SLO LIFE Magazine Jun/Jul 2022

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LIFE SLO magazine

BEACHSIDE ADVENTURE

SAN LUIS OBISP HAPPENINGS NOW HEAR THIS

TIME LINE REVIEW

HEALTH TRENDS JUN/JUL 2022 SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

P

Y

CENTRAL COAST REAL ESTATE READY SET SUMMER

NEWS BRIEFS WINE NOTES

VEN

OCAL LAVOR

MEET SHEA SOMMA JUN/JUL 2022

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Your Local Communications Partner for

75 YEARS DESIGN | PRINT | MAIL | APPAREL | WEB | PROMO 805.543.6844 | 2226 Beebee Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | www.prpco.com

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M O D E R N • C L A S S I C • J E W E L R Y

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G A R D E N

S T R E E T

S A N

L U I S

O B I S P O

W W W . B A X T E R M O E R M A N . C O M

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To the drivers who show a continued dedication to providing essential transportation for our community.

To the riders who promote the health and wellness of our community by continuing to follow healthy guidelines.

SLO TRANSIT

THANKS YOU.

Thank you for supporting one another during this unprecedented time. We’re here for you now, and always. 4

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TIMELESS CLASSICS FOR THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

LOS OLIVOS

2920 Grand Ave. 805.697.7377

ORCUTT

3388 Orcutt Rd. 805.922.9195

FOLLOW US:

PISMO BEACH 890 Price St. 805.773.1055

PASO ROBLES

SAN LUIS OBISPO

1236 Park St. 805.226.5088

874 Monterey St. 805.543.3200

wildflowerwomenboutique.com JUN/JUL 2022

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Do you or a loved one have hearing aids that are not working to their full potential, or even worse, you have stopped using them altogether?

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SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

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PRESENTS

Free live music every Friday! June 24 – Aug 26, 2022 • 4:30 PM Mission Plaza, Downtown SLO

JULY 8

JUNE 24

JULY 1

Brass Mash

Resination

PLUS CHRIS BELAND

PLUS KEVIN GRAYBILL

Sponsored by T-Mobile

Sponsored by Moondoggies Beach Club

JULY 29

PLUS DULCIE TAYLOR Sponsored by SLOCAL Roots

AUGUST 5

The Molly Ringwald Project

Moonshiner Collective

PLUS YNANA ROSE

Sponsored by 805 Beer

Sponsored by Woodstock’s Pizza

The Mother Corn Shuckers

PLUS MISS LEO

AUGUST 12

Sponsored by Luna Red

DowntownSLO.com/Concerts

Dante Marsh & The Vibesetters

Damon Castillo Band PLUS NOACH TANGERAS

PLUS JINEANNE CODERRE Sponsored by Wilde Wealth Management

Sponsored by Pacific Western Bank

AUGUST 19

Carbon City Lights PLUS NATALY LOLA

JULY 22

JULY 15

AUGUST 26

The Tipsy Gypsies

Truth About Seafood

PLUS DEVIN WELSH

PLUS STEVE KEY

Sponsored by SLO Credit Union

Sponsored by Surfnet Communications

Family-friendly • Food and drink available • Free bike valet parking Bring a reusable cup • No glass • No pets • No outside alcohol

@concertsintheplaza @downtownslo

SINGER-SONGWRITER SHOWCASE SPONSOR

SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS

BIKE VALET SPONSOR

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MAJOR LEVEL SPONSORS

MEDIA SPONSORS

BIKE VALET PROVIDED BY

SPECIAL THANKS TO

BEVERAGE & FOOD SPONSORS

JUN/JUL 2022

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“ I started this at Cal Poly with just me and my van. Our relationship with American Riviera has been crucial in managing our rapid growth.” – NAOMI NEILSON

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Jay Beck Fifteen years of banking on the Central Coast

This is True Community Banking Naomi Neilson, Founder and CEO, Native Trails, with Jay Beck, SVP, Regional Commercial Banking Manager

Combining our expertise with yours to find solutions for your unique needs.

Visit us at AmericanRiviera.Bank • 805.965.5942 8

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ARC HIT EC T URE L AN D SC APE IN T ERIO RS M ED IA

BEAUTIFULLY BALANCED TEN OVER STUDIO’s Interior Designer Dana Lossing embraces our mission, “To leave the world better then we found it,” with every project. Her timeless designs balance environmental awareness and a sense of place with our clients dreams to create beautiful, truly authentic and sustainable spaces. TE NO VE RSTUDIO.COM

JUN/JUL 2022

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Tenet Health Central Coast, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital have again earned the title of “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” for 2022.

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Wilson + Co. Real Estate NEW LOOK, same trusted name. Rooted in an attention to detail, unparalleled access, and more than 30 years of experience, Wilson + Co. specializes in luxury single and multi-family homes, expansive estates, ranches, buildable land, and commercial spaces in California’s iconic Central Coast region. Under our new logo, we remain a nationally recognized full service real estate brokerage highly attuned to the unique needs and requirements of each client and property. We believe you deserve no less than an elevated + highly curated experience.

Linda Wilson Owner/Broker #01045160

Kelli Shetler

Broker/REALTOR® #01208534

Brooke Pereira REALTOR® #01878552

Sean Maguire Abigail Maguire Zach Wilson REALTOR® #02108147

REALTOR® #02023157

REALTOR® #02069436

www.Wilsonand.co | 805.543.7727 1065 Higuera St. Suite 301, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Aimee Edsall

Bradley Wilson

Ana Davis REALTOR® #02094856

REALTOR® #017533405

REALTOR® #01983603

Ingrid Marcellino JoAnne Bruner REALTOR® #01886133

JUN/JUL 2022

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REALTOR® #00465256

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CONTENTS 28 Timeline 30 Briefs 32 View 34 Q&A

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NOW HEAR THIS

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PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE 18 Info 20 Sneak Peek 22 Inbox 26 Contributors

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Volume 13 Number 3 Jun/Jul 2022

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR


Rammy Aburashed, owner of Seeds at Court Street in Downtown SLO.

Growing a New Seeds A Re-Invented Seeds Arrives at Court Street When Rammy Aburashed’s father opened the mediteranean themed Sidewalk Market and later, the iconic Petra, he did so with the desire of bringing the culinary tradition of his native Jordan to the Central Coast. Now the younger Abashurad hopes to bring something new to Downtown SLO, that being the kind of California casual brunch restaurant he’s enjoyed when visiting places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. By all appearances, he has succeeded wildly, as Seeds new corner spot at Court Street has quickly become a fixture as the place to grab a fast, healthy lunch, meet friends for mimosas and brunch (featuring an array of toasts, acai bowls and flatbreads), or just hang out during their daily happy hour. This airy modern space, filled with greenery and a fresh hip vibe, is just what the doctor ordered. www.TasteSeeds.com D OW N TOW N

S LO

I S

T H E

P LA C E

YO U

WA N T

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Co u r t S t r e e t • M o n t e r e y S t r e e t • D o w n t o w n Ce n t r e JUN/JUL 2022

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dwelling

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Real Estate

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Health

80 TASTE

48 ARTIST

50 Author

WINE NOTES

52 Explore

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54 On the Rise

92 brew

56 pet collective

96 Happenings

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Amber Lease’ family operated the legendary Johnson’s for Children for over 20 years at the corner of Chorro & Monterey Streets in Downtown SLO.

A Homecoming on Monterey Street

Anthropologie’s unique mix of fashion, home and lifestyle has made it one of the most popular retail brands nationwide.

Wildflower Women Opens in Downtown SLO

When her parents retired and closed the beloved Johnson’s for Children back in 2009, Amber Lease had a “what’s next?” moment. Her first step was to start her own children’s store SandBox Kids in Orcutt. A few years later she added women’s clothing and Wildflower Women was born. Over a decade later she’s returned to Monterey street with a brand new boutique featuring an eclectic mix of women’s apparel, childrens clothing and toys, plus an exciting collection of accessories and gifts. wildflowerwomenboutique.com D OW N TOW N

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T H E

P LAC E

YO U

WA N T

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Co u r t S t r e e t • M o n t e r e y S t r e e t • D o w n t o w n Ce n t r e JUN/JUL 2022

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| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Summer Camp Every year, around this time, my mind wanders back. The image that stands out most is the dust covered, way-past-its-prime school bus. With a handwritten cardboard sign affixed with duct tape to one side, it reads, “Next stop: Camp Tulequoia.” As we rumbled along the valley floor, beginning our ascent through the foothills, the temperature dropped with every foot of elevation gained, and a knot coiled deep in my guts. There were just too many unknowns to ponder as the questions swirled: Who’s gonna be in my cabin? Will I get the top bunk? Am I gonna know anybody? Is my counselor an ex-con? What’re we having for dinner? Do we get to shoot bows and arrows? Chugging through the giant sequoias, belching black smoke as if we were an off-the-rails freight train, the brakes shrieked, and we rocked to a stop. “We’re here!” the lady called out. Her far too enthusiastic instructions faded into oblivion as I peered through the window in a full trance. Sunlight glistened off the lake dotted with sailboats and swimmers and canoes. Turns out, I didn’t know anyone there. Not a soul. And I was assigned to the bottom bunk. The archery range was under construction. So, no bows and arrows. The food was awful. Gray and cold and barely edible. I skinned both of my knees. One of them twice. Got eaten alive by Snickers bar-sized bugs with toothpicks for teeth and an appetite for nine-year-old boys. Endured scary-as-heck ghost stories. Turned tomato-red with a sunburn. Ate a worm. Fell off the zipline. Caught a bullfrog with my bare hands. Slept on a granite slab in the middle of the forest one night with a ratty, old, too-thin sleeping bag. Pretty sure I saw a bear. Maybe it was an alien. Or Bigfoot. I nearly drowned when swimming the length of the lake. Oh, yeah, if that weren’t bad enough, I had to dance with a girl. It was the best week of my life. Something happened there. It’s not that I grew up. Because I wasn’t grown up at all, I was still a little kid. But things changed. I changed. There was adventure. There was danger. There were all those things twisting my guts—all those unknowns. But, somewhere along the way, I learned I could deal with it, all of it. Day after day. Whatever the YMCA threw at me, I realized that I could take it. I was broken down and built back up and that was never more true than at the Camp Tulequoia daily mail call. Just before lunchtime, the entire camp gathered in front of the mess hall. As if she were a TV game show host, the camp director explained the rules. “If you get a letter, I’ll call your name, and then you have to come up here and sing for everybody.” It felt like I was trying to swallow a still-smoldering campfire log, as I imagined a scenario far worse than death. That’s when she called out, “Tommy Franciskovich! Come on up!” Everything went still. My ears rang as they burned red-hot. My life flashed before my eyes. Every muscle in my neck spasmed at once as the air left my lungs. She called out again: “Tommy, where are you? Come on up here and sing for everyone.” My cabin-mates pushed me forward toward the gallows. Shuffling one foot before the other, every kid turned and looked on at me with their own version of I-can’t-not-look-at-the-train-wreck-in-progress horror. When I finally made it to the front, I took some level of morbid comfort in the fact that there were at least a dozen other kids who were also being sent to their death on this day. I looked down at my letter, the return address read, “4706 Myrtle Street, Visalia, California.” Home. I closed my eyes and wondered what my little sisters were doing and realized I would have given anything to do it with them—playing with dolls, or whatever. Anything but this. We sang. And I was surprised to find that I had survived. The next day, another letter from home. Another song. Same thing the day after that. And the next. Each time it was a little easier. By the end of the week, I was looking forward to mail call. When Mom showed up at the YMCA and watched me step out of that old school bus, banged-up and bruised, with a smile stretching from one ear to the other, she noticed something was different. And, from that day forward, I’ve heard her say: “If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to blow my fortune sending kids to summer camp.” I can’t imagine a better investment. Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you. Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich tom@slolifemagazine.com 16

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LIFE SLO magazine

4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM info@slolifemagazine.com (805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax PUBLISHER Tom Franciskovich

Elder Placements realizes the IMPORTANCE of listening to the client, in order to find the appropriate:

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sheryl Franciskovich CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlotte Alexander Jeff Al-Mashat Dan Fredman Paden Hughes Zara Khan Jaime Lewis Brant Myers Joe Payne Brian Schwartz Tim Townley CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mariah Dingman David Lalush Jess Lerner Todd Meaney Mark Nakamura Jennifer Olson Zachary Scott Ruby Wallau Melissa White CONTRIBUTIONS Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and announcements by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and clicking “Share Your Story” or emailing us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations. ADVERTISING If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone at (805) 543-8600 or by email at tom@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com/advertise and we will send you a complete media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

SUBSCRIPTIONS Ready to live the SLO Life all year long? It’s quick and easy! Just log on to slolifemagazine.com/subscribe. It’s just $24.95 for the year. And don’t forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! NOTE The opinions expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect those of SLO LIFE Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher.

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

(805) 546-8777 elderplacementprofessionals.com 18

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CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising rates, space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for a media kit. Closing date is 30 days before date of issue. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR info@slolifemagazine.com 4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.


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| SNEAK PEEK

O N T H E C O V E R W I TH SHE A SOMMA

behind the scenes PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT

I’ve known Shea for years through surfing on the Central

Coast, so we met up before sunrise at a local surf spot for a daybreak photoshoot. As luck would have it, we scored a beautiful morning. We chatted and shot on the bluff taking in the sunrise and enjoyed a fleeting window of soft light. Then Shea suited up, grabbed one of his hand-shaped boards and ran down the goat trail which descended to the break. He danced barefoot along the sharp rock finger and jumped into the water. I attempted to shoot from the finger of the reef, but several wave surges had me soaked so I retreated to a dryer perch. Later that morning we went up to Cal Poly where I teach an Artificial Lighting class. The students had just created an elaborate lighting setup that was too good to tear down. Shea brought various masks and respirators and a bag full of foam dust. We spent the next hour shooting a nice round of clean portraits and had a lot of fun making some dirty photos. Foam dust dirty! Shea was a great sport and showered in the foam dust— all for the sake of getting the shot. That night, we capped off the shoot day at the Somma Compound. Shea and his wife Kendra have built a beautiful artist retreat that includes an architectural array of outbuildings and workspaces. I shot a series of images with this happy couple who were all giggles, glowing with the excitement of an expected baby. We then peeled off to our final setup at the Somma Special Designs shaping lab. After shooting for an hour or so, and enjoying watching Shea work his magic, I had collected enough dust in my camera and ears to call it a day. SLO LIFE

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B E C AU S E YO U D E S E R V E T H E V E R Y B E S T C E N T R A L C OA S T R E A L E S TAT E R E P R E S E N TAT I O N .

THE AVENUE CENTRAL COAST REALTY W I T H O V E R 1 0 0 Y E A R S O F R E A L E S TAT E E X P R E I E N C E

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| INBOX

TAKE US WITH YOU

Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com AMAZON BASIN, COLUMBIA

TEMPLE OF EDFU, EGYPT

CHRIS CLAYTON with guide, ROMERO

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

PETER and YVONNE JURGENS

NEW ORLEANS

OWEN, CAMILLE, EVAN, and EASTON SCHWAEGERLE

PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK

CAL and ROSEMARY WILVERT

DENALI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

NATALIA WELLMAN 22

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SABRINA ELZER | JUN/JUL 2022


WASHINGTON, DC

JOSHUA TREE

KIERSTEN ANDERSON

PAGE, ARIZONA

BUSCH, KAVIANI, HENDERSON, NOSTI, and SORIA FAMILIES

MANUEL ANTONIO, COSTA RICA

TOM NELSON and CURT TYNER

ST. JOHN, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

RIDLEY and PACEY CALLAWAY

COMPASS CAY EXUMA, BAHAMAS

TOM MCKEON

KRISTEN MCKIERNAN JUN/JUL 2022

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| INBOX

SLO LIFE TRAVELS

Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com WASHINGTON, DC

QUITO, ECUADOR

THEWOODRUFF FAMILY

HALEAKALA, MAUI, HAWAII

CLARK and KAY LEWIS with RAY JOHNSON and LINDA ELLIOTT standing on the equator.

YOSEMITE

MAKENA, THERESA, MIKE, and BECCA SCIOCCHETTI with MATEO and MAGGIE JESS HOSTETTER

BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MEXICO BOISE, IDAHO

ALBA and LUCAS RIVAS 24

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COLLEEN JIMENEZ and DOUG SEARS, ORALIA and FRANCISCO, with DAVE and CAROL


I'm starting to feel like myself again. Things are getting easier for me, even little things like going to the grocery store or visiting with friends. When the baby smiles, I can smile, too. I couldn’t do that before. I am beginning to see my old self again and that feels truly amazing.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. WITH HELP YOU WILL GET BETTER. Visit PMADSLO.org for resources, information, help, and more in English and Spanish. Visite PMADSLO.org para obtener recursos, información, ayuda y más en español. SLOCPHD Maternal Child & Adolescent Health - PMAD Project. Funding support from MHSA 4/2021 JUN/JUL 2022

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| CONTRIBUTORS

1.

1. CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER is an awardwinning writer and editor with more than twenty years in nonprofit organizations, higher education, and media.

10. 6.

2. JEFF AL-MASHAT is a writer and visual artist with an MFA in painting from Georgia State University. He lives in Grover Beach. 3. MARIAH DINGMAN has a background in neuroscience and is an active photographer, artist, musician, and outdoor enthusiast.

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4. DAN FREDMAN is a SLO native immersed in the wine realm. He prefers LPs to streaming, Mac to PC, Fender over Gibson, and has nothing against screwcaps. 5. PADEN HUGHES is co-owner of Gymnazo and enjoys exploring the Central Coast. 6. In addition to being an interior designer, ZARA KHAN is also a shoe aficionado and horror movie enthusiast.

2.

12.

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7. DAVID LALUSH is an architectural photographer here in San Luis Obispo. 8. JESS LERNER is a photographer based in SLO who loves the outdoors. You can check out her coastal photography at jesslerner.com or @jesslernerphotography.

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9. JAIME LEWIS writes about food, drink, and the good life from her home in San Luis Obispo. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @jaimeclewis. 10. TODD MEANEY is a landscape, product, and lifestyle photographer living the SLO Life with his brewery-loving Great Dane.

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11. BRANT MYERS is a the founder at slobiig.com, a hospitality consulting firm, and Toddler Timber, where he makes wooden children’s toys.

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12. MARK NAKAMURA pursues his passion in landscape photography, as well as capturing the joys of weddings, families, events, and sports around the Central Coast. Find him on Instagram @nakamuraphoto. 13. ZACHARY SCOTT is a photographer known for his humorous and highly stylized work that has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, as well as GQ, Time Magazine, Wired, and New York Magazine.

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14. BRIAN SCHWARTZ is a publishing consultant and advocate for local authors. He can be reached at brian@selfpublish.org. 15. RUBY WALLAU is a documentary and portrait photographer who recently moved to San Luis Obispo from New England and is loving exploring her new home. Find her on Instagram @rubywallau.

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45

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| TIMELINE

LOCAL

april 20

april 5

The Air Force announces that Vandenberg Space Force Base (SFB) is among six candidates being considered for the permanent home of Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) headquarters. The new HQ will be responsible for training space professionals, developing space warfighting doctrine, and testing Space Force systems. No timeline has been set for the final decision, but site surveys at Vandenberg and the other bases under consideration—LA AFB, Buckley SFB, Peterson SFB, Schriever SFB in Colorado, and Patrick SFB in Florida—begin this spring.

During a meeting of the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel, PG&E reports on the status of the current spent fuel storage system, which comprises fifty-eight vertical casks not enclosed in concrete, and the selection of Orano USA as the contractor to transfer all remaining spent nuclear fuel to a new dry cask storage system. Nuclear waste will continue to be stored on the Central Coast for the foreseeable future, so the panel is seeking assurance that the new casks will withstand everything from earthquakes to jet crashes to terror attacks. The panel recommends inspecting the storage canisters every five years.

april 26

april 7

CubeSat, a mini satellite technology co-created at Cal Poly that has contributed to the expansion of space exploration and research worldwide, is inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame during the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado. Retired Cal Poly aerospace engineering professor Jordi Puig-Suari and retired Stanford University professor Bob Twiggs created the CubeSat platform in 1999 as a teaching tool, but it now helps create satellites that can be launched into space and used for research. 28

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The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles denies the emergency petition filed April 14 by off-roading advocacy group Friends of Oceano Dunes to stop California State Parks from installing dust mitigation measures at the dunes. The appeal came after SLO County Superior Court Judge Tana Coates denied a preliminary injunction on April 11 that had prevented State Parks from adding 130 acres of fencing and vegetation at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Citing a “substantial risk of harm” to State Parks, local communities, and the public as a whole, the judge wrote that “the health impacts from breathing in particulate matter are significant and irreversible.”


REVIEW may 1

SLO County’s Fire Department and Cal Fire SLO announce the suspension of backyard burning until the end of fire season. Residents are required to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around all habitable structures on their property, and are encouraged to be vigilant and avoid activities that could spark unwanted fires, such as mowing dry vegetation during warm, dry, or windy weather. While agricultural burning can continue, it will require an Air Pollution Control District burn permit as well as a Cal Fire permit.

may 3

The San Luis Obispo City Council on a 3-2 vote amends the SLO Municipal Code to clarify that tents and similar structures are prohibited encroachments in City parks. The clarification is felt by some residents to be a way to purge homeless residents from public spaces. City officials say it simply clarifies what they have already been doing. City officials plan to educate the public as a first line of enforcement.

may 9

The California Energy Commission releases a draft report detailing in part its goal to install three gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity in the Pacific Ocean by 2030. Much of that could be generated from the 400-square-mile Morro Bay Wind Energy Area that sits off the coast of SLO County, assuming a wind energy port could be built. Such a port, according to the Central Coast economic impact research group REACH, could generate 650 jobs and more than $250 million in economic impact. A lease sale auction for the site is expected to happen in Fall 2022.

may 6

Downtown SLO, in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, introduces a new pop-up installation: Skate Mission Plaza. Visitors are encouraged to lace up their skates and enjoy an outdoor rollerrink with music, a disco ball, and flower-power-inspired decorations. Special events scheduled at the rink include a Pride Night and a Groovy ‘70s Friday skate.

may 14

Women’s March SLO hosts a march to the San Luis Obispo Courthouse in support of a nationwide #BansOffOurBodies Day of Action. More than 300 participants rally for not accepting any federal, state, or local rollbacks in access to reproductive healthcare services, including birth control and abortion for all people, regardless of socioeconomic status or location. SLO LIFE JUN/JUL 2022

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| BRIEFS

“Participating in Junior Giants in SLO creates lasting memories for a lifetime.” SLO City Community Services Recreation Coordinator Megan Risley offers one reason why local families register their children ages five to thirteen for the free co-ed non-competitive softball and baseball league during the summer. The twentyseven-year-old program also helps players learn confidence, integrity, leadership, and teamwork, and gives family members a chance to participate as volunteer coaches.

$2 million That’s the deal Congressman Salud Carbajal secured in federal funds to help preserve affordable housing at the Anderson Hotel in downtown San Luis Obispo. It includes sixty-eight vouchers to help make each unit at the hotel permanently affordable to vulnerable seniors and disabled adults. It also provides funding for new windows, seismic retrofitting, and plumbing and electrical upgrades for the 100-year-old historic building. The County and City of SLO also provided needed funding.

23

The number of Central Coast veterans who recently were treated by Honor Flight Central Coast California to a trip to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C. built in honor of their service. The veterans were welcomed back to the SLO County Regional Airport by a crowd waving American flags that was organized by Welcome Home Military Heroes. 30

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+5%

More than 69,000 students have applied for Fall 2022 admission to Cal Poly. That’s five percent more than applied the year before, marking the second straight year that the university has seen an increase in applications. Although the number of first-time freshmen applicants is greater than ever, the number of students looking to transfer from another college or university is down.

“All the easy water is gone.” While California and SLO County as a whole are experiencing severe drought conditions, City of SLO Deputy Director of Utilities Mychal Boerman told the City Council during a recent meeting that while the City has ten years of water available from five sources (Lake Nacimiento, Santa Margarita Lake, Whale Rock Reservoir, recycled water, and groundwater), citizens may still face major cutbacks thanks to a recent executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom.

Playing In Unison A fitting title for The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center’s new hour-long film documenting the genesis of the PAC decades ago, as the foundation gears up to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the world-class venue. Community leaders who played key roles as well as people who are paving the way for its future are featured. It premiered at the PAC on April 23 and was shown during the recent SLO International Film Festival.

1928-2022 Flags were lowered to half-staff last March in honor of former San Luis Obispo mayor and longtime public works director Dave Romero, who died at the age of ninety-three. He was involved in several city projects throughout his career, including the creation of Mission Plaza, the Performing Arts Center, downtown parking garages, and more. City officials noted that it would be hard to find a finer example of someone committed to public service than Mayor Romero.

$296,000 Caltrans is providing the almost $300,000 needed to the SLO Council of Governments to develop a county-wide Vehicle Miles Traveled Mitigation Program that creates a sustainable transportation partnership between SLOCOG, the Air Pollution Control District, and the eight jurisdictions in the County. The resulting VMT banking/exchange framework will provide a uniform approach and enhance community livability and quality of mobility.

DiVR 360 A project created by Cal Poly marine science professor Crow White to inspire the next generation to love the ocean and to become marine scientists. Part of his “Dive Beneath the Surface” program devoted to marine science outreach and education, the project uses virtual reality to let elementary, middle school, and high school students experience scientific scuba diving through interactive videos on their phones or computers. SLO LIFE


Savor the Everyday

www.GardensbyGabriel.com lic.# 887028 805-215-0511 JUN/JUL 2022

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| VIEW

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME BY MARK NAKAMURA

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here’s nothing better on a summer evening than to view a SLO Blues baseball game at our hometown diamond, Sinsheimer Stadium. Founded in 1946, this wooden bat California Collegiate League swings for the fences each year against rivals up and down the coast of the Golden State. It’s first-come, first-served, so bring your chairs and blankets and search out the perfect spot on the grass or find an empty seat in the stands and “buy me some

peanuts and some Cracker-Jacks” or grab a tri-tip sandwich fresh off the barbecue. For the shot seen here, I used my wide-angle 15mm fisheye lens on my Canon camera to get this purposely distorted view of the field, the fans, the players, and the sky by tilting the lens up slightly to get the curved horizon look. And, remember: When the Blues score, you score!

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| Q&A

Teresa lees Let’s talk about where you started out. Okay, sure. I grew up in Alhambra, which is in east Los Angeles. I was one of those kids that really enjoyed school and learning. I was also very active in politics. One of my first things I got involved in was with farm workers with Cesar Chavez back in the 1970s, to help organize locally. And then in high school, I also did a lot of service work. I was raised that way in a Catholic family that was really social justice minded. So, we would go to help at soup kitchens, and the United Farm Workers. And then there was a group called Los Niños that we would help in the orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico. And how does that fit into the work you do now? Where this fits in with my whole career path is with international agriculture, which I studied at Davis. It’s also known as self-sufficiency, third world agriculture. I spent time in Africa helping women make a little plot of land to feed their family. I signed up for a volunteer program and we helped build a school in a village in Liberia, west Africa. I’ve always been interested in kids and helping kids. I went into the career of ag education and teaching and environmental education and, of course, permaculture which is the blending of all those things together. What exactly is permaculture? Well, permaculture really is what they call a design science, but it also involves art. You know how you design your wardrobe? How you design your house? This is to design our whole society, so that it’s more permanent, it’s more long lasting. Literally, it’s permanent culture—permaculture. The concept originated in Australia back in the 1970s and is based on the idea of ecosystems. Basically, it views all things as an ecosystem, including our cities and our economies, so we seek to understand how one thing effects another. It’s a way of designing 34

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Eight years ago, TERESA “TREE” LEES founded Our Global Family Farm, a quarter-acre permaculture exhibit within City Farm SLO designed with the intention to both educate and inspire.

things to flourish. It’s guides us in how to design our gardens, yes, but also the way we can design our energy systems, our financial systems, our governmental systems. Please elaborate if you would… It relates to many of these sustainable practices that businesses are looking at doing and asking the question: Can we reorganize things to make it work better? It’s based on three ethics. Essentially, it’s a different way, a holistic way, of looking at the world. So, first off, you ask the question: How does this care for the Earth? Are we taking care of the Earth? Number two, we look at people. Does this care for people? Are we making sure we’re taking care of everybody? And three, care for our future. More commonly, it’s being called the triple bottom line, which is a similar thing. Care about your environment, care about your economy, and care about your equity—profit, people, and planet. It’s a way of designing our businesses and products with those things in mind. So, how does City Farm SLO fit into the triple bottom line? So, yes, at City Farm, farmers can lease plots of land. It’s small-scale urban organic farming right here in San Luis Obispo. It’s set up so you can grow your own food, you can collect your own water, you can make your own solar energy, make your own herbal products, that kind of thing—self-reliance, self-sufficiency. City Farm does also have animals to graze the land, and sustainable energy with its solar panels. It’s an amazing, incredible, inspiring place. Visitors come here to see that nature is awesome, even in the middle of the city. It’s truly awesome. Our planet is awesome, people are awesome. We’re all in this together. We’re all one global family on this planet. Let’s all get along, let’s all take care of each other, let’s live in peace and harmony. SLO LIFE


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| NOW HEAR THIS

Homegrown sound

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BY JOE PAYNE


Ynana Rose will play at the Live Oak Music Festival this year for a Saturday morning concert, and you can find more of her local performance dates at ynanarose.com.

C

alifornia is often typified by its metropoli, whether Los Angeles or San Francisco or San Diego. But for those born and raised in the rest of the Golden State, like songwriter Ynana Rose, the long dirt road you hear about in country songs was closer to home. Rose grew up among the redwood trees and hills of Mendocino County in a handbuilt cabin in the woods with a mother who was part of the “original generation of hippies” who followed the “back to the land” movement. Rose’s main connection to the outside world during her childhood was a battery-operated stereo and the lone country music station that made its way across the airwaves. “It was just 1970s country radio,” Rose said. “It was the only station you could get on the FM dial, and I always just say, ‘Lucky me.’ That was right when Dolly Parton was really hitting, and Willy Nelson was on there, too, and a little bit of Emmylou Harris. It was a really rich time.” Rose’s roots run deep in classic country and American folk music along with their familiar rural settings, but her music career didn’t begin until she was here on the Central Coast. Rose didn’t pen her first song until her late thirties, and only began recording in 2014. During that short eight-year span, she has put out two albums with a third in the works for a 2022 release. From the beginning of her musical journey, the San Luis Obispo music scene was a welcoming and supportive place. That aspect was more important than most people would think, she explained, especially for a beginning songwriter. “It’s been the perfect place for me to start and then continue,” she said. “I was visibly uncomfortable playing a guitar. I had people come up in the early days who would say, ‘I can see that you are shaking, but I just want to say keep it up and keep going.’” Some of those people were fellow musicians and songwriters themselves, Rose explained, generous with encouragement but also collaboration. She connected with a number of local instrumentalists and singers who made appearances on her recordings, all of which were completed with Damon Castillo at his San Luis Obispo studio, Laurel Lane. The last album Rose released came out in 2018, titled “Tea Leaf Confessions,” which exemplifies her upbringing steeped in classic country and folk. Songs like “I Want To Be With You Always” and “Leave Me Lonely” feel like they’re straight out of a highway honky-tonk, complete with warm violin and haunting pedal steel guitar. Other tracks showcase her folk and bluegrass influence, like “Stardust Firefly” and “Love Song to a Hummingbird,” with mandolin and dobro ringing over deep and warm upright bass. No matter the stylistic bent, Rose’s lyrics also offer a strong sense of place and personal connection. Her mother and grandmother find themselves as subjects in the stunning “Lillian” and ephemeral “Mendocino Sunrise,” but so is the countryside she called home. California itself looms large not just in the poetry, but in the Rose’s overall sound, reminding us how much of the state’s Americana music is homegrown. Rose said she is looking forward to releasing her latest album soon as well as her upcoming performance at Live Oak. She credited KCBX and Live Oak as well for serving as a beacon for fans and artists alike on the Central Coast. “That is my community. I’ve learned so much about my own music just by listening to them,” she said. “I’m really excited just to represent and contribute to the good vibes that are happening at Live Oak Music Festival. I’ve taken my children there and camped as a mom with her kids in tow for many, many years, and we’re going to do it again.” SLO LIFE

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| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

pro file PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT

While San Luis Obispo resident SHEA SOMMA is the kind of guy who likes to go with the flow, it has not stopped him from rising through the ranks of an ultra-competitive industry: surfboard shaping. Life for him has always been metaphoric—riding the wave, wherever it flows—unwittingly harnessing the power of serendipity, friendship, and passion: Do what you love and the money will follow. As he and his wife celebrate the arrival of their first child, he took some time away from the Somma Special Designs shaping shed to recount his unlikely path. Here is his story…

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kay, Shea, we like to take it from the top. Where are you from? Sure. I grew up in Orange County, Tustin. It’s about thirty minutes from the ocean, definitely grew up going to the beach a bunch. We’d usually bop down to either Laguna or Newport, those were the two main zones. Newport’s a straight shot from Tustin on the 55 Freeway. Then Laguna, we have just a bunch of family, friends who live right in town in Laguna. We’d often spend the day at the beach and then cap it off at a friend’s home with dinner and stay all day. It was great.

What were you like as a kid? Oh, wow, I was a total nerd. I loved anything to do with nature. I was a kid who was wearing the t-shirt with the frog on it. I collected reptiles and amphibians. I had a bunch of different pets as a kid but loved frogs. I had a vivarium with red eyed tree frogs that I bred, not super successfully, but I at least had one batch of eggs. Aquariums and that kind of thing. I was interested in all that kind of stuff. And I was very academically oriented in high school. I was on the Quiz Bowl Team. Quiz Bowl? Yeah. It’s half academic trivia and half pop culture. I was on the Quiz Bowl Team at school and did the Academic Decathlon, as well. I was on the volleyball team, but I was a terrible player. I was definitely way more into books. I think I was in the fourth grade when I read “Jurassic Park” seven times in a row. I was an obsessive reader, that kind of thing. And what about your parents? My mom’s actually lesbian. She and her partner, her name’s Sharon, owned a court reporting, stenography, school together. My mom, when she was twenty-five and single, she decided that she wanted a kid. So, there was a sperm donor, and I knew all about this the whole time growing up; I knew he was Caucasian and I knew he was a doctor. But, later on, I ended up doing [genetic testing through] 23andMe and got connected to a bunch of my half siblings, essentially. One of them was really curious about her background. She was going through, I guess, an identity crisis because she discovered later in life through 23andMe, that her dad was not, in fact, her dad. I always knew the situation, so I never was particularly curious about it. I always felt it was irrelevant, to be honest. My family was my family and that’s that. But a couple of years ago, my halfsister found him. She emailed all of the siblings some photos and some background information on him. He’s an orthopedic surgeon in Arizona. Wow, what a trip. Looking back, did it connect any dots for you? Not really, well, I guess, for a short time, I was interested in becoming a physician, an osteopathic physician. That would have been something in common, I guess, but I learned pretty quickly that it wasn’t my path. When I came here to Cal Poly, organic chemistry nearly broke me. I had a really tough time with those classes, so after one year of kinesiology, I switched majors. I had taken an undergrad class, Intro to Philosophy, and really enjoyed that in the sense that it taught you how to think about things and that there were numerous ways of approaching the same problem. You could essentially argue for any of them as being valid. I found it to be fascinating. I really enjoyed the logic classes as well, for the same reason. It teaches you how to argue and to understand what constitutes a good argument and a bad argument. It reframed a way of looking at the world and looking at the way that people express their opinions. I found it really enjoyable, so I switched majors to Philosophy, which is what I graduated with. What sort of career did you have in mind at that point? I had zero career ambition. My understanding of college was that the connections that you would make and the people that you were surrounded by would inform your life. I figured it would be a worthy thing to spend time on for the sake of itself. But I didn’t have a specific career in mind. I waited tables since I was fifteen and all through college, as well. I waited tables for another year and got enough money together to travel through Central America for three months. Just backpacking around and surfing. When I got >> JUN/JUL 2022

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back, I figured maybe a good logical extension of the philosophy thing would be going to law school. I applied to gosh, maybe fifty jobs up in San Francisco because that’s where all my friends had relocated to, they were all in the city. I applied to one job here in SLO and that’s the one that I ended up getting. I was actually influenced by a family friend who was a judge in Orange County and suggested that I look for work at the public defender’s office. How long were you there? I was with the SLO County Public Defender’s Office for eleven years, until 2019. The group of people I worked with were phenomenal and incredibly dedicated. I have nothing but absolute respect for everyone at that office. It’s a pretty thankless job in a lot of ways. The perception of what public defenders do is pretty skewed in a negative way, I guess. Like, “Oh, you defend criminals.” Yeah, that is what you do. But it provides an absolutely essential service. Everyone deserves to have their rights protected. It’s amazing that we live in a country that guarantees that your rights are protected in court by a dedicated group of people. That even if you can’t afford your own criminal defense, we’ll 42

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defend you. I think among a lot of people, the public defender’s office gets a bad rap like, “Oh, those guys don’t try hard for their clients” or so on. There’s that perception too, which is absolutely not the case. It’s one of the hardest working group of people I’ve ever known. What did you do there? I was an investigator. I started off working on misdemeanors, and then worked up to felonies. My initial thought with getting that job was in thinking it would be a great real-world experience in the legal field before applying to law school. But I pretty quickly discovered that being an attorney was not going to be my path. It just wasn’t my ambition. It was pretty heavy, honestly. You’d see all sorts of stuff encompassing everything from drunk driving to murder and everything in between. At some point, I just needed an outlet and I started shaping surfboards. I’ve surfed since I was a little kid and have always been interested in design. My first exposure to it was when I was at Cal Poly. I had a friend there who shaped a board and glassed it in the garage at the house I was living in at the time. The whole thing just fascinated me. I was sort of mesmerized by the process. So, when I had >>


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a few bucks in my pocket after working at the public defender’s office for a bit, I bought all the tools and just started hacking away at it after work, which was therapeutic. So, is that when you started your business? Oh, no, it was purely a just for myself kind of thing. It was a lot of years before I sold a board to anyone. For me, it was just, like I said, sort of therapeutic, a way to deal with the stress of the investigative work. Shaping surfboards—shaping by hand—is almost meditative. You start off with this hunk of something and you end up with something beautiful and functional at the end. So, I started shaping for myself. Then, one for a buddy here, one for a buddy there. Over time, they would tell a friend and I’d get a call, “Hey, can you shape one for me, too?” I’d always say, “Yeah, of course.” You just sort of start trickling up and up. Things started to change when some friends decided to open a surf shop in Costa Mesa. They asked to put my boards up for sale there. One thing led to another when I got a call from Mollusk Surf Shop in San Francisco, which was like a dream come true. I’d say that’s when it took off. I started getting calls from people all over California, Japan, South Korea, you name it. I got so busy with shaping that I quit my job. And, when was this? So, this was 2019—fall of 2019. Terrible timing, right? Of course, COVID hit, which was pretty gnarly. Everything was good going into 2020, but then came along March and the 44

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lockdown happened and all my orders went to absolutely zero. There was nothing happening for several months, which was a little scary. I thought I had made an awful mistake quitting my job. But then, during the summer, around July, it was like someone just opened the floodgates. It got crazy, insanely busy. It’s still that way now, but it’s growing at a more sustainable rate. It went from totally dead to totally slammed. What are you up to now? More recently, I’ve been doing gigs where I’ll travel somewhere to shape boards. It’s a dream that I never thought I would be able to do. The first time I did it, I went to New York City and shaped a batch for another really high-profile shop called Pilgrim Surf Supply in Brooklyn. Then, I did a batch for a shop in Rhode Island, as well as some customs over there. Last month, I flew down to Costa Rica to do a batch of twenty for a place called House of Somos. The traveling/ shaping thing seems to be starting to click up, and I would love to do more of those gigs. It’s a good way to balance out, and it’s a good way to expand your reach as a brand. It’s a dream and I’d love to be able to use this skillset to travel more. What advice would you give to someone starting a business? Oh man, I would be a terrible person to give advice. I don’t claim to have any knowledge on the small business side of things. I’m learning myself. I guess if I had to offer something, it would be, if you love >>


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something and are passionate about it, just go ahead and do it without to continue that with my brand, just continue to hand shape. The any hope of it becoming a business. If you find that people connect with ultimate goal, I suppose, is to have a cap on the number of boards it, then maybe you’ve got something. But I am trying to figure that out that I make each year. right now myself. This is my first time sustaining myself with a small business. That’s been a real learning experience and turning that into Really? Isn’t that the opposite of what most people do? Yeah, I guess I’d a profitable enterprise has been a challenge, but a good challenge. It’s rather focus on catering to a small output, a smaller clientele, but with sustaining me now. But I’d like to figure a focus on high quality finish. I really out I suppose, better business practices. enjoy the process of hand shaping. Of if you love something and are passionate about it, the limit is your body. It’s a just go ahead and do it without any hope of it becoming course, What do you mean by that? I mean, physical process and you can burn out a business. if you find that people connect with it, pretty easily if you’re trying to hit huge I’d like to grow at a more sustainable numbers. My business strategy is to rate. My focus right now is on hand then maybe you’ve got something. shaping. Right now, I’d say 80% to really focus on the artisan part of things 95% of the boards on the market are CNC [machine] shaped before and eventually have a limited number released every year. Then that’s it. they’re hand finished, which I don’t do. I hand shape start to finish, Just cap it. That’s the end goal with what I’m doing. It’s nothing against which is something of a differentiator in the market. I like shaping. machine shaping—there’s benefits to using the CNC machine itself. But That’s how I started because it was just a hobby. I’ve since refused if I think about what I would like to spend my days doing, I want to build to use the machine, for I guess, a bunch of reasons. But I would like my business around that idea. SLO LIFE 46

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| ARTIST

Neal Breton BY JEFF AL-MASHAT PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIAH DINGMAN

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ne of the great poets said “two out of three ain’t bad.” Was it Whitman? Was it Emerson? … It may have been Meat Loaf. Local artist Neal Breton has beat those odds and achieved all three: He loves the paintings he makes. He has patrons that love his paintings. And his paintings are interesting and have significant relevance in today’s conversations about art. Loving what you make and having people love it are often at odds for many artists. In terms of what makes his art interesting, each of Breton’s paintings captures a moment in time and has a sense of mystery. Breton makes you want to understand more of the story within the image. Unlike so much of what we experience each day on our multiple screens,

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the great thing about these paintings is that you cannot click and get more information. Instead, the viewer has to stay engaged with the single frame. Breton uses simple shapes that often retain a single color across the canvas to form complex landscapes. The tension in the paintings comes from what isn’t there. When there is a human form, for instance, they are off to the side or in the distance. Additionally, Breton manages to create great depth and space in the paintings with minimal definition. The simplicity of his pieces draws you in much like the basic graphics from the early days of computers, where you keep looking because you expect a bird or a boat to go across the frame at some point. Growing up loving comic books helped Breton achieve his mastery of saying a great deal while remaining relatively quiet. “I realized that I have limited space to tell a story, so a lot of what I do is editing,” says Breton. “I boil things down to the most important elements: a tree, a shadow, a building.” David Hockney and Edward Hopper are among Breton’s influences. His ability to say so much with so little is also reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselman. Just as his individual paintings invite a deeper look, Breton’s prolific body of work, including his murals produced in collaboration with Amy McKay and Missy Reitner-Cameron through their company Marmalade Mural Co., reward the viewer who is willing to explore further. SLO LIFE


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| AUTHOR

Dream Come True BY BRIAN SCHWARTZ

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ocal author Heidi Shadix-Pieros and her husband Rick Pieros are the dynamic duo behind the wildly successful “Gilbert the Moose” children’s books. Their story of a “dream come true” started fifteen years ago when Rick, a nature photographer with a gallery on Historic Main Street in Park City, Utah, decided to move on to a new dream. Rick and Heidi married and Rick became a father to then four year-old Hailey Shadix. In the interest of spending more time with his new family, Rick sold his gallery in 2008 and started publishing photography books. The first printed work stemmed from his Utah roots. A coffee table book featuring historic and contemporary photography, “Park City Past & Present” illustrates the many changes the former mining boomtown experienced over the years, and how it became the destination ski town it is today. Rick continued his work producing a coffee table book on Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as a Park City lifestyle publication. With three successful books under his belt, Rick turned to the writing skills of his wife Heidi, who had always dreamed of penning a children’s book. Heidi wrote verse and created

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the storyboard for her tale, while Rick searched for an illustrator. Rather than illustrate the entire book, the couple felt kids would better relate to the material if they incorporated Rick’s photographs of the story’s thematic locations. The main character, Gilbert the Moose, came alive thanks to illustrations by Corbet Curfman. The first book in the series, “Gilbert The Moose Learns How To Ski,” was released in 2016 and is sold in independent bookstores, toy stores, and children’s boutiques across the country. The latest in the series will be released in July. “Gilbert the Moose Loses His Antlers” is a coming of age story, taking Gilbert on a journey to discover his antlers’ fate after he loses them for the first time. Heidi’s nursery rhyme style of writing makes her picture books highly accessible to the youngest readers (three to ten years old). “The day I saw my niece, three years old, ‘reading’ it just as I had imagined, was one of the best days of my life,” Heidi shares. As avid explorers of the Central Coast of California, the success of Heidi and Rick’s books allowed another dream to happen for the couple. After several years of planning, Rick and Heidi were finally able to relocate their family to their favorite vacation spot—San Luis Obispo. When they’re not storyboarding their next children’s book adventure, you will find Heidi and Rick, along with their daughters Hailey (20) and Ivy (14) enjoying local trails and beaches. You can learn more about Heidi’s book series at GilbertTheMoose.com. Rick’s photographs can be found at RickPieros.com. SLO LIFE


䰀漀挀愀氀 䔀琀栀椀挀愀氀 䨀攀眀攀氀爀礀 匀椀渀挀攀 ㄀㤀㜀㐀

匀瀀攀挀椀愀氀椀稀椀渀最 䤀渀

䌀甀猀琀漀洀 䌀爀攀愀琀椀漀渀 ☀ 䄀渀琀椀焀甀攀 刀攀猀琀漀爀愀琀椀漀渀 ㄀㄀㄀㐀 ☀ ㄀㄀㄀㠀 䜀愀爀搀攀渀 匀琀⸀ 䐀漀眀渀琀漀眀渀 匀䰀伀 㠀 㔀⸀㔀㐀㌀⸀㠀㄀㠀㘀 ⴀ 眀眀眀⸀䜀愀爀搀攀渀匀琀爀攀攀琀䜀漀氀搀猀洀椀琀栀猀⸀挀漀洀

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HANSDUUSBLACKSMITH.COM 2976 Industrial Parkway, Santa Maria JUN/JUL 2022

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| EXPLORE

I

Sip & Stroll BY PADEN HUGHES

’m a big believer in experiencing familiar things in fresh ways. Recently I found a new way to experience a local gem of a trail, one I’ve probably walked along hundreds of times. But first, I have to share the inspiration. Back in 2017, Downtown SLO began hosting an annual evening called Sip & Saunter. The night consisted of perusing stores, sampling food, toasting with local beverages, and bumping into friends along the way. While it lasted for three years and appears to be experiencing an indefinite pause, Sip & Saunter was exactly the kind of event I would have loved to attend. But I never had the chance. At the time, I was a new mom and this was one of those cool gatherings that fatefully fell during the two most anxiety-inducing hours of my day: my kids’ bedtime. The thing is, I never forgot about why I yearned to attend Sip & Saunter—community and fun. Well, I have to say, I think I might have stumbled upon a daytime, self-guided equivalent, sans shopping, that is. I like to call it Sip & Stroll, although if you ask my kids it’s

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TIP! For live music dates and times at the Secret Garden, check out the calendar of events at sycamoresprings.com.


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more like Sip & Scooter. The day we discovered this family-fun activity, we had headed out onto the Bob Jones Trail after our initial stop at Woodstone Marketplace, located just off San Luis Bay Drive in Avila Beach. After selecting our favorite beverage and popsicle, off we went—the kids scootered and my husband, Michael, skateboarded while I strolled along the paved path headed toward the Ontario Road trail head. Our second stop, located about halfway between the market and the trail head, was new to us: the Secret Garden. Not only is it a serene setting, but it’s also a great place to grab a small bite to eat or something to sip. Adding to the fun you’ll find corn hole games, picnic tables, and lots of interesting places to play hide and seek if you’re traveling with kids in tow. Time it right and you’ll catch some live local music, as well. Family-friendly and relaxing, check and check. For the final stop on our short tour, we took the green pedestrian bridge over to Sycamore Hot Springs Resort. There, we decided to indulge in a Doc Bernstein frozen banana and a bottle of crisp Rosé and headed out to the beautiful gardens. We found ourselves in the ebb and flow of their wooden swing, and with plenty of lush foliage, geared up for another round of hide and seek. Of course, if you’re feeling ambitious you can make your way into the town of Avila Beach at the end of the trail and post up at one of the handful of waterfront restaurants or grab a snack from the Avila Market. It’s the perfect way to spend a day with family. I’d recommend giving yourself extra time to enjoy the trail while you Sip & Stroll without feeling tied to a schedule. SLO LIFE

Charmaine Petersen, CSA

Serving Central Coast Families

Since 1997

(805) 545-5901 JUN/JUL 2022 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53 SENIORLIVINGCONSULTANTS.COM


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

| ON THE RISE

Maren Ritterbuck PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELISSA WHITE

Recipient of the Gold Congressional Medal, National Leadership Council member, honor roll student, and Golden Tiger award holder, this San Luis Obispo High School senior is looking forward to the adventure that lies ahead.

What extra curriculars are you involved in? Two years ago, I became hooked on the idea of getting my pilots license before I even had my drivers license. And, while I wholly underestimated the time it would take to learn how to fly a plane, I was awarded a scholarship last year and I have been flying close to two days a week in a Cherokee Piper. I completed my solo a couple months ago and am planning my cross country flight now. I also recently wrapped up training a service dog, Luigi, through Canine Companions for Independence. He accompanied me everywhere I went, in airplanes, restaurants, stores, and anywhere else you can think of. I taught him thirty-six different commands and then turned him in for official training where he is now being trained with dogs for diabetics to be an alert dog. What else do you do for fun? One of my favorite things to do are early morning workouts at Avila Beach a couple times a week with friends. We get up at 5:30 to run and swim. The best part is that we have timed it so we get to see the sunrise while we are swimming past the buoys. If I’m not swimming in the waves, I like to be underneath them with a scuba tank, regulator, and an extremely thick wetsuit to face the fifty-two-degree water. I am in the process of getting my advanced scuba license. What is one of your favorite memories? As part of a four-year leadership program, I traveled to Montana last summer with a group of seventeen other teenagers to help with conservation efforts. We had all just finished our fifth day of pulling fence posts, building trails, and clearing paths when we decided to hike the five miles to a lake and back. When

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we reached our destination we found the name—Glacier National Park—held true as there were glaciers surrounding the lake on three sides. Without hesitation, a few of us dove into the frigid lake, pulling ourselves onto the iceberg twenty feet out. Laughing while in a state of shock at the temperature of the water, I was so happy to have followed the spontaneity of going on the hike and jumping in with all my friends. I later learned that the iceberg we were standing on was one of the last ones in the park that hadn’t melted. Do you have a career path in mind? I’ve landed on pursuing a career in biology. Within this broad-spectrum, being able to help others in either the medical realm or an environmental aspect gets me excited to challenge myself to see how large of a positive impact I’m capable of creating. Over the fall, I spent a week-long internship at Vancouver General Hospital which piqued my interest because I was able to see the high level of creativity and variety involved in the sciences and the environment made it apparent that I wanted to have a career that was focused on progress and helping others. And what about college? I just committed to Northeastern (go Huskies!) in Boston for Biology. I will be spending the first semester studying abroad in Scotland and am excited at the many new possibilities in the next four years. SLO LIFE Know a student On the Rise? Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com


We Are

“REAL ESTATE” The Schwaegerle Real Estate Team: Honest. Committed. Proactive. Educated. Empowering. OWEN AND CAMILLE CALDRE #02040597 / #02107467

805-215-5063

"Having our kids concurrently studying the same period of history fosters unity and connection in our family. Our kids, who at times struggle to relate to each other, bond over a shared interest in SLOCA literature books and history topics. When the older child arranges his home day so that he can listen in on his younger sibling’s literature and history reading, you know that the curriculum is quality and engaging. Semper discentes! (Always learning together.)"

–Sharon, parent of two

now enrolling at all grades: sloclassical.org JUN/JUL 2022

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| PET COLLECTIVE

Tucker PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT This Border Collie mix enjoys watching over his flock of chickens, taking long walks on the beautiful trails around San Luis Obispo, getting belly rubs, and munching on lots of treats. SLO LIFE 56

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smart, eclectic, art to live on

F I R S T- C L A S S C R A F T S M A N S H I P. IMPRESSIONS T H AT L A S T.

1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com

ThiessenMetalWorks.com

(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Benny’s Pizza Palace and Social Club)

Lic 946175

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10-5pm

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| DWELLING

Modern mix BY ZARA KHAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH

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O

Over the last ten years, our local wine country continued to pull Ellen and Rob Ashley back to the Central Coast. The Ashleys would often drive up to Paso Robles to visit from Orange County with friends, when one day they discovered a new lot for sale—it was hard to resist. The plot of land was close to downtown, but the hillside creates the feeling of a remote getaway, and the location is reminiscent of wine country at its finest. The Ashleys decided to take a leap of faith and purchase the lot, diving headlong into the project. The previous owners had already designed a full plan set with Studio Prime Inc., so they were able to use the layout as a starting point and made detailed adjustments designing the home more specific to their liking. With the final layout in hand, they were ready to get started on the build. >>

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Ferreira Inc. was brought in as the general contractor and their team of in-house designers helped on the project with input from the Ashleys. The couple had experience from previous construction projects, and while they had built a semi-custom home before, this was their first new construction project. They broke ground in February 2020, right before the shutdown, and were fortunate to avoid all the backorders and price increases that followed not long after. From a construction perspective, this project wasn’t completely straight forward. John Bellisario with Studio Prime Inc. was realistic about the challenges that came along with building a hillside home. These projects are always more complex. Luckily, since Ferreira and Studio Prime work hand in hand, they were able to keep the construction team involved throughout the process and work together for the most efficient solutions. >>

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From a design perspective, the Ashleys wanted to avoid building a trendy home, but they also didn’t want a traditional home. While the project was under construction, the Ashleys found time to curate their furnishings. They spent about a year rifling through vintage shops and personalizing each piece, whether it was reupholstering or refinishing. Ellen found a wallpaper that she was drawn to but didn’t know where it would fit in the project. She went ahead with the purchase knowing it would find a home. It ended up working perfectly with the tile and design of their powder room. Throughout the construction process, the duo kept an open mind and heeded advice when offered. Along the way, the team at Ferreira Inc. pointed out a wall of board-formed concrete in the hallway and suggested keeping it as a design element—it was the perfect, >>

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although unplanned, addition to the home design. To no one’s surprise, two of the favorite design details in the home are centered around wine. To divide the guest suite from the rest of the home, they decided to build a wine cellar off of their living room. This space was originally drawn in the plans as an elevator, but the couple knew they would get more use out of a temperature-controlled wine cellar. They also had a custom wine cave mural designed, which is on display in their guest suite and can be seen from the wine cellar, as well. It was important to the Ashleys that they take advantage of the Paso Robles weather, incorporating outdoor living areas both in the front and back of the house. The front deck acts as an >>

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MODERN

Marvin Signature® Modern windows and doors bring exceptional design and performance to any home. Now available on the Central Coast with your local Marvin dealer and the certified installation experts at A-1 Glass.

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Visit our New Window and Door Experience Center in downtown Paso Robles! JUN/JUL 2022

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extension of the living area, with the TV still visible—critical for their Super Bowl parties. The backyard features several zones for them to relax and spend time with family and friends. In the front, they are part of their community and in the back, they have seclusion and views that overlook the valley. They were able to have the best of both worlds. For anyone taking on a similar project, Bellisario urges you to remember reality can be quite different from what is portrayed on design shows. Building approvals on the Central Coast can be challenging, so it is in everyone’s best interest to do your due diligence on the lot and find out what can realistically be completed. After that, trust in the process and the team that you have put together. The Ashleys would also recommend entering the project with the understanding that everything takes longer than you expect, and sometimes you need to live in a space to know exactly what needs to be done for it to become your dream home. SLO LIFE

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| REAL ESTATE

WIDE COUNTY

STATISTICS

AVERAGE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT

$556 UP FROM $459 LAST YEAR ACTIVE LISTINGS

411

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET

twenty three DOWN FROM 31 LAST YEAR

PROPERTIES SOLD

786

DOWN FROM 1,185 LAST YEAR AVERAGE % OF ASKING PRICE

103.9% UP FROM 101.1% LAST YEAR

DOWN FROM 550 LAST YEAR MEDIAN SELLING PRICE

$860,000 UP FROM $774,053 ONE YEAR AGO

*Comparing April 2021 to April 2022 // San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE 70

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Did you know there is a brand-new neighborhood coming to town? A place designed to celebrate everything that you already know and love about San Luis Obispo.

Introducing Avila Ranch, nestled amongst the vineyards just south of downtown and promising to deliver the idyllic sun-drenched SLocal lifestyle.

Avila Ranch is for SLocals A place within your favorite place to call all yours. That was the vision with Avila Ranch, and that is what we are building for you as we speak.

A vibrant new neighborhood with new homes, parks, trails, and lots of fun-focused amenities made for you, the SLocal.

Avila Ranch is for SLocals FIRST and foremost. Visit our website to join our Interest List to stay out front on construction updates, and you’ll also have priority status when it comes time to reserve a homesite in the new Avila Ranch neighborhood. @AVILARANCHSLO

AVILARANCHSLO.COM

@AVILARANCH

Images are representational only and may differ from homes as constructed. Square footages are approximate. Seller makes no representations or warranties that the view from the property will remain the same. Future development changes to and growth of landscaping and the like may impact any current views from the property. Homes are constructed and marketed by WCP Developers LLC (CA Contractor License #1035148) and real estate sales brokered by WCP Real Estate, Inc. (CA DRE License #02055906), on behalf of Avila Ranch Developers, Inc., a California corporation. ©2022 Wathen Castanos Homes. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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REA L E S TAT E

BY THE NUMBERS

| SLO CITY

laguna lake

2021 Total Homes Sold 31 Average Asking Price $731,038 Average Selling Price $740,509 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 101.30% Average # of Days on the Market 20

2022 17 $967,834 $1,032,371 106.67% 7

+/-45.16% 32.39% 39.41% 5.37% -55.56%

tank farm

2021 28 Total Homes Sold $973,180 Average Asking Price $962,976 Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.95% 43 Average # of Days on the Market

2022 15 $1,062,309 $1,149,882 108.24% 7

+/-46.43% 9.16% 19.41% 9.29% -83.72%

cal poly area

2021 Total Homes Sold 19 Average Asking Price $1,045,089 Average Selling Price $1,032,587 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.80% Average # of Days on the Market 42

2022 10 $1,284,200 $1,346,200 104.83% 14

+/-47.37% 22.88% 30.37% 6.03% -66.67%

country club

2021 Total Homes Sold 9 Average Asking Price $1,414,444 Average Selling Price $1,401,883 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 99.11% Average # of Days on the Market 15

2022 6 $1,811,500 $1,947,167 107.49% 9

+/-33.33% 28.07% 38.90% 8.38% -40.00%

down town

2021 Total Homes Sold 36 Average Asking Price $964,100 Average Selling Price $977,718 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 101.41% Average # of Days on the Market 35

2022 15 $1,264,867 $1,355,550 107.17% 27

+/-58.33% 31.20% 38.64% 5.76% -22.86%

foothill boulevard

2021 Total Homes Sold 15 Average Asking Price $880,027 Average Selling Price $886,967 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 100.79% Average # of Days on the Market 28

2022 8 $1,238,750 $1,358,875 109.70% 18

+/-46.67% 40.76% 53.20% 8.91% -35.71%

johnson avenue

2021 Total Homes Sold 21 Average Asking Price $1,071,457 Average Selling Price $1,109,953 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 103.59% Average # of Days on the Market 27

2022 14 $1,012,850 $1,164,071 114.93% 18

+/-33.33% -5.47% 4.88% 11.34% -33.33%

*Comparing 01/01/21 - 05/18/21 to 01/01/22 - 05/18/22

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE

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100% digital mortgage. Safe. Simple. Secure.

Buy and finance from the comfort of your home.

Reach out to one of our local experts today! Donna Lewis

Maggie Koepsell

Mike Luna

O: (805) 335-8743 C: (805) 235-0463

O: (805) 335-8742 C: (805) 674-6653

donna.lewis@rate.com

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

O: (805) 456-5799 C: (805) 610-0105 mike.luna@rate.com

Ermina Karim

Matthew Janetski

Luana Geradis

O: (805) 329-4095 C: (805) 602-0248 ermina.karim@rate.com

O: (805) 329-4092

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (619) 300-2651

C: (707) 227-9582

matt.janetski@rate.com

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Eileen Mackenzie

Joe Hutson

Lisa Renelle

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 212-5204 C: (831) 566-9908 eileen.mackenzie@rate.com

O: (831) 205-1582 C: (831) 212-4138

O: (805) 456-5344

Branch Manager & SVP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

joe.hutson@rate.com

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

C: (805) 674-2931 lisa.renelle@rate.com

rate.com/sanluisobispo • 1065 Higuera St., Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information. (20210903-616080) Donna Lewis NMLS #245945; CA - CA-DOC245945 | Maggie Koepsell NMLS #704130; CA - CA-DBO704130 | Ermina Karim NMLS #2005928; CA - CA-DFPI2005928 | Luana Gerardis NMLS #1324563; CA - CA-DBO1324563 | Eileen Mackenzie NMLS #282909; CA - CA-DOC282909 | Matthew Janetski NMLS #1002317; CA - CA-DBO1002317 | Joe Hutson NMLS #447536; CA - CA-DOC447536 | Lisa Renelle NMLS #269785; CA-DOC269785. Guaranteed Rate, Inc.; NMLS #2611; For licensing information visit nmlsconsumeraccess.org. • CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act

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Close on your new home in as few as 21 days with FastTrack Credit Approval!

| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE BY THE NUMBERS REGION

NUMBER OF HOME S SOLD

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET

AVERAGE SELLING PRICE

2021

2022

2021

2022

Arroyo Grande

133

94

35

20

$940,790 $1,102,619

Fully underwritten credit approval before choosing the home you want to buy

Atascadero

142

111

16

14

$688,213

• More purchasing power in a

Avila Beach

9

7

36

17

$2,023,667 $2,144,571

Cambria/San Simeon

61

54

52

38

$1,007,574 $1,393,829

Cayucos

21

23

43

93

$1,485,094 $2,193,217

Creston

3

5

62

74

$1,186,667 $1,101,500

Grover Beach

62

34

14

22

$708,562

$755,912

Los Osos

43

48

17

14

$815,174

$972,171

Morro Bay

56

51

43

24

$957,021

$1,128,560

Nipomo

110

94

29

17

$791,553

$955,698

Oceano

21

17

28

24

$687,269

$678,882

Pismo Beach

58

35

39

15

$1,193,965 $1,361,495

Paso (Inside City Limits)

166

117

24

18

$567,280

$734,601

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

16

17

39

18

$801,559

$836,471

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

52

32

55

50

$930,596 $1,234,412

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

23

22

43

10

$1,287,629 $919,548

San Luis Obispo

183

92

30

13

$1,013,863 $1,287,944

Santa Margarita

14

3

50

35

$802,490 $700,000

Templeton

57

23

52

13

$1,008,621 $1,556,110

1185

786

31

23

With FastTrack, you receive:

competitive market

• Peace of mind for everyone that you’re fully qualified

Contact me today to learn more!

Ben Lerner 805.441.9486 www.blerner.com ben.lerner@myccmortgage.com

895 Pismo Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Equal Housing Opportunity. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. NMLS3029 NMLS2131793 NMLS395723 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Refinancing may result in higher total finance charges over the life of the loan. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC cannot guarantee that an applicant will be approved or that a closing can occur within a specific timeframe. Results will vary based on all involved parties’ level of participation at any stage of the loan process. 74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2022

Countywide

*Comparing 01/01/21 - 05/18/21 to 01/01/22 - 05/18/22

2021

2022

$807,908

$858,172 $1,024,088

San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE


Audio/Video . Lighting . Shading . Automation . Surveillance 1320 Van Beurden Drive . Suite 102 . Los Osos . Ca . 93402 (866) 633-7000 . www.coastalhomeworks.com

Contact us today for your free design quote or to schedule a showing at our studio. JUN/JUL 2022

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| HEALTH

Stop Counting!

T

here’s this guy. His name is Dr. Jason Fung. And he’s very likely the next weight loss guru we’ll all be talking about. Well, maybe not. The problem is that he doesn’t really have anything to sell, no seminars, no pre-made meals, no system, nothing except for a couple of books that call all of it, everything, into question starting with calorie counting.

Check out his book, “The Obesity Code,” where he makes the case that most of what we know about maintaining a healthy weight is wrong. Without going too deep into the weeds here, his central premise is that weight is gained and lost due to our hormones. And one hormone in particular: insulin. “Once you understand how insulin works,” he’s fond of saying, “you will understand health.” Now, that’s a bold claim, but it’s backed up with loads of research and an elegantly simple argument. First, a quick lesson where we’ll take the liberty of vastly simplifying the science, as he presents it. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which serves two very important functions: 1) it converts glucose, or 76

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blood sugar, to energy by allowing it to enter the muscles and, 2) it stores excess energy in the form of glycogen and fat. Just so we’re clear, glycogen is essentially glucose that is available for a quick burst when needed. Once we burn through it, say during a hard workout, we start using our fat for fuel. The problem for a whole lot of us these days is that we never get through the glycogen because there’s just so much of it that we never get to the stuff on our thighs. Let’s talk about how insulin is affected by our food choices. Everything we put into our mouths is from one of three macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Fat causes no insulin response. So, if you eat spoonful of coconut oil, for example, your pancreas doesn’t care, which is why Dr. Fung has gained notoriety, as a well as a bit of infamy, for his mantra: “Fat doesn’t make you fat.” Now, let’s have a look at carbs. If you eat a bowl of white rice, insulin jumps into action, first creating available energy (if it had been a candy bar, we’d call it a “sugar rush”) then it crams into the muscles as glycogen before taking the excess and storing it for future use, which is also known as body fat. Protein, on the other hand, is interesting because a modest amount has a negligible effect on the insulin response, but if you overdo it, say, by eating a massive T-bone steak, then some part of it—the percentage varies from one person to the next—is converted to glucose, which then triggers an insulin response. Dr. Fung identifies a few key reasons why Americans have developed a problem with obesity over the past forty years, some of them very well documented (Big Gulp, anyone?), but he lays most of the blame on one culprit in particular: snacking. >>


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“It’s when we eat,” he says, “as much as it is what we eat.” With our bodies continuously releasing insulin throughout the day, we don’t stand a chance. Why is that? Remember the two jobs insulin has, essentially releasing and then storing any excess energy. So, let’s take me as an example. Just now, I tossed a handful of pretzels into my mouth as I’m sitting here at my computer typing the words you’re reading. Guess what is happening inside my body at this very moment? First, my digestive system is breaking down those pretzels into glucose, which are entering my bloodstream, right about . . . now! Here comes the insulin and I’m feeling a little pick me up, but unless I go outside and run around the block, I will get to work making body fat. Great. Instead, Dr. Fung encourages his patients to skip all snacking and eat three square meals a day, or even better, just two, which is something he calls “intermittent fasting.” By closing the “feeding window” to just five or six hours per day, say lunch at noon and dinner at six, it gives your pancreas a break. And if your pancreas is not pumping out insulin, you’re not making fat. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. There’s no calories to count, no complicated meals to make, no shakes, no dieting. Just eat until you’re full and then wait to eat again until the next meal.

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Of course, there’s more to it than that, but for most of us, according to Dr. Fung, over time that habit alone will make the difference. Some of his other tips focus on the speed at which glucose is released into the blood stream as the faster it goes in, the more likely it will turn into love handles. From a metabolic standpoint, here’s what happens: Without fiber or fat to slow the breaking down of carbs to glucose, there is large spike of insulin released because the body is trying to guess how much is needed (keep in mind, there is nothing in our evolution where we have developed the ability to effectively digest a Twinkie). Invariably, our pancreas overshoots the amount of insulin needed and that extra hormone doesn’t just hang around doing nothing. Instead it gets to work, you guessed it, making fat.

DR. FUNG’S OTHER TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS: Natural fiber is good. In other words, a lightly baked sweet potato is far superior to French fries as it relates to insulin response. There is almost no fiber in the fries or any processed foods for that matter. One of the biggest culprits happens to be one of America’s favorite food. I’m looking at you, pepperoni pizza! Eat your carbs and sweets after you are already satiated by your fats and proteins. There’s a reason why desserts come following the meal, not before, as a full stomach blunts the speed at which glucose is released into the body. Eat the apple, but don’t drink the apple juice. According to Dr. Fung, fruit juice has the same metabolic effect as downing a Pepsi because it has been stripped of all its fiber, which triggers a massive insulin response. Turns out that nature got it right, so go ahead and enjoy all that fiber-rich carb-heavy fruit, but do it after a meal, ideally as a dessert.

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Don’t eat within three hours of bedtime. This is a big one for Dr. Fung. “Mindlessly snacking while watching Netflix will get you in trouble,” he says. He suggests indulging in a delicious dinner and eating enough to tide you over until it’s time to go to sleep.

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For most of us, there’s just no way to exercise our way out of obesity. Instead, the easiest, fastest, least painful way to do it, he claims, is to just stop eating. While he is known to guide his patients through extended multi-day fasts, he says, “If you can stick to a healthy lunch and dinner with no snacking, then your body will reset itself to a healthy weight. We’re not designed to be obese.” SLO LIFE

[off Broad Street]

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Rediscover your taste for fat. Dr. Fung has delved deep into the history, tracing our primitive roots as hunter-gatherers who above all else savored fat, which, he claims, up until the low-fat craze of the ‘80s, was always the most favored macronutrient. “If you want to lose weight,” he counsels, “you need to eat more fat.”


APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT’S PROP 39 / MEASURE L

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• Inform the public concerning the District’s expenditure of bond proceeds • Review financial reports ensuring that bond fund expenditures are consistent with Measure L • Present an annual report to the SLOCCCD Board of Trustees

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Applications are currently being accepted for committee members to serve that represent: • College Support Organization • Taxpayers Association • Business Community Organization • Members of Community at-Large

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SAY HELLO TO THE URBAN FOREST Did you know that the city’s Keys for Trees program donates a portion of all local hotel room charges to plant trees in our community? This is one of the ways visitors of SLO or locals looking for a staycation can travel sustainably and help support our city’s vision to be carbon neutral by 2035. Learn about our goal to plant 10,000 trees and how to make eco-friendly travel plans by visiting: VisitSLO.com/Sustainable-SLO

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| TASTE

Crazy On You Highwater spins a playlist of vintage rock, dishes, and drinks for an experience like no other in SLO. BY JAIME LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESS LERNER

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ine at Highwater in SLO, and it’s quite possible the word “singular” comes to mind. Eccentric, remarkable, and one-of-a-kind, this is an eatery that takes its cues from the people whose music peels through the speakers, whose LP sleeves serve as menus, whose faces decorate the walls. These are the Gods of Rock: musicians like Jimi, Ozzy, Prince, and Elton who blazed their own trail. “When we started thinking about our concept, we wanted what’s on our menu not to be anything available anywhere else in the city, or maybe even in the county,” says Matt Hanson, who owns Highwater with his partner and wife, Robin Wolf. But to tell their story—the story of Highwater itself—we need to rewind the tape back to the beginning.

Track #1: Raised on Radio Both Wolf and Hanson grew up in SLO County through the 1980s and ‘90s. Many of those years they spent washing dishes, bussing tables, and taking orders. “I’ve worked in this industry since I was seventeen,” says Wolf. “I think since the first moment I worked in a restaurant I knew I wanted to own one.” Her first job? The Denny’s on Madonna Road—the 10pm to 6am shift. “It was formative,” she says. Hanson’s first employer was Skonies in Los Osos. “I got hired as a dishwasher in an era when child labor laws weren’t as set in stone as they are now,” he says with a smile. “I wound up working in hospitality kind of for the rest of my life.” After high school, both were clocking long days and pursuing careers in theater when Hanson was accepted into New York’s Atlantic Theater Company. Soon, they packed up and moved east together, not realizing that working in bars and restaurants was their calling, not just a means to an end. “We were auditioning and working a fair bit, but it’s one of those things,” says Wolf. “You might have a contract for a job that lasts six months, and when that ends, you either go on unemployment or back to bartending or serving. For me, through that experience, I finally learned that hospitality is an okay thing to like doing and to be good at.”>> 80

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Matt Hanson and Robin Wolf

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Track #2: Into The Great Wide Open Hanson and Wolf steeped themselves in the New York cocktail and restaurant scene for ten years. Hanson tended bar for James Beard-awarded restaurants and published cocktail recipes in New York Magazine; Wolf took top honors as a drink-slinger in the world of competitive mixology. But after a decade of city living, they wanted to return to their roots in SLO County. So they packed up again and headed back west. (They even got hitched in Las Vegas, where “Elvis” walked Wolf down the aisle.) After working a few bartending jobs back in California, the newlyweds each found their niche in Paso Robles’s burgeoning dining scene. For many years, Wolf worked behind the bar and managed The Hatch, Maggie Cameron and Eric Connelly’s comfort food bistro. Just a block away, Hanson tended bar and managed Fish Gaucho, an ASH Management property featuring Mexican cuisine and a voluminous tequila and mezcal library. The two worked on parallel career paths, and both gained a reputation for excellent service and exquisite drinks. So why leave? >>

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Track #3: It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) “Highwater is an idea that’s evolved over the years from a daydream to a tangible and logistical one,” says Wolf. They’d been doing it forever for other people, and now they wanted it for themselves—a place they could crank the AC/DC, serve thoughtful cocktails and unexpected cuisine. They signed a lease on the old Sidecar space on Broad Street, and hired Nick DeShon, a Cordon Bleu graduate and Robuchon-trained chef, and asked him to develop a menu that centered on dishes unavailable anywhere else nearby; their only requests were fondue and fried chicken. The rest of the menu is equally nostalgic for the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s—but always with a modern twist. A classic Reuben sandwich gets a makeover as a lumpia spring roll. Beef wellington shows up with a jacket of potato puree rather than puff pastry. And desserts like lemon tart and chocolate cremeux are all served “push pop-style,” like frozen treats of yore. All the dishes are made to be shared, as are Highwater’s signature punches that serve six or twelve people from vintage crystal punch bowls. (Don’t miss The Rumpus Room, a punch based on “the birthday parties of our youth,” made with real Thrifty’s rainbow sherbet.) It’s the sort of place that encourages celebration among friends, where everyone can try the meltingly tender fried chicken, dip a wedge of grilled pear in fondue, and sip an artfully composed garden-to-glass cocktail.

Track #4: Let’s Dance The walls make very good company at Highwater, where portraits of Debby Harry, Joan Jett, and Freddy Mercury look down. And painted bigger than any of them, floating over the bar like a benevolent deity, is Bowie. “I got this tattoo the day he died, and I cried the whole time,” Wolf says, pointing at a lightning bolt on her wrist. “I think we knew he’d go over the bar before anything else.” But just because these husband-and-wife owners agreed on which musicians to paint on the walls doesn’t mean they agree on everything, Wolf says. “I mean, Matt is ride-or-die Peter Gabriel Genesis, and I’m a bit more Phil Collins.” SLO LIFE

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| WINE NOTES

STEVE AND PAULA DOOLEY OF STEPHEN ROSS WINE CELLARS 86

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teacher by trade BY DAN FREDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RUBY WALLAU

M

ankato, Minnesota is not intuitively the sort of city thought to breed great winemakers, but Stephen Ross Dooley fell in love with science at an early age. His parents were teachers and encouraged his curiosity. At some point, his mother mentioned that adding yeast to grape juice would turn it into wine. This sounded pretty cool to him, leading to some basement fermentation experiments. After graduating from high school and attending college in Mankato, he wrangled a transfer to UC Davis to study winemaking. Following

his graduation in 1977, he spent ten years as cellarmaster for Louis Martini before signing on with winemaker Dick Graff at Chalone in 1987. “Chalone had recently entered into a partnership with the Niven Family in Edna Valley,” says Dooley, “and I was sent down here to make wine for Edna Valley Vineyard. Dick was a private pilot, so once a week he’d fly down from his house in Soledad. I’d pick him up at the SLO Airport and we’d taste wine and talk about winemaking. It was like earning a masters degree in winemaking.” “I left Chalone to start Stephen Ross Wine Cellars in 1994 and married Paula the next year. She took over the business and marketing work at the winery and I concentrated on the winemaking. I was still involved in projects for Chalone and helped design the Tolosa Winery and through >> JUN/JUL 2022

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all of this, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars moved around to different facilities every couple of years as the business grew. We opened our current winery on Suburban Road in SLO in 2008, and we finally had a proper tasting room and could open up to customers.” Ryan Deovolet, the owner/winemaker at Deovlet Wines and Winemaker at Biddle Ranch Vineyard was the Dooleys’ first hire in 2005. “There was not only this huge connection with what Steve had learned in that first wave of graduates at UC Davis, but there was all the practical experience he’d gained working at Louis Martini and Chalone. Steve didn’t just teach me formulaic winemaking philosophy, but he showed me the calloused side of winemaking: all the gumboots, cellar maintenance, barrel cleaning, and ‘elbow grease meets lab’ components that are at the heart of becoming a real winemaker.” The Stephen Ross label emphasizes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in some of the top vineyards in the SLO Coast AVA. They share ownership of the Stone Corral Vineyard in Edna Valley with Talley Vineyards and Kynsi Winery and produce three separate wines each year from the site. The Stephen Ross Edna Valley Estate Pinot Noir is made 100% from Stone Corral fruit and offers tremendous value—you get a single vineyard wine for the price of a regular bottling. A step up is the Stone Corral Pinot Noir. Its 125-case annual production comes from five of the best barrels from the vineyard. The top-level Arête bottling is made from Dooley’s favorite two Stone Corral barrels each vintage. This wine takes everything up a notch in terms of complexity and flavor while still maintaining the grace and elegance that his wines are known for. “Pinot and Chardonnay are core wines that we produce every year, but last year we made some Grenache Blanc,” says Dooley. “We won’t make that every year, but it gives us some room to jump around. We also rotate Albariño, Grenache, Gamay, and Pinot Noir Blanc depending on grape availability, plus we have a label called Flying Cloud for Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.” Dooley’s winemaking style can best be described as pure and transparent, aimed at allowing the character of the grapes to transcend the winemaking techniques, finding a delicate balance between a wine’s flavors, aromatics, and structure. “I wouldn’t call myself a big fan of natural 88

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winemaking, but after talking with friends working that way and tasting their wine, I’ve begun actively trying to reduce the amount of SO2 we’re using. We keep the cellar super-clean, we steam our barrels, and we don’t have brettanomyces, so we don’t need to use additional sulfur to right any wrongs. Why add something that takes away from the wine just because ‘that’s how it’s always been done?’” Dooley also makes wine for Peloton Cellars, Cutruzzola Vineyards, and Piedra Creek Winery. He works closely with each owner to make sure the wines reflect their vineyards and the owners’ personal style preferences. “There are sometimes differences of opinion but rarely any strong disagreements as to the finished wine,” he says. “Some of my clients like to pick a little later than others to make a richer wine, and others like to age their wines in new oak, while I’d go with stainless steel tanks. But >>


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we talk everything over and we all wind up pretty happy with the results. This collaborative winemaking approach keeps me thinking about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it—I get to play with new grape varieties and experiment with different winemaking techniques and the wine benefits from everyone’s input.” Jill DeLaRiva Russell began working at Stephen Ross Wine Cellars shortly after graduating from Cal Poly. “Steve and Paula taught me that success in the wine industry came from focusing on quality, quality, and even more quality in all aspects of winemaking. Steve’s a perfectionist, and that’s stuck with me. Teaching me to make exceptional wine was one thing, but he and Paula showed me the importance of living the best life possible while doing so. Fresh out of college, I was more than a little career-driven, but I’d begun thinking about my future, not just in wine, but in how I wanted to live my life. I saw in them a healthy lifestyle, a loving marriage, and a desire to not let the business get in the way of the relationship.” In addition to his winemaking, Dooley serves as the President of the SLO Coast Wine Collective. This group of thirty-two wineries was behind the awarding of the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area) earlier this year. Kathleen Naughton, Executive Director of the group, says about Dooley: “I’m always surprised that Steve doesn’t have more notoriety in the public, but in the industry, he’s considered among the founding fathers of the Edna Valley wine scene. He takes his role very personally and the successes of the organization are directly associated with how much work and effort he’s put into it. Paula is also extremely supportive of our work, staying in the background but when she sees areas where I’m having difficulties, she has an idea or suggestion to resolve situations. She has great insight and is very tactful, and I’m appreciative of having access to her skills and talent.” Thinking about where he is today, Dooley muses, “I don’t necessarily enjoy the spotlight, but I embrace the responsibility. But I don’t need to be out there waving the flag all the time. If you’ve been in this business for forty-five years and you’re interested in learning new things, then you’re going to know a lot of people and be able to pass what you’ve learned along to others. I kind of look at this place as Stephen Ross University—we’ve had so many great people come through here who’ve gone on to become winemakers at good wineries. It makes me feel good about we’ve accomplished with our wines.” SLO LIFE

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2021 Stephen Ross Edna Valley Chardonnay // $30 Steve Dooley has been making a version of this wine since the late 1980s and these days it sets the standard for just how good an entry-level (i.e., non single-vineyard) wine can be. He says that 2021 was an epic vintage in Edna Valley, with the weather conditions being perfect. The grapes came from Greengate, Paragon, and Bee Sweet vineyards and were whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented before being aged in French barrels. The wine shows richness, with aromas of pear and stone fruits with some baking spices, but the deft use of oak allows the perfectly-ripened California fruit to marry well with a more Burgundian structure. The wine drinks equally beautifully on its own or paired with food and will only add more complexity once it’s had another year or two in the bottle. 2021 Stephen Ross Spanish Springs Vineyard Albariño // $28 This comes from the ultra-cool climate Spanish Springs Vineyard on Price Canyon Road, one-and-a-half miles from the ocean. The site gets fog and wind all year and that coolness swirling around the vines extends the growing season, resulting in complex wines. It’s fermented and aged in stainless steel and is clean and crisp and exceedingly yummy. Loads of fruit but it’s not sweet—the cool weather ensures that the grapes retain their acidity and don’t get too ripe and sweet. Enjoy this one with seafood or on its own. It’s an extremely versatile wine that’ll have you wanting another glass (it’s so good they ought to sell this in magnums).

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JUN 10 THROUGH

A New Frame of Mind

JUL 3

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| BREW

Raconteur Room BY BRANT MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD MEANEY 92

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n an almost Herculean feat, I managed to travel 646 feet in elevation and braved going over the grade to visit a drinking hole with no equivalent in San Luis Obispo. I’ve made this trek before and never regret the visit, but this time I wanted to visit professionally and dig a little deeper into what makes the Raconteur Room just so unique. Clearly, it is the vision of the owners, Tyler and Shannon Clark, along with the heavy-handed influences of their two little girls, that shines through and makes this place so much different than your standard bar. Having come from a beverage background that extended for one-and-a-half decades, including founding the Libertine Pub, Brewery, and Tap Room it is an easy transition to start a bar. But, where to start? Full disclosure: Tyler and I have known each other for quite a while, both emerging in the SLO County beer scene at around the same time and then hosting Central Coast Craft Beer Radio, which dominated the “drive home” airwaves for four years, getting into some antics along the way. Our wry sense of humor and drive to push the industry have bonded us, yet despite that, I’ve only visited his new spot a handful of times. Again, that pesky grade. It’s so insurmountable I sometimes sympathize with the >>

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Donner Party as I trudge all the way to the next town over to have a beer with a friend. It’s always worth the trip and I tell myself to do it again sooner. The Raconteur Room is located just off Traffic Way in Atascadero, in the heart of downtown. As a matter of fact, you can sit on their patio and look down the side street for a full vista of the City Hall and Sunken Gardens. Tucked unassumingly into a row of small shops, including next-door neighbor Traffic Records and a vintage amusement shop, passing through their small fenced-off patio and entering into the Raconteur Room, you will find yourself surrounded with décor that can only be called “personality.” Although a holdover from the prior tenants, the checkerboard floor just seems to be in place as you first gaze around an open space filled with vintage posters, framed photos of celebrities in their kitschiest glory, a small piano covered with prayer candles, and furniture hand-picked by Shannon on a wild bender through every vintage and thrift shop in the county. There’s even a modest stage across from the bar hinting at what is to come should I stick around long enough. The number of details to take in is almost dizzying, so I sit at the bar to help spin in the right direction. The bar top is covered in pennies drowned in epoxy and old WWF wrestling matches play on the projector screen behind me, while Roy Orbison spins on the

record player. Somehow this just makes sense. Now that it’s time to put in some serious work, I look over the menu. The benefit of being in the industry so long is that you not only have great taste and an understanding of how to put together a wide selection of beverages, but you also have some insider access to great beers that may be hard to find or not even distributed. The Clark’s frequently bring back kegs or cans from their trips to share with patrons. Photographer Todd Meaney is running around taking photos and contemplating lighting schemes, so I keep ordering beers to make sure I have full ones for a good photo. He found some great models/customers, so I’m off the hook for now. I don’t remember what I drank, but it’s irrelevant as their tap selection is ever-evolving and what is there one day may be gone the next. All I know is that the beers tasted good, the prices were great, and the banter was superb. I took this opportunity to chat with Tyler while he was bartending to A-town locals and international tourists alike. I asked a couple from the Netherlands if they came all this way to visit the Raconteur Room and they smiled and nodded. A clear “Yes.” Amazing reputation, I guess. Tyler and I caught up on the industry gossip and I got a few snippets of what was next in the works for him and the RR. I don’t normally write about bars, but this place comes with a twist. Cashing in on his years of connections, Tyler can create unique drinks to serve his customers. You can order two different types of wine he made with Sans Liege and Tyler Russell. Despite being a brewer by trade, he is passionate about drinking wine. This is more common with brewers than most know. Think of the Firestone Anniversary beers released every year, which rely on the county’s best vintners blending and judging each other’s creations to see which will win and become the coveted annual release. Tyler explains that he wants to be involved in every aspect of the wine-making process, not only to have a hand in his creation, but to learn each careful step. From harvesting grapes, punching down caps, and overseeing label artwork, he works for weeks on each offering and then patiently waits years for the final product to be bottled and served to customers. Further, he just wrapped up a brew day at Liquid Gravity collaborating on a West Coast IPA that will be available at both locations. This place is almost like peering into someone’s head. There was a vision that became reality and still changes and grows, ballooning into a physical manifestation of a rumpus room without any of the rest of the house attached. I think there’s an analogy of Tyler’s brain in there somewhere, so if anyone figures it out, please let him know. The only thing I know is that it’s refreshing to pull away from the sanitary reclaimedwood bar that has come to dominate most scenes and visit a place that somehow keeps you guessing, but still invites you to relax and unwind in a bar that makes casual look like it wears a button-up shirt and polyester tie. For now, take a seat in a turquoise velour wingback, crack the cap of an Underberg, and raise a pint to the Raconteur Room and their third anniversary. SLO LIFE

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3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo 805 549 0100

D E M U S CON A PODCAST

Join SLO Life food columnist Jaime Lewis for candid conversations about life and flavor with area eaters, drinkers, thinkers & makers.

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| HAPPENINGS

Culture & Events GREEK FESTIVAL

Feast on authentic dishes and pastries created from local home recipes, enjoy music and dancing, and a chance to win a cash raffle prize. Free admission and parking at the Madonna Inn Expo Center. June 4-5 // greekfestivalslo.com

XANADU

A Greek muse inspires love, laughter, and the world’s first roller disco in this 1980 glitter explosion of a musical presented by SLO Repertory Theatre. Based on the film by Universal Pictures, it’s a moving, electrifying tale of endless fun that features legendary, chart-topping tunes. Through July 3 // slorep.org

LIVE OAK MUSIC FESTIVAL

This three-day festival held at El Chorro Regional Park includes three stages, a collection of arts and crafts booths, music workshops, fireside jamming, dances, and entertainment for children of all ages. June 17-19 // liveoakfest.org

CAMILLE HOFFMAN

SLO Museum of Art presents the work of Chicago native Camille Hoffman, who crafts imaginary landscapes grounded in accumulation, rehabilitation, personal narrative, and historical critique. Her current work interweaves images with found objects in a unique mixed-media meditation on Manifest Destiny, and the exhibit is complemented with free family art activities and lectures. Through August 22 // sloma.org 96

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ATASCADERO LAKESIDE WINE FESTIVAL

Food, wine, art, and music all come together in a sun-splashed gathering overlooking Atascadero Lake near Charles Paddock Zoo. In its 25th year, this eclectic event features hundreds of premium California wines along with the best of regional craft brews, ciders, and spirits. Three live bands keep everyone entertained and in the mood for fun. June 25 // atascaderolakesidewinefestival.com

Live at the Lighthouse JUNETEENTH SLO

NAACP SLO County Branch hosts special events memorializing struggles, celebrating successes, and looking forward to justice achieved during its fifth annual celebration. June 18-19 // juneteenthslo.com

Kick off the 2022 Live at the Lighthouse summer concert series with The Jill Knight trio for a magical afternoon of music on the outdoor stage at the Point San Luis Lighthouse perched high atop the deep blue ocean. Plan to arrive by land (via shuttle) or by sea (via your kayak or boat). June 25-October 8 pointsanluislighthouse.org


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Dr. Arnie Horwitz

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

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Red, white, and blues

A San Luis Obispo tradition since 1946, SLO Blues Baseball offers a family-friendly setting at Sinsheimer Stadium with activities for the kids, a concession stand and beer truck, and, of course, a star-spangled fireworks show following this holiday weekend game against the Arroyo Seco Saints. July 3 // bluesbaseball.com

Shakespear Festival

Shakespearean in its epic passion and lush language, Cyrano de Bergerac is a romantic swashbuckling tale of love, honor, friendship, and panache. A timeless story that celebrates the power and beauty of love and the humorous and heartbreaking ways we try to express it. Held outdoors at Filipponi Ranch. July 22-August 14 centralcoastshakespeare.org

ROCK TO PIER FUN RUN

The fifty-second annual Brian Waterbury Memorial point-to-point six-mile run held completely on the beach from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier. Registration includes breakfast, awards, and a commemorative t-shirt. July 16 // morro-bay.ca.us

Steel Maganolias

OPEN FARM DAYS

Two days, nineteen farms, six routes: local family farms swing open their gates to welcome visitors to tour, taste, and learn about agriculture and products made right here along the SLO County Farm Trail. July 16-17 // farmsteaded.com 98

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At Truvy’s beauty salon you can always get the best hairdo—and the best gossip! A tight-knit group of Louisiana women gather regularly to bond, dish, and offer advice on everything from motherhood and marriage to tragedy and loss. Full of one-liners that have become part of the southern lexicon, Steel Magnolias revels in the power and grace of female friendship. You’ll laugh out loud, cry in spite of yourself, and fall in love with these characters that are “as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.” July 29-August 14 // slorep.org


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HAVEN PROPERTIES

To experience The Distinctive Life on the Central Coast by Haven Properties visit www.CentralCoastCollection.com

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