high schools. “We want a comprehensive program that builds upon itself up through the grade levels,” he said. “I want the choir at SLOHS to represent our city as one of quality artistic achievement.” For those who cannot attend the concert, you may support the choir and its trip to Stuttgart by making contributions payable to Gulliver’s Travels and sent to: Paul Osborne, c/o San Luis Obispo High School, 1499 San Luis Drive, SLO, CA 93401.
M A Y
Alexander kato-willis reviving the art of classical improvisation By Susan Stewart
ike most children, Alexander Kato-Willis stopped needing naps at about age five. To take their place, his mother, Christine, suggested they listen together to the great classical composers—Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, et al. He loved them, and when they had heard them all, she asked her small son a life-changing question: “Would you like to learn to play the piano?” Alexander’s yes was an enthusiastic one. So Christine went in search of a teacher and found Ed Lowman, who agreed to take Alexander as a private student, cautioning his mother, “Just don’t expect a little Mozart” – a prescient and ironic warning, as anyone who has heard the brilliant musician will attest. At just 25, Alexander has toured as a soloist around Japan and the United States; is currently working on his doctorate in music at the University of Southern California (USC); and has created a buzz in the musical world with his passionate dedication to the revival of classical improvisation. If that phrase sounds like an oxymoron, consider this: “Throughout the Medieval,
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Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, improvisation was a highly valued skill … many classical forms contained sections for improvisation … Handel and Bach [and others] all belonged to a tradition of solo keyboard improvisation.” (Excerpted from Imogene Horsley’s Improvisation II: Western Art Music 2: History to 1600.) In layman’s terms, improvisation is not the sole purview of jazz or rock musicians. According to Hermann Abert’s book, W. A. Mozart, “Musical improvisation (also known as Musical Extemporization) is the creative activity of immediate (‘in the moment’) musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique.” But because it is spontaneous, it is also unwritten, so most of us have come to our personal understanding of classical music from its written works. We think about classical music as being set in concrete, written notes on a page, played and practiced to perfection by talented musicians. Not so, says Alexander. In fact, he is philosophically opposed to the formal classification or labeling of music into neat categories such as classical, jazz, pop, or rock. “The minute you try to define it,” he says, “you ignore everything else about it. All music is classical, all popular music derives from classical. But defining music only alienates and creates staleness.” Alexander began to improvise within his first year as a student of Ed Lowman’s. “We encouraged it,” said his mother. Contrary to many parents who might not approve of “coloring outside the lines,” Alexander’s parents understood his talent and delighted in hearing his musical inventions. Noticing this for the first time in her then six-year-old, Christine said, “It was one of my happiest moments.” Alexander’s father, Goro Kato, is a math professor at Cal Poly; his mother is a high school English teacher. “My parents have supported me more than I could have hoped for,” said Alexander. “It’s a difficult thing to support without influencing.”
By the time he was out of high school, Alexander had won the prestigious Billy Watson Scholarship and had been performing locally for years. He has played with the SLO Symphony at such memorable events as New Year’s Eve 2011 and at the Rotary Honors celebration, both held at the PAC. He was invited by the Cultural Attaché of Finland to perform a recital in New York, and has played in several concert halls in Japan. As an undergraduate at Cal Poly, Alexander majored in piano performance and studied under Professor William Spiller. Today, he continues his musical education at USC under Professor Daniel Pollack, who was Spiller’s teacher at USC. Next month, Alexander will again travel to Japan for a series of four benefit performances at Saitama, Shizuoka, Kariya, and Nagoya. The proceeds from these will go to help those Japanese people who were displaced by the recent earthquake and its aftermath. “Japan is very open right now,” said Alexander. “They have more direct responses, more open minds than do Western audiences. They have an eagerness to hear and understand, with fewer Western cultural influences.” Reactions here, however, have also been positive. Alexander explained that classical music has become a sort of museum, kept alive by those who love it, but who don’t see its place in contemporary society. “So it’s up to us now to invigorate it,” he says. “Improvisation has the capacity to invigorate music with the spontaneity that has been lost when improvisation was lost.”
Alexander declares it is just the opposite. “Intuition is the highest form of intellect,” he explains, “but because intuition is non-linear, it’s hard to comprehend.” An elegantly simple website offers an introduction to Alexander KatoWillis and his music. (www.Alexanderkato-willis.com) In addition to his talent as a classical pianist and improvisational artist, he is also a writer. He describes the art of improvisation this way: “The sound from the piano is formed into a structure and brought into existence without any planning. There are no boundaries and no right or wrong. It is an extension of life.”
Though he would hardly compare himself with the genius who was Mozart, Alexander is a musical force to be reckoned with. He is passionate about reviving the lost art of classical improvisation and aspires to a career that will allow him to share his talent for performing it worldwide. When asked about the importance of studying classical music the formal way, Alexander states it’s essential and does not hesitate to name Mozart as his favorite. But it is the living art of improvisation—described by his mother as “fresh and new,”—that he is most committed to. “Forget about yourself completely,” he advises those who are starting out. “Allow yourself to be directed by intuition, not your thoughts.” But lest we think that improvisation is somehow anti-intellectual,
Listening to Alexander play is a deeply interactive experience. He is by turns explosive, strong, all over the keyboard – then soft, delicate, trilling and ethereal. The pieces are informed by what he is feeling in the moment, and by what he can sense from his listeners. It is an emotionally moving and exciting thing to witness. And that’s just what Alexander is going for. “Actions are the symptoms of existence,” he writes. “[They] occur as a result of what that existence interacts with in the perceived world. Change occurs with every new manifestation of what has preceded current existence. … We are led to a mosaic of manifestations that resemble stars or leaves. When we see leaves in great number on a tree, we see a living copy of human existence.” Heady stuff for such a young mind. Alexander hopes to affect—and infect—as many listeners as he can with his passion for the art of musical improvisation, a revival well worth attending.
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Marissa bloom “We call challenges ‘adventures’” By Natasha Dalton
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ---George Sheehan In this area of farms, ranches and vineyards, Marissa Bloom’s occupation sounds almost as exotic as sumo wrestling or ice sculpture building. She is a soprano currently serving as Resident Artist with Opera San Luis Obispo. This recent West Virginia University graduate (where she obtained her Master’s degree Summa Cum Laude), just finished being understudy for Rosina in Opera San Luis Obispo’s Barber of Seville, and, by all accounts, is firmly on her way to building a fulfilling and rewarding career as an opera singer.
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Interestingly enough, Marissa herself discovered opera only when she was already in college. Until then, all her dreams were about Broadway. Like many musically gifted kids, she began performing at an early age. At the age of eight, came her first victory. It happened when she entered some of her music into a PTA competition. As the only student with a musical entry, Marissa was bound to win – but to her it was a victory none-theless. Still, the best part came when the director of the choir in Marissa’s school arranged her piece for piano, and the choir sang it at a concert. “That was a really exciting experience: I sang the verses solo and then the choir joined in the chorus,” Marissa remembers. Moreover, Marissa’s entry won the State Competition and made it all the way to the Nationals – not a bad start for an elementary school student! In high school Marissa continued to sing and stayed deeply involved in every aspect of her school’s choral department’s activities. She even wrote a musical for one of its Christmas productions. By the time Marissa was graduating from high school, she had no doubts that her future lay with music. She enrolled in a program at USC to pursue a career in choral conducting, and everything was going smoothly – until the school decided to get rid of Marissa’s major.
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“I was told to move on to vocal performance,” Marissa remembers. Luckily for her, the switch turned out to be a blessing in disguise: she found that the field of performing arts allowed her to bring out more of her creative potential. That’s why when Marissa’s professors suggested she consider transitioning to opera, she accepted the challenge. “I had actually never heard an opera until then; I didn’t know what it was. I’d never seen it, I’d never experienced it; I had no idea.” Marissa admits. But with her strong voice and her deep interest in acting, Marissa found opera to be a perfect fit for her talents. “I love singing and dancing and acting, and always dreamed of a musical theater which incorporates all of those things. Luckily, opera does it, too. That’s why I enjoy it so much.”
Raised on Broadway musicals, Marissa still prefers American operas to more traditional repertoire. “Contemporary things are easier to relate to, and their interesting mix of singing and focus on acting is my forte; I melt between the two,” she says. Marissa still remembers the thrill of her first full-length role in the operatic performance at WVU. The opera in question was Lee Hoiby’s musical adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke. Marissa performed Alma, and this role not only helped her showcase her vocal abilities, but made her “delve deeply into her soul” in order to better understand the emotions of the young lady she was portraying. It was a powerful experience for Marissa’s Recital
PEOPLE Marissa, made particularly meaningful by the fact that she got to discuss the role with the composer just before he passed away. “I was very excited,” Marissa says. “The costumes, the wig, the make-up were gorgeous… But then a large blizzard hit West Virginia. The performance was canceled. “My parents were in town. And they ended up being snowed in for a week,” Marissa remembers. The school kept re-scheduling the performance, and finally the word came out that it couldn’t be rescheduled anymore and if the next performance date had to be canceled, that would be it. “They were going to cancel my performing this role, on which I had been working for two years, and so we went up and begged the director of the school to let us go on,” Marissa says. Eventually the director agreed to let them perform. “It was great!” Marissa says. “Although we performed for, maybe, six people – I didn’t care.” The freak-factors, like bad weather or an anticipated movie release, are not uncommon stressors in the life of a performer. Building a career in music is difficult, and it’s especially
true about opera. Voice is an instrument that needs constant work and care. Besides, an opera isn’t something you can do on your own. Operatic productions are elaborate and expensive. To get a job in a repertoire group a singer has to have a name; but in order to build that name, she needs to have a job in a repertoire group. It’s catch-22, with constant job hunting and auditioning.
it’s not even just about music. “When I’m performing, I’m not there to boost my ego. I am there for people who’re listening to me,” she explains.
“At school, everything was given to me on a platter. I knew what I needed to do to earn my degree,” Marissa says. Now she has to seek opportunities on her own. “It’s intensive work,” Marissa admits. “I am auditioning and performing, and I am also doing four other jobs. It’s an expensive career: I am paying for voice lessons, for applications fees, for traveling to auditions…” Still, for those who are born to be on stage, even thirty seconds oneon-one with the audience are worth all the effort. “My voice is who I am,” Marissa says. “I train my voice, and that helps me grow as a person; it even helps me to get my opinions out, both on- and off-stage.”
Determined to expand her audience at home, for the past 3 summers Marissa has run OperaSLO’s Opera Camp, which is geared towards tweens and teens. “This is just one more way that I am attempting to change the stereotype of who can perform and enjoy opera,” Marissa says. “If we’re going to make opera survive, we have to change society’s perception of this art form before our audience members literally die away.”
For the past five years Marissa has been giving recitals in Atascadero trying to introduce classical music to a wider audience. She calls her recitals “concerts,” and incorporates popular pieces like cabaret and jazz songs. But she also strives “to expand the public’s horizons by performing pieces that it hasn’t heard before,” and let people realize that they do enjoy this type of music as well. “In these concerts I try to change people’s idea of what opera is. Since I didn’t listen to opera growing up, I understand many folks’ perception about this genre as something old and maybe boring. ‘What, opera? Who likes opera?’ they say. After all, I, too, had this stereotype once. I remember thinking that all opera was a three-hundred-pound lady standing at the edge of the stage and screaming,” Marissa chuckles. “Today I try to show to my audience that it doesn’t have to be that way.” And
When OperaSLO’s Artistic Director Robert Ashens describes Marissa as “bright, witty, filled with energy, curiosity and an infectious love for entertaining,” and her voice as “large and opulent,” we’d better take notice. Many local musicians already did.
“I am impressed with Marissa’s full involvement with the characters she portrays, even in a concert,” comments OperaSLO’s Artistic Administrator Mikele Hushing-Kline.
“Marissa is wonderful with the children of our Opera Camp,” Mikele Hushing-Kline confirms. “She has a smile and a voice that reach right into your heart.”
On May 22 in beautiful Lake Pavilion in Atascadero, Marissa will be performing with the North County Chamber Orchestra Symphony of the Vines. “We feature the best local musicians,” Greg Magie, the Orchestra’s Director, says. “Marissa has a warm and inviting voice, and her delightful personality shines when she sings. We are so thrilled to be performing with this young, rising star. “ To learn more about Marissa, please visit: www.marissabloom.com. For details about her upcoming concert, go to: www.symphonyofthevines.org.
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PEOPLE Linda, standing far left, with her Team in Training Team
linda long quiet hero beating cancer with a marathon By Hilary Grant
hose of a certain generation know all about Profiles in Courage, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the late President John F. Kennedy. True stories about eight United States senators who choose bravery and integrity over public opinion and party lines, every subject is well recognized in the public arena. But there are always the quieter heroes among us. Despite tough life experiences, they, too, push boundaries and try to do the right thing. More times than not, by choosing this sort of good-causes-bring-good-effects life, a remarkable pay off waits: these persons are able to make a positive impact on thousands, perhaps millions, of people. This is certainly the story of SLO-town resident Linda Long. The retired 68-year-old school counselor knows she’s lucky. A colon cancer survivor, single mom and widow, Long also endured a literally shattering fall last summer that should have left her completely immobile. But the accident left her able to walk. And for Long, that meant committing to a bold new challenge – training for the Dodge Rock ’n Roll San Diego Marathon on Sunday, June 5. The annual event, which began in 1998, raises funds and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (also known as LLS), and other blood cancers. Long has the $2,500 entry fee for the 26.2 mile trek, but by continuing to tell her story, she hopes to reach the $10,000 mark. While Long can’t run, she plans to walk the entire marathon. This still won’t be easy. Because the race must be completed in seven hours, Long must finish each mile in under 17 minutes. Thankfully, there will be encouragement of the musical kind along with way: dozens of local rock bands lining the route, keeping the runners – about 30,000 persons – and spectators – thousands are expected – energized and entertained. “Doing this marathon is as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone who knows me,” says Long. “It’s really a quirk of fate.” Long explains it this way: in January, she was visiting a downtown SLO bicycle store. “Before my accident, I’d been a very active volunteer for a lot of local groups,” she says. “But after recuperating, I decided I wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to everything that came my way. “I thought I would see what would rise to the surface instead, something that would have my name written all over it.” M A Y
It was with this more selective viewpoint that Long noticed some pamphlets prominently displayed on the counter of the cycling shop. “It said that LLS sponsors something called Team in Training, which provides free coaches and mentors for marathons,” remembers Long. “The front cover read, ‘Hundreds of coaches to help you. Thousands of cancer patients who need you.’ I took it home, along with the new bike I’d bought, and put it on my counter. “A day or so later, after reading through the brochure several times, I knew in my heart I was supposed to do this.” Long has already gone the distance when it comes to life experience. Born in Inglewood and raised in Redlands with half-sister Dorothy, and sisters Marilyn, Gloria and Wanda, Long’s dad Fred was a fireman who also owned a gas station and was employed as a grocer. Mom Lottie started working when Long entered sixth grade, and ended her career as a municipal court clerk. “My parents were frugal but always made sure we had the basics for a healthy life,” says Long. “The best times were having neighbor kids gather in our yard for games on summer evenings. Hide-and-seek, softball and roller skating were some of my favorite activities, and birthdays and holidays were also very big deals.” Out of high school, Long received her two-year degree from San Bernardino Valley College. Three years later, she graduated from San Jose State University, intending to become a physical education instructor. A year after that, Long married police officer John Ellenbecker. The couple settled in Ontario, in San Bernardino County, where Long taught PE at Chaffey High School. When John retired in 1979, the family – daughter Peggy and son Phillip were in the mix by then – decided to pull up roots. “We wanted a better quality of life for our children, so, we moved to Northern California and built a home located just above the town of Paradise, up the mountain from Chico,” says Long. “The town’s name really does describe the place.” But a few years later, Long’s marriage had fallen apart. “I knew I’d need to re-enter the workplace – but this time, wanted a new journey,” she says.
PEOPLE “Living in mindfulness is the phrase that comes to me today.” Deciding on a career as a school psychologist, Long earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Chico State University in 1985. “I was already very familiar with the public school system, and knew I liked to work with parents and children – just not in the classroom,” explains Long. Long was now also a single parent, since John had suffered a massive stroke and was unable to help with child care.
a compressed fracture, broken shoulder blade, damaged ribs and a blown-out lung. Says Long: “The physician’s first words to me in the emergency room were, ‘You are lucky to be walking.’” For the 89 days, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, Long wore a cumbersome brace that extended from her head to rib cage. Advised not to lift anything, and to engage in very limited physical activity, Long went to physical therapy regularly and “then continued on my own to get my life back. I’m now 98 percent recovered – nothing will keep me from this marathon!” To that end, Long can almost always be found training every Saturday morning at a local park, along with other Central Coast residents and coaches bound for San Diego.
However, jobs were plentiful and after many interviews, Long chose to move to the Central Coast and work with the Atascadero School District. She stayed for five years, and then took a promotion as Director of Student Services for San Luis Coastal Unified School District.
“I’ve met so many new people whom I now consider my friends,” says Long. “We’re all in this together – and we all have our own story to tell.”
Another scary health crisis – this time, Long’s own – was the impetus for leaving that career in the summer of 1993.
“Oh, I will be flying as high as a kite,” says Long. “I will know that I did the best I could. I will also be thankful to have had this opportunity to make a difference, however small, in the lives of the many folks I have touched on this journey.”
Diagnosed with colon cancer, Long was rushed into surgery, but planned to return to work. To her knowledge, no one in her family had ever had the disease. “But then I decided to learn a different way to live,” says Long. “I resigned, and began exercising and meditating and making important decisions with serious consideration to keeping stress low. I felt, and still feel, that there is a connection between our mental and spiritual well being, and our physical well being. “Living in mindfulness is the phrase that comes to me today.” Long also had a new partner sharing her journey. She and Marianne Michels had met in 1992, and that year, the two were joined together in a commitment ceremony at their Laguna Lake home. Four years later, Michels was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer with no cure. She passed away in the fall of 1998. “Marianne was mentally alert until the evening before she went into a coma for the final time,” remembers Long. “Thanks to close friends, her last hours were with the music she loved, filling the air.” Long had another intense physical and mental challenge ahead. In June of last year – “a beautiful, sunny summer day” – Long took a very nasty spill off a tall aluminum ladder at her home. “I had gone all the way around the house and was getting down for the last time when I suddenly found myself on the dirt, flat on my back,” says Long. “I was stunned and in shock, but there were no neighbors within hearing distance.
How does Long think she’ll feel immediately after walking the marathon?
Learn more about Linda Long, and her involvement in the Dodge Rock ’n Roll San Diego Marathon, at pages.teamintraining.org/los/ rnr11/llong4.
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“So, I picked myself up and took a shower.” Immediately thereafter, Long found she could barely move her upper body. At the hospital, Long discovered her numerous injuries included
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murder, mayhem and mystery: making fundraising fun for
the teach foundation By Hilary Grant
ere’s the scenario: your child’s favorite teacher has a terrific idea for an after-school program or enrichment project.
Maybe it’s starting a science club, putting together a reading festival or planting an organic vegetable garden at his school. Whatever the idea, it would be cost efficient, pique the interest of hundreds of kids, and be easy to put into place. But today’s sad fact is this: for most teachers, and their eager-to-try-itout students, the proposal won’t happen. In large part, that’s because of a stubborn recession and its continuing, grim toll on primary, secondary and higher education. Indeed, California legislators say they’ve been forced to cut billions of dollars in order to close gigantic deficits, but by doing so, public schools can offer only the most basic of curriculums. Like nearly every other school district in the state, San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) has been hit hard – the district lost $9 million in funding last year, which averages out to $1,250 per student.
Thankfully, there’s some safety net for teachers working for SLCUSD – The TEACh Foundation. Short for The Endowment for the Advancement of Children, the nonprofit is affiliated with the SLO Community Foundation and is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since its founding, the group has awarded approximately 275 small grants, totaling close to $200,000, for use in classrooms and education programs in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and Los Osos. Every school in the district has received at least one grant. “I bet that most people reading this article had opportunities growing up such as music lessons, trips outside their hometown and visits to museums and plays,” says TEACh Board President Judy Philbin, a
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Terri Main, Judy Philbin, Dave Bernhardt of TEACh
former PTA president and parent to two now-grown children who attended SLCUSD schools. “But the landscape of our community is changing,” she continues. “It’s now our job at TEACh to provide these positive experiences – whether it’s in drama, music and art, health, or a leadership project.” Applications are accepted twice a year, with grant figures ranging from $250 to $1,000. That’s usually enough for an educator to make his idea happen – and get kids excited about school. Recently funded TEACh activities and/or materials include a robotics kit for Morro Bay High School; culinary knives to supplement home economics classes at SLO High School, and a performance field trip for the Laguna Middle School choir. To make sure the Foundation can keep doing what it does best – handing out money that makes a real difference – the group is hosting a Mystery Dinner later this month. Billed as “an evening of chaos, mystery and a dose of disorderly conduct,” Philbin says she hopes to raise $25,000. Set for Saturday, May 14th, from six o’clock in the evening to nine p.m. in the Garden Room at the Madonna Inn, only about 150 tickets are available. The price is $75 per person, but a small discount can be had if a table of eight is purchased for $600. Along with dinner, guests will be treated to a murder-mystery comedy presented by the Arroyo Grande troupe Murder in Mind. Ticket holders are invited to dress in gangster-like attire, or as their favorite “Sopranos” television series character. A silent auction is also part of the festivities. “We’ve had a number of fundraisers in the past, with our telethons on public access channels probably being the best known,” says Judy
HOME/OUTDOOR Philbin. “It was a wonderful way to feature our kids, and our projects, but it wasn’t a big money-maker. “This year, our small-but-mighty board decided to put our energies and resources into something different. The mystery dinner is a great choice!” Several SLCUSD instructors have been awarded more than one grant, which Philbin says is encouraged. Eva di Santo, who teaches Modern World History and English Learners at SLO High has been the recipient of a handful of TEACh money, mostly requests for imaginative classroom props.
call to a local entrepreneur can meet the need for simple materials. “After that, we’re usually able to fund a reasonable portion of each request.” What would Philbin say to those who, because of hard economic times, only have enough money to donate to a single local non-profit this year? “We believe that programs that foster learning, self reliance and personal growth provide a life-long benefit for students and
the community,” she says. “I also think that many people are frustrated that education has been cut so much, and they wonder what they can do. “The TEACh Foundation offers a constructive way to make a difference.” Tickets for the TEACh Foundation Mystery Dinner can be purchased online at sloccf. org/teachtickets, or by calling (805) 549-6454. Find out more about the TEACh Foundation at theteachfoundation.org.
In March 2010 Colleen McBride was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of cancer. In the spirit of Colleen, there will be fundraisers and celebrations to help support the McBride’s growing medical expenses.
“My most recent grant went toward a set of United Nations flags,” says di Santo. “They’re going to be displayed around my classroom, and will be especially useful for students who learn best by touch and visualizing. “I’m all about making my classrooms come alive, and TEACh really helps me to do that.” Fifth grade Baywood Elementary School teacher Wendi Craig used her $1,000 grant for a one-day math festival in March. “It was great having all of that funding,” she says, “because we were able to divide it up into three parts.” During school hours, Craig says that Baywood kids were able to work at different geometry stations, “getting to play around with math.” Immediately after school, all of the instructors were then given the opportunity to hear a lecturer from the California Mathematics Council present ways to make math easier for students to learn. Finally, in the evening, Baywood students brought their parents to the school, where a Family Math Night took place. “We must have had more than 100 people show up for that,” says Craig. “I especially loved watching fifth and sixth graders figuring out math problems with their younger siblings and friends.” With about 40 applications turned in during each grant cycle, TEACh also does its best to interface with the school district, as well as other businesses, so that it can award as many grants as possible. “Sometimes a request can actually be funded through another source within the district,” says Philbin. “Sometimes teachers can combine their efforts. And sometimes a quick
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Extend Your Home’s Living Spaces Outdoors By Statepoint Media
s the weather warms, Americans spend more time in their backyards and gardens, taking advantage of their outdoor living and dining space. Recent decorating trends are helping homeowners create inviting outdoor spaces. It’s no longer about simple picnic tables on patios or decks. There now are many new ways to create welcoming ambience. More homeowners are using innovative products for the backyard and garden made with recycled materials – a small way to make a big difference. For example, recycled plastics are being used in functional yet stylish decking, vertical gardens, flower pots, bird houses, furniture and more, diverting this valuable material from landfills.
“Consumers have many options today to create beautiful backyards and other home spaces with recycled products,” says Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “For instance, recycled plastics can be used to create all sorts of functional and fashionable products, from modern lawn chairs to chic accessories to long lasting fences.” Here are some great tweaks for your outdoor spaces this season: • Divine Decking: To create decks, gazebos and other outdoor structures, many builders are now using composite lumber, some of which is made with recycled plastic shopping bags. These composites are typically stain- and water-resistant and
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don’t attract those pesky backyard bugs that enjoy wood. • Light It Up: When entertaining outdoors at night, the right lighting adds ambience while illuminating pathways for safety. You can up-light trees for dramatic effect. Energy-efficient solar lighting is a great choice, as you avoid dealing with cords in or under your yard and save electricity in the process. • Feel-Good Furniture: Homeowners nowadays can lounge on brightly colored chairs and benches and dine on stylish tables made with recycled plastics and other innovative materials. Green minded consumers can choose furniture made from post-consumer containers, such as plastic milk jugs, detergent containers and margarine tubs. And best of all, you’ll save time and money by not having to stain or weatherproof this second generation furniture. • Grow-Up: Short on space in your yard? Vertical gardens are a conservationist’s dream, allowing plant lovers to create hanging gardens in even the smallest corners, indoors and out. Vertical gardens often are made with recycled plastics, and can create a flower or vegetable source on just about any type of wall. They help turn even the smallest studio apartment or backyard deck into a green oasis. For more tips on how you can help “close the recycling loop” by using recycled products to create a greener sanctuary for your home and garden, visit www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com.
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at the market
Rocket risotto with aged cheddar and toasted hazelnuts By Sarah Hedger
s the Central Coast rolls from Spring to Summer, the month of May also brings a combination of seasonal weather and a good variety of options to the markets. While spring ingredients are still available, the early bloomers of summer begin to make their presence known, which is always fun! Blueberries and apricots begin to be available toward the end of May as well as the first tomatoes, summer squash, and even the holy basil. In the theme of following the seasons and not wanting to leave out the chooks in our lives, fresh (free range) eggs also become more plentiful as the hens out in nature tend to produce more eggs with the longer days â€“ good olâ€™ mother nature in action! This monthâ€™s recipe of Rocket Risotto with Aged Cheddar and Toasted Hazelnuts uses the stars of spring, including fennel, peas, spring onions, garlic, leeks, and rocket (arugula), turning them into a simple, delicious dish that will impress (your tastebuds).
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In making this risotto I quickly realized, aside from including a lot of wonderful ingredients for the risotto, it also created a fair amount of kitchen waste, which brings us to the discussion of composting. Compost can seem like a mysterious and complicated topic. However it can simply be described as the process of breaking down organic material, which naturally occurs in nature (in nature, does not mean at the dump). The beautiful thing about composting is that it can be done on any size scale, from an under-the-sink compost bin (or completely enclosed worm farm) to a large compost bin in the garden. The benefits of composting is that it takes waste that would usually go to the dump, taking decades to break down, and turns it into renewable, usable matter. Current statistics say the average American creates 4.6 pounds of trash per day (about 1,700 pounds per year), with about 1,200 pounds of that being organic garbage that can be composted. What does that really mean? Aside from the fact we are creating 40% of the world’s garbage for only being 5% of the world’s population, it means a little effort on our part can go a long way in cutting down on the waste that ends up, well, wasted in landfills. Compost can be a beautiful thing as it adds nutrients and nitrogen back into the soil. It is a miraculous act as it takes some pretty smelly kitchen waste and turns it into the most beautiful (good smelling) dark supplement for the soil. The bottom line is that it can turn a good garden into a great garden, all while minimizing what you take to the garbage can and making the whole process a whole lot less smelly. While I am tempted to go into the details of composting, I couldn’t possibly do it justice in this short amount of space. A simple search on Google provides many sites that explain it in terms that will make you want to start separating out your organic matter and beginning your own compost bin. On a more food related note, this month’s recipe is a light lunch or dinner option that hits it out of the park using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. It will impress like a good black dress and bring out the chef in you, with very little effort. Enjoy!
rocket risotto with aged cheddar and toasted hazelnuts For the riSotto: 2 T. olive oil plus 1 T. butter 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced 1 c. fresh leek, washed well and thinly sliced ½ c. spring onions, finely chopped 1 fennel, fronds trimmed, and bulb finely chopped 1 ½ c. rice (preferably Arborio or Carnaroli rice) 1 Bay leaf 2 tsp sea salt ½ tsp white pepper ½ c. white wine 4 cups of hot water (I keep the kettle going on the back burner to keep the water hot until ready to use) 1 cup of peas 1 ounce grated aged cheddar 2 ounces hazelnuts (or walnuts), toasted and chopped
For the rocket: 2 cups rocket (arugula) tossed with 2 T good olive oil, 1 T sherry vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper In a heavy saucepan heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add onion, garlic, leeks, spring onion, and fennel and gently sauté for 5 minutes or until softened (but not browning). Add the rice, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir gently for 5 minutes while the rice roasts and gives off a lovely nutty aroma. Stir in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Add 3 cups of the hot water, stir, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove lid and stir the rice. Add the remaining 1 cup of hot water and the peas, stirring to incorporate and cook the peas thru for a couple of minutes. Add the aged cheddar and stir to mix through. Remove from heat and season to taste. To serve, place a serving of the risotto in a bowl. Top with the dressed rocket (arugula) and toasted hazelnuts. Now, watch your tastebuds be happy! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any food-related questions.
SLO county art scene art and soul (and more) at SLO Umc’s Beacon Art show By Gordon Fuglie
hen did you have your first memorable encounter with a work of art? Reeling back my memory, I managed to get a fix on a generic landscape painting, dimly recalled from a historical landmark house I toured with my parents as a seven-year-old. Not very impressive. I probe further, and a more vivid precedent comes to mind. I am a pre-schooler holding my parents’ hands as we quietly approach the candle-lit altar in our darkened church. Standing before the altar, just a few feet away, I am fixated upon the snowy white embroidered altar cloth, the warmly glistening brass candleholders, the radiant silver chalice, but most of all, I am enrapt beneath a brilliant circular stained glass window. It is a translucent version of what I later learned was one of the most popular images of Jesus in the twentieth century: Warner Salmann’s Christ in Gethsemene. It became a “protestant icon,” portraying Jesus nearly prostrate, hands folded, eyes uplifted to heaven, illumined by divine light while praying alone in the garden the night before his crucifixion. How many of us had their love of art first kindled by their experiences in houses of worship? Going back to the Middle Ages, we learn that gem-studded crosses, golden reliquary caskets, finely carved ivories, and mystical icons in churches and cathedrals brought a respect for art that verged on awe, even terror. Now that’s an artistic encounter! It seems to me that our modern love of art may well have roots in how we earlier dealt with precious relics and miraculous talismans, objects believed to provide transcendent encounters.
damentalism for driving good art out of the sanctuary. But in recent years the tide has begun to turn and some first rate examples of religious art have emerged, notably the Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Angels, an architecturally significant church with monumental tapestries by Central Coast artist John Nava (Ojai). Perhaps the most widespread tendency of the renewal of art in churches and synagogues is their hosting of special exhibits in “fellowship rooms” or other subsidiary spaces – a good start. In our county, the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo since 2007 has presented its annual juried Beacon Art Show, demonstrating a commitment to “honor the impulse of creativity in all people.” Every year the Inaugural Art Exhibit Committee issues a call for entries. The Show takes place in the Spring. The 2011 theme is aptly titled “Art and Soul.” Entrants are mostly amateur, avocational and emerging artists; a few professionals also participate. I was a co-juror two years back and appreciate the generous amount of exhibit space and time (the show runs for one month) the SLO UMC gives to the Beacon Art Show. There is prize money for distinguished works, and the jurors are asked to select a piece for purchase by the church. The SLO UMC has joined the ranks of a large number of county venues for local artists. The pastor of the church, Rev. Jane Voigts, has a theatre background, and has warmly welcomed the arts at the UMC since her arrival in 2006. She also serves the arts on the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council. Among the organizers of the Beacon Art Show is Beth Mott, a longtime leader in art
There was a time when churches and cathedrals were the only patrons for significant art. That began to change during the Renaissance. By the 20th century, especially in America, religious art was in decline. It had become retrogressive, illustrative, sentimental and certainly not conducive to awe. Some have blamed the “Bibliocentric” orientation of Protestantism, evangelicalism and funM A Y
Chalise by Bob Kerwin
education in California. There are various arts presentations at the SLO UMC throughout the year, and readers are invited to visit their website for updated programming. Through my own involvement with this friendly, idealistic, arts-oriented congregation, I have encouraged them to sharpen their quest of the spiritual and religious in contemporary art. It seems a good time to raise this bar within the annual Beacon Art Show, and it would fill a real need, giving the SLO UMC a distinctive arts leadership role in our county. It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch; after all, the national UMC already has a commitment “for the transformation of the world.” So, as a vital parallel to the church’s local and global transformative work, I believe that innovative, deeply humane art executed with wisdom, passion and conviction – also transforms the world. As I said at the outset, much of the art we have come to love came out of a church. (To further explore contemporary religious art, see: www.ajp.com, Artistic Judaic Promotions, and www.civa.org, Christians in the Visual Arts.)
Beacon Art Show awards ceremony
The 4th Beacon Art Show, “Art and Soul,” runs through May 1. San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks Street, SLO. 805-543-7580. www.sloumc.com.
central coast rare fruit growers chapter
inspiring our next generation of food growers By Leslie Jones
eing raised on a small Californian avocado ranch provided the opportunity to learn to truly appreciate the value of growing something on our land while watching it come to fruition. Fewer kids have that experience these days so more community programs are providing outreach to our next generation of farmers, land owners and food growers.
project in 1998, which has turned into an annual event. The Central Coast chapter buys apple rootstocks in large quantities and passes on the discount price to the high schools. CRFG members, along with Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors, take the rootstocks to high schools to show the students how to graft.
On a gorgeous spring day after the recent rains had subsided, students at Cambria’s Coast Union High School gathered to learn how to graft apple trees. This pristine valley location offered the ideal setting for this organic, close-to-the-earth experience and the excitement was palpable. It was truly inspirational to see these young adults feeling a sense of accomplishment while enthusiastically talking about how they were motivated to grow their own gardens at home.
“I have been a teacher all my life and love to teach ‘hands-on skills’ and to see the results and the students’ reaction to their learning!” explains Sabol. “It is fun to teach and to teach a skill that has value. The best part comes when the new skill motivates the student to think and to question and to want more! I love it!” he adds.
Joe Sabol, President of the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) and retired Cal Poly Agricultural Education and Communication Professor, started the high school grafting
“First, the students see a miracle. Grafting is an amazing magic act. I am confident this magic stimulates interest in all areas of plant science and agriculture. Furthermore, it gives them a direct connection to their food. We really encourage students to eat more apples, try different varieties and then see how much fun it is to grow their own! Grafting an apple tree and then planting it gives them some hope, knowing they will harvest some fantastic apples from this simple beginning,” he explains. Cyndie Wilson, the Agriculture Department and Science Department Chairperson at Coast Union High School is also the FFA Advisor. She is very much in favor of projects such as these. “Students who get to do hands-on activities like grafting trees or growing plants and gardens remember each step in what they are learning because they have actually physically done it, not just been told about it or taken notes on it,” Wilson mentions.
Joe Sabol, President of the California Rare Fruit Growers Association.
“I also think it gives them a chance to actually learn where their food comes from – not just from the store or out of the refrigerator. Students learn in different ways, and in this type of activity they can learn from listening to an instructor, learn by watching others do the activity, be part of a team, and be successful. The apple trees are amazingly forgiving. Most of them will grow beautifully – even for first time grafters,” she adds.
Local students grafting their own Apple Trees
“The students do grow amazing projects in our greenhouse and many of them are sold at the local Farmers’ Markets. There they learn about marketing and pricing. They learn about supply and demand when they grow something that people love, but the student may not have all that the consumer wants. They learn about pricing, advertising and record keeping. They learn real life skills in our vocational agriculture classes,” Wilson explains. While students in the agricultural classes are required to have a Supervised Agriculture Experience project, and required to keep records, apple grafting adds a bit of fun to the process. Back in the school’s agricultural unit there is a ten-year-old apple tree that one student manages each year and sells to the local markets. And tree grafting does lead to other related interests. “I love to teach and also to garden…this is a perfect match for me,” explains Sabol. “I love it when I meet a Cal Poly student studying agriculture who tells me they grafted an apple tree 4 or 5 years ago while in high school and the tree is growing and producing apples every year!” “Our Rare Fruit Grower volunteers are confident that we have thousands of apple trees growing in back yards all over San Luis Obispo County. Knowing this fact and that these young people ‘own’ that tree is very rewarding to me,” he adds. This joint venture has proven to be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Students win since they are able to create their own tree. CRFG members win with the satisfaction of seeking the quality of the grafts made by the students. Ag Ambassadors win by staying in touch with local high school students. And high school agriculture teachers win with the low-cost/high-interest activity in their classrooms. This year the High School Grafting Project helped students graft 3,300 apple roots! M A Y
Huttle up following our guys By Bob Huttle
“You know you take your worries to the game and you leave ‘em there. You yell like crazy for your guys. It’s good for your lungs, gives you a lift, and nobody calls the cops.” ---Humphrey Bogart I’ve been thinking often lately about friends. After our families (and maybe sometimes instead of them), who is more important to each of us than our friends? If we’re lucky and keep ourselves open to all, a steady progression of significant people accompanies us throughout our lives. We start with our sandbox, child care buddies, move to elementary school cohorts, on through middle school, where friends then can sometimes become less so later. Then on to high school, where we think our friends will be connected to us as “BFF” (best friends forever). College conspirators emerge, often all night study partners or weekend warriors followed by work mates and pals who sometimes turn into rivals. Into adulthood we go, oftentimes with marriage to our best friend, then our own kids who play with other kids whose parents become our friends through school, church, Little League, softball, club soccer, dance, or gymnastics. We add professional colleagues along the way and, as we move up in years, our retired friends are now our golfing hackers, traveling companions in RVs, organized tour mates, or rental car passengers driving all over the map. Eventually for many, our closest friends might be those we sit next to in the dining room or who play dominoes or cards with us in the recreation room at in an assisted living facility like The Villages, the Manse or Las Brisas. Of all my friends (excepting my wife, who is my best friend) the ones who offer me the most entertainment, the most common connection, and the most fun are my sports buddies. We follow our teams religiously, agonizing over every spectacular play, bungled error or inexplicable loss. We talk sports incessantly, always ready for “tomorrow” and better results. Sports buddies usually gravitate towards
like-minded team supporters (athletic supporters?!). They travel in packs like hyenas, laughingly and verbally sparing with rival fans. Chief among my sports buddies are Gary, Chris, Jeff, Ivan, and my youngest son, Mckay. We live for the Lakers and die with the Dodgers (especially last year when the dreaded Giants won it all). We tolerate our second-string pals, Dale and Will, who can never hope to join our inner circle because Dale wears red for his Angels and Will red for his Phillies. Dale also jumped on the bandwagon last season when the Giants were winning. No shame. As I’ve mentioned, real sports buddies travel together, getting out of the house and actually attending games after usually purchasing outrageously – priced tickets online. In the past few years our little cult has been back and forth to Lakers and Dodgers games and we are now even serious enough to travel to Arizona for spring training baseball. Seven games in five days? Our wives wonder if we’re losing it. They don’t understand the attraction of us sizzling in the hot sun for hours, sweat pouring from every pore, sun block in a standoff with UV rays, as we watch overpaid, spoiled, muscle-bound men with uniform numbers in the 80s and 90s take a game and make it a business, often too self-absorbed to sign autographs for little kids. Come to think of it, why WOULD we do this? Male DNA? Testosterone? Stupidity? Nah, it’s for the camaraderie, the jokes, the stories, the history, the belching, the needling. It’s following our guys. Going to a game with your sports buddies often involves a road trip. In our case, it’s off to Los Angeles for the champion Lakers or the also-ran Dodgers (though Gary insists this is our year). Usually it’s a twelve hour Sunday; leave at 8 a.m., home by 8:00 p.m. “Pedal to the Metal.” Gary drives his Honda Fit (“The Torture Box”), which seems entirely logical given that he’s recently purchased a comfortable, roomy, fully-equipped Ford Explorer, which is driven instead by wife Katie three blocks to Blackhorse Espresso. Gary remarks, pleased with his pithy joke, “Hey guys, we can fit. Get it? Ha!” Right. Hey, we’re men; we’re supposed to suffer. On any given trip, the last person in – maybe it’s Dale, who’s always late – has the honor of riding up front. Dale never opens his eyes for three hours (he’s NOT sleeping and his knuckles are chalk white). The other two sports buddies – maybe it’s Chris and me – cram into the back, heads bowed, hunched over in a “this airplane is going down, brace for impact” position. The Fit’s speedometer tops out at 80 mph – Gary does 90. Because our eyes are also closed, we can’t watch for the CHP; Gary solves this by constantly looking backwards, side to side and, occasionally, to the front. Every now and then he checks his text messages. Despite our cold fear, we talk, talk, talk about plays, players, ESPN’s Top Ten plays, prodigious home runs, Cy Young pitching candidates, stadiums, Sandy Koufax vs Clayton Kershaw, Vinny and Chick, the best hot dogs, Kobe Bryant’s astounding will to win, the Dodgers new way to lose with a ten run lead and two outs in the ninth, Tommy Lasorda’s radical anti-diet, or the hated Giants or Celtics. Half way home, we stop at In ’N Out Burgers in Ventura and then it’s home via San Marcos Pass, 90 mph all the way. Why this madness, which baffles many women and lights a fire in the hearts of many men? It’s simple really: we’re just following our guys. Bob can be reached at email@example.com. He welcomes your response and play by play commentary. However, you might find him too sidetracked to respond right away. After all, it’s May, baseball is in full swing, and the Lakers are hopefully marching towards another championship parade.
Dale, Gary, Chris, and Bob at a Lakers game M A Y
The secret gardens of san marcos ridge
Atascadero library fundraiser By Deborah Cash
t’s tempting…to NOT share this story. Having moved nearly three years ago from SLO to an area with an obscure moniker and an even more obscure street sign, I’ve come to love—and covet—Atascadero’s west side 3F Meadows as a secret Garden of Eden that most people, upon hearing “3F Meadows,” seem completely oblivious to and curiously disinterested in. The name perhaps? No matter, the fewer who know the better by me. But, faced with an opportunity to support the greater good—in this case raising funds for the Atascadero Library expansion—I am happy to pass along an invitation to the public to attend an enjoyable, educational and interesting day touring our neighborhood gardens at the “Secret Gardens of San Marcos Ridge” garden tour. Want to peek inside one of those places where the neighbors are neighborly, the summer nights incredible and the setting peaceful and quiet? Where traffic is minimal, save for the handful of residents and their guests along the sublime, rustic, gorgeously craggy ridgeline? Here’s your chance!
A quick left on ‘don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it’ Monita (41 west to San Gabriel) begins your journey into an area that will eventually drop you at Highway 41 toward Morro Bay. Be prepared to drive slowly—and carefully. The road winds up, up with homes perched on the edges of lots, carved into hillsides and balanced on precarious overhangs. Across the road, driveways plunge downward to home sites seeming to defy the laws of physics. Thousands of beautiful oaks dot the hills; you’re likely to glimpse the occasional deer, wild turkey, fox, covey of quail…yes, lovely. The 3F Meadows Ranch area was a former Spanish land grant comprised of thousands of acres, as was much of the territory in our county. Over time, the property divided up, most recently in 1995 when a local developer parceled out more than 800 acres for a subdivision toward the north west side of San Marcos. But, in a general sense, the dozens of homes in the neighborhood proper consider themselves part of the original designation with many being built much earlier than the 1990s. The Friends of the Atascadero Library’s Garden Tour offers a wonderful and exclusive opportunity beyond what someone taking a scenic tour through the neighborhood might experience. Garden Tour guests will revel in the vistas and landscape from the gardens and decks of nine homes along the route. No two views are alike, nor are the gardens that showcase styles from contemporary to clever, whimsical to working. A feature of the tour is that guests can take away ideas for working with challenging conditions like extreme weather, rocky soil, and critters and bugs as well as get the inside story on how our gardeners incorporate native plants and try to conserve water in their overall plan. For example, one garden illustrates the popular concept of replacing a huge, thirsty lawn with a more practical—and yet very attractive—low maintenance and drought resistant landscape and hardscape. Nearby, a tour stop boasts a proliferation of flowers, shrubs, trees and a walkway to adjacent fruit and vegetable gardens. You’ll enjoy a proper English garden and one with native trees, shrubs, horses and
a resting spot under a huge oak; across the street meet real live chickens in an organic garden setting. Like wild flowers, meadows and vines? Got ‘em. And, as well, the hardscaping features may provide inspiration for walkways, patios and planters. Seeking the unusual? Discover delicate specimens, found art and rock formations, and nearby, explore infinity decks boasting incredible views, areas to relax and lots of color. Learn how to design to enhance views and incorporate areas for practical use like growing food and provide serene areas for meditation and reflection. Plus, the gardeners themselves, and their docents, will guide you around and gladly provide information and advice. Join us Saturday, May 7 from 10 AM – 2 PM. The tour route is several miles long so you may wish to drive but it’s a fun walk or bike ride for the hardy. Either way, sturdy walking shoes or gardening shoes are de rigueur as you will be, in some cases, walking on winding/steep pathways, uneven surfaces and in the dirt! Call 461-1755 for tickets that are $15 in advance and $20 day-of, available at each end of the tour. Visit www.atascaderofriendsofthelibrary.org for additional information and photos. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this event go to open the doors of the new Atascadero Library. Finally, as much as we all love animals up here, we ask that you not bring your pets into the tour area. You may certainly bring your camera however and document your day in this little corner of creation. But, shhhh. Don’t tell anybody! M A Y
community steps fORward for schools By Dr. Julian Crocker, County Superintendent of Schools
ith the impact of the state budget problems on our schools, it is important to remember how many examples we have of our community stepping forward to help our students and schools. Here are just three examples of this good news. Local Scholarships. As our high school seniors turn their thoughts to their next step after high school, I am always amazed at how much money is made available locally for college scholarships. Each year, almost $2 million is donated locally by our community for financial assistance for our graduating seniors. This amount is in addition to any grants and loans that students may receive from their colleges or universities. These local scholarships come from
individuals, service clubs, local organizations, and other groups that know the value of continuing education after high school and is a tribute to our community. Central Coast Classic High School All-Star Football Game. On Saturday night, June 4th, many of our graduating high school senior football players will have a unique opportunity to participate in a local all-star football game. The game will be played at Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria with fourteen central coast high schools participating. The game is under the sponsorship of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes with 100% of the proceeds going back to the participating high schools to support high school athletics. Graduating senior athletes from both the Los Padres and the PAC 7 leagues will be divided into a North team with players from Nipomo, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, Templeton, Atascadero and Paso Robles high schools; and a South team with athletes from Lompoc, Cabrillo, Santa Ynez, Pioneer Valley, Santa Maria, Righetti and St. Joseph high schools. Local high school football coaches will be coaching the two teams. The game has two purposes. First, it will give local high school athletes a chance to compete one last time with other athletes against whom they have competed for the last four years. All Star games give athletes a chance to be on the same team with former opponents before many of them continue playing football at the college level. The second purpose is to raise money to make up from some of the funding that has been cut from local high school athletic programs during these difficult budget times. This game is another example of how the community is stepping up to help our schools. For example, eleven auto dealerships have donated $2,500 each to cover the cost of a new car that will be given away at half time. So, someone will walk away from the game on June 4th with a new car for only the $20 cost of a raffle ticket! The Band of Chumash Indians and Catholic Healthcare West have also made significant contributions to this event. Many local businesses such as Vons, The Hitching Post, Gunther’s Athletic Service, Jersey Mike’s, JC Trophy, Ritchie Photography and Under Armour have donated food and services in support of the game. The Santa Maria Times is assisting in the production of the game program and KCOY-TV is giving three hundred free commercials to promote the game. Tickets are $10 and are available from local high schools and will also be available on game night and at various Vons locations in the county. Operation School Bell. One of the most consistent supporters for our students is the Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County and their sponsorship of Operation School Bell which provides clothes for needy students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Over 1000 county students have been clothed through Operation School Bell. In addition, fifty 7th and 8th grade students have received clothes through Sue’s Stars that targets middle school students. These clothes are made available from local merchants, such as Kohl’s, with the funds coming from local fundraising events and donations from local service clubs. Although our attention is often drawn to Operation School Bell at the beginning of the school year, it is important to remember the positive impact this program makes for students all year. These are just three examples of how fortunate our schools and students are to have the support of our community during these very difficult budget times for our local school districts.
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By State law, freeholders were required to be residents and voters in the community for at least five years. The more difficult issue was who would represent the special interest groups identified as the Merchant’s Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Municipal League. In a joint meeting, a slate of candidates was chosen for election. In effect, those elected become the local founding fathers.
Charter city San Luis Obispo By Joseph A. Carotenuti
Only three of the original Freeholders served on the new group: • Warren M. John, the new postmaster, with no affiliation with a faction was chosen chairman of the group. His wife, Callie, would become the longest serving City Clerk (1913-1941).
hile the first attempt to promote San Luis Obispo as a charter city (1907) met with voter disapproval, there were those who knew determination had its own rewards. Since the earlier proposed charter has not been found except for its Table of Contents, comparison with the second version is not possible but it is likely the same issues predominated the deliberations and formation of the new charter. Here’s the story.
Warren M. John
Again, fifteen Freeholders were elected on April 11, 1910. The issue quickly became which fifteen to place on the ballot as “factions” demanded representation. Some even considered abandoning the idea to become a “fifth class” city.
Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County &
present the 5th Annual
barbecue Saturday, June 4th • 5pm
A Fundraiser to Benefit La Clinica de Tolosa Children’s Dental Clinic
6717 Avila Valley Road, Avila Beach
provided by Dining with André
prepared by Kiwanis SLO de Tolosa
Dessert & Coffee by Dining with André & Black Horse Espresso
Eberle Winery • Halter Ranch • St. Hilaire Winery • Tolosa Winery • Wood Winery
Live Music & Dancing
featuring “Unfinished Business” – ’60s Rock-N-Roll Band
MAG-nificent Wine Raffle • Auction Ticket Donation $75 per person* OR $750 Premium Table for 8 (Includes 2 bottles of wine for the table, first through buffet line.)
Call 801-5433 for tickets *Partnership for the Children / La Clinica de Tolosa is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Fed. Tax ID 77-0346861 M A Y
• Dr. William M. Stover (a Chamber of Commerce representative) was twice elected mayor (1915-1919). • Louis F. Sinsheimer – representing the Merchant’s Association – would become the longest serving Mayor in the City’s history (1919-1939). Additionally, the Daily Telegram emphasized some of the benefits of regulation by a charter “not obtainable under any of the ‘class’ designations” for communities: no sudden rises in taxes, clear provisions as to street work, procedures for obtaining park sites, holding the water works “forever,” removing “faithless” public officials, procedures for the “people” to initiate legislation, public “say” as to the granting of a public utility franchise, abolishing useless offices, and competitive bidding for public works. High expectations and results were again demanded of the Freeholders. The Charter was completed on July 8 – within the statutory 90 days for formulation – and accepted by the Council the next day with an election scheduled for early September. Undoubtedly, some provisions, if not most, replicated the first charter. If adopted, the new charter would transform the operations of the community. Proposed changes began at the top. The Mayor’s role as chief executive officer also required a yearly report on city affairs, employing a “competent” accountant to examine financial transactions, and supervision of the public utilities….especially water. Each of the four councilmen became a Commissioner: Public Health and Safety, Supplies, Public Works, and Revenue and Finance expected to exercise “active management and control” of his department. No
COMMUNITY issue could be decided if a department’s Commissioner was not present. Some 56 specific “powers” were reserved to the elected officials. Bureaucracy was addressed as “useless offices” needed to be abolished as well as consolidated. The Charter specifically addressed the creation of staff positions most notably adding a police chief with the proviso (among many) that any fee collected be sent to the treasurer. Library trustees served without compensation. As detailed by the newspaper, city taxes needed to be “limited” and prevented from any “sudden raise in the rate as was done a few months ago.” The result in the charter was a calendar for preliminary and draft budgets starting four months before a final levy. The rate not to exceed 85 cents per $100 assessed valuation did not include a school budget and bonded indebtedness. The annual Tax Levy varied but hovered around $2.25. As the community was spreading geographically, streets, sidewalks, sewage, and water came to dominate city business and budgets requiring “provisions.” A major proposal was to consolidate duties of the city engineer as “superintendent” for streets and water. Public work contracts were awarded to the lowest bidder warned against collusion between council members or among bidders. Some stipulation was required to permit the people to have legislation voted upon and not petition “trustees as rulers” to do so. Residents needed the means to influence government beyond voting for candidates. Articles XIII and XIV provided the citizenry with initiative and referendum procedures. Article XII specified recall procedures for the removal of “faithless” elected officials. Anyone elected had three months before the voters could start a petition of recall. Expectations ran high as – if adopted – the charter of 17 Articles and 110 Sections would transform the operations and character of the community. A simple majority vote was needed to pass the new Charter. The choice was clear: a charter city had more command of its municipal destiny than a community controlled by the authorities in Sacramento. On September 12, 1910, the people voted and the City began a fresh career. Of the 821 voters, 65% approved the charter. The former mission settlement for 84 years, then town for 20 years and with only 35 years experience as a city was now starting a new municipal chapter. The next step was to send the approved charter to the Secretary of State a few days before Christmas. Both the Senate and Assembly ratified the Charter on January 16 and February 17, 1911 respectively. Another election was required on the first Monday in May with subsequent elections being held in April beginning in 1913. In the meanwhile, the officials – both elected and appointed – remained in office. On Monday, May 15, 1911, the first Charter City Council convened with Mayor Archibald McAlister, four council members (including two carryover officials) and most appointed personnel continuing to serve the community. One hundred years later, after some 50 elections and twenty mayors along with various amendments, we remain a Charter City.
A LOOK BACK
Sailing on san luis obispo bay in 1934 By Lori Lawson
y family has lived in San Luis Obispo all of our lives. My father, Gerard L. Parsons has always been well known in the San Luis Obispo Community, his business at San Luis Mill and Lumber, his long-time passion through Port San Luis Harbor Commission, and his love of antique cars. He was a charter member of the San Luis “Preel” was one of the Yacht Club’s early boats, Yacht Club and held built by my grandfather, Lee R. Parsons. his membership for 72 years. He also helped build the clubhouse and wrote the mini book, “History of the San Luis Yacht Club.” He was one of the “founding fathers” of the Port San Luis Harbor District serving 32 years as a Harbor Commissioner, and wrote the “Port San Luis Trials and Tribulations 1865-1995.” Below is a story that he loved to tell me about his younger days (when he was just 15 years old) and sailing on San Luis Obispo Bay. One beautiful day in 1934, Gerard Leroy Parsons and his friend Robert “Bob” Jack of the famous Jack family drove in Gerard’s Model T Ford down to Avila Beach. After arriving at Avila, they strolled out on the Avila pier and noticed all of the boats moored along side the pier. Gerard said that his friend Leonard Lenger owned one of the boats, and “I don’t believe he would mind if we borrowed his boat and took it out for a short sail.” Gerard and Bob hoisted the sails and headed across the bay on a beautiful day with a mild sailing breeze. The boat was moving very slowly and the boys wanted a little stronger sailing breeze, so they decided to head outside the Port San Luis breakwater. Robert Moorefield, the Point San Luis Lighthouse keeper, viewed the boys sailing in the rough water outside the breakwater. He noted that the lads were in trouble. At that moment, a large gust of wind knocked the boat down. Moorefield was quite concerned, so he rushed down to the lighthouse pier, boarded the lighthouse launch, fired up the motor, went around the end of the lighthouse breakwater, and saved the boys lives. Moorefield then towed the disabled vessel back in to Avila Beach and deposited the drenched, soaking-wet boys on the Avila pier. Gerard and Bob thanked Moorefield for saving their lives and for saving the boat. Later the boys met with Lenger and apologized for the damage done to his vessel. Gerard and Bob spent untold hours working on repairs to make the boat return to its tip-top shape. Gerard is currently 92 years of age, still living in his home in San Luis Obispo with his lovely wife, Betty; He will be 93 in March of this year. M A Y
hospice corner Frequently asked questions about hospice care By Laurie Lackland, RN, BSN
Who is eligible for hospice care? A person with a life-limiting illness who has been given a prognosis of six months or less from his/her physician, is no longer seeking curative treatment, and desires Hospice support is eligible.
Does a terminally ill person have to fully accept his/her prognosis in order to be a hospice patient? No. Ambivalence is normal and acceptance is a process. Hospice never takes a person’s hope away. Hospice staff will help patients and their families redefine hope as they begin to accept their death. For example, hope may mean staying well enough to attend an
important event or it may mean living and dying without pain. However, the physician must have discussed the prognosis with the patient and the patient must understand and desire Hospice services.
Isn’t calling hospice like giving up? No. First of all, the patient’s primary doctor has to estimate a prognosis of six months or less. This prognosis is his/her best guess but it may not be accurate. If a patient stabilizes, improves or has a remission, he/she will be “graduated,” or go off the hospice program. The focus of hospice care is not so much about dying as it is about attending to the needs of living. Hospice serves to support quality of life by helping families adjust to and cope with the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges of a life threatening illness.
Does one have to have cancer to be a hospice patient? No. Hospice is for any person with any disease or illness who has a life expectancy of six months or less.
My mother is terminally ill but she just can’t make the call to hospice. What can I do? Calling hospice for the first time can be an overwhelming and frightening task.
Sometimes people jump directly from that telephone call to the thought of their death and they are unable to recognize all the help and support hospice offers in between. It can be helpful to break down this task for people. One approach may be, “Let’s set up an appointment for the hospice RN to come out and just explain how the program works. Then after she leaves you can think about it and decide later.” Often just meeting the RN and getting accurate information can dispel most of the fears.
Does hospice provide 24 hour care for patients who live alone? No. Hospice provides intermittent visits. If a patient lives alone and does not have family or friends who can take on the responsibility of primary care provider, private in-home caregivers are available for hire or the patient can move to a facility such as a Board and Care or Skilled Nursing Facility when he/she is no longer able to be alone.
Do state and federal reviewers inspect and evaluate licensed hospices? Yes. There are state licensure requirements that must be met by hospice programs in order for them to deliver care. In addition, hospices must comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare. Hospices must periodically undergo inspection to be sure they are meeting regulatory standards in order to maintain their license to operate and the certification that permits Medicare reimbursement.
How can I find out if a hospice provides excellent care? Many hospices use tools to let them see how well they are doing in relation to quality hospice standards. To help hospice programs in making sure they give quality care and service, the National Hospice and
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COMMUNITY Palliative Care Organization has developed recommended standards entitled â€˜Standards of Practice for Hospice Programsâ€™ as one way of ensuring quality. NHPCO also offers hospices a tool to do a selfevaluation of their program compared to the NHPCO Standards. Ask the hospice when they last completed a self-assessment using the NHPCO Standards. In addition, most programs use family satisfaction surveys to get feedback on their services and make improvements. Ask the hospice to share a summary of their family satisfaction scores for the last several months with you. You can also ask them if they participate in the national Family Evaluation of Hospice Care. If they do, they should be able to provide you with a summary that compares their scores with the national average scores.
Who pays for Hospice Care? Medicare, Medi-Cal and most private insurance plans provide benefits for hospice services, provided certain medical and eligibility requirements are met. Hospice Partnersâ€™ staff will work with your insurance company to coordinate coverage. In cases where individuals are uninsured or under-insured, community contributions allow Hospice Partners to offer financial assistance based on need. Because of the ongoing generosity of our community, we are able to say that admission to the Hospice Partners is based on need rather than on the ability to pay. Hospice Partners receives no reimbursement for our bereavement services, which are provided free of charge.
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Palm Street Perspective welcome aboard
By SLO City Councilman, Dan Carpenter
hank you to the many citizens of San Luis Obispo for welcoming me to my new position on City Council. With my appointment in late December, I had to hit the ground running to insure that I was indoctrinated, and up to speed for the start of the two year budget and goal setting process that began in January. I can accurately report that I have survived the first four months of my term. As most of you know, I spent many years on the City’s Cultural Heritage Committee and Planning Commission in partial preparation for this ultimate responsibility. However, nothing could have fully enlightened me as to the level of time and commitment necessary. With the amount of information available online, it’s incumbent on each of us to do more than scratch the surface on the issues we face. Our citizens deserve nothing less. My most rewarding moments thus far have been the personal interaction with so many of my constituents in the community. Availability and transparency is something I will continue to strive for, and hopefully meet the needs of those I serve. I am continuing with my commitment as volunteer Finance Director for the History Center of SLO County. With my family having been a significant part of San Luis Obispo for many generations, how could I not? Like many nonprofits, we too are not immune to
this economic downturn. The organization has made many changes in recent months, with the ultimate goal of preserving our County’s rich history, and educating future generations of Historians. My position on Council has also afforded me the opportunity to continue my efforts in supporting the homeless in our community. I will continue to work closely with the many agencies that provide these much needed services. We can be very proud of the citizens in our community that continue to offer dignity and compassion to this unfortunate, but ever growing part of our population. As this article comes out, we are smack in the middle of our two year budget and goal setting process, with anticipation of delivering a balanced budget to the community by the end of June. I’m proud to be a part of the process as I work closely with my colleagues on Council to deliver a budget that will continue to provide the unprecedented level of services our community has come to expect, while at the same time maintaining fiscal soundness.
hold jobs, maintains fiscal responsibility with essential services, and protects the health of our precious neighborhoods, will be a significant challenge in light of the obvious constraints facing the City. It’s our hope that we can continue to secure the quality of life amenities that we’ve all come to expect. Thank you again for your support as it’s been a pleasure and honor to serve you. I look forward to the challenges we will face during my remaining time on Council. Please contact me at your convenience by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by phone (431-3174).
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Some very robust priorities were set by your Council during the 2011-13 budget & goal setting process this past January. We will be focusing on Economic Development, Preservation of Essential Services & Fiscal health, and Neighborhood Wellness. An environment that encourages quality head-of-house-
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The Magazine of Downtown San Luis Obispo
W h a t â€™s U p New Business News
W h a t ’ s
A r o u n d
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perspective—though even as you’re reading this, change continues its inevitable march.
f you’ve been keeping an eye on local media lately, you’re probably aware of the arrival of a number of new businesses to Downtown— and the departure of yet others. That, and changes to the parkingscape in Downtown may have snagged your attention as well.
or starters, it is ALWAYS painful and disappointing to me when any Downtown business goes belly up. Probably because I used to be a small business owner myself and know how it feels to not only lose your oth scenarios—the comings and goings business, money and livelihood but your of commercial ventures—and now (or dream as well. Starting your own business is Deborah Cash, CMSM, as of July 1) paying to park on Sundays in Executive Director risky and without guarantee but the beauty Downtown, illustrate the ongoing evolution of small business is that most people charge of a typical urban setting, but are worth taking ahead in spite of that. And some make it. Others, well, the time to understand in terms of what they mean it’s a documented fact that a majority of new startups for our community. In and of themselves, these events shutter up within a few years. But when you have some don’t signal trends or Armageddon but they do mean long timers who’ve become part of the fabric of your that Downtown’s changing. Change isn’t always easy, community bid farewell, it’s somehow harder to take. particularly these days where it seems to come faster and faster with no chance to get used to what just ori Miller, owner of the recently closed Muzio’s, happened, now it’s new all over again. Rather like dropped a dollar tip in the jar at Linnaea’s even your computer or cell phone or teenager. Yikes! as she told me about having invested everything she had into her relocated deli and then realizing it wasn’t feel an obligation, because I have a ringside penciling out. It was hard for me to end our conversation seat, to provide some insight into these recent abruptly and leave for a meeting on this sad note. I goings on that might calm nerves and provide some
On the Cover: You'll definitely know it's spring time at Thursday Night Farmers Market on May 5, the annual Mother's Day Flower Giveaway event. Last year, mom (and former Councilmember) Christine Mulholland obviously enjoys receiving her flower, courtesy of the Downtown Association and Wells Fargo and shares a hug with Promotions Assistant Joey Chavez. The giveaway starts at 6 PM, corner Chorro and Higuera until all 500 flowers, graciously donated by Eufloria Flowers, are gone! Photo by Deborah Cash
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wished I could spend the day with her to offer comfort and friendship for all she had given to Downtown over the past two decades. Hopefully I still can.
hen, I read about Novel Experience closing. I guess it wasn’t the best timing in the world that owner Jim Hill was on the ‘around Downtown’ cover last month—honestly, I had no idea of the store’s imminent closing—but in retrospect, I’m glad it worked out that way. Jim ran a good shop, but as I mentioned above about the exponential onslaught of change, keeping up in the world of the booksellers is now a different game. Was it just a few years ago that we first heard of ipads or kindles? Sometimes a business owner just has to decide which path they want to take, and closing isn’t about failure, it’s just about change.
hese stories demonstrate that small businesses come and go for a variety of reasons; sometimes unfortunate, sometimes just because. So let’s not read into these examples any ‘trend’ or that Downtown is going downhill. Because as you’ll read on the following pages, new businesses are backfilling in the wake and Downtown will continue its history of evolving and keeping up with the times.
hich brings us to the new reality that now guests coming Downtown in their cars will have to
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& C R E M AT O RY
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put money in the meters on Sundays. Not unusual for most communities that have metered parking in their downtown areas, but definitely a paradigm shift for SLO folks who’ve come to expect the luxury of storing their cars for free in the middle of Downtown on Sundays—IF they can find the spaces! Because, and a lot of people don’t realize this, employees take advantage of the free meters and basically take up most of the desirable spaces. (This was one of the reasons for installing meters in the first place, back in the mid 1950s.) Currently, the income from the on-street parking goes into the Parking Enterprise Fund, separate from the City’s general fund. This money pays for parking management as well as building and maintaining parking structures. I can tell you from first-hand observation that it's precisely because of the parking department's excellent management that anyone who wants to park Downtown, can.
ou’ll likely continue to hear or read about the continual cycle of business activity in Downtown SLO. In fact, both the properties mentioned earlier have had inquiries about the spaces and most likely won’t be vacant for long. And hopefully within a year or so, you’ll be able to swipe your credit or debit card at a parking meter and not have to worry about change, the coin type, anyway…around Downtown.
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N e w s and Games in Downtown San Luis Obispo. The quaint Marsh Street location is the first of its kind in the area, giving Cain a leg up on the competition. He chose Downtown for the location of his self-owned and operated store for the high amount of foot traffic along the streets.
Dr. Cain's Comics and Games
Reid Cain, Owner 778 Marsh Street, Suite 110 www.drcainscomics.com www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-CainsComics-and-Games 805-356-4053 Comic books have always been a staple in Reid Cain’s life, from his teenage years and into college where he worked at a comic book store while going to school. Cain started working in architectural design when he graduated from college, but changed his mind and decided to try a different career path, working with his true passion: comic books. Wanting to bring his love of comics as well as his knowledge to the masses, Cain opened Dr. Cain’s Comics
The walls are lined with many different comics for all ages and demographics. Cain is hoping to gain a well-rounded customer base including children and women, setting him apart from other comic book stores that focus mainly on men 18 and older. Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games is open daily 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. By: Allison Platz
Located on the corner of Morro and Monterey streets, customers walking and peering at the perfectly designed window displays to and from the parking structure are pleasantly surprised with the hidden treasures found in the store. The Taylors spend their free time doing what they love and do best: thrifting and buying. Going to flea markets, yard sales and looking for items that they would personally buy is what the business owners fill the shelves of their store with.
Michael Taylor, Owner 956 Monterey Street 805-783-2616 The old is being made new at San Luis Obispo’s most recent second hand store, Ontology. Michael Taylor, a construction worker by trade, has combined his passions for yard sale shopping and flea market thrifting to become the hippest second hand retail store Downtown. Born in Paso Robles and a resident of Morro Bay, Taylor and his wife chose to begin their business because of their personal love for gently used and antique items. To share this love with residents of San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast, the Taylors opened their eclectic and fun store with the name Ontology. Ontology was appropriately titled after Taylor Googled and searched for an edgier and more intelligent synonym of the word “stuff.”
In a time when customers are looking to save rather than spend an extra dollar, Ontology has come to the rescue to provide wanted items at affordable prices. The philosophy and mission of the store is “keeping things inexpensive.” Hours of operation are Monday - Wednesday 11-6, Thursday - Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 12-5. By: Natalie Stone “family to gather together and enjoy one another. [Mama’s Meatball] is a restaurant with quality food at a good price.” The name of the restaurant originated from the idea to provide customers with homestyle cooking, the same taste and feeling they would receive from their own mother’s kitchen.
Mama’s Meatball Fine Italian Cuisine
Nicola Allegretta, Owner and Executive Chef 570 Higuera Street, Suite 130 (805) 544-0861 Mama’s Meatball Fine Italian Cuisine, a San Luis Obispo and Central Coast favorite, has opened its doors to more customers by expanding its business through building an additional dining room. Nestled on Higuera Street, in the Old Creamery, the family-owned business specializes in offering fine Italian cuisine along with full service catering to the public. A customer favorite, Mama’s Meatball recently celebrated their fifth anniversary by unveiling the restaurant’s newest addition, the Tuscany Room, an Italian-inspired dining room that accommodates an additional fifty people. The expansion of the business now allows for families and friends to make reservations prior to dining at the restaurant for evening seating or private events. Nicola Allegretta, owner and executive chef of Mama’s Meatball, came to the United States from Italy with a passion and love for food. Allegretta’s mission and vision for his restaurant is for
The Italian restaurant is loved and appreciated not only by families, businesses, and students in the community, but has increased in recognition within the wedding industry. TheKnot.com, an engagement and wedding website, awarded Mama’s Meatball Caterer Best of Weddings for 2010 and 2011 in gratitude to real couples’ reviews of the restaurant’s services. Customers continuously return to Mama’s Meatball for more than their delicious homemade pasta and bread, live entertainment on Tuesday and Sunday evenings by Italian artist Tony Viola, or the Italian theme of the dining rooms. Mama’s Meatball takes families and friends who visit their restaurant to an evening meal in Italy, cooked with Italian love and a mother’s inspiration. By: Natalie Stone
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French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) is proud to announce a series of new Type 1 Diabetes Support Groups, to meet on the last Monday of each month in the FHMC Auditorium. Each support group will meet on the assigned day from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The dates and topics covered are as follows: May 30th – Diabetes and Relationships, June 27th, July 25th, September 26th, October 31st and November 28th. The support groups are free of charge and are open to the public. No reservations are necessary. For more information, call Sandra Miller, R.D., C.D.E. at (805) 542-6229.
give kids a smile at la clinica de tolosa La Clinica de Tolosa recently hosted two Give Kids A Smile® clinics, an annual initiative of the American Dental Association in which free dental care was provided to school-aged children whose families can not otherwise afford dental care. 51 children received a comprehensive exam, x-rays and treatment plan delivered by an all-volunteer team of local dental professionals comprised of 12 dentists, 2 dental hygienists, 10 dental assistants, and 5 interns from Alan Hancock Dental Assisting Program. Dental supplies were donated by Henry Schein, Kerr, 3M ESPE, Septodont and Kavo. La Clinica de Tolosa is a nonprofit children’s dental clinic located in Paso Robles. For more information, go to www.clinicadetolosa.org or call 238-5334.
girls night out – a benefit for casa
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Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of SLO County is hosting a cocktail party no gal should miss! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar and fabulous raffles. Best of all, tuxedoed Meathead Movers will be on hand to lavish attention and compete for tips in the elegant atmosphere of Café Roma. The party will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 6 to 9 pm at Café Roma. Tickets are $50 per person. Call 541-6542 or visit www.slocasa.org to purchase a reservation – reserve by May 5. In SLO County, approximately 450 children are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court because they were abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents. Many of these children are sent to foster homes, moving from one residence to another with appalling frequency and causing major disruptions in their social, emotional and educational development. CASA volunteers provide a consistent source of support to these children, advocating for needed services and appropriate placement until a permanent home is found. Funds raised at Girls Night Out are used for recruiting, screening, training and supervising volunteer advocates.
rethinking drinking The public is invited to a free multi-disciplinary look at America’s favorite past time, addressing the medical, societal and economic consequences of alcohol use and abuse. Several Doctors and Specialists will present the special seminar on Saturday, May 21st, at the SLO Vets Hall from 9 AM-4:30 PM. Topics include: psychology of Addiction, Consumption, Parenting and Teenage Drinking, and more. Sponsored by the Sobering Truth Foundation at www.soberingtruth.com
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1st annual “colors of a cure” The Kelsey family would like to invite you to join us in our own little piece of paradise and in return, all we ask is you give just a little of yourself to support a worthy cause. We’ve teamed up with Upper Crust Trattoria, the Mother Corn Shucker’s Band and the finest selection of artists on the central coast to provide you with a day of wine tasting, live music, art, exceptional appetizers and a silent auction. Proceeds from your ticket price and wine sales as well as 100% of a live auction will go to support the Hearst Cancer Resource Center at French Hospital Medical Center, the Histiocytosis Association of America and the Sarcoma Foundation of America, three organizations that have been instrumental in helping our family cope with the devastating ramifications that cancer brings with it. Come eat, drink and surround yourself in the beauty of See Canyon, knowing that your contribution may someday ensure another family will always have access to the same support these organizations have given to our family. The event will be held on May 7th, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. For more information contact Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards www.kelseywine.com or call (805)-595-9700. Tickets are $25 per person (plus tax) $20 children under 18.
4th annual slo county arthritis walk The Arthritis Foundation recently announced that the Let’s Move Together SLO County Arthritis Walk will be held on Saturday, May 7th at Atascadero Lake Park on Morro Road in Atascadero. The Arthritis Walk, the foundation’s signature event, is a day of family fun and fitness designed to raise awareness and funds to support vital research for a cure and local arthritis programs (including land- and waterbased exercise classes, community education and outreach programs). Festivities include a Health Expo, kids zone, food and beverages, and awards and prizes. Registration for the 1- or 3-mile walk begins at 8:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 10:00 a.m. The entire family, friends and colleagues, and friendly dogs are invited to join Walk Honoree, Sara Stipanov. To register as an individual or a team, or to learn more about the walk, visit the Arthritis Walk Web site at www.ccafwalk.org or call the Arthritis Foundation Branch office at (805) 563-4685.
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local achievers exhibit at slo museum of art
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The Achievers exhibit will be on display at the SLO Museum of Art from May 13th - June 12. It is produced by the Central Coast History Foundation in cooperation with the SLO Museum of Art. Additional support is provided by Cal Poly, Allan Hancock College, the SLO County History Center and the South County Historical Society. The exhibit, occupying the two main wings of the Museum, features photography and artwork from “The Achievers” book (CCHF, 2004), supplemented by corresponding graphic elements from local individuals and entities. Mechanical objects on loan for the presentation are likewise the properties of these and other supporting groups and individuals. Co-curators of the exhibit are Brian Lawler and Tod Rafferty. The overall theme of the display is MOBILITY, with graphics and mechanical objects in three categories: Land, Sea and Air. Below is a draft list of the primary items slated for presentation. Burt Rutan – Aviation pioneer Vic Hickey – Off-road innovations Varian brothers – Klystron tube Craig Vetter – High-mileage bike, Fairings (Speaking Sat. 5/21, 1pm) Mike Spangler – Home-built trike Abalone divers – Diving suit, helmets Cal Poly – Land speed bikes, SAE off-road car Cal Poly Aeronautical – Space exploration Allan Hancock College – Aviation history National Guitar – Reso-phonic guitar, components Next Intent – Mars Rover wheel, current products TruVativ – Bicycle components, prototype gear
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AeroMech Engineering – unmanned aircraft The presentation includes a video component to display film and stills covering the primary contributors to be shown in a continuous loop. The screen area will also accommodate live lectures with a small audience. Reception: Friday, June 3, 6-8 p.m. at the Museum. For more information and photography contact: Tod Rafferty 545-7618 (cell 801-6340), email@example.com or Muara Johnston 543-8562, firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BULLETIN BOARD
eye oN business
boys of summer shape new marketing ideas By Maggie Cox, Barnett Cox & Associates
That was the real message of the day, and it was intriguing to hear three very different speakers at the symposium all close in on the same idea. Yahoo Exec and new technology whiz Blake Irving, venerable banker Carrol Pruett and Dodger-guy Michael Young all pointed in the same direction: it’s a new world out there. Figure out a way to make it work. It’s a time for innovation, creativity and breaking old rules. And for the record in our home it’s still “Go Giants,” but come on, good marketing ideas are good marketing ideas.
hen Michael Young, chief revenue officer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, spoke at the Andre Morris & Buttery Central Coast Business Symposium in April, his appearance was quite illuminating. In truth, he brought a lot of star power (complete with a handsome Superbowl ring), but it was the content of his remarks that took center stage. The former NFL wide receiver talked about his days as a pro player and told fun stories about his career. He talked about leaving the field and taking on the front office for the Denver Broncos, a post he loved because he could live in Cambria and work for Denver. He honed his skills as a marketer in the ten years he worked for the Broncos, then was plucked by the Los Angeles Dodgers to serve as the team’s first ever Chief Revenue Officer, a job he’s held for two years. And if you’re thinking it must have been tough for a football player to move to baseball, keep in mind that the Visalia native was a two-sport athlete at UCLA – football and baseball – so a switch to the diamond was in his blood. So, pro athlete goes from playing into marketing and on to sophisticated sales. That brings us to present-day Michael Young, father of three (daughters) and businessman with a keen eye for reinvention… the kind of reinvention that is at the forefront of making it in business today. Michael was asked to talk about changes in sports marketing and how they might apply to the many small businesses that create the fabric of the Central Coast. What he had to say had usefulness to everyone in the room. A few examples. Take mid week day games – historically unpopular with fans and often associated with lousy attendance. Not so at Dodger Stadium. Start with one simple idea – discount prices – to help build interest. Think creatively and call it a price “roll back,” then move into an entire “turn back the clock” theme and play on nostalgia. Ticket prices go down, concessions costs are reduced. Put the players in special vintage uniforms, styles voted on by fans in a hugely successful online contest. Play old style music, cut the blaring rock and roll, offer no super whiz bang electronics. Baseball the way it used to be – and a crowd is born. Michael talked about ideas that work for any business. Take a look at unused assets and see if they can be repurposed. Office space to sublet; parking lot for promotional signs or events. Look at businesses whose customer profile is the same as yours, and find ways to cross promote. Share distribution channels. If customers don’t come to you, go to them. The marketing of something as large scale as a baseball team may look enviably easy, but in a day of thinner wallets, competition from ticket brokers and other challenges, even the mighty Dodgers have had to think creatively to get the job done. M A Y
FAHRENHEIT 325: Happy 325th birthday to Gabriel D. Fahrenheit
born on May 14, 1686. The German physicist devised the Fahrenheit scale of temperature.
M AY Almanac
MAY 15: The famous Bay to Breakers marks its 100th running. The San Francisco footrace is one of the largest and oldest races in the world. The 7.46 mile course runs from downtown by The Embarcadero to the Ocean Beach breakers.
By Phyllis Benson “Living in the lap of luxury isn`t bad, except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.” ---Orson Welles
NURSES Week is in May. Punsters say nurses are I.V. leaguers. MAY is Mental Health Month. One in four adults is living with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition.
JOURNALIST Hunter S. Thompson said, “If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”
MAY 1915: Orson Welles was born. His movie Citizen Kane, loosely
MAY 1 is May Day, Hawaiian Lei Day, and Law Day. HUMORIST Stephen Wright said, “I broke a mirror the other day. I’m supposed to get seven years of bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.”
MAY 5 is Cinco de Mayo, a regional holiday celebrating Mexican
culture. Fans gather in parks for mariachi music and folklorico festivities.
OUR mechanic takes park blankets. His kids do fiesta and siesta in equal parts.
MAY 8 is Mother’s Day. COMEDIAN Phyllis Diller said, “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.”
MAY is Older American’s Month. Author Jim Butcher said, “Age is always advancing and I’m fairly sure it’s up to no good.”
APRIL showers bring May flowers with sneezes, itchy eyes and runny noses. People and pets share the misery.
MAY offers Etiquette Week encouraging civility and good manners. WRITER H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, “Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.”
based on the life of William Randolph Hearst, premiered in May 1941. Welles, then 26, acted in and directed the movie.
MAY 1911: The hull of the steamship Titanic was launched in Bel-
fast. At the White Star Line ceremony, an employee said, “Not even God himself could sink this ship.”
MAY 1941: British ships sank the German battleship Bismarck off the coast of France, resulting in the loss of about 2,000 lives.
THE Bismarck was built in four years. On her first mission, she
sank the British ship, the Hood with its 1,400 crew, incurring Winston Churchill’s wrath. He ordered the Royal Navy after the German ship. Three days later, the juggernaut was destroyed.
RECENT expeditions to the Bismarck indicate that her crew scuttled the warship, speeding her demise.
May 30, 1911: The first Indianapolis 500 was won by Ray Harroun driving a yellow Marmon Wasp. Harroun put a rear-view mirror on the racecar, becoming the first driver to use the device.
MEMORIAL Day is observed on May 30. Honor those who died in service to the country.
MAY is Better Sleep Month. We intend, like the dozing pups, to sleep well and chase the good dreams.
MAY 12 is Limerick Day.
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May 2011 Journal Plus Magazine