Sun, April 11, 2024

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Aquarium science

A Cabrillo High School CTE program that involves octopus and hands-on training is expanding [6] BY TAYLOR O’CONNOR

NORTHERN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY’S NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY > APRIL 11 - APRIL 18, 2024 > VOL. 25 NO. 7 > WWW.SANTAMARIASUN.COM NEWS ARTS EATS Santa Barbara County Jail health care [4] Seoul Street in Santa Maria [25]
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The only high school where you can find live octopus and starfish is in Lompoc, and students man the tanks the creatures inhabit. The Cabrillo High School Aquarium is more than just a Career Technical Education program. It’s a place where elementary schools go on field trips, and occasionally, it’s even open to the public. The space full of aquatic creatures is planning to expand with a new exhibit highlighting local wetlands and students leading the way. Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor talks to students and science teachers about the aquarium this week [6].

You can also read about the county’s recent discussion about jail health care [4]; The Fish Whisperer in Oceano [22]; and mochi doughnuts, Korean corn dogs, and more at Seoul Street [25]

Lanham editor

VOL. 25 NO. 7 LEARNING THAT STICKS: Aquarium glass is all that separates Cabrillo High School students from the creatures they’re responsible for. NEWS News Briefs 4 Political Watch......................................................................... 4 Spotlight...................................................................................... 8 OPINION Commentary 9 Web Poll ...................................................................................... 9 Modern World .......................................................................... 9 Canary 10 EVENTS CALENDAR Hot Stuff ..................................................................................... 11 ARTS Arts Briefs 22 MOVIES Reviews .................................................................................... 24 CLASSIFIEDS, HOME, AND REAL ESTATE .....................................................27 Cover photos by Taylor O’Connor > Cover design by Alex Zuniga I nformative, accurate, and independent journalism takes time and costs money. Help us keep our community aware and connected by donating today. HELP SUPPORT OUR MISSION SINCE2000 Pacific Eye is delighted to welcome Dr. Martin Hetland, OD, to our practice. Dr. Hetland is available to provide exceptional care and service to our valued patients. We look forward to the expertise he brings to further enhance the quality of eye care at Pacific Eye! Dr. Martin Hetland, OD! Welcome (800) 898-8509 Services: • Comprehensive eye care • Dry eye evaluations • Glaucoma evaluations • Eye glass prescriptions • and much more! SANTAMARIA.ABBEYCARPET.COM 2051 S. BROADWAY • SANTA MARIA WESTERN VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER 805-347-1121 LIC. 668152 DreamHomeYOUR AWAITS of Santa Maria Abbey Ca r pet 2318 S. Broadway · Santa Maria · Albertson’s Shopping Center 805-928-0085 · Tues–Fri 10am–5:00pm • Sat 10am–4pm • Closed Sun & Mon 2 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
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• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) is continuing his push to preserve the Affordable Connectivity Program, the federal internet affordability program that is lowering monthly internet bills for more than 38,000 Central Coast households, according to a March 26 statement from Carbajal’s office. Carbajal and his colleagues created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021. The ACP offers eligible households a discount of up to $30 a month on internet bills, enabling more families to have access to the internet for their school, business, and everyday needs. The program provides similar discounts of up to $75 a month for qualifying families on tribal land. The ACP also provides one-time discounts for the purchase of home computers to further assist in closing the digital divide. Across the Central Coast, more than 38,000 households are enrolled in the program—which has provided more than $20 million in assistance to the region since 2021. The program’s funding is projected to begin running out in April. Carbajal and 157 of his colleagues urged fellow congressional leaders to work to preserve the Affordability Connectivity Program. “We request that congressional leadership take action in the immediate future to prevent a lapse in funding that would result in a wind-down of the program. At a time when broadband accessibility is more important than ever, we cannot afford to lose the progress we have made in our efforts to bridge the digital divide,” congressional members wrote in a letter.

• U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) highlighted up to $1.2 billion for the Port of Oakland’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES)—California’s hydrogen hub, according to an April 4 statement from Padilla’s Office. ARCHES prioritizes improving clean hydrogen viability in some of the most challenging industries to decarbonize, including ports, power, and heavyduty transportation. It works to implement hydrogen fuel usage in aviation, maritime, and agriculture industries and create a national model for workforce development. Padilla toured the Oakland facility to learn more about how projects like ARCHES can produce and use hydrogen, improving air quality and supporting California’s workforce with green jobs. “Renewable hydrogen power will be a critical part of meeting California’s leading clean energy goals,” Padilla said in the statement . “The $1.2 billion secured to fund the ARCHES hydrogen hub will help us reach our ambitious climate goals while creating green jobs and investing in California communities. By bringing together leaders from across government, industry, labor unions, and national labs in California, we can jumpstart the market for clean hydrogen and reduce emissions, particularly in heavy industries.”

• During California’s annual snowpack survey, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s updated water plan to protect California’s water supplies from the climate crisis while boosting the state’s ability to capture and store water for when dry conditions return, according to an April 2 statement from Newsom’s office. This year’s snow survey at the Philips Station recorded 64 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 27.5 inches, which is 133 percent of the average for this location and above average overall. The updated plan specifically creates a flood-managed aquifer recharge program to capture and spread flows to recharge aquifers and integrate climate science and research to help vulnerable communities defend against flood and drought. “In the past few years alone, we’ve gone from extreme drought to some of the most intense rain and snow seasons on record—showcasing the need for us to constantly adapt to how we manage our water supplies,” Newsom said in the statement. “The water plans and strategies we’re implementing are each targeted components of our overall effort to deliver clean water to Californians by capturing, storing, and conserving more water throughout the state. This plan is a critical component of that effort.” m

County resource constraints prevent better jail health care, according to sheriff

During a special meeting to discuss jail health care, Santa Barbara County residents and the Board of Supervisors expressed concerns about care transparency, inmates’ access to timely care, and continued care for individuals once they leave the jail system.

While the Sheriff’s Office shared ongoing efforts to address these concerns, jail staffing shortages, inadequate infrastructure, and funding restraints present challenges when addressing health care issues, Sheriff Bill Brown said.

“Many in our own sectors are passionate about what we do and want to get adequate funding, but it boils down to what is the ability of the county to fund certain things and what are the priorities of the elected Board of Supervisors,” Brown said.

The April 3 special meeting held at Direct Relief in Santa Barbara brought together panelists from the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness, the Sheriff’s Office, and jail health care provider Wellpath, alongside the League of Women Voters and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice to discuss jail health care improvements and ongoing health care needs after several 2023 Santa Barbara County grand jury reports found deficiencies in the jail’s current continuum of care.

“Correctional health care is an incredibly complex and difficult task,” jail Custody Cmdr. Ryan Sullivan said during the meeting. “They are often not the best patients, who don’t take the best care of themselves. We do our best through partnerships with Behavioral Wellness and Wellpath.”

Sullivan highlighted that the county added five behavioral health units across the North and South County branches with the capacity to serve up to 96 individuals with therapeutic groups, individual counseling, and overall better access to care. The Sheriff’s Office also modified rooms to enhance facilities at the Main Jail by creating more space for telehealth and video services to improve health care confidentiality.

“Lack of staffing, lack of space is not ideal, but there is space to do confidential visits in the jail,” Sullivan said. “It’s more resource-driven to move people from housing to space while a practitioner is visiting and move them back. It’s resource-heavy from a custody standpoint.”

Wellpath has registered nurses, social workers, marriage and family therapists, dentists, and dental assistants, but there isn’t 24/7 mental health coverage, as clinicians only work specific hours during the day, leaving a gap in staffing overnight, he said.

The recently implemented Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program meant to help individuals with substance use disorders served 223 individuals in 2023 and is on track to serve more than double that amount this year, said Matt Hamlin, who helps oversee the MAT program.

“MAT nurses and substance abuse counselors are some of our constraints for the MAT program. We are actively working to rectify those constraints, we are seeking additional funding through opioid settlement funds and a state MAT assistance grant,” Hamlin said. “We are hoping either of these will help these programs.”

There’s currently a waiting list for the MAT program, while the Sheriff’s Office does its best to get people off the waitlist, staffing constraints hinder the ability to get everyone served, he said.

Laurence Severance, a member of the Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, said during the meeting that staffing levels are one aspect of the issue, but bringing Behavioral Wellness and Public Health “into the conversation is going to improve Wellpath oversight.”

The clergy, in partnership with the League of Women Voters, participate on the county’s criminal justice reform work group that meets weekly to study problems and make policy recommendations.

“Contracts should include clear consequences, monetary penalties for shortfalls in required staffing and health care,” Severance said.

He added that reducing jail populations through community-based alternatives would help alleviate workloads and create a better staff-to-resident ratio.

“Most people in jail return to our community. The other observation, which became clear during the pandemic, is [that] there are some people in the jail who don’t need to be in jail to protect public safety,” Severance said. “We give folks a better chance and custodial staff a bit of relief to reduce large numbers.”

Solvang prioritizes solving parking issues for 2024-26 budget

With the aim of completing 15 projects in a twoyear time frame, the city of Solvang is recruiting additional staff members, including a management analyst. At least half of the hiree’s workload will be dedicated to helping resolve issues the City Council decided to prioritize for the 2024-26 budget.

Traffic congestion, code enforcement, and water infrastructure were among the issues raised at a recent community workshop, Solvang’s special advisor, Rod Wood, said during the City Council’s April 8 meeting. City staff compiled feedback from both the public and city officials and summarized various issues within a ranked list of 33 goals.

Wood asked the City Council to examine the list’s top 15 goals and consider modifying or removing them, before staff begins further assessments on the 2024-26 budget.

“The good news is you have enough staff resources over the [next] two years to complete the 15 top priority goals, perhaps some others as well on the list,” Wood said, referring to both current staff and the upcoming management analyst. “At the end of the two years, you’ll actually have these done. This isn’t a wish list. If you say you want it done, we’ve committed to it.”

Wood said some of the proposed projects are based on issues that have lingered for

years. The first project on the list—inspired by community suggestions and ranked in order of a scoring system that weighed individual City Council members’ ratings—is to analyze parking improvement opportunities to relieve Solvang’s parking congestion.

City staff estimates that the parking study alone would cost $55,000 to fund a consultant or other support outside of its staff members.

“Staff availability won’t be a concern,” Wood said. “The real issue is the dollars necessary for some of the outside resources [and] consultants.”

There’s another traffic-related study on the goal list with a higher price tag, though. The project, ranked seventh on the priority scale, is described as “assess opportunities and financing to improve traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle circulation in general and especially on State Route 246,” according to the staff report.

Excluding staff time and construction fees of any future finalized project, staff estimates the study will cost about $862,000. Wood referred to this proposed study as “the big boogeyman.”

“That’s probably the most complicated issue on here, and the only thing you can actually do is analyze the multiple options you have,” said Wood, who described Solvang’s unregulated crosswalks as one of the clear problems that causes traffic congestion.

Shortly before the City Council directed staff to accept the top 15 priorities as presented, Wood recommended that the City Council combine the 15th ranked project with the 16th, as elements from the pair overlap with one another. The remaining goals in the total 33 will carry over as proposed projects in future budgets.

The 15th city goal is to “assess regional opportunities on use and development of water infrastructure,” while the 16th is to “analyze feasibility to reuse wastewater either as reclaimed wastewater, enhanced treatment for well injection, or as direct potable water.”

“The state of California has quite a bit of money set aside if you’re willing to treat your sewer to the point where you can put it back in the water pipe, convert it back to potable water,” Wood said. “[The state is] funding programs to actually use it as drinking water.”

“Most people aren’t comfortable with that thought,” Wood added with a laugh.

Slowed revenue, new state legislation limit county’s 2024-25 budget

Facing increasing costs and revenue that’s struggling to keep up, the Santa Barbara County Executive Office is recommending that the county allocate funds that will maintain current services and avoid expansions.

“Our theme this year is prudence and progress,” County CEO Mona Miyasato told the Board of Supervisors during the April 9 budget workshops. “We are consistently trying to adapt to legislative and state budget changes; we are facing greater labor costs, insurance rate increases; and the cost of doing business is always increasing at a faster rate.”

The workshops are held every April for the board to see the preliminary budget and the requests made by various departments funded by the county’s general fund—including public safety, community resources and public facilities, and health and human services. The recommended budget will go back to the board in May and be finalized by supervisors in June.

“There’s slowing growth in our general fund revenue,” Miyasato said. “High growth and other costs are always challenges to be competitive in salaries and benefits. Those costs never go down. We are trying to keep up, be competitive, and retain and recruit the best we can.”

The CEO’s office projects the county’s 202425 preliminary operating budget to total $1.59 billion—a 6.7 percent increase compared to the 2023-24 adopted budget, according to the staff

April 11 - April 18, 2024 News
FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE POLITICAL WATCH ➤ Marine exploration [6] NEWS continued page 5 ➤ Spotlight [8] 4 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
NEEDED CARE: Santa Barbara County hosted a special meeting on April 3 to discuss jail health care after several 2023 grand jury reports found severe inefficiencies.

report. However, the general fund’s revenue saw only a 3.1 percent increase, totaling $518 million, compared to an average growth of 5.5 percent, because of slowing growth in property tax, sales tax, and transient occupancy tax revenue, according to the staff report.

About $6.6 million set aside from previous fiscal years will balance out the slower revenue, according to the staff report. While revenue is anticipated to rebound in future years, growing operational costs will continue to outpace revenue and ongoing reliance on the funds set aside will be necessary to balance the budget.

“In a sea of greater uncertainty, we are buoyed by our long-term fiscal planning. I’m not recommending any ongoing expansions from the general fund and not recommending one-time expansions beyond our recommended list at this time unless there are savings, reductions, or new revenue to pay for it,” Miyasato said.

The county is still recovering from the major 2023 and 2024 winter storm damages. It sustained more than $100 million in storm damages in 2023 and $17 million in 2024—with the county still waiting to receive federal and state emergency funding allocation for 2024. The state’s budget also faces turmoil, with a projected $37.9 billion shortfall from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office—while the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates it’ll be closer to $73 billion, Miyasato said.

“It appears the state budget doesn’t severely impact the county’s budget, but it’s still too early to tell as the Legislature and governor work out compromises in the May revise,” Miyasato said.

However, new state regulations and new legislation may present challenges to local agencies, particularly those that provide health and human

services as they receive most of their funding from state and federal sources and only take 7 percent of the general fund ($27.3 million), said Paul Clemente, the county’s budget director.

Voters narrowly passed Proposition 1 during the March primary, which amends the 2004 Mental Health Services Act to redirect 30 percent of funding toward housing for the chronically homeless and issues a $6.3 billion bond to fund housing for homeless individuals and veterans with mental health or substance use disorders.

“The proposed categorical funding requirements of Proposition 1, primarily the reallocation of funding for housing, will potentially reduce funding for mental health services by $9 million, based on initial estimates,” according to the staff report.

Behavioral Wellness Director Toni Navarro told the Sun in a previous interview that this bill could present an estimated 58 percent decrease for outpatient services and a 30 percent increase in the population served.

Senate Bill 43, which passed last year, expands the eligibility for conservatorship or involuntary detention for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders—putting an additional workload on the Behavioral Wellness Department with no additional funding.

According to Behavioral Wellness’ presentation, the department’s working on redesigning planning efforts and assessing the fiscal impacts

“This past year, there were 269 [bills]; 269 weren’t passed but were on the radar,” Navarro said in the previous interview about the state’s mental health legislation. “The double-edged sword is we have a lot of changes to make and things to do. We’re pedaling faster, and across the state we are working collaboratively and doing a good job of identifying what works.” m

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Marine exploration

Cabrillo High School Aquarium highlights its next open house and upcoming exhibit as ways for the public to learn more about marine life

A1-year-old octopus gently wrapped one of its tentacles around Jenna Gorndt’s fingers as the Cabrillo High School senior lightly touched the top of its aquarium.

“I think it’s cool, having an animal that can recognize you when you’re trying to interact with her, because most animals, they aren’t going to be this excited to see someone,” she said.

Gorndt works as one of the octopus curators for the Cabrillo High School Aquarium—a marine science and Career Technical Education program at the Lompoc school. Gorndt’s role that she shares with a fellow student includes feeding the octopus five times a week and creating games for the eight-armed, nine-brained, animal to keep her stimulated, she said.

“She is a very food-motivated animal so we have a lot of puzzles for when she has her food,” Brandt said. “They are really smart and they need to have different enrichment to help them out.”

Since the octopus’s arrival in September, she’s learned what Gorndt looks like with strong eyesight and what Gorndt tastes like with her arm’s suckers, she said. The octopus also has rearranged her tank how she likes and has become more comfortable around people.

new exhibits, expanding into the nearby classrooms, and the aquarium is growing,” Eisen said. Students came to school during their spring break to gear up for the latest exhibit: a 1,200-gallon California wetlands exhibit, which is meant to emulate the Santa Ynez estuary in Lompoc and will host a variety of flatfish species—modeled after the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s touch tank exhibit where visitors can reach in and touch the animals if they wish.

On April 5, students helped drain tanks and temporarily relocate animals in order to make way for the incoming tank, along with routine feeding and cleaning responsibilities. Sand sharks and horn sharks swam in their tanks and students cleaned the interactive tide pool exhibit—which holds colorful starfish, anemones, and sea urchins.

Smaller tanks lined the back of Eisen’s classroom, filled with shark eggs, the octopus, and smaller fish species. The aquarium buzzed with energy as students chatted and laughed while they worked.

hosting field trips for elementary school students, and holding open houses for the general public. Residents can stop by on April 17 to join students in an Earth Day celebration where they will highlight the ways people can help marine habitat thrive, or on May 15 to see the latest and largest exhibit in the aquarium’s history that highlights the California wetlands.

The aquarium program began in 1986 with Dave Long, a former teacher, who worked with a student on a research project, Eisen said.

“Long was an avid scuba diver and loved the ocean, but he was also a coach, and he had this vision,” Eisen said. “He thought, ‘Why can’t we have in academia something like this stadium or gymnasium where the community comes and gets excited about what the students are doing?’”

The project blossomed into a student club where a few students met every day in a classroom that had a few tanks to care for the animals. In 2000, the school received the funding through an array of grants for its current aquarium facility, which hosts 13 to 15 exhibits and is led by Eisen and three other science teachers. Through a scientific collector’s permit, the aquarium sciences program takes students out on field trips to collect animals for the exhibits.

The wetlands exhibit is a part of a multiphased program expansion, with goals to build out its tropical gallery, which showcases colorful fish and coral species from marine ecosystems in warmer climates, and develop a new education center, Eisen said.

“The purpose of that would be because we are hosting the elementary tours for several hours—this would be a great venue for us to do the labs that we run and create a home base for the elementary children,” Eisen said.

Former student Adam Wilson joined the hustle and bustle on April 5—home after graduating from CSU Monterey Bay in December. Wilson graduated from Cabrillo in 2020, where he and fellow students completed their year in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the beginning of it, since it was a hard quarantine, it was one of the advisors [that] would come in and do all of the feeding, all the normal maintenance. It was the most important stuff like cleaning a filter if it was bad, doing a water change if they really needed it,” Wilson said. “It’s weird coming back now and seeing this many people.”

Wilson joined the aquarium sciences program as a sophomore because he needed an elective, but wasn’t sure what he’d get out of it, he said.

“She always has her eyes locked on someone when she’s moving around, like this,” she said as the octopus floated closer to the glass near Gorndt. “It’s just a very interesting animal to take care of, and I think that’s my favorite part of it.”

Gorndt is one of several students going through the aquarium’s Career Technical Education program, which gives students both the technical and soft skills needed for entry-level positions in aquarium work, said Greg Eisen, the aquarium’s director. During their time in the program, students take corresponding science classes and complete a final project their senior year. Students have gone on to work in the Monterey, San Diego, and Honolulu aquariums and the Catalina Marine Institute to continue their work after graduating.

“Since our earth is 71 percent covered by water, this is a great way to spread awareness about the ocean and its inhabitants. We want to inspire conservation of our oceans,” Eisen said.

Students do this by leading aquarium tours,

“We are restricted from certain species. We do it in a sustainable fashion. Our goal is the conservation of these species,” Eisen said.

The students in the aquarium science program curate each exhibit, advocate for continued funding, and host field trips for neighboring elementary schools three times a week.

“The No. 1 compliment that we receive from visitors to our aquarium is the students,” Eisen said. “We are a student-run program—from feeding the animals to taking care of the exhibits. They create the designs, the projects for open houses, and they also help to create the lessons for various grade levels for students.”

The aquarium sees about 8,000 visitors a year through field trips and open houses, which welcome the general public into the facility to see the students’ work and learn more about local sea life, he said.

“That number has been increasing as we have developed some good programming and getting

“My freshman year I was talking to recruiters at the Air Force Academy for mechanical engineering because I had no clue what I wanted to do, and then being in here showed me that these hands-on things like learning about all of these animals and caring for them, it was really game-changing for me.”

During his time in the program, Wilson worked on fundraising efforts to eventually establish the interactive tide pool exhibit and two new filtration systems. He went on to study marine science at CSU Monterey where he joined the dive program and participated in several research projects, he said.

Working at the Cabrillo aquarium with kids gave Wilson “a love for teaching,” and he plans to work at the Catalina Island Marine Institute’s school year program, Sea Me, he said.

“I hope to teach; I want to come back to this high school obviously and work here again, but I want to become a teacher afterwards,” Wilson said. “This program’s really shaped who I am.” m

Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at toconnor@ News COVER
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HANDS-ON LEARNING: Cabrillo High students came in to the school’s aquarium on April 4 during their spring break to change filters, feed the animals, and gear up for their open house scheduled for April 17.
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agencies, and tribal governments to advance civic engagement, public health, social justice, and climate resilience across the Central Coast. The grant provided $140,000 to 23 year-long projects, including the Family Service Agency’s collaboration with Navarro III.

“This is a pilot program,” Navarro III said. “I really enjoy the opportunity to not have any precedents. It’s just based on what we want to do for the community, what would feel right, and what [we feel would] engage with the community.”

The all-ages fashion show will be packed with fresh florals and greenery, and it will also highlight other artists’ work, including one who paints migrant workers on local produce boxes to pay homage to those who help drive the agriculture industry in town, Navarro III said.

Alongside showcasing his own work, he said he’s looking for fellow seamstresses, creatives, and designers to participate in the free community event to show that fashion can be a part of anybody’s life.

“There’s not one style that needs to be reflected. As long as you worked on it and you can wear it, put it in if you want to put it in,” he said.

Community fashion

Guadalupe artist hosts the city’s first fashion show through a new grant program

Thursday May 2 5:30 Doors Open 6:00 The Show Begins! Lakeview Junior High School Gym 3700 Orcutt Road

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Guadalupe resident Arnulfo Navarro III was always drawn to fashion as a form of personal expression

By keeping it a casual, community gathering that includes other artists’ work, Navarro III said he hopes that people can see that fashion and the creative arts are inclusive to his community.

“That’s really exciting—being able to shift those concepts of fashion and modeling into my community members because most people don’t think of themselves. They think of catwalks, crazy outfits, an insane kind of music,” he said. “I just want people to understand that this is fun, by us, for us. These are our stories told by us.” The fashion show will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers and artists are scheduled to show up at 8 a.m. Email if interested in participating.

“That’s where I think I’m breaking through the most. I’m showing up as myself and people are taking that at face value,” he said. “I’m just trying to enjoy life and enjoy my everyday life, and … I’m trying to practice creativity. This makes me feel good and it’s worth my time.”


Navarro III began pushing his boundaries with fashion in high school where he realized he was saving his best clothes for the weekends or days he knew he’d be with his friends, he said.

Kids and adults alike will be dazzled by their basketball talent and it will be a fun night for the whole family.

Adult tickets - $10

Youth Tickets - $5

“Why don’t I wear my best clothes every day?” he asked. “What do I like to wear and have fun with? It’s such a personal thing.”

Navarro III later learned how to sew and began putting together his own pieces, but he never had a place to display them, he said. As a Central Coast Creative Corps resident artist, Navarro will be collaborating with the Santa Barbara County Family Services Agency to host a free fashion show at Guadalupe City Hall on April 20.

• The Santa Maria Public Library will host free adult craft workshops during April in the Library’s Learning Loft—421 S. McClelland St. Residents can decoupage gardening pots on April 13 at 10:30 a.m.; make bee baths on April 20 at 2 p.m.; create watercolor bubble art on April 22 at 4 p.m.; or craft lightbulb air balloons on April 27 at 2 p.m. All materials will be provided, but space is limited and registration is required. Register at library or call (805) 925-0994, Ext. 8562.

“This is the first fashion show in Guadalupe as far as I could tell. This has never happened before,” he said.

The Central Coast Creative Corps is a new grant opportunity funded by the California Arts Council with the goal of investing in artists across disciplines to partner with nonprofits, government

• The Lompoc Parks and Recreation department is offering the Jr. Giants Summer Baseball program free for children between 5 and 13 years old. The program is a noncompetitive baseball league sponsored by the San Francisco Giants Community Fund. Kids will learn about baseball, leadership, teamwork, integrity, and confidence. Lompoc Parks and Recreation is also looking for volunteer coaches. The summer league is scheduled to begin in midJune. Register at gojrgiants. org. m

Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at toconnor@

Promote! Send business and nonprofit information to MUSIC FLAVOR/EATS INFO CALENDAR OPINION NEWS STROKES ARTS News SPOTLIGHT
CREATIVE EXPRESSION : Through a Central Coast Creative Corps grant, Guadalupe resident artist Arnulfo Navarro III plans to host a fashion show in Guadalupe on April 20, where he will highlight some of his work. He hopes to find more artists to join.
8 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •

What do you think about adding a new county tax measure to the November ballot?

50% It’s good the Board of Supervisors decided against it; it’s not good timing financially.

38% It will help taxpayers now, but the county should explore it later.

12% Waiting on this will hurt our library funding.

0% I’m worried that public services might see impacts as the county has shortfalls. 8 Votes Vote online at

Northern Santa Barbara County’s News & Entertainment Weekly 801 S Broadway Suite 3 Santa Maria, CA 93454




FOUNDER | Steve Moss 1948-2005

EDITORIAL EDITOR | Camillia Lanham

Seventy-five years ago, the legendary California Zephyr debuted with “modern” passenger train service from Chicago to Oakland. As a child, I often watched from my bedroom as the orange-and-silver Zephyr locomotive roared by our Redding home.

In the 19th century, iron rails literally stitched our continent together. In 1875, the narrow-gauge Pacific Coast Railway reached San Luis Obispo and the town began to thrive. In 1894, the larger Southern Pacific Railroad steamed into town; by 1901 it connected SF to LA.

Initially, steam locomotives were powered by coal. By 1960, diesel trains like the Zephyr dominated this vital transportation network. Private passenger trains couldn’t compete, however, with airlines and freeways. The last California Zephyr came churning past our home in 1970, the same year I left home for college at UC Santa Cruz.

And in January 1971, after only a few months in Santa Cruz, we learned of a major disaster just to the north: Two Standard Oil tankers had collided outside the Golden Gate, spilling 840,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the ocean.

Hours earlier, the Arizona Standard had left the Chevron terminal here at Estero Bay carrying a full load of crude oil for the company’s Richmond refinery. In the dead of night amid dense fog, it rammed into another tanker outbound from Richmond with its hold full of bunker fuel.

As the oil spread southward, an enormous volunteer force materialized—the largest citizen response to a Bay Area disaster since the 1906 earthquake—and I joined them.

With my fellow UCSC students, we trekked to our northern beaches and set about the gruesome task of rounding up dozens of shuddering seabirds covered in bunker fuel. We tried to clean them up using mineral oil supplied by Chevron; most didn’t make it. International Bird Rescue estimates that of

the 4,300 birds we treated, only about 300 survived.

Those dark days in 1971 anointed me as a lifelong environmentalist. In 1979, the Abalone Alliance began to launch protests against licensing Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant; I was among them. In the early 1980s, as Sierra Club chapter chair, I forged an alliance with the chamber of commerce to fight offshore oil leasing off the Central Coast.

Sadly, a series of unfortunate events have overtaken the best intentions of our environmental movement to direct our energy policy.

In 1973, armed forces of Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War by invading Israel. Ultimately, Israel counter-attacked and prevailed, but the consequences of that war resounded beyond the Middle East.

OPEC nations implemented an oil embargo that crippled U.S. imports of crude oil from the Persian Gulf and caused severe gasoline shortages. Fuel stations were besieged by long lines of cars; gas prices soared to record heights.

In response to the OPEC oil embargo, President Richard Nixon announced “Project Independence,” pledging that “by 1980, we shall meet America’s needs from America’s own energy resources.” In a special message to Congress, Nixon noted that “our greatest dependence for energy until now has been on fossil fuels. … We must not and we need not continue this heavy reliance in the future.”

Then Nixon announced his own program: “The major alternative to fossil fuel energy for the remainder of the century is nuclear energy.” He called for 1,000 nuclear plants to be built by the end of the 20th century, producing half the nation’s energy demand.

That never happened, of course: Orders for nuclear plants dropped precipitously after Nixon left office in 1974. Opposition to nuclear power grew in the wake of the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown in 1979 and the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

And today, there is still no plan to provide safe, permanent depositories for the 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste now stored at 77 reactor sites in 35 states, including Diablo Canyon.

So where are we now, half a century after Nixon set that laudable goal of weaning the nation off fossil fuels? Last year, the U.S. consumed 79 percent of its energy from fossil fuels; only 8 percent is from nuclear

power and 13 percent from renewables (solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal).

In 2010, we experienced another massive oil spill when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew out and discharged a plume of more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, smaller spills from pipelines, trains, and ships continue to plague our shorelines and waterways. In 2015, the Plains All American pipeline ruptured near Refugio State Beach and spilled 143,000 gallons of crude onto the Gaviota Coast west of Santa Barbara, fouling no fewer than four Marine Protected Areas.

Do we have the political will to break our addiction to fossil fuels? Can we ever find a way to safely store and manage the spent fuel from our remaining operational nuclear power plants—let alone any new ones? m

John Ashbaugh is still haunted by the nightmares of those oil-covered birds on the beaches of Santa Cruz. Contact him through the editor at clanham@ Or send a letter for publication to

Homelessness solutions require broad agreement

Most people can broadly agree on a few things about the homeless. It is distressing to see them. They make an awful mess. Some of them are dangerous. They devalue our cities and neighborhoods. They reduce our collective quality of life.

Beyond these areas of broad agreement opinions diverge. Consensus is lost. Possibilities are limited. So let us focus on the areas of broad agreement. The homeless problem is going to be fixed, at least within the context of that broad agreement. People are simply not going to put up with this dysfunction forever.

Red state governors often like to brag that they don’t have a homeless problem. This is often true, because they throw the poor into prison. A couple of minor thefts and an out-of-control campfire, and it’s three strikes, you’re out. Society gets to pay $60,000 a year for your upkeep and you, the homeless, get to be terrorized by hardened psychopaths.

This is a seriously shitty solution to the homeless problem. Nonetheless, it is an option. One that will be chosen by voters sooner or later, if the left does not present a solution first.

Of course, the left does have a solution: homes. With working plumbing, electricity, fire alarms. The problem is that this solution is not within our broad consensus. Whether it makes sense morally or fiscally, the majority of people are not prepared to pay for that. They would be much more enthused to pay for prisons.

So where does this leave us?

If you look at societies with large numbers of poor, you discover shanty towns. These are sheds and lean-tos, often with dirt floors, no running water or sanitation. It is an enclosed shelter where the poor may sleep and keep their meager belongings.

Such dwellings can be very easily made from old shipping containers. Two dwellings of 8-by-10 feet can be created for less than $2,000. These dwellings are compact, can be painted in natural colors, and can be put in the places the homeless currently live. In this case, they’d even have a solid floor.

This is not the wonderful liberal, progressive solution that many of us have dreamed of. However, if I am ever homeless, and the choice is between me sleeping inside one of these safe, secure, dry containers, or being brutalized by my convicted murderer roommate in a jail cell somewhere, please let me live in the container.

The voting population is fed up with the problem. Sooner or later, they’re going to replace those of us who want compassionate solutions with those who will favor brutal solutions. Before that happens, can we please try to alleviate this problem in the reasonably humane way that is working all over the rest of the world?

San Luis
Sean R. Shealy
A bad habit We must end our addiction to fossil fuels
EDITOR Andrea Rooks STAFF WRITERS Taylor O’Connor ARTS EDITOR | Caleb Wiseblood STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER | Jayson Mellom ART DIRECTOR | Alex Zuniga EDITORIAL DESIGNERS | Leni Litonjua, Taylor Saugstad CONTRIBUTORS | Glen Starkey, Anna Starkey, Ross Mayfield ADVERTISING SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE | Kimberly Rosa ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Katy Gray, Lee Ann Vermeulen, Andrea McVay, Kristen LaGrange, Andre King PRODUCTION ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER Mary Grace Flaus GRAPHIC DESIGNERS | Ellen Fukumoto, Danielle Ponce Business Cindy Rucker CIRCULATION | Jim Chaney, Michael Ferrell, Margo Baldives, Simon Lopez PUBLISHERS | Bob Rucker, Alex Zuniga OFFICE ASSISTANT / ACCOUNT MANAGER | Kristen LaGrange MARKETING & PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR | Michael Gould SUBMITTING LETTERS WRITE | Mail your letter to Sun Letters, 801 S Broadway Suite 3, Santa Maria, CA 93454. Include your name, address, and phone number. FAX | (805) 546-8641 E-MAIL |, TO ADVERTISE DISPLAY ADS | Rates and special discounts are available. Call our ad department at (805) 347-1968. CLASSIFIEDS | Call (805) 546-8208, Ext. 211. Visa and MasterCard accepted. ONLINE Visit the Sun web site at Our site was developed and designed by Foundation, a website development company ( The Sun is published every Thursday for your enjoyment. One copy of each issue is available free to Northern Santa Barbara County residents and visitors. Subscriptions to the Sun are $156 per year. The entire contents of the Sun are copyrighted by the Sun and cannot be reproduced without specific written permission from the publisher. Because a product or service is advertised in the Sun does not mean that we endorse its use. We hope readers will use their own good judgement in choosing products most beneficial to their well-being. We welcome submissions. Please accompany them with a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. All letters to the editor become the property of the Sun. © 2024 Sun Speak up! Send us your views and opinion to MUSIC FLAVOR/EATS INFO CALENDAR OPINION NEWS STROKES ARTS Opinion ➤ Canary [10] LETTERS • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 9





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Every time the Santa Barbara County jails get critiqued, Sheriff Bill Brown is ready with one of his classics: We need more money.

He’s uttered an iteration of that line more times than I can count. With any whiff of constructive criticism, Brown’s armed and ready with his defenses. The county jail is short-staffed, has inadequate infrastructure, and is restrained by underfunding.

We don’t even need him to speak anymore. We already know what he’s going to say.

“Many in our own sectors are passionate about what we do and want to get adequate funding, but it boils down to what is the ability of the county to fund certain things and what are the priorities of the elected Board of Supervisors,” Brown said.

He threw shade at the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors during a recent special meeting discussing jail health care—it came on the heels of a March presentation that revealed more than 1,600 complaints were filed by county inmates last year and the year before, a more than 600-complaint increase over 2021.

“Significant trends,” according to the staff report, were an increase in the number of complaints filed related to access to care, medications, medication-assisted treatment, mental health, and dental care. Many at the jail health discussion stressed a need for improvement.

Don’t worry! I guess we can fix the problem by throwing more money at it? That always works.

The Northern Branch Jail—Brown’s $120 million answer to the county’s correction system conundrums like overcrowding at the Main Jail and a lack of mental health treatment beds and outpatient hospital beds in the jail—was finally

finished and opened for business in 2022. The county jail has expanded the number of beds available to inmates, added behavioral health units to facilitate things like counseling, and made space for inmates to receive services like telehealth.

However, complaints from inmates have increased since then. So, I’m not so sure money is the answer.

Besides, there’s no more money for the county to pull out of its general fund cap! According to the recent budget workshops, Santa Barbara County needs to make do with what it’s currently got going on.

“I’m not recommending any ongoing expansions from the general fund and not recommending one-time expansions beyond our recommended list at this time unless there are savings, reductions, or new revenue to pay for it,” County CEO Mona Miyasato told supervisors during a recent budget hearing.

Some county departments are in for a little extra hurt thanks to some new state laws, such as Proposition 1, which voters narrowly passed in March. Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness could lose 30 percent of its funding for some programs and experience a 58 percent increase in the number of clients it serves.

Lack of funding will definitely constrain the department, as it attempts to revamp the way it provides services to the most vulnerable in the county. But it doesn’t sound like BWell’s director is complaining.

“The double-edged sword is we have a lot of changes to make and things to do. We’re pedaling faster, and across the state we are working collaboratively and doing a good job of identifying what works,” Behavioral Wellness Director Toni Navarro said. m

The Canary knows money doesn’t solve everything. Send some to

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Hot Stuff



BALLROOM, LATIN, AND SWING DANCE CLASSES Social ballroom, Latin, and swing lessons for all ages. Beginner and advance classes. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. $45-$55. 805-928-7799. KleinDance Arts, 3558 Skyway Drive, suite A, Santa Maria.

DANCE CLASSES: EVERYBODY CAN DANCE Classes available for all skill levels. Class sizes limited. Everybody Can Dance, 628 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria, 805937-6753,


The Santa Maria Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host a poetry jam session in recognition of National Poetry Month at the Library. Read poems by Amanda Gorman and other poet activists or self-penned poems for up to five minutes. First-come, first-served. April 13 2-4 p.m. Free. 805925-0994. departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.

LEARN CALIFORNIA’S OFFICIAL DANCE: WEST COAST SWING Learn west coast swing in a casual, friendly environment, taught by Texas state swing champion, Gina Sigman. Free intro from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Beyond the Basics ($10) is 7 to 7:45 p.m. $10 entry includes social dance (7:45 to 8:15 p.m.). Tuesdays, 6:30-8:15 p.m. 832-884-8114. Cubanissimo Cuban Coffee House, 4869 S. Bradley Rd., #118, Orcutt.

LOT’S WIFE An episodic play told in the original, quirky voice of its main character. With wry humor and rare honesty, she relives the sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, but always pivotal


The Santa Ynez Valley High School Theatre Group presents its production of You Can’t Take It With You with performances April 18 through 27, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7 p.m. each evening. This Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy follows an eccentric family and is described as appropriate for all ages. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for adults. Call (805) 688-6487 to find out more about the production.

events of her life. April 12-28 Orcutt Community Theater (Klein Dance Arts), 3546 Skyway Drive, Bldg. 1, suite A, Orcutt.

POETRY READING BY LEE HERRICK, CALIFORNIA POET LAUREATE The California Poet Laureate, Lee Herrick, will read his poetry. With a Q-and-A to follow. His books will be available for purchase at the event and refreshments will be served. Music intro and outro by Terry Sanville. April 17 6:30-8 p.m. Free. 805-925-0994. Shepard Hall Art Gallery (Santa Maria Public Library), 421 South McClelland St., Santa Maria.

VALLEY READS BOOK CLUB The Valley Reads is a monthly book club for adults featuring coffee, snacks, and lively discussion. April 13 , 2 p.m. Free. 805925-0994. departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.



YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU The acclaimed comedy is set in the home of Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhoff and his eccentric family. Worlds collide when Alice brings home the boss’s son to meet the family. April 18 7-9 p.m., April 19, 7-9 p.m. and April 20, 7-9 p.m. Adults $10; Students $5. 805-688-6487. Santa Ynez High School Little Theater, 2975 CA-246, Santa Ynez.


Featuring more than 20 large-format documentary inkjet photographs of the Golden State, this timely exhibition showcases George Rose’s recent expansive documentation of California’s dramatic water story. Through July 8 California Nature Art Museum, 1511-B Mission Dr., Solvang,


VINEYARD A fun and creative workshop where participants learn how to make their own floral headpieces. Class includes all materials for the class and one glass of wine. April 14, 11 a.m. Vega Vineyard and Farm, 9496 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton, 805-688-2415.


Spend the afternoon sipping delicious wine and capturing the beauty of the surrounding landscape on canvas. April 20, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $89. 805-325-8092. Kaena at the Ranch, 800 E. Hwy 246, Solvang.

POETRY IN PAPER Karen Bit Vejle’s gallery show. Make sure to experience this unique gallery exhibit during the museum’s regular hours before the show ends. Through May 7 Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, 1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, 805686-1211,




Award-winning local artist Carol Talley is giving a pastel painting workshop and demonstration at Sunburst. She will show how to create a garden painting. Talley is a signature member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast. April 20 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $65. 805-736-6528. Sunburst Retreat Center, 7200 CA-1, Lompoc.

WATERCOLOR IN THE VINEYARD AT MELVILLE WINERY Visit the Melville Winery and grab a glass of wine and a paintbrush. April 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $75. 805325-8092. Melville Estate Winery, 5185 E. Hwy 246, Lompoc.


ABSTRACTED BOTANICALS A four-day workshop with Roberta Ahrens. Limited

to 12 students. This unique workshop with cracked linen canvas and abstracted botanicals is “a journey into your unique expression on intriguing surface material.” April 20 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and April 21 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $1,237 includes lunch daily. 805-550-6399. Willow Pond SLO, 1250 Judith Lane, Arroyo Grande.

THE FISH WHISPERER A mysterious outsider plots to fix a small fishing town’s sudden bad luck when it comes to fishing. Through May 11 Great American Melodrama, 1863 Front St., Oceano.

LITTLE MERMAID JR. Presented by Coastal Youth Theater. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories. An enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. April 19, 7-9 p.m., April 20, 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. and April 21 3-5 p.m. $25-$30. 805-489-9444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.


BOOKS This event promises to be an exciting opportunity for book lovers to engage with talented local authors. Admission is free, and attendees will have the chance to purchase signed books directly from authors. April 14 2-4 p.m. Free entry. 805-668-6300. Monarch Books, 201 E. Branch St., Arroyo Grande.

MAKING STYROFOAM/CONCRETE FORMS FOR MOSAIC This three-day workshop will focus on using hot wire foam carving tools to creating light weight, weather resistant, mosaic-ready forms out of styrofoam (polystyrene), fiber mesh, and concrete. Guests will leave with a mosaic-ready sculpture along with informative handouts. April 12 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 13 , 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and April 14, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $495. 805-440-

3054. Passiflora Mosaics, 330 N. 10th St., Grover Beach. RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S

CINDERELLA The clock is ticking. Get ready for a night of laughs, love, and catchy tunes as St. Joseph High School presents this classic musical. The talented cast and crew have been working hard to bring a fun and lighthearted rendition of this timeless classic to life. April 19, 7-9:30 p.m. and April 20 2-4:30 & 7-9:30 p.m. $20. 805489-9444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.


ADAM PARKER SMITH: FOR THE TIME BEING This exhibition will feature several works made throughout the artist’s career as sort of a mid-career retrospective. Adam Parker Smith has a unique ability to address complex themes in a whimsical, light-hearted way that makes his work incredibly accessible. Through July 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-543-8562. exhibition/adam-parker-smith/. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo.

APRIL BANKS: OUTLANDISH Los Angeles-based artist April Banks is a creative strategist working across visual art, social engagement, and exhibition design. Her practice sits intentionally between image, space, and experience. Through July 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-543-8562. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo.

BARRY GOYETTE: MULBERRY For his exhibition at SLOMA, San Luis Obispobased artist Barry Goyette shows a series of portraits taken by a very specific mulberry tree as a site for portrait photography guided by the models, of varying stages of life. Through June 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-543-8562. exhibition/barry-goyette-mulberry/. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo.

CREATIVITY DAYS WITH THE SILK ARTISTS OF CALIFORNIA CENTRAL COAST These are not “classes” as there is no formal teaching (although there is lots of sharing and learning). It’s an

opportunity to work on your own projects with your own materials while picking up new skills among friends. Third Monday of every month $3; first session free. Art Central, 1329 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, 805-747-4200.

GISELLE Grand Kyiv Ballet presents an unforgettable journey filled with passion, betrayal, and forgiveness with this French ballet. April 13 7-9 p.m. $47-$67. 805-7564849. Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.


Presented by Bootleg Standup. April 16 8-10 p.m. Libertine Brewing Company, 1234 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, 805-548-2337.

MUSE WRITING CIRCLE Join Leslie St. John for a journey out of the analytical mind into the creative imagination. Gather in a supportive circle of women to write stories, express truths, listen as an art form, and empower our voices. Enjoy sips, soup, and sweets. Bring journal. Event address revealed to those who register. April 12 7-9 p.m. Sliding scale: $35-$50. 805-704-6420. San Luis Obispo, Citywide, SLO.

PAINTING TERRACE HILL SUNSET WITH DREW DAVIS Check site for tickets and more info on the class. April 21, 1-3 p.m. Drew Davis Fine Art, 393 Pacific St., San Luis Obispo.


Receive step-bystep instruction for creating a beautiful bird-themed paper collage using multiple mediums, including hand painted rice papers. Beginners are welcome and no experience is necessary. April 20 1-4:30 p.m. $40 per person. 805-4782158. Art Central, 1329 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.

STRAWBERRY PICKER: FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION A film screening of the 30-minute documentary about influential Chicano printmaker Juan Fuentes, followed by a discussion with Fuentes and the filmmakers of Watsonville’s Inspira Studio. April 13 1-3

—Caleb Wiseblood
ARTS continued page 12 New Times and the Sun now share their community listings for a complete Central Coast calendar running from SLO County through northern Santa Barbara County. Submit events online by logging in with your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account at You may also email Deadline is one week before the issue date on Thursdays. Submissions are subject to editing and approval. Contact Calendar Editor Caleb Wiseblood directly at INDEX Arts....................................... 11 Culture & Lifestyle ........... 12 Food & Drink 18 Music .................................. 20 10-DAY CALENDAR: APRIL 11 - APRIL 21, 2024

p.m. Free. History Center of San Luis Obispo County, 696 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, 805-543-0638,

UBU’S OTHER SHOE STAGED READING: WORLD PREMIERE Title TBD. Experience being a part of the creative process as SLO Rep presents the world premiere of a brand new play. April 19 -20, 7-8:30 p.m. and April 20 2-3:30 p.m. $15-$25. 805-786-2440. SLO Rep, 888 Morro St., San Luis Obispo.

VOLAR: FLAMENCO EN VIVO 2024 Born in Seattle to parents of Puerto Rican and Irish ancestry, Savannah discovered Flamenco in her late teens and has never looked back. April 12 6-9 p.m. The Bunker SLO, 810 Orcutt Road, San Luis Obispo.


ME Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful play she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7-9 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 2-4 p.m. through April 14 $20-$40. 805-786-2440. what-the-constitution-means-to-me/. SLO Rep, 888 Morro St., San Luis Obispo.


APRIL ARTISTS RECEPTION AND ATRIUM PARTY Gallery at Marina Square hosts its April Atrium Party and Artists Reception. Come meet the artists, be inspired, enjoy food, refreshments, a tree filled atrium, and all the businesses in Marina Square area. Featuring artists Jeff Odell, Michael Johnston, and Hope Myers. April 13 3-5 p.m. Free. 805-772-1068. Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero suite 10, Morro Bay.




This hands-on workshop will teach home maintenance and repair skills, housekeeping know-how, and basic sewing and mending skills. All participants will receive their own sewing kit to take home. Refreshments will be served. Designed for ages 16-30. April 16, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free. 805-9250994. departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


Join Marian’s President and CEO Sue Andersen and fellow hospital leaders to learn how the medical center is fulfilling its promise to the community by remaining at the forefront of health care innovation. April 11 8-9:30 a.m. Free. 805-739-3595. Marian Regional Medical Center, 1400 E. Church St., Santa Maria.

COMMUNITY HELPER STORY TIME: POLICE Astory time with a police officer and a chance to see a patrol car up close. Bring your questions and stay for the activities. In partnership with the Santa Maria Police Department. April 17 11 a.m. 805-925-0994. Santa Maria Public Library (Altrusa Theater), 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


GARDENING POTS Looking for a new hobby? Come to CraftWorks and learn the art of decoupage and create a beautiful gardening pot. This workshop is free, and all materials will be provided. Registration is required, for patrons 18 and older. April 13 10:30-midnight Free. 805-9250994.

departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.

FEEL GOOD YOGA Tuesdays, Thursdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m. 805-937-9750. oasisorcutt. org. Oasis Center, 420 Soares Ave., Orcutt.

GROUP WALKS AND HIKES Check website for the remainder of this year’s group hike dates and private hike offerings. ongoing 805-343-2455. Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, 1065 Guadalupe St., Guadalupe.

LET’S BLOW OFF SOME STEAM Come to a special story time that encourages curiosity and exploration. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math themes will be explored through stories and discovered through hands-on activities. Come dressed for mess. Ideal for younger children, but all ages welcome. April 11 4 p.m. 805-9250994. Santa Maria Public Library (Altrusa Theater), 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.

MUSIC AND MOVEMENT Sing, dance, play instruments, and move to the beat. Develop motor skills and listening skills while having fun. Ideal for younger children, but all ages welcome. April 15 11 a.m. 805-9250994. Santa Maria

Public Library (Altrusa Theater), 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.



Coin collectors of all ages invited. Bring coins for free appraisals. Third Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m. Yearly membership: $20-$25. 805-9373158. Elwin Mussell Senior Center, 510 Park Ave., Santa Maria.


FOR ORCUTT TRAILS Enjoy a relaxing day under the oak trees. Features live music, bike race, run/walks, food trucks, recreation field, booths, and more.

Directions: turn off of the southbound 101 once you’re 0.8 miles past the Orcutt/Clark Avenue exit. April 13 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $20 per carload; free for ages under 18. Newlove Picnic Grounds at Solomon Hills, 1555 Orcutt Hill Road, Orcutt.


Find all your needs for the special day in one location. Meet local florists, photographers, DJs, bakers, and more. April 20 10 a.m.-4 p.m. cityofsantamaria. org. Santa Maria Veterans Memorial Center, 313 W. Tunnell St., Santa Maria.

YOGA STORY TIME Children and caregivers will be introduced to mindfulness and learn exercises to help regulate emotions. Space and supplies are limited. Borrow a yoga mat or bring one from home. This program runs approximately 30 minutes. April 14 2 p.m. 805-925-0994. Santa Maria Public Library (Altrusa Theater), 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


THE NEAL TAYLOR NATURE CENTER 27TH ANNUAL FISH DERBY Rain or shine. $5,000 plus in cash prizes. Thousands more in merchandise prizes. Register in advance. April 20 6 a.m.-10 p.m. $10-$45. 805-693-8381. Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, 2265 CA-154, Cachuma Lake.

SEEAG HOSTS SECOND ANNUAL EARTH DAY PLANTOPIA U-PICK YOUR GARDEN FUNDRAISER Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) will host its fundraiser to celebrate Earth Day. Participants can select a combination of 12 small plants to fill two six-pack containers. Pre-order online and receive a free bag of compost from Agromin. April 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $35. 805892-8155. Refugio Ranch Tasting Room, 2990 Grand Ave., Los Olivos.


CITY GARDEN CARE DAY Earth Day is almost upon us; help beautify Lompoc’s demonstration garden, which is now in full bloom and provides examples of plants that grow well in our area. Wear comfortable clothes, a sunhat, and closedtoe shoes. First-time volunteers welcome.


Hotel San Luis Obispo will host its third annual Rosé the SLO Way wine festival and fundraiser on Sunday, April 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests will taste wines from 20 Central Coastbased boutique wineries, meet some team members behind the wines, and enjoy savory food pairings. Admission is $150. Visit for more info. Hotel San Luis Obispo is located at 877 Palm St., San Luis Obispo.

April 20 9 a.m.-noon Free. 805-450-3668. City of Lompoc Drought Tolerant Garden, 1801 W. Central Ave., Lompoc.


CLUB MIXER The Half-Century Club is the grown-up way to stay young at heart. Come find out why. See what it has to offer. Event features refreshments and photo booth, and is co-sponsored by Aspen Dental. April 12 5-7 p.m. 805-291-6092.

Valley of Flowers Half-Century Club, 341 No. N St., Lompoc.

SOUTH COAST SLO COUNTY 21ST ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE AND SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER Nine CCGGA member nurseries throughout Nipomo and Arroyo Grande will open their doors to the public in effort to raise money for their scholarship fund. Each nursery donates a portion of that day’s sales to the CCGGA scholarship fund for horticulture students. April 13 , 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 800961-8901. Nipomo High School, 525 N Thompson Ave, Nipomo. CULTURE & LIFESTYLE continued page 18

Hot Stuff APRIL 11 - APRIL 21, 2024 ARTS from page 11
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOTEL SAN LUIS OBISPO #1 #3 #4 #5 #6 #9 #10 APRIL 12 - 13 | ALL DAY SWANSON BEACH VOLLEY B ALL COMPLEX 12 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
Santa Maria is Our Passion Supporting SANTA MARIA CAMPUS 1687 West Stowell Road Santa Maria, CA 93458 SANTA MARIA DOG TRAINING CENTER 1517 Stowell Center Plaza, Suite B Santa Maria, CA 93458 805-964-4777 With a full-service campus and a dog training center in Santa Maria, we are your one-stop destination for dog and cat adoptions, low-cost veterinary care, dog training, and much more! • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 13

Last year in Santa Maria

Last year in Santa Maria

$423,761 in financial assistance was distributed to Santa Maria families through the TLC Fund for veterinary care. (This accounts for 82% of our TLC Fund distributions and was a 99% increase from 2022.)

$423,761 in financial assistance was distributed to Santa Maria families through the TLC Fund for veterinary care.

(This accounts for 82% of our TLC Fund distributions and was a 99% increase from 2022.)

927 animals were adopted at our Santa Maria campus.

927 animals were adopted at our Santa Maria campus.


feral cats in Santa Maria were spayed or neutered as part of our no-cost Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program.

758 feral cats in Santa Maria were spayed or neutered as part of our no-cost Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program.



crucial dog training classes were provided to Santa Maria families.

crucial dog training classes were provided to Santa Maria families.



While adoptions are at our core, we do so much more at Santa Barbara Humane. With six veterinarians, four animal behaviorists, and a team of dedicated staff, we’re here to assist you and your pets. Our vision is to create a happy, healthy community for all animals.

While adoptions are at our core, we do so much more at Santa Barbara Humane. With six veterinarians, four animal behaviorists, and a team of dedicated staff, we’re here to assist you and your pets. Our vision is to create a happy, healthy community for all animals.



• Cat and dog adoption

• Cat and dog adoption

• Veterinary services including spay/neuter, vaccinations, wellness exams and comprehensive services

• Veterinary services including spay/neuter, vaccinations, wellness exams and comprehensive services

• Free feral cat Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program

• Free feral cat Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program

• Compassionate end-of-life services

• Compassionate end-of-life services

• Affordable and humane dog training classes

• Affordable and humane dog training classes

• Animal fostering

• Animal fostering

• Pet rehoming

• Pet rehoming

• Emergency preparedness education

• Emergency preparedness education

• Pet supply and food pantry

• Pet supply and food pantry

• Stray/found animal care

• Stray/found animal care

• And so much more!

• And so much more!



Santa Maria Campus 1687 W. Stowell Rd Santa Maria, CA 93458

Santa Maria Campus 1687 W. Stowell Rd Santa Maria, CA 93458

Santa Barbara Campus 5399 Overpass Rd Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Santa Barbara Campus 5399 Overpass Rd Santa Barbara, CA 93111

The adoption centers are open Daily from 12:00 p.m.—4:30 p.m., closed Wednesdays.

The adoption centers are open Daily from 12:00 p.m.—4:30 p.m., closed Wednesdays.

The Veterinary Clinics are open 7 days a week, by appointment.*

The Veterinary Clinics are open 7 days a week, by appointment.*



28,656 animals received affordable or free veterinary care.

28,656 animals received affordable or free veterinary care.

2,127 animals were adopted into loving homes.

2,127 animals were adopted into loving homes.

1,030 dogs learned behavioral skills through free or low-cost humane behavior training.

1,030 dogs learned behavioral skills through free or low-cost humane behavior training.

734 animals were transferred in from overcrowded shelters.

734 animals were transferred in from overcrowded shelters.

$514,799 in free veterinary services through our TLC program.

$514,799 in free veterinary services through our TLC program.

Year over year, we have seen an average 25% increase across our programs and services.

Year over year, we have seen an average 25% increase across our programs and services.



4,161 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered at our Santa Maria veterinary clinic.

4,161 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered at our Santa Maria veterinary clinic.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, our programs and services are made possible by the generosity of the community. Santa Barbara Humane is supported 60% through earned revenue and 40% through contributed revenue.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, our programs and services are made possible by the generosity of the community. Santa Barbara Humane is supported 60% through earned revenue and 40% through contributed revenue.

Visit to to learn how you can get involved and make a difference for our community’s animals.

Visit to to learn how you can get involved and make a difference for our community’s animals.

* Santa Barbara Humane does not provide emergency veterinary services.

* Santa Barbara Humane does not provide emergency veterinary services.

14 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •



Seeing outdoor cats in your neighborhood? Santa Barbara Humane offers a free Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program for feral or unowned community cats.

Seeing outdoor cats in your neighborhood? Santa Barbara Humane offers a free Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program for feral or unowned community cats.

To learn more, visit or scan the QR code:

To learn more, visit or scan the QR code:



Email or call 805-964-4777 ext. 205.

Email or call 805-964-4777 ext. 205.

For a limited time only, we are offering spay/neuter for owned cats for only $5.

For a limited time only, we are offering spay/neuter for owned cats for only $5.

To schedule an appointment, visit

To schedule an appointment, visit

Join one of our group dog training classes and embark on a journey of building a stronger bond with your dog. Our classes are designed to address specific needs and challenges faced by dog owners, offering a supportive and educational environment for both you and your canine companion.

Join one of our group dog training classes and embark on a journey of building a stronger bond with your dog. Our classes are designed to address specific needs and challenges faced by dog owners, offering a supportive and educational environment for both you and your canine companion.

• Puppy Class

• Reactive Rover

• Puppy Class

• Reactive Rover

• Basic Manners

• Basic Manners

• Shy Dog Class

• Shy Dog Class

To learn more or to enroll, visit or scan the QR code:

To learn more or to enroll, visit or scan the QR code:



Email or call 805-964-4777 ext. 226.

Email or call 805-964-4777 ext. 226.

CATS • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 15



SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024 • 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM


1309 N. Bradley Road

Santa Maria, CA 93454

SANTA MARIA CAMPUS • 805-964-4777

This ad was sponsored by:

16 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
LOMPOC VALLEY CENTER Community Celebration and Open House Friday,
LOMPOC CENTER Community Friday,
ALLAN HANCOCK COLLEGE LOMPOC VALLEY CENTER 25th Anniversary Join us for a Community Celebration and Open House Friday, April 26,
p.m. Beso Cocina & Cocktails! Savor our unique cuisine and craft cocktails, each bursting with the distinctive flavors of Beso! Call Today for Reservations 805.931.7177 1050 Willow Rd, Nipomo Fri & Sat 11:30am- 10pm • Sun, Mon, Tues & Thurs 11:30am - 8pm • Closed Wed THE CLARK CENTER - ARROYO GRANDE C.A. Saturday 4th May Don’t miss this UPLIFTING and AMAZING show!!! BOOK NOW! The Sound Of Young America & The Soul Of Modern Music SUPERBAND WITH INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED ARTISTS Magical Music of T h e BE LASTQUICKSHOW SOLD OUT! • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 17
April 26, 4-6:30 p.m.



Lessons and camp packages available daily. All equipment included. Starts at $70. 805-835-7873. Sandbar Surf School Meetup Spot, 110 Park Ave., Pismo Beach.



The Boys and Girls Clubs of South SLO County’s Oceano Day of the Child is coming up. This Spring, everyone is welcome to the Clubhouse for this free family event. Features resource tables, free raffles, games, and more. April 14 , 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 805-4817339. Boys and Girls Clubs of South San Luis Obispo County Clubhouse, 1830 19th St., Oceano.



A free community celebration of culture and the environment at the Oceano Community Center. Electrification for Everyone presents a free poster making art workshop. Event includes free lunch, climate justice resource fair, and raffle prizes for attendees. April 14 12-3 p.m. Free. Oceano Community Center, 1425 19th St., Oceano, 805-474-3756.


The Bishop’s Peak Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America invites you to attend its meeting on the third Saturday of each month. For more information, follow on Facebook at Bishop’s Peak EGA or visit the EGA website. Third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov. 16 Free. Grover Beach Community Center, 1230 Trouville Ave., Grover Beach, 805-773-4832.

MODEL RAIL DAYS 2024 SLO Model Railroad Association presents Model Railroad Days at the Oceano Depot. A free display of working model railroads; different scales and sizes; fun for all ages. Free parking available. April 12 , 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 13 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and April 14, 10 a.m.4 p.m. Free entry. SLO Model Railroad Association presents Model Railroad Days at the Oceano Depot, with a free display of working model railroads (different scales and sizes; fun for all ages). Free parking. April 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and April 21 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. Oceano Train Depot, 1650 Front St., Oceano, 805-489-5446.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WATCH AND CLOCK COLLECTORS, CHPT. 52 Come join a friendly meeting of watch and clock collectors. Members bring watches and clocks to show, plus there are discussions of all things horological. Second Sunday of every month, 1:30-3 p.m. 805-547-1715. php/chapter-52-los-padres. Central Coast Senior Center, 1580 Railroad St., Oceano.

WE HEART OCEANO Please join We Heart Oceano for its first (and hopefully annual) volunteering event. Meet at Oceano Park. If you have any questions, please email April 13 , 9 a.m.noon Free. Oceano Memorial Park, 1330 Dewey Drive, Oceano, 805-781-5930, slocountyparks. com/day-use-parks/oceano-memorial-park/.

WEEKLY WATER SAFETY LESSONS Facility advertised as open and safe. Give the office a call to register over the phone. MondaysFridays $160-$190. 805-481-6399. 5 Cities Swim School, 425 Traffic Way, Arroyo Grande,

WMW HIKE AT THE PISMO PRESERVE Hosted by Women Making Waves. A monthly meetup with some fresh air and a stunning ocean view. April 13 9-11 a.m. Pismo Preserve, Mattie Road, Pismo Beach.



CARE “We can’t stop getting older, but we can shift our thinking about it.” Moving from “I can’t do anything about it” to “I have some control over how my mind and body ages.” Series sponsored by Unity Five Cities. Details from Over Zoom. Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. through Nov. 20 Love offering. (805) 489-7359.

Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.

CAL HOPE SLO GROUPS AT TMHA Visit website for full list of weekly Zoom groups available. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays Transitions Mental Health Warehouse, 784 High Street, San Luis Obispo, 805-270-3346.

CENTRAL COAST POLYAMORY Hosting a discussion group featuring different topics relating to ethical non-monogamy every month. Third Wednesday of every month, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


The Santa Maria Public Library will host a poetry reading with California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick in Shepard Hall on Wednesday, April 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Herrick’s books will be available for purchase during the free event, which will also feature music and refreshments. Call (805) 925-0994 for more details. The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


The bi-monthly luncheon and meeting will include entertainment by Judy Philbin accompanied by her son Garrett. The duo will sing favorites from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Email letremblay3756@ for more info. Come and network with fellow retired educators. April 18 , 9:45 a.m.-1 p.m. $25. Madonna Inn, 100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo.

FREE FAMILY DAY: CELEBRATE OUR BEAUTIFUL OAK TREES Where admission into the Garden is waived all day for all guests. Celebrate oak trees with children’s crafts and activities. In addition, the event will feature docent tours and a special lecture by Dave Muffly of Oaktopia. April 14 , 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 805-541-1400. San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, 3450 Dairy Creek Rd., San Luis Obispo.

GALA PRIDE AND DIVERSITY CENTER BOARD MEETING (VIA ZOOM) Monthly meeting of the Gala Pride and Diversity Center Board of Directors. Meets virtually via Zoom and is open to members of the public. Visit events to fill out the form to request meeting access. Third Tuesday of every month, 6-8 p.m. No admission fee. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


GROUP A safe place to share life experiences with those who have depression or have had and recovered from the devastating effects of depression. Mondays, 6-7 p.m. through Dec. 30 Free. 805-528-3194.

Hope House Wellness Center, 1306 Nipomo St., San Luis Obispo.


PROPOSALS A dynamic training class designed to enhance grant writing through artificial intelligence. April 18 , 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 for Spokes members; $35 for nonmembers. People’s Self-Help Housing, 1060 Kendall Road, San Luis Obispo, 805-781-3088.


GROUP (VIRTUALLY VIA ZOOM) A prorecovery group offering space to those seeking peer support, all stages of ED recovery. We understand recovery isn’t linear and judgmentfree support is crucial. Share, listen, and be part of a community building up each other.

area. We come from all walks of life and most importantly support each other. Transgender and Nonbinary folks welcome. Third Friday of every month, 6:30-9 p.m. Free. sloqueer.groups. io/g/lezbfriends. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of folks from all walks of life who together, attain and maintain sobriety. Requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Email for password access. Sundays, 7-8 p.m. No fee.

Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


Learn more about mental health and coping skills to help you through your journey towards wellness and recovery. Thursdays, 4:30-6 p.m. Free. 805-540-6576. Hope House Wellness Center, 1306 Nipomo St., San Luis Obispo.

TRANS* TUESDAY A safe space providing peer-to-peer support for trans, gender nonconforming, non-binary, and questioning people. In-person and Zoom meetings held. Contact for more details. Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. Free. GALA Pride and Diversity Center, 1060 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, 805-541-4252.


This space is designed for women of all ages and backgrounds to come together, share experiences, and co-create a space of mutual support and empowerment. April 14 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. Rolling Hills Retreat, Private residence, San Luis Obispo.



Third Wednesday of every month, 7-8 p.m. Free. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


Learn more about the center’s outdoor, play-based enrichment program. Bring your 3-5 year olds for fun garden activities and to explore the space together. Guests will sing songs, try yummy garden tea, make fairy forts, do garden bingo, and play. April 13 10 a.m.noon Free. 805-242-6301. play-grove.html. Jewish Community Center, 875 Laureate Lane, San Luis Obispo.

PLUG-IN TO LOCAL CLIMATE ACTION Get inspired by local action, connect with others, and discover more ways to get involved with the SLO Climate Coalition. Attend virtually or inperson. Sustainable snacks and childcare will be provided. Third Thursday of every month, 6-8 p.m. Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa, San Luis Obispo.

PRE-GAME PITCH Cal Poly Baseball has some special events this season. Pre-game Pitch is an hour before the first pitch that is complementary to Mustangs fans. Free barbecue, free games, and good people. Possibility of winning gift card and/or signed merchandise. In H-13 parking lot. April 12 , 5-6 p.m. Free. gopoly. com. Baggett Stadium, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, 805-756-7297.

Q YOUTH GROUP (VIRTUALLY VIA ZOOM) This is a social support group for LGBTQ+ and questioning youth between the ages of 11-18. Each week the group explores personal, cultural, and social identity. Thursdays, 6-8 p.m. Free. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.

SECOND ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE Come out to beautiful Avila to rummage to kick off Earth Week. Features clothes, toys, gear, books, home goods, and more. All money raised will support Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School. April 20 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School, 1401 San Luis Bay Dr., San Luis Obispo, 595-7169,


A good core group of friends who gather to discuss topics we love/ care about from movies, outings, music, or being new to the

VS. PLASTICS Greenspace-The Cambria Land Trust is hosting a family-friendly afternoon to promote the Earth Day theme “Planet vs. Plastics,” partnering with Soto’s True Earth Market. This year’s Earth Day Festival will have local eco-organizations, classes, music, and animal ambassadors. Food and wine for purchase. April 21 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 805927-2866. Creekside Reserve, 2264 Center St., Cambria.


A weekend-long celebration with creative workshops, 20 percent off all plants, garden demonstrations, and eco-friendly activities for the whole family. Enjoy a delicious free lunch (daily, noon-1 p.m.), and connect with like-minded individuals passionate about sustainability. “Let’s cultivate a greener future together.” April 19 -22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit website to view free and paid activities. 805-927-4747. Cambria Nursery and Florist, 2801 Eton Rd., Cambria.



BATTLE OF THE BARS A night of friendly competition, all in support of Team Adam and Steve and the vital work of AIDS/LIFECYCLE. Naughty Oak is going head-to-head this year against Lark + Sparrow. April 13 , 5-9 p.m. Naughty Oak Brewing Co., 165 S Broadway St. suite 102, Orcutt, 805-287-9663,


Featured vendors in the series include Cali Coast Tacos, Cubanissimo, Danny’s Pizza Co., Chef Ricks, and more. Call venue for monthly schedules. Fridays 805-922-1468. Costa De Oro Winery, 1331 S. Nicholson Ave., Santa Maria.

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS AT WINE STONE INN Fridays, 5-8 p.m. Wine Stone Inn, 255 W. Clark Ave., Orcutt, 805-332-3532,

FRIDAY NIGHT FUN Karaoke with DJ Nasty. With Beer Bucket specials. Kitchen stays open late. Come out and sing your favorite song. Fridays, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Roscoe’s Kitchen, 229 Town Center E, Santa Maria, 805-623-8866.

PRESQU’ILE WINERY: WINE CLUB Call or go online to make a reservation to taste at the winery or find more info on the winery’s Wine Club offerings. ongoing club/. Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria, 805-937-8110. FOOD

& DRINK continued page 20 Hot Stuff APRIL 11 - APRIL 21, 2024 Spread the word!
event information
—C.W. FILE COURTESY PHOTO BY MARK TABAY 18 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT MY805TIX.COM FEATURED EVENTS FEATURED EVENTS POWERED BY: & UPCOMING EVENTS ON MY805TIX.COM UPCOMING EVENTS ON MY805TIX.COM ONGOING EVENTS ONGOING EVENTS Scan QR code with camera to sign up for the weekly Ticket Wire newsletter. Get all the latest events each Wednesday! SELL TICKETS WITH US! It’s free! Contact us for more info: 805-546-8208 Central Coast Aquarium TICKETS · VOLUNTEER · DONATE FRI: 12–3PM · SAT & SUN: 10AM–4PM San Juan Street, Avila Beach Fundamentals of Improv Class EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT, 6-8PM Central Coast Comedy Theater, SLO SLOFunny Comedy Show 2024 SEASON PASS TEN SHOWS MARCH–DECEMBER Paso Robles & San Luis Obispo Lavender U-Pick at Hambly Lavender Farm FRI-MON, MAY 12-AUGUST 31 Hambly Lavender Farm, San Miguel DJ Williams Band at Liquid Gravity THURSDAY, APRIL 11 Liquid Gravity Brewing Company, SLO Paso Robles Rotary Club Winemakers’ Cookoff SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 Paso Robles Event Center Terminal Presents Deadstock II FRI-SUN, JULY 19-21 Dark Nectar, Atascadero Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert! FRI-SUN, APRIL 26-MAY 5 Cambria Center For The Arts Improv Comedy Show: House Team, TEEBEEDEE FRIDAY, APRIL 12 San Luis Obispo Public Market The Kingston Trio FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Clark Center, Arroyo Grande By The Sea Productions Presents: Where There’s A Will FRI-SUN, APRIL 12-14 545 Shasta Ave, Morro Bay Lot’s Wife Presented by Orcutt Community Theater FRI-SUN, APRIL 12-28 Klein Dance Arts Studio, Santa Maria Coastal Wine & Paint Party SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Harmony Cafe at the Pewter Plough, Cambria Spring Ready Room Pick-up Party! SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Volatus, Paso Robles The Finale of the Songwriters at Play Song Contest! SATURDAY, APRIL 13 High Roller Tiki Lounge, Solvang Sound Investment: Dance Music You Can Bank On SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Flower City Ballroom, Lompoc Brass Mash at Ribline by the Beach SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Ribline By the Beach, Grover Beach Flower Crown Class at Vega Vineyard SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Vega Vineyard and Farm, Buellton Yoga for a Cause: Support the #NextWave of Women Leaders SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Private Residence, SLO Finale of the Songwriters at Play Song Contest SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Cambria Center For The Arts For the Birds by Symphony of the Vines SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Mission San Miguel Arcángel Improv Comedy Show: Student Showcase WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 The Bunker SLO Bootleg Standup Presents: Michael Turner TUESDAY, APRIL 16 Libertine Brewing Company, SLO Avila Beach Spaghetti Dinner/Bingo Night FRIDAY, APRIL 19 Avila Beach Community Center Jovian Queen, Silvitici, Yellow Master Blue FRIDAY, APRIL 19 The Bunker SLO Savage Entertainment Presents Voces Del Rancho FRIDAY, APRIL 19 Flower City Ballroom, Lompoc Central Coast Guitar Show 2024 SATURDAY, APRIL 20 San Luis Obispo Veteran’s Hall Beer Yoga at Ancient Owl SLO SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Ancient Owl Beer Garden SLO Coastal Wine & Paint Party SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Harmony Cafe at the Pewter Plough, Cambria RePOTting Class SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Golden State Goods, Atascadero Charles Gorczynski Tango Quartet SATURDAY, APRIL 20 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cambria Brass Mash at Cottonwood Canyon SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Cottonwood Canyon Winery, Santa Maria • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 19


Earth Day Earth Day

Saturday, April 20, 2024

10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Offering complimentary indoor recycle bins for Santa Maria customers!

• 14-gallon container for larger recyclables, cardboard, magazines, cereal boxes

• Countertop kitchen pail for food waste (green lid)

• 6-gallon container with handle for bottles and cans

• Reusable shopping bag made from plastic bottles

Limit one of each per household. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. (City customer verification required)

No-Contact Pickup at the Recycling Park


REGIONAL LANDFILL 2065 East Main Street


WEST FEST This fundraiser includes dinner, live entertainment, silent auction, and more. Stay tuned for more details.

April 20 4-7 p.m. Elks Lodge, 1309 N. Bradley Road, Santa Maria.

SIPPIN’ SUNDAYS Every Sunday, come cozy up inside the tasting room and listen to great artists. Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Free. 805-937-8463. Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard And Winery, 3940 Dominion Rd, Santa Maria.

TACO TUESDAY Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m. Wine Stone Inn, 255 W. Clark Ave., Orcutt, 805332-3532,


Call venue or visit website to find out about featured vintners. Thursdays Steller’s Cellar, 405 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt.


Wine and Design’s Orcutt website for the complete list of classes, for various ages. ongoing Varies. orcutt. Wine and Design, 3420 Orcutt Road, suite 105, Orcutt.



LOS ALAMOS A carefully curated open air artisan and farm market. Features great vintage finds, handwoven and hand dyed textiles, hand-spun yarn, organic body care products, and locally grown organic eats. Second Saturday of every month, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 805-722-4338. Sisters Gifts and Home, 349 Bell Street, Los Alamos.



TUESDAYS CLASH Don’t miss Head

Games Trivia at COLD Coast Brewing Company every Tuesday night. Teams can be up to 6 members. Earn prizes and bragging rights. Kekas will be serving their delicious local fare. Fun for all ages. Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. Free. 805-819-0723. COLD Coast Brewing Company, 118 W Ocean Ave, Lompoc.



AND BINGO NIGHT Enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner with salad, garlic bread, and dessert, followed by Bingo. April 19, 6-8 p.m. Avila Beach Community Center, 191 San Miguel St., Avila Beach.


New topics each month with a thorough demo and explanation of the process that creates non-alcoholic, probiotic, and nutrient-dense fermentations. Leave the class confident and prepared with recipes to make your own at home. Limited seating; reserve spot prior to class by phone/email. Second Sunday of every month, 3:30-5 p.m. $30. 805-8016627. Kulturhaus Brewing Company, 779 Price St., Pismo Beach.




Brass Mash performs all your favorite tunes mashed into an energetic and infectious groove, with powerhouse instrumentals and a tight sound. The band consists entirely of horns, winds, and percussion to play a variety of music styles. April 20 6 p.m. Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard And Winery, 3940 Dominion Rd, Santa Maria, 805 937-8463.

LADIES NIGHT OUT Music by DJ Van Gloryious and DJ Panda. Features delicious daiquiri specials. Thursdays, 8 p.m.-midnight Roscoe’s Kitchen, 229 Town Center E, Santa Maria, 805-623-8866.

MUSIC AT ROSCOE’S KITCHEN Live DJ and karaoke every Friday and Saturday night. Featured acts include Soul Fyah Band, DJ Nasty, DJ Jovas, and more. Fridays, Saturdays, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Roscoe’s Kitchen, 229 Town Center E, Santa Maria, 805-623-8866.


The Cambria Nursery’s Earth Day Festival will run Friday, April 19, through Monday, April 22. The multi-day event includes workshops, discounted plant sales, garden demonstrations, and family- and eco-friendly activities. Call (805) 927-4747 or visit for more info. The Cambria Nursery is located at 2801 Eton Road, Cambria. —C.W.


Learn to play piano, drums, guitar, base, ukulele, or violin, or take vocal lessons. 805-925-0464. Lessons/lessons.html. Coelho Academy of Music, 325 E. Betteravia Rd., Santa Maria.

SUNDAY NIGHT FUN End the weekend with some good vibes. Music by DJ Van Gloryious. Sundays, 8 p.m.-midnight Roscoe’s Kitchen, 229 Town Center E, Santa Maria, 805-623-8866.

WHERE OR WHEN DANCE The Santa Maria Mussell Senior Club presents the Riptide Big Band with vocalists Bob Nations and Mitch Latting. Dancing encouraged. Grant funding by the Community Foundation of SLO County. April 14 , 1:30-4 p.m. Free. 775-813-5186. Elwin Mussell Senior Center, 510 Park Ave., Santa Maria.



AT PLAY SONG CONTEST The finale contestants have already won awards at the monthly contests held at High Roller Tiki Lounge, which started last May. April 13 , 2 p.m. High Roller Tiki Lounge, 433 Alisal Road, Solvang.

LIVE MUSIC SUNDAYS Sundays, 2-6 p.m. Brick Barn Wine Estate, 795 W. Hwy 246, Buellton, 805-686-1208,


SOUND INVESTMENT All ages welcome. Enjoy live dance music. April 13 , 7-11 p.m. $15-$20. FCB, 110 W. Ocean Ave., Lompoc, 805-810-0714.

VOCES DE RANCHO Presented by Savage Entertainment. April 19 8 p.m. FCB, 110 W. Ocean Ave., Lompoc, 805-810-0714.


BRASS MASH AT RIBLINE BY THE BEACH A special night of brass, dancing, and singing mayhem. April 13 7:30-10:30 p.m. Ribline by the Beach, 395 W. Grand Ave., Grover Beach.


CONCERT Big band music made famous by Frank Sinatra. A mostly instrumental concert with a few vocals sung by Mitch Latting. This is a free concert, but donations for the church will be accepted (the church lets the band rehearse there). April 11 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free (donations accepted). Nipomo Community Presbyterian Church, 1235 N Thompson Rd., Arroyo Grande, 805-219-0133,

KARAOKE EVERY FRIDAY Enjoy some good food and karaoke. Fridays, 5-8 p.m. 805-723-5550. The Central Grill, 545 Orchard Road, Nipomo.


In 1957, they emerged from San Francisco’s North Beach club scene to take the country

by storm, bringing the rich tradition of American folk music into the mainstream. April 12 7:30-10 p.m. $29-$59. 805-4899444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.

THE LONG RUN: EXPERIENCE THE EAGLES Marked by lush vocal harmonies and exceptional musical accuracy, every TLR performance delivers a reverence for the Eagles’ recordings. April 13 , 7:30-9:45 p.m. $40-$50. 805-489-9444. clarkcenter. org/shows/the-long-run/. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.


CAL POLY OPEN HOUSE RECITAL The Cal Poly Music Department will present an Open House Recital for Cal Poly’s 31st annual Open House. The recital will feature both instrumentalist and vocalists. The student performers are from a variety of majors. April 13 2 p.m. Free. 805-7562406. Cal Poly Davidson Music Center, Room 218, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


SPRING OPERA SCENES Cal Poly Student Opera Theatre will present an evening of opera scenes. Students from a variety of majors will come together to produce a delightful array of duets, trios and ensemble numbers. April 13, 7:30 p.m. $20 general; $10 students. 805-756-4849. Spanos Theatre, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


LAPWOOD Anna Lapwood, a trailblazing organist and social media sensation, captivates audiences with her fresh approach to classical music. As Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and deemed “the TikTok organist,” she bridges genres and generations by performing movie compositions, Bach, and jazz-infused pieces. April 17, 7:30-9 p.m. $35. 805-7562787. annalapwood. Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.


The Jazz Vespers Concert Series returns to the historic sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church of SLO with the Pat Kelley Trio. Guitarist Pat Kelley has enjoyed a successful career in Los Angeles as a studio and touring musician. April 14, 4-5:30 p.m. Free; donations appreciated. 805 543-5451. fpcslo. org. First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo, 981 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo.


14 2
Hot Stuff APRIL 11 - APRIL 21, 2024
concert, featuring Cuesta College Jazz Faculty, including Dave Becker, Bob Bennett, Ken Hustad, George Stone, and Darrell Voss. April
$15; student
ID $10. Harold J. Miossi CPAC at Cuesta College, Highway 1, San Luis
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Activist and artist

Favianna Rodriguez leads local poster workshop

The Oceano Community Center will host a free climate justice poster-making workshop with acclaimed artist and social justice activist Favianna Rodriguez on Sunday, April 14, from noon to 3 p.m. The program is organized by the Electrification for Everyone initiative—a partnership between R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County, Diversity Coalition SLO County, Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success, and BlocPower.

Attendees of the event can look forward to a complimentary lunch, raffle opportunities, a community drum circle, an eco-resource fair, and more. During the poster workshop, Rodriguez will guide participants in making climate justice posters to display in advance of this year’s Earth Day.

To find out more about Rodriguez’s art and activism work, visit The Oakland-based cultural strategist and interdisciplinary artist’s work addresses migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom, according to Rodriguez’s website. She is the co-founder and president of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization dedicated to “igniting change at the intersection of art, culture, and social justice.”

Through visual art, writing, and other forms of expression, Rodriguez’s work “serves as a record of her human experiences as a woman of color embracing joy, sexual pleasure, and personal transformation,” the artist’s website lists. Rodriguez is the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity, and the SOROS Equality Fellowship.

For more details about Rodriguez’s upcoming postermaking event in Oceano, visit the worksop’s Eventbrite page or Facebook page. The Oceano Community Center is located at 1425 19th St., Oceano.

Oceano Train Depot hosts free exhibits during Model Rail Days 2024

The SLO Model Railroad Association presents Model Rail Days 2024 at the Oceano Train Depot with six days of activities on April 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21. The venue will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The upcoming program will include free exhibits of working model railroads of various scales and sizes, kidfriendly activities, a swap meet with deals on model railroad equipment, and more. To find out more about Model Rail Days 2024, visit

The SLO Model Railroad Association celebrates model railroading in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and holds public meetings at the Oceano Depot on every third Monday at 7 p.m. The Oceano Depot is located at 1650 Front St., Oceano. m

Reel ’em

When the fish stop biting, a professional fish whisperer comes a-knocking in the Great American Melodrama’s latest musical romp set in Shewauga, a small fictional town in the non-fictional state of Wisconsin.

The Fish Whisperer marks New York Citybased actor Austen Horne’s stage debut at the Melodrama where she takes on the role of Hannah, a town outsider who offers to rid Shewauga of its fishing crisis with a transcendent dance ritual for a $10,000 fee.

Some residents are expectedly skeptical of the self-described fish whisperer, while others are eager to resolve the town’s poisson plague as fast as possible at any cost. What’s so great about Horne’s performance is she also keeps the audience guessing whether or not the whole thing’s a hoax.

She’s persuasive and infectiously cheerful to the extent that suggests Shewauga is getting duped, but eccentric enough to put doubters at ease as if they’re in the hands of a sage—albeit, unconventional— master, like Yoda or Willy Wonka.

Near the start of the show, Hannah reminded me of another fictional outsider and entrepreneur— Sylvester McMonkey McBean, aka the Fix-It-Up Chappie, in Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches and Other Stories. He’s the bloke in the bowler hat who gets rich with a tattoo trend scheme that both exploits the Sneetches and teaches them a valuable lesson about discrimination and herd mentality.

Regardless of my predictions about Hannah’s intentions, I was on her side early on because I felt no matter which way this show goes, she’s probably going to be responsible for Shewauga’s fishing community learning a crucial moral by the final curtain.

The town’s mayor, Amos (played by memorable Melodrama regular Mike Fiore), immediately assumes Hannah is a con artist upon meeting her. He doesn’t buy into Hannah’s expensive fish whispering or dance ritual proposal. While the hot topic in town after Hannah’s arrival is whether

Hook, line, and sinker

The Great American Melodrama presents its production of The Fish Whisperer through May 11. The two-act show, which opened on March 22, is followed by the Melodrama’s new vaudeville revue, Maestrolio.


or not to trust her, Amos’ college-age daughter, Karen (Julia Mae Abrams), is worried about a different fishing-related problem.

It’s revealed that Karen’s mother died about a year prior to the show’s opening, and Amos, who used to fish regularly, hasn’t used a fishing rod, bait, or tackle since his wife’s passing. Karen is afraid her father hasn’t grieved properly and considers staying home with him a while longer rather than head off to college in the coming months as she’d previously planned.

Like Karen, many of the show’s characters are confronted with some kind of personal sacrifice they’re forced to consider. To raise the $10,000 needed to employ Hannah as a fish whisperer, some town residents decide to try funding the

initiative themselves by giving up certain things. The two co-owners of a local barbecue business, Benjamin (Dillon Giles) and Bobby (Jeffrey Laughrun), for example, consider selling their favorite grill in order to donate its proceeds to the cause. The duo spell out their plight during the song “Grill of My Dreams,” one of several catchy numbers featured in the musical, along with “They Ain’t Bitin’,” “Bring Those Fishes Back,” “The Shewauga Jingle,” and other quirky songs from composers Ron Barnett and Dan Wessels and lyricists Robin Share and Scott Guy (who also wrote the play).

Thanks to the Melodrama’s consistently stellar casting, exuberant dance choreography, and live musical accompaniment via pianist Andy Hudson, this local rendition of The Fish Whisperer is definitely one to catch. m

Whisper or shout at Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood at

Arts Briefs is compiled by Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood. Send information to PHOTO COURTESY OF R.A.C.E. MATTERS SLO COUNTY
FISHY BUSINESS: The quirky residents of Shewauga, Wisconsin, consider whether or not to trust a town outsider, Hannah (Austen Horne, left, in her debut role at the Great American Melodrama), who offers to solve the area’s recent fishing crisis for a $10,000 fee, in The Fish Whisperer. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SLO MODEL RAILROAD ASSOCIATION
in Great American Melodrama’s The Fish Whisperer deserves loud lauding Showtime! Send gallery, stage, and cultural festivities to OPINION NEWS STROKES ARTS NOT TAKING THE
BAIT: The cast of
Great American Melodrama’s production of
Fish Whisperer includes Casiena Raether, Toby Tropper, Jeffrey Laughrun, Dillon Giles (left to right).
theater is located at 1863 Front St., Oceano. Call (805) 489-2499 or visit for tickets and more info.
REEL PROBLEMS: In the Great American Melodrama’s current show, The Fish Whisperer, Karen (Julia Mae Abrams, left), is worried about her father, Amos (Mike Fiore, right), who abandoned is fishing gear after his wife died.
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Monkey fu

Dev Patel stars in and directs this screenplay he co-wrote with Paul Angunawela and John Collee about a young man, Kid (Patel), who earns a meager living by donning a monkey mask and engaging in combat in illegal underground fights. His “job” is to take a beating and make the rival fighters look good, but what he’s really up to is a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt rich who murdered his mother and continue to victimize the poor. (121 min.)

Glen: This compelling action flick is also interested in exploring India’s socio-political injustices. In flashbacks, we see a young Kid (Jatin Malik) and his mother, Neela (Adithi Kalkunte), living a poor but idyllic life in a jungle village … until greedy spiritual guru Baba Shakti (Makarand Deshpande) orders his henchmen led by Rana Singh (Sikander Kher) to burn down their village and steal their land to create a new city called Yatana. Neela and most of the villagers are murdered, but Kid escapes. In the present, Kid, going by the name Bobby, returns to Yatana and finagles his way into a job at Queenie’s (Ashwini Kalsekar) restaurant and club, which is frequented by Baba and Rana, now the chief of police. The film is packed with well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat fights, thrilling foot and car chases, and a final act that’s absolute mayhem, but before we get there, Kid has to discover his inner strength,


What’s it rated? TV-MA

When? 2024

Where’s it showing? Peacock


What’s it rated? R

which is tied to the legend of Hanuman, a Hindu deity Kid’s mother taught him about and who they worship above all others. This monkey-faced god is the embodiment of wisdom, strength, devotion, courage, and self-discipline—all the characteristics Kid will need to defeat his enemies and avenge his mother and their village, and free the downtrodden from further exploitation from the likes of Baba.

What’s it worth, Glen? Full price

What’s it worth, Anna? Full price

Where’s it showing? Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Regal Arroyo Grande

Anna: Dev Patel didn’t play shy with this directorial debut. Often newbies at action flicks give us clunky or underperformed pieces, but that isn’t the case here. For someone who finds physical altercation to be pretty icky, I’m always surprised by how hyped I get in films with welldone fight scenes. Monkey Man also reminded me that I’m a secret fan of wrestling—though I was glad to not be in the audience for the seedy matches depicted here. Kid has a desperation about him that’s at first off-putting to Queenie; however, he soon earns his way into her business and moves through the ranks until he reaches the VIP club, where he intends to unleash his violence. He’s a man of few words. The character is built on Patel’s portrayal of simmering hurt. There’s something so satisfying about revenge in movie form that never plays out the same in real life, and Patel makes us root for the underdog.

Glen: Baba Shakti is a particularly awful villain because he hides behind false piety and preys on people’s religious devotion. He’s the kind of guru who pretends to be humble but uses his influence for all the wrong reasons.

With Rana, it’s obvious he’s evil and corrupt, but Baba can fool the masses. It wouldn’t be much of a story if things didn’t go badly for Kid, and indeed, he’s nearly killed, but in an interesting twist, he’s rescued by Alpha (Vipin Sharma), who attends to a sacred temple with her transgender community. Once healed and reinvigorated, Kid discovers Baba has set his sights on acquiring the temple, which provides motivation for Kid to make his final attack. It’s satisfying as heck, but the victory comes

at a price, giving this revenge tale even more weight. I fully expect this film to reach cult status.

Anna: It’s one I’d happily watch again. Kid is an endearing character; one I won’t soon stop rooting for. Hats off to Patel. He came out with a real bang in this directorial debut. m

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Comment at

Liane Moriarty is an author known for her twisty tales, and Apples Never Fall isn’t her first work to hit the big screen. She also wrote Big Little Lies which packed a punch with its star-studded cast. Apples Never Fall also has quite the cast list with Annette Bening and Sam Neill in pivotal roles.

They play Joy and Stan Delaney, parents of four grown children and owners of a prestigious tennis school. The Delaney children are a mismatched group. Woo-woo woman Amy (Alison Brie) is overly attached to her mom. Troy (Jake Lacy) is a finance guy who’s had it up to here with his family and their antics. Logan (Conor Merrigan Turner) goes along to get along, often against his better instincts. Brooke (Essie Randles) is driven and focused and will do anything to make her parents proud.

Along comes mysterious Savannah (Georgia Flood) into their lives, and especially into Joy’s heart. But does this stranger have mal intent or are the Delaney kids just being judgmental and exclusive as always? When Joy goes missing,

PERFECT? (Left to right) Logan (Conor Merrigan-Turner), Brooke (Essie Randles), Stan (Sam Neill), Joy (Annette Bening), Amy (Alison Brie),

the family starts to turn on each other, and the truth of what happened slowly unwinds to reveal more dirt than the family ever wanted dug up. (seven 46- to 66-min. episodes) —Anna


What’s it rated? R

When? 2023

Where’s it showing? Netflix

Kenya Barris (Black-ish, #BlackAF ) directs this script co-written with Jonah Hill about a new couple, Ezra Cohen (Hill), who’s white and Jewish, and Amira Mohammed (Lauren London), who’s Black and Muslim. Their problem is their respective families—his are cringy tone-deaf liberals falling all over themselves to act woke, and hers are distrustful of white people. What could go wrong? Turns out, everything.

When Ezra brings Amira home to meet his family—mom Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), dad Arnold (David Duchovny), and lesbian sister Liza (Molly Gordon)—Shelley and Arnold make asses of themselves trying to prove how open-minded they are, and Liza appears sexually attracted to her brother’s girlfriend. Likewise, when Ezra meets her parents—dad Akbar (Eddie Murphy, proving he’s still got terrific comedic chops) and mom Fatima (Nia Long)—he’s met with open hostility, forcing him to grin and bear it. Younger brother Omar (Travis Bennett) seems happy to sit back and watch the fireworks.

It’s all very funny, with machine-gun dialog, especially between Ezra and his podcast partner, Mo (Sam Jay),

I DO: Ezra (Jonah Hill) proposes to Amira (Lauren London), but as they get to know one another’s families, the couple discovers race relations are more complicated than they thought, in You People, streaming

who’s Black and with whom Ezra talks about the “culture,” frequently about the intersection of Black and white relations. Love may be blind, but America isn’t. (117 min.) m —Glen

PAYBACK’S A BITCH: Dev Patel stars in and directs Monkey Man, about a young fighter who seeks revenge for his mother’s death and the continuing injustices carried out by the rich, now screening in local theaters.
and Troy (Jake Lacy) are the dysfunctional Delaney family in Apples Never Fall, streaming on Peacock.
on Netflix.
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a handful of her businesses (including her original MilkT location in Fresno) with the Seoul Street title.

consistency. If it was just rice flour, it wouldn’t have that nice fluff to it.”

There’s a touch of wheat flour in the mochi doughnut batter too, she added, but she wouldn’t describe her pon de ring-style treats as fluffy.

The rule of thumb for Seoul Street owner Teresa Choi when it comes to curating her menu is to disqualify anything you can’t eat with your hands. Notable exceptions to the utensil ban include boba straws and corn dog sticks.

“We don’t even have forks and spoons here,” Choi said at her Santa Maria location, which she opened in January under the name Mochilicious Society. She’s also the owner behind MilkT Society, a popular boba branch with local shops in both Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. This spring, Choi

Take the high road

Call (805)

“Logistically, it just makes sense to make everything one name,” said Choi, who has been in the boba biz since 2020. This year marked her first venture into the realm of Korean corn dogs and mochi doughnuts, which both made their debut at her Santa Maria shop upon its grand opening.

One key difference between traditional corn dogs and doughnuts and their respective counterparts comes down to the batter. While cornmeal is as essential to standard corn dogs as cake flour is to doughnuts, rice flour is the most prevalent ingredient in Seoul Street’s batters for both Korean corn dogs and mochi doughnuts.

“Most people are used to that cornmeal breading—a little more of a tough breading—and this one’s a lot softer,” Choi said of Seoul Street’s Korean corn dogs. “We do add a little bit of

“A traditional doughnut is fluffy; ours is a little bit more dense, almost like a cake,” Choi said. “It’s chewier than regular doughnuts.”

Some of Seoul Street’s mochi doughnuts are adorned with savory toppings, like bacon bits or Hot Cheetos (Choi’s personal favorite topping option). Patrons can also choose to have their Korean corn dogs fried with Frosted Flakes or lightly sprinkled with sugar. The latter route is more mainstream than some might assume, Choi explained.

“Most people don’t get it with sugar because they’re so new to it,” said Choi, who estimates that about 80 percent of Seoul Street’s customers since January have opted out of the sugar option. “They don’t understand that a Korean corn dog is sweet and savory.”

Some corn dog toppings—such

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? Adorned with patrons’ picks of several topping options, Korean corn dogs are best-sellers at Seoul Street in Santa Maria. The new eatery opened in January under its original name, Mochilicious Society. SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS: Mochi doughnuts of various flavors are available by the dozen, six-pack, three-pack, or singles at Seoul Street in Santa Maria.
623-5911 for more info on Seoul Street, located at 230 Betteravia Road, suite D, Santa Maria. Formerly known as Mochilicious Society, the eatery is owned by Teresa Choi, who also operates MilkT Society boba shops in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. Choi plans to rebrand both locations under the Seoul Street name sometime this spring. Share tasty tips! Send tidbits on everything food and drink to MUSIC FLAVOR/EATS INFO CALENDAR OPINION NEWS STROKES ARTS ICE LIST: Central Coast locals familiar with the MilkT Society shops in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo can look forward to finding a similar boba and iced tea menu at Santa Maria’s Seoul Street. Owner Teresa Choi’s personal favorite drink on her menu is a simple green iced tea. EATS continued page 26 Batter up Korean corn dogs, mochi doughnuts, and boba meet at Seoul Street FEATURING 40 YEARS AWARD-WINNING PATRICIO’S PIZZA Same Great Pizza! · Same Great Taste! Dine In · Take Out · Deliver 156 S Broadway St. Orcutt, CA 93455 • 805.937.8976 SHOP LOCAL Giavanni’s Pizza DINE-IN – TAKE-OUT – PICK-UP – DELIVERY 1108 E Clark Ave #130 • Orcutt • 805-934-8555 Sunday–Thursday, 11am–9pm • Friday–Saturday, 11am–10pm Lunch Buffet Monday-Friday All-You-Can-Eat Pizza, Pasta and Garlic Bread Includes Med Drink $11.99 • April 11 - April 18, 2024 • Sun • 25

as potatoes, ramen, and Rice Krispies—are fried with the corn dogs after they’re hand dipped in batter, while the remainder of Seoul Street’s topping selections are added after the corn dogs are fried.

Choi’s Santa Maria shop carries the same sweet boba and tea selections found at her MilkT Society locations. Local fans of the brand should be pleased to know the Seoul Street transition won’t prevent them from ordering the milky libations they’ve become accustomed to in Pismo and SLO.

While business has been steady so far in Santa Maria for Choi, she said profits often fluctuate at her SLO County spots depending on the time of year.

“It’s funny because they kind of support each other,” Choi said of the pair. During the summer, her Pismo shop is usually booming while business is slow in SLO with many Cal Poly students gone for break, she explained.

But with winter weather, Pismo starts to feel like a “ghost town,” Choi said, while business picks up in SLO. She often keeps her SLO shop open as late as 10 p.m. when schools are in session to accommodate local students who like to camp out and study there awhile.

Before she opened her first MilkT Society location in Fresno in 2020, Choi owned a manicure business. She had always enjoyed boba but never considered making a career out of it until the pandemic forced her to close her salon and consider turning over a new leaf.

Choi said she enjoys running her boba businesses for the same reason she enjoyed being a manicurist: being able to make ends meet in a fun and creative atmosphere.

“I wanted to continue making money while having fun,” Choi said, “and boba fit perfectly.” m

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Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood
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EATS from page 25 Share tasty tips! Send tidbits on everything food and drink to MUSIC FLAVOR/EATS INFO CALENDAR OPINION Eats PHOTO BY CALEB WISEBLOOD WINGS OF DESIRE: Alongside its popular Korean corn dogs and mochi doughnuts, Seoul Street in Santa Maria has a diverse variety of other food offerings such as chicken wings and potstickers. Voted Wood Fired Pizza & Place to go on a First Date! 119 E. Clark Ave, Old Town Orcutt 805-623-7111 DINE AL FRESCO, INDOOR, OR TO-GO Great family meals too! Order to go online or by phone or 805-623-7111 Best Best 110 W Ocean Ave, Lompoc (805) 819-0174 Spanish Line (805) 944-5896 Entertainment Menu April 12th - April 20th Appetizer Friday, April 12th 90’s Dance Night - 8pm Second Course Saturday, April 13th Sound Investment - 8pm Main Course Sunday, April 14th Naughty Karaoke - 6pm Dessert Friday, April 19th Voces Del Rancho - 8pm Saturday, April 20th The Dr. Danger Band - 8pm Entertainment so good you’ll say “more please” 26 • Sun • April 11 - April 18, 2024 •
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Shop Local reserve your space today 805.347.1968 STRAIGHTEN YOUR SMILE Central Coast Orthodontics 1311 South Miller St, Ste. 201, Santa Maria (805) 347-4444 Voted BEST ORTHODONTIST in Northern Santa Barbara County 7 years in a row! Visit us on Facebook & Instagram *Diamond Plus Provider • Digital Orthodontic Experts • 3D-Printed Brackets • Central Coast’s Most Experienced Invisalign Doctor! 4850 S. Bradley Rd. #D1, Orcutt (805) 938-1965 WINE BAR BUBBLES BREWS BITES 400 E Clark Ave. Orcutt 805.623.5129 LIVE MUSIC APRIL 12: Russ Douglas APRIL 19: Ron Miller APRIL 26: Randy LeDune � SUSHI 805 460 W. Grand Ave. Grover Beach (805)489-3839 ALL YOU CAN EAT SUSHI & BBQ 1325 N. “H” St. #C, Lompoc (805)736-8899 KOREAN BBQ & SUSHI Sake Sushi#2 194 Town Center East, Santa Maria (805)922-9900 GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE - AT ALL LOCATIONS! SUSHI #1 SAKE 1140 E. Clark Avenue · Suite 190 Santa Maria, CA 93455 (805) 925-1678 Our Store Hours Tues - Fri: 9:30-5:30 Saturday: 10-3 Mention this ad for a Military discount Sun’s Best of Winner, 13 years! EXERCISE IS ESSENTIAL 2015 S Broadway B, Santa Maria 805-348-1888 Find Your Support Locally SOLAR ELECTRIC BATTERY BACKUP SOLAR POOL HEATING $0 DOWN FINANCING SERVICE & UPGRADES (805) 922-3774 • CSLB# 391670 • SINCE 1975 PEOPLE • ENERGY • P LANET 315 S. Broadway, Orcutt | 805-314-2409 IN OLD TOWN ORCUTT ANTIQUE MALL MELENA ROOFING PARTNERSHIP Over 30 Years in Business Proudly Serving the Santa Maria Valley 805.937.6200 JCMELENA@VERIZON.NET LIC. NO#937929 No Job Too Small • Free Estimates RESIDENTIAL – COMMERCIAL – INDUSTRIAL All Phases of roofing including HOT ASPHALT, TPO, PVC, and ALL Metal roofs! LIABILITY & WORKMANS COMP INSURED Family owned and operated Call Jimmy, Billy Melena or Victor Sedillos
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