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NORTHERN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY’S NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY > MAY 30 - JUNE 6, 2024 > VOL. 25 NO. 14 > WWW.SANTAMARIASUN.COM NEWS ARTS EATS An update on Explore Lompoc [4] Branch Street Deli & Pizzeria [21] Get wild about resin [18] AT THE MOVIES Furiosa is a stunner [20] VISIT US ONLINE SIGN UP for E-Newsletter(s) LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Instagram FOLLOW US on Twitter Limited care Not all reproductive health care services are accessible in Lompoc [6]

No health care provider offers abortion services in Lompoc, leaving residents to drive at least half an hour—or farther away if that care is needed beyond 16 weeks. Other gaps in reproductive health care services in Santa Barbara County’s third largest city can delay needed preventative care. Local government officials and Planned Parenthood have been working to establish a potential partnership for a satellite clinic in the area, but it’s still a work in progress. Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor talks to local health care providers and experts about the accessibility of reproductive care and what it means [6]. This week, you can also read about what’s happening with financial mismanagement allegations leveled against Explore Lompoc [4]; the art of resin-poured ocean scenes [18]; and a celebration of Branch Street Deli’s facelift—one year in [21]

editor MAY 30 - JUNE 6, 2024 VOL. 25 NO. 14 HEALTH CARE DESERT: Lompoc, Santa Barbara County’s third largest city, lacks comprehensive reproductive health care services, including abortions. NEWS News Briefs ............................................................................... 4 Political Watch 4 Spotlight...................................................................................... 8 OPINION Commentary ............................................................................. 9 Letters 9 Web Poll ...................................................................................... 9 Mayfield 9 Canary ........................................................................................ 10 EVENTS CALENDAR Hot Stuff 11 ARTS Arts Briefs ................................................................................ 18 MOVIES Reviews .................................................................................... 20 CLASSIFIEDS, HOME, AND REAL ESTATE 23 Cover photo by Jayson Mellom > 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 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 225 E. Main St., Santa Maria 805-928-4108 Open Tues–Sat 10am–4pm Closed Sundays & Mondays Estate Jewelry - Expert Repairs - Custom Design - Work Guaranteed Your Hometown Jeweler Celebrating 44 Years! Circles ofLove Interlocking circles necklace for him or her. In gold or silver from $125 Winning Images J.J. Baker, 2023 Winners Published June 20th Call or visit your local financial advisor today Compare our CD rates Bank-issued, FDIC-insured % APY* % APY* % APY* > | Member SIPC FDI-1867N-A AECSPAD *Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective 05/24/24. CDs offered by Edward Jones are bank-issued and FDIC-insured up to $250,000 (principal and interest accrued but not yet paid) per depositor, per insured depository institution, for each account ownership category. Please visit or contact your financial advisor for additional information. Subject to availability and price change. CD values are subject to interest rate risk such that when interest rates rise, the prices of CDs can decrease. If CDs are sold prior to maturity, the investor can lose principal value. FDIC insurance does not cover losses in market value. Early withdrawal may not be permitted. Yields quoted are net of all commissions. CDs require the distribution of interest and do not allow interest to compound. CDs offered through Edward Jones are issued by banks and thrifts nationwide. All CDs sold by Edward Jones are registered with the Depository Trust Corp. (DTC). 5.40 5.40 5.30 3-Month 6-Month 1-Year Troy Prober Financial Advisor The Historic Santa Maria Inn 801 S Broadway Suite 7 Santa Maria, CA 93454 805-925-1304 2 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •

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• The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation crafted by U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and several of his colleagues to authorize funding the United States Coast Guard through 2026 and support for members of the service branch in their critical missions, according to a May 14 statement from Carbajal’s office. “Every single day, the Coast Guard goes to work on the broad range of missions that keep our nation and its citizens safe. They mind the safety of our seas and the security of our waters, protect our seafarers and our beachgoers, and reinforce our national defense,” Carbajal said. “As the top Democrat on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, I’m proud to continue our committee’s tradition of advancing bipartisan legislation that will have the back of our Coast Guard— providing the resources it needs to complete these missions, support infrastructure and safety upgrades, and improve the quality of life for our Coasties.” The bill also includes language to strengthen sexual assault and harassment protections for members of the Coast Guard, ensure greater accountability and transparency in the Coast Guard, and prevent Coast Guard Academy cadets from punishment when reporting an incident of sexual assault.

• U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-California), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and four others raised concerns to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission that Formula One (F1) may be violating U.S. antitrust laws in their refusal to allow the participation of an American team, Team Andretti Cadillac, in the F1 Championship series, according to a May 21 statement from Padilla’s office. The senators wrote that F1’s governance board may be illegally colluding with current F1 teams to limit the participation of Team Andretti Cadillac, which would be the first team to have an American-made car. To join F1, new teams must apply to both the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the sport’s regulator that evaluates their technical and financial capabilities, as well as F1 Management, the commercial entity that runs F1 and through which existing teams also have a say. Despite FIA approving Team Andretti Cadillac and deeming them the only applicant to meet their stringent criteria, F1 unilaterally denied their application instead of negotiating commercial terms, according to the statement. This raised concerns that F1’s members and sponsors may have colluded to exclude Andretti-Cadillac. “While F1 currently does not have an American-based team, F1 has been determined to increase its presence in the U.S. market,” the senators wrote in a letter. “We have serious concerns that the rejection of Team AndrettiCadillac was based on a desire to exclude a rival from the racetrack, marketing opportunities, and prestige that competing in F1 can lend to a car manufacturer competing to sell cars across the globe.”

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the seizure of an estimated 5.8 million pills containing fentanyl statewide, including at ports of entry along the southern border since January, according to a May 28 statement from Newsom’s office. In April, the state helped seize more than 2.3 million fentanyl pills through the California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force, which helps local and federal partners to seize fentanyl. “Illegal fentanyl has no place in our neighborhoods. California is tackling this problem head-on by holding drug traffickers accountable and increasing seizures, while at the same time expanding access to substance abuse treatment options and providing life-saving, affordable reversal medicine to Californians statewide,” Newsom said in the statement. Last year, Newsom increased the number of CalGuard service members deployed to interdict drugs at U.S. ports of entry along the border by approximately 50 percent. CalGuard’s coordinated drug interdiction efforts in the state are funded in part by California’s $30 million investment to expand CalGuard’s work to prevent drug trafficking by transnational criminal organizations. Fentanyl is primarily smuggled into the country by U.S. citizens, according to the statement. m

Lompoc rejects county grand jury’s recommendations on policing tourism funds

Every hotel in Lompoc currently pays a fee equal to 3 percent of its nightly revenue to the city, which keeps 1 percent of that total and submits the remaining 99 percent to its Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID).

While Lompoc’s TBID organization— Visit Lompoc LLC (Explore Lompoc)—is contracted to only use the hotel funds for tourism enhancement projects, the city doesn’t have a system of checks and balances in place to monitor how they’re spent, Lompoc Management Services Director Christie Donnelly explained.

“It is not within Lompoc’s purview to ascertain whether the 3 percent fee assessed on hotel customers is achieving its intended objectives,” Donnelly said at the Lompoc City Council’s May 21 meeting.

Donnelly led a presentation on staff’s responses to a Santa Barbara County grand jury report that investigated Lompoc and its TBID.

Filed in March, the report accused the city of a “consistent lack of oversight” and Visit Lompoc of underreporting more than $500,000 in funds between 2020 and 2022.

“The summary of those responses is that we disagree,” Donnelly said. “We will not be implementing any of the recommendations made by the grand jury.”

Donnelly asserted that the “crux of the issue” boils down to semantics and emphasized that revenue collected through the 3 percent hotel fee is not “Lompoc-provided funds,” as it’s a fee rather than a tax.

“It is important to recognize that none of the funds disbursed from Lompoc to [Visit Lompoc] are Lompoc-provided funds … [it’s] revenue reportable to [Visit Lompoc] alone,” Donnelly said. “Lompoc serves as a pass-through agent and does not have any legal authority, claim, or control over the funds it administers.”

In response to the grand jury report’s allegation that Visit Lompoc underreported funds in its annual reporting to the city, Donnelly said that the city’s contract with Visit Lompoc doesn’t require annual financial

statements or cumulative totals of excess funds in regular annual reports.

“There is no requirement under law or the agreement that [Visit Lompoc] would need to report cumulative totals,” the management services director said.

Donnelly added that information about the nonprofit’s carryover funds and annual tax returns are available to the public through watchdog websites, such as ProPublica.

After Donnelly’s presentation, Councilmember Jeremy Ball commented that regardless of how the city handles refuting the grand jury report’s allegations, “there’s a lot of uncertainty based upon these initial accusations … percolating throughout the community.”

“What might we have done to prevent these types of accusations?” Ball asked city staff. “How do we avoid this in the future?”

Donnelly said that staff could have required Visit Lompoc to include annual financial statements in its reporting to the city.

“We could have asked them to put financial statements in the annual report. Is that our purview? Right now, it is not our purview,” Donnelly said. “The way that the agreement is written, that is not something we can ask.”

Visit Lompoc’s treasurer Atul Patel spoke during public comment and said that the TBID is “more than happy” to include balance sheets in future annual reports and is voluntarily arranging an independent audit of its finances.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s happened this way, but I am very hopeful that the information provided by an independent auditor can put this to rest,” Ball said. “I think that will help this whole community put this behind them.”

—Caleb Wiseblood

Lompoc residents to vote on whether to discontinue public park use of 82 acres

A proposed space education center in Lompoc comes closer to fruition as the City Council voted 3-2 (with Mayor Jenelle Osborne and Councilmember Gilda Cordova dissenting) to approve a development agreement on 82 acres of land, including Ken Adam Park.

As part of this process, the city also voted 4-1 (with Osborne dissenting) to add a ballot measure to the November general election for voters to decide whether they want the public park and open space to be converted for private use.

Pale Blue Dot Ventures—a Delaware-based C corporation—has been in negotiations with Lompoc since 2019 in order to develop a venue for space camps and space exploration attractions. The development agreement will “govern the process and the potential for eventual sale” of the property to Pale Blue Dot, City Attorney Jeff Malawy told the City Council during its May 21 meeting.

“It is a lease of the Ken Adam Park property for a period up to 55 years. Before Pale Blue Dot completes nine requirements, … they will not be able to do anything with the lease,” Malawy said.

Pale Blue Dot must comply with California Environmental Quality Act standards, submit

applications and entitlements to the city Planning Department, receive voter approval to discontinue public park use, and provide an initial financing plan, he said. The corporation will need to start construction within one year after it meets the city’s requirements and complete it within five years after they start. During the 55-year lease, Pale Blue Dot will pay the city $20,000 annually. If Pale Blue Dot decides to purchase the land, it will cost $1.15 million if purchased within five years or $3 million between five to 10 years, Malawy said. “Pale Blue Dot is requesting some abatement of TOT [transient occupancy tax]. Part of the project is not a commercial hotel but a lodging package,” Malawy said. “If you are a guest at the park, you can buy a lodging package to attend the park and stay in their Earth-based lodging. It’s the only way you’ll be able to stay in lodging on-site.”

If the purchase occurs within the first five years, Pale Blue Dot requests a 20 percent discount on TOT tax for a five-year period with a $500,000 cap, he said

Steven Franck, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Pale Blue Dot, told council members that this project would add 350 new jobs, 50 summer jobs, generate $4 million to $6 million in taxes, and bring 300,000 to 335,000 visitors annually.

Osborne voted against the development agreement because she wasn’t comfortable with waiving TOT if Pale Blue Dot delivers on its predictions because of the impacts it could have on the community, and the lengthy lease term locking future councils into an agreement that may not be beneficial to the city down the road.

Councilmember Cordova also dissented because the city doesn’t know Pale Blue Dot’s ownership structure nor its financial situation, she said.

“I do not believe that Pale Blue Dot or anyone could go anywhere in the real world without disclosing their ownership structure, without disclosing financial statements for 55 years at least without saying: In the event that you fall short, who do you come after?” Cordova said. “We get the land back because of the restrictions, but we get a land back full of liens that we will not be able to pay as a community because we can’t even afford our public safety.”

While $1.15 million sounds like a good deal now, she said, the agreement sets the purchase price for the next five years—and the land could increase in value in that time.

Councilmember Jeremy Ball felt more optimistic about moving forward with the project and said that this has a lot of opportunity for the city to grow its revenue.

“We talk about public safety and some of the things we can’t afford to do in Lompoc, and folks, the reason we can’t do a lot of the things, the shiny things or the fun things, is we do not have the revenue to provide the level of service we should,” Ball said. “Yes, there are risks but I also entertain the possibilities of what could be should some risks be mitigated.”

New laws enable airports to phase out PFAS

A new law will enable local airports to apply for federal grants to help replace firefighting foam laden with “forever chemicals.”

On May 16, President Biden signed the Clean Airport Agenda into law. Led by U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), Rep. Mike Lawler (R-New York), and Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisconsin), the slate of bipartisan bills aims to curtail the threat of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) near airports.

Undetectable by sight, smell, or taste, PFAS is found in products like shampoo and dental floss, in grease-resistant food packaging, and nonstick cookware. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies found that certain levels

May 30 - June 6, 2024 News
FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM POLITICAL WATCH ➤ ‘Underground movement’ [6] NEWS continued page 5 ➤ Spotlight [8] Act now! Send any news or story tips to 4 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •
AWAITED REPLY: The city of Lompoc recently responded to accusations from a Santa Barbara County grand jury report, which scrutinized the city’s Tourism Business Improvement District for underreporting funds.

of PFAS exposure led to higher risk of cancer, higher blood pressure in pregnant women, and other disorders.

In 2019, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered 30 airports—including the Santa Maria Regional Airport, the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, and the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport—to investigate their groundwater and soil for the chemical. State regulators pinpointed pollution to a PFASrich foam called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which has been discharged into the environment since the mid-1970s through annual firefighter training sessions.

The recently signed bills include the PollutionFree Aviation Sites Act, which establishes a $350 million grant program for the next five years. Airports around the country can apply for this money to support their replacement of AFFF.

“But it also requires the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and the Department of Transportation to provide progress reports every six months to see how we are doing in the transition of PFAS-free firefighting foams,” Carbajal told the Sun

Central Coast airports are currently working on transitioning to using fluorine-free foam (F3) in compliance with FAA guidelines. F3 neither contains PFAS nor does it persist in the environment and pose numerous health risks, but the newly approved foam is available in short supply.

“You still don’t have an abundance of it, and there’s a lot of demand for it at the same time,” said Martin Pehl, the general manager of the Santa Maria Public Airport District. “I mean, you think about it, AFFF is pretty much worthless now. Everyone’s going to be getting rid of it in the state, and everyone’s going to be asking for F3.”

He added that it would take roughly six months for the Santa Maria airport to switch to F3.

The Santa Barbara airport is halfway through its F3 transition.

“We just placed an order, and so it’s just a period of time between when you order the product and when you receive it. That is a lengthy time,” said Santa Barbara Airport Director Chris Hastert.

The Santa Barbara airport still uses AFFF in its aircraft rescue firefighting trucks, but it’s ordered 1,420 gallons of F3 for those vehicles— more than 200 gallons for each of the three trucks, and the remaining 800 gallons will replace the foam when it’s used. Hastert said the airport only uses firefighting foam during major incidents, which have been infrequent. Further, the airport already switched to F3 in the hangars because it was an easier replacement process.

Currently, the Santa Barbara airport is narrowing down where it might have PFAS contamination and is on phase 4 of testing in accordance with Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board guidelines. The Santa Barbara airport plans to complete phase 4 later this year, determine a treatment plan, and start applying for a portion of the $350 million grant program.

According to Carbajal, the SLO County airport and its surrounding residents played vital roles in creating urgency for such a funding program. He noted how a SLO Countycontracted consultant company’s sampling of 57 private wells near the airport found 52 of them loaded with PFAS-contaminated water.

“Keep in mind that these foams were required by the federal government, and airports have been doing this throughout the country. This now acknowledges that these are toxic foams, and we need to transition away from them,” he said. m

—Bulbul Rajagopal

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‘Underground movement’

Lompoc residents have limited access to reproductive health services, including abortion

After driving three hours from their homes in Lompoc, they met a crowd of picketers surrounding a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinic. Kathleen was there with her friend, who was seeking an abortion because the fetus she was carrying wouldn’t survive after birth.

“It had been determined that this child she was carrying was suffering from some neurological issue and if she carried it to term it would live a couple of hours outside her uterus and be in extreme pain,” Kathleen said. “There was no option here, we needed to go ahead with the procedure.”

The two had spent hours in front of their computers, attempting to track down a provider in Lompoc, or the greater Santa Barbara County area, but had no luck. Finally, they got in touch with Planned Parenthood—which told them that the nearest abortion provider was in Los Angeles, said Kathleen, who requested that the Sun only use her first name.

“I didn’t give it a second thought; she was a friend and needed help,” she said. “She could not tell her family about any of this. She was probably 25, 26, just a young woman. She has since married and had another child and moved out of the area.”

When they left the LA clinic, Kathleen drove her car to a back alley to secretly load her friend into the vehicle to avoid any protesters, she said.

“I have no idea if it’s still like that; it may be worse with all of the anti-abortion people being so active,” Kathleen said.

While Kathleen’s experience occurred more than a decade ago, and Planned Parenthood now provides medication abortion and surgical abortions up to 16 weeks in both Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, Lompoc’s still considered a reproductive health care desert.

No health care provider offers abortion services in Santa Barbara County’s third largest city, leaving residents to drive between 40 minutes to an hour for care—or farther away if a procedure is needed beyond 16 weeks.

In an area where residents face higher health inequities due to lower education levels, language

contraception methods; pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum care; emergency contraception (the morning-after pill); abortion services; and menopause care, according to Planned Parenthood.

At Savie Health, Toro typically sees Spanishspeaking women 30 and older and conducts Pap smears, STI tests, and pregnancy tests, and she will discuss any mental health concerns or other preexisting conditions. While the women are older, she will still have conversations about birth control because they’re still exposed to unplanned pregnancies.

“Sometimes certain methods [of birth control] are welcome and others are not an option for them depending on their culture. We have to respect their cultural needs,” she said. “It’s really rewarding, and I kind of hope that physicians [who] are semi-retired or have the time and desire to help out, that this is definitely the way to go.”

Savie’s full reproductive health care services include Pap smears; STI, STD, and HIV/HPV testing; pregnancy tests; and generic birth control pills donated from Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization based in Santa Barbara. Savie Health operates Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4.p.m.

Savie Executive Director Dr. Eryn Shugart told the Sun that the clinic refers patients to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s Lompoc clinic for mammograms, prenatal and pregnancy care, or a more comprehensive followup based on test and Pap smear results.

“There is a population that feels more comfortable with us than the government,” Shugart said.

Lompoc has more than 44,000 residents, with about 17.2 percent of them living in poverty, compared to 12.2 percent of all California residents, according to U.S. Census data. About 44 percent of the city’s residents speak a language other than English at home, with 41 percent speaking Spanish.

CenCal, the organization that governs and administers Medi-Cal programs in Santa Barbara and SLO counties, serves 13,711 women in the city and a total of 25,625 residents including men and children, CenCal CEO Marina Owen told the Sun Countywide, there are more than 32,000 migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, with 3,000 to 4,000 who might be women of reproductive age (between 18 and 49), according to a 2023 UC Santa Barbara and UCLA evaluation report that studied maternal health among farmworkers.

Farmworker women, particularly those who speak indigenous languages such as Mixteco, often don’t feel listened to or understood at health care clinics when seeking maternity care, and they experience discrimination in the health system on the basis of farmworker status, immigration status, language, or indigenous identity, the report found.

and cultural barriers, and institutional barriers, many individuals often don’t trust the current systems in place, said Dr. Melissa Smith, the director of health equity initiatives at UC Santa Barbara. The gaps in services, or cost to travel to a clinic, can cause them to delay needed, preventative care, which can result in detrimental health outcomes that could have otherwise been managed.

Local government officials and Planned Parenthood have been working on establishing a potential partnership for a satellite clinic in Lompoc to provide needed reproductive health care services, but they haven’t identified a partner yet. In the meantime, local providers are working to expand the reproductive health services they do offer, coordinating more outreach efforts to build trust within the community, and enrolling more residents in Medi-Cal, thanks to recent eligibility expansions, in order to provide affordable, comprehensive reproductive health care.

“I think something really needs to be done here in our county, well, nationally actually … to provide these services for women,” Kathleen said. “Here it still feels like an underground movement.”

Unique needs

In January, semi-retired obstetriciangynecologist (OB-GYN) Dr. Elizabeth Toro began commuting once a month from Santa Barbara to Lompoc to provide reproductive health care services at Savie Health—a Lompocbased free health care clinic for people who are uninsured and/or low-income.

“For my patients, it’s a big deal for them to get to the clinic. They have to take public transit, take time from their jobs—a lot are domestic workers, so when they show up, they are missing work,” Toro said. “Some of them have not seen a gynecologist for several years so they need a cervical cancer screening or a breast cancer screening. They have reproductive health issues like infections, pelvic pain.”

Reproductive health care encompasses cervical cancer screenings; sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests and treatment; HIV services; mammograms; family planning and

“Potentially at some point in the future it might be beneficial for us to address maternal health,” Shugart said. “There are farmworkers who feel more comfortable and safe in this clinic; if we could provide some services that would be beneficial.”

Savie Health expanded into reproductive health care services primarily to help migrant farmworkers and those who might be undocumented because the population tends to hesitate when seeking care from public health entities, she said.

“We are free, and the Public Health Department is free, they’re great. They have a sliding scale of services, they provide STD testing and reproductive health like counseling and contraceptives,” Shugart said. “A lot of the group of people are fearful of going to the Public Health Department because it’s the government, and they have the fear of public charge and things that happened with the former administration.”

In 2019, former President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that required all prospective immigrants to prove that they will have U.S. health insurance within 30 days of their arrival or money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs,” according to Reuters. Trump also often expressed support for limiting immigration, including guest worker visa programs, mass deportations, and ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“I think there’s very unique health needs [for] people in that migrant farmworker population who are pregnant moms. Because they’re working in fields, they have potential exposure to pesticides, the working conditions, whether they’re able to get time off, have pregnancy-related disability—those are really important factors,” Savie’s Shugart said.

Savie Health had conversations about a potential partnership with Planned Parenthood of California Central Coast to establish a satellite clinic in Lompoc to provide more comprehensive reproductive health care, but more logistical issues need to be worked out before the partnership can be established, Shugart said.

“I believe that it would be beneficial for community members in Lompoc for Planned Parenthood to have a presence,” she said. “I believe that access to women’s health services, more comprehensive women’s health services, in the Lompoc community could only be beneficial for women.”

Addressing health inequities

With a higher percentage of Latino and indigenous residents, lower levels of education, and lack of culturally competent care, North County residents tend to face more upstream factors when it comes to accessing reproductive health care than South County residents, said Smith, the director of health equity initiatives at UC Santa Barbara.

“If you look at communities who have been historically marginalized, they experience multiple forms of marginalization. An indigenous migrant farmworker is more likely to have had less opportunities to access education in her life, hence that speaks to educational barriers and certainly all the social determinants [of health],” Smith said.

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality of life outcomes and risks, according to the 2017 to 2021 Santa Barbara County Birth Report analyzing countywide maternal and infant health information.

Determinants can include employment, housing, food security, education access, health insurance and health care access, housing, neighborhood safety, discrimination, and connections to communities—all of which can contribute to wide health disparities and major inequities, according to the report.

“Educational attainment is highly correlated with entry into early prenatal care, and mothers with less than a high school equivalent level of education had lower than average early prenatal care,” according to the report.

About 90 percent of central and South County mothers received a high school equivalent diploma or higher compared to 55 percent of North County mothers. Hispanic females were about 10 percent

FILLING GAPS: Savie Health, a free clinic that provides health care to people without health insurance, recently expanded to provide reproductive health care services, such as STI and pregnancy testing, cervical cancer screenings, and birth control provided by the Santa Barbarabased humanitarian organization Direct Relief.
6 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •
PARTNERSHIP TALKS: Savie Health Executive Director Dr. Eryn Shugart and her team had conversations with Planned Parenthood about a potential partnership for a satellite clinic in Lompoc, but logistical issues need to be worked out before anything can happen.

less likely to start early prenatal care compared to white and Asian females, according to the report.

“We know that early prenatal care is associated with improved birth outcomes,” Smith said. “If you can do an ultrasound in the first trimester, you have a better chance of predicting the gestational age and [identifying] early on any health complications that can impact the health— hypertension, diabetes, previous complications in pregnancy. Being able to screen for any risk factors that can make pregnancy higher risk and implement support systems early on for women.

“When that trust doesn’t exist, when there’s a lack of culturally and linguistically centered care, there are greater chances of women experiencing barriers that can impact their pregnancy and their own birth outcomes,” she added.

According to the birth report, 9.5 percent of Hispanic mothers had a premature birth (less than 37 weeks gestation), compared to 8.6 percent of mothers countywide.

Santa Barbara County also experienced an increase in STIs from 2018 to 2022, with Latino residents as the highest reported race/ethnicity for each STI—early syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and MPox—according to a Santa Barbara County STI report. Lompoc in particular reported the second highest five year average HIV rate, with 11 cases per 100,000 population, just behind Santa Barbara city at 13 per 100,000.

Smith said that using a peer education model—like the Promotores Network, where a community member works as a liaison between their communities and public health agencies to provide culturally and linguistically centered education surrounding reproductive health care— could help reduce pregnancy risk, STI rates, and preterm births.

“I think that when we can offer culturally, linguistically centered care to women, in particular in our county indigenous migrant farmworker women, we can create and build trust and make them feel much more comfortable seeking out care,” she said. “Language interpretation and having a support system that is grounded in their culture is a critical factor in women accessing care and understanding the suggested plan of care that a physician might provide.”

Limitations and expansions

The Lompoc Valley Medical Center, the city’s hospital, is a public health care district established in 1946 by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and is operated by a board of directors, according to its website. Its facilities are regulated, inspected, and certified by the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Steve Popkin, the CEO, told the Sun that the facility sees about 350 deliveries per year and offers “comprehensive OB-GYN” services with two OBGYNs on staff and is expecting a third to join “very soon.” He added that the hospital accepts all types of provider and governmental medical coverage. “At our Lompoc Health medical clinics, matters

of reproductive health are between the patient and her physician; Lompoc Valley Medical Center does not interfere with that relationship,” Popkin said regarding abortion services.

A hospital is required to perform eight basic services: medical, nursing, surgical, anesthesia, radiology, pharmacy, and dietary services, the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Communications told the Sun via email. All other supplemental services, like abortions, are not required by the state.

“While the Local Health Care District Law … does not require a health care district to provide specific services, it does authorize a wide variety of health care services in various types of health care facilities, including hospitals,” the California Department of Public Health communications officials said. “If the stated purpose for the district’s formation and operation is to provide a specific service, then the district hospital is obligated to do so.”

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s women’s wellness center in Lompoc sees about 500 patients per month and provides obstetrics and gynecology services, family planning, implant or prescription birth control, mammograms, and follow-up care. However, the facility cannot perform abortion services due to its designation as a federally qualified health center, said Dana Gamble, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s deputy director of primary care and family health.

“What that does for us is it provides a small amount of grant funding, but more importantly it enables us to have a Medi-Cal rate that is slightly higher than non [federally qualified health center] Medi-Cal rate, which allows us to cover more

expenses associated with uncompensated care,” Gamble said. “One of the other requirements is we cannot use any federal funding sources for abortion services. … If any patient indicates they’re wanting to learn more about terminating a pregnancy, we refer to Planned Parenthood.”

While the Public Health Department cannot perform abortions, it’s the only Lompoc clinic that accepts presumptive eligibility—temporary, realtime enrollment into Med-Cal. It also provides educational opportunities for staff to address increasing STI rates; conducts follow-ups with patients at their home if they miss an appointment; offers transportation to and from appointments; connects patients to the county’s behavioral health department for any mental health concerns; and uses translation services to ensure linguistically centered care, said Michaela Killer-Westfall, the Lompoc Health Care Center’s administrator.

“We’ve been also trying to offer extended hours because a lot of our patients work and have families to support,” said Killer-Westfall.

With the clinic now scheduled to stay open until 6 p.m., Killer-Westfall said she hopes it will be able to accommodate more patients. The clinic was also scheduled to start having booths at more community events this month to conduct outreach to Lompoc’s indigenous populations.

She added that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent expansion of Medi-Cal, which opened up state insurance coverage to undocumented individuals ages 27 to 49, will help more people seek early, preventative care. According to CenCal, the MediCal monitor for the Central Coast, 15,775 new patients enrolled in Santa Barbara County, including 971 in Lompoc.

Maria Gardner, the assistant director for the Department of Social Services, added that there are about 400 uninsured females in Lompoc potentially eligible for Medi-Cal.

Killer-Westfall said that the new eligibility will hopefully help more people seek preventative care rather than waiting until it’s an emergency.

map took effect at the same time the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that gave women the constitutional protection to access abortion. The overturn resulted in a wave of abortion restrictions in several states.

“We just try to normalize the landscape of reproductive health care and that health care, including … safe abortion access is a human right. That’s something we fundamentally believe in,” Fischer said. “A lack of any access, timely access, to health care—any health care delivered—in someone’s community negatively impacts one’s quality of life.”

Luz Reyes-Martín, the vice president of advocacy and engagement of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, told the Sun that the nonprofit continues to have conversations with other health care providers and remains open to the satellite clinic.

“There’s not one single way of what that could look like,” Reyes-Martín said. “Perhaps we could come in on some schedule once a week or a few times a month to do medication abortion or appointments for family planning. … We would want to tailor something that would work for the community, for staff, for us, and what would work for that partner.”

“When they don’t have to choose between food, housing, and health care, they are more likely to come in for preventative care, ongoing access to health care, not when it was emergent or urgent,” Killer-Westfall said.

Partnership challenges

Minimal reproductive health care access came before Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s office when she took over as Lompoc’s supervisor in 2022 after redistricting, said Gina Fischer, Hartmann’s chief of staff.

“Constituents in Lompoc brought forward to us questions and concerns about the lack of access to reproductive care specifically, which aligned with my experience as previously working in the arena of reproductive health care,” Fischer said. “We have played a role in our office [by] trying to connect partners who could enhance the landscape of what reproductive care is offered in Lompoc directly.”

While Hartmann’s office worked to connect different local health care providers with Planned Parenthood to establish a clinic, it’s been difficult finding a match, Fischer said.

“Drawing on my experience having worked in this field prior to working for Supervisor Hartmann, facilitating these types of partnerships can be challenging because of the unfair stigma that some providers of reproductive health care have by folks who identify as anti-abortion,” she said.

Santa Barbara County’s redistricting

Planned Parenthood conducted similar work in neighboring Ventura County, where the nonprofit recently established a clinic in Oxnard. While it’s not rural, Planned Parenthood was interested in bringing more services to the 200,000-person city, she said. A community-needs survey showed existing health care gaps and a patient volume Planned Parenthood could serve, resulting in the facility’s opening in 2021, she said.

“We have an existing center in Ventura, which is very much close by, but recognizing it as a very large city it was always an interest for us to have a health center there,” Reyes-Martín said. “We’ve definitely served a big part of that community. I think others might have gone to Ventura, but it’s more convenient to stay in Oxnard. It’s such a large city where it makes sense to have a health center there, and it’s been very successful.”

In Santa Barbara County, Planned Parenthood has one clinic in Santa Maria and one in Santa Barbara, which served 633 unique patients from Lompoc during the 2023 calendar year, ReyesMartín said. From SLO to Ventura counties, Planned Parenthood serves more than 30,000 patients annually.

“The big picture is we’re always looking at our service area and where our patients are coming from. Lompoc is one of several rural parts in our service area; we are always looking at ways to enhance or expand the services we provide,” ReyesMartín said.

“We know folks need more options [for] care; our doors will be open to them.” m


Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at toconnor@ PUBLIC HEALTH: Lompoc Health Care Center’s administrator Michaela Killer-Westfall (left) and Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Deputy Director of Primary Care and Family Health Dana Gamble (right) have been working on expanding the clinic’s hours and adding more community education events in order to reach more residents who may be hesitant to seek health care at a public agency. SERVICES EXPANSION: The Lompoc Public Health Department is a government-affiliated clinic that provides comprehensive reproductive health care, but it cannot perform abortions due to its designation as a federally qualified health center. • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 7
COMMUNITY CARE: Dr. Viviana Martinez is one of the Lompoc Public Health Department’s family medicine practitioners who helps provide care to residents at the public health facility.

Weld into the future

Nipomo High School joins Airgas welding education initiative

Nipomo High School recently became one of 34 schools from 29 states to join the High School Welding Education Initiative for the first time, a program offered through welding equipment supplier Airgas.

“Nipomo High School was selected to participate … as the teachers and the school board had an established commitment to advancing welding education; their community has a high unmet financial need; and there was high potential for Airgas associates in the area to collaborate with the program,” Airgas representative Brian Jones said on May 3.

Airgas associates provide the participating schools with professional development training, continuing education opportunities for welding teachers, and donations of welding equipment and personal protective equipment.

The welding education initiative has helped 117 schools since 2018, comprising 8,100 students and 560 instructors, according to Airgas. Roughly 1,000 students secured jobs immediately after graduating from a school program supported by its donations.

Nipomo High’s inclusion is part of the Airgas initiative’s expansion to 65 schools for the 2024 academic year—34 new and 31 returning schools—which underscores the American Welding Society’s forecast that 360,000 new welding professionals are projected to be needed by 2027.

“The faculty and students can determine what type of equipment and resources are most needed for their program and will be able to customize their donation selection from Airgas,” said Jones, Airgas director of risk management and corporate responsibility.

“Teachers at Nipomo High School connect with local Airgas branch team members and welding process specialists to ensure their coursework will help prepare students for welding careers, to learn more about new products and technology advancements, and to discuss career opportunities for students,” he said.

One of these teachers is Nipomo High welding instructor Clayton Carlson. While the Airgas donation will allow the school to buy safety equipment and consumables like grinding wheels and electrodes for welding students, he said, the priority is to obtain a new and larger plasma cutter.

“We already have one plasma cutter but it’s a little dated and the new one that we will get will have some industry standards like an all-self-contained cutting tip,” Carlson said on May 6.

Carlson heads the agriculture mechanics program at Nipomo High that’s split across three classes. They teach the basics of woodworking, plumbing, and welding. Two of the three courses are dual-enrolled with Cuesta College—meaning students get college credits for completing them—while the third one is pending approval.

“They’ll be able to jump in on more advanced spots for getting welding certificates at Cuesta, to be certified to go out and weld skyscrapers and do structural work,” Carlson said. “It puts them on a little bit of a fast track.”

Carlson’s student and Nipomo High senior Anthony Zelis said he loved the agriculture maintenance course under the agriculture mechanics program so much that he repeated it. He’s worked as a farmhand for the past three years where he’s applied his welding skills. Zelis is on track to start as a part-time agriculture business student at Allan Hancock College. Though the soon-to-be graduate won’t experience the incoming donations from Airgas, Zelis acknowledged the impact of the company on Nipomo High’s program.

“In welding, we use gas all the time, and Airgas actually helps provide us with gas, so we’re able to actually run our shop because of them,” he said. “They’re vital in our program. The amount we spend on consumable items and materials is pretty high. Them being able to help us out is very beneficial.”


• House of Pride and Equality (HOPE) is holding its sixth annual Santa Maria Pride event, a celebration of the LGBTQ-plus community that promotes “acceptance, equality, and love.” The theme for Pride this year is Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges. “It is important to foster connections and understanding among different communities, and to dismantle the barriers that prevent us from fully embracing diversity. By coming together in celebration, we can build bridges of acceptance and create a more inclusive society for everyone,” according to press materials. Santa Maria Pride 2024 will be held on Sunday, June 9, at the Santa Maria Fairpark from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with activities for the whole family, including a resource fair, vendor market, live music and entertainment, crafts and activities for kids, food trucks, a beer garden, a free drag show, displays from local artists, and more. For more information and a full calendar of HOPE events throughout Pride Week, visit m

Reach New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal, from the Sun’s sister paper, at

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WELDING PROGRESS: Since 2018, the number of student programs participating in Airgas’ welding education initiative has continued to rise—underscoring the American Welding Society’s forecast that 360,000 new welding professionals are projected to be needed by 2027.
8 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •

Put to rest

What’s the best thing about the Central Coast during summer?

75% Being close to the ocean.

25% Looking forward to even hotter weather in October.

0% Tons of wineries to choose from for outdoor tastings.

0% Big annual events, like the Mid-State Fair and SB County Fair.

4 Votes

Vote online at

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City clarifies that it won’t implement the grand jury’s recommendations for Visit Lompoc Inc.

Earlier this year, a few local citizens created great concern when they tried to imply that something sinister was happening concerning the finances of Visit Lompoc Incorporated (VLI).

According to a May 21 staff report, “Between the months of March and June 2023, three individuals made public comments during the regularly held City Council meetings alleging unaccounted funds in VLI’s annual reports, calling for the city of Lompoc to either conduct or commission an independent financial audit of VLI.”

VLI manages the Lompoc Tourism Improvement District using funds collected from special assessments that were approved by voters.

According to the Ralph M. Brown Act, the City Council “must set aside (time) for public to comment on any other matters under the body’s jurisdiction” during public meetings. The council cannot respond to these comments at the time unless it’s on the agenda; however, they must respond to grand jury reports.

On May 2, 2023, the city attorney reported to the City Council that “after review, staff has determined that the majority of [the citizen’s] claims are without merit.” He also indicated that the claims had factual errors.

Ultimately the Santa Barbara County grand jury, based on a citizen complaint, decided to investigate these allegations. The jury determined that VLI submitted its reports late as required by the city; however, the jury also noted that the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994 does not require such reports to be submitted in that time frame.

The city received the 2024 grand jury report, “Lompoc Tourism Improvement District Management Agreement 2019-2028,” on March 18. The report contained six recommendations, each alleging that the city had failed to require that VLI submit audit reports.

According to a recent city of Lompoc response, the grand jury was poorly informed about the relationship of the city of Lompoc to VLI. In the city’s response, it informs the presiding judge that none of the jury’s recommendations will be implemented because the city has no management/oversight responsibility for VLI or the Lompoc Tourism Improvement District.

The May 21 staff report states that the city “continues to hold the opinion that as a passthrough agent of non-city funds, the city does not hold responsibility to audit nor to impose regulations other than those specified in the VLI agreement on VLI, and that spending time on such activities would be a misuse of taxpayer funds if the city were to devote additional staff time to researching, analyzing, and opining on an entity outside of the city’s purview.”

According to that staff report, “More than 150 hours of staff and attorney time have been spent addressing this unsubstantiated issue since the initial allegations were brought against VLI. Preparation for the grand jury investigation, analysis of the grand jury report, analysis of VLI’s reported financial transactions, comparison of VLI’s annual reports, preparation of this and other related staff reports, and preparation of the response letter to the grand jury took time away from staff’s ability to work on other important city business. The total estimated fully allocated cost of the staff time required for the aforementioned activities is over $50,000.”

This seems like a waste of time and money by the city to respond to an ill-informed public’s concern. But since the concerns were echoed by the grand jury and required an official response, the city had little choice but to point out the numerous inaccuracies in the assertions and recommended actions.

Hopefully this puts this issue to rest, but considering the past actions of the folks making the allegations, it isn’t likely that their egos will accept any of the explanations provided to the grand jury. m

Ron Fink writes to the Sun from Lompoc. Send a letter for publication to letters@

More dollars than sense

At the end of the piece titled “EVs are practical” (May 23), the author states, “... and they can help save the environment at the same time.” I wonder if Charles stopped to consider the damage to the environment caused in manufacturing two vehicles for Charles to choose from stacked in Charles’ driveway, or the solar panels Charles mentions that become toxic waste after about 25 years of use? Rather than walking to Starbucks while your EV charges, maybe you could do your part for the environment by staying home or riding the bus.

Dan Smith Arroyo Grande

Semantics and spin

When it comes right down to it folks, we are living in a most confusing time. It’s next to impossible to discern the truth of a matter and get credible sources of info on anything you may be interested in. Media sources are sometimes biased and bought, the government is all over the map, and big industry is slick and looking out for No. 1. Issues are complex and we, as the public, are subject to deceiving ad campaigns, industry greenwashing, and government spin in most egregious ways. To be honest, sometimes we don’t even know what many of the terms that are being thrown around mean. So, after years of targeted research, attendance at industry and government sponsored conferences, and participation in numerous industry/media/government hosted dog and pony shows, I have compiled a handy-dandy glossary of terms to make an understanding of offshore wind energy more relatable.

Fossil fuel funded: A favorite epithet thrown out to malign folks fighting against offshore wind that’s almost never the case and so hypocritical. Rarely do the mudslingers realize that they are accusing people of something that they are guilty of themselves. The wind industry is heavily funded by oil companies, (in fact many of the wind energy companies are oil companies) making this tactic illogical.

Green energy: The ultimate in industry spin deceptions! A description so vague in its parameters but so powerful in its ability to engender blind following and support that it has the capacity to keep intelligent people from using their own heads for something besides a hat rack.

Renewable: A misnomer and complete semantic misappropriation of a clearly defined word. There is not a single aspect of the offshore wind industry that is renewable. Offshore wind graveyards and landfills tell the story of a word that never should even be in this glossary.

Port revitalization: What a pretty concept for a really horrendous process: a complete industrialization of our coast. The only thing that will be revitalized are the coffers of the port entities and the companies building and running the show. Our small harbors will be irreparably impacted and our thriving local industries most certainly won’t be revitalized; rather they will have the vitality sucked right out of them.

Scientific monitoring program: A nonexistent program that if it were in place would keep the permits for offshore surveys from being viable. An absolutely necessary mitigation that none of our California or federal agencies seem to be able to find important enough to mandate or enforce.

Responsible offshore wind development: There is no such thing! As shown in numerous offshore wind developments both here and abroad, the industry is not a responsible or viable source of energy. It is environmentally destructive, economically infeasible, and expensive, and is an inefficient and highly variable source of energy.

So, there you have just a small but illuminating glossary, one that if researched and acted on will help you save our amazing and vital Central Coast from a destructive and rapacious industry and the clueless folks that have swallowed their B.S. hook, line, and sinker.

Mandy Davis Los Osos REACT Alliance
Opinion ➤ Canary [10]
MAYFIELD • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 9

BY THE Horns

“See you at this year’s Elk’s Rodeo & Parade.”


Is Lompoc a place that you associate with

“Earth-based lodging”?

Seems a little targeted toward luxurious hippies, doesn’t it? Like some place someone would pay thousands of dollars a night to stay in the Brazilian Amazon or along the Big Sur coast, where they could zip-line through the forest, get massages under trees, eat all locally grown, organic food prepped by a celebrity chef who believes in “farm-to-fork,” and “recycle” your shower water through a bidet that doubles as a toilet.

But most importantly, these tourists are buying the illusion of sustainability sold through green washing. Are these same tourists going to pack it up to vacation in Lompoc?

“Eco-friendly” resorts don’t strike me as something associated with Vandenberg Space Force Base tourism, educational space camp, or Lompoc. It seems odd. Just like the entire proposal from Pale Blue Dot Ventures—a Delaware-based corporation that’s intent on monetizing Lompoc’s proximity to a real-life Space Force base.

And the Lompoc City Council is in! Councilmembers are sending a measure to the ballot that will let voters decide whether it’s OK to turn over 82 acres of public land to a private company so it can develop the tourist attraction of the city’s daydreams. About 42 of those acres are Ken Adam Park, which is on the chopping block.

The park was once a part of plans to establish a Western Spaceport Museum, which didn’t make it. Pale Blue Dot Ventures is ready to “build a galactic gateway,” though, with your help, voters!

You can be part of the daydream solution to Lompoc’s revenue woes, according to Councilmember Jeremy Ball

“Folks, the reason we can’t do a lot of the things, the shiny things or the fun things, is we do not have the revenue to provide the level of service we should,” Ball said.

Pale Blue Dot is promising 350 new jobs, 50 summer jobs, generating $4 million to $6 million in taxes, and more than 300,000 visitors annually. What? That sounds like a lot. All Lompoc residents have to do is let the city lease the land to the corporation, which will pay the city $20,000 annually and will possibly be able to purchase the 82 acres of city-owned land for $1.15 million if it purchases the land within the first five years of a 55-year agreement. Whew! Sounds like a screaming deal.

What do you think of reproductive health care options in Lompoc?

m It’s really difficult to find a provider and frustrating to get care.

m It’s OK. There are challenges, but providers and officials are making changes.

m Much more needs to be done to bridge the gaps.

m I don’t live in Lompoc.

But Councilmember Gilda Cordova wasn’t so sure. She was concerned about Pale Blue Dot being able to hold up its end of the bargain. Apparently, the corporation didn’t disclose its financial details or ownership structure to the city—don’t worry, though, the city doesn’t really require financial disclosure details even from its own tourism organization, Visit Lompoc LLC. (It’s not part of the contract, according to city Management Services Director Christie Donnelly. And Cordova is Explore Lompoc’s president!)

Cordova was concerned about what could happen to the city if Pale Blue Dot goes belly up: “Who do you come after?” she said. “We get a land back full of liens that we will not be able to pay as a community because we can’t even afford our public safety.”

But without risks, there’s no rewards, Ball insinuated.

“I also entertain the possibilities of what could be should some risks be mitigated,” Ball said. m

The Canary is still daydreaming. Send pipes to

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Hot Stuff


Allan Hancock College Winery presents the second annual West Coast College and University Wine Festival on Saturday, June 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is described as an opportunity for Hancock College, Cal Poly SLO, and a handful of other participating colleges and universities to showcase their wines and winemaking programs. Attendees can look forward to wine tastings and small bites from various local restaurants. Visit for more info.

—Caleb Wiseblood


SANTA MARIA VALLEY/LOS ALAMOS 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. ongoing Everybody Can Dance, 628 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria, 805-937-6753,


Visit the Youth Services Desk on the first Sunday of each month to receive a coupon for a free book of your choice from the Library Bookstore. For ages 0-17. First Sunday of every month Free. 805-9250994. 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.

VALLEY READS BOOK CLUB The Valley Reads is a monthly book club for adults featuring coffee, snacks, and lively discussion. June 8 2 p.m. Free. 805-9250994. departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


CALIFORNIA’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE: THE WAY OF WATER 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, FAR FROM HOME A solo exhibit of watercolors by artist Martha Inman Lorch that showcase her travels across the globe. She chooses international subjects that catch her eye and imagination. Her unique perspective and watercolor skills make each painting visually enchanting. Reception on June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. Mondays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through June 30 805 -6887517. Gallery Los Olivos, 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos.

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION: MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE BALL AND ART SHOW A night filled with live music, dance, and mesmerizing aerial performances reminiscent of the lively streets of New Orleans. For guests aged 21 and over. June 7 6 p.m. Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, 805-688-7889.

UNDER THE SAME SUN: FROM LOW-RIDERS TO FARMWORKERS The exhibition features works by five visual artists based in Central and Southern California with their own unique approach as seen in the diversity of the work on display and the variety of styles. Through July 7 Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, 1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, 805-686-1211.

UNITY: DUO SHOW A duo exhibition showcasing abstract paintings by Christine Marie and mixed media mosaics by Wendy Brewer. Through May 31 Gallery Los Olivos, 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, 805-688-7517.



Join Sandra Dotson’s Mindful Collage Journaling class, and enjoy blending art and mindfulness. Discover self-expression through collage techniques, creating a serene space to calm thoughts and set intentions. June 6, 1:30-3 p.m. $35. Melville Estate Winery, 5185 E. Hwy 246, Lompoc, 805-735-7030.

THE MAGIC OF MY WORLD The Lompoc Valley Art Association’s Cypress Gallery will be featuring The Magic of My World, an artist show by Kristine Kelly. May 30June 30 805-737-1129. Cypress Gallery, 119 E Cypress Ave., Lompoc,


ARROYO GRANDE SUMMER ART IN THE PARK Features dozens of local vendors selling homemade items, free bounce house, music, food trucks, and more. June 8 , 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $0-$15. 805-473-5472. Elm St. Park, 380 S Elm St., Arroyo Grande.

DANCE FITNESS ART AND CULTURE FOR ADULTS Discover dance as a form of artistic expression and exercise, using a wide range of styles and genres of music (including modern, jazz, Broadway, ethnic). Tuesdays, 4-5 p.m. $10 drop-in; $30 for four classes. 510-362-3739. grover. org. Grover Beach Community Center, 1230 Trouville Ave., Grover Beach.


Everybody Can DANCE and the Santa Maria Civic Ballet present this production. June 8 , 7-9 p.m. and June 9 3-5 p.m. $20-$30. 805-489-9444. shows/ebcd-firebird-pirate/. Clark Center

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

for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.

NEW PLAY FESTIVAL Discover the future of theater with AGHS Theatre Company’s thrilling annual New Play Festival. Designed to showcase the talents of emerging playwrights, while presenting a collection of fresh and innovative works that push the boundaries of storytelling. Enjoy thoughtprovoking dramas and heartwarming comedies. June 1, 7-9:30 p.m. $10-$15. 805489-9444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.

PIRATES OF PISMO A-GO-GO The plot follows a young “junior pirate” who plans to celebrate his 21st birthday by breaking away from the grip of his master, the Pirate King. Comical complications arise because of his Feb. 29 birthday, as it only comes around every four years. Through July 6 Great American Melodrama, 1863 Front St., Oceano.


9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL Set in the late 1970s, this story of friendship and revenge is “outrageous, thought-provoking, and even a little romantic.” Pushed to the boiling point, three female coworkers concoct a plan to get even with their egotistical, lying boss. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7-9 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 2-4 p.m. through June 30 $20-$40. 805-786-2440. SLO Rep, 888 Morro St., San Luis Obispo.


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.

ALL AGES SCULPTING WITH JOHN ROULLARD John a retired school teacher who patiently guides potters of all ages to sculpt and work on details and design. Saturdays, 1:30-3 p.m. $40. Anam Cre Pottery Studio, 1243 Monterey 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.



Hometown Realty is pleased to host amazing local artists, rotating their art work each month for the ‘Art After Dark’ calendar year. Reception of food and wine. First Friday of every month, 5-8 p.m. through Nov. 1 Century 21 Hometown Realty, 1103 Toro St., San Luis Obispo, 805-235-4877.

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. sloma. org/exhibition/barry-goyette-mulberry/. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo.


FRENCH Learn the ways watercolor is apt to flow (or not), and how you and those colors can “start a tango that will unleash a new relationship with your artistic visions.” For beginners or watercolor artists who would like to “loosen up.” Thursdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m. through June 27 $120 plus materials. 805-747-4200. Art Central, 1329 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.

CAL POLY DRAG CLUB PRESENTS: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Who’s ready to give themselves over to absolute pleasure? Enjoy Cal Poly Drag Club’s production of Rocky Horror ; a night of horrifyingly good entertainment featuring lip-synching, dancing, costuming, props, and audience participation. May 31 6 p.m. $8. 805-756-4849. detail/rockyhorror24. Spanos Theatre, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. FIRST FRIDAYS Visit SLOMA on the first Friday of each month for exhibition openings, music, and wines provided by regional winery partners. Admission is free and open to the public. First Friday of every month, 5-8 p.m. Free. 805-543-8562. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St., San Luis Obispo.

OUTSIDE / IN: WORLD PREMIERE A multimedia contemporary dance piece choreographed and conceived by Maartje Hermans, composed by Brook Munro, and photographed by Richard Fusillo. Presented by the San Luis Obispo Movement Arts Center (SLOMAC). June 1 , 7:30 p.m. and June 2 1:30 p.m. slomac. com. Harold J. Miossi CPAC at Cuesta College, Highway 1, San Luis Obispo.

NORTH COAST SLO COUNTY CENTRAL COAST ARTISTS COLLECTIVE Three artist groups of the Central Coast Artists Collective (photographers, sculptors, and craftmakers) show selected works by members in this annual exhibition. Through June 24, 12-4 p.m. Free. 805-772-2504. Art Center Morro Bay, 835 Main St., Morro Bay. FIBER AND TEXTILES BY DEBBIE GEDAYLOO A self-taught artist who uses observations of the natural world as inspiration. May 30 -June 29 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-772-1068. galleryatmarinasquare. com. Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero suite 10, Morro Bay. FOREVER STOKED PAINT PARTY Join us at the gallery, for a few hours to travel on a creative paint journey. You will receive as much or as little instruction as you prefer. No experience is necessary. Saturdays, 7-9

INDEX Arts....................................... 11 Culture & Lifestyle 12 Food & Drink ...................... 14 Music 16 10-DAY CALENDAR: MAY 30 - JUNE 9, 2024 • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 11

Welcoming Dr. Ryan Leachman DO, MBA

A Central Coast Native, Dr. Ryan Leachman DO, MBA, Graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2004. Dr. Leachman attended California Polytechnic State University where he earned dual degrees in Biology and Psychology and graduated Cum Lade. Dr. Leachman continued his education at Cal Poly where he earned a Masters in Business Administration. Dr. Leachman further continued his education at Midwestern University school of Medicine where he earned his medical degree. Dr. Leachman attended residency at OSU Pediatrics. He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics.


Hot Stuff


The Rotary Club of Los Olivos presents the 18th annual Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival on Saturday, June 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. More than 20 local wineries are participating in the festival, which also includes olive-themed dishes from local chefs and live jazz music. Admission is $100. Visit to find out more.

ARTS from page 11

p.m. $45. 805-772-9095. Forever Stoked, 1164 Quintana Rd., Morro Bay.

INTRODUCING THE DEPARTMENT: ART EXHIBITION Come check out The Department: Open Artist Studio, Fine Art, and Craft Workshop/Showroom. Enjoy local art, live tunes, eats, drinks, raffles, prizes, and more. June 1, 5-9 p.m. The Department, 986 Quintana Road, Morro Bay, 805-471-4429.

JUNE ARTISTS RECEPTION AND ATRIUM PARTY Featuring Cathy Russ, Debbie Gedayloo, and Kristina Albion with their photography, textiles, and bags, respectively. June 8, 3-5 p.m. Free. 805-772-1068. Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero suite 10, Morro Bay.

PHOTOGRAPHER CATHY RUSS Russ is a photographer living in Morro Bay whose photography has taken her around the world for decades. Her work features rural and urban scenes, landscapes, wild animals, and much more. Her work is printed on paper, metal, and canvas. May 30 -June 29 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-7721068. Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero suite 10, Morro Bay.

WEARABLE ART AND SMALL CRAFTS BY KRISTINA ALBION Kristina Albion has been inspired to create art, bags, crafts, wearable art, and home decor using cloth, fiber, stone, leather, paint, and hard work. She creates amazing wearable art and home goods using a variety of mediums, textiles, stone, leather, and more. May 30 -31, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-772-1068. galleryatmarinasquare. com. Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero suite 10, Morro Bay.



81ST ANNUAL ELKS RODEO AND PARADE Visit site for full lineup of this year’s rodeo events. May 30 -June 2 Elks Event Center, 4040 Highway 101, Santa Maria.

ANDROID PHONE CLASS First Thursday of every month Oasis Center, 420 Soares Ave., Orcutt, 805-937-9750.


MINI CANVAS Use tape and paint to create a unique piece of art. All materials will be provided. Patrons must be 18 and older. June 5, 12-1:30 p.m. Free. 805-9250994. departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria. CENTRAL COAST CORVETTE CLUB Open to Corvette owners and enthusiasts. First Thursday of every month, 7 p.m. Free.

805-934-3948. Home Motors, 1313 E. Main 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.

FIRST FRIDAY First Friday of every month Historic Old Town Orcutt, S. Broadway and Union Ave., Orcutt.


Visit the Youth Services Desk on the first Sunday of each month to receive a coupon for a free book of your choice from the Library Bookstore. For ages 0-17. For more information, please call the Information Desk. June 2 Free. 805-9250994. departments/library. Visit the Youth Services Desk on the first Sunday of each month to receive a coupon for a free book of your choice from the Library Bookstore. For ages 0-17. First Sunday of every month Free. 805-925-0994. services/departments/library. Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.

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.

HOPE AFTER DARK: MORE THAN A DRAG SHOW Hosted by the incredible Grace Towers, with the following queens scheduled to perform: Vivian Storm, Angel D’mon, Melina Poinsettia, Samara Sin, Daphne J, and more. June 8 , 7-10 p.m. Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria, 805-937-8110.

SANTA MARIA PRIDE RESOURCE FAIR AND MAKERS MARKET Features nonprofits, crafters, and local businesses. June 9, 11 a.m. Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St., Santa Maria.


BEGINNER GROUP SURF LESSONS AND SURF CAMPS 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.

BEGINNING BALLET FOR ADULTS Enjoy the grace and flow of ballet. No previous experience needed. Wednesdays, 5:15-6:15 p.m. $12 drop-in; $40 for four classes. 510-362-3739. Grover Beach Community Center, 1230 Trouville Ave., Grover Beach.

CAMP ARROYO GRANDE JAMBOREE Free community event for all. Free lunch, live music, kids activities, historical displays, and more. June 1 , 11 a.m. Free admission. Camp Arroyo Grande, 250 Wesley St., Arroyo Grande, 805-249-9517.


Volunteers accomplish a variety of tasks including pathways maintenance, litter patrol of the garden perimeter, weeding, irrigation system expansion/repairs, pruning, and plantings. Volunteers should bring work gloves, a hat, drinking water, and tools related to the above activities. First Saturday of every month, 9 a.m.-noon Free. 805-710-3073. Nipomo Native Garden, Camino Caballo at Osage, Nipomo. HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE Have you ever wanted to participate in a paranormal investigation of a haunted Victorian lighthouse? Here’s your chance. May 31 , 5 & 8 p.m. and June 1 2 & 5 p.m. Point San Luis Lighthouse, 1 Lighthouse Rd., Avila Beach. MULTICULTURAL DANCE CLASS FOR ADULTS Experience dance from continents around the earth, including from Africa, Europe, and more. Described as “a wonderful in-depth look at the context and history of cultures of the world.” Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. $10 drop-in; $30 for four classes. 510-3623739. Grover Beach Community Center, 1230 Trouville Ave., Grover Beach. 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. QI GONG FOR LESS STRESS AND MORE ENERGY Experience the energy of Qi Gong through simple standing movements promoting flexibility, strength, relaxation, and increased energy. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, Qi Gong revitalizes and enriches your life. An outdoor class overlooking the ocean. Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m. $14 per class or $55 for 5-class card with no expiration. 805-440-4561. Margo Dodd Gazebo, Ocean Park Blvd., Shell Beach. WEEKLY WATER SAFETY LESSONS Facility advertised as open and safe. Give the office a call to register over the phone. Mondays-Fridays $160-$190. 805-4816399. 5 Cities Swim School, 425 Traffic Way, Arroyo Grande,

SAN LUIS OBISPO 2024 SLO GREEK FESTIVAL Enjoy Greek dancing and lessons, live music, food, pastries, and specialty Greek cocktails. June 1, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and June 2 , 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 805-546-8337. Madonna Expo Center, 100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo.

AGING GRACEFULLY WITH PREVENTATIVE 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.” Details from Over Zoom. Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. Love offering. 805-489-7359. Online, San Luis Obispo.

CENTRAL COAST DIALYSIS ORGAN TRANSPLANT SUPPORT GROUP Not faith based. All are welcome. Please wear a mask. First Saturday of every month, 9:3011:30 a.m. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church SLO, 650 Pismo St., San Luis Obispo. CENTRAL COAST PRIDE IN THE PARK Pride in the Park moves to Meadow Park. A family-friendly day of fun and celebration. It’s a full day of entertainment, ranging from drag performances to bands and more, complemented by food and drinks, children’s area, and crafts. June 2 , noon Meadow Park, 2251 Meadow St., San Luis Obispo.

CENTRAL COAST PRIDE IN THE PLAZA Bringing Pride back to downtown San Luis Obispo. Locals and visitors alike will flow through Mission Plaza for jubilant celebrations, main stage headliners, and rows of vendors, information, and interactive experiences. June 1 , 11 a.m.noon Mission Plaza, 751 Palm St., San Luis Obispo. FEMMEFIRE CHOREO SERIES A six-week

CULTURE & LIFESTYLE continued page 14

David Ikola, M.D. Shane Rostermundt, D.O. Joseph Nunez, M.D. Dr. Michele Kielty, D.O. Geronna Leonards, N.P. Lynn Peltier, C.P.N.P. Jessica Prather, C.N.P. 805-922-3548 1430 E. Main St. Santa Maria, CA
for both the physical and emotional needs of your child. Monday – Saturday Call to schedule your child’s well exam today.
MAY 30 - JUNE 9, 2024
12 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •

The Second Annual

This Festival will provide an opportunity for universities and community colleges in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona to showcase their wines and winemaking programs. Wine tastings will be provided by representatives from colleges and local wineries! Small bites will be served by local restaurants.

Join us Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 1-4 p.m.

The festival will be open to the public and will take place at Allan Hancock College.

Tickets are available for purchase for $40 if purchased by June 7th. MUST BE 21 or OLDER TO ATTEND THIS EVENT

Tickets will be available for purchase for $50 at the door. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY

For more information visit our website: please contact Kelsie Norris at • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 13

Hot Stuff

series to learn juicy choreo that will activate the fiery divine feminine essence within lead by Shawna Mox. June 2 , 7 p.m. Aligned Acupuncture and Wellness Spa, 672 Higuera Street Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, 806-471-8055.


Walk and talk with Eve Vigil in the Botanical Garden each month on the first Wednesday. Free garden tour with paid admission to the Garden. Free for members. No need to RSVP, just show up and enjoy. First Wednesday of every month, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free with $5 Garden Entry. 805-541-1400. San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, 3450 Dairy Creek Rd., San Luis Obispo.


Are you energetically sensitive? This reoccurring weekly class will be a guided Introduction to Energetic Meditation Techniques that will assist you to: clear your energy field, improve energy flow and energy boundaries, quiet and focus your mind, and be clearer about “Who You Really Are.” Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. through Nov. 30 $22. 503-929-6416. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


SUPPORT GROUP (VIRTUALLY VIA ZOOM) A pro-recovery group offering space to those seeking peer support, all stages of ED recovery. We understand recovery isn’t linear and judgment-free support is crucial. Share, listen, and be part of a community building up each other. First Wednesday of every month, 7-8 p.m. Free. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


CLUB A weekly book discussion on the general subject of metaphysics, spirituality, and comparative religion. By invitation. For more information, contact David Higgins, email: davidhiggins67@ Location revealed to those invited. Wednesdays Free. Private location, TBA, Location not to be published.

MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION (ONLINE) Zoom series hosted by TMHA. Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-noon Transitions Mental Health Warehouse, 784 High Street, San Luis Obispo, 805-270-3346.

PRIDE PROM (GRADES 6-12) For students in grades 6-12 to enjoy live DJs, dancing, youth crafts and games, photography areas, and hang out areas. June 8 7-10:30 p.m. $12. Laguna Middle School, 11050 Los Osos Valley Rd., San Luis Obispo, 805-596-4055.


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. Online, See website, San Luis Obispo.


PRIDE SHOW Central Coast Pride presents fabulous night of drag, burlesque, song, and dance. For ages 18 and over. May 31 and June 1 $29-$100. The Fremont Theater, 1035 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, 805-546-8600.

SLO BLUES BASEBALL 33 summer home games held. Go to for full schedule. Tickets available from My805Tix. Through July 27 $10 adults; 12 and under free. 805-512-9996. my805tix. com. SLO Blues Summer Collegiate Baseball, Sinsheimer Stadium at 900 Southwood Dr., San Luis Obispso.

SLO PUBLIC MARKET’S THIRD ANNUAL SUMMER CELEBRATION With fabulous live dance music from Riff Tide, food and drinks, talented local vendors, and family and doggie-friendly fun for all ages. June 8 1:30-4 p.m. Free show. 805-210-9698. San Luis Obispo Public Market, 3845 S. Higuera St, San Luis Obispo.

SUMMER SOIREE AND SALE Honoring and celebrating our customers at our new showroom located at 1227 Archer Street on the corner of Higuera in SLO. Offering 10 percent on all spas, 30 percent on all addons, and up to 25 percent off on all patio furniture. June 8, 4-7 p.m. 805-439-4404.


In conjunction with the Templeton Mercantile’s next Makers Market on Saturday, June 8, Pig Iron will open at 10 a.m. for its brunch service. The Makers Market will include a variety of vendors on-site, live music, and more. To find out more about the Templeton Mercantile and its food and drink venues, Pig Iron and Club Car Bar, visit CCH Enterprise, 1227 Archer St., San Luis Obispo.


GROUP (VIA ZOOM) Alcoholics 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. Free. events/. Online, San Luis Obispo.

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

TREAT YOURSELF Join cosmetic acupuncturist and holistic skincare expert Dr. Ellerie as she teaches you to give yourself a qi glow treatment. June 2 , 2 p.m. SLO Naturopathic, 890 Osos St., suite E, San Luis Obispo.




ORO 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.


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. club/. Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria, 805-937-8110.



FESTIVAL An opportunity for universities and community colleges in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona to showcase their wines and winemaking programs. Wine tastings will be provided by representatives from the colleges and local wineries. Small bites will be served by local restaurants. June 8 1-4

p.m. Allan Hancock College, 800 S. College Drive, Santa Maria.


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.

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,

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

WINE AND DESIGN CLASSES Check Wine and Design’s Orcutt website for the complete list of classes, for various ages. Wine and Design, 3420 Orcutt Road, suite 105, Orcutt. SANTA YNEZ VALLEY GAME NIGHT (INCLUDING DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS) Come and play the games provided or bring your own whilst enjoying a beer, wine, coffee, or cheese plate. Join in the Dungeons and Dragons game too if you like (over 21s, no gambling allowed). First Thursday of every month, 6:30-9 p.m. through June 6 Free. 805-6869126. Arrowsmith’s, 1539 Mission Drive, Solvang. JAZZ AND OLIVE FESTIVAL Spend a Saturday afternoon in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, tasting wine from 28 local wineries, listening to world-class, professional jazz musicians, and sampling 27 different olive-themed dishes prepared by local chefs. June 8, 1-4 p.m. $100. 805697-6145. Lavinia Campbell Park, 2398 Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos.


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.

FOOD & DRINK continued page 16

Everybody Can DANCE & Santa Maria Civic Ballet Present Saturday, June 8, 7pm Sunday, June 9, 3pm Clark Center for the Performing Arts 487 Fair Oaks Ave Arroyo Grande Tickets: Adults $30 Children $20 Tickets available online or at the box office 805-489-9444 Ballet Camp 2024 Ages 7 – 14 • Camp Meets – M-F 9-3 Session 1 - June 17-28 • Session 2 - July 1-12 Enroll Today! 805.345.5570 800 S Broadway, Santa Maria •
MAY 30 - JUNE 9, 2024
GO TO OUR WEBSITE & CLICK ON SIGN UP TO WIN FREE TICKETS! PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO Thursday, August 9 • 8:00pm Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles GABRIEL IGLESIAS Friday, June 21 • 8:00pm Vina Robles Amphiteatre Paso Robles BLUES BASEBALL Various Dates and Times Sinsheimer Park, SLO CENTRAL COAST RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL July 20 & 21 • 10:00am - 6:00pm Laguna Lake Park, San Luis Obispo Management reserves the right to change or cancel promotions and events at any time without notice. Must be 21 or older. Gambling problem? Call 1.800.GAMBLER. ©2024 Chumash Casino Resort. SCAN TO SEE ALL UPCOMING SHOWS AND PURCHASE TICKETS. ALWAYS AMAZING. NEVER ROUTINE. ALAN PARSONS JUNE 14 | FRIDAY | 8PM UB40 AUGUST 2 | FRIDAY | 8PM AIR SUPPLY JULY 12 | FRIDAY | 8PM DANIEL TOSH AUGUST 23 | FRIDAY | 8PM Great Snacks · Cold Beer · Hwy 1 Oceano · 805-489-2499 · ONE FREE SMALL POPCORN! Expires 7/6/24 ON SALE NOW MAY 17 through JULY 6 • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 15



FUNDRAISER ManRock Mike’s high school buddies are doing this fundraiser for his kidney transplant. $20 ticket gets you a half chicken, beans, salad, and bread. Drive through, pick up, or grab your dinner and come in for music from noon to 3 p.m. by Justin Pecot. June 1 , 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $20. manrockbrewing. com. ManRock Brewing Company, 1750 El Camino Real, Grover Beach, (805) 270-3089.


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.



(PRIDE EDITION) Features local performers with additional support from local stand-up comedians and DJs. June 2 , 11 a.m. Libertine Brewing Company, 1234 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, 805-548-2337.

SUMMER SIPPIN’ AT THE MONDAY CLUB Enjoy local wine and beer tastings, hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie, delicious desserts, and non-alcoholic beverages. The incredible Terry Lawless, 20-year keyboardist/programmer for the legendary Irish rock band U2, will provide music on the back lawn—dancing is highly encouraged. June 2 , 4-7 p.m. $100. The Monday Club, 1815 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, 805-541-0594.



HAPPY HOUR MUSIC SERIES Enjoy live music at the winery most Friday evenings. Check site for concert schedule. Fridays Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria, 805-937-8110.

JINEANNE CODERRE LIVE Part of the Happy Hour Music Series. May 31 5-7:30 p.m. Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria,

KEEPING IT BLUE DANCE Santa Maria Valley Senior Citizens Club presents its Keeping it Blue dance. Featuring the Riptide Big Band with vocalists Bob Nations, Mitch Latting, and this month, guest vocalist Liz Douglas. Free thanks to grant funding from Community Foundation of SLO County. June 9 1:30-4 p.m. Free. 775-813-5186. Elwin Mussell Senior Center, 510 Park Ave., Santa Maria. 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.


Enjoy live music most Fridays at the venue. Call venue or check website to find out who’s performing. Fridays Steller’s Cellar, 405 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt.

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.


Learn to play piano, drums, guitar, base, ukulele, or violin, or take vocal lessons. ongoing 805-925-0464. coelhomusic. com/Lessons/lessons.html. Coelho


The 19th annual Paso Pinot and Paella Festival will take place at Templeton Park on Sunday, June 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. The event includes a variety of paella dishes from participating chefs, wines, live music, and more. Tickets to the festival are available in advance at All proceeds benefit the Paso Robles Youth Arts Center. —C.W.

Academy of Music, 325 E. Betteravia Rd., Santa Maria.

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE Enjoy live music outdoors at the Stockyard. June 9 Blast 825 Brewery, 241 S Broadway St., Ste. 101, Orcutt, 805-934-3777, blast825brewery. com/.

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.

THREE 4 ALL Enjoy live music outdoors at the Stockyard. June 8 Blast 825 Brewery, 241 S Broadway St., Ste. 101, Orcutt, 805934-3777,

WILL BREMAN LIVE Part of the Happy Hour Music Series. June 7 5 p.m. Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presqu’ile Dr., Santa Maria, 805-937-8110,


DOUBLEWIDE KINGS LIVE Performing classic rock. Part of Music in the Garden, an ongoing series. June 2 3 p.m. $37. Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd St., Solvang, 805-686-1789.

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

MUSIC IN THE GARDEN This ongoing summer concert series spotlights a variety of musical acts. Afternoon performances held on various Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. June

2- Sept. 1 Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd St., Solvang, 805-686-1789.

SKUNK PUPPY LIVE A 21 and over venue, inside and outside. No food is served but you may bring your own. June 1 7-10 p.m.

High Roller Tiki Lounge, 433 Alisal Road, Solvang,

WHOLE HOG LIVE For ages 21 and over. No food is served but you may bring your own. May 31 7-10 p.m. High Roller Tiki Lounge, 433 Alisal Road, Solvang,


BAND AND CHOIR CONCERT The Arroyo Grande High School presents their annual end of year Band and Choir Concert. May 30, 7-9:30 p.m. $5. 805-489-9444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande. CORAZÓN DE MANÁ AND SIEMPRE

SELENA Corazón De Maná is a Southern California tribute that delivers a fun and energetic live celebration of Maná’s music. Siempre Selena is an upscale Selena tribute band from Los Angeles. June 1 , 7:30-10 p.m. $30-$40. 805-489-9444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.


TO ROD STEWART Formed in 2017, this six-piece rock band burst onto the music tribute scene with their unique blend of raw energy, and genuine representation of Rod Stewart’s concert performance. Composed of talented musicians, each with a long history as a professional player. May 31 7:30-10 p.m. $30-$45. 805-4899444. Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande.



Presented by the San Luis Obispo County Jazz Federation. June 2 4-6:30 p.m. Mount Carmel Lutheran Church, 1701 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo. CAL POLY ARAB MUSIC ENSEMBLE SPRING CONCERT The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will present classic repertoire from Arab art; popular and folk music traditions and from historically interconnected cultures of Southwest Asia and North Africa. With Ken Habib, director; Jenna Mitchell, dance director. June 1 7:30 p.m. $15 and $20 general; $10 students. 805-756-4849. Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.

CAL POLY SOUNDINGS WITH TRANSIENT CANVAS Cal Poly Music Technology and Composition students will present music which investigates the potential and/or imagined role of cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) in music technology. Guest ensemble Transient Canvas will be part of the collaboration. With choreography by Cal Poly dance students. May 30 7:30 p.m. and May 31 7:30 p.m. $20 general; $10 students. 805756-4849. PAC Pavilion, Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo. CAL POLY WIND BANDS SPRING CONCERT: ALL HAIL, GREEN, AND GOLD! Features Cal Poly band alumni from past decades. Works on the program include David Maslanka’s “A Child’s Garden of Dreams” and Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades.” With Christopher Woodruff and Nick Waldron, conductors. June 2 3 p.m. $15 and $20 general; $10 students. 805756-4849. Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.

NOAH COLTON AND THE SATIATERS With special guests Amttrak. June 1 , 6:309 p.m. The Bunker SLO, 810 Orcutt Road, San Luis Obispo. m

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PASO PINOT AND PAELLA FESTIVAL Hot Stuff MAY 30 - JUNE 9, 2024 FOOD & DRINK from page 14 FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 925 NORTH F STREET • LOMPOC, CA GENERAL ADMISSION $25 STUDENTS WITH ID $5 CHILDREN 12 & UNDER FREE s LOMPOC ORCHESTRA For the Love of Music BRIAN ASHER ALHADEFF Artistic Director & Conductor Revisit popular musicals when the Lompoc Pops performs their splendid renditions of BROADWAY’S BEST! Visit us at or call for info (805) 733-1796 SUNDAY H JUNE 23, 2024 H 4:00 PM TICKET OUTLETS: The Box Shop Lompoc Valley Florist Sunset Auto...or concert night, at the door Don’t forget to mark your calendars & check our website for next year’s concert dates: SEPTEMBER 29, 2024 • DECEMBER 1, 2024 • MARCH 23, 2025 • JUNE 22, 2025 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2024 11am-4:30pm Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE ART & CULTURE: A Glimpse of the Past & Present FOR ALL THINGS JUNETEENTH: LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES BY: The Vibe Setters Bay Love Don’t miss: Gospel music by the
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7th Annual with NAACP SLO County • FREEDOM LOUNGE Hosted by History Center SLO County 696 Monterey St. SLO • Resource Fair • Silent Auction • Spoken Word • SOUL FOOD DINNER for purchase: buy your meal tix in advance @ • Black Art Exhibit Hosted by Edna Contemporary Fine Art 967 Osos St, SLO • WED MOVIE June 19 1:30-3:30pm THE COST OF INHERITANCE Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in SLO Free (Reserve your seat): 16 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •
Blue Violin

Banda La Super 805 & Groupo Beretta

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 Flower City Ballroom, Lompoc



Brushes & Blooms at Hambly Lavender Farm

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 Hambly Lavender Farm, San Miguel

SLO Blues vs. Solano Mudcats: Firework Show

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 Sinsheimer Park, SLO

Coastal Wine & Paint Party


Harmony Cafe at the Pewter Plough, Cambria

Noah Colton & The Satiaters


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 SLOFunny Comedy Show 2024 SEASON PASS TEN SHOWS MARCH–DECEMBER Paso Robles & San Luis Obispo Park Palooza: Color Run, Car Show, & Music Festival SUNDAY, JULY 13 Dairy Creek Golf Course, SLO The Macaroni and Cheese Festival SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 Avila Beach Golf Resort Smoke & Song: A Country BBQ featuring Michael Ray FRIDAY, JUNE 28 Tooth & Nail House of Wine, Paso Robles The Laramie Project THURS-SAT, JUNE 13-15 Congregation House, SLO 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 Tiny Porch Concerts 2024 VIP SEASON TICKETS FOUR SHOWS MAY–AUGUST Peter Strauss Ranch, Agoura Hills Point San Luis Lighthouse Tours IN-PERSON TOURS: WEDS & SAT VIRTUAL TOURS: ON DEMAND Point San Luis Lighthouse, Avila Beach Lavender U-Pick Experience SUN-SAT, MAY 12-AUG 31 CLOSED ON TUES-THURS Hambly Lavender Farm, San Miguel Shamanic Yoga & Rituals for Vitality FRIDAY, MAY 31 Aurora Meditations & Rituals, Morro Bay Sound Bath at Hambly Lavender Farm FRIDAY, MAY 31 Hambly Lavender Farm, San Miguel Cuatro Dias Spring Release Dinner FRIDAY, MAY 31 Cuatro Dias,
An Evening
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Presents: Drag Brunch, Pride Edition SUNDAY, JUNE 2 Libertine Brewing Company, SLO 19th Annual Paso Pinot & Paella Festival SUNDAY, JUNE 2 Templeton Park Treat Yourself: Gua Sha Facial Techniques SUNDAY, JUNE 2 SLO Naturopathic 39th Annual Jazz Piano Showcase SUNDAY, JUNE 2 Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, SLO FemmeFire Choreo Series TUESDAY, JUNE 4 Aligned Movement Studio, SLO Family Pride Night at Boomers
JUNE 5 Boomers Santa Maria Brass Mash First Friday FRIDAY, JUNE 7 Liquid Gravity Brewing Company, SLO Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Experience FRIDAY, JUNE 7 Clark Center, Arroyo Grande Cancer Christ with Viscerate, Aseptic, & No Warning Shots FRIDAY, JUNE 7 Dark Nectar Coffee, Atascadero Houseplant Arrangement Class SATURDAY, JUNE 8 Golden State Goods, Atascadero Alternative Tastes Wine Fest: Celebrating Paso’s Unique Varieties SATURDAY, JUNE 8 Broken Earth Winery, Paso Robles • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 17



Guest vocalist Liz Douglas joins Riptide Big Band at upcoming show

The Santa Maria Valley Senior Citizens Club hosts its Keeping It Blue Dance, with live music from the Riptide Big Band, at the Elwin Mussell Senior Center in Santa Maria on Sunday, June 9, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

The ensemble’s frequent accompanying vocalist duo Bob Nations and Mitch Latting will be joined by special guest vocalist Liz Douglas (pictured) during this free performance. Douglas has performed as a vocalist and bassist at dozens of local venues over the years. Aside from her solo work, Douglas is also well-known locally as a member of the Voodoo DooDads.

To find out more about the Keeping It Blue Dance and other upcoming dance concerts featuring the Riptide Big Band, call (775) 813-5186 or visit The Elwin Mussell Senior Center is located at 510 Park Ave., Santa Maria.

The Riptide Big Band is a 16-piece ensemble based in Santa Maria and led by former music teacher Judy Lindquist. The band includes musicians from both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and specializes in big band era music, soft rock from the ’60s and ’70s, the music standards of the ’30s and ’40s, and “pretty much anything written for standard big band orchestration,” according to the group’s website.

Thanks to funding from the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, the Riptide Big Band has been providing live dance events with free admission at venues across Central Coast for several years.

Righetti film students

win two awards at regional showcase

During the Central Coast Film Society’s 2024 Student Film and Digital Media Competition in mid-May, six film students from Ernest Righetti High School in Orcutt were honored with two of the competition’s top three awards, according to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

Righetti senior Rafael Atilano-Bautista won Best Screenplay for the film Indifference while seniors Adan Garcia and Andres Cornejo and juniors Samuel Cornejo, Nathan Freeland, and Ethan Guy shared the award for Best Technical Achievement for the film Five Nights at Righetti 2

“[I] want to thank my crew,” Samuel Cornejo (pictured), the director behind Five Nights at Righetti 2 said in a statement, “if it weren’t for them … I wouldn’t have been able to win this award.”

According to the district, schools from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties were eligible to participate in the competition. m

Arts Briefs is compiled by Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood. Send information to


Orcutt local and Wild Alchemy founder Amy Blankenship uses food grade resin and food grade colorants to paint her ocean-centric charcuterie boards, which she sells online and during periodic art fairs in Shell Beach and Morro Bay.

Tidal raves

To find out more about Orcutt-based artist Amy Blankenship and her resin art business, Wild Alchemy, visit, or follow @wildalchemycollective on Instagram. Blankenship regularly sells her resin art charcuterie boards and other products during Morro Bay’s bimonthly Waterfront Market, Shell Beach’s monthly Art in the Park event, and additional art fairs and local gatherings year-round.

from a local supplier.

When Blankenship began trying her hand in resin art in 2020, ocean-themed work appealed to her the most due to her lifelong love of coastal settings. She grew up in a small town in Santa Cruz County and spent a lot of her free time at the beach.

After high school, she moved to Hawaii for a bit, before returning to California and settling down on the Central Coast with her husband and children.

“I absolutely love the ocean, and I have to be near it,” said Blankenship, who periodically displays and sells her painted wares during art fair events in Shell Beach, Morro Bay, and other shoreside locales. She also regularly donates her scenic boards and other pieces to nonprofits, such as OASIS in Orcutt, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and local schools to be auctioned off during fundraisers.

When the time came to come up with a brand name for Blankenship’s resin art business, she wanted to pick something that both encompassed the vast ocean’s wildness and signified “the spiritual transformation that this art has kind of helped me with,” she explained.

Resin that resonates Orcutt artisan’s household goods double as serene seascapes

In the realm of resin art, Orcutt resident Amy Blankenship is a master manipulator.

“[Resin] can be manipulated in many different ways, just using techniques with heat and color, through different additives that you color it with,” said the local artist, often armed with a 1,000-watt heat gun when working on a project.

Through her small business, Wild Alchemy, Blankenship creates and sells a variety of decorative resin art charcuterie boards, wooden surfboards, ornaments, home goods, furniture, and more.

“I’ve done tables, chairs—really, anything with a flat surface I can put resin on,” she said with a laugh.

No matter what type of surface she’s painting on, Blankenship always has the same end game in mind: re-create the ocean, with a striking, almost photorealistic approach.

Some patrons of the artist’s products have assumed upon first glance that her wavy, sea foam-riddled images are photographs simply printed onto objects, said Blankenship, who perfected her careful approach to capturing the ocean with resin by trial and error during the pandemic.

She first took up resin art as a hobby while sheltering in place with her kids, who were attending elementary school virtually from home at the time.

“It’s great for me because I’m a stay-athome mom—that’s my first priority—and this is something I can do while I’m at home,” Blankenship said. “I’m completely self-taught, in that everything that I know I learned from YouTube and Instagram, and just kind of experimenting. Like all forms of art, a lot of it is really just experimenting until you find what look you’re trying to achieve.”

Blankenship has a spare bedroom in her Orcutt home where she paints, and a woodworking station in her backyard to shape some of her boards.

“I don’t make every board,” clarified the artist, who also buys boards from small companies based in California, and recently started acquiring live-edge wood

“Alchemy is a magical process of transformation and creation,” the Wild Alchemy founder said. “It seemed to fit with the type of art that I was doing, as well as the creative transformation that the art gave back to me as well.”

For Blankenship, discovering resin art and trying it out for herself was a welcomed silver lining that helped combat unwelcomed feelings of isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. She continues to find it rewarding, as an infinite pool of experimentation and creativity.

“I’ve been doing this now for four years, and every day is still a learning experience … it never ends. It’s very therapeutic,” Blankenship said. “It’s almost like a meditation because you can’t think about anything else [other] than exactly what you’re doing and doing every step correctly in order to achieve the look that I’m going for.” m

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood is subject to pier review at cwiseblood@

THE SHOP IN WORKSHOP: Before going on the market, Amy Blankenship’s resin art projects begin at her Orcutt home, where she has a backyard woodworking station and spare bedroom-turned art studio. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILD ALCHEMY PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNY KLEIN SURF’S UP: The flat surface of a wooden surfboard makes it an eligible outlet for resin art for local artist Amy Blankenship, who specializes in ocean- and beach-themed resin art specifically.
Piano • Guitar • Bass • Drums • Vocal • Violin • Mandolin • Piano • Guitar • Bass Get 18 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 19

George Miller (all the Mad Max movies, The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet) directs this new installment in the Mad Max franchise, a sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), which told the story of the female warrior Furiosa, who rebels against her masters, freeing a group of female breeding captives. This is her origin story, with Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa. (122 min.)

Glen: Apparently when creating Fury Road, Miller wrote backstories for his characters, and Furiosa’s became the basis for this epic adventure that begins with a young Furiosa (Alyla Browne) and her sister, Valkyrie (Dylan Adonis), out picking peaches near their home, the Green Place of Many Mothers, when she comes across a gang of motorcycle-riding raiders, As she attempts to sabotage the bikes, she’s abducted as a prize for their warlord, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth with a somewhat distracting prosthetic nose), setting in motion an absolutely spellbinding, immersive, and gorgeously filmed chase sequence as Furiosa’s mother, Mary (Charlee Fraser), pursues. What follows is Furiosa’s part in the internecine struggles between Dementus, who seeks absolute power over the wasteland, and Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), who runs the Citadel and holds onto power with his fanatic War Boys. It’s truly epic!


What’s it rated? TV-MA

When? 2024

Where’s it showing? Apple TV Plus

Created by writer Mark Protosevich (The Cell I Am Legend ), this neo noir mystery follows LA private detective John Sugar (Colin Farrell), who’s hired to find Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler), granddaughter of legendary Hollywood producer Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell). As Sugar continues his investigation, he runs into a colorful cast of characters, including Olivia’s indifferent father, Bernie Siegel (Dennis Boutsikaris); her stepbrother, David (Nate Corddry); David’s bodyguard, Kenny (Alex Hernandez); and her stepmother, Melanie (Amy Ryan)—all of whom treat Sugar with suspicion. Stylishly filmed with a lot of iconic locales, the series is a throwback, with Sugar sporting a black suit and skinny black tie and driving a classic Corvette. He’s a cool operator, clever and compassionate, but we soon discover the enigmatic detective has his own demons to wrestle with. There’s also a late season genre-bending twist I didn’t see coming but that explains a lot.

With a great cast and compelling performances, not to mention clever writing and assured direction by the likes of

Anna: Fury Road was a feast for the eyes, and Charlese Theron absolutely slayed as Furiosa, so I was excited to see how they would shape the younger warrior and what we would learn about the badass to come. Turns out, Furiosa was a badass all along. While Taylor-Joy may be on all the movie posters, I have to give my highest praise to Browne who plays young Furiosa. She’s a compelling young actor whose gaze holds the audience captive. The chase you mentioned between Furiosa’s captors and her mother was so good—what I loved most was watching her mother’s methodical pursuit, a true game of cat and mouse. Big action flicks and postapocalyptic settings aren’t generally my thing, but the Mad Max franchise has done well at drawing me in, at least with both Fury Road and Furiosa


Glen: Taylor-Joy turned in a fierce performance. She vibrates with anger and Furiosa’s thirst for revenge. Hemsworth is comically diabolical as Dementus. There’s an early scene when he wipes away a young Furiosa’s tear, musing about the difference in flavor between tears of joy and sorrow, identifying the latter as more “piquant.” A film this dark and hellish shouldn’t be this beautiful, but it’s amazingly so. Though I felt most moved by the first third, the film never stops being astonishing visually. And if you like crazy custom vehicles, from Dementus’ threemotorcycle chariot to the souped-up Plymouth

Valiant Furiosa tries to escape in, not to mention the monster War Rig, this is motorhead heaven. According to, Miller’s in production with another installment, Mad Max: The Wasteland. Count me in.

Anna: Great performances all around, for sure. We watch as Hemsworth develops from a white parachute cape-wearing overlord, to a powerhungry destroyer who has cloaked himself in red, to his final form of a grayed menace who’s lost to the blackness of what years of being a tyrant will do to a man. Even non-motorheads like me can have fun gazing at the absolutely


What’s it rated? Not rated When? 2024

Where’s it showing? Hulu

Survivor Tina Marie Risico brings audiences into the nine days she spent with serial killer Chris Wilder after he kidnapped her and used her as a ploy to lure other victims. Wilder got away with a lot for a long time. In the days before the internet and global media networks, criminals could solve a lot of problems by simply relocating, and it seems Wilder had that fact in his back pocket.

His M.O. was to go after aspiring models—capturing, torturing, and killing them. Most of these were young and naïve women whose dreams superseded their common sense, but because Wilder was photographing beauty pageants and he had confidence, they too easily fell for his promises of fame.

bonkers machines that Miller’s imagination has created. It’s rare that a franchise of this nature will have me wanting more, but I’m definitely down to see The Wasteland. Like you said, these films are just beautiful in their way—from the machines to the factions of survivors to the heroes and villains that live within this world, it’s all a recipe that works. If you have any interest, see this one in the theater! m

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

Fernando Meirelles (City of God The Constant Gardener ) and Adam Arkin ( Justified Sons of Anarchy), this is very bingeable indeed, and all eight episodes are now out. Dig in. (eight approximately 35-min. episodes) —Glen

The series interviews his surviving victims and those around the women he killed. Risico has spent the last 40 years enduring blame and the residual marks of her torture. Wilder seems to be a character who can con and also one whose personality can switch on a dime, whose eyes turn black like a shark’s

THE DARKEST OF ANGELS: Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa, who’s kidnapped as a child but survives to exact her revenge, in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, screening in local theaters.
when he sees his next prey. A compelling true crime series, The Beauty Queen Killer will keep you glued to Risico and her fellow victims’ retellings from start to finish. (three 40- to 49-min. episodes) m ON THE CASE: LA private detective John Sugar (Colin Farrell) is hired to find the missing granddaughter of a legendary Hollywood producer, in Sugar, streaming on Apple TV Plus.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC NEWS AND SK POP Film FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA What’s it rated? R What’s it worth, Anna? Full price What’s it worth, Glen? Full price Where’s it showing? Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande Fight
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the power

Branch out

Orcutt pizzeria lends favorite flavors to Arroyo Grande’s Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria, celebrating the anniversary of its delicious upgrade

Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria in Arroyo Grande has enjoyed a full year with a more modern look and menu—27 years after the restaurant took root in the heart of the city’s historic Village.

New owners Bob Spallino and Michael Goodloe ushered in the first anniversary of the remodeled deli on May 15. Formerly called Branch Street Deli, the restaurant also levelled up with a name change that added Pizzeria to its title. It shows off Spallino’s hand in operating the award-winning Pizzeria Bella Forno in Old Town Orcutt. Meanwhile, Goodloe upped the ante as Branch

Street’s head chef, boosting the deli’s old menu with a combination of long-standing Branch Street staples, Pizzeria Bella Forno hits, and culinary conceptions of his own.

“We gutted it from the back to the front of the building. Put new flooring in, paint, tile, ceiling, equipment, a wood-fired pizza oven from Italy,” Goodloe told the Sun. “Classically, it was mostly a lunch deli specializing in sandwiches and burgers. Now, we have elevated that side of the business.”

The renovated eatery’s menu includes soups like the tri-tip chili, appetizers like calamari and garlicky brandy mushrooms, salads like the Thai chicken and mango, entrees like

Enjoy Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria’s transformation every day starting at 11 a.m. It closes at 3 p.m.

shrimp carbonara and Angus steak sliders, and artisan pizzas like the hot honey and candied jalapeño pie.

San Luis Obispo County residents who are fans of Pizzeria Bella Forno can now venture to Branch Street to get their fix. The deli menu shares items with the Orcutt pizzeria like pear and prosciutto pizza, the pesto Genovese pizza, and the Angus beef meatballs, among other treats.

“He’s [Spallino] won some awards for his pizzas down there, so we tried to bring that up here,” Goodloe said. “We also have Italian-style gelato, and we took the dinner business that was kind of nonexistent before and added pastas and entrees.”

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, Goodloe’s worked commercial kitchens for more than two decades. He honed his skills at private clubs and high-end hotels in Newport Beach, at Clint Eastwood’s former Hog’s Breath Inn in Carmelby-the-Sea, in Sonoma, Las Vegas, and at a desert country club in La Quinta.

Goodloe and Spallino’s business partnership germinated years ago when the Orcutt pizzeria owner catered Goodloe’s wedding. They’ve kept in touch since then, driven by conversations to one day open a restaurant together. The duo struck a

deal in 2022 when the former Branch Street Deli owners looked to sell the space, and Goodloe and his wife moved from La Quinta to Orcutt to start their new culinary chapter.

“It’s been a big collaboration between Bob and myself,” Goodloe said. “He has a good following on the Central Coast. … I work with the food

and stuff, but I have a chef that worked for me before, Jaime Mendoza, that’s helping me oversee some operations.” Goodloe and Spallino also built on the entertainment element of the old deli. Branch Street Deli was famous for its weekly live music events. Now, the revamped pizzeria is looking to expand

SUMMER CALLING: Soak in the summer on Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria’s new and improved patio space that’s always buzzing during lunch.
Eats Deli development
MORE ON THE MENU: Through new owners Bob Spallino and Michael Goodloe, Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria’s new menu now includes gourmet salads, elevated pastas, and artisan pizzas that are reminiscent of Spallino’s Pizzeria Bella Forno in Orcutt.
Share tasty tips! Send tidbits on everything food and drink to MUSIC FLAVOR/EATS INFO CALENDAR OPINION NEWS STROKES ARTS
on Monday and Tuesday, at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Check
and follow the restaurant on Instagram @branch_st_deli_and_pizzeria.
EATS continued page 22 THE CENTRAL COAST GUIDE TO ALL THINGS FOOD AND DRINK Spring/Summer 2024 Look for it on stands now! 1 SPRING/SUMMER 2024 THE CENTRAL COAST GUIDE TO ALL THINGS FOOD AND DRINK Fun times, good food Experience the world of luxury seafood Come to the embarcadero in Morro Bay to see why Kicker’s is the perfect spot to make memories with friends and family Cover_Kickers.indd 4 3/28/24 10:18 AM MENUS-SS24-00_48pgs.indd 1 4/1/24 2:06 PM • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 21

its current Friday and Saturday performance schedule to four nights a week. Catch Chris Beland on May 31 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“The deli was always known for its Friday night music,” Goodloe said. “We’ve added Saturdays, and we’ll have Thursdays in a few weeks, possibly Sundays as well.”

More changes are coming to Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria. The menu will reflect seasonal upgrades depending on the fruits, vegetables, and produce available during the summer. The owners plan to add steak and fish as dinner

specials, and they’re also entertaining the possibility of a weekend brunch service.

“We just try to keep it simple here like with comfort foods,” Goodloe said. “Our lunch business is really strong. … We have countless regulars that come in multiple times a week. Any night when the weather’s great, the place is packed.” m

New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal, from the Sun’s sister paper, is ready to bask in the glow of Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria’s wood-fired oven. Send sunblock to

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 TREAT YOURSELF: GUA SHA FACIAL TECHNIQUES Presented by: SLO NATUROPATHIC & ACUPUNCTURE Does your organization sell tickets? Get more exposure and sell more tickets with a local media partner. Call 805-546-8208 for more info. ALL TICKETS. ONE PLACE. SLO Naturopathic, San Luis Obispo ON SALE NOW! TICKETS AVAILABLE AT MY805 TIX. COM Sunday, June 2 • 2pm to 4pm Adoptable Pets of the Week Adoption Center Hours are: Monday-Thursday: by appointment only AD PROVIDED BY 1687 West Stowell Road (Santa Maria) (805) 964-4777 • All animals are health checked, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. (805) 878-0807 Heather Age: 2 years, 3 months Breed: American Shorthair Sex: Female Weight: 13 lbs. Campus: Santa Barbara Rocky Age: 4 years, 9 months Breed: Mixed Breed (large) Sex: Male Weight: 74 lbs. Campus: Santa Maria The Maxim in Real Estate FOSTER • SPONSOR • VOLUNTEER • DONATE Anyone can help! (805) 878-0807 Can I crash on your couch for awhile? Ask us about our Foster Program Cinder and brother Flint are 8 months old and unbelievably sweet. They are housetrained, neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped, and are ready for their new homes! They are very social with other dogs and great with cats, and are only 10-12 lbs. They love to play and romp, and are loving lap dogs too. Please contact us if interested in meeting them! PO Box 2952, Orcutt, CA 93457 Email: (805) 937-1766 This ad provided by Cinder Flint Spring
Specials 805.928.6196 1321 S. Nicholson Ave, Santa Maria Prickly Pear Margarita $12 Blanco Tequila combined with Prickly Pear Pureé, Orange Liqueur & Fresh Lime Juice Lavender Lemondrop $11 Hendry’s Vodka Shaken with Hand Squeezed Lemon Juice & Lavender Syrup Watermelon Paloma $14 Nosotros Blanco Tequila Infused with Freshly Muddled Watermelon & Grapefruit Soda Bourbon Berry Lemonade $12 Jim Beam Bourbon with Luke’s Famous Pink Lemonade, Strawberries & Blueberries Strawberry Kiwi Mojito $14 Bacardi Rum with Fresh Kiwi, Strawberries & Mint OPEN FARM DAYS SLO CO FARM TRAIL Presented by: FARMSTEAD ED Does your organization sell tickets? Get more exposure and sell more tickets with a local media partner. Call 805-546-8208 for more info. ALL TICKETS. ONE PLACE. Various Locations SLO County ON SALE NOW! TICKETS AVAILABLE AT MY805 TIX. COM June 21 to June 23, 2024
ITALIAN IMPORT: With a wood-fired pizza oven from Italy as the interior showstopper, the rejuvenated Branch Street Deli recently underwent a complete renovation for the first time since 1997.
Eats 22 • Sun • May 30 - June 6, 2024 •
EATS from page 21


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Advertising Sales Pro Wanted The Sun, Santa Maria’s premier community newspaper is expanding its sales department. The Sun is owned by the New Times Media Group which includes its sister paper New Times in SLO. The Sun is a proud, active member of the Santa Maria community contributing comprehensive local news, and entertainment coverage for northern Santa Barbara County. We are seeking energetic and self-motivated individuals looking for a career in advertising sales. As part of The Sun team, you can build a career in an exciting industry, enjoy a small office atmosphere, a wonderful work environment and be a part of a company that makes a difference in our community. These are full time positions. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and reliable automobile. Sales experience preferred. Competitive compensation base on your sales experience and health benefits included. Please send cover letter and resume to PETS Dog Walking Dog Walking Services Available. Call Jon (805)440-4207 HAULING & CLEAN-UP JT’s Hauling Trees, Debris, Garage Clean Up, Moving and Recycling. Call Jon 805-440-4207 MARKETPLACE
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For more details: Entries to our annual 55 Fiction writing contest are accepted all year long. Stories submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, June 17, 2024 will be considered for this year’s publications. Winning stories will be published on July 25, 2024 A brief story, fifty-five words or less, with a headline no longer than seven words. Send your stories to: 55 Fiction, 1010 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Or Send your digital version to: • May 30 - June 6, 2024 • Sun 23
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Shop Local reserve your space today 805.347.1968 SOLAR ELECTRIC BATTERY BACKUP SOLAR POOL HEATING $0 DOWN FINANCING SERVICE & UPGRADES (805) 922-3774 • CSLB# 391670 • SINCE 1975 PEOPLE • ENERGY • P LANET 255 Union Avenue, Orcutt ~ 805-287-9599 Furniture • Home Decor Gifts • Women’s Clothing Baby Section STELLER HOME ESTA 2020 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 Welcome Spring WINE BAR BUBBLES BREWS BITES 400 E Clark Ave. Orcutt 805.623.5129 LIVE MUSIC MAY 31: Russ Douglas JUNE 7: Kielo Smith JUNE 14: Doug Macrae JUNE 21: Ron Miller � list to 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 Determination is Key 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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