SLO LIFE Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

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SLO MEET STEVE KRAGENBRINK FEB/MAR 2013 wanderlust, crossroads & forbidden love PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT 113 SANTA ANA, CA BIG SUR salmon creek MUSIC BY PK + STYLE by DESIGN SAN LUIS berry farm SWIMMING with sharks ART reclaiming beauty ?Have You Tried Tabata NEW HEIGHTS
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6 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 SLOLIFE magazine February/March 2013 24 8 | Publisher’s Message 10 | Info 12 | Notes 14 | Timeline 16 | Q&A 18 | Places 20 | Meet Your Neighbor 24 | The Way We Live 28 | SLO City Real Estate 30 | SLO County Real Estate 32 | No Place Like Home 34 | Choose Your Adventure 36 | To Your Health 38 | Special Feature 42 | After Hours 44 | Music 46 | Small Business 48 | Arts 50 | Recipe 52 | Community Calendar 34 48 20 | CONTENTS

eat fresh.

Like most people, I’ve gone through points in my life where I could have afforded to lose a few pounds. The low point for me came probably eight or nine years ago, shortly after our first child was born.

As the story goes, I told my wife that I was headed out to the garage to run on the treadmill and try out our new Ab Lounger—one of those infomercial contraptions that promises “rock hard abs in 30 days.” Anyway, I turned on the game, hopped on the treadmill and started my run. When I finished, I ripped off a few dozen sit-ups on the Ab Lounger. After a while the football game started to tighten up and become really interesting, and since I felt that I had done enough exercising, I decided to reward myself with a beer (from the fridge, also conveniently located in the garage). I took a seat on the Ab Lounger, reclining back as far as possible with my beer in one hand and the remote in the other. At some point my wife wandered out to the garage with our newborn. Her laughter said it all, but being the great wife that she is, she simply offered me another cold one.

I was busted. And my abs were not getting rock hard as the Ab Lounger people had promised. I needed help. And it turns out that salvation would come in the form of a Subway sandwich commercial. The third quarter ended with a tie game and the television flashed over to Jared, who was hoisting up his 60-inch pants against a shadow of his former self, claiming that I, too, could overcome all odds and shed my beer belly—all I had to do was “Eat Fresh.” Sounded easy enough.

The next day I wandered into a Subway near my office. A bubbly young girl behind the counter enthusiastically greeted me and offered all sorts of appealing weight loss options. I settled on tuna, one of my all-time favorites. “Would I like to have double meat for just a dollar more?”… “Of course!”... “Cheese?”... Although not something I would normally put on tuna sandwich… “Sure!”… “Extra mayo?”… “Yes, ma’am!”… “Oil and vinegar”… “Yup, and yup!”

I settled into my seat and savored every bit of the healthy goodness. My delight was compounded as I read the back of my napkin which detailed the calorie and fat content of a variety of Subway sandwiches versus places like Burger King and McDonalds. Incredibly, most of the sandwiches contained just six grams of fat, my particular variety was not listed but tuna, of course, is every bit as healthy as turkey, probably much more so. I tapped my feet with happiness under the table.

My Subway diet continued for about a year. And I ate the same sandwich religiously every day for lunch prepared by the same girl who greeted me by name each time. That Jared guy was a genius and, as I told my friends, the Subway diet fit my lifestyle really well. The only problem was that I didn’t appear to be losing any weight. Actually, it was quite the opposite. So, I went online to to learn about their “additional nutrition facts.”

Their sandwiches were listed in order of fat content starting with their vegetarian options. I scrolled down the page looking for tuna, scrolled some more—now with panic starting to set in—I scrolled down some more. Finally, there it was, dead last! A standard tuna sandwich at Subway, which did not include any of the extras was 48 grams of fat! Accounting for double meat, extra mayo, and oil, I was easily chomping down somewhere around 100 grams of fat every day… for lunch alone! Turns out that my sandwich was much less healthy than the Big Mac they had been comparing it to on the back of the napkin—actually make that less healthy than two Big Macs! So much for Jared and his stupid pants...

I hope that 2013 is off to a healthy start for you. As always, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all to our advertisers, who have made it possible.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 9 778 Osos Street, Suite C San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.439.2323 Jed D. Hazeltine LL.M. Taxation Attorney At Law Offering caring, qualified representation in the following areas: Estate & Tax Planning • Trust and Probate Administration • Will, Trust & Conservatorship Litigation IRS Tax Disputes • Family Trustee • Elder Law Planning & Litigation “It’s important to find an estate planning attorney who you can trust. Estate and Tax Planning is complicated. Call me today for a FREE review of your will or estate plan and let’s talk about your plan for the future. You and your family will be glad you did. “ Currently serving San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County.

We want to hear from you!

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? Let us know! To have your letter to the editor considered for publication in the “Notes” section, please email it to Be sure to include your full name and city. And, it’s best to keep it to 250 words or less.

Promote your business!

Our advertisers get great results and we would like to tell you about it, but first we want to know about you and the objectives of your business. Call us at (805) 543-8600 to talk with our publisher, Tom, about different advertising programs—we have something for every sized budget. Or, you can log on to and we can send you a complete media kit and loads of testimonials from happy advertisers.

SLOLIFE magazine


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Tom Franciskovich


Sheryl Disher


Jeanette Trompeter

Paden Hughes


Chris Bersbach

Steve Cox

Brad Daane

Tony Hertz

Jon Weiner


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If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone at (805) 543-8600 or by email at


So many of the stories we publish come from our readers’ great leads. We are always looking for interesting homes to profile (see “The Way We Live” on page 24), have a recipe that your friends and family love? Share it with us! To get an idea, check out “Recipe” on page 50. Is there a band we should know about? Something we should investigate? Go to and click “Share Your Story.”

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 expressed written permission of the publisher.


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.

10 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
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Dear SLO LIFE, Tom Franciskovich’s article on Oceano Dunes is well done. We have been trying to inform the public of many of the facts he presented in his article in our series “What We Need to Know About Oceano Dunes” that ran on public access tv and can be seen at I especially appreciate the economic impact part, which contains much of the information in our documentary “Deadly Dunes and the Dollar”. In another of our documentaries, we have a recording of Andrew Zilke recanting the $200 million figure before a joint Chamber of Commerce meeting. It was all a public relations campaign by a state agency, California State Parks, to knowingly deceive the public. State Park’s defense of its health threatening pollution is based on the blowing sand being “natural”. The fact is that no other coastal dunes on the California Coastline other than the ODSVRA emit harmful PM10. Some PM10 is harmless, such as sea salt, but the airborne PM10 from the ODSVRA is carcinogenic silica.



I enjoy your magazine. I like reading the local stories and seeing familiar faces. My family and I really enjoyed the 9 Sisters article in the Dec/ Jan 2013 issue. However, we all agreed that a map pointing out the actual location of the 9 Sisters would have been a great complement- a nice added visual. I must say that we did have fun discussing and sharing which ones were which and where, and which ones we’ve climbed legally or otherwise over the years. Fun!

Dear SLO LIFE, Unfortunately my reaction to your use of the word “funky” in referring to the Bishop’s miter is that you are a bit too funky yourself to be editing a magazine that is supposed to put a good face forward to tourists...... etc. I am an atheist and therefore have no special concern for Catholic vestments in general, however, I wonder if you would refer to the head covering of an Imam as “funky”? Cute and sarcastic is expected in the New Times Shredder. Insulting the time honored symbols of the counselors to the Pope of Rome is just plain stupid.

Thank you for your note, Theodora. In explaining that Bishop Peak was named for a Catholic mitre (hat), we certainly did not intend to offend anyone (see “Getting to know the 9 Sisters” in the last issue). Nevertheless, we try to not take ourselves too seriously over here and rarely miss an opportunity to poke

fun, even at our own expense (see “Publisher Letter” on page 8, for example). Interestingly enough, we did not hear from any Catholics who objected to our use of the word “funky.” Regardless, we sincerely apologize to anyone who may have taken offense.

Dear SLO LIFE, I read with interest the article on the Nine Sisters in the December-January issue. I’d like to get more information about the topic, particularly the days of the year that Hollister Peak is open to the public. Can you put me in touch with the author of the article?

Thanks. Jim

We have received many requests inquiring about when Hollister Peak is open to the public and how to access it during those times. At this point, Jim, the trail has run cold and we have not been able to find this information. So, we would like to take this opportunity to ask our readers if anyone has an answer to the question: When is Hollister Peak open to the public and how do you access it? Please call us at 805-5438600 or email If we get an answer, we’ll publish it in the next issue.


Dear SLO LIFE, My husband, Richard Warren, and I were delighted to see the December issue of SLO Life Magazine. The “house on the hill” article was a great surprise and thrill for us. Richard designed, built and landscaped our amazing house over the course of four years. It was a true labor of love and continues to be a joy when we have visited the current owners.

Thank you, Maxine Warren

Dear SLO LIFE, This is the most boring house for rich people I have seen in a long time. With all the beautiful houses one can find in SLO, it’s really too bad you picked this one. I suggest you focus upon old houses that have been remodeled. These usually demonstrate some kind of artistic taste, and are a lot more interesting. There is one on Chorro Street, not far from Mountain View, that many people would like to see. Perhaps you could contact the owners.

Sincerely, Odile Ayral

We appreciate your feedback, Odile, but respectfully disagree with your assessment of the home (“The Way We Live – House on the Hill” Dec/Jan 2013) as being “boring.” If it came across that way in the article, then it was

12 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
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a failure on our part. With that said, it’s readers like you who keep us on our toes and help us continue to improve the magazine and, for that, we thank you for taking the time to write in. The home you had asked about on Chorro Street was profiled in our Spring 2011 issue (“The Way We Live – The Mulvihill Home”). Please be sure to send any home story leads you come across our way!


Dear SLO LIFE, You have an amazing picture (taken by Lance Kinney) of Avila and the beach and Poly piers in a recent issue of your magazine. Is there any way to contact the photographer to get the photo?

Thank you, Kelly Moreno

Thank you for contacting us, Kelly. We are big Lance Kinney fans, too, and received a lot of positive feedback about his shot that ran in our Oct/Nov 2012 issue (“Places – Avila Beach”). The best way to reach Lance, as well as to see more of his photography, is to visit his website at He can also be emailed at Be sure to tell him we say “hi!”


Dear SLO LIFE, My name is Kayla Hooper and I have been enjoying the “SLO Life” and it’s publication (thanks to your team!) for many years now.

I am truly in love with where I get to live and who I get to live with in this amazing community. In this small town, the degrees of separation get less and less the longer we all of the perks of living on the Central Coast! I was reminded of this truth after finally getting a chance to sit down and read the Dec/ Jan 2013 issue of SLO Life Magazine. After calming down from my excitement of seeing Lisa Leonard (a fellow acquaintance and church-goer of mine) on the cover I then had to regroup as I read through Butch Boswell’s feature (I manage a store in the Creamery next to his shop and have had the great privilege of getting to know Butch over the past 3 1/2 years). I love the people that I have the honor of doing life with here, in San Luis Obispo!


Dear SLO LIFE, Your article on “Morro Bay Camping” sure made me smile. One weekend back in the mid 1970s, my mother and stepfather were driving home to Los Angeles when they made a latenight, last-minute decision to overnight at the Morro Bay State Park campground. It was a decision that changed our lives. Mom says she and my stepfather fell in love with Morro Bay then and there, and knew that this was where they wanted to live. So they quickly got themselves moved up (I was away at college in the Midwest), bought themselves a business to run (the former “De Somer Appliance”), and then for many years were active, contributing citizens of the Morro Bay community. Other family members soon moved to the area, too. My stepfather has since passed on, but Mom continues to call Morro Bay home, and my husband and I love to come see her whenever we get the chance. And when we’re visiting, we always make time to drive through the State Park Campground -- a sweet reminder of how my family came to Morro Bay. Congratulations on your magazine, and with best wishes, Missy Williams Jerseyville, IL

Letters may be edited for content and clarity. To be considered for publication your letter must include your name, city, state, phone number or email address (for confirmation purposes).

Would you like to have your letter published?

Trustees at Cuesta College, by a unanimous vote, agree to eliminate ten programs and reduce twelve others in order to save nearly $800,000 annually. It is just one in a series of on-going efforts by the college to restore its favorable accreditation status.

The Mayan calendar ends with no nuclear blasts or alien invasions. But, Congress, not to be outdone, creates a lot of unnecessary drama with its “Fiscal Cliff.” Fortunately, unless you make over $400,000 per year, everything remains pretty much the same. And, if you do make more than $400,000 things are going to be… pretty awesome!

UC Davis Pavement Research Center (seriously, pavement gets its own research center?) agrees to have a look at Caltrans’ recent work on Highway 1 after local cyclists raise concerns over the resurfacing work from Cambria to the Monterey County line. Cyclists, who call it “a travesty” in their online petition, claim that the “chip sealing” process created a bumpy surface with larger than usual rocks, which can be dangerous if they are kicked up by passing cars.

December 12

December 21

January 8

December 19

December 31

County Supervisor Adam Hill fires off an email about local businessman Bill Thoma, who is leading the opposition to construction of a homeless services center on South Higuera (next to the government services center). In the letter, Hill resorts to namecalling and character assassination. He follows it up the next day with a lengthy justification for his first email. Hill then reverses course and apologizes on his Facebook page.

The music comes to an end for local financier, Al Moriarty, who, facing 19 civil lawsuits including fraud, breach of contract, and elder abuse, files for bankruptcy claiming $22 million in debts to $3.7 million in assets, including two Cadillacs and one Dodge Ram Van.

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Claiming it was “one of the biggest [storms] I’ve seen in my meteorological career,” local weatherman, John Lindsey, sent us this photo taken in Cayucos. The storm was powerful enough to make the legendary Maverick’s International surf competition in Half Moon Bay possible that weekend. When Peter Mel of Santa Cruz won the $50,000 prize, in an incredible show of goodwill, he split it with his six competitors.

Judge Charles Crandall awards local attorneys Stewart Jenkins and Saro Rizzo $130,000 in legal fees for their work in discharging tickets written for overnight homeless vehicle camping in the City of SLO. City Council, by a 4-1 vote (Mayor Jan Marx dissented) offers to waive its right to appeal if the attorneys give half of the award to CAP SLO, operator of the Prado Day Center. The offer is summarily rejected, bringing the City’s tab to around $270,000, which includes the legal fees paid to an Oakland-based firm to represent it in court.

January 17

January 20

January 12

January 20

January 23

The SLO City Library is packed with locals who attend a standing-room-only open forum to address homelessness. Although opinions vary about how to handle the problem, Dee Torres, head of the Prado Day Center, gets right to the point proclaiming that, “We are in crisis.”

SLO City Councilman, Andrew Carter, announced half-way through his term that he is resigning his seat to become the city administrator of Guadalupe. Carter was known for his vocal leadership in the repeal of binding arbitration, and he flirted with a run for mayor last year. SLO LIFE

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 15
SLO Chamber declares Phyllis Madonna its Citizen of the Year —rumor has it that she celebrated the award that night by “painting the town pink.”

Debbie Arnold


Where are you from, Debbie?

Originally, I grew up in the Bay Area. My father was an air traffic controller. And my mom had two Hallmark shops—card and gift shops. So, I just had what I would call a normal, middleclass upbringing. I worked through my teenage years for my mom at her shop after school. I had an aunt that had gone to Cal Poly and had married someone in the area and had gotten involved in ranching. I used to so enjoy those visits coming down to this area. That was really my introduction to the ranch lifestyle, and it made a big impression on me.

Is that what brought you to the area?

I came to Cal Poly at eighteen as an Animal Science major. And a couple of years after that I started dating my husband, Steve, whose family lived very near my aunt and uncle out in the Pozo Valley. We married in 1975 and it has felt like quite an adventure ever since. We lived in a small house on the ranch with no telephone. Many of the areas in North County had eight party lines, meaning you shared a single telephone line with eight households. And, so when you picked up the telephone, your neighbors would often be on it already. There was no privacy. My kids—they are 34 and 32 now— tell me that my generation was the era of transportation—people lived from horse and buggy to the man on the moon. And I tell them that their generation is the one of communication. Their dad would ride off on some young, unbroke horse every morning and I’d think, “I hope he doesn’t get in an accident.” Now we can talk to anywhere in the world from our coat pocket, right? But, I do feel so lucky to live in the end of an era.

How else was it different?

It was so quiet. You could see the stars so clearly at night because there was nothing, just nothing

out there. But, there was a lot more human interaction, I think. You would travel around to see your friends and have dinner together. We had one very fuzzy channel on the TV, if there was anything on at all. No telephone, no computers, nothing like that. No home entertainment. You entertained yourself with your friends, playing cards or visiting, having a barbeque, organizing a dance, all those kinds of things. That’s the way my married life started out. Lots of hard work, the weather got very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. And rattlesnakes were everywhere. But, I just fell in love with the lifestyle and the people. It was amazing and the scenery was just incredible, still is.

What was it about the lifestyle that made such an impression on you?

I remember when I was first around my husband’s family I thought, “Wow. No matter what happens around here, they take care it.” Of course, this was preregulations and before permitting

and all of that. If the plumbing broke, you fixed it; if the roof was leaking, you fixed it; if the car was broken, you fixed it. You were out in the middle of nowhere, so you learned how to do everything. You figured it out. I remember, too, my husband, we’d drive off in the car somewhere then come home and he’d say, “Oh, so-and-so was here” or, “This-and-that happened.” He could tell from the tracks in the ground. It was second nature to him, he was always reading the ground. And he still does that. He can tell who has been around just by looking down. He can tell you who drove in or what dog was here or whose horse was around. In fact, we came home last night—we go to Las Vegas every year for the NFR [National Finals Rodeo]— and he told us who had been there. It’s just a funny little habit. But, it’s a valuable skill out there, especially for dealing with cattle.

You seem to come from a different era; one that many people may not be so in tune with today...

You’re right, and I was pegged as some sort of Tea Partier crazy. And it’s so funny because the Tea Party people that I know, I guess there are Tea Party people all over the country, but they really were about that “Taxed Enough Already.” Like, “Hey, taxing us more isn’t going to help us. We’d rather spend our money at so-and-so’s restaurant or buy a new car from our neighbor down the street instead of just keep pouring it down some hole.” And, I never saw what the big old deal was about that. But, just all that stuff, like COLAB [Coalition of Labor, Agriculture & Business]. I’m glad they are there. They’re just a watchdog. Who doesn’t need a watchdog? Cause who has time to go to the Supervisor’s meetings? I hope that more of that comes along, from the right or the left, whatever your organization is. I mean, shine the light, because it’s our government. And, if we’re not paying attention, well the government thrives on you not paying attention. They’ll take your money and go do something else with it. [laughter]

But, aren’t regulations important? For example, what would you say to someone who is concerned about the environment? And, so am I. And, you know what, I’ve walked the walk my whole life. And I am very concerned. But, I believe that good environmental stewardship comes from a well educated populace and a stronger economy. When people are doing well, when the economy is doing well, you have more time, money and resources to take care of the environment. So, it’s just a different approach. I guess I am saying that I trust people to do the right thing, if it’s doable for them. Just as important to me is quality of life for all the families here. For the kids, let’s have some more sports fields, for example. Let’s do it. But, it all takes money. And we can have that. The opportunities are just amazing. So, we just have to take care of everything we have and make it better.

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| Q&A
a second try, she successfully unseated Jim Patterson on the County Board of Supervisors. As the only woman on the Board, it has been widely speculated that she will tilt the balance in a more pro-growth, anti-regulatory direction. She lives in the Pozo Valley with her husband, Steve, where his family has raised beef cattle for five generations. They also grow hay, grapes, and make wine. She owned a preschool in Atascadero for seventeen years prior to getting involved in local politics—first as a legislative aide and now as an elected official. We catch up with her as she begins her term…
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 17 805 541-1790 Call us today for your consultation Helping You Hear The Things You Love What did you just say?! Please, be my Valentine.




Serving as the dividing line between North and South County, the Cuesta Grade is so much a part of our everyday life that it rarely gets much of a second thought. Yet, it is an important gateway for commerce, tourism, and it even affects the weather. Driving down “The Grade,” as it is known locally, quite often feels like descending in an airplane through a cloud bank, as the cooler, foggier weather of the southern portion of the Central Coasts engulfs the vehicle. With a steep 7% grade, it is reported that when early automobiles first attempted to “go over The Grade,” they would often drive up in reverse (apparently reverse was in a lower gear than was first gear) in order to prevent overheating. In 1901 the railroad was completed on The Grade, connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles. Knowing that Amtrak’s Coast Starlight line would be coming through just before four o’clock in the afternoon, local photographer, Tony Hertz, finished his hike from the top of Stenner Creek Road around two o’clock to start setting up the shot you see here. As a photo journalist with work appearing in The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The New York Times, Hertz now also teaches his craft at Cuesta College. In discussing this photo, Hertz points out that “everybody is a photographer now—we all have cameras on our phones, and there are so many beautiful shots out there—but I want to see something that really breaks the mold.”

Do you have an amazing photo to share? Email it to


Steve Kragenbrink

In this installment of our “Meet Your Neighbor” series, SLO LIFE Magazine sits down for a conversation with Steve Kragenbrink. He and his wife, Julie, were high school sweethearts who share an impossible love story. They live in San Luis Obispo and have three children, Emma, 16; Noah, 5; and, Luke, 2. A lifelong lover of animals, Kragenbrink is the Community Programs Director at Woods Humane Society, where he serves as the voice of dogs and cats searching for local homes. Here is his story…

Tell us about yourself, Steve.

I’m the seventh son of a seventh son. I was born on the Ides of March. My oldest and youngest children were both born on January 22nd, fourteen years apart—how weird is that? Let’s see… my family is German and the name Kragenbrink means either “the guy with a broken neck” or “the executioner.” We’ve never been able to find out exactly. I grew up in Southern California, Tustin, actually. My father was a Wisconsin pig farmer, but he moved because he was tired of the cold. Growing up we did a lot of those trips back and forth to Wisconsin. I still have a lot of family back there. That’s also a really big part of me. I love the farm, mostly the animals. Before I was even able to read, I carried around a huge encyclopedia-type book with pictures and descriptions of all the animals in North America.

What was high school like for you?

I spent most of my time at the beach. I was kind of a guy that was on the fringe, really. I didn’t have a group that I belonged to, and I had long hair to my waist. I was the guy rolling into school with the surfboard and sandals and not really caring. I met my wife in high school. We were total high school sweethearts and had a Romeo and Juliet sort of experience. We were forbidden to see each other. Actually, we dated a couple of times before her parents got involved. They decided that they didn’t want us seeing each other. It got to the point where they basically forbid us to see each other. They actually took her out of our high school and put her in a Catholic school.


There was a lot of passion between us, and we snuck around to see each other, but it just became so difficult with the parents that we eventually went our separate ways. She stayed in Orange County and I went to do some traveling in Europe. I got ahold of a Eurail pass, started in Rome and made my way up to

London a couple of times. I actually did have a purpose—I was looking to see every Pietá that Michelangelo created outside of Italy; they were so amazing. So I did that a couple times, then I came back to the States and moved to San Francisco. I started my own marketing and promotions company there. I was the manager and owner of a nightclub—one of the best nightclubs ever—and was also a bartender and a bar manager at another one. So I spent a lot of time in the entertainment business up there. That was right during the whole dot com explosion and money was really the focus. Thinking back on it now, that was what I was so focused on. All I could think about was trying to earn money, spending money, play with money, have a good time—whatever it might be. I was having a good time.

Then why stop?

It really hit a headwind when it was my birthday one year. And I’ll never forget it. I was sitting there at a coffee shop, and I remember all my friends blowing up my phone with messages saying, “Happy birthday, happy birthday—we’re going to take you out to celebrate.” At that point, I literally turned off my phone and went to the movies. It really got me thinking that all I knew was who I was portraying. My friendships felt very superficial. On a whim, I packed up everything, sold everything. It was right when the bubble burst with the whole dot com thing. I remember sitting in apartments or being six or seven or eight floors up and watching, literally on the street single lines of U-Haul’s. It really got me thinking about material wealth, and questioning what’s valuable in life, and where do you place your values? And I could tell you, looking back on it now, the whole time I always wanted to grasp onto that raw, natural emotion that I had with Julie back in high school. I can completely, honestly say that I had been chasing that for years and years.

Ok, so what did you do about it?

So I packed everything up into a U-Haul one day and left. I didn’t even tell my folks I was coming back home. I just showed up one morning. It was like, “Hey, mom, I’m here for a few months! I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m rethinking life. I’m gathering into a huddle with myself and I’m trying to figure out where I’m going from here.” I was probably at my parents’ house for a couple of days, maybe a week when I decided to go check out the old coffee shop. It was one of those locations in life that will always have some sort of meaning to me. I decided to go back and check it out and have a latte and kind of reminisce on things; bring a sketchbook and just hang out and be really introverted. And I’ll never forget, I was sitting there and I looked up and I saw Julie’s reflection in one of the windows. It was one of those moments in your life where it’s very surreal. It’s like she wasn’t there physically, but I could see her image. The same image I had been chasing all this time. So, then there’s a fight or flight kind of reaction. [laughter]

Well, don’t keep us hanging! What did you do?

I finished my latte, got in my car and took off. And then I got about three blocks away. And it’s one of those things that is so hard to explain. But, literally, I was sitting there at a stoplight and something hit me. Life. A brick wall. I don’t know what it was. But, it hit me. The light turns green, and it’s a situation were I’m not going. Cars are honking behind me. And I’m not going. I’m just kind of daydreaming. I don’t know, I’m off in some weird place. But, it was a situation where I saw two paths open up in front of me. One of those paths leading back to the entertainment business back to living on the edge, back to doing what I was doing. And the other path was to turn around, not knowing necessarily what would happen, but to turn around and

20 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 21

see. I decided to turn around. I actually went back in and I positioned myself in the same chair that I was sitting in. I figured that if I can see her reflection then she could see mine.

Aw, come on… you didn’t even talk to her?

Later that night, the phone rings at my parents’ house. I pick it up and hear this, “Hi,” on the other end and instantly I knew it was her. Interestingly enough, she had remembered my parents’ phone number from high school. It was really weird, a completely surreal moment in my life. It was just a really weird day. So, it was just, “What are you doing? And what are you up to? How’s life been?” Then she asks me out for a drink. So, we hang up and I’m still just kind of weirded-out by the whole situation. Something felt just really strange—it was almost like my skin was buzzing; that’s probably the best way to describe it. I knew something was happening, like sixth sense or something. I don’t know. It’s just so hard to explain.

Well, how did the date go?

I think we had finished our second drink when she says, “Do you want to see pictures?” And, I say, “Uh, pictures of what?” And then she looks me right dead in the eye and says, “Pictures of our daughter.” Now put yourself in that situation where you are somebody who has been living life on the edge, living life to the fullest—whatever that means—full of debauchery, bad decisions, having a wonderful existence. And then all of a sudden you have a 2 x 4 slap you on the side of the head. Of course, my first thought was that there was no way she can be mine. But, then I look at the photo of this four-year-old little girl and instantly I knew. Instantly. It’s uncanny how much I look like my daughter, or my daughter looks like me. There was nothing I could say. I kind of went into a shock, a complete state of shock. I mean your life is just thrown through a blender. Wow. Wow this is really happening.

So what did you do?

I ordered another drink! [laughter] But, seriously, I found it so interesting that she had never tried to get into contact with me, she never expected anything of me. And I started feeling this flood of really weird emotions. And I thought to myself, “You’ve got to man-up. You’ve got to do something.” So my head is just spinning when we get back to her car. I lean over to give her a little hug goodbye and I just remember her grabbing ahold of my shirt and looking me in the eye and saying, “Is that it?” And then she just planted one on me. I’m already seeing stars, and now it’s like, “What the hell is happening to me!?” So, we let some time pass—maybe a week—before she invites me over to her house for dinner. It would be the first time I was to meet Emma. Julie had been telling her that she doesn’t have a dad. Anyway, by the time I arrived, Emma had already fallen asleep and was in bed. I ended up staying over that night and I remember waking up the next morning and seeing these little eyes kind of staring at me just over the bed. I was looking at these little eyes and these little eyes were looking back at me. At first it was kind of curiosity, but I can tell you that I’ve never seen so much wisdom in such small eyes before.

Did you tell Emma that you were her dad?

No, it was more a matter of me becoming more and more a part of her life. And I have so much respect for my wife for raising Emma on her own during those first four years. I remember her sitting me down and saying, “We don’t have to tell her that you are her dad. I’m not here to come after you. Make sure this is something you want to do because I am not going to tell her if you don’t.” So, we’d go out to lunch one day. The next day I’d come over to watch movies with her or I’d read stories. We took it really slow and didn’t tell her until four or five months into it. But, she seemed to know before then. It was one of those moments in my life, where even though I didn’t know I needed it, this huge weight

22 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
But, then I look at the photo of this four-year-old little girl and instantly I knew. Instantly. ”

had been lifted off. Almost like I had been floundering for so long that now I had something to ground me. Now I had something to really focus on that wasn’t me. Honestly, that is where I was up until that point in my life. It was all about me. Then I’m in this situation where I am, instantly, literally overnight, a dad to a four-year-old. It still amazes me.

So, how did you find your way here?

Not long after this all happened, we moved to the Central Coast so Julie could continue her studies in psychology at Cal Poly. And a couple of years after that we ended up getting married. I proposed to her at the top of the Empire State building. Her family is all from New York, so it was kind of important for her. The night before I proposed I found myself at a bar in Newark, New Jersey randomly sitting next a famous pro wrestler from the WWE named Big Show. I end up telling him our story and we get into this deep, philosophical conversation. He basically tells me, “Hey, you’ve really found something. Don’t wait, do it now. Do it right now.” Honestly, if it weren’t for this massive guy who pretends to beat people up for a living convincing me to do it, I don’t know if I would have proposed as soon as I did. [laughter]

So, Big Show closes the deal, and now you’re married, living in SLO. What’s next?

On a whim I walked into Woods Humane Society with my resume seven years ago and I’ve been there ever since. I have always loved animals. And I’ve always been a fan of the underdog. And for those that can’t speak for themselves, I’ll be the first one to step up and defend them. I see that I am able to utilize that passion a lot in what I do, especially when you’re talking about dogs and cats. You have some of that come from neglect or abuse or whatever it might be, and then the success stories that come from it. We adopt out 1,000 to 1,200 animals every year. I have come into contact with a lot of animals, but some of them really stand out. There was one dog, a dog named Jelly. Now, talk about true love. [laughter] I still keep a picture of her on my desk. It was the first dog I remember when I was first hired, probably my first week. She was a Rottweiler, an older dog, and she would go with me on all our education and outreach visits in the community. She ended up going kennel crazy and we had to put her down. I remember holding her and telling her that it would never happen to another dog again. And, I’m proud to say that it hasn’t.

Do you find any common thread with your journey so far? I think what it’s done is taken me in a completely different direction from where I was going. And, of course, finding my way to San Luis Obispo and falling in love with the community here; the environment here; watching my children grow up here, and really learning value. Now I’m struggling with the fact that my daughter has just turned 16 and is reminding me way too much of myself at that age. She’s going to Europe this summer. She has the same wanderlust that I have. It scares the hell out of me. [laughter] I just hope that she is able to take a little bit of my experience and learn from it. She has a really good head on her shoulders; she’s smarter than I am—don’t tell her I said that. It’s fun though. Every day is a new day. I find a lot of joy reflecting back on the situations I’ve been in; and then to think about the situations I’m in now; and look forward to where we are going from here. The relationship I have with Julie, I love my wife to death. The love I have for my kids, honestly, I would do anything for my babies, unquestionably. But, hopefully, we’ll be able to continue to grow. My thing now is just really making an impact here in San Luis Obispo County and having my kids understand the benefits and the joys of being a part of the community.

Thanks very much, Steve, it’s an incredible story. My pleasure. I just have one little request… whatever you do, please don’t plaster my face all over the cover of the magazine, okay? SLO LIFE



Nestled on a one-acre lot in the Rolling Hills area off Crestmont in San Luis Obispo, rests the 3,200 square-foot family home of Steve and Sheryl Chesnut and their three children. The home, which has undergone three significant remodels under as many owners, features a flowing, intuitive floor plan that facilitates a vibrant family-life as well as functional party hosting. Although well-appointed, the home is inviting from the first step through its dark, heavy, wooden doors.

The home’s interior is primarily the inspiration of Sheryl, who is a fine arts painter with extensive experience in both graphic and product design. She spent four years working at local company Native Trails, and inspired by their artisan crafted design, the home features their hammered copper sinks. The couple took liberty in experimenting with interior paint colors—they claim that the reddish paint used in the dining room “looked like Pepto Bismol” when it was wet. Fortunately, it dried back to the intended color which complements the natural woods of the dining room table. But, she is careful to avoid what she describes as a “matchy-matchy” furniture catalog look. Instead, an eclectic, yet wellconsidered interior unfolds as we walk through the home. Decorations range from pottery their kids made in school to items picked up from street vendors in Bejing. It could not be described as minimalistic, yet there seems to be just enough and everything has its place.

The dark floors are covered, in many cases, with an interesting mix of slightly worn, exotic rugs. When asked about them, Sheryl, with a somewhat sheepish expression, admits her affinity for buying rugs online. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ve bought them all on eBay over the years. Nothing for over a $100 though, which includes shipping.” She goes on to explain that each of the rugs is somewhere between 100 and 200 years-old and each one has been used by someone else in some far off place. Walking with her through the home feels somewhat like following around a museum docent, each rug has a story. One of her favorites, as it turns out, had a prior life as a prayer rug in Afghanistan.

Although their children are away at school—Kyle, 23, just graduated from UC Berkeley, their daughter, Jordan, 21, as well and their youngest, Derek, 18, are both attending the University of Oregon—their rooms have been kept in-tact for when they are in town. Each one reflects a unique and individual personality. The master bedroom is large and airy, but not overwhelmingly so. A collection of Sheryl’s artwork is displayed as well as some favorite family photos. The focal point of the master bedroom would be the bed’s headboard, which Sheryl designed from a coffee table. While displaying her paintings at the Sausalito Art Festival, the table had caught her eye. As the story goes, throughout the day she could not stop thinking about the piece, when out of the blue the artist who had built it stopped by her booth to tell her how much she loved her art and would she consider a trade. Artwork changed hands and the tabletop was eventually removed and repurposed as a headboard.

The detached garage features a studio apartment, complete with a bathroom and plumbing which was the perfect space for the kids and their friends when they were teenagers. Now the space serves as Steve’s home office where he works as a nuclear engineer, occassionally stopping to take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Just past the garage sits an old, corrugated steel barn-like structure that houses Sheryl’s art studio; between it and the vegetable garden can be found an impressive array of solar panels. Well-worn paths connect the outdoors to the indoors, indicating a constant flow of motion over the seven years the family has lived in this place they call home.

24 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | THE WAY WE LIVE
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 25


A warm color pallet, carefully considered furnishings, and personal artwork come together to create an inviting master bedroom that serves as an oasis at the end of the day.



The Chesnuts appreciate this copper sink not just for its aesthetic beauty, but also for its hand-crafted quality. And the bonus, it’s made from recycled copper—the reclaimed metal not only looks good, but highlights their belief in environmental responsibility.

The woodburning fireplace and seating combine beautifully with the outdoor kitchen, taking advantage of the expansive views from the Chesnut’s one-acre property.

26 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 27 smart, ecle ctic, art to live on 181 Tank Farm Road, Suite 110 (at Cross & Long Streets, behind Trader Joe’s) 805.544.5900 | Hours : Monday - Saturday 10-6pm Lic. no. 887028 The garden connects us to Nature and to each other. It is a refuge for rejuvenation, a sanctuary for the spirit, and a haven for having fun. visit - or- call 805.215.0511

the numbers

laguna lake

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

tank farm

cal poly area

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2011 48 484,482 468,624 96.84 108

2012 55 562,209 547,171 97.86 61

+/10.42% 16.04% 16.76% 1.02% -43.52%

2011 27 605,559 590,366 97.53 81

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2011 19 541,998 517,494 95.04 96

2012 34 586,335 575,850 98.16 58

+/25.93% -3.17% -2.46% 0.63% -28.40%

2012 22 499,959 479,625 96.17 46

+/15.79% -7.76% -7.32% 1.13% -52.08%

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2011 22 898,145 837,454 94.13 130

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

foothill blvd

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2011 39 632,253 576,013 93.31 106

2012 19 797,732 766,921 96.29 119

+/-13.64% -11.18% -8.42% 2.16% -8.46%

2012 47 609,726 593,223 97.85 58

+/20.51% -3.56% 2.99% 4.54% -45.28%

2011 39 540,684 515,447 96.08 69

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2011 35 544,814 517,188 94.95 87

2012 48 534,854 526,923 98.77 31

+/23.08% -1.08% 2.23% 2.69% -55.07%

2012 54 582,094 571,415 98.47 67

+/54.29% 6.84% 10.48% 3.52% -22.99%

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS®

28 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
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johnson ave

The next generation in real estate

Innovation breeds success and at Tartaglia Realty we have combined 4 generations of our family business with current technology and trends to better serve your needs. The results are our continued commitment to top-quality service and the benefits of today’s technology. Our website provides real-time property data, easy search functionality, resources for buyers and sellers and a blog where we can address questions from people just like youour Central Coast neighbors.

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 29 805 . 544 . 1244 • t a r t a g lia r e al t y . c o m
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Selling homes and living the SLO Life for over 60 years!

465,595 300,000 718,750 450,000 622,500 315,000 300,000 315,000 400,000 340,500 250,000 535,000 301,625 220,000 279,000 280,000 520,000 279,000 451,000 364,000

465,000 320,000 695,000 485,000 690,000 487,500 314,000 326,500 426,000 403,000 260,000 570,000 325,000 248,500 350,000 325,000 539,500 268,600 425,000 390,000

by the numbers
MEDIAN SELLING PRICE SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ® 1042 Pacific Street, Suite E, San Luis Obispo 805.546.8113 MINTON INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES Insuring what you value most SHAWN MINTON Multiple Line Broker Lic# OF43815 AUTO • HOME • LIFE • HEALTH • COMMERCIAL We provide the personal service you deserve WEALTH MANAGEMENT David S. Nilsen President & Chief Financial Advisor 1301 Chorro Street, Suite A San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.541.6500 Risk Management | Estate Planning Accumulation | Taxation | Business Planning | Retirement Planning INVESTMENT RETIREMENT INSURANCE David Nilsen is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with/and offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor, Insurance Lic. #0B50436. Fixed Insurance products and services offered by Obispo Wealth Management are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. Can you retire? Give us a call for a free review of your Retirement Income Plan.
Arroyo Grande Atascadero Avila Beach Cambria/San Simeon Cayucos Creston Grover Beach Los Osos Morro Bay Nipomo Oceano Pismo Beach Paso (Inside City Limits) Paso (North 46 - East 101) Paso (North 46 - West 101) Paso (South 46 - East 101) San Luis Obispo Santa Margarita Templeton Countywide
2011 292 317 14 137 46 8 104 120 159 228 61 115 422 95 91 84 275 19 106 2,693 2012 341 320 16 170 57 14 107 204 136 248 54 121 428 80 116 78 354 26 134 3,004
2011 113 94 86 129 210 74 80 95 120 116 84 141 98 100 126 73 103 161 110 108 2012 103 96 194 106 180 191 101 79 117 101 111 101 77 85 120 124 64 70 94 95
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Treebones Resort in Big Sur

Even if you live in paradise, you still need an escape every once in awhile. And when you live where we do, you don’t have to travel far. We found a spectacular getaway less than 70 miles from San Luis Obispo, “It’s lovely, it’s really, really a lovely place,” says Arne Fismen who was visiting from Oslo, Norway.

Treebones Resort is on the southern edge of Big Sur and offers up the spectacular ocean views of other resorts along Highway 1 at a fraction of the price. Those not quite ready for roughing it, but still wanting to take in the beauty of the great outdoors, will likely find the yurts at Treebones a perfect fit. Think camping with training wheels. “They’re amazing,” says Fismen. “It’s really wonderful, and this whole place is scenic. And the yurts... it’s luxury camping.”

There’s actually a name for this new trend— “glamping,” or glamous camping. Treebones owner John Handy says he and his wife were unaware of the trend when they built the place in 2004. “We started with the concept of perching lightly, like animals build their homes, without tearing the trees down.”

What they came up with was the yurts—stilted long-term tents, really. But a far cry from sleeping on the ground. “It’s got polished pine floors, nicely furnished, a beautiful comfortable bed with the best mattress we could find. It’s got a gas stove for heating,” explains Handy. There’s a sink with hot and cold water, and room to move around. You will have to make a trek up the hill to use the restroom, but otherwise, it’s pretty luxurious. “But you actually are camping here in a way,” Handy points out. “You’re staying in a tent. It’s just something a whole level above what you did as a kid in a pup tent.”

You’ll hardly feel like you’re staying at a campground either. The pool and hot tub have ocean views. An organic garden provides a lot of the food served up in the cozy dining room at Treebones. Or have your meal at the redwood bar overlooking the Pacific. It’s a great place to catch the sunset or keep watch for whales passing through. And you don’t have to be an overnight guest to do so.

“We love it when people just stop by,” Hardy says. “We have great soups, great sandwiches, great salads at lunch time. And then at dinner you can stop by and have sushi at the sushi bar or have a glass of wine out at the redwood bar. We welcome people, even if they aren’t overnight guests.”

And old-schoolers who still like to pitch a tent rather than rent a more upscale option will find some of the nicest campsites anywhere at Treebones, including the most unusual: a human nest with a bird’s eye view of the Pacific. The Nest isn’t as roomy as the yurts, and you do need a sleeping bag, but when is the last time you stayed in a treehouse? And you’ve likely never stayed in one with a view like The Nest.

Hardy points out that the location of Treebones Resort makes it a perfect place to set up camp and explore Big Sur. “We want people to experience this rugged, beautiful coastline. You can venture out of Treebones and take hikes, go down to beautiful Sand Dollar Beach, or up in the mountains. And, all the trails happen to be really close to Treebones.” It’s more proof, there’s No Place Like Home.

Jeanette Trompeter, KSBY News anchor and reporter, hosts the “No Place Like Home” series every Tuesday evening at 6pm.

32 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
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Big Sur:

salmon creek

On the Central Coast, Big Sur is the king of greenery, and it is never more abundant than after winter rains. The rain not only paints the countryside green, it also creates surging waterfalls. If you have an affinity for hiking, enjoy the outdoors and find beauty in waterfalls—you cannot miss Salmon Creek in Big Sur.

Salmon Creek is one of the most popular hikes in Southern Big Sur, along scenic Highway 1. Although just over an hour’s trek to the trailhead, the drive should be counted as one of the trip’s advantages. The route carries travelers past Morro Rock, through Cambria, below Hearst Castle, past a raucous elephant seal colony, and along the weaving highway clinging to the sides of the rising Big Sur cliffs.

To find the Salmon Creek trailhead, drive north from Morro Bay on Highway 1 for 48 miles to the Monterey County Line. From there, the trailhead is only one-and-a-half miles further, just after a sharp hairpin turn you will see the trailhead sign announcing the hike’s start.

There are two stunning waterfalls along this hike. The first can be seen from the highway, and is only 0.2 miles from the trailhead. If you have young children, the first waterfall will likely be your destination, and you will not regret it. Couched in a labyrinth of haphazardly placed boulders, tall trees clothed in moss and enveloped in a heavy mist from the powerful waterfall, you can easily wind your way down the the creek banks to get a view of the 100-foot cascade of water.

After basking in the power of the falls and enjoying the radiant scene, you may be inspired to seek out the second waterfall. Trace your steps back from the banks of the first waterfall to the trail, and then continue up gaining another 500 feet in less than a mile.

The panoramic views you get of the Salmon Creek Valley and the ocean in the distance are truly breathtaking and the real reward of the journey. So before the summer tourists hit the Big Sur trails, add Salmon Creek to your to-do list. It is definitely worthwhile.

Warning! The elevation gain in the beginning of the hike is not for the faint of heart, and some of the trails move precariously close to steep slopes, so watch your step. There is also a tremendous amount of poison oak if you venture off the path.

34 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

The trail is designed to cater to the interests of every type of hiker, providing several key highlights along the path. The milestones of the full hike include: the lower falls (0.2 miles), Spruce Creek Camp (2.0 miles), second waterfall (2.6 miles) and finally ends with Estrella Camp (3.25 miles). SLO LIFE


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No one is completely sure why Tabata training works so well, but much research starting after 1996 when it first hit the scene proves that it does. Although it had been thought that sustained endurance activities such as running or swimming were best at burning fat, Tabatas have proven to be more effective. Same goes for strength.

36 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | TO YOUR HEALTH
it so effective?
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Pick an exercise, let’s take push-up’s. Instead of doing 20 push-up’s, for example, you will do as many push-up’s as fast as you can for 20 seconds. You will then take a 10 second break. After the break you will do another 20 seconds, pushing yourself as hard as possible with no rest until the next 10 second break. This goes on for eight sets, a total of 4 minutes.

If done properly, Tabatas are hard, really hard. You will be exhausted after one full 8-round Tabata. But, look on the bright side, they only last 4 minutes and then you are done!

Consider downloading a free app called “Seconds Free” by Runloop onto your smart phone. Select “create new timer” then choose the “round timer wizard” to set up for Tabata. SLO LIFE

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 37
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do I get started?

Plowing the field of dreams

During those dark days of 2008, as the stock market was dropping 800 points a day, major banks were failing, and massive layo s became the norm, a disconcerting thought occurred to John Rourke: “What happens if there is a run on the banks and money becomes worthless? How would I feed my family?” By deductive reasoning, Rourke gured that if the worst-case scenario did become a reality it would make a lot of sense to be able to produce your own food. And, because Rourke has a reputation for doing nothing on a small scale, his ve year education in food production is now manifesting in the San Luis Berry Farm at the intersection of Los Osos Valley Road and Foothill Boulevard.

It all started with chickens. A half-dozen chicks began yielding enough eggs for his family of ve. ose eggs were also valuable, as it turns out, for bartering. And before long, a loose exchange rate was worked out between friends and neighbors. A dozen fresh eggs could fetch four or ve avocadoes or a dozen or so apples. With a successful chicken venture under his belt and with the possibility of a catastrophic economic meltdown becoming more remote, Rourke realized that he really enjoyed learning about food, and how to grow it. And, his education continued in earnest. Next he built an aquaponics system in his driveway. For those unfamiliar, aquaponics is a process whereby a complete “closed loop”

38 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013
how the San Luis Berry Farm is banking on a better tomorrow, one seedling at a time.
PARTNERS left to right John Rourke and Chris Freitas
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system is created. Water is pumped from a massive fish tank to plants above that are growing in gravel. No soil is used and the fertilizer is supplied by the fish, which, of course, you can also eat. A survivalist’s dream come true.

Books were studied, websites were visited, and conversations were had with just about anyone who would listen. And, there was one person in particular who kept coming back for more. Before their softball games each Monday night, John Rourke and Chris Freitas were inseparable. Conversations began and ended with how to grow food. And it was during those conversations, often resuming after the game and continuing on well into the night, that a partnership was born.

Having grown up in the agriculture business in Texas, Freitas knows his way around a farm. And he looks as comfortable sitting atop a tractor as he does studying soil samples. He says his time spent as a student at Cal Poly’s School of Agriculture was an important and formative experience. “I just soaked it up. Spent all the time I could visiting local farms and asking people what they were growing, what was doing well,” relays Freitas in a barely perceptible Texas drawl. Upon graduating, he took his knowledge to the “Great Salad Bowl,” otherwise known as the Salinas Valley, and become one of the first to grow sugar snap peas. One thing led to another and before long he was growing 1,000 acres of specialty produce. At some point along the way a large corporate farm took notice of the young up-start and decided to send him a sharp-elbowed message: “Sell us your farm, or we will put you out of business.” Freitas opted for the former and accepted employment as a produce broker, buying from farmers and selling to large grocery stores.

But memories of the farm never faded and all the traveling involved in his job, frankly, was getting old. It was while sitting in a seminar back in Arkansas seven month ago that Freitas resolved to, once again, follow his passion. “This guy from Wal-Mart was talking about high global food costs and how sustainable small farms were the future. That’s when it hit me. I came home and wrote it down on this little white board at my house. And that’s when things started falling into place.”

The friends, who had met less than a year prior, began identifying a list of requirements for their potential farming venture: food had to be organic and locally grown using environmentally friendly processes; there had to be some sort of educational or community outreach component; it had to be family-friendly, as they both have young children; and it had to be sustainable and create local jobs. Much like he did in college, Freitas started talking with local farmers. Rourke followed suit, “What are you growing? What are people buying? And, more importantly, what is missing and what should be grown here?” Over and over the response came back: Strawberries.

As they began to research what it would take to effectively grow organic strawberries, it became apparent that the answer was right in front of them. “I live across the street from the Jewish temple, and I’ve always looked out at the field and salivated over it,” explains Freitas. “So, when we were honing in on what we needed, it started to become obvious that this would be the perfect spot to do it.” And, because one of the most important and difficult requirements of receiving the coveted USDA Certified Organic label—starting the crop in soil that has been allowed to sit for at least three years—had already been met, it would allow them to get to work right away. And because of the recent, well-publicized financial challenges of Congregation Beth David, the leaders of the synagogue were eager to strike a deal. In what could only be described as a “win-win” outcome, the two parties did not waste any time establishing an agreement that strengthens Congregation Beth David’s financial footing for generations to come by allowing Rourke and Freitas to aquire 72 acres of farmland around the temple. Out of this, the partnership is formalized and the San Luis Berry Farm is born.

No sooner had the ink dried on the deal than the first tractor appeared at the well-traveled intersection of Los Osos Valley Road and Foothill

Boulevard. Plowing revealed what the partners had suspected: beautiful, dark, nutrient-rich soil. Planting followed soon after and, assuming that the weather cooperates, which is always a big assumption in farming, berries will go up for sale in a roadside stand starting at the end of March. But, that’s just the beginning, as plans are already underway for a “farmto-table European-style restaurant.” Rourke lays out the vision, “The idea being that patrons will be able to see exactly where their food comes from. And if it isn’t grown right here, it will come from somewhere nearby. Think rustic, old-Italian village with an earth oven. It cannot be any fresher.” But, it doesn’t stop there.

The overall vision for the San Luis Berry Farm is one that might fall under the recently created business category of “agritainment,” which, as the hybridized word indicates, is a combination of agriculture and entertainment. As purely agricultural operations, particularly the smaller ones, tend to struggle to find a profitable niche, an entertainment element may be added to provide a new stream of income. In our area, one does not have to travel far to find a prime example: wineries hosting events, such as concerts. And, on a national level, as consumers become increasingly interested in what is going into their food and innovative farmers find different ways to diversify into entertainment offerings, the category has been exploding with growth. The sky is the limit when it comes to agritainment and websites abound sharing information with farmers about how to do it (anything from adding zip lines to building an outdoor amphitheatre and everything in between).

With a solid plan to handle the traffic and a large parking lot under construction (cars will enter a driveway just west of Congregation Beth David on Los Osos Valley Road), Rourke and Freitas have been looking at every possible way to maximize use of the land. At the top of this list are educational opportunities for visitors, starting with a U-pick option and growing into hands-on exhibits, such as a functioning aquaponics display (the partners have already begun reaching out to local schools to arrange for field trips). In addition to the restaurant, they are exploring other ideas such as creating a wedding and events venue. They are also kicking around the idea of starting a small-scale winery at the site. And, in a nod to the catalyst for the venture in the first place, the partners are considering building a softball field on the property. It seems nothing is off-limits and no idea is too big for the Central Coast’s newest strawberry farmers. But, for hundreds of years the heart of farming—newfangled “agritainment” or not—has been characterized by a lot of hard work. Clearly there is no shortage of it now, as Rourke and Freitas take turns driving their newly acquired John Deere tractor (purchased used from another farmer in King City.) As the clouds move in, the wind starts to pick up, and the temperature drops, the conversation shifts away from big ideas and toward very little ones, specifically the freshly planted strawberry seedlings, just making their way into the world for the first time. Observes Freitas plainly, “The wind always picks up this time of the day right here, but this looks a little different to me. Could have some weather on the way.” With a solid handshake from an earth-stained right hand he climbs back on to the tractor, for there is suddenly a new urgency to complete the work today. Rourke, who will take up the next shift on the green and yellow behemoth, leads a trail to his favorite spot on the property: a grove of trees encircling a peaceful den-like space.

For a guy who grew up “eating every type of fast-food under the sun” and claiming that he is of the “convenience and pre-packaged food generation,” Rourke has become a surprisingly passionate advocate of fresh, local organic foods. And, as we begin our walk toward the trees in the distance, the facts and figures flow quickly. But his voice softens and his speech becomes noticeably more deliberate when he starts talking about local kids. “My goal is to bring this back—we’ve gotten too far away from our food—and to really have kids, the next generation, understand this stuff. Because it matters more than people realize. I want my kids, your kids, to really get it. Now we are going to have an opportunity, right here in our own backyard, to bring it back in a big way.”

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New heights

Two years ago on Bishop Peak, Danielle Martinez was “scared and nervous” when she craned her neck back and took measure of the massive granite wall before her. It was her first exposure to rock climbing. Despite her fear, she found the experience to be oddly “both invigorating and calming at the same time.” Since then Martinez has been on a rock climbing mission, pursuing the sport during nearly all of her free time in places such as Joshua Tree, Pinnacles, and Yosemite (she stays in top form by practicing her technique at the SLO-OP climbing gym in San Luis Obispo). During the workday she is a case manager and marriage and family therapist intern at the Family Care Network and explains that, in many ways, climbing is the perfect metaphor relating to her profession because it “demands consistency and patience while testing endurance and flexibility.” Martinez, who grew up trekking the Sierra backcountry with her father, attempts to share the experience with us: “I’ve camped and hiked my entire life—and I love being outdoors. There are just so many beautiful places to see. But, it’s an entirely different level of beauty when you are thousands of feet above the ground, it’s really difficult to describe.” SLO LIFE

What do you do after work?

Tell us about it at

Introduced to the great outdoors at a young age by her father, Danielle Martinez developed a passion for adventure that has taken her places she never could have imagined.
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It has been a busy year for local band PK, and the pace is accelerating. They were recently spotlighted by MTV, who called them “one of the top unsigned bands of 2012” and they were also featured in the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine. Last year’s tour schedule included opening for The Script at a sold out show in San Diego, touring with Angels and Airways (led by Tom DeLong of Blink 182), playing at SXSW in Austin, Texas, as well as appearing at an event leading up to the Indy 500.

Four of the five members hail from Templeton High School, where they dreamed of someday making a career playing music together. According to the band, they were either “playing music, listening to music, writing music, or going to a show.” Despite their common passion, at some point along the way, a more practical option revealed itself and they all went off to separate colleges in search of higher education and stable paychecks. College was fine and the careers that they led to were interesting

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enough, but something was missing. And, each one of them recognized it in different ways.

When the high school friends reunited in 2010, then a couple of years out of college, everything “just clicked” and talk turned almost immediately to writing songs and choosing a band name. At the time, lead singer, Travis Hawley, had been reading a book called The Power of One and he suggested the name “PK,” after the protagonist of the story, “a scrappy, boxer kid.” Although a few other ideas were bantered about, the band quickly embraced the name.

Not wasting any time, newly formed PK got started writing songs. They describe it as a collaborative process where one of the members initiates an idea and the others build on it. Although it can be a grind, they explain that some of their best, most popular songs come to them almost instantaneously in a process they liken to “blacking out.” In other words, when the band is fully immersed and fully engaged in song writing, the members report being so completely in the flow of the creative process

that they almost cannot remember having done it at all. This phenomenon was particularly true of their hit song “London,” which came together after one afternoon of intense focus in a recording studio. [You can listen to this song as well as some of their others by going to this article at]

Although the band initially wrote and self-produced their early songs, they have recently begun branching out by agreeing to work with some seasoned music producers. The recording studio work they have been developing lately will culminate in a new album that is expected to release soon. The band hopes that the new album will lead to opening shows for bigger bands. Their music, which the band describes as “pop rock” and has been compared to The Killers, The Cure, and The Kooks, is catchy, upbeat and soulful. It is unlike anything currently playing today. And it would not be hard to imagine PK making it big, really big just like they imagined they would back at Templeton High School. SLO LIFE

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 45
left to right Nick Fotinakes, Rico Rodriguez, Travis Hawley, Matt DePauw, Mikel Van Kranenburg

Game On

San Luis Obispo-based inventors, Brant Myers and Dan Grimm, have received a boost in business after landing their technology on a “Top 100 Green Invention” list and appearing on ABC’s hit television show, Shark Tank.

It was a dispute over a coveted rock collection in elementary school that sealed the fates of Brant Myers and Dan Grimm, now partners in the San Luis Obispo-based business called Arkeg. As children growing up in Thousand Oaks, Myers was the new kid at school, and he brought along his rock collection to show it off, figuring it would make a good first impression on his first day. When one of the prized rocks suddenly went missing, Grimm identified the thief setting up a lifelong friendship that has led to a creative and innovative business that is finding its stride.

GAMERS left to right Dan Grimm and Brant Myers

Last month, Arkeg was invited to participate in the hit television show Shark Tank. For those unfamiliar with the program, it can be best described as reality tv for business. Essentially, entrepreneurs attempt to persuade one of the “Sharks” to invest in their company. The Sharks are made up of five very wealthy and well-known tycoons. The business owners seeking investment endure intense questioning and scrutiny from the Sharks creating a lot of drama and suspense, making for great television.

Having watched the show, the partners were interested enough to download an application from the Shark Tank website, but had never filled it out. It was a chance meeting with one of the show’s executives at a beer festival they had attended in San Francisco that would change everything. “The whole thing was very serendipitous. We had an Arkeg set up at the festival—which we did not plan to attend, but we were invited at the last minute—and it was a huge hit. This fellow walks up to us and says, ‘Would you consider pitching your business on the Shark Tank?’” remembers Myers. Upon returning home the partners hastily completed the application and sent it to their contact. A few days later the phone rang.

Not only had they been invited to appear on the show, but a camera crew decided that they wanted to come to San Luis Obispo to do what is called a “home segment,” which sets the background for select companies. “They came out for a couple of days,” explains Grimm, “and they were supposed to spend all this time searching out locations, but we took them downtown and they basically said, ‘Ok, we’ve got it—we’re good.’ The rest of the time we sort of showed them around and had a great time.” The show did end up airing shots of downtown and Mission Plaza as well as Central Coast Brewing, who has been the supplier of beer to Arkeg since the beginning.

The Arkeg, is the unlikely combination of an arcade video game and a keg of beer—it’s tagline is “drink ‘n game.” Inspiration struck while the friends were in college in Southern California. A retro arcade game purchased on Craigslist and a refrigerator full of beer sat side-by-side in a rather cramped house. Although they cannot remember who came up with the idea first, the duo spent one night taking apart both the refrigerator and the arcade game. Over the next several weeks they perfected the electronics and cooling components to come up with the first Arkeg prototype. A spout was fashioned on the side of the unit and friends could not stop asking where they could get one, or if they would be willing to sell the one they had.

After graduation, they settled into “9 to 5 jobs,” but as Myers continues, “We are tinkerers, we are inventors, and it was just stifling to be sitting at a desk all day when we had all of these ideas in our heads.” So, one particularly wild idea was floated to quit their jobs, leave Southern California, and find a place to build the Arkeg business full-time. “It was at that point that my wife, who was then my girlfriend, kept talking about this magical place called San Luis Obispo,” recalls Myers. “We came here and quickly realized what a healthy pace of life was all about,” Grimm continues the thought. “I mean, you don’t cut someone off in your car because you know you are going to see them at the grocery store and all around town.” The business, which has been based here for six years, has enjoyed modest growth in its early days when

the partners were scratching out a living working odd jobs and building Arkeg units in their garage each night and most weekends. But, things started to change somewhere along the way.

“We started getting picked up in random magazines,” remembers Myers, “one particularly interesting one is called WWF Magazine, as in World Wrestling Federation.” The pro wrestling people added the Arkeg, which retails for $3,999, to a “top products to own” list. Despite the fun press they were receiving, they also picked up some significant endorsements for their refrigeration technology which had been developed by Grimm. For example, Popular Mechanics identified the technology, which has no moving parts and uses no coolant and is extremely energy efficient, as a “Top 100 Green Invention.” But, the Sharks were not buying it.

Under intense scrutiny, including an immediate “I’m out!” declaration by the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, the San Luis Obispo entrepreneurs remained undaunted. [You can watch the entire segment by going to this article at] Deftly handling questions about profit margins, and distribution strategy, and expansion plans, Myers and Grimm never broke a sweat, as is common under the bright lights of the show’s set. Yet, the Sharks remained unmoved and none of them made an offer to invest. The whole sequence lasted about 45 minutes, but after editing only five minutes made the cut. And, when the show did premiere, a hundred or so friends and family members gathered at Central Coast Brewing to watch it.

“As soon as it aired on the East Coast, the phones started ringing and we started getting emails,” explains Myers. “And, when we did see it we were grateful for the exposure but disappointed about what had been edited out of the interaction.” When pressed about what they had wished was kept in the show, they quickly identify a few key points in order: First, the Arkeg contains 51 classic video game favorites (ranging from Joust to Paper Boy) not just one. Second, the business also rents out units ($150 for a 24 hour period), which, apparently, has been a huge hit at Central Coast parties (for children’s parties, they supply root beer and recommend root beer floats to parents). And, finally, due to copyright issues, they were unable to actually show the real games and allow the Sharks to play them. In fact, Grimm had to write code for a new video game called “Greedy Guppies” in their hotel room the night before for demonstration on the show (the producers would not allow them to use anything shark related).

As the saying goes, any PR is good PR and Arkeg received a healthy dose of it when 5 million viewers tuned in last month. While many of the messages they received said things like, “The sharks were mean!” and, “Keep up the great work!” or, “Hey, I own a printing company—you need some printing?” Others were along the lines of, “I want one, how soon can I get it?” And, so 2013 is shaping up to be a very good year. The company, which started out selling through retailers has been transitioning to an all direct-sales model through their website and is quickly running out of room. A search is underway for a larger space and, despite their progress so far, Myers and Grimm are quick to point out that they have already achieved success by melding two of their favorite things and are having a great time doing it.

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Reclaiming beauty

Anthony Hansen is as much an archeologist as he is an artist and his skills for digging up and transforming the distressed are proving to be a thing of beauty.

Old, beat-up and abandoned cars have something to say, and Anthony Hansen is listening. Wandering down the aisles of local junk yards, Hansen studies worn out jalopies much the same way a jeweler analyzes a rare stone. “There’s a lot of life in one piece. It has its own story, its own history. And then they are cobbled together into this new thing, this new life,” he explains. “And, I don’t paint anything. I really like the texture, the color, the faded aspect of the original.”

Although Hansen designs an array of abstract pieces using only the simplest set of tools in his Morro Bay studio, it’s the hearts that have sent customers aflutter. “People often ask me why the hearts? I tell them that we need to start loving each other more—we’ve got too many guns, too much testosterone in the world,” he states matter-of-factly. “Plus I like the organic, feminine, curvy nature of the heart combined with the supermasculine, discarded, heavy industrial lines and textures that you get from reclaimed metal. Those two together—I love that.”

And when he is not busy cutting, shaping, welding, and sanding, he is on the road. Last year alone, Hansen crisscrossed the country attending 15 national art shows in cities spanning from Atlanta to Portland. Currently, he is packing his cargo van for a trip to Miami where he will attend four Florida-based shows. And it’s not just a matter of making the trip because exhibiting, as it turns out, is highly competitive. The jury of artists in St. Louis, who determine who will be invited to that show, for example, received 8,000 applications for 200 spots this year. And, since a new application is required each year, Hansen never knows for sure where the road will take him. But, as he points out, there are always junkyards along the way full of old cars hoping to share their stories.

HEARTS are the most popular part of his collection. Cobbling together pieces of junked cars, Hansen breathes new life into a universally hopeful symbol that requires no explanation.

GETTING EVEN reveals Hansen’s wry sense of humor, as the piece is comprised of nothing but even numbers from discarded license plates.


INDEFINITE comes from Hansen’s abstract collection, the fastest growing part of his art.
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 49 3460 Broad Street . San Luis Obispo . 805 549 0100 THE SPECIALIST LOCALS TRUST FOR DEALER QUALITY SERVICE

Sunday Brunch

In 1895 Guy Beringer wrote “Brunch: A Plea” in Hunter’s Weekly in which he persuasively made his case, “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” And, here at SLO LIFE Magazine we agree and would like to further add to his plea— Sunday brunch reminds us that the weekend isn’t over yet!

1 clove garlic, minced fresh cracked sea salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing

1. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Lightly coat the muffin tin with olive oil. Fold a piece of ham in half and then in half again. Put this down into the muffin cup and fan it out to make a bowl shape.

3. Repeat until you have prepared eight cups.

4. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Once warm, increase heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook 3 minutes. Add leeks and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

5. Add about a tablespoon of sautéed ingredients to the bottom of the ham cup. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on top. If needed, use the back of a spoon to gently compress the filling down into the muffin tin.

6. Carefully crack eggs and add one to each ham cup. Grind a bit of fresh pepper and salt onto each egg. Add a touch of half and half (no more than a tablespoon). Sprinkle more cheese on top.

7. Put the muffin tin into the oven and bake until eggs are set and the whites are opaque, about 12-18 minutes. This will depend on how well done you prefer your yolks. The eggs will cook for a bit longer after you take them out of the oven.

50 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | RECIPE
HAM & EGG BRUNCH CUPS 8 slices of quality ham 8 eggs ¼ cup half and half ½ cup goats milk cheddar cheese, shredded 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced 1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced (white parts)

1. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl and make a well in the center. Beat the egg and the milk together and pour into the well.

2. Gradually whisk from the center outward until the ingredients are well combined but the batter is still a little lumpy; do not overmix the batter or the pancakes will be heavy.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet or cast-iron griddle over low heat until melted. Fill a ¼ cup ladle with batter to just below the lip. Pour batter onto griddle.

4. Cook each pancake for about two minutes, until it starts to bubble lightly on the top and looks set, then flip it over and cook the other side for about two minutes more or until cooked through. You may need to adjust your heat or cooking time—the pancakes should be golden brown. Remove from the skillet and keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200˚ oven until serving.

5. To make the caramelized bananas, melt the butter with the simple syrup in a pan over low heat and stir until combined. Let simmer for a few minutes until the caramel thickens and darkens slightly. Add the bananas and mix gently to coat. Pour over the warm pancakes and serve.

SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 51
Have a recipe to share? Go to to tell us about it. SLO LIFE 1 ½ cups self-rising flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 egg 1 cup vanilla almond milk coconut oil for cooking PANCAKES WITH CARAMELIZED BANANAS 3 ½ ounces butter, cut into pieces 3 tablespoons simple syrup 3 large ripe bananas, peeled and thickly sliced 805.709.2780 CENTRAL COAST FARMERS’ HARVESTS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS Fresh Picked & Locally Grown Pesticide Free Produce Weekly or Bi-weekly Delivery No Contract Required SERVING San Luis Obispo | Avila | Los Osos Five Cities | Nipomo

That’s Amore

February 10 @ 2:00pm Madonna Inn

Join Opera San Luis Obispo for a lovely afternoon of beautiful music, great food, and Vina Robles wine in the elegant Garden Room of the Madonna Inn. This year’s That’s Amore features the rising star duo, tenor, Ben Bliss, and lyric soprano, D’Ana Lombard.


February 15 – March 24 SLO Little Theatre

From the creative minds behind My Generation and This is Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Alan Freed story is a new original musical about politics and greed, featuring the greatest musical hits of the 1970’s. Watergate and Other Solid Gold Hits follows the rise of a driven political player as he navigates and inspires some of the most infamous headlines of the decade. Join us on the journey from flower power to leisure suits as a groovin’ live band, slick singers, and sultry dancers fill the halls of the capitol

music from one of the most


Garrison Keillor

February 13 @ 7:30pm Christopher Cohan Center

The charming, witty, and always entertaining writer, humorist, and celebrity speaker—best known for his widely popular radio show “A Prairie Home Companion”—returns with an all-new solo evening of monologues and anecdotes.

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scandalous decades in American
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SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 53 • Over 100 Local Health and Fitness Exhibitors • Free Admission and Medical Testing • Educational Seminars and Dance Performances Saturday, March 23 at 8:30am Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm at the Alex Madonna Expo Center A PRODUCTION OF SIMPLY CLEAR MARKETING, INC. MARCH 23 & 24 5K Run Expo Health & Fitness EXPO & 5K RUN Benefiting 805-772-4600 wellness WORKSHOP SERIES FREE WELLNESS WORKSHOPS • Monthly from 5:30-7:00pm Located in our banquet room, above the Gardens of Avila Restaurant February 11: Stress Reduction Series: Part 1: What is Stress? by Dr. Foresman February 27: Overcoming ADD/ADHD/Autism/Aspergers & Dyslexia and what they all have in common by David Marquis, DC March 11: Stress Reduction Series: Part 2: What is Stress Reduction? by Dr. Foresman April 8: Stress Reduction Series: Part 3 The Path to Freedom from Stress by Dr. Foresman April 24: Correcting Thyroid by David Marquis, DC May 13: Stress Reduction Series: Part 4: What is Meditation? by Dr. Foresman June 10: Stress Reduction Series: Part 5: Breath Awareness Meditation by Dr. Foresman June 26: The functional rehab approach to stroke, vertigo, balance disorders and cognitive degeneration by David Marquis, DC Call Speaker’s Office directly to RSVP - workshops are subject to change Dr. Foresman with Middle Path Medicine: (805) 481-3442 David Marquis, DC, CACBN: (805) 481-3499 keep informed with current workshops and events: friend us on facebook Celebrate Romance Romance Package • Overnight Stay in a Suite with Balcony Hot Tub and Fireplace • • Flower Petals on Your Bed • • Premium Sparkling Wine, Sycamore Flutes, and Chocolate Truffles • • A $60 certificate for dinner at our Gardens of Avila Restaurant • • Access to daily offered Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi classes • Valentine Dinner for two at out Gardens of Avila Restaurant Relaxing Hot Tub for two with champagne Sycamore Gift Card spoil your love all year long Wine and Dine Spa Package • 30-minute soak in a Mineral Springs Hot Tub • • 60-minute Wine Therapy Massages • • Glass of local premium Chardonnay in our Gardens of Avila Restaurant • • Appetizer or dessert to share in our Gardens of Avila Restaurant • Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Celebrating over 100 years of Health & Wellness on the Central Coast 1215 Avila Beach Drive • • (805) 595-7302

SLO International Film Festival March 6 – 10

San Luis Obispo County

SLOIFF showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of venues, from the city’s classic art deco Fremont Theatre, to the popular independent Palm Theatre, with a variety of unexpected venues from the wine country of Paso Robles to the seaside towns of Avila Beach and Pismo Beach.

March 14 – April 28

The Great American Melodrama

to love The

American Melodrama twist on this Victor Hugo classic. The epic show has been pared

with plenty of laughs and a vaudeville revue, too! With song parodies and boundless comedy you are sure to leave the theater with a whole new take on this

Carnival of the Animals

March 24 @ 3:00pm

Christopher Cohan Center

Presented by the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Saint-Saëns’ imaginative Carnival of the Animals has delighted children and adults alike for more than 100 years. This whimsical collection of musical vignettes will feature “animal” dancers onstage, two grand pianos and a full symphony orchestra, all delightfully accompanied by poet Ogden Nash’s clever verses, narrated by Kevin Harris of San Luis Obispo Little Theatre.

Les Miserables
Whether you have seen the
Presenting the best in professional entertainment at the Performing Arts Center! Hot Shaves • Cold Beer • ESPN • Quality Service Monday - Saturday 10am-6pm • Sunday 11am-4pm 1351 Monterey Street . San Luis Obispo (805)783-2887 . Dog Training • Premium Daycare • Boarding • Grooming FIRST DAY OF DAYCARE FREE! 173 Buckley Road • San Luis Obispo (805) 596-0112 Lunch Buffet Mon - Sat 11:30am - 3:00pm $8.99 Monday Dinner Buffet 5:00pm - 10:00pm $9.99 Sunday Brunch $9.99 Shalimar iNDiaN rESTaUraNT 2115 Broad Street, SlO 805.781.0766 |
musical, the movie or neither one, you are going
down to
lean 80 minutes
classic story.
SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 | 55 “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.” - Ted Turner on his secret to success Call us. We can help your business grow. 805.543.8600 SLOLIFE magazine Is your Internet Marketing putting customers to sleep? Central Coast Web Services can help! Website Maintenance • Email Marketing Facebook Pages and Ads • Google Ads Search Engine Optimization • Pinterest Contact us today for your free website, facebook and email analysis! Central Coast Web Services 805.602.2777 davek@centralcoastwebservices. com Headquartered in SLO, Advantage Answering Plus offers live and local telephone reception service for businesses large and small. Having important business calls answered professionally around the clock will: Improve customer satisfaction Increase operational efficiency Capture additional business opportunities Reduce business costs Let’s talk about how we can make a positive difference in your business, today. To learn more, go to or call us at 805.545.8282
56 | SLO LIFE MagazInE feb/mar 2013 962 Mill Street, San Luis Obispo, California 93401 Gavin Payne 805-550-3918 Jed Damschroder 805-550-7960 Kate Hendrickson 805-801-1979 Chris Engelskirger 805-235-2070 The Payne Team The Payne Team Our approach to real estate is about much more than property... it’s about people.
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