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Moss was on a roll
In our 25th Anniversary issue, you’ll find a game of croquet interrupted ,, an introduction to the New Times Way written by the paper’s founder , meet a few of our favorite Steves , chuckle over ads from yesteryear , and help Glen Starkey lament his lost youth .
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August 11 - August 18, 2011
This week cover We’ve told some stories in our day! ...44
news Morro Bay says no to otter appreciation.........................6 Oceano woman attempts to open pot collective..................... 10
opinion Glen Starkey laments his lost youth ..................................83
arts ASTRO: We’re a Leo, hear us roar ............................... ….32 STEVE!: These are a few of our favorite Steves ........……37 TIME WARP: Take a gander at how things look at 25… ............................ .38 DESIGN: View the covers that might have been…. .................40 BACK TO THE FUTURE: Take a look at ads from days gone past...........42 LITERATURE: 55 Fiction is full of ups and downs, comedy and tragedy .... 46
cuisine Apologize with food........................86
ew Times has never been a job, and I doubt very much that it ever will be. It’s something you do because you think it’s important, a place you go because you know it will be fun and probably push you to the edge of your control and sanity—and maybe, probably, beyond. No two days at New Times are alike. If they’re heady and excitAND THE ing, it’s never for the same reason. And when they’re WINNER IS … In honor of our 25th really, really bad, it’s always a different conundrum. anniversary issue, We owe Steve Moss for birthing this impossible we allowed you, the reader, to pick beast, and the community for allowing it to grow the cover. and increasingly flex its muscles over the course of the last 25 years. But we’re also indebted to the people who have made the paper their home, for a short or long while, the people who keep coming back, day after day, despite the fact that print journalism has been labeled a dying animal. So this week, we’re celebrating, reminding you of all the reasons you’ve loved us, of all the times you’ve hated or questioned us. And reminding ourselves why we do this. Interrupt a staff croquet game , quiver with outrage as Shredder dabbles in astrology , read Steve Moss’ take on the New Times Way , and read an apology recipe from a food columnist who thinks SLO has a lot to offer . cover image by Russ Hodin cover design by Alex Zuniga
Ashley Schwellenbach managing editor
VolumE 26, numbER 2
Every week news
News ........................... 6 Citizen’s Alert............... 6 Viewer Discretion .......10 Strokes & Plugs ..........14
Split Screen................ 64 Reviews and Times ... 66
Artifacts ..................... 35 Art Bash!.....................81
This Modern World .....16 Street Talk...................18 Letters ........................16 Hodin ..........................16 Jerry James ................17 Shredder .................... 20
art detours Geek Out ..................109 Brezsny’s Astrology... 111 News and Blues ....... 112
music Strictly Starkey ........... 56 Club Listings .............. 62
Classifieds................. 114 Real Estate ............... 114
Events calendar Hot Dates .................. 90 Special Events ........... 92 Stage ......................... 92 Film & TV ................... 95 Music ......................... 95 Writers & Literature ... 96 Art .............................. 98 Kid Stuff .................... 101
Outdoors ..................102 Sports & Wellness ....102 Farmers Markets ......104 Lectures & Learning...106 Fundraisers ...............108 Support Groups ........108 Volunteers ................108
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➤ Old Staff Photos  ➤ Strokes & Plugs 
What the county’s talking about this week
BENEFITS, MEETINGS, PROTESTS, FORUMS
MONDAY, AUG. 15
Grover Beach City Council public meets in the City Hall Council Chambers, Grover Beach City Hall, 154 S. Eighth St. at 6:30 p.m. Info: 489-9657. Morro Bay Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the Morro Bay Veterans Hall, 209 Surf St. Info: 772-6200. Watch it live on Morro Bay Charter channel 20. Replay: 1 a.m., 9 a.m., 6 p.m. daily.
TUESDAY, AUG. 16
SLO County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. in the County Government Center on Monterey Street in SLO. Info: 781-5450. Watch it live on Charter Countywide channel 21. Replay: Tuesday, 6 p.m.; Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.; Sunday: 5:30 p.m. Arroyo Grande Planning Commission meets at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers. Meetings will be televised live on Arroyo Grande’s government access channel 20 and rebroadcast each day for one week at 9 a.m., 6 p.m., and 1 a.m. and the following Thursday and Sunday immediately following the rebroadcast meeting. Info: 473-5404. Atascadero Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m., at City Hall, 6907 El Camino Real. Info: 4668099. Paso Robles City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1000 Spring St. Info: 237-3888. Pismo Beach City Council meets at 4:30 p.m., at City Hall, 760 Mattie Road. Info: 773-4657. Watch it live on Pismo Beach Charter Channel 20. Replay: 1 a.m., 9 a.m., 6 p.m., daily. SLO City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 990 Palm St. Info: 781-7100. Templeton CSD Board of Directors meets in the Board Meeting Room at 206 5th St. Info: 434-4900.
THURSDAY, AUG. 18 SLO City Housing Authority meets at noon in the Housing Authority offices, 487 Leff St. Info: 543-4478.
THE POWERS THAT BE County Board of Supervisors: Room 370, County Government Center SLO, 93408; phone: 7815450; fax: 781-1350. Email: email@example.com; Web: www.co.slo.ca.us/ Board_of_Supervisors_ Inter.nsf
Morro Bay snubs sea otters
he City of Morro Bay is no stranger to raising awareness for a slew of issues from autism to tourism to bikes. Since the new City Council took the reigns in January 2011, the city has issued 10 proclamations for “awareness.” But if the local commercial fishing community has its druthers, the city won’t recognize “Sea Otter Awareness Week.” The month of May, for example, was designated as “National Tourism Month,” “Bike Month,” and “National Drowning Prevention Month.” One week in May was designated as “Police Week,” another “Bike to Work and School Week,” and past favorites include feel-good themes like “Grand Jury Awareness Month,” and “Month of the Child.” While soliciting support for their national campaign to raise awareness for the plight of the threatened sea otter, the nonprofit conservation organization Defenders of Wildlife asked Mayor Bill Yates to place an item on the City Council’s agenda to designate the last week in September “Sea Otter Awareness Week”—just as the city has for the past six years. In their first interaction with the new mayor and council, however, the Defenders were taken aback when they got a polite “pass.” In an e-mail response, Yates rejected the group’s request, citing opposition from the Morro Bay Commercial Fisherman’s Association. “The overwhelming message from the [association] is: Do not pass this proclamation,” Yates wrote in an e-mail to his colleagues and the Defenders. “To say their feelings are strong would be an understatement.” Yates supported his decision by citing the city’s “unequivocal” support of local fishermen in the past. In his e-mail, he noted that if any two council members disagreed with his decision, he would allow the item on the agenda for the Aug. 23 meeting. As of press time, there was no dissenting opinion. Current population estimates indicate there are roughly 2,700 otters in California. Jim Curland, a marine biologist and otter expert with the Defenders, told New Times the population has taken a hit in recent years from disease and habitat degradation. “This just caught us by surprise that they weren’t even interested in a response from anyone in the community other than the fishermen,” Curland said. “If the mayor wanted to do a true pulse of the people that live in Morro Bay, I think he’d find
Police find kidnapped child after search
A community scrambled after 4-year-old Jeremy Guthrie was abducted early on the morning of Aug. 5. After a short search, the boy
there’s a great interest from people that like to go kayaking or boating. I think that using just a gauge from the fishing community isn’t a fair pulse.” Curland said the organization has faced similar opposition in other cities in the past, and that many fishermen see the sea otter as a nuisance at best and sometimes competition, based on its shellfish diet. “I think it might be a little shortsighted to talk about the losses to the fishing industry because of the otters,” Curland said. “The fact is they have to look at the big picture and the otter’s role as a keystone species for the environment, as well as their economic role as far as promoting ecotourism.” Councilman Noah Smukler told New Times he wanted to support the proclamation, but admitted it could be tough to gather support from his fellow
OTTER NONSENSE? For the first time in six years, the Morro Bay City Council may forego raising awareness for the threatened sea otter, citing opposition from the fishing community.
is safely back with his mother. On Aug. 5, the Atascadero Police Department reported that Guthrie had been abducted, allegedly by 52-year-old Annette Hale, from the El Camino Homeless Organization located in the First Baptist
WeekendWeather COASTAL ➤ High 65 Low 55 INLAND ➤ High 94 Low 52
Jim Byrne Meteorologist
COASTAL ➤ High 64 Low 56 INLAND ➤ High 91 Low 52
COASTAL ➤ High 66 Low 56 INLAND ➤ High 94 Low 52
COASTAL ➤ High 68 Low 57 INLAND ➤ High 96 Low 54
Patchy morning clouds will give way to sunny skies.
6 • New Times • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com
council members without appearing to slight the fishermen. Smukler also said that in light of the city’s efforts to boost tourism, promoting the local otter population just makes sense. “The otters are an important indicator species that many locals and visitors really enjoy,” he said. “This just doesn’t seem consistent to me.” A Fisherman’s Association representative could not be reached for comment. According to former mayor Janice Peters, resident sea otters are a benefit to local tourism. Making such a proclamation is, in reality, only a symbolic gesture, Peters said, but one she and previous council members seemed happy to make in the past. Peters admitted the issue is sensitive and something that showcases the tight balancing act the City Council has when considering the interests of the fishing community as well as the environmental community. Δ —Matt Fountain
Church in Atascadero. Police issued a widespread amber alert, coordinated with local media, opened tip lines, and began searching for the boy. Guthrie was located in the early evening of the same day in an abandoned Atascadero car dealership and reunited with his mother soon after. Community members rallied after news of the kidnapping broke, clogging online comment sections with tips, posting and re-posting news stories on Facebook, and some had even planned a candlelight vigil. Hale was arrested and booked in the San Luis Obispo County jail on $1 million bail for alleged kidnapping. If convicted she could face between three and eight years, according to state penal codes. She had a few prior crimes, according to the Atascadero Police Department, but no history of kidnapping or violent crime. NEWS continued page 10
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www.newtimesslo.com • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • New Times • 7
Lawn ornaments Lawn ornaments
New Times’ staff embraces SLO’s yuppie roots New Times’ staff embraces SLO’s yuppie roots
ALEX ZUNIGA publisher/art director ALEX ZUNIGA Chronic problem-solver, publisher/art director weakness for Chinese problem-solver, food Chronic and baseball. weakness for Chinese food and baseball.
ASHLEY SCHWELLENBACH, managingASHLEY editor SCHWELLENBACH, Mastered the pogo stick. managing editor Mastered the pogo stick.
LAUREN COOK intern COOK Lives in LAUREN a commune. intern Lives in a commune.
PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
BRENDAN ROWE graphic designer BRENDAN Everything he likesROWE is graphic designer either illegal, fattening, Everything he likes is addictive, expensive, either illegal, fattening, or impossible. addictive, expensive, or impossible.
LAURA REESE LAURA classifieds repREESE classifieds rep
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CINDY RUCKER CINDY business RUCKER department business department
COLIN RIGLEY news editor As a COLIN child, heRIGLEY was editor so afraidnews of ducks As a child, he was his parents had to so afraid of ducks give him a pep talk his parents had to before a field trip. give him a pep talk before a field trip.
Huge Cosigning Problem
Ask Roxanne Ask Roxanne Your Mortgage Questions Answered By Your Mortgage Questions Roxanne Carr Answered By Roxanne Carr
Q: “Back in ‘92 my parents asked me to add my name for my brother’s home purchase. I did so to Huge Problem help the Cosigning family; I have never lived at his home, made payments, or used it for tax purposes. In 2002 “Backasked in ‘92me myto parents asked meand to add my name forfrom my brother’s purchase. I didnever so to myQ: brother do a quit-claim remove myself the deed,home so I did since I have family;inI the havehome. neverWell, lived recently at his home, payments, or useda ithome for tax purposes. In great 2002 hadhelp anythe interest my made wife and I tried buying - we both had my brother askedmake me togood do a quit-claim and remove myself from the deed, All so Iwas did since I havewe never credit in the 720’s, income, never been late on any payments. good until got had any the home. Well, recently my wife has and been I triedlate buying a home - we had great denied for interest the loaninbecause it turns out my brother every month onboth his mortgage in the makeObviously good income, never been on any Allbarely was good until got forcredit the past 30 720’s, months.... this reflects bad late on me and payments. now he can afford towe make for the loan because turns out my the brother has late month his refinance mortgage thedenied payments every month and itrefuses to sell house to been get me offevery the loan. Heon can’t for thehe past months.... Obviously thishave reflects me and nowhe hehas canto barely afford to because has30bad credit and does not a lotbad of on income since pay spouse & make child the payments every monthwithholds and refuses to sell and the house me off is the Heany can’t refinance support and unemployment his wages I.R.S. to Myget question doloan. I have rights; can I he this has loan bad since creditits and does not have a lot of sincea he has Can to pay spouse & back child of income ever buying home. I put myself getbecause myself off affecting my chances his wages and I.R.S. My question do I have rights; can I on support the deedand andunemployment sell the housewithholds to get myself off the loan. Or can a family is member tryany and refinance of ever I put myself back myself loanme since my stuck chances theget home for off himthis to get offits theaffecting loan!! I am what can Ibuying do?” a home. CanR., Temecula, CA on the deed and sell the house to get myself off the loan. Or can a family member try and refinance A: the Yes, sorry, the me hugeoff the had loan!! a chance to stuck step inwhat at ancan early mortgagor. Of course a loan serhome for this him is to get I am I do?” R., Temecula, CA
problem with cosigning. It is such a stage. A cosignor, of which you are vicer should have alerted you. A: you Yes,were sorry, is the huge now had a chance to same step inresponsibilat an early mortgagor. Of course a loan sershame not this notified of the aware, has the canshould put youhave back on title, for sure, with It is have such a itystage. A cosignor, you are He vicer alerted you. lateproblem payments socosigning. that you might for paying the loanof aswhich the primary you can try to bring the loan curshame you were not notified of the now aware, has the same responsibil- and He can put you back on title, for sure, late payments so that you might have ity for paying the loan as the primary and you can try to bring the loan cur-
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8 • New Times 11 • August 11 18, - August 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com 8 • New Times • August - August 2011 •18, www.newtimesslo.com
DONNA GODFREY DONNA GODFREY business department business department
TINATINA PALMER PALMER creditcredit manager manager Stuck Stuck in thein’70s. the ’70s.
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rent. You cannot sell a house to yourself, sorry. You can refinance to get someone else off, the very poor rent. You cannot sellbut a house to yourpayment willrefinance stay with you self, sorry.record You can to get for seven else years facilitate someone off,and butwould the very poor apayment certain rejection forstay eitherwith of you. record will you for seven years and would facilitate Can someone else refinance in their a certain for either you.not name andrejection get you both off? of Well, unless they have on title Can someone elsebeen refinance in for theirat least A family member, name six andmonths. get you both off? Well, not ifunless they they so choose, could in and have been on step title for at buy house, orA course, and get leastthe six months. family member, if theyown so choose, could stepainmess. and their mortgage. What buy the house, or course, and get Good luck. Copyright © 2011 Roxanne Carr their own mortgage. What a mess. Good luck.
Roxanne Carr is division president of The Mortgage Copyright © 2011 Roxanne Carr House, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in the mortgage banking industry. Your e-mailed questions Roxanne Carr is division president of The Mortgage are welcomed through her website at: www.themort House, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in the gagehouse.com or call her at 1-800-644-4030. mortgage banking industry. Your e-mailed questions are welcomed through her website at: www.themort gagehouse.com or call her at 1-800-644-4030.
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www.newtimesslo.com •• August August 11 - August www.newtimesslo.com August 18, 18, 2011 2011 •• New New Times Times••113 113
NOT PICTURED: Rhonda O’Dell (Advertising Rep.), Jody Harmon (Editorial Designer), Tadhg Morrison (Receptionist), Fred Bohnhoff (Circulation Manager), Glen Starkey (Staff Writer), Jack Johnson (Intern), Susan Stewart (Proofreader), Colby Courter (Marketing Coordinator).
ROBERT MCDONALD staff writer Fantasizes about being an investment banker.
RYAN MILLER executive editor Doesn’t like Sir Lancelot. At all. DORA MOUNTAIN graphic designer Likes Goose better than Maverick.
MATT FOUNTAIN staff writer They call him Wonderboy!
KATHY JOHNSTON contributing writer and proofreader Sets up her office workspace on the croquet lawn. JENNY GOSNELL graphic designer Is allergic to beeswax.
NICK POWELL calendar editor Likes meat.
KATY GRAY advertising rep Here all week!
STEVE E. MILLER staff photographer Cheers to all, and goodnight!
TRACEY JOYNER SCURI advertising rep
HEATHER WALTER assistant art director Favorite smurf was Handy.
KAI BEECH intern Once arrested for biting a salsa waiter.
www.newtimesslo.com • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • New Times • 9
VIEWER DISCRETION to residents and business owners in the immediate area: “We’re doing things the It took about 12 hours to locate Guthrie right way and for the right reasons.” after he was reported missing, sometime Law enforcement and county around 6 a.m. The search was conducted government officials still have concerns, with more than 70 law enforcement specifically that the dispensary would officials including the Atascadero PD, attract criminals to the area. Atascadero State Hospital, Paso Robles But Murray said she’s confident her PD, California Highway Patrol, and the business will “attract the right kind Federal Bureau of Investigation. of people.” “Pretty much every city employee Murray has first-hand knowledge who was working, or could, came in,” of what she says are the benefits of Atascadero PD Public Information Officer marijuana. A retired U.S Air Force Gregg Meyer said. veteran, Murray said she suffers from Guthrie was located after someone tinnitus and residual pain from a servicemade a 911 call and reported the boy related ankle injury. had been seen at the abandoned car “I’ve been a homeopathic practitioner dealership. for over 20 years,” she said, adding that “We now have reason to believe the she believes in taking medication that’s caller was the suspect,” Meyer said. organic rather than “something that’s “Don’t ask me why.” made out of synthetic chemicals that Hale was located you’re body can’t process.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO and arrested shortly COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT Employees at the San Luis after without Obispo County Department of incident. Planning and Building didn’t Guthrie sustained return phone calls as of no injuries but was press time. taken to Twin Cities SLO Sheriff’s Department Community Hospital spokesman Rob Bryn declined for evaluation and to comment on the dispensary, released. “but we still believe that [medical Asked about the marijuana] storefronts are search, Meyer said it illegal.” was overwhelmingly —Amy Asman successful given the various agencies Atascadero involved and the public comment fact that training for change raises multi-jurisdictional IN CUSTODY Police operations are public worries arrested Annette Hale on usually aimed at Feel free to ask all the questions Aug. 5 of suspected kidnatural disasters. you want of the Atascadero City napping after a 12-hour “The longer an search for 4-year-old Jeremy Council, just don’t expect any incident goes on the lengthy responses. Guthrie in Atascadero. less likely you are Atascadero City Clerk Marcia to find the person or Torgerson changed wording in at least find the person in good health,” the description of public comment at city Meyer said. “… The fact that it went meetings and is feeling some backlash. as well as it did is a testament for the But it’s not that big of a deal, Torgerson agencies to work well together.” told New Times, because nothing’s really —Colin Rigley changing. “I change the explanations on that agenda all the time … so I just added Marijuana dispensary that as a little reminder to everybody,” proposed in Oceano
by Steve E. Miller
NEWS from page 6
A Central Coast business owner wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Oceano. Tammy Murray moved to the area about a year ago from Goshen in the Central Valley, where she owned and operated a club called Compassionate Cannabis Information Center, Inc. Murray said she refers to her business as a club to avoid any legal uncertainty. She applied for a minor use permit in May, and is still waiting for approval. Murray said she decided to open a club in San Luis Obispo County after reading about Narcotics Task Force raids of local mobile collectives. “That prompted me to think, ‘People really need a safe access point for the distribution of medical marijuana,’” she said. So Murray started looking at real estate. County codes require dispensaries to be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools and other areas where youth congregate. They also can’t be located in central business districts. Murray hopes to open the dispensary on the 1400 block of South Fourth Street in Oceano. Escrow closed on the property on April 20 of this year. Murray said she’s already reached out
Torgerson said. Specifically, the little reminder now reads on city agendas: “Comments made during Community Forum will not be a subject of discussion.” The rhetoric tweaks caused public backlash from people who felt Torgerson was not only violating the Brown Act (the state law that dictates how public meetings should be conducted), but trying to limit public comment. Residents have rebelled against the change by writing letters to the editor in the Atascadero News. At least one resident, outspoken activist David Broadwater, planned to address the issue at the City Council’s Aug. 9 meeting. (New Times went to press before the scheduled meeting.) “Denying, on the one hand, that the ability of the public to interact with their elected and appointed officials is being
restricted while, on the other hand, demonstrating that restricting that ability is exactly what’s going on, Ms. Torgerson has shown that’s been the plan all along,” Broadwater said in a written comment to New Times. Torgerson said she made the change because of recent meetings in which councilmembers have held lengthy discussions to respond to questions raised during public comment. However, she said, the Brown Act states that the City Council should not discuss items that aren’t on the agenda. She said the change was made to comply with the Brown Act and public comment will not be restricted. “It’s the exact opposite; we’re trying not to violate the Brown Act,” she said. —Colin Rigley NEWS continued page 13
Homeless Project: Dane Senser time there curled up on the At age 56, Dane Senser believed he’d finally found floor in a room with six other his dream job. While working in San Luis Obispo, men. Senser said, he was offered a six-month job at a resort Senser eventually made it in Hawaii. back to San Luis Obispo, but Senser said he was told that he would be paid $15 he’s remained homeless for more than three years. an hour and would be able to live at the property he Senser was deeply affected by the murder of his was going to be overseeing virtually rent free. brother in a 1994 stabbing in San Diego. In preparation for the trip to Hawaii, Senser sold “It never leaves your mind,” he said. many of his belongings and hopped on a one-way He also lost his mother to cancer, he said. His cruise ship bound for the islands. Upon arrival, emotions well up when he mentions he was homeless in Senser said, he was greeted with devastating news. Dane Senser Hawaii with no way to get to her in her final days. “The guy told me that the job was no longer Although Senser has been homeless for so long, he still has goals available,” Senser said. “He gave me $200 and said, ‘Good luck.’” in mind. Senser was homeless for the first time in his life. “I’m a fighter, I fight for the homeless,” he said. “The first two nights I slept in alleyways,” he said. “I didn’t care. He wants to raise funds to help the homeless. Senser believes I said, ‘I hope they stab me.’ That’s how depressed I was.” that because he’s seen many people struggle first hand, he’d be A short time later, Senser discovered a rehab facility that housed people with drug or alcohol issues. Although he’d never had able to help those in need of assistance. “There is a solution,” he said. “I would like to see nobody any issues with drugs or alcohol, he said, Senser begged to stay, homeless.” ∆ and he was eventually allowed to sleep at the facility. He spent New Times is publishing profiles of certain individuals as a service to the community, but without making any warranty or representation as to the background or qualifications of any individual profiled herein for employment, residence, or other purposes. The information provided herein is offered on an “as is” basis, and is provided with the understanding that New Times is not engaged in rendering any professional advice or service. In no event shall New Times be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to any use of this service, or from communications or meetings between users of this service, including, without limitation, lost profits, bodily injury, emotional stress and/or other damages. New Times does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information contained in these profiles, and individuals are encouraged to make their own independent evaluation of any statements made herein. New Times is not responsible for the conduct of any individuals who may use this service, and New Times makes no representation or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person providing or using any information offered herein. If one or more of the provisions contained in this Disclaimer is, for any reason, held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, then for the maximum extent permitted by law, the invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability will not affect any other provision of this Disclaimer.
10 • New Times • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com
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www.advanced-ob-gyn.com www.newtimesslo.com • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • New Times • 11
The faces of New Times
12 • New Times • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20th
Defendants demand court prove jurisdiction in felony case
Two men accused of filing false claims against a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge were back in court on Aug. 4 in Santa Barbara for their arraignment on felony charges in the matter. San Luis Obispo marketing executive Jeff Lind and co-defendant Tom Murphy of Los Osos sat before Judge Jean Dandona to respond to charges of attempting to procure a false instrument for record, conspiracy to commit a crime, and attempted filing of a false document related to a single-family residence. The charges stem from Lind and Murphyâ€™s filing of a â€œNational Standards Damage Claim Packetâ€? alleging more than $77 million in damages against Judge Kay Kuns, the original presiding judge in Lindâ€™s misdemeanor case. In that case, Lind stands accused of threatening a witness, a result of a December runin with Guadalupe police officer Robert Ortega in a Santa Maria court. Ortega was the arresting officer in the DUI arrest of one of Lindâ€™s relatives. Both Lind and Murphy contend the county must answer their countersuit and prove it has the jurisdiction to try their cases, as they claim there are no injured parties or damaged property. The court system doesnâ€™t see the claims as legitimate. During the most recent hearing, Lind and Murphy repeatedly brought up the counterclaim and asked to file a 45-day continuance with the court in order to give the court time to answer the question of jurisdiction raised in the document. Judge Dandona overruled the objection, and becoming visibly frustrated, implored Lind and Murphy to obtain attorneys to file the motion on their behalf. Both men answered they would reserve their rights to obtain counsel but also did not commit to hiring an attorney. Murphy and Lind requested a continuance to obtain counsel and Dandona agreed to continue arraignment on the felony charges to Aug. 25. Up to this point, Lind and Murphy have refused to be represented by counsel, claiming bar attorneys are part of a judicial extortion scheme. â€œAs soon as you hire an attorney, you surrender all your rights as one of the people,â€? Murphy said. Dandona ordered Lind to apply for a public defender in the misdemeanor case, which he did, but it was determined he didnâ€™t fall into the financial parameters to qualify. Lind must represent himself or secure legal representation before his next court appearance. Immediately following the hearing, Lind and Murphy filed a motion for continuance, an order to discharge, and a second notice of unlawful proceeding with the court, accusing Judge Dandona of treason. â€œWhat we have exposed in these cases undermines their whole process as treason,â€? Murphy said. â€œIt makes them liable for damages and they donâ€™t want to acknowledge it.â€? â€”Jeremy Thomas
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www.newtimesslo.com â€˘ August 11 - August 18, 2011 â€˘ New Times â€˘ 13
News Strokes&Plugs a Downtown Main Street Event
ART SCENE Gallery director Rachel Eckert believes Paso Robles is growing into a premier art destination. PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
8th Annual Paso Robles
BY JACK JOHNSON
Saturday August 20, 2011 10 am. to 5 pm. in the Paso Robles Downtown Park
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14 • New Times • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com
Pierce Modern Gallery is the latest addition to Paso’s burgeoning art scene
aso Robles is known for its scenic rolling hills and expansive vineyards. Tourists and wine enthusiasts alike flock to the Central Coast location to taste the fruit of the vines and take in the local fine dining. But Paso is quickly developing a third dimension to make this a sophisticated trio: art. The rural community’s bubbling art scene has been steadily increasing in notoriety, and a third gallery has now settled into a new space in downtown Paso Robles. Pierce Modern Gallery opened its doors at 617 12th St., right next to the Vale Fine Art gallery. The newly renovated space showcases a unique blend of contemporary fine art from a wide array of artists both living and deceased. Owner Jeffrey Pierce said that his inspiration for creating Pierce Modern was simply that he “always loved to go to galleries,” and “wanted to create a space that had a museum feel.” With the assistance of directors Rachel Eckert and Giuseppe Bellissima, Pierce has created a gallery that has the feel of something you would find in the larger markets of San Francisco or Los Angeles. The art that lines the gallery walls and the sculptures that dot the floors are mostly from “working artists from the West,” according to Pierce, and he also has a number of pieces on display from his personal collection. Overall, there is no unifying theme to the works on display, and this plays into the overall strategy of the directors as they attempt to appeal to locals as well as tourists traveling from San Francisco or Los Angeles, looking to purchase high-end artwork. In addition to an abundance of pop-art paintings and labor-intensive sculptures of both steel and alabaster, Bellissima said that the landscape and western art pieces in the gallery were brought in with local tastes in mind. He wanted to add some “sculptures that are not flimsy, and made out of bronze and raw materials,” which he thinks will appeal to the local ranching community. This mixture of different styles seems to collectively capture the attention of all art appreciators, without leaving anyone’s palate dry. The gallery itself feels like something
created in a different time, and when you take a step inside, you forget that you are in Paso Robles altogether. “We wanted to have a 1950s New York vibe,” Bellissima said. The interior walls are stark white, which allows the artwork to really pop. The floors were intentionally left unfinished, giving the space a gritty, industrial look that makes you question whether you are in a gallery or an artist’s workspace. So why is Paso Robles beginning to blossom into an artistic haven? Pierce Modern gallery director Rachel Eckert, who also assisted in creating the Vale Fine Art studio in July, believes it “has a lot to do with the wine industry as well as the food industry. I’ve been in Paso Robles for 13 years and have tried to stay involved in the local art scene and now that it is expanding and broadening, everyone is happy. We are trying to hook up with other galleries so we can put together an art walk.” Bellissima added “the combination of great wineries and great restaurants is bringing a level of sophistication.” Gallery owner Pierce would like to bring in some new pieces every two months, saying he “always has an eye out” for new artists. The gallery is currently showing artist Michael Heath who is from Pierce’s hometown, Palm Springs, California. Pierce explained that artists who live in the desert create a lot of the art that is displayed. Pierce Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 12 to 9 p.m. or by appointment. You can check out more information at piercemodern.com or call them at 975-8640.
Come see the Ruiz brothers grilling up chicken on the barbeque in support of their uncle Jaime Gutierrez, who is recovering from kidney cancer surgery. There will be food, refreshments, and live music. Tickets are $8 and the event will be held at St. Joseph Church at 298 S. Thompson St. in Nipomo. Email Ivan Ruiz at irv301ruiz@ yahoo.com if you would like to buy a ticket or support the event. ∆ This week’s Strokes&Plugs was compiled by intern Jack Johnson. Send your business news to Strokesandplugs@newtimesslo.com.
Opinion ? Questions for: Garret Farmer
SLO Bike Kitchen volunteer since 2008 860 Pacific St. #105, SLO, CA 93401 NEW TIMES What is the Bike Kitchen? FARMER It’s a communitydriven space for bicycle education and do-it-yourself repairs. People come work and learn how to work on their bicycles. NEW TIMES How does the Kitchen support itself economically? FARMER The SLO Bike Kitchen is 100% volunteer run, but we also ask for a $5 donation for use of the space, tools, and any help that can be provided. There are also extra parts that have been donated that are available, as well as complete bikes that have been used as tools for education and volunteer training that can be bought. NEW TIMES You’ve been in a new space since 2010, how’s it treating you? FARMER Amazing. It’s really everything the kitchen has always needed to make itself a successful sustainable program. We got lucky. It’s the perfect location right near downtown and on the Bicycle Boulevard. NEW TIMES How many people has the Kitchen served so far? FARMER Just over 2200 since it moved into this space in April of 2010. NEW TIMES What new developments would you like to see happen in the Kitchen over this next year? FARMER New volunteers getting more involved. Seeing as how it runs solely on volunteers, I want to be certain the Kitchen has a permanent future in SLO. I want to see the Kitchen continue to grow, with more clinics and more community involvement. Volunteers to man more open hours would be nice too. ∆
➤ Letters  ➤ Hodin  ➤ Jerry James 
➤ Street talk  ➤ Shredder 
BY ed ConnollY
A founder reflects Alex Zuniga, who is the co-publisher and art director of New Times, talks history with the opinion editor CONNOLLY How did the paper start? ZUNIGA Steve Moss had worked for a paper back East, Syracuse New Times, and when he returned here (he was originally from Southern California), he got involved with a monthly magazine for senior citizens. Bev Johnson had been working in radio advertising and the two ended up together by answering an ad for roommates, I believe. They got the idea to start the paper and began researching how to do it. CONNOLLY How did you become involved? ZUNIGA Steve and Bev had hooked up with someone at Cal Poly to help out, which is how I became involved; the day before the first paper was published. They were having some production issues; I was doing work as a student at Cal Poly with University Graphic Systems when I walked in. They were doing exactly what I had been doing, except they were using one of the first Macintosh computers, the Mac Plus. I took the ball and ran, got it done, and the next thing I knew I was driving to the press to pick up the papers and deliver them. The first cover story was an in-depth look at the burgeoning restaurant industry in SLO. We had 28 pages and published every two weeks for maybe the first two months but realized publishing a weekly would be just as hard, so we went for it, working seven days a week for a while. There were no more than four of us, always working on a deadline. I just happened to own a small pickup that would hold a lot of papers, which helped with distribution. I remember in that first week or two, we were building the paper in a friend’s apartment off Johnson Ave. The three of us—Steve, Bev, and I—were in and out and I remember we worked late into the evening several days in a row and everybody was exhausted. We had to solve a
this modern world
problem, it was late, and we needed an answer from Steve but couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally, after searching high and low, we found him asleep outside in the yard, he was so tired. CONNOLLY What was the initial print run and how did distribution work? ZUNIGA Steve created a detailed mockup of what the paper would look like and Bev took that out to sell the idea to advertisers and to her credit, a lot signed on. Meanwhile, distribution points were established for hand stacks. Everything happened on a shoestring. Steve cashed in a 401(k). I was a student and had only time to give. Bev pitched in. We had a printer and a Mac and that was it—actually we didn’t have a printer initially, or a copier—I had to gather all these images, size them manually, and run them to Kinko’s, run back, and paste them up. CONNOLLY When did you start making money? ZUNIGA I don’t remember exactly when that happened but I do remember about four or five months in, Steve and I got together and decided the project actually was working and drew up a contract making me a partner. Of course, my parents wanted to know when I was going to get paid considering I had just finished five years of college. To get things off the ground, we did trades to get food, that kind of thing. Yes, it was a shoestring operation at first. CONNOLLY What was Steve’s
motive for starting the paper? ZUNIGA I don’t think money had a lot to do with it. He saw the paper in Syracuse and other weeklies succeed and thought he could make the formula work here. His main focus right away was the calendar. It was integral to our success. He was adamant about having the most complete calendar for the county anywhere, to draw people to the paper. He did a lot of footwork, talked to everyone to get on their lists; their mailing lists, that was before e-mail, of course. We spent a lot of time building our arts coverage, building a good staff, and building a reputation of fair and honest reporting. Then we increased our investigative work, calling out injustices to our readers. We have advertisers now who were with us from the start. CONNOLLY What was one of the worst moments? ZUNIGA Whether fate or luck may be involved, I tend to be a problem solver and don’t get overly excited about anything, which helped when working with strong personalities like Steve and Bev. It also helps in solving production problems, to get things done without getting rattled. There's always a solution. At one point, we were printed down in Sylmar. We had to take the flats to the airport to be flown there for printing and the papers were shipped back from the press the next day. There were more than a few times
when we cut the deadline really close and screamed to the airport to make the plane. A couple times we had to drive all the way down there, stay overnight, and drive back. There was also a time when we couldn’t get printed because of a fire or something and the Tribune helped us out, printed the paper for us. The worst time was trying to put out our Best of SLO special issue during the week of Steve’s passing. By far the hardest week of my life. Carrying on the legacy of Steve and paying tribute at the same time was the biggest challenge I had ever faced. CONNOLLY What’s up for the future? ZUNIGA We feel fortunate to be maintaining our success during these tough economic times yet we’re looking forward to growing, showing our commitment to the community, to bring out the best of SLO County. Bob [Rucker] and I frequently turn to our experience with Steve and his vision, to guide us. Steve is our reference point, a great influence on us. Bob and I are dedicated to his legacy, devoted to shaping the paper as he would have wanted it to be. CONNOLLY Are you feeling nostalgic? ZUNIGA Really, I was in the right position at the right time. Steve gave me the opportunity to show what I could do and taught me so many things. I miss his energy, insight and uniqueness. I’ve been fortunate to shape the look of the paper, and to have worked with so many, many, talented people over the years. These are special people who worked hard and together to create this unique snapshot of life in SLO County that we call New Times week after week. And still are… it wasn’t easy getting this behemoth issue out! I remember thinking at the very beginning I didn’t know how long I could keep up with this crazy week-after-week schedule. I was just finishing college and was ready for a break. Yet, Steve had thrown a problem my way I couldn’t resist. So, always up for a challenge, I decided I could keep it up for maybe a year or two. Here I am, more than 1,300 issues and 25 years later. Send comments via the opinion editor at email@example.com. BY tom tomorrow
www.newtimesslo.com • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • New Times • 15
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This Week’s Online Poll
On behalf of the San Luis Obispo County HIV Prevention, Advocacy, and Care Consortium, I am writing to address the tone of the article in New Times, “STDs are on the rise in SLO County” (Aug. 4). The consortium is a community-based group addressing the full continuum of HIV-related services in the county, from education/prevention programs to the direct service needs of people with HIV/AIDS and their families. While the members of the consortium welcome informing our community about the growing numbers of STDs—including HIV/ AIDS—over the past several years, we don’t see the need for the offhand remark at the end of the article (“New Times was unable to determine whether there’s been a local corollary increase in Barry White albums as of press time.”) With that one sentence glibly remarking on the “cause,” it leads the reader to dismiss the importance of the alarming statistics that precede it. The consortium would like to underline the significance of the statistics and remind people that HIV and AIDS is still a reality in our community. In view of the rise of other STDs, indicating a higher incidence of unprotected sex, we can ultimately expect growing numbers of HIV diagnoses. That, coupled with the lack of state support for prevention and testing programs, has left our county even more vulnerable. This is the message that needs to be emphasized. We’re concerned and disappointed that a punchline may have diluted it.
chair Grover Beach Ed. note: Fair point. New Times didn’t intend to trivialize the grim reality of HIV/AIDS and other STDs in the community or elsewhere with that final line—not written by the brief’s original author, by the way—and apologizes for any lessening of the impact of the facts and figures.
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50% Sounds like someone is just around the corner from a much overdue midlife crisis. 30% Awesome. I have 100 bucks that says the paper will tank at 26. 10% Thanks for the laughs and the tears. 10% I remember when you were a cute little kid and teeming with potential ... what happened? 10 Votes
Vote in next week’s poll at www.newtimesslo.com
Why must we be protected from every danger?
Regarding “A painter who can’t paint” (July 7): So that is why the Shamrock Thrift Store on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach was draped in plastic, making me think they were closing. They repainted the front of their building, carefully following state and local laws, rules, and regulations. Why? Why, I ask, must each and every one of us be protected from any and all danger? John Stossel dares to ask that question as well. Look for his book or video on the subject. Why? Because prevailing wisdom says we (you and me) must be protected by those oh-so-much wiser than us. So there are more laws and regulations that often put companies out of business because we (you and me) just do it ourselves, regardless of the risk.
Susan K. Hughes
Distribution: Jim Parson, José Vasquez, Gary Story, Virginia Springer, Paul Springer, Matthew Gray, Jack Arnold, Tina Lavrouhin
New Times is turning 25. How 'bout that?
STD ‘punchline’ wasn’t funny
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A •A •N 16 • New Times • August 11 - August 18, 2011 • www.newtimesslo.com
Don’t just blame binding arbitration for money woes
Voters need to look very closely at measures A and B. Proponents say that the city of San Luis Obispo is going bankrupt because of binding arbitration. While this is true, the
Letters police and firefighters are not the only reason the city is in trouble. How about the fact that San Luis Obispo has one of the slowest growth rates of all cities in California? Consider Dalidio, Prado Road, Froom Ranch, Target Center—just to name a few projects that Christine Mulholland and her group of supporters have vehemently fought against and continue to do so. They have done this by often distorting the facts. Because of this, I will always be suspect of any issue Christine Mulholland is behind. How about the fact that San Luis Obispo discriminates against the handicapped and the elderly by continuing to oppose the necessity and convenience of drive-through businesses, thus restaurants like In & Out Burger will not build here? Add up all of the potential tax revenues that have been lost over the years and you come up with the real reason why the city of San Luis Obispo is in trouble. I agree that binding arbitration is in some ways a bad deal for the city, but stop placing all the blame on the police and firefighters and start coming up with better solutions. Tom Stollmeyer
San Luis Obispo
Employers vote yes; workers vote no
The average salary for a firefighter or police officer is about $70,000, about half what the city manager makes. Is their contribution to society really half of a city manager? If you car is stolen or your house catches fire, the city manager isn’t going to help. What if firefighters and police officers were paid the city manager’s salary? Private sector employers would be forced to raise wages to keep their employees from becoming firefighters and police officers. Similarly, cutting their salaries in half would drive firefighters and police officers into the private sector, increasing competition for jobs and keeping wages low. If you’re an employer, keeping wages low is in your own interests, so measures A and B are for you. However, if you are Joe or Jane worker, lowering the wages and benefits of any other worker, whether that worker is in the private or public sector, is not in your interest. For Joe or Jane workers, a yes vote on A and B is a vote against their own paychecks. Lance Hillsinger
San Luis Obispo
Don’t let a stranger control SLO’s financial destiny
Taxpaying citizens of the city of San Luis Obispo, would you like a stranger to come into your home and tell you how to manage your finances and be fined if you refuse to do his bidding? I don’t think so! For 11 years, the city of SLO has had to endure binding arbitration, which is strapping the city’s finances because a stranger (arbitrator) came to town and awarded employees a 30 percent raise and a starting salary of $75,000 per year for new recruits, with or without a college degree. These huge raises can be given over and over again in the future if binding arbitration is not overturned on the ballot on Aug. 30, and the taxpayers of the city will have no say in the matter. If you care at all about our wonderful city and its financial dilemma, please vote yes on LETTERS continued on page 17
LETTERS from page 16
A and B on your ballot before Aug. 30. Let’s never again let a stranger (arbitrator) ride into town and take control of the city’s financial destiny. Naoma Wright
San Luis Obispo
Some fast facts about Ramadan
This year, as with every year in San Luis Obispo, Ramadan began with the typical ritual of media silence. Just as the pages of periodicals were lacking feature stories about the month-long fast, there were no pre-Ramadan sales in the shops, or trees being lit, or decorations being hung throughout the downtown area. Instead, in the community at large, the yearly routine of cultural invisibility once again returned. One would think that an annual habit of people avoiding food or drink, anger and arguments, sex and sin for 16 hours each day for 30 days would at the very least be a curiosity if not newsworthy. Ramadan is a month of physical, mental, and spiritual endurance training, a veritable worldwide religious Ironman competition, run by hundreds of millions worldwide. Fasting begins every day with a predawn meal known in Arabic as “Suhur.” The fast is initiated with a personal intention to fast solely for the sake of God. For the rest of the day, Muslims go about their usual daily business, taking short breaks to complete ritual prayers. The fast is broken each evening as the sun dips below the horizon. The Muslim call to prayer is melodiously recited, and, in a tradition going back 1,400 years, Muslims break their fast with a few dates and draft of water or milk. This “Iftar” as it is called, is a wonderful opportunity for family or community members to meet and “break bread.” It is said of Abraham that he never ate a meal alone. Perhaps if more Muslims followed the example of their patriarch, by inviting
those from other faiths to break iftar with them, they would be better understood and supported as part of the fabric of our nation. Likewise, for Christians and Jews who have a Muslim friend, take a moment to wish them Ramadan Karim (may the rewards of your fast be generous). In a time when Muslims are unfairly stigmatized, a few gentle words during this month of self denial will bring a welcome smile to their parched and hungry lips. Rushdi Abdul Cader, M.D.
San Luis Obispo
Protect our right to clean air, water, and more
My name is Bruce Gibson, and I am a fourth-generation resident of rural Arroyo Grande. Certainly the last three years have brought a lot of changes and a lot of unanswered questions to the people of the Arroyo Grande area about oil drilling. The residents of Huasna Valley have had to donate a lot of money and a lot of time in order to help protect themselves against another exploitation similar to what was done in the 1980s. We have also brought to the attention of San Luis Obispo County the last operator in Huasna, who was initially a partner in Excelaron three years ago, and who left the site without plugging wells, removing equipment, or remediating contaminated soils. It has also been shown that the facts and figures presented to us have not been accurate. Furthermore, the Excelaron representatives have not been forthright with the people in the Huasna Valley, nor the outlying communities, about their intent! This having been said, I would respectfully ask our Planning Department and our Board of Supervisors to please protect our right to breathe clean air, drink clean water,
and have no noise pollution, which are all Class I impacts according to the DEIR! Bruce Gibson
Officials, follow Arnold’s example—for one thing, anyway
Regarding balancing the government’s budget: With all the talk of cutbacks and who is going to shoulder the burden of balancing the budget, it seems once again it is the middle- and lower-class families that are asked to give again. I live on Social Security, and my only medical benefit is Medicare. If money is taken away from these two sources, am I back to living on the street? The one thing I have not heard from our government is whether they are willing
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