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I was nine years old the summer that future Hall of Fame centerfielder, Kirby Puckett, moved in across the street. No, I didn’t grow up in a wealthy, gated community next to big league baseball players. Our neighbors worked on terminally broken-down cars that sunk deep into the tall grass of their front lawns. They were good people, no doubt about it, and I loved them all. Plus they were always gracious about buying candy bars from me to support the local Little League. It wasn’t the happiest place on Earth, but it sure wasn’t the unhappiest either. The truth is, the only thing I really cared about back then was baseball. And that summer we didn’t miss a single Visalia Oaks game at Recreation Park. None of us did because we knew that Kirby was something special. Even as a third grader it was amazing to me, and it still is actually, that our neighbors had volunteered to host this rag-tag group of minor league ballplayers like they did. Every year, the Edwards Family would open up their home to a new group of guys. And, in case you were wondering, everyone was terrified of mama Edwards - she was as tough as nails - so there was never any trouble over there. No, ma’am. Now keep in mind that this was Single-A, the lowest rung of the minor leagues and these guys were still playing ball for the love of the game. In fact, just a few years earlier Kirby had been working on an assembly line at Ford Motors near his hometown Chicago. All the guys had big dreams, and most of them wouldn’t make it, except for Kirby. The very next season after that magical summer he was called up to the Minnesota Twins. And when news broke that “our” Kirby had made it to the Big Leagues it seemed like anything was possible… not only for him, but also for us. Everyone on Myrtle Avenue walked a little taller on the day after Kirby had a good game, which was often. So, when I heard recently that our own San Luis Blues had a similar family host program, I couldn’t wait to learn more [see page 40, “The Boys of Summer”]. Nothing brings back more great memories for me - and probably for many of you - than seeing nine young men trot out of the dugout together to take the field at the start of a new season. I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to all of you for your support and encouragement during our first year in business. It’s hard to believe, but this issue marks our 1st Year Anniversary. And, most of all, to our advertisers, thank you for giving us a shot to prove ourselves in our rookie season - I can only hope that we have made you proud.
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Dave Garth The changing of the guard in San Luis Obispo continues. First, it was Warren Baker at Cal Poly, next was Dave Romero at City Hall, now Dave Garth, who has led the SLO Chamber of Commerce for 38 years, steps down in July. Dave is definitely his own man and is often difficult to characterize, but one thing is for sure, he’s leaving at the top of his game... collar to reveal a jagged two-inchlong scar].
How’d you get your start in SLO? I first moved here to work as a news anchor at KSBY. I was young and brash. It was an exciting time to be a newsperson and eventually I got fired for being part of a group that tried to get a union started. I worked there for almost four years and the last year I was there my boss didn’t speak with me. That experience helped mature me in many ways. How in the world did you go from being fired for organizing a union to getting hired to lead the Chamber of Commerce? I needed a job and I saw an ad in the paper. I was pretty much willing to take anything. The Chamber was in dire shape at the time and had advertised the job for three months and no one had applied, so we were kind of in the same situation - we were both desperate. And I didn’t want to leave San Luis because I just felt like I was at home here. What was it like back then? My very first day on the job, there was only one other employee we have 15 employees now - but back then it was just a part-time person and myself. She was the bookkeeper and everything else that I wasn’t, and she said, “I have good news and bad news… the good news is it’s payday.” And I thought, “Great - the first day on the job and it’s payday!” And then she said, “The bad news is there is no money to pay you, or me.” I was 26 years old and I had never managed anything and I thought to myself, “Is this really a job? What is this?” I just sat there in stunned silence for a while and then I asked her if this had happened before and she said, “Oh yeah, it happens all the time.” At the time the Chamber was on the ropes and nearly out of business. So, what’d you do? I asked her what my predecessor did when this happened and she 6
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Wow. It’s interesting because my father and mother and sister all had slightly different views of what happened. My sister was eight and it was incredibly traumatic for her to see my mother, who just went bonkers while my dad was doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on me. And my sister was just standing there taking it all in, horrified that her baby brother was apparently dying right in front of her and my parents were hysterical. My sister says it was the most traumatic experience of her life.
said he went out and collected dues from the businesses that were late. And I thought, “Well, I don’t have a better idea,” so I spent the next week - my first week on the job - going down the roster of people who had not paid their dues, which was almost everybody. How were you received? I got an earful about all the things they hated about the Chamber and why they weren’t going to pay their dues. And I said, “Look, I don’t know how long I will be here, but I am going to try and make it so it’s not like this.” The Chamber then was a very small click. It was ultra conservative politically. It didn’t represent the members, and it didn’t represent the community, but I decided I would try to make a change if I could. The Chamber’s opposition to binding arbitration has become ugly at times and the Police and Firefighters Associations have accused you personally of not supporting them. Is there any truth to it?
No. Not at all. In fact, I owe my life to a firefighter. When I was just two years old a firefighter saved my life. I wasn’t sleeping well and had a lot of congestion and my mother called the doctor, who told her to give me half of a Seconal, which is a powerful sedative, a sleeping pill basically, but she didn’t hear him quite right over the phone and gave me the whole Seconal. It suppressed my respiration to the point where I basically stopped breathing. So, they called the fire department and they came out and used a respirator and three separate times they put their equipment away and said, “Sorry – there’s nothing else we can do,” and then I would jerk or move and they would unpack the equipment and start all over again and finally one of them said, “The only way we are going to keep his airway open is if we try a tracheotomy - if we do a tracheotomy we may be able to save him.” This was 1948 and he did it with a pen knife. Here’s the scar [Garth unbuttons his
Did you or your family ever see that firefighter again? My dad owned a grocery store and the firefighter would come in to ask how I was doing. My dad tried to give him some gratuity, or some free groceries or something and he never would take anything. He would just say “No, I’m just coming in here to see how he is doing.” And he did that apparently for quite a few years. He knew that he had saved a life and my parents did, too. Can you remember anything about the incident? The only memories I have are based on my sister, my father, and my mother telling the story over and over again. But, interestingly, about 15 years ago I was visiting the Rotary Club in Paso Robles and I sat next to a retired firefighter from L.A. and I told him the story and he said, “Well, you know, my first partner in the L.A. Fire Department was the guy who actually did that.” I was stunned and I said, “How do you know that?” And he said “Because he told that story over and over again just like your parents did.” SLO LIFE
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Mrs. LaLanne read the article, “Drink Your Veggies!” She loved it and appreciates it much and knows that if Jack were here today, he would love it as well! Thanks and remember, “Anything in Life is Possible, if YOU Make it Happen!” Healthfully, Claire Morro Bay Dear Claire, Thank you very much for your note - it made our day! Please pass along to Mrs. LaLanne our best wishes and let her know that, while we have “fallen off the wagon” with our green juicing, we are committed to starting up again as soon as this magazine goes off to press! It is remarkable how much better we all felt when we started our day off with a glass of freshly squeezed vegetable juice. Jack was really on to something with this and we are grateful that he inspired us to give it a try! SLO LIFE
Congratulations on your new publication. I hope it will be very successful for you. Regarding the article about my great grandfather, John Pinckney Andrews, in your last issue, I believe that the writer from the History Center got some of the facts wrong. The accompanying information demonstrates that the article contained material errors. It is my wish that you will make known the misstatements in your next issue. I am not faulting your publication in any way. Thank you for affording me the opportunity to communicate with you. Sincerely, M. Richard Andrews San Luis Obispo
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Andrew’s correspondence, unedited and in its entirety: 1. He did not move out West circa 1857 with his family. He came to Northern California as a single man. After his arrival in San Luis Obispo he returned to Northern California where he married Tennessee Amanda Cheney on January 1, 1860 in Lake County, California. They then moved to San Luis Obispo County. 2. With respect to the divorce, whether or not it was “a scandalous event in itself” and “was the talk of the town” I do not know. Perhaps the society editor of the local paper at the time had evidence thereof, but I do not as it was before my arrival which occurred many years later. 3. While the article states that, “To this day, opinions differ among local historians regarding J.P. Andrews,” I will say that during his time life was not easy and men worked hard to become successful AND to raise a family. Perhaps that could account for absences from the hearth. He and Aunt Tennie (not “Tinnie” as it is spelled in the article) certainly must have spent some time together as thirteen children provide evidence of their matrimonial union. 4. The photo showing Mrs. Andrews with one of their children circa 1900-1909 is, I believe, impossible in as much as the youngest child, Jerome Pleasant Andrews, was born October 28, 1886. Tennessee Amanda passed away on November 22, 1900.
The recent article in the magazine in the “Let’s Talk Business” column regarding advice to the seller in establishing a value for the business is good, but what should be considered as well are the following factors: 1. Seller: Why sell? How to establish value?
Dear Mr. Andrews, Thank you for contacting us. We very much appreciate your comments and apologize to you and your family for any unintended misrepresentation of your great-grandfather’s story, which clearly makes up an important part of San Luis Obispo’s history. And, in fairness to the writer, local history is a very difficult thing to accurately report as there is not a lot of information to draw from and it makes for a difficult fact-checking proposition. With that said, we are committed to responsible journalism and we do wish we would have been able to interview you prior to publishing the article. We hope that by reprinting your letter for our readers we will have provided balance to our version of your great-grandfather’s history.
2. Buyer: Why a particular business? What experience does the potential buyer have for the business? (Iacocca once was asked to head up an airline. He said he was in the automobile business, and that’s what he knew.)
The following is the attachment included in Mr.
Inventory: That which the business sells.
Given a willing seller and an interested buyer, next: 3. Valuing a business: There are usually four factors of value and the specific value of each needs to be determined and agreed to by both parties: Real property: That is, buildings and grounds including property permanently fixed to the buildings and/or grounds. Personal property: Non-fixed such as tables, equipment, vehicles, any items of value to be considered as part of the transaction.
Goodwill: A touchy subject. The seller will usually place a greater value on this than the buyer. In attempting to establish “goodwill” it is helpful to consider past experiences and therefore potential future sales. Any future sales must consider the historical and projected market (i.e., sales customers.) As noted in the above referenced article, financing the sale and related purchase of a business can be tricky. The buyer will have to provide collateral especially if a loan will be involved. Contrary to the comment in this article, SBA does not, with a few exceptions, make loans, but they guarantee loans through banks. Perhaps an ideal situation might be when the seller is prepared to “carry paper” after receiving a reasonable down payment. Another example of a win-win situation might be when the buyer offers the seller a continued income from sales, often as a percentage of those sales. There are many factors to consider, so sound business advice is necessary. SCORE, which is an affiliate of the Small Business Administration, offers free, no cost workshops and face-to-face counseling. The local chapter has 35 members, mostly retired business executives who offer their experiences to new and existing businesses. Their local phone number is 805-547-0779. James Murphy Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly College of Business and an active SCORE volunteer
issues. Is there a theme that you plan on following throughout the year? How often do you come out? Not to compare you to the other magazines, but will you have any annual highlights such as the New Times “Top Businesses” or the “Top 20 under 40” from the Tribune? Those are just some of my favorites and I know a lot of people look forward to them. Other than those questions, I think that overall your magazine is great! Stephanie Briggs Dear Stephanie, Thank you for your kind words. First, to answer your questions: We are celebrating our 1st Year Anniversary with this issue, so, yes, we are still a relatively new magazine and with each issue we expand our circulation a little bit more. We just started mailing the publication with the last issue. There is no set theme per se, but we are committed to celebrating the stories of people who make the “SLO Life” great for all of us. We launched last year as a quarterly, but, starting with this issue, we are now a bi-monthly so you will be finding us in your mailbox every other month. In terms of you suggestions for adding lists, we think it is a great one, and something we have talked a lot about but we hope to do it differently than the others. We would love to hear more from you and encourage you to go to our website at slolifemagazine.com and also join the daily conversation that takes place on our Facebook page, which is facebook.com/slolifemagazine
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Tearing down the ¼ mile track in 5.34 seconds KYLe RIZZOLI (After Hours, Spring 2011) set his personal best record by hitting 271 miles per hour at the Pomona Winter Nationals. He has also cracked the Top 30 ranking nationally for racing the Rizzoli ’69 Camaro.
Both life and business continue to bloom for KaRa WOOd (Meet Your Neighbor, Spring 2011) as she begins to ponder expansion possibilities for her microgreens business.
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“They’ve worn me down,” was how daN de VaUL (Fresh Perspective, Spring 2011) characterized losing his recent appeal and has since decided against fighting on. He is now awaiting word on a court date where he will be formally sentenced once again.
ASHLEE LEONARDO (Start Up, Spring 2011) reports that “things are going really well” with her nanny placement service. She has already placed a few nannies and has screened and prepared a qualified pool of nannies who are ready to be placed.
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We are happy to hear that HILda sKVaGeRsON (How I Found My Way Here, Summer 2010) is graduating from SLO High School and will be attending the University of California, Santa Cruz in the fall. Go, Slugs!
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We were looking for ways to build up our membership as well as increase awareness of our organization locally, so we analyzed our options and decided to run an ad in SLO LIFE Magazine. Right away we got response, including bringing on a new member who has made a big difference for us. We are quite pleased with the results – it works! Jamie Magon, President, YPNG
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Under Construction Poly canyon Adjacent to the main campus, a portion of Poly Canyon encompasses a nine-acre outdoor experimental construction laboratory. For more than four decades it has been the host site of several structures designed and built mostly by students of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. This panoramic photo was taken two years ago by Tyler Brigham, who asked his girlfriend to pose under the “Tensile Structure,” which was completed in October of 2002 as the senior project of three Cal Poly students. This photo is actually a compilation of six different shots that were taken as Brigham panned the landscape, holding the camera by hand. Afterward he spliced them together on his computer. Although the scene was originally captured in color, Brigham converted them to black and white: “Sometimes color photos give you too much information - I like to simplify things and go with black and white.” SLO LIFE
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| Meet your neighbor
Meet Jay Asher In this installment of our “Meet Your Neighbor” series, SLO LIFE Magazine sits down for an afternoon with New York Times bestselling author, Jay Asher. His book, 13 Reasons Why, has been a runaway hit with teens all over the world. It has been published in 31 different countries to-date and Universal Pictures is adapting the story for the big screen in a movie starring Selena Gomez. Jay lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife, JoanMarie, a songwriter, and their new baby, Isaiah. Here is his story... Let’s start from the beginning, Jay… how did you end up in SLo? I moved to San Luis the summer before eighth grade, just before I turned 13. My parents wanted to get out of L.A., but they didn’t want to be too far away because we still have a lot of family there. At the time, my parents had never been to San Luis, but they had heard good things about and it and my dad had an opportunity to transfer to the Post Office here. So, the four of us - my parents, my younger brother and me - decided to drive up here on a whim one day to check it out. As it turned out, it was the same weekend as Poly Royal, and all of the hotels were booked and we didn’t have a place to stay. So, we parked over where Scolari’s is now, I think it was a Safeway then, and all of us slept together in the car that night. Within a few months we moved up here. That’s can be a difficult time of life to make such a big change. How did you handle it? It was a tricky age, but I made some good friends here really quickly. I remember driving up to San Luis in our U-Haul, and I was a totally shy kid back in Arcadia, but I thought to myself, nobody in this new town knows who I am, so if I go to school the first day acting really confident then people will treat me that way and I can make my own reputation and my personality could be whatever I wanted it to be. It didn’t quite work out that way because, despite my best efforts, I was still really shy. And what about high school? I went to SLO High - Class of ’93 - and the experience was pretty normal really, which surprises a lot of people considering the subject matter of my book [teen suicide]. It wasn’t traumatic, I mean I wouldn’t want to go back to it, but it wasn’t bad. I was really into music and was involved in some rock bands, but I wasn’t into sports. I was on the newspaper staff for a year. I wasn’t totally into school, but I didn’t mind it. People usually think I’m going to say, “Oh, it was horrible!” How was your experience with the school newspaper? Honestly, I wasn’t a good journalist, so they stuck me doing music reviews. And I had to review the Vanilla Ice album. I gave him a good review and became the laughing stock of the school because it just wasn’t cool to publicly admit that you liked Vanilla Ice, even though most of us couldn’t get that “ding-ding-ding-da-da-ding-ding” out of our heads at the time. So, one day the newspaper advisor pulled all of the staff together to read an anonymous letter to the editor. It basically said, “Based on Jay’s review, I decided to be open-minded and I bought the Vanilla Ice album and listened to it and liked it and Jay was right, it was really good.” It was signed, “Sincerely, a new Ice fan.” Our adviser went on to lecture all of us young reporters about how, when you write something, it has the power to shape opinions… but, what she didn’t know was that I wrote that letter to the editor! Nobody ever found out it was me – I must have been sitting in the class blushing – but I always share that story when I speak whether it’s with other writers, or schools. Wow, I wonder what Vanilla Ice would have thought of that story? It’s funny that you ask because recently I was in Michigan speaking at a writer’s conference and Vanilla Ice happened to be performing in town that night. I couldn’t go to the concert because I had an early flight the next morning. But when I was in the airport I ran into him and asked him to take a picture with me and told him that I had written a positive 14
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review of his CD back in high school… but I didn’t tell him the rest of the story. He was actually really nice, an extremely nice guy. What happened after you graduated from high school? I wanted to do some sort of writing, but I enrolled at Cuesta College thinking that I would become an elementary school teacher. My first semester there I took a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation, which was basically how to use children’s books in classrooms and it was in that class, for my final project, when I wrote my first two book texts. And so, even though I didn’t go into college wanting to do children’s writing, the second I did it, I sent the manuscripts off to New York. They never sold, but one of them generated some interest. That’s when I really started to focus on children’s books. What next? I ended up transferring to Cal Poly where I dropped out midway through my senior year to really focus on my writing, thinking it was right around the corner… but it was still a few years away from happening [laughter]. I decided teaching was not for me and at the same time, even though none of my books had sold, I won some writing contests and was getting some confirmation that maybe I can do this. So soon after that my wife and I got married and I started getting jobs at libraries and bookstores and I just decided, “Okay, this is what I am going to do, I’m just going to stick with writing until I make it.” From the point where I first took that children’s literature class to the time I sold my first book, it took me twelve years. continued on page 16
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| Meet your neighbor
What was it like when you were writing 13 Reasons Why? During that time I had several jobs. I was working at the SLO Public Library and I had a job at the bookstore in the Pismo Outlets. I also got a job at Barnes & Noble. I stayed at the library for five years. Generally I would go to Linnaea’s Cafe usually right after work, after five, and then stay there for as long as my inspiration lasted. Sometimes until they closed and other times I would go there and get a couple of sentences down and that was it. I always sat at the table at the back, next to the garden window. And that is actually where Clay [one of the main characters] sits in the book when he listens to the tapes. About those tapes, your book has a pretty unusual format with a dual narration… one of them coming from a set of cassette tapes. What inspired the concept? Of all places, the idea came to me in King Tut’s Tomb at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. I went on a self-guided walking tour there with a Walkman and a cassette tape. I’ve always been drawn to books with unique formats and I kept the audiotour idea in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write funny books for young kids, and that’s what I still like to do, but the format just didn’t work for that genre. Of all subjects, what compelled you to take on suicide? One of the main reasons for the book was that a close relative of mine had attempted suicide. But, the main thing for most readers is that it’s not just about suicide, but a larger, hopeful message in general. As Hannah [one of the main characters] says in the book, “You don’t know what is going on with anyone’s life but your own.” So when you treat someone a certain way, you can’t be in control of how they take it. It’s not that we need to be walking on eggshells all the time, we just need to be aware. It’s a very basic, simple idea but sometimes approaching it in a different way makes it stand out to people in a way they can understand. One of the things that made being an adult, or growing up in general, easiest, was just being able to let go. And it’s something you have to learn to do. You have to make a conscious decision to not let things bother you. And, there was no way as a teen that I would have been able to do that. So, one of the things I had to do when I wrote the book was to speak specifically from the teen point of view.
I just decided, okay, this is what I am going to do, I’m just going to stick with writing until I make it.
We were wondering how in the world were you able to get into the head of teenage girl? Mostly by talking to my wife and female friends… asking them what high school was like for them. They talked a lot about how rumors and gossip affected them during that time. Those conversations definitely changed where my book was going as I was brainstorming it. It was clear that rumors and gossip were so much bigger for them than they were for me and my guy friends. It was actually fascinating. And when I’m speaking at schools and I share this part of my story, I look out at the audience and I see the girls all nodding their heads in agreement. When reading the book it becomes clear that so many of the settings are local. The book is basically set in San Luis, even though I don’t give the name of the town. I changed the name of the Fremont [Theater] to the Crestmont, Monet’s Café is actually Linnaea’s. And it’s fun, because I’ve heard from some teens around town who try to figure out some of the other spots. Like, they think Blue Spot Liquor is Manuel’s Liquor and they all pick up on the details from SLO High, like the trophy case at the entryway and the steps out front.
top Jay and JoanMarie sandboarding in Peru MiddLe Jay reading to Isaiah bottoM spreading the word about the book
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Do you ever just sit back and say, “Man, this is so cool!”? Actually, the most meaningful thing for me is when I hear about a parent and child reading the book together. Usually it begins with a concern over, “Why is my child reading this?” So the parent will read it too. And, sometimes they will contact me afterward to tell me that the book really opened the door to having some amazing discussions with their child. They realize the conversation should have taken place a long time ago, but it is so hard to talk about. And I’ve heard from some psychologists who actually use the book in their practices with teens. I think it’s so much easier to have these conversations through the discussion of fictional characters. It’s a strange feeling to have written a book that helps with those discussions. I mean, it’s amazing and it’s an honor… but it’s weird. It has to be incredibly rewarding to hear from people that are affected by your book. I love going to high schools to talk about the book – for me, that’s the best part of being a writer. And that was a complete shock for me because I used to have major stage fright. I just thought that would be hell for me, but from the very first time I did it, I absolutely loved it. I love speaking to teens. Even though the book itself is very serious, I try to put together an entertaining presentation and I usually share some of the rejection letters that 13 Reasons Why received - which is always a surprise to them. And I share some different letters I have received from teens to show them that there are sometimes different ways to interpret the same book. And, best of all, when I speak I get to hear from teens and talk with them face to face and I learn so much from them. A lot of schools now make the book mandatory reading, so it reaches a lot of people. I think that will expand quite a bit when it goes into paperback this summer.
On to the big news… your book just got picked up by Universal Pictures to do a movie. Teen star Selena Gomez will be playing the part of Hannah, the lead role in the story. Your thoughts? I’m really lucky as an author to be able to be as involved as I am in the movie development. Selena actually contacted me to talk about the book. She had been looking for some role to take her from being a Disney star to a serious actor, and she felt that this was the one. I met with her and her mom and learned that their vision for the movie matched exactly what I hoped it would be. How are you feeling about the whole experience? It has to be a bit surreal. It’s been fun. I’ve gone down there [to Universal Pictures] for meetings where everybody’s sitting in a room and it’s weird because they are discussing this book that I wrote and talking about it as a movie. And it’s just so weird. What advice can you offer an aspiring writer? The best advice is to get into a critique group with other writers. They don’t have to write the same stuff that you write. There’s a difference between writing just because you like writing and writing to try to get published. I think it’s important to have someone read your work and then tell you honestly what they thought of it. And you have to train yourself to not defend your work and say things like, “What I meant by this was this or that” you have to let the writing speak for itself. My writing improved so much even after I left [the critique group] because, even afterward, I can still hear some of those group members in my head as I write now. Also, one of the main tips I give is don’t ever go with your first idea, whether it’s a solution for a scene or a direction for the plot because, usually, your first idea is the first idea anybody would have had, so it’s probably not the most creative – it’s just the most obvious.
Above Jay with Vanilla Ice beLoW Selena Gomez and Jay
What’s next for you? I’m on contract with Penguin Publishing to write three more books. My next book, The Future of Us, will be out in November, and is not nearly as heavy as 13 Reasons Why. It’s more of a fun book, but it still deals with, I would say, complications in every day human relationships. You know, misinterpreting things. Basically, there are two things that will tie all my books together complicated relationships and suspense. I turned The Future of Us into my agent the day my wife went into labor and it was a real big relief to be done with it at that time. Congratulations on your new book, the movie, and the new baby. Now, go get some sleep! Thank you – that’s good advice!
Know someone we should meet? Go to slolifemagazine.com to introduce us.
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| The Way We Live
The Selna home The expression “going full circle” has special meaning for the Selna family. Local building contactor, Tim Selna, originally purchased the Tudor-style home as an investment property in 1985 – at the time it functioned as a group home for children. After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in Construction Management, Tim moved to the Bay Area to find steady work. In the meantime, the group home moved on to a different location. Tim convinced his then girlfriend, Pam, to move in and become the “property manager” of the home which had become housing to an assortment of college students. She agreed and moved herself into a small room upstairs and became responsible for collecting rent from the other tenants. The couple laughs at the memory and debates about whether or not she had received a discount on the rent for her efforts. What is not in dispute, however, is the fact that Pam spends much of her time in that same room today, where she has set up an office to handle the administrative aspects of their contracting business.
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Today the couple along with their two children, Jen, 16, and Max, 14, regard their decision to leave the Bay Area and return to San Luis Obispo as the best one they have ever made, although they attribute it to a lot of dumb luck. “If you look at a graph showing real estate peaking, we sold our home up there at the very tip top,” recalls Tim with a look of disbelief, “and I sold my business within three months of that time, too. The timing worked out incredibly well, and it wasn’t for any type of foresight. It just worked out that way.” Looking to make a “lifestyle change” by leaving the Bay Area, the Selnas moved back to the house on Augusta Street with plans to remodel. As the building plans started to come together, it became clear that the family of four would have to find somewhere to live as the house underwent its massive transformation. “I found this funky 1973 trailer on Craigslist for sale in Pismo for $1,500. I ran out and picked it up, towed it back and said, ‘Okay, this is going to be our home for the next year,” explains Tim. “It was pretty tight quarters, something like 7’ x 19’, but the whole experience really brought us together as a family.” The Selnas then channeled all of their creative energy on the home, which they claim was “a culmination of everything they had done in past design-build projects.” And, it’s clear from the details that include the five programmable, thermostatically controlled fireplaces that provide heat and ambiance to the home, that no detail was overlooked. “We moved the stairwell from one side of the house to the other,” Tim says while pointing to the space that was gained. “But, we did all of that while still preserving the original character of the home, which did present some significant challenges, particularly on the second floor, where we had to deal with the extreme pitch of the roof.” While the 3,300 square foot home includes rooftop photovoltaic solar panels, which supply a majority of their electricity (they are able to provide power back to the grid during peak use periods), there are also many personal touches. The tile and stonework reflects the couple’s attention to detail as does the warm and inviting interior décor. But, perhaps, the most intriguing feature of the home is the fiber optics light show in the barrel ceiling of the hallway leading into the master bedroom. The unbelievably intricate display is designed to mimic the night sky with over four hundred stars and ten recognizable constellations, and when it’s dark it is difficut to tell that you are not outside gazing upward. Observes Tim, “When you give it enough time to enjoy the design you can come up with some amazing things.”
below BeFORe the house was “all roof”
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| The Way We Live
eXTReMe ROOF the pitch of the roof made for a challenging design on the second floor and the Selnaâ€™s spent their evenings discussing how to work with the tough angles presented by the original structure
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PReCiSiON careful measurements were made so that no tiles were cut in the construction of this shower
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| real estate
Market timing Is it really possible to “buy low and sell high” these days? We’ve done some digging and have been able to get answers. In the short-term the answer is “No – probably not.” In the long-term, the answer is “Yes – absolutely.” up to be an outstanding summer for real estate sales. But, it begs the question: can we make money in real estate, buying at current prices and then selling higher? The reality, as we have learned, is that the real estate market currently is highly efficient, meaning that buyers and sellers have regained a good understanding of what property is worth which it makes it really difficult to buy something that is significantly undervalued, or overvalued for that matter. Therefore, the price you pay for a property is probably pretty close to what it is worth, which makes it unlikely to immediately resell it for a quick profit. But, in the long-term things begin to change. Over the last one hundred years, through good times and bad, expansions and recessions, real estate has been a phenomenal investment returning a significant percentage above inflation consistently. Despite this longterm trend, local real estate experts insist that it is nearly impossible to time the market in the short-term, although there appears to be some reasonably predictable factors that occur each year [see “Ask the Experts” on page 24] that cause peaks and valleys along the way.
Although the Central Coast remains a highly desirable place to live (I mean, come on, SLO is the “Happiest Place on Earth”… why wouldn’t you want to live here!?) and we all know that, but what about the real estate market. The recent numbers tell us that our market remains active and vibrant [see “the numbers at a glance” below] when compared to other areas. And local real estate professions report that this is shaping
The best strategy, as we continue to find, is to buy a home (or investment property) that you intend to keep for a minimum of at least three to five years or more and let the market run its course. Since there are so many factors that shape the market at any one time, there is no way to reliably predict where it is going. But, the long-term here on the Central Coast continues to be on an upward trajectory even when including the boom and busts, bubbles and bursts, real estate continues to be a great investment – just don’t plan on buying and selling for a quick profit and, if it does happen, chalk it up to good luck. SLO LIFE
the numbers at a glance Comparing the last four months to the same period last year (01/01/10 - 04/30/10 vs. 01/01/11 - 04/30/11) Home Price $100,000 - $500,000 2010 2011 +/-
1. Total Homes Sold
Home Price $500,001 - $1,000,000 2010 2011 +/-
Home Price $1,000,001+ 2011
2. Average Asking Price
3. Average Selling Price
$1,424,000 - 0.79%
4. Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 96.61%
5. Average # of Days on the Market
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of Realtors 22
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Our approach to real estate is about much more than property… it’s about people.
The Payne Team
Magnificent Ferrini Heights home backing up to Bishop’s Peak open
Private Retreat. Approximately 30 acres in Edna Valley with private reservoir
Privacy Meets Proximity. Gorgeous home near downtown San Luis
Fantastic Home on Cul-de-Sac. This remodeled 3,200 sq. ft. residence has 4 bedrooms, each with their own bath, making this a wonderful family home. The private walkway to the front door has a calming water feature and gardens. Cherry hardwood floors, grand fireplace in living room, separate formal dining room, and wonderful family room. Offered at $719,000 by Gavin Payne. www.1736LeeAnnCt.com
space. Spacious living areas are accented by vaulted open beam ceilings, clerestory windows & archway transitions. Gourmet kitchen features granite countertops, center island, eating bar & stainless steel appliances. Luxurious master suite and large living room w/ fireplace. Lush landscaping, back slate patio & gazebo. Offered at $1,175,000 by Gavin Payne. www.191Anacapa.com
Obispo on a very-private, large flag lot. Kitchen, dining room and living room blend seamlessly together. Oak floors, open beam ceiling, and an abundance of light provide a tranquil glow. Landscaped half acre lot backs up to year-round creek and provides views of Madonna Mountain. Price Reduced to $1,075,000. Jed Damschroder. www.178Broad.com
& seasonal creek bordered by a dramatic, rocky bluff. Architecturally appealing home with open floor plan and stunning views from most rooms. Master suite and 2 generously sized bedrooms, basement suitable for wine cellar and a large finished workshop with potential for guest room or separate office. Price reduced to $1,275,000 by Denise Silva-Topham
Well Maintained and Elegant 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with approx. 1750 sq. ft. plus sunroom that provides spectacular views of signature San Luis Obispo peaks from the spacious master suite. Fantastic location at the end of a cul-de-sac just blocks from Laguna Hills Park, close to Laguna Middle School and Laguna Lake Municipal Golf Course. Offered at $689,000 by Gavin Payne. www.1735Jalisco.com
The Payne Team
Three Bedroom Mediterranean Home with panoramic views of the city and hills beyond. Formal dining room, family room, and office provide the homeowner with spacious living areas. This property stands apart in the development with large lawn area, rear patio, and upper level deck with phenomenal views. Offered at $699,000 by Gavin Payne. www.488Bluerock.com
To view these listings and more visit www.HomesofSLO.com
Denise Silva Topham
962 Mill Street San Luis Obispo, California 93401
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| REaL ESTaTE
ask The Experts Is it true that seasonality exists in the real estate market? And, if so, whatâ€™s in store for the Central Coast this summer?
Gavin Payne The Real Estate Group of San Luis Obispo
Inspired Habitats San Luis Obispo
Specializing in Home & Office Organization Feng Shui Interior Decorating Home Staging
Karen Strombotne 805.439.0270 inspiredhabitats.net
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Yes, it is true that things are busier during the summer months and a big reason for that is daylight savings, actually. Buyers, who are usually tied up with work until at least 5 oâ€™clock, are able to see homes in the light of day, which, as simple as it sounds, makes a big difference. Here locally, we are not as affected as much by the weather, such as you would be in an especially cold or snowy climate, but the warmer weather here on the Central Coast does impact open house attendance. A rainy day, for example, will invariably lead to fewer open house attendees than a bright, sunny day. The early months of this year have been exceptionally strong, which I attribute to buyers and sellers becoming emotionally adjusted to the new realities of the market and gained a much better understanding of values. The last two years were different, of course, as it took that amount of time to work through the adjustment, but so far this year has really been astonishing.
If you were to look at a chart of real estate activity, you would see almost a perfect bell shaped curve that peaks in June and July with the slowest months starting around November and ending sometime around February. During the summer months families are trying to get settled in before the new school year and the weather is typically the best, although we have relatively mild, temperate weather year round. Last year was a bit of an anomaly as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created tax credits that expired just prior to the normally busy summer months, which created an incentive for buyers to act quickly. This also created a bit of a vacuum after the fact as so many of those transactions were sped up to meet the deadline. So far this year it looks like things have normalized and we are back to the traditional bump that we have become accustomed to seeing now.
Wes Burk Patterson Realty
Have a real estate question? Go to slolifemagazine.com to get an answer.
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| Slo life dealS
SLO LIFE dEaLS Experience something new. Get a great deal. Our participating businesses want you to check them out and they are offering a compelling reason to do it with a deal you canâ€™t refuse! So, go ahead and experience something new and support a local business while youâ€™re at it.
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Slo life dealS |
How it works… 1
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| Slo life dealS Rev 755 alphonso Street, San luis obispo 805.264.4531 revslo.com Rev is offering two personal training sessions ($150 value) for just $50! Check out this full service gym offering personal training sessions and classes in zumba, kick boxing, cardio hip hop, spin, pilates, tnt, piyo, bootcamp, power walking, jump & pump, and jolt. You do not have to be a member to use this SLO LIFE DEAL. There are no start-up, cancellation, or hidden fees. So come get ready for summer and tone it up at Rev SLO! If you would like to continue with your personal trainer, Rev is offering additional discounted sessions (see website for details).
go to slolifemagazine.com/deals and click “buy now”
$150 value for $50 two personal training sessions for $50
San luis obispo Blues Baseball 805.512.9996 bluesbaseball.com The Blues are offering 10 admission tickets ($50 value) for only $25. Hey batter, batter! Join the fun at Sinsheimer Stadium all summer long with this sweet package of tickets to ten home games. Take your family, share them with friends, and support the hometown team!
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$50 value for $25 50% off admission tickets
The oak Pit Barbeque Company 564 Highway 1, arroyo Grande 805.473.0441 oakpitbbqco.com The Oak Pit BBQ Company is offering a $20 voucher for $10 (50% off). Serving specially selected tri-tip, beef ribs and chicken cooked over an open wood pit. The tri-tip is BBQed to perfection, sliced, and served on a soft french roll with either salsa or special BBQ sauce. Their beef ribs are a favorite, if you think you have had ribs...think again! Those babies are cooked to perfection so be prepared, the ribs are succulent, rich and beyond compare. The chicken is juicy and BBQ’d just enough to keep it moist and irresistible. And the special seasoning makes it impossible to resist.
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$20 value for $10 50% off restaurant voucher
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Slo life dealS |
danielle dutro Photography 619.933.4818 danielledutro.com Danielle Dutro Photography, as seen in SLO LIFE Magazine, is offering a sitting fee ($200 value) for just $50. A discounted print package is available as well, see website for details. Need senior portraits? Updated family photos? Product shots for your business? Headshots for your portfolio? Well then, this is the deal for you! Be sure to go online to get the scoop.
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$200 value for $50 photo session sitting fee for $50
Crushed Grape 319 Madonna Road, San luis obispo 805.544.4449 crushedgrape.com Crushed Grape is offering a $20 voucher for $10 (50% off). You will find some amazing homemade gifts, farmer’s market produce, and local award winning wines at Crushed Grape. Known for their local San Luis Obispo County baskets, they also ship daily all across the country, and deliver throughout the county. Go to our website for details on this deal.
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$20 value for $10 50% off store voucher
Tropical Chocolate Company 1127 Broad Street 805.540.7077 tropicalchocolateco.com Husband and wife chocolatiers, Roger and Pamela Marshall, have recently relocated their Tropical Chocolate Company downtown and would love for you to come in. So, they are offering a free regular Tropical Chocolate Premium Bar with the purchase of a small San Luis Obispo Chocolates box, which has been inspired by the many small farmers, growers and vintners of our area. By choosing locally grown products that means fresh, more flavorful ingredients and a healthy local economy. Each artisan chocolate is handcrafted in small batches and exquisitely decorated with personal attention by the Marshalls. A perfect gift or a treat for yourself!
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Wine Tasting, Fine Art Gallery, Gifts Vineyard Trolley Tours, Special Events
Schoolhouse Rock Concert Series June 26th - August 21st Every Sunday 1:00pm - 4:00pm Free Music Wine & Lunch for purchase No outside food or alcohol, please Bring the family!
6985 Ontario Road, san luis obispo
Schoolhouse in Avila Valley on the frontage road to hwy. 101 805-595-9463 salisburyvineyards.com
| No Place like home
The merrimaker BY JEANETTE TrOMPETEr, KSBY NEWS
It’s one of the oldest watering holes on the Central Coast. And, many people who have lived in this area have a story tied to the Merrimaker in Los Osos. Built originally in the 20’s it was called “Boots and Spurs.” Old-timers will tell you it was also a hitching post for horses and motorcycles - and it wasn’t all that out of the ordinary for a patron to ride one or the other inside to wet his whistle. It’s been the Merrimaker since 1963. And it’s been a gathering place for neighbors and friends since then as well. “So, how many people at the bar do you know right now?” I ask bartender Sam Wayne at the peak of happy hour when the place is packed. “All of them,” she answers in a split second. “No, wait. I’m sorry, there’s two I don’t know.” It’s been nicknamed the “Marriage Breaker” and the “Baby Maker,” and if you look up the definition of “dive bar” on Wikipedia.org, a picture of Merrimaker pops up on the screen. It’s an association that draws mixed reviews from regulars. “It’s more like ‘Cheers’ than a dive bar,” says Juli Hubbard. “I consider this my family. Everyone knows your name.” Her boyfriend chimes in: “Many times you’ll walk in and see your grandmother here. So I think a family bar would be more [accurate] than a dive bar.” It is true that it’s a gem of many generations. The walls tell the stories of people having fun in a series of picture collages. The photos prove that the only thing that has changed in the Merrimaker are the hairstyles, clothes and cast of characters, all sitting in the same seats
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as their generational counterparts. Well, that, and the absence of ashtrays on the bar and cigarettes in the hands of patrons. Cribbage is big at the Merrimaker and there’s a tournament once a month. Wayne learned the game from an 86-year old regular. “There’s never a time when you can’t come in here and strike up a game with someone aged 21 to 89,” she says. They also have bands and karaoke on weekends. It’s a place where people share the ritual they call winding down... where the conversation flows as freely as the cold beer on tap. You definitely won’t have any trouble stirring up a conversation, although you may have a little difficulty getting a word in edgewise. “The community that comes in here, they’re family,” observes Wayne. “One of our customers had cancer last year, so our Christmas fundraiser went to him and his family this year. Even right now we’ve got a jar for one of our patrons who had surgery a couple of weeks ago. She’s going through tough times. Everyone at the bar puts money in for her. And we take care of it.” Whether or not the Merrimaker should be the poster child for the definition of a dive bar remains up for debate. But if it is truly a dive bar, the Merrimaker is also a place that you’ll find all kinds of reminders that there’s No Place Like Home. SLO LIFE Jeanette Trompeter, KSBY News anchor and reporter, hosts the “No Place Like Home” series every Thursday evening at 6pm.
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| to Your HealtH
Manage Stress with Quiet It has been said that stress is a “silent killer” and there is no shortage of it in modern life, even here on the laid-back Central Coast. So, how do you alleviate, or at least manage, your stress? In a word: meditate.
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While it may conjure images of cross-legged mystical gurus, meditation can be used by all of us to maximize health and create a more balanced existence. And, there are many differnt meditation techniques - an internet search on the word “meditate” yields 72 million results - however, it need not be complicated. Most of the techniques focus on being still, clearing your mind, and controlling your breath. The idea of meditation is to slow things down and be still, which has the positive
med·i·tate verb \ˈme-də-ˌtāt\
Step 3 Relax and try to focus on nothing. This is a difficult concept to understand. It will be nearly impossible to avoid having random thoughts, but, when you do, try not to engage with them. The best way to do that is to “observe your thoughts” almost as if you are a third party and do not judge yourself or whatever comes into your mind. Step 4 Take deep, measured breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. If you are to focus your mind on anything, focus it on your breathing. Try to move your diaphragm up and down, drawing your breath through you stomach.
1 : to engage in contemplation or reflection 2 : to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
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health benefit of reducing stress and all of the physiological processes that go with it.
So, how do you do it? Step 1 Create the time and space to meditate. This means turning off your computer, your smart phone, and all other electronic devices. Ideally, you can find a quiet place in nature, but an office setting can work fine, too. Turn off the fluorescent lights if you can. Step 2 Find a comfortable seated position. Try level ground, on the top of a pillow or at the edge of a chair. Your posture should be straight and upright. Don’t slouch over and do not worry about mimicking the lotus position.
Step 5 Chant some sort of monosyllabic expression, like “ohhhhhm” over and over again. [This didn’t feel very natural for us, so we just stuck with Steps 1 – 4, which seemed to give us great results.] But, many of the instructions we encountered did encourage this step, and we’re not sure why – perhaps we did not give it enough of a chance.
Most forms of meditation encourage a session lasting anywhere from five to 30 minutes in length, however, there are some practices that may go for hours and even days at a time. We felt that five minutes was about all that we could handle before losing our focus (or lack of it or “mindfulness” as they say) before we would return to our normal, hectic modern lives. But, even with just five minutes once a day, we did notice a substantial reduction in our stress. Don’t let finding the perfect location stop you. These techniqes can even be done while standing in line at the grocery store. Just breathe deeply and quiet your mind. SLO LIFE
recommended viewing: Go to youtube.com and type in “how to meditate” in the search field for instructional videos. We will also offer a link to a few of them on our website at slolifemagazine.com
Let every breath bring you back to Centre TWO LOCATIONS WITH OVER 70 CLASSES A WEEK TO CHOOSE FROM! Yoga Centre SLO 1880 Santa Barbara St. #110 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.598.7100 YOGA CENTRE AG 900 East Grand Ave. Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 805.474.8876 Teaching over 8 different styles of yogafrom Healing Yoga to Vinyasa Flow! Now offering CHILD CARE and KIDS YOGA! Check out our website at yogacentre.com for class schedules and information on our monthly workshops. Call either studio today for a free consultation with a Yoga Advisor, and to get started with your yoga journey.
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| AFTER HOURS
Tim Stapf, owner of Central Coast Flooring, started playing roller hockey 18 years ago when he was 31. It was coaching his son’s hockey team in Orange County that led him to “fall in love with the sport.” In 2001 Stapf says he learned about “these guys in Morro Bay that play a tough brand of hockey.” Those guys are known as the Del Mar Boys. They play for about three hours on Sunday mornings - no referees, full contact, and only a few time outs to rest. According to Stapf, the camaraderie and competitiveness is like no other sport. “I don’t know how many years I have left before it’s time for me to hang up my skates. But once you play the sport, you become hooked for life.” SLO LIFE 34
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| Small buSinESS
old juan’s Cantina
adam, Eva, and john vErdin Old Juan’s Cantina If determination, ingenuity, and hard work are the underpinnings of “The American Dream,” then the life of John Verdin could be held up as a prime example of what makes our country and our community great. The iconic restaurant he built along with his family and longtime employees - Old Juan’s Cantina in Oceano - is poised to celebrate its 35th anniversary this fall. Today, the second generation of Verdins continue to honor their father’s traditions and teachings while also evolving with the times as they build on his legacy. “My grandparents came here from Mexico, so my dad was second-generation. He got his start in the restaurant business at the Boys Restaurant in Santa Maria as a dishwasher,” reflects Eva Verdin, General Manager at Old Juan’s Cantina. “He had an incredible work ethic and often told us that, ‘doing the right thing usually does not mean doing the easy thing.’” Her brother and co-owner, Adam Verdin, who also works as a commercial pilot, chimes in, “Dad was always focused on putting out a consistently great meal, but he also understood that the sensibilities and tastes of people do change, and he had a willingness to adapt.” John Verdin, who passed away a little more than a year ago, had the foresight to begin a succession plan with his children, who grew up in the restaurant, long before he became ill. Eva smiles as she recalls, “My parents kept a crib in the kitchen, and they would push it up against the dishwasher so the whirring and humming would help me fall asleep. To this day, I cannot get to sleep without some type of background noise.” Her brother, Adam, who, because of the restaurant’s proximity to the Oceano Airport was also inspired as a young boy to learn to fly, thinks back, “We used to come home from school and do our homework in one of the booths in the bar. We still have customers to this day that remember seeing us studying in there from years ago.” Today, the focus remains on “great food and great customer service” according to the brother and sister team, but there are also hints of the new generation’s influence. Recently added to the menu are three new types of margaritas (jalepeno, fresca, and cucumber) as well as an innovative appetizer called “cactus sticks,” which are small strips of cactus that have been breaded, deep fried and paired with a mild, cream-based dipping sauce that the family has developed over “many years of trial and error.” They explain that the dish was inspired by their grandmother, who had cherished her cactus garden. Along with a passion for great food, John Verdin also shared with his children a good sense for business and insisted that they understand their costs at all times. He spent hours meticulously recording his thoughts and recipes along with their corresponding costs on 3” x 5” index cards, which now serve as daily reminders of their father. And, as the duo works to install a sophisticated new computer system that will better allow them to track their food costs, Eva is astonished to learn just how precise her father’s accounting actually was. “It is absolutely ridiculous how accurate he was with those cards. When we compare his notes to what the computer comes up with, it is either the same number or it’s within a penny.” SLO LIFE 36
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Five hikes in Five Days
Froom Creek/mariposa Trail irish hills, san luis obispo
The City recently expanded this open space and it is spectacular! On your way up you will be treated to views of the big box roofs at Costco, which has solar panels (way to go, Costco!) and Home Depot, which doesn’t (come on guys, it’s not like you can’t afford it!) and now Target (…Target, we’re watching you!). But, don’t let the new development fool you, as you’re in for treat as you ascend through some really nice tree groves and seasonal streams. Once you get to the top of ridge some amazing views await. DisTanCe 4 miles Time 2 hours elevaTion Gain 700 feet
Coon Creek/raTTlesnake FlaTs monTana De oro, los osos
An amazingly beautiful walk in an incredibly unique area, we do not have enough superlatives to describe this hike, which is one of our most favorite in the area. Rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and a huge variety of wild flowers and vegetation grace the trail. This walk is especially nice on a hot day as the consistently cool onshore breeze makes for a pleasant stroll. Alternatively, it can get cold out there so we recommend layers. DisTanCe 4 miles Time 2 hours elevaTion Gain 700 feet
Cerro alTo peak Los Padres NatioNaL Forrest, Hwy 41 - Morro Bay/atascadero
The best view on the Central Coast, hands down. That’s why we recommend it, even though it is a bit of a trek for most people, plus it’s a bummer to have to pay $5 to park… but, it’s worth it! And, you should do it at least once. There are forests on this walk that will remind you of the Sierra Nevadas as well a variety of flora and fauna, but most of all this hike is about the view. So, plan to go on a clear, warm day and you will not be sorry. Tip You can add the East Fork/AT&T Cable Road loop for a longer hike along the beautiful East Fork Creek (we include it as an option on our printable map on slolifemagazine.com). DisTanCe 4 miles Time 2.5 hours elevaTion Gain 1,650 feet
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Cerro Cabrillo peak morro bay sTaTe park
This peak is part of the chain of volcanic plugs or morros (aka â€œThe Nine Sistersâ€?) that are unique to our area which stretch from Morro Rock to Islay Hill in San Luis Obispo. Cerro Cabrillo can be found abutting the Morro estuary Natural Preserve. Unusually shaped in the form of a saddle with dual peaks at 850 and 911 feet respectively, this hike is a mustdo. Atop the peak you can take in sweeping panoramic vistas from the coastline to the Santa Lucia Mountains.
DisTanCe 3 miles Time 2 hours elevaTion Gain 900 feet
reservoir Canyon naTural reserve san luis obispo
This peaceful walk will lead you through a 487-acre reserve at the foot of the Cuesta Grade. As the walk starts you can hear traffic from nearby Highway 101, but with each step into the forest the sound fades away. The first part of the hike follows a stream at the bottom of the canyon, but rises quickly if you attempt to summit the grade [go online to download the SLO LIFE trail guide for more information]. About two-thirds of the way to the top you will find the whimsical group of metal sculptures (theories abound about how they got there: the top hypothesis are space aliens, artists, billy goats or Cal Poly Students). When there, be sure to treat yourself to a swing from one of the majestic Eucalyptus trees. You will feel as if you are on top of the word! DisTanCe 3 miles Time 2 hours elevaTion Gain 900 feet
Download your free SLO LIFE Trail Guide! It includes maps, directions, and additional information for these trails. Go to slolifemagazine.com and click on this icon: Click. Print. Hike. SLO LIFE
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| special interest
the Boys of summer and their families by joanna FLUG-EnTIn The front door swung open easily and jon and Leslie Goetz eagerly greeted me. We stepped inside and the stories flowed about their unusual summer houseguest. before we were able to make it to their couch it was clear that they cared deeply for the San Luis blues shortstop and spoke about him with the same pride one may display when discussing a son or daughter who is away at college. The Goetz’s are just one of many local families who host the blues players during their summer season in San Luis obispo. Without them, the team could not function. jon and Leslie finish each other’s sentences – as only a husband and wife can - as they excitedly share their experience with the blues organization. but what captured my imagination is jon’s perspective on the game. “baseball is a slower game, more of a thinking person’s game - more of a cerebral game. It’s nice to see the players at this age transition from physical to thinking.” With no time restraints or game clock, the players rely on intellect and strategy. Leslie is more succinct, “a blues game is just fun. you have the announcers going, and raffles going. It’s just a lot of fun.”
center tiMeless (left to right) Mike Kindel, Kansas State and Cory Ginther, UNLV carry on the tradition far right BlUes Fans enjoying a day at Sinsheimer Stadium above right sWeet VictOrY the Blues congratulate one another after a big win at home
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Each year a new group of players descends on San Luis obispo from all corners of the country. With wooden bats in-hand and a rigorous game schedule ahead, these young athletes are given a unique opportunity that will forever shape their lives as they forge a bond with their new families, their teammates, and their host city. Ryan aguayo, a student at new Mexico State, spent the past three summers as a member of the Goetz household. He has been playing baseball since he was five years old. With competition and success on the forefront of his mind, the blues have given him a little piece of his childhood passion back. “We had the opportunity to coach kids at a summer camp in SLo. being with them and watching them play and laugh reminded me why I still play ball today.” baseball has played an important role in aguayo’s life, but since he is under the average size of a ball player, he has had to work hard to find an edge in his game. “you need to be tall, you need to be fast, and you need to have power—and I’m none of those.” For aguayo each game means playing not just for himself but also for the entire team. aguayo’s voice swells with pride as he sketches out his most memorable games with the blues. He will graduate this summer and is anxiously awaiting news from the Major League draft where he is considered a long shot. If he goes
GoETz FaMILy WITH Ryan aGUayo
and she does make a good point. anyone who has been to a blues game will likely agree that there is something uniquely american, uniquely San Luis obispo about the experience. Perhaps it is the incredible teamwork that builds in just a few short months. or families faithfully opening their doors and sharing their lives with a total stranger. For many, it’s the familiarity of watching these college ballplayers take the field, proudly
left BlUeBelle the Blue’s mascot has fun with a young fan
wearing the same uniforms that have been passed along from those before them. of course, who can forget the amtrak train ambling along behind the outfield fence in the distance.
undrafted, he hopes to return again this year to the blues, not as a player, but as a coach. If aguayo does end up making the transition from player to coach this year, he can count on learning the craft from someone who is widely regarded as one of the best around. by all accounts, Coach Chal Fanning works the boys hard and expects them to be a cohesive unit very quickly. With only 59 days to play 52 games there is little time to spare. but Fanning knows that coming to play summer ball is not just about the games, not just about being on the field everyday - there is something bigger than hitting a baseball. He sees possibility in their youth and finds promise in them as individuals. “The most rewarding thing for me is to see a player grow. Watch them move down a developmental path and grow from boys to men.” The tradition of navy blue and gold is not new. officially the team was established in 1946, but a black and white framed picture hanging prominently on the office wall of jim Galusha, proud blues owner, provides evidence of its existence in the early 1900’s. Says Galusha, “When you come to the blues as a college player you can count on three things: you are going to have great coaches, a fun time, and you’re going to walk away with friendships that last forever.” The blues are in the California Collegiate League, which allows some of the top college players in the nation to keep their skills sharp during their summer offseason. The league is highly regarded by Major League scouts - it is not uncommon to spot one at a game - and a significant percentage
of the players will be drafted after graduating from their respective schools. The league will give the boys a taste for what it’s like to play in the minors, which generally are made up of three different class levels of “farm leagues” that feed into the Major Leagues. and, like minor league baseball, crowd participation and interaction is just as much a part of the experience as the game itself. between each inning the blues provide entertainment and the atmosphere becomes carnival-like as young fans are invited down to the field for such games as the “dizzy bat race” and the “foot loose frenzy.” The blues players can be seen taking turns supervising the children’s extra-curricular activities, as well as raking and preparing the infield between innings. The intergenerational camaraderie among the people involved in making the San Luis blues a success reminds us why baseball is such a rich tradition in america. and the young men taking the field this season bring new life and new meaning to the game while inspiring the next generation of players who are still trying to run in a straight line during the “dizzy bat race.” but, for the host families, this common bond, this passion for the game that exists in so many of us, means giving a dreamer, a kid who is just passing through San Luis obispo for the season, a place to call home and an opportunity to grow. but, it could be said that the boys of summer are doing the same for them. Susie Gill, who will be going on her third year as a host mom, becomes suddenly animated as she explains the impact the players have had on her during that time. “It’s so much fun, and it puts a lot of energy back into my life because all my kids are grown up and so it’s just me and the dogs the rest of the year.” SLO LIFE
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| LocaL food by LocaL peopLe
Mineral SpringS r e S o rt & S pa
GARDENS OF AVILA RESTAURANT creating memorable moments one event at a time...
CELEBRATE w i t h
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for the Love of food From as far back as I can remember, I have always loved to eat. Half of my family is from the South and half of my family is from Europe, so I had a lot of different styles of cooking in my family, which I think taught me variety and style. Since I was little, I was always in the kitchen with my mom. I constantly wanted to learn and experiment with different flavors. I loved my Easy-Bake Oven and was always trying to make food for people, but trust me, my creations weren’t always the most tasty.
the places I’m visiting through my palate. It has always been a passion of mine to gather people together around food. There is no better ingredient in my cooking than love.
Surprisingly, I used to be a really picky eater, but something obviously changed later in my life. When I was in college my roommate’s and I would host dinner parties to give me a reason to cook. I loved seeing people’s reaction to my food, and in college people really appreciated a homecooked meal.
There was a time where I thought I might have wanted to be a full-time chef, but after trying it out, I realized that when I got home at night I didn’t want to cook anymore, which was a travesty to me. At this moment in time I am starting to look into health coaching. The food choices people make have more of an effect on them than I think they realize. I want to teach people about good food for their bodies, and help inspire them to live a healthy lifestyle.
Since graduating I have been exploring life through food. I love to travel and learn about
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By SUZANNE LINDELL
Scones are my all-time favorite things to make. I host Scone Sunday at the Sanitarium on Osos Street every week, where people have the option between 4-6 different types of my homemade scones. Cooking is just fun for me. Breakfast is my favorite meal to make, but I also love to bake. I currently bake for Linnaea’s Café in SLO. I love living in San Luis Obispo, because we are fortunate to have an abundance of fresh local produce and wine to choose from which makes for great food.
buttermiLk SconeS Modified from Tartine Makes Approximately 12 Scones 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup + 1 tablespoon very cold, unsalted butter 1 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped 1 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet (or two!) with parchment paper. 2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or a food processor. 3. Cut chilled butter into smaller cubes (about 1/2”) and cut into dry ingredients with pastry knife, or pulse in processor until the butter is in pea-sized lumps and transfer into a bowl. 4. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add buttermilk all at once, along with lemon zest and cumin seeds. 5. Using a flat wooden spoon or rubber spatula to blend, mix and press together, for about 4 strokes continue mixing and pressing together. Add the chopped apricot pieces and repeat about 4 stokes to combine evenly. 6. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead gently, pressing the dough together until it comes forms a ball. 7. Form the dough into a log, 1” high by 4” wide, and 16-18” long, or create a round disk that’s approximately 1 1/2” high. Brush the top with a bit of buttermilk. Using a sharp knife or pastry paddle, cut dough into 12 triangles. 8. Bake for 18 minutes and then check them. The tops should be just beginning to turn golden. Serve warm and enjoy! Note - I serve scones with a variety of toppings and sauces. A favorite is about 3/4 cup Light Daisy Sour Cream, 2 tablespoons of honey, a bit of lemon zest, and freshly chopped basil, marjoram, thyme, or any other herb that compliments your scone flavor!
WiLd rice SaLad Serves 3 Entrees or 5-6 Side Portions 2 cups wild rice mixture 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 cup feta cheese crumbles 2 cups arugula greens 1 cup sliced grapes 3/4 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or toasted pumpkin seeds 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts 1 cup roasted asparagus, chopped 4 tablespoons fresh marjoram or thyme, chopped 4 tablespoons really yummy olive oil juice of 1 lemon 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper 1. Cook the rice as directed in 2 cups water, and 2 cups broth. When rice is tender, transfer to a metal bowl and toss, allowing heat to escape so it can cool for a bit. Rice can cool to chilled or your preference. 2. While the rice cooks, chop and prepare the other ingredients. 3. To roast the asparagus, heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop spears into 1 1/2” to 2” pieces, place on a cooking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, a bit of lemon, salt and pepper and sprinkle with half of the chopped herbs. Cook for about 5 minutes and check, shifting the sheet to allow the spears to roll, then cook for another 5 minutes or so - asparagus should be tender but retain a slight crunch. For the last 2 minutes, shift the oven to broil and get a little crisping to the surface. Remove from oven and set aside. 4. While rice cools, drain artichoke hearts and set aside, crumble feta, slice or quarter grapes and gather the seeds and dried fruit. 5. Add all ingredients except the greens - toss together and combine. Next, add greens, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until just combined. Serve and enjoy. This is great as a leftover dish, a Thanksgiving side, or even breakfast with a poached egg! Note - Here are some other flavor options to consider: chopped apples or pears, sweet orange slices, pomegranate seeds, blanched broccoli, dried apricots, cherries, spinach greens, mustard greens, olives, sun dried tomatoes, pecans, chick peas, sautéed chicken sausage, meat balls… Get creative and let the season, our local farmer’s market, and even color inspire your palate! HuevoS rancHeroS Serves 4 polenta (1 1/2 cups polenta, 4 3/4 cups water, 2 teaspoons butter, 2 teaspoons salt) 1/2 cup sour cream or cream cheese 2 cups pepper jack cheese 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, diced red onion, chopped 1 can soaked/rinsed black beans juice of one orange fresh marjoram fresh cilantro tomatoes, chopped avocado, sliced 4 eggs 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar salt and pepper to taste 1. Begin with Enrico’s Easy Polenta Preparation (from the Golden Pheasant polenta package). Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place all ingredients in a buttered 8-9” baking dish. Stir with fork until combined. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. 2. Prepare water bath for poaching the eggs: boil 4 cups of water and white vinegar. Peel and dice garlic, chop red onion, and drain black beans. Pick cilantro leaves, dice tomato and marjoram. 3. After 40 minutes remove polenta from oven and stir in sour cream or cream cheese and 1 cup pepper jack cheese, blending well with a fork. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes. 4. Heat olive oil (and a bit of butter if you like) in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and sautee until sizzling and translucent. Reduce heat slightly and add beans, garlic and marjoram. Stirring, squeeze half the orange juice into the pan and allow it to slowly heat through and reduce. Season with salt and pepper. 5. To poach the eggs, crack each one and drop it into the water bath, allowing the white to swirl up to make a pocket for the yolk. The vinegar will help hold the egg together. 6. While eggs cook, slice avocado. Remove polenta from the oven and give it a stir to combine. 7. Scoop polenta into a pile, top with bean/onion mixture and a few tomatoes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop eggs (one at a time), drain, and carefully place on top. Top with pepper jack, sour cream, cilantro, and avacado. Add a pinch of salt, cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil if you like. SLO LIFE Have a recipe to share? Go to slolifemagazine.com to tell us about it.
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| community calendar
Presenting the best in professional entertainment at the Performing Arts Center!
Wine, Waves and Beyond June 2nd – 5th San luis obispo county winewavesandbeyond.com
This classic surf and wine event celebrates the best of San Luis Obispo County. Combining the fun, laid-back atmosphere of our wine country and unique surf culture, come out and enjoy four days of unforgettable events evoking the magic of wine and waves. All proceeds go to support the Association of Amputee Surfers (AmpSurf).
roll out the Barrels June 23rd – 26th San luis obispo slowine.com Start the summer off with a bang. The 21st annual Roll Out The Barrels events begin with Barrels in Mission Plaza on Thursday where SLO Vintner’s will partner with local chefs to go side-by-side and pair up the perfect culinary bites with the perfect sampling of wines while enjoying live music by Red Skunk. On Friday Night enjoy Winemaker Dinners & Social Events. And journey through a self-guided tour Saturday & Sunday with your Passport to SLO Vintner Wine Country.
California International Choral Festival June 24th – 26th christopher cohan Performing arts center californiachoral.org Enjoy energetic and accomplished singers who come to San Luis Obispo from every corner of the world competing for coveted awards. Choirs from Uganda, Indonesia, The Republic of Congo, Ukraine and California bring with them a remarkable diversity, not only in their home of origin, but also in their style, language, musical dynamics and interpretation. 44
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SPECIALIZING IN: Gymnastics ages 8 mo - 18 yrs
Cheerleading Acrobatic Gymnastics Tumble & Trampoline
Festival Mozaic July 14th – 24th california central coast festivalmozaic.com
ages 4 - 18 yrs
ages 3 and up
Explore the influence pop culture has had on classical music throughout the ages. Encompassing a surprising array of composers from the 17th century to today, the 2011 Summer Festival presents works inspired by fairy tales, legends, plays and literary works, the jazz age, the art world and even rock and roll.
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FIRST DAY OF DAYCARE FREE! 173 Buckley Road • San Luis Obispo (805) 596-0112 thousandhillspetresort.com
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Renaissance Festival July 16th – 17th el chorro regional Park ccrenfaire.com
Protect the ones You
The 27th Annual Central Coast Renaissance Festival proves to be San Luis Obispo County’s most unique festival, where over 800 costumed participants converge to create Donneybrooke, an English Renaissance village, brilliantly decorated for your ultimate summer fantasy entertainment.
Mid State Fair July 20th – 31st Paso robles event center midstatefair.com “Mountains of Fun” is the theme for 2011. Live music, rodeos, bull riding, prize farm animals, arts & crafts displays, live entertainment, carnival rides, monster trucks, wine tasting, food and much more at this hugely popular event. Performances include Steve Miller Band, Sugarland, Maroon 5 & Train, Selena Gomez & The Scene, Jason Aldean, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Chicago.
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ampsurf Imagine that you are told you will never be able to walk on your own two feet again. Now imagine being told you can surf. We recently had the opportunity to get to know some of the people behind the Association of Amputee Surfers. Also known as AmpSurf, it is a non-profit organization made up of amputees, veterans and friends and family of the disabled here on the Central Coast. We were inspired by their stories and wanted to share them with you. But, we’ll let them speak for themselves...
age 40 Hometown Livermore Falls, ME BoarD Dimensions 8’6” BoarD type Armstrong surf spot Pismo Beach Pier
age 28 Hometown Morro Bay, CA BoarD Dimensions 8’8” BoarD type Santa Cruz Strive surf spot 24th Street, Morro Bay
age 26 Hometown Chatam, Ontario BoarD Dimensions 7’6” BoarD type Golven surf spot Willow Creek, Big Sur
age 23 Hometown Manteca, CA BoarD Dimensions 12’ BoarD type stand-up paddle board surf spot Pismo Beach
“I lost my leg not my life.”
“My life is based around how the waves are that day and when I’m going to go out. It’s totally changed my life.”
“I might have a few different limitations, but even the average able person has limitations in different ways.”
“I always have people coming up to me saying, ‘You’re doing something I can’t even do with two legs and you’re doing it with one.”
For Monican DeNatly, walking with prosthetics has become second nature. She was born missing the fibula bones in both of her legs. Her parents decided it would be best to amputate her legs below her knees when she was three years old. Growing up in Canada, surfing was the last thing DeNatly thought she would be doing. Now DeNatly is in the ocean three to four times per week and checks the surf report every day.
Before the snowboarding accident that forced Nate Smids to have his leg amputated six years ago, he was active in several sports. Instead of allowing his “luck” (as he calls it) to hinder him, he has adapted his daily routine to accommodate his prosthetic leg.
Three years ago Courtney Dawn was not sure what was wrong with her leg and neither were her doctors. After years of misdiagnosis, Dawn was told she had osteogenic sarcoma, a malignant bone cancer. After the subsequent chemotherapy and limb-salvage surgery, Dawn was given two options: let the cancer spread or have her leg amputated. A year and a half ago Dawn chose the latter and never looked back.
9 years ago in August, 2002, AmpSurf founder Dana Cummings’ leg was amputated due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Cummings learned to surf in January 2003, only four months after his amputation. In August 2003 Cummings competed in his first surfing competition and took 4th place, receiving his first trophy. He now competes in surfing, wakeboarding, water-skiing, rock climbing, snowboarding and soccer – all sports he did not participate in prior to his amputation.
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