SLO LIFE Magazine JunJul 2018

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LIFE SLO magazine

LOCAL EVENTS NEWS BRIEFS

BY THE NUMBE JUN/JLY 2018 SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

HEALTH LIFESTYLE CAN YOU HANDLE IT

MUSIC ENE

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NITY BUILDING COMMU AD & SHARING THE RO JUN/JLY 2018

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Cal Poly Art and Design Department | Art Director: Shaina Kim, Designer: Briana Jackson | Photographers: Ally Evans, Noelle Merrihew, Ysabel Sullivan

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1 8 1 TA N K FA R M R O A D . S U IT E 140 . SAN LUIS OBISPO . CA . 805-543- 7600 JUN/JLY 2018

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GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS . LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

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LIFE SLO magazine

CONTENTS

Volume 9 Number 3 Jun/Jly 2018

38 PANCHO HERRERA

A combined passion for cycling and community inform his unique perspective.

12 14 16 18 8

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Publisher’s Message Info On the Cover In Box

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Briefs

Check out the latest news highlight reel.

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Timeline

We take a look at local events from the past two months.

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View

When an abandoned fishing boat caught his eye, NASH MORENO was quick to capture the anomaly at sea.


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| CONTENTS

Q&A

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With 40 years under her belt at CAP SLO, BIZ STEINBERG shares her perspective on the growth of the organization and the opening of the new homeless shelter in San Luis Obispo known as 40 Prado.

Now Hear This

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Real Estate

Look no further for insight into the local housing market as we share the year-to-date statistics of home sales for both the City and the County of San Luis Obispo.

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Health

Just in time for summer, we here at SLO LIFE check out the latest news in health trends covering everything from electromagnetic rays to nutrition.

A recent win as the best band at the High Sierra Music Festival has WORDSAUCE preparing to make their next big move.

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On the Rise

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Actress, musician, and SLO High graduating senior DASHA NOVOTNY is ready to shine into the future.

Insight

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Publisher TOM FRANCISKOVICH digs into recent developments connected to the 2,400-acre woodland, Wild Cherry Canyon.

Family

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In search of a destination geared toward fun for the whole gang, PADEN HUGHES reaches high at The Pad Climbing.

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Taste Biting into one of her most loved sandwiches—fried chicken—JAIME LEWIS explores not just its flavor, but also its cultural origins.

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K itchen

While the summer sun might remind most people of fresh fruit and lighter fare, for CHEF JESSIE RIVAS it’s a family recipe of albondigas soup that reigns supreme.

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Wine Notes

With camping trips, beach adventures, and poolside fun on the horizon, ANDRIA MCGHEE cracks open an unexpected surprise—wine in a can.

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Dwelling

Unique both in its architecture and design, this San Luis Obispo home is constructed of traditional, yet rarely seen, rammed earth. 10

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Brew

Pairing beer doesn’t apply only to food. BRANT MYERS makes a convincing case for taking your mood into consideration the next time you pop the top.

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Happenings Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered. Check out the calendar to discover the best events around the Central Coast in June and July.


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THE AVENUE CENTRAL COAST REALTY - REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 1 3 3 3 J O H N S O N AV E , S A N LU I S O B I S P O, C A 9 3 4 0 1 | ( 8 0 5 ) 5 4 8 2 6 7 0 | T H E AV E N U E S LO. C O M JUN/JLY 2018

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| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Helen I was in line at a gas station the other day behind an old, raspy-sounding woman who ordered a pack of cigarettes—Pall Malls—and I was instantly transported to 1992. Graduating from high school that year, it was customary to go away on a “senior trip” with your classmates. For us, it was scheduled to be a week in Mazatlán on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After talking it over with my cotton-farming cousin, Scottie, who was also graduating on the other side of town where all the country kids went to school, we decided that Mazatlán just wasn’t our cup of tea. Nothing against it, but for us San Joaquin Valley boys, life was slow; we went to bed early and got up that way, too. Truthfully, you could not have paid us to go to the never-ending party in Mazatlán. But, we needed to do something. We had to go out in the world and sow our wild oats. We had to commemorate our graduation with a senior trip. Fortunately for us, our Aunt Carol Ann—we called her ACA for short—owned a little vacation house, a casita, in Mexico. The two of us came up with a plan. We sold ACA on the idea of letting us stay in her place for a week, and we convinced my parents to loan us the family car, a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon, to get us there and back. As we prepped for the excursion, we sat down with ACA at her kitchen table. She handed over the keys, gave us a checklist of little maintenance items to do while we were there, and wrote out a list of “fun things to do.” At the top of the canary yellow sheet of paper, it read, “Go see Helen.” Naturally, we asked her, “Who’s Helen?” Aside from the first time I rode a bike without training wheels, I had never felt freedom quite the same way I did when I pushed down on the clutch, dropped it into fourth gear, and merged onto Highway 198 West; the valley heat poured through every wide-open window. We made it as far as San Diego that day. While we were wide-awake and could have pressed on, the VW was tired, and needed oil, and antifreeze. Behind the gas station, we snapped the curtains into place, wedged ourselves into the folded-down bed between surfboards and suitcases, and drifted off to a fitful sleep. The next morning, we both admitted that Helen made appearances in our dreams. We wondered what she would be like. “A stunning Mexican beauty,” according to ACA, “absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.” Scottie and I were both in agreement. Since there were two of us, but just one of her, we would let Helen decide who she liked best. The next day the van rolled onto Main Street, Ensenada, “Avenida de Cabezas” as we christened it, which featured the massive sculptured bronze heads of various historical Mexican, uh, figureheads. After a feast of curbside fish tacos, we putt-putted our way to the casita, neatly tucked into an ex-pat shantytown near Estero Beach. Except for a couple of toothbrushes, and one stick of Right Guard, the VW remained packed. At least our breath would be passable, and our B.O., according to our own judgment, mostly undetected. Practically running to Helen’s house—The Promised Land—we followed ACA’s map. “Turn izquierda at Juárez, derecho on Bahia, and keep an eye out for the casita with white rock and plastic pink flamingos out front.” Drawing a deep breath, my cousin knocked on the misshapen screen door held on by a single rusty hinge. “Hi, Helen—you there? It’s Scottie and Tommy. Your neighbor, Carol Ann, told you we’d come by.” Through the doorway, we could make out a faint silhouette, a mound shape crumpled into a La-Z-Boy recliner. An ancient Magnavox with a partially tuned-in telenovela blared Spanish histrionics in the background. Helen’s grandma. Through vocal chords marinated by many happy hours in the local cantinas, she summoned, “Come in.” Stepping over piles of TV Guides and boxes of Tab cola, we wedged our way into the rabbit hole of a living room. From the lips of the old woman hung a half-inhaled cigarette. On her chair’s armrest, next to the remote, was an empty package of Pall Malls. Struggling to rise, we reflexively supported her arms as she reached for her walker; sliced-open tennis balls adhered to the four legs. With the complexion of a catcher’s mitt, and the vitality of Kingsford charcoal, the old lady, pausing for a long swig from her iced glass of apricot Schnapps, had days that were clearly numbered. With one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, the grandma was in bad shape. After she finally wobbled into a reasonably stable upright position, I asked, “Is Helen home?” Careful to suck in every last carcinogen remaining in her glowing, unfiltered cigarette, the half-living woman exhaled a billowing cloud that rivaled the Volkswagen’s frequent backfires, and declared, “I’m Helen.” This issue marks the eight-year anniversary of SLO LIFE Magazine, and the only reason we are here is because of you. Thank you for your support, it means everything. And a special thanks to my team members who have worked so hard along the way to make it happen, and most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you. Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich tom@slolifemagazine.com 12

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LIFE SLO magazine

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4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM info@slolifemagazine.com (805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax PUBLISHER Tom Franciskovich CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sheryl Disher CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Paden Hughes Dawn Janke Jaime Lewis Andria McGhee Brant Myers Jessie Rivas CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Xander Bissell Elliott Johnson Nash Moreno Vanessa Plakias Makers & Allies CONTRIBUTIONS Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and announcements by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and clicking “Share Your Story” or emailing us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations. ADVERTISING If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone at (805) 543-8600 or by email at tom@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com/advertise and we will send you a complete media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers. SUBSCRIPTIONS Ready to live the SLO Life all year long? It’s quick and easy! Just log on to slolifemagazine.com/subscribe. It’s just $24.95 for the year. And don’t forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

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CIRCULATION, COVERAGE AND ADVERTISING RATES Complete details regarding circulation, coverage and advertising rates, space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for a media kit. Closing date is 30 days before date of issue.

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


When it comes to stroke, time is brain. A DVA N C E D S T R O K E C A R E N O W AVA I L A B L E I N S A N LU I S O B I S P O CO U N T Y

Interventional Neurology: Venkata Dandamudi, MD | Kiron Thomas, MD Hospital Neurology: Ashish Gajjar, MD

When every minute counts, having the experience and capability nearby to care for you can make all the difference. At Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, our local interventional neurology team is on call around the clock to provide the only endovascular approach to treating ischemic stroke patients in San Luis Obispo County. That means you’re treated quickly and within your own community to help minimize brain damage and improve outcomes.

What is Advanced Stroke Care? Learn more at: SierraVistaRegional.com/StrokeCare

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| ON THE COVER

A S NE A K P E E K

BEHIND the scenes WITH PANCHO HERRERA

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

I showed up at Pancho’s house right before sunset; the light was gorgeous. He had just ridden his bike home from work. Just a beautiful, quintessential SLO evening. Before we even started talking, I said, “Don’t move, Pancho!” and started shooting.

We took a look at some of his favorite bikes, his most favorite being the single speed. He said, “Keep life, and riding, simple.” 16

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Pancho also has a soft spot for vintage motorcycles. He was talking about looking at the world at a different angle, turning things upside down, and as he was saying that he jokingly flipped the manual upside down.

Pancho shared that he doesn’t want to be seen as a pillar of the community, but hopes that his attitude can be contagious and inspiring to others. He talked about how we all have many different facets, good and bad, and that we should applaud each other’s positives and find things that are inspiring in everyone, instead of focusing on the negative. That’s why we all love Pancho! SLO LIFE


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| IN BOX

Take us with you! Hey, SLO LIFE readers: Send us your photos the next time you’re relaxing in town or traveling far and away with your copy of the magazine. Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com PETRA, JORDAN

DOUG and NANCY BECKETT DAVE and MARY STORNETTA

S’HERTOGENBOSCH, NETHERLANDS

JÜRGEN, MAREIKE, AND LINA MATHWICH 18

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HAVANA, CUBA

Look what the members of SLO and Estero Bay Newcomers Travel Group found in Havana, a street called “Obispo.” We took a moment to enjoy it and share SLO LIFE with the Cuban people!

KA’ANAPALI, MAUI

ALLYSON BOLTON


LA FORTUNA DE SAN CARLOS, COSTA RICA

PARIS, FRANCE

ROBERT DEL CAMPO and CAROL RAMIREZ

FREIXO DE NUMAO, PORTUGAL

CONSTANCE PRADINES

LAKE POWELL

KIM MARTIN and DAVID NORTON in the village of Freixo de Numao, Portugal, where we just had watched how to make sugared almonds. Yum!

AUBURN, ALABAMA CAROL and SAUL GOLDBERG

SUPERTREE GROVE, SINGAPORE

KAREN FEENEY traveled to Auburn, Alabama with her copy of SLO Life. Here she is in front of Auburn University. Go Tigers!

IAN and MAGGIE MCKAY JUN/JLY 2018

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| IN BOX

You showed us... RIVER KWAI, THAILAND

SAN PEDRO, BELIZE

SEAN and DANA OBRIEN just got back from their 30th Anniversary trip to Thailand! MARYANN and BILL STANSFIELD traveled with us celebrating their 15th Anniversary. Also pictured is our guide YO and our new friend, also named SEAN. We took SLO LIFE with us to the Elephant World Refuge where we got these amazing pictures with the elephants. We gave them a mud bath then afterwards walked them over to the River Kwai and bathed them. FLOR and HEIDI LEAL

COMPOSTELA, NAYARIT, MEXICO VENICE, ITALY

The San Luis Obispo Rotary Club visiting their sister Rotary club in Compostela Mexico, conducting a service project planting trees in the Rotary Exercise Park, a facility previously built through a joint collaboration of the two clubs. 20

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SHERIDAN GOVERS and JUDY MAY


TOWER BRIDGE, LONDON

NEW ZEALAND

TONI and CRAIG KINCAID JUDY GRANTHAM

BOSTON MARATHON

NARA, JAPAN

LIZ BYRNES, AMY PARKINSON, SUSAN MCADOO, SUZI JIANUZZI, and ALISON BORGSMILLER after completing the Boston Marathon. SHEILA TEDONE

OSAKA, JAPAN HUNTINGTON LAKE

KYE and LITS BRENNEN

JET, DONOVAN, KILI, GENEVA, HARRISON, CARTER, and LANDER JUN/JLY 2018

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| IN BOX

SLO LIFE travels! STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

AUSTIN, TYLER, and NATALIE

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND

NORRIS-MENDELSOHN FAMILY

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

CHRIS and MICHAEL RITTER 22

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ROB ISAACS, VICKI JANSSEN, JIM and GINA FISHER visiting St. Louis for the National Collegiate Club Volleyball Championships to watch Cal Poly’s Men’s and Women’s teams compete.


NETHERLANDS

AMSTERDAM

SCOTT BRADFIELD

LAKE LOUISE, CANADA

“Moving to The Manse was

JI LI

the best decision of my life! The Staff

TUSCANY, ITALY

goes above and beyond!”

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Cottage Resident

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Please send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit facebook.com/slolifemagazine Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

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Letters may be edited for content and clarity. To be considered for publication your letter should include your name, city, state, phone number or email address (for authentication purposes). JUN/JLY 2018

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| BRIEFS

“It’s our responsibility as people to help one another. It’s as simple as that.” Former Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant, who made a surprise appearance on ABC’s “The View” to congratulate the Thompson family of San Luis Obispo for their fund-raising efforts for local non-profit Jack’s Helping Hand. The youngest Thompson, six-year-old Bryson, has epilepsy and together with his older brother, Brock, the two have been collecting sports memorabilia through their Helmets4Helmets program to be auctioned online for charity.

$21,625 The amount the County of San Luis Obispo paid a PR firm to handle the fallout stemming from a video documenting Andrew Holland’s death at the County Jail. Critics claimed the expenditure ran afoul of campaign finance laws and should have been paid for by Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s re-election campaign, and not the taxpayers.

“I only want the Jews in this special area, OK? I want them concentrated here.” Audience laughter and applause met the comment made by Milo Yiannopoulos at a “fake news” forum hosted by the Cal Poly College Republican Club. It was the second time in a year the club had invited him to speak. The cost of the security provided at the two events by the university and SLOPD was in the range of $150,000. 24

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#884 San Luis Obispo High School gets a nod from U.S. News & World Report when their recent survey ranked it among the best in the nation—884 out of more than 20,500 schools nationwide, and 149 out of 700 California high schools.

“We’re going to call her Justice.” The name 15-year-old Zoe Rosenberg of San Luis Obispo gave to the cow she attempted to save from the slaughterhouse. The cow was being raised on Cal Poly’s campus as part of a meat science class. A video documented the ordeal in which the activist chained herself to a gate and declared, “For all I care, they can kill me instead of this cow,” before she was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.

“…someone I have fallen in love with.” Deputy District Attorney Chase Martin, describing popular Cal Poly student Kennedy Love who was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike home on Foothill Boulevard last August. Martin, who prosecuted the case, obtained a seven-year prison sentence for Los Osos resident Gianna Catherine Brencola.

4th worst According to a ranking by RewardExpert, the Central Coast is the fourth worst place in the country to start a business. Thanks to the high cost of living, expensive office space, and extensive regulatory burden, the region had a poor showing and rounded out the bottom of the list, which put Denver, Colorado at the top.

“I don’t know if you can possibly die from second-hand sand. But, if that’s a thing, that’s how I choose to go.” Hanford resident and off-road riding enthusiast Mike Gomes speaking in opposition to the dust mitigation efforts at the Oceano Dunes during a public comments session in April. He continued, “I will die on that beach with a cigar in one hand, a vodka in the other, and a smile on my face, because I spend enough time at that beach with my wife and kids to have that much sand in my lungs.”

(820) No longer will “The 805” be just “The 805,” it’s now also “The 820.” Phone numbers issued from now on will have the new 820 area code and callers in the existing 805 zone, an area that stretches from Thousand Oaks to north of Paso Robles, will have to dial the full ten digit numbers to make local calls.

“The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than is present in Homo sapiens.” A recent report published by Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology suggests that the exceptionally intelligent octopus may actually be an ancient alien from outer space. This may explain why last month the owner of Giovanni’s Fish Market in Morro Bay, Giovanni DeGarimore, bought a 70-pound octopus that had been tangled up in a fisherman’s net, so that he could rehabilitate it and release it back to the ocean. SLO LIFE


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| TIMELINE

Around the County APRIL ’18 4/2

A body found in Prefumo Canyon is identified as Kristen Marti of Morro Bay, who had been reported missing on January 18th by family and friends. She was last seen on January 9th sitting with an adult male in a red Chevy S-10 Blazer on the 1800 block of Prefumo Canyon Road. Six weeks later, SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell held a press conference announcing that they had arrested a suspect by working together with authorities in Minneapolis, Minnesota where Arroyo Grande resident, 36-yearold Robert Koehler, was apprehended and charged with murder. Although the two did not have a prior relationship, Cantrell declined to share the details as to why they were together. Koehler had been the primary suspect for a month and SLOPD appealed to the public for information about his activities at the time of Marti’s disappearance. SLOPD monitored his whereabouts until they were able to build a case and obtain a warrant for his arrest.

4/4

Earlier this year, Cal Poly President Jeff Armstrong unveiled the university’s plans to increase its diversity with a new grant program to attract low-income students. Speaking about the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant, Armstrong said, “Qualified students from every demographic deserve exposure to our world-renowned Learn by Doing education.” He continued, “This transformational new grant would improve access for firstgeneration and low-income California students.” An official press release that accompanied his comments that day stated that the grant “would provide financial assistance for high-achieving, low-income California students who meet Cal Poly’s rigorous academic admission requirements but can’t afford to attend the university.” Two months later, Armstrong sent an email explaining that the grant was cancelled, citing objections from out-of-state students who would be required to pay an additional fee to fund the program.

4/10

4/4

The City of San Luis Obispo spent $19,638 on a 19-page report written by the law firm Best, Best & Krieger outlining an effort at cooperation with Cal Poly as it relates to its impact on quality of life for its permanent residents. While Cal Poly has paid lip service to the idea of holding its enrollment at 25,000 students (this year it is at 22,188) and housing 65 percent of them on campus, there is no mandate requiring them to do so. The city, in January, citing concerns about the university’s Master Plan, a document outlining its intentions for the next twenty years, stated in a 140-page letter, “a number of troubling environmental issues which [the current draft of the Master Plan] does not properly evaluate.” Those issues are impacts to the city’s housing stock, water, traffic, and public safety resources. 26

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Cal Poly made national news when a photograph surfaced showing one of its students posing in blackface at a fraternity event. A week later, another photo circulated showing a different fraternity party where attendees were pictured mocking Mexican-Americans as they dressed as gangsters. Those incidents were followed by yet another blackface occurrence on campus. As racial tensions flared at the university—by far, the whitest, least racially diverse public institution in California—petty incidents of hate and intolerance involving vandalism and graffiti cropped up around campus. The events continue to indicate a pattern at Cal Poly and are preceded by a photo last year of a fraternity posing with a Trump sign wearing various racially insensitive costumes including Native American headdresses, fake dreadlocks, sombreros, and some while holding guns. In another national news-making incident, in 2013, Cal Poly administrators investigated a fraternity party called “Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos” where attendees wore racially insensitive costumes, which resulted in deeming it “offensive” but no punishment was handed out.

4/30

By a 4-1 vote, an Air Pollution Control District hearing committee approved a settlement with State Parks over dust mitigation at the Oceano Dunes. As part of the agreement, dust emissions at the off-road vehicle park must be reduced by 50% over five years. Had the committee rejected the compromise, a public nuisance hearing before the state would have continued, something many Nipomo residents advocated for, and it could have resulted in the permanent closing of the dunes to vehicles. At various times during the year, the air quality on the Nipomo Mesa continues to be among the worst in the nation.


MAY ’18 5/7

5/2

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted to make its city the first one in the county to allow recreational marijuana stores after approving its new cannabis ordinance. While the framework has been put in place, the rules will not go into effect until November when the voters weigh in on how to tax the new businesses. Provisions for the new law include: prohibiting consumption at events or businesses; limiting residents to a total of six cannabis plants each; retailers must remain 300 feet from residential neighborhoods and 1,000 feet from schools and parks; and commercial cultivation can be done indoors only and is limited to an aggregated total of 70,000 square feet. As part of the new web of regulations, the city will limit cannabis operations to one of six designated zones.

5/3

More records surfaced, again calling into question Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s honesty related to the death of Atascadero resident Andrew Holland. Although Parkinson claimed that Holland had been placed in a restraint chair for 46 hours because the inmate was “having a psychotic episode” and could not let him out of the chair because he was combative, medical logs note that he was administered anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs and a nurse wrote, “responds appropriately when asked questions” and “sitting in chair, calm.” Additional entries in the journal found him to be “calm; quiet;” and “cooperative, minimal signs of aggression, minimal spitting,” eventually drinking water and eating lunch. While District Attorney Dan Dow continued to decline calls to investigate the matter, a sheriff in Oklahoma involved in a similar situation with a restraint chair death is on trial facing firstdegree manslaughter charges.

The Fitzhugh family, owners of the 1,779-acre Hill Ranch north of Cayucos, signed an agreement with the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo essentially selling their development rights, which effectively preserves the open space in perpetuity. Offering sweeping views of the Estero Bay, the property along Highway 46 West is noted for its roaming cows and abundant wildlife. The conservation easement will allow the family, who has owned the land since the 1800s, to continue ranching while, other than allowing two homes, forever preventing its subdivision. Funds for the conservation easement were provided by a $2 million grant from the Strategic Growth Council, $750,000 from the California State Coast Conservancy, and a $1 million charitable contribution from the owners.

5/15

The California Department of Transportation, or Cal Trans, put out a notice asking Central Coast locals for their input regarding the bottleneck on Highway 101 South between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. And, it seems that everyone has a theory for the perplexing back-ups, ranging from “it’s the first time you can see the ocean since the Bay Area, so everyone slows down to get a good look,” to “it goes from two lanes to three lanes to two lanes again, so that messes up the flow.” With the passage of SB 1, the new $.12 gasoline tax which took effect in November, and a $261 million allocation for San Luis Obispo County roads, it does appear that help may be on the way, and according to South County commuters, it cannot come a moment too soon.

5/25

Although Cal Poly President Jeff Armstrong claimed the blackface incident a month earlier was an exercise in free speech, as were Milo Yiannopoulos’ multiple visits, the university decided to investigate several of its students who protested Raytheon, a defense contractor which manufactures weapons such as the Tomahawk missile, at an on-campus career fair. The students, members of the SLO Peace Coalition, stood in front of the company’s booth for 18 minutes holding a sign that read, “Divest from war, stop the war machine,” and sang. Former Raytheon CEO, William H. Swanson, who retired to the Central Coast, has donated $10 million to Cal Poly’s golf program, and currently serves as chairman of the Cal Poly Foundation. SLO LIFE JUN/JLY 2018

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Nestled among the oaks and positioned perfectly on nearly 5 acres is this exclusive west side Atascadero property in Paradise Valley. If it’s privacy you seek, privacy is here as the home is ideally located away from streets and neighbors. The home backs up to a picturesque open space complete with Oak Trees, rolling hills, and seasonal creek. Relax in the outside soaking tubs, plumbed with hot and cold water, or sit on the oversized deck as you enjoy the summer nights under the stars. Paradise Valley is known for its beautiful views and microclimate; getting the coastal breeze keeps this area consistently cooler than town on those hot days. This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2000+ sq ft home features laminate hardwood & country brick floors, wood beams, shiplap ceiling, and stunning panoramic views.

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547 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442 805.592.2050 SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

805.459.3818

LIC. #02021716

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PASO ROBLES

$468,000

This attractive 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in the heart of wine country is a short distance from Centennial Park, award winning schools and downtown Paso Robles. Home features an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, scratch resistant hardwood floors, family room with a fireplace and an abundance of tasteful upgrades. Property Website: www.322CrazyHorse.com

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DISTINCTIVE COLLECTION 2262 EMERALD CIRLCE, MORRO BAY

2262EMERALD.COM Located in one of Morro Bay's most prestigious developments, this Cape Cod style home features stunning views in all directions. Enjoy clear views of the ocean and dunes from the upstairs deck and great room. With close proximity to beach access, this 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 3,436 square foot designer home is ideal for entertaining, inside and out, with protected patios, gourmet kitchen and exceptional views. Take in all that beautiful Morro Bay has to offer.

GAVIN PAYNE 805.5503918 LIC #01381849

GAVIN@HAVENSLO.COM www.BHGREHAVEN.com JUN/JLY 2018

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| VIEW

SHIPWRECK PHOTOGRAPHY BY NASH MORENO The thing about being from somewhere—anywhere—is that it can be really difficult to know what you’ve got until you have some other place to compare it to. At least that was the case for Nash Moreno, a kid from Santa Maria who went off to the big city to work as a software engineer. Practically every vantage point from San Francisco’s many hilltops blew his mind—it was photographic eye candy. Although he loved messing around with his parents’ Canon AE-1, burning through 35-millimeter film, the camera obsession did not take over completely until he bought a GoPro video recorder. Since he had just nailed the motorcycle exam, and had his new license in-hand, he thought it would be interesting to record his rides. Before long, he found himself untethering the GoPro from its helmet mount to snap landscape shots, sunsets, and moonrises. Video was not doing much for him; it was still photography that got the juices flowing. As his career continued to expand in the go-go Bay Area tech world, Moreno was being recruited to join a new start-up. “I told them I’d do it,” he recounts the story, “if I could do their marketing photography.” Upper management was thrilled with the work; the product brochures and flyers were stunning. Instagram was also giving him positive feedback; the shots he was posting were getting rave reviews. Then, he started hearing a little voice that was coming from somewhere deep inside—his head, his heart, he wasn’t sure. “Go home,” the voice said. At first it was no more than a faint whisper, but after a while it became a pulsing drumbeat reverberating in his bones. “Go home, Nash—it’s time.” Reconnecting with his hometown, reacquainting with the giant natural playground known as California’s Central Coast, was a transformative experience for Moreno, because when he returned, he returned as a photographer. Everything he saw now, he saw through the lens of his camera; everything a subject, a scene, a landscape. Immediately, he began racking up miles on his ’96 Toyota 4Runner in search of the best backdrops for his burgeoning photography business. One day, while he and a buddy headed north, to nowhere in particular, the pair stumbled upon a most unusual sight. Heading up Highway 1, just past Cayucos, in an effort to track down an epic Morro Rock shot from the sea cliffs at Estero Bluffs State Park, the photographer spotted what appeared to be a shipwreck. Knowing that he had stumbled onto something most unusual, he did what any good techie would do. He “pinned” his location on Google Maps, then he opened his trunk and prepared his whirly bird for flight. The drone, a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, pierced the windless sky climbing directly over the ship’s wheelhouse and began snapping away. Nine months earlier, the Point Estero shoved off from her mooring in Morro Bay en route to fertile slime eel fishing territory. Somewhere on the return trip, due to some unfortunate combination of operator error and unexpected weather, the Point Estero ran aground atop a shallow rock formation 200 feet or so from shore where it rests today. But, that is not the end of this story. The owner of the boat, who has managed to remain unidentified, at least publicly through the ordeal, and has walked away from the vessel, essentially relinquishing ownership and also the estimated $175,000 fee it would require to tow it back to Morro Bay. The question becomes then, if the eel fisherman is not going to foot the bill, who will? Since the ship has been cleared of all its fuel, oil, and other hazardous materials by the Coast Guard, the answer is very likely: no one. Although tangled up in a gaggle of various bureaucratic entities, it appears most likely that the State Lands Commission would be the one to step forward. The only problem is that the legislature is not in a spending mood, and funding for these shipwrecks where safety and environmental health are not at risk, just does not happen these days. Instead, over the years, as with shipwrecks of old, the Point Estero will break up and return to sea, one piece at a time. SLO LIFE 30

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| Q&A

FAMILY BIZ

This year, BIZ STEINBERG, the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Inc., known locally as CAP SLO, celebrates her 40-year anniversary with the organization. Since she was promoted to head up the then tiny non-profit in 1984, it has grown to a sprawling juggernaut with 1,200 employees, an $84 million annual budget, and operations in ten counties serving more than 36,000 people each year. Later this summer, CAP SLO is poised to open the doors to the new homeless shelter in San Luis Obispo known as 40 Prado, a state-of-the-art facility Steinberg says, “Embodies the spirit of hope.” Thanks for stopping by, Biz. Let’s talk a bit about how you got your start. Where are you from originally? I’m from a town nobody will know, Pigeon Falls, Wisconsin. It’s a very little town in West-Central Wisconsin. I grew up with all my cousins, and aunts, and uncles, and grandparents. I got my name, Biz, from my cousin who is three months younger than me. He couldn’t say, Elizabeth, it came out Biz. I tried to get rid of it when I went off to college, but somebody always knows you. It was a very supportive community. Somebody would always know if you did something that maybe you shouldn’t, but it was in care and love for you. They just wanted the best for you. Sounds like a great place. It was just a wonderful, caring, giving community. The population was 207 people at the time. We’re up to about 400 now. As kids, we were out on our bikes constantly. Played a lot of games. Softball down at the baseball diamond. We recently went back for my uncle’s 100th birthday party at the Lion’s Club. He owned the general store. My dad ran the creamery. My Uncle Thurmond had the insurance business. My dad’s oldest sister, my aunt, who I was named after, Dorothea Elizabeth—there’s a theme with the name Elizabeth that runs through our family—she was the principal of the elementary school. My other aunt ran the post office. My mom commuted for work seven miles to a bigger town of 1,500 people. We all had working moms back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and the goal of all our parents was that our generation of kids was going to college. And, you knew that. You worked for it. You saved for it, which, when it comes to our organization, explains why I am such a tightwad with the budget. What do you remember about your parents? My mom and dad worked so hard. My dad could help take care of my younger sister because he would get two days off during the week, which allowed my mom to go back to work. So, I can identify with this with the families we are serving now. We didn’t have childcare centers back them. Families would get together and work out how they could help each other. My mom was the register of probate for our county judge and my grandmother, her mother, was that position for his dad. That’s the way it is in a little place. Then I went off to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and my eyes were really opened. All of the different cultures coming together was such a rich experience, the music, and all the courses you had the opportunity to take. But, these were troubling times. I did demonstrate 32

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against Vietnam and Cambodia. Nine students were shot at Kent State that year when I went off to college. We had the National Guard doing security at our classrooms, so we didn’t dare go to class during that time. I learned there that I would become some kind of advocate, because I found myself speaking up for the needs of people. Walk us through your career path, if you would. I thought I would become a doctor, but I ended up switching from pre-med to human development, child development specifically, because I was sick of doing organic chemistry at 3 o’clock in the morning. So, that led me to doing my practicum in kindergarten and then Head Start. It was that experience with Head Start that taught me so much. I was working with young, low-income children and their parents. I would try to help in all sorts of ways, drive families to the doctor’s office, whatever I could do. Head Start is very comprehensive in its approach. So, I graduated from college, met my future husband, and we came out here. He taught at Cal Poly and I got a job at Southwood Preschool working with young children. I was there two years, then it was two years working with developmentally-disabled children in Oceano. That work experience was so enriching. From there, I went to a child development center housed at St. Stephen’s Church in San Luis Obispo, with infants and toddlers and helping teen moms. After that, I went to the Economic Opportunity Commission, or EOC. In 2009 we changed our name to Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, but most people know us as CAP SLO. Take us back 40 years to those early days at CAP SLO. It changed my life. We had six classrooms at that time totaling 120 children. My job was to oversee this program. It was scary because I’m going from what I am comfortable doing, which was working with children in the classroom, to being a supervisor and a mentor and I have to deal with federal regulations, write grants, work on budgets. Our agency was small, but we had a great staff, and we were meeting the needs of people in poverty. Since that time, the need has not gone away. The need is pretty much the same things that you and I need. We need a home, a place to live, we need to feed our family; we want to support our family. I have not met any guest at the shelter, anyone in Head Start, any veteran, who doesn’t want to take care of their family. Sometimes, they just need help to get there. SLO LIFE


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| NOW HEAR THIS

WORDSAUCE Local seven-piece hip hop/funk band Wordsauce advanced from the minors to the majors recently when they won the High Sierra Music Festival band contest. “It’s like we left the little-kid basketball court and now will be playing with three Michael Jordans and two Larry Birds,” says guitarist Kevin Strong. Without a doubt, the band sees the opportunity as a stepping stone, and they are determined to deliver the best set of their lives on that stage. BY DAWN JANKE PHOTOGRAPHY BY XANDER BISSELL

High Sierra Music Festival . Quincy . July 5-8 Album Release Party . The Siren . Morro Bay . August 11

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W

ordsauce first formed in 2009 when drummer and Michigan native Bill Gerhardt moved to San Luis Obispo and met bassist Wes Price through a mutual friend. Across twists and turns of fate, the two became four when Strong and San Luis Obispo native Sam Franklin joined the band. Then four became seven with guitarist Shawn Warnke, turntablist/producer Eric Mattson, and emcee/vocalist/producer Rick “Risko” Loughman. Loughman met Price in a business management class at Cuesta College and the two became fast friends after Price introduced himself as someone who liked to rap and play bass. At that point, Loughman had been rapping independently for about two years. He explains, “The whole concept of doing what I was doing with a full band was something I aspired to down the line. It was intimidating to play with the others at first, because I didn’t have the musical training they had.” “But when Rick joined the band,” adds saxophonist Franklin, “we started to take it more seriously—he was the front man, and he was committed.”

create a highly functional studio where we could record quality albums?” Matteson adds, “The universe gave us one shot: the space became available and everyone put as much time as they could into it.” The Sauce Pot is Wordsauce’s full recording studio where the vibe is most important. Matteson explains, “The studio is meant to be a vessel to create our music, and we want to help facilitate that goal for other bands, too.” Loughman adds, “It feels good in The Sauce Pot, and it’s refreshing to hear bands describe it as space where they can just chill and make their music.” Matteson continues, “We do everything here—it’s one studio where every musical genre is welcome. There are so many talented bands in this area, and we’re really trying to help grow the Central Coast music scene.” With the studio underway, Wordsauce has had time over the past two years to refocus on the music. Strong says, “We still have songs to record from when we did our first tour; we just haven’t had time to release a lot of music.” The band did release a single last year, “Big Skies Silent Valleys,” a song they wrote in support of Big Surreal, an annual music festival in Cachagua put on by Luke and Mike Handy of LuvLab Productions. Wordsauce submitted the single to the New Times Music Awards and won best song in the hip-hop/reggae/world beat category.

After only three hours of rehearsal, the band’s first live performance was in spring of 2010 at the Clubhouse, and their eight-year trajectory since is testament to their collective commitment to music-making. Loughman even sold avocados on the side of the road for gas money to get back to San Luis Obispo to perform with Wordsauce when, for a period, he had relocated to his hometown of Ojai to finish college.

As the band moves forward, they plan to embrace the variety of their early sound and hone in on their strengths. Warnke says, “One of the things we learned early on is that dynamics are key, and a lot of times less is more.” Strong explains that it’s difficult for guitar players to leave space, but they’ve matured as a band and, “It will be exciting to see how the new album comes together stylistically.”

In fact, for several years three of the seven band members lived out of the area: Loughman worked toward his degree in digital media arts with a focus on audio recording at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Mattson attended Chico State and earned a degree in audio engineering, and Franklin concentrated on a degree in jazz performance at Cal State Northridge. Meanwhile, Gerhardt, Warnke, Strong, and Price remained in SLO County and continued to rehearse. They also formed Wordsauce LLC and started SaucePot 1, a warehouse they transformed into six rehearsal studio spaces to rent to local bands.

Gerhardt explains, “The band’s sound is still changing.” Franklin points out that because of the studio, Wordsauce will have instrument additions on the new album, like a keyboard for Franklin. Loughman agrees that the studio has helped them to develop their sounds and says their main goal with the new album is to “button up and be decisive” with the songs they select to track.

Despite the distances among the seven bandmates during that time, each member was confident that their reunion would be worth the wait. As Franklin describes it, “We all knew we wanted to keep doing this.” By summer 2014, all Wordsauce members were back in SLO working on their first full-length album, “The Flow,” which they recorded at Speak Studios, and while touring the state, and offering local charity performances for the Woods Humane Society, Project Surf Camp, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Yet, as they geared up to record a second album, their music-making again took a back seat when, in summer of 2016, the band purchased additional warehouse space and broke ground on their own recording studio. As Loughman put it, “When the space became available, there was no question—we had the skillset and decent gear, we were just missing the space, so why not build a couple of rehearsal rooms and

As if the band doesn’t have enough to focus on with the High Sierra Music Festival and the release of their upcoming second album, Wordsauce is expanding with another studio space next door to The Sauce Pot. They also are heavily promoting their new lifestyle website: inthestu.com. Price explains, “We have a lot of stuff in the works,” and Mattson adds, “We’re looking forward to sharing our vibe with people who will enjoy it.” The band sees their name, Wordsauce, as a positive affirmation, and as Warnke says, “It’s time for us to spread the sauce in and out of town.” Loughman concludes, “We’re taking advantage of this point in time to control our own destiny—we’ve set a course for the future, and what happens between now and then is the middle moment. Being in that middle moment is what we’re most excited about.” SLO LIFE JUN/JLY 2018

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DAWN JANKE, Director, University Writing & Rhetoric Center Cal Poly, keeps her pulse on the Central Coast music scene.

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| ON THE RISE

S TU DENT SPOTLIG H T

Dasha Novotny Eighteen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School graduating senior DASHA NOVOTNY prepares to head off to Nashville to perfect her craft. What sort of extracurricular activities are you involved in? I’ve been involved in leadership since 8th grade and have played volleyball for six years. On campus, I’m a member of ASB, Improv Troupe, and the drama department. I’ve performed in musical theatre productions since kindergarten, including school productions and in shows with professional theatre companies. I also write and record original music and perform my songs at wineries and local venues, as I’m pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. What recognition have you received? The first award I remember receiving was the countywide poetry contest in third grade. Since then, I’ve been awarded Golden Tigers, principal’s honor awards every trimester of my high school career, and many theatre awards including best actress in a play, best actress in a musical, and best Sophomore at SLOHS. What has influenced you the most ? Taylor Swift was my first musical influence as a seven-year-old rocking out to “Our Song,” but on a personal level, the most influential person in my life thus far is my brother, Bardo. I admire how he knows exactly what he wants and will work tirelessly until he accomplishes his goals. Bardo possesses charisma, intelligence, and talent, but most importantly pushes me to maintain my ambitions more than anyone, in ways he doesn’t even know. What is important to you outside of high school? Outside of school, my family comes first and foremost. Especially in these past few months, the reality that in August I’m moving 1,890 miles away from my parents, siblings, and friends has terrified, yet excited me, and has made me appreciate the presence of my loved ones even more. What is your favorite memory of all time? We’ve had a tradition in our household since I can remember at Christmastime, where we all help bake and decorate a homemade gingerbread house, and then on Christmas night, we take the gingerbread house out onto the driveway and smash it with a hammer! Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself in a bigger city: maybe New York, Los Angeles, or even Nashville. I know I’ll still be following my passions, but whether it’s acting, singing, dancing, theatre, songwriting, or something else, is up to fate. What else should we know about you? I’m 5’11,” pescatarian, am absolutely fascinated with the theory of aliens and all extraterrestrial life including ghosts and afterlives, and although lactose-intolerant, I love chocolate ice cream. What’s on the horizon for you? The only college I applied to was Belmont University in Nashville and that is where I’m headed in the fall. SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise? Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

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CUESTA COLLEGE REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR BOTH

SUMMER & FALL 2018 CLASSES Summer session starts June 18 Fall semester starts August 13

Cuesta College offers recent San Luis Obispo County high school graduates fee-free fall and spring semesters. Deadline to apply for the Promise scholarship is August 1st. Enroll today at cuesta.edu.

Check out the printed Schedule At-A-Glance booklet available for FREE at your local library, chamber of commerce, and other community locations, or find your class today at bit.ly/cuestaclasses. (805) 546-3100

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| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

THE SPOK ESMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

Following a busy day, in which he makes a living trying to “break things” at San Luis Obispo-based bicycle components manufacturer, SRAM, product tester PANCHO HERRERA stopped by on his bike to see us before pedaling off to the grocery store and then heading home. After extolling the benefits of installing proper bicycle parking at the front of our building, which we do not have, he sat down for a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from the genesis of his unlikely name to pranking gullible European tourists in Bolivia. Although he would vehemently deny it, there is probably no better representative, no better spokesman, for the tight-knit cycling community on the Central Coast. Here is his story…

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kay, Pancho, let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from? I was born in Los Angeles, but I came up here when I was around three years old. My dad had Hispanic roots; his parents emigrated from Mexico. He was born in Colorado. I have a couple of brothers younger than me. So, you know, raising three boys in inner-city Los Angeles where he had been going to school and where he had taken his first job was not something he wanted to do. He was a teacher; the neighborhood was a little rough for him, I think. He and my mom contemplated raising kids there, but ultimately, they decided that they wanted something different. They wanted to escape. So, they packed up and headed north. Dad got a job teaching in Lompoc. How long were you there? We were there only for a few years before we moved to Mexico so my dad could get his master’s degree. He went to the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, central Mexico, which is east of Mexico City by 50, 60 miles; so you’re still on that high plateau. Puebla is the capital city of the state. It’s super metropolitan, very European colonial-era Mexico. If you’ve been there, you can see the architecture and the history of it. The university itself is outside of the city of Puebla. It’s sort of famous for doing these exchange programs with Americans and Europeans; people from all over, I suppose. We lived in a town called Cholula, maybe ten miles away. And Cholula, at least at that time, was a little burg, a village, really. What did you take away from that experience? I think it formed some of my values. I’m confident it did. One is the language skill. I got Spanish dialed up pretty quick. But probably, the biggest and most formative thing, if I’m looking back, is the recognition that not everybody lives like we did in our little suburban Lompoc life; and that, you know, there are a lot of different cultures. My father was super influential in that one. He put his master’s degree together around illustrating Mexican culture, a broad array of Mexican culture when we were there. I think that, at least at that time, Americans sort of viewed Mexican culture as drinking tequila under a cactus in your sombrero taking a siesta. And my father was pretty adamant about disproving those stereotypes, and so I had this great opportunity to tag along while he did research for his master’s thesis. We drove all over in our Volkswagen van, family of five, my mama in tow, as well, interviewing Mexicans of different walks of life: bankers, and teachers, and artists, and fishermen. I forget how many people he interviewed, but it was a lot. He wrote a terrific paper sharing peoples’ stories, illustrating diversity. I thought it was super cool, and it was very influential, very formative for me. What about school? How did that go? Well, sure. I actually struggled with school there, public school. Kind of jumped right into the middle of the school session because of our schedule coming into town, living in a small village, with a pretty—how do I want to say this?—a pretty undereducated Mexican population there in a rural setting outside of the big city. I was the only white kid with red hair. It was traumatic to be so different, to not be able to integrate because it’s a totally new language, totally new culture, blah, blah, blah. I definitely struggled with it, but it also was really rewarding to kind of break through that and develop friendships, long-lasting friendships. Learning the culture, not a lot of video games available like now, but a lot more of everything else. I think more of a work ethic in that kind of impoverished small community, you

know, dirt streets, no sidewalks, stray dogs; it’s what you would picture in rural Mexico, especially in the ‘70s. And these people, they’d huddle around the one TV in the village in the evening to watch a show or catch the news. So it was a very different experience from where I came from, you know, watching cartoons on Saturday morning. Any stories stand out from your time in Mexico? Actually, yes. My real name is Michael. But, when I was there, they would read my documents and pronounce my name Michelle. I didn’t want to be called Michelle. I was a nine-year-old boy and that’s a girl’s name. So, I came home from school one day and I was pretty upset. I said, “Mom, I don’t want to be Michelle.” She said, “Okay, well, pick a name.” We had recently visited a museum dedicated to Pancho Villa. One of his ex-wives was there curating this little podunk museum in the town where he was killed. It actually had the car he was assassinated in, riddled with bullet holes. I was just floored by the whole experience—the old black and white pictures with the big mustache and the guns—it just sunk in. I was captivated by the whole thing. So, when my mom told me to pick a name, I said, “I want to be Pancho.” She gave me the green light and that has been my name ever since. I’ve never bothered to legally change it. It still says Michael on my driver’s license, bank records, but that is how I came to be named Pancho. How was it coming back to the States? There were some interesting transitions to come back to this culture. It felt wildly, I don’t know if opulent is the right word, but it felt much different than what we had left in rural Mexico. We didn’t have hot water in the house back there; we had to make a wood fire to heat it. There were no paved roads, no sidewalks, chickens and farm animals were all over the place. Although Nipomo was still pretty rural at the time, it had things like sidewalks and pavement and grocery stores. I mean, you could buy anything there. It was a crazy concept at the time. The transition back probably had less of an effect on me than my brothers, who are younger than me. I remember one of them not being able to figure out how to open a door because he had never seen a doorknob before; stuff like that. It was good though, to see that there is not just one way, one way to live, a right and a wrong way. There are good elements in everything. The downside, I suppose, when we came back is that I saw a lot more bullying here and a sort of spoiled kid mentality. In Mexico, kids worked really hard doing chores and attending to family businesses, things that would be unimaginable here. You know, here, kids don’t go down to dad’s shoe repair store after school to cobble shoes. Okay, Pancho, let’s switch gears—pardon the pun—and talk about bicycles. Sure, okay. Let’s see, it was high school when I got my first road bike and I started riding that thing. I was hooked immediately. Cycling was blossoming at that time. When I graduated, I got a job at a bike shop in A.G. There used to be one on Grand Avenue. It was called Grand Schwinn. I took a job there assembling bikes. I started learning the trade. So, that would have been in the early ‘80s, actually ‘82 or ‘83. Cycling was starting to take off; bikes were being developed. The technology was going places at that time, and I got into road racing. There’s so much to cycling, I don’t know how much time we have to talk here. There are all kinds of levels to the bicycle that make it cool. If you live in this area, you know that it’s a great cycling culture that we have here. There’s a natural element to it—you’re powering yourself. There’s the athletic element of it. I love the competition, to go out and compete. It’s an awesome feeling to win races, or try; it’s pretty amazing. There’s the technology of it. I’m a nut-andbolt guy, so to see how things work, take them apart, reassemble them is fascinating to me. >> JUN/JLY 2018

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And you spent time abroad on a bike, correct? I lived in Bolivia for about four years and I did some bicycle tours down there and got to know the people of that country, and the terrain. They’re intimate with the bicycle, you know, that was kind of a cool interlude. That was in the early 2000s. I had been working at the time for Cambria Bike Outfitters. Back then they were in Cambria only, and doing international mail order. We had a lot of Spanish-speaking clients from South America and Mexico. But mostly, I was building bikes for this tour operation down there. The owner became kind of a famous guy in the area as he grew his business, a Kiwi guy living in Bolivia. He built his tour business and was buying more bikes and parts and things. We got to know each other over the phone. One day he says, 42

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“Why don’t you come for a visit?” So, I bought a three-month round trip ticket and stayed for four years. I worked on bikes and ended up leading tourists, mostly Europeans, on mountain biking tours. They would be instructed to “go meet your guide named Pancho at such and such street corner.” I’d laugh to myself as I watched them wander around walking past me, assuming that I was another tourist, looking for “Pancho the mountain bike guide.” I could always find the humor in that, and it made for a good icebreaker when I finally introduced myself. You don’t hesitate to advocate for more bicycle infrastructure locally. Why? Because, I know that when I commute to work on my bike >>


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virtually every day, the footprint I take up is this big [holds up hands about two-feet apart]. The pollution that I make is this many [fingers forming a zero]. And that, to me, justifies infrastructure planning and parking; those kinds of things. You know, we want big bike lanes. It feels very backwards to me when somebody says, “You’re taking away my car parking.” That one car parking spot is ten bike parking spots. Who’s more justified here? And I understand that there’s an elderly crowd that maybe physically can’t do it. There are people that live far away and can’t do it. I

there are other ways to do it, you know; we’re kind of a spoiled culture here. Again, it’s that sort of opulence and the belief that we all have to own our own car so we can all go on our own schedule and listen to our own music. But, the reality is that there are a lot of people out there, and we’re going to have to find a way to share. And, for me, to share is pretty easy because I’m only taking up a very small space on my bicycle. And, I feel there should be some respect given to that fact. And I think there is. San Luis is awesome for bike infrastructure. For the size of our city, we’re

...we’re exceptional both in our transportation infrastructure and in our recreation infrastructure. All this green space, all these trails we have. It’s magical. I mean, you don’t hear about that in a town our size anywhere. understand those things; but if you build infrastructure the right way, they could be encouraged to do that. I mean, I’d also love to see more people take the bus. I work right across from the airport and I see the traffic pile up on 227 every day. Since you ride that route daily, what is your take on Broad Street at the south end of town, Highway 227? So, I have watched that 227 corridor become a traffic jam, and that astounds me. And it is that way because we don’t really have transportation infrastructure to tolerate the number of commuters that we have. And having lived in Latin America, I see that 44

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exceptional both in our transportation infrastructure and in our recreation infrastructure. All this green space, all these trails we have. It’s magical. I mean, you don’t hear about that in a town our size anywhere. There are a lot of reasons for that. We have a really active cycling community. The athletes in this area put a lot into it; they participate, they’re active, they’re engaged. So, you asked me my opinion and there it is. I just find it to be astounding that somebody can be so selfish as to say, “Well, you know, you’re slowing me down in my car.” [laughter] Speaking of cars, have you ever been tangled up with one? Touch wood. >>


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I’ve been cycling since the early ‘80s a lot, and I’ve never been hit by a car. I’ve seen a lot of accidents and I try to be heads-up when I’m riding, anticipating, defensive. Even with that, I experienced a really major trauma last year with one of my workmates. We were riding See Canyon and coming down the other side into Prefumo Canyon. We had just started down the switchbacks near the peak and were going really fast. It was aggressive riding. For some reason, going into the switchback, I tapped my brakes and let him take the lead. We take turns letting each other go ahead as we had on this particular route at least a hundred times before. It was just bad timing, and the worst possible situation. A 16-year-old driver was coming up the other direction in the middle of the road on a blind corner and my buddy smacked into her Toyota Rav4. I watched him take it head-on, fly across the road, glass shattered, his bike broke apart into several pieces. I mean, bodies are not supposed to bend the way his did that day. He was in bad, bad shape. Unconscious. I thought he was dead. Just a really, really traumatic experience. I had cell coverage, thankfully, and was able to get a 911 call out. Super performance from Cal Fire and San Luis Ambulance, both of those entities came through for us and saved his life. Wow, that’s intense. Super intense. Yeah. I mean, those are not the events you want to remember in your cycling career. Fortunately, there have been a ton of bright moments. I mean, my goodness, I’ve had so many amazing bicycle experiences, racing and guiding, and even culturally, the SLO Little 500, the Bike Happening downtown; I’ve been a part of that 15 years since its inception way back when. So I couldn’t really, as a bike geek, I really couldn’t ask for a better lay of the land in terms of where I live, my 46

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job; I mean, I got to ride two hours today on the clock at work as I tested bikes. And, you know, the Central Coast has such great weather. I can ride year-round. But, truly, the thing that really gets me going is sharing it with others. I’m part of this charity, which is under the SRAM umbrella, called World Bike Relief. We send out bikes to Africa for transportation and infrastructure. It’s a super cool organization. The way you can change a life with a bicycle in these developing countries is astounding. Walk six miles to school, which takes three hours, or ride the bike there in 25 minutes. That changes lives in a very significant way. Okay, Pancho, what do you do when you’re not on a bike? I play music, punk rock since the ‘80s when punk rock was invented. I’m a bass player these days, but mostly a drummer. I did a mini-tour over the weekend, we played in Ventura, we played in Los Angeles, and we’ll play places locally. So, I’ll do that on a Saturday night then get up on Sunday morning and race road bikes. I actually haven’t done that back-to-back in a while, but I have always been proud to lead this sort of secret double life, especially around these training athletes, these cyclists, because they’re nutty for the sport. You know, their diets and sleep and training routines are so paramount. It’s all become so technical with GPS, and scientific nutrition, number crunching, and amazing bicycle technology. It wasn’t like that when I was growing up so much. There was doping at the professional level, but everybody had more or less the same equipment. It was much less technical. Now, you know, your rides are analyzed by software and data plots. But, no matter how advanced it gets, at the end of the day, bikes, just like music, really, are still about community, and connection— it’s got social meaning. SLO LIFE


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| INSIGHT

LEASE TO OWN The future of Wild Cherry Canyon may be subject to interpretation. How a new look at an old document could upend everything we thought we knew about the decades-old conservation effort.

I

BY TOM FRANCISKOVICH

n the age of the Internet, word travels fast. Here on the Central Coast, it was a few months back when locals woke up to shockwaves emanating from somewhere near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Only, this shake did not register on the Richter scale, and there would be no Fukishima-style radiation left in its wake. Instead, the rumbling was the result of a humble email with a subject line reading, “Please call me when you can.” The Tribune’s headline blared in oversized letters: “Plans for massive 15,000-home city on Diablo Canyon lands uncovered in a private email.” That missive, obtained by the paper through a public records request, outlined the vision for what would effectively become San Luis Obispo County’s newest city rising up from 2,400 acres of pristine hillside oak woodlands. The first line of the message, written by developer Denis Sullivan, said, “I think we can get a deal with PG&E to get the fee.” The fee in this case is not what you think. It’s not something you get in exchange for services, as in “the lawyer’s fee is $75 per hour.” Fee, as it relates to Wild Cherry Canyon, means ownership. And, ownership means millions, perhaps as much as a billion dollars in potential development profits. At some point during the 1960s, the Marre family ran into some tough times. They had owned most of the 12,000 acres of land that spans from Montaña de Oro to the north and Port San Luis to the south. “Land rich, cash poor” is how some put it. With money tight, the development rights to the 2,400 acres known as Wild Cherry Canyon went to auction. An ownership group was formed to make the purchase, calling themselves “Pecho Limited Partnership” in a nod to the area where the land sits, on the Pecho Coast. However, when a clerk down at the County Recorder’s office typed up the documents, the name was misspelled. Regardless, the company born from a typo, Pacho Limited Partnership, took possession of a very valuable asset: a 99-year lease with an option to renew for another 99-year term. But, it did not hold the fee, or fee title, which is ownership. Did the Pacho group have control? Yes. The right to develop? Yes. Ownership? No. Although, it does not possess the development rights, PG&E, to this day, ultimately holds the cards when it comes

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to Wild Cherry Canyon. There will not be a 15,000-home city on the hill—conservatively estimating three occupants per household, that's 45,000 people—unless Pacific Gas & Electric says so. And, since it is beginning the process of closing up shop with its nuclear facility, there is reason to worry that “maximizing shareholder value” could dictate the decision making at its high-rise San Francisco headquarters. Selling the fee title to the entity that owns the lease today, the deep-pocketed developer, Carlsbad-based HomeFed, which is owned by a bigger fish—a whale in Wall Street parlance— Leucadia National Corporation of Manhattan, sure would look slick on a quarterly earnings report. Three years ago, locals nearly lost their minds when HomeFed announced its plan to develop a 1,500-home neighborhood in Wild Cherry Canyon. Hapless company representatives wandered into a buzz saw as they described a village of Italiante mini-mansions adorning the nearby hillsides at a special Avila Valley Advisory Council (AVAC) meeting. The executives’ sales pitch, which focused on solving a vexing problem—the lack of affordable housing—with multi-million dollar estates, was tone deaf at best, and offensive at worst. Had the plan gone to a vote that night, the decision would have been a unanimous “No”—not just “No,” but “Hell no.” On any given day, especially when the sun is shining, which is almost always, the one road going into and out of Avila Beach is a mess. The idea of adding 1,500-homes, each one with two or three cars, would mean 3,000 to 4,500 more vehicles. Multiply that number times the number of commutes to and from work and to soccer practice each day, and you start to get the idea. And, because these are very high-end properties we are talking about, that figure does not begin to account for the house cleaners, the pool guys, the landscapers, plus, for the kids, math tutors and piano teachers. But, now, with the recent revelation that HomeFed is eyeing a development ten times the size they did in 2015—that's 15,000 homes—those same people who attended the AVAC meeting are not just concerned—they have gone, well, nuclear. Three years ago, the worry was over tripling the size of Avila Beach. With the developer’s recent email, the issue is not the development of a new neighborhood, but the creation of an entirely new city—to put it in perspective, the city of San Luis Obispo has approximately 12,500 single-family homes—on the backbone of an already overburdened infrastructure, increasingly creaking under the weight of its popularity as a tourist destination. The various efforts to preserve Wild Cherry Canyon have been as ferocious as the swells lapping its ocean cliffs during a winter’s squall. Twice, local preservationists came tantalizingly close to realizing their dream of acquiring the property and then donating it to the state—forever protecting the land by connecting it with Montaña de Oro for one massive, contiguous state park allowing hikers to hear onshore winds rustling Coast Live Oaks as they walk from sea to shining sea. In 2000, county voters overwhelmingly approved the DREAM Initiative, formally known as the Diablo Resources Advisory Measure, a non-binding action, in essence a proclamation stating, “At such time when the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant closes, the land should be acquired for public use and recreation.” In the aftermath, it was not difficult to read the writing on the wall, and Denis Sullivan, the same guy who sent the recent email, picked up the phone and called San Luis Obispo resident Sam Blakeslee, the initiative’s author, to talk. For the right price, he said, HomeFed was willing to sell the land into conservation. Immediately after hanging up, Blakeslee dialed his then wife Kara Woodruff, who was working as a land conservation advocate at the Nature Conservancy. One thing led to another, and before long a contract was drafted and the two parties were in escrow; but by 2003, for a variety of reasons, the deal fell apart. A couple of years later, in 2005, HomeFed was anxious to monetize the land they continued to carry on their books. It was dead weight at this point, an asset that was not generating any profit for its shareholders. By now, Woodruff was with the American Land Conservancy (ALC) when Sullivan reached out with a different offer. This time the path was less certain because the state informed the ALC that, in order to receive any California government grant funds, it would, in addition to >>


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| INSIGHT

purchasing the lease held by HomeFed, also have to acquire the underlying fee title held by PG&E. Control wasn’t enough; it needed full ownership. In other words, the deal just got doubly complicated.

flush with cash, and the new revelation concerning the old lease has upended bargaining positions.

The land at that time was appraised at $24 million. This was before the Great Recession knocked down real estate values everywhere. When the property was reappraised during the economic slowdown, it came back at $21 million—miraculously, exactly what the ALC had raised, both money in-hand and pledged. The deal was on. All that needed to happen was to get the purchase on the agenda at an upcoming Public Works Board hearing in Sacramento where the formality of allocating $6.5 million of State Park funds toward the purchase would be finalized and the transaction would be completed. Not so fast. Governor Schwarzenegger—still fuming over a fellow Republican, Sam Blakeslee, a state senator at the time who voted against his budget—worked behind the scenes to prevent Wild Cherry Canyon from showing up on the agenda. It was as if a cyborg teleported in from the future to terminate the deal. When Governor Jerry Brown took over, still more attempts were made. But, coming out of the economic malaise, Brown was not in a spending mood and massive deficits stretching out as far as the eye could see were not doing anything to help matters.

Local preservationists have been watching Moby Dick frolic in the Pecho Coast waters for years, agonizingly close to shore, but just out of reach. It may be now that the elusive whale has dropped its guard and allowed the tide to pull it into range of Captain Ahab’s harpoon. As is usually the case, it's a slip up borne of hubris that hastens the end. A moment of overconfident carelessness. The massive jackpot, a school of shimmering fish beckoning within earshot of the siren’s song—“I think we can get a deal with PG&E to get the fee.” Still, with the newfound revelation, and the crown jewel—the elusive whale—finally wandering into the kill zone, now is not the time to flinch. The greatest danger, according to advocates pressing to preserve the old Spanish land grant territory, is that locals blink. Become complacent. With the revelation that the lease may not be ironclad as once thought, it could be that everyone relaxes their guard just a bit, enough for the whale to slip away, once again. Now, with the tides shifting, and the winds favorable, this may very well be the one and only moment in history where preserving Wild Cherry Canyon in perpetuity is within reach, never to be discussed in the board room of a multinational corporation ever again—no matter how much money is in the bank.

Developing 15,000 homes is no small feat. Aside from the truckloads of money it will require, the biggest hurdle, perhaps, will be in securing the go-ahead from the County Board of Supervisors. But, right now, the board may be as development-friendly as it has been in years, particularly with the state pushing it to add to its existing housing stock, hoping that upping supply will lower prices. Judging from the optimistic tone of Sullivan’s email, it appears that HomeFed may be feeling good about its prospects on this front. “I can push with the Board of Supervisors that are in our favor at the moment to progress a deal to move to create a new community on the Ranch,” Sullivan’s email reads. So, assuming that it can clear the Board of Supervisors, there now appears to be another obstacle standing between Wild Cherry Canyon and HomeFed’s bulldozers—the courts. With the developer’s latest salvo has come greater scrutiny, and a sharp-eyed San Luis Obispo lawyer may have upended the calculus when he dusted off and re-read the old Pacho lease recently. Up to this point, no one else has noticed—or, if they did, they kept it to themselves, hoping no one else would—a problem that could be spotted by a first-year law student: the rule against perpetuities. Each state has their own take on this legal principle. In California, leases are not allowed to exceed 95 years; a statute that was in place at the time the contract was signed. Remember, the original Pacho deal back in the ‘60s was for two back-to-back 99-year leases, which appears to be unlawful, or least cloudy. It has always been understood that HomeFed had the property tied up for 198 years, which is a whole lot different than 95 years when it comes to real estate development, particularly knowing they are fifty-some-odd years into the lease already. If the statute holds up, and HomeFed is in fact limited to 95 years total, it could be that there are only forty or so years of control remaining, which makes developing right now a highly risky proposition. Who in their right mind would buy a home on land which the developer, and therefore the homeowner, doesn't actually own? It may not matter so much if it were tied up with a controlling interest for 150 years or so, but 40 years changes the equation, a lot. The math is suddenly much less favorable, which means so, too, is the value of the asset, the lease. Could it be that HomeFed has been bluffing all along? Have we been played by a bunch of slick New Yorkers messing with the lives of nearby Avila residents, who have been going about their days, minding their own business? Maybe. Maybe not. It is interesting to note, however, that in 2015 when executives were testing the waters locally with their smaller 1,500-home development idea, the word “fee” never came up. Something changed in the past three years; perhaps their lawyers started scrutinizing the documents a little more closely, too. In a recent Form 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission filing under the heading “Pacho Project (Wild Cherry Canyon)” HomeFed states, “If we are unable to obtain fee title to the property in a reasonable period of time, we may not develop the property and an impairment of the asset may be taken.” This language stands in stark contrast to its website, which strikes a more optimistic tone under a heading labeled “Numerous Options Under Consideration.” Regardless of intent—who knew what when—ultimately, if the lease were challenged in court, no one knows for sure what may happen. A judge may decide it’s all good, “Other than misspelling ‘Pecho’ it looks A-Okay to me.” But, with this new revelation, HomeFed’s interest is suddenly murky, and does not appear as rock-solid as once presumed. If that is the case, then it would be logical that the lease and the development rights that go along with it are not worth as much as we all believed either, particularly if the California statute prohibiting agreements with terms longer than 95 years holds up. Then, assuming that PG&E and HomeFed do not strike a deal for the fee title, it’s just a matter of running out the clock. Four decades from now, the lease, and HomeFed go away; that is, also assuming PG&E does not renew it. However, there are a lot of if ’s, and’s and but’s to this story. Why not strike now while the economy is strong? Sacramento is 50

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With the cloud hanging over the lease, its value is likely less than once calculated. The math has changed, and the question to ask the HomeFed boys is, “How long do you all want to wait?” And, if there is one thing that Wall Streeters understand, it's that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. There may be no greater time than today to do a deal with a spotlight now shining on the lease. That same spotlight also shines brightly on PG&E. How will they respond? How will the 50-year guest handle its exit from the Central Coast? Will they act in the best interests of the people who have supported them all this time, or will they look to make a quick buck? Why not donate the land to State Parks? At least on the surface, PG&E appears to be genuinely concerned about local input, as evidenced with the formation of its Decommissioning Engagement Panel, which is comprised of eleven community members, each with refreshingly diverse backgrounds. It would seem then, the whale is finally in range. But, complacency looms. Without public action, without agitation, without all available hands on deck pulling the sails taut, nothing happens— Moby Dick swims away, again. The scene is all too familiar to Woodruff, who has been chasing down a preservation deal for Wild Cherry Canyon over the past 20 years. On her desk, during the good days and bad, she keeps a reminder, an old Calvin Coolidge quote. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” SLO LIFE


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| FAMILY

CLIMBING HIGHER M BY PADEN HUGHES

ost parents I know talk about sports or activities they cannot wait for their child to be old enough to try. Sometimes it’s going to Disneyland, other times it’s playing soccer, but it is always a cherished pasttime we remember fondly and want to share. Believe it or not, one of the experiences I have really been excited for my daughter to explore is rock climbing.

While studying in college, I developed a love for the sport. It was exciting, challenging, strategic, exhausting, and rewarding. I remember the bestkept secret in town was SLO Op, a storage shed off Suburban Road with a lock box only members had a code to access. We could go 24/7, unlock the storage unit and find a “box gym” for bouldering. It provided me with endless hours of competition, friendships, and a sense of accomplishment as I built my climbing strength and skills. That was probably a decade ago and many things have changed. I’m a busy mom now trying to balance running a business with my husband. And that storage shed is no more—it has evolved into an amazing climbing facility, at a new location, owned by climbing friends who fell in love, and have been building their dream ever since. I still harbor a love for climbing and was thrilled to read that The Pad Climbing had expanded their facility and services so much that they have something for all ages. They even have a section for infants and toddlers. To say I was thrilled when I heard the news would be an understatement. That Saturday when my husband, our daughter, and I checked out the renovated building a

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wave of nostalgia swept over me as I walked through the doors and saw the familiar bouldering walls by the front desk. We received a tour of the facility and then headed up the stairs to the toddlers’ section. They have dedicated a play area with stuffed animals, toys, play mats, and even a little bouldering area.

My daughter squealed with delight as she bounced over to meet new little friends sitting on a large stuffed tiger. We let her explore, and eventually she headed to the wall and started to grab the handholds, and with some verbal encouragement from Dad, she began to climb up. It was exciting to witness. We spent about an hour letting her build her confidence, try new things, and make friends in a new, safe environment. It is certainly a place we will return to as a family. It’s rare to find a single location that can accommodate the various interests and capabilities of your brood, and this is one worth checking out. The Pad Climbing offers many programs, especially over the summer, for kids ranging in ages and interest levels. Kids under three are free with a guardian day pass and kids under seven are free with a guardian membership. They have two locations, Santa Maria and their new SLO location. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is co-owner of Gymnazo and enjoys exploring the Central Coast.


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(805) 546-8777 elderplacementprofessionals.com JUN/JLY 2018

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| DWELLING

EVERYTHING OLD PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELLIOTT JOHNSON 54

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A SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

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s far back as historians can reach, it has been determined that human beings have been compacting soil and using it to construct homes. The earliest documented samples of the construction technique known as rammed earth were found at archeological excavations in the Yellow River Valley area of China. The Yangshao and Longshan peoples there were using the same building techniques we use today back in 5,000 B.C. Everything old is new again. Rammed earth is hot, and getting hotter. The technique is praised for its sustainability and energy efficiency; and, if done correctly, its

structural integrity. Fundamentally, rammed earth, or as the French, call it, “pisé de terre,” is quite simple and is very much as its name implies: soil is mixed with a stabilizer—in ancient times it was often lime or, sometimes, animal blood—and rammed, or hardpacked, into the shape of walls and floors and foundations. That’s it. Many of those buildings went on to stand for hundreds, even thousands of years. The largest of them is the Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali, Africa, which was built in 1907. In Berlin, the Chapel of Reconciliation, built as >>


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a symbol of Germany’s unification following World War II, is a prime example of a modern-day rammed earth structure. But, they are everywhere, including the whimsical whitewashed cob cottages dotting the English countryside, some of them dating back to the 16th century; The Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, built between 1,000 and 1,450 A.D.; and, right here on the Central Coast, on a ranch outside of Cambria. Ten years ago, Atascadero-based Semmes & Co. Builders, Inc., was asked to construct what is arguably the most unique home in the area. Together, with architect Ben Korman, the project melded all the best of old and new. While rammed earth has been providing much-needed shelter to our forbearers for many millennia, the primary downside is that those primitive structures were not seismically sound. Any decent-sized earthquake can easily level an early version of one of those homes. Today, as shakes are an everyday reality in modern day California, that would not fly. So, in addition to those ancient building techniques, steel rebar is added. And, a 5% cement mixture is combined with the soil because, as it turns out, concrete has more tensile strength than goat’s blood. With walls up to 24” thick, rammed earth structures are essentially massive, primitive thermal batteries. During the day, while the sun is beating down, the building absorbs heat, then overnight it releases it. The phenomenon is incredibly efficient and eliminates the need for HVAC, although the building code does require an auxiliary heating system, at least locally. The Cambria home uses radiant floor heating, as is common in modern-day rammed earth homes, >> 58

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because it, too, is also a very efficient way to maintain a consistent indoor temperature year-round. The same principle applies to radiant floor heating as it does to rammed earth homes in general: a mass, in this case the concrete slab, is heated by a web of plastic hot water tubes. The slab retains heat, much the same way a battery stores electricity, and emits, or radiates, the warmth a little bit at a time, providing a very slow, consistent heat. This contrasts with most homes that are moderated internally by forced air heating and cooling. When it gets cold, hot air is blown in. When it gets hot, cold air is blown in. Forced air responds to the ambient temperature of the room, kicking on and off according to the thermostat. Radiant floor heating, instead, reacts to a thermostat embedded in the concrete. Therefore, it is much less responsive, but it doesn’t matter because the dramatic swings in temperature that characterize traditional stick-framed structures are not found in rammed earth homes. As far back as the early 1800s, rammed earth construction has enjoyed the support of those advocating for a sustainable, affordable alternative to cutting down trees for lumber. Soil is abundant, trees are not, the argument went. S.W. Johnson popularized the concept in his book Rural Economy in which he made the case for the proliferation of such housing on farms throughout the United States. It took a while for the idea to catch on, but in the 1920s, ‘30s, and >>

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ARCH ITECTURE LANDS CA P E INT E R IORS

TO LEAVE THE WORLD BETTER THAN WE FOUND IT Our mission is simple: “To leave the world better than we found it.” To this end, we made the commitment to use our business as a force for good. In 2017, TEN OVER became the third Certified B Corp in California and only the seventh design firm in the U.S. to go through the certification process. Why you ask? Because business, as usual, doesn’t align with our mission. Because we can do better. Because we love our families, our friends, and wild places with clean air & clear water. We love vibrant built spaces where people come together to live, work and play. Because we love the positive power of a passionate community working for the common good. Joel & Julia enjoying some old school sketching on a pro-bono project for the Nature Conservancy, Santa Cruz Island.

T EN O VERST U D I O. CO M JUN/JLY 2018

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‘40s, several scholarly research projects concluded that rammed earth construction would be a boon to lowincome farm families. Despite the findings, widespread adoption never took hold domestically. However, the U.S. Agency for International Development has continued to promote rammed earth housing for developing nations and has financed the authorship of the Handbook of Rammed Earth, now considered the go-to publication on the subject internationally. While basic rammed earth structures are about the cheapest way to build a home, constructing a modern-day house—one that is subject to all of the current codes and regulations—is anything but affordable. Unfortunately, rammed earth homes are actually about the most expensive way to build in the United States today. Yet, as San Luis Obispo, like much of California and beyond, struggles with issues around housing, like affordability and availability, perhaps it is time to take cues from our past. Maybe there is a happy medium that exists somewhere between the little clay huts on the savannah, and the multi-million dollar Cambria compound. There is no reason that rammed earth could not become a DIY phenomenon. Imagine little neighborhoods sprouting up, including homes that are built by the homeowners themselves, neighbors helping neighbors. And, with self-driving cars on the horizon, it is not difficult to imagine that population centers will shift to places like the California Valley east of San Luis Obispo. Why not? If land is cheap, clay is plentiful, and with primitive building techniques precluding the need for HVAC, what’s stopping us? Don’t be surprised if it happens—again. SLO LIFE 62

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BY THE NUMBERS

REAL ESTATE

| SLO CITY

laguna lake

2017 Total Homes Sold 26 Average Asking Price $661,512 Average Selling Price $653,335 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.76% Average # of Days on the Market 24

2018 21 $808,124 $797,541 98.69% 22

+/-19.23% 22.16% 22.07% -0.07% -8.33%

tank farm

2017 7 Total Homes Sold $719,684 Average Asking Price $712,843 Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 99.05% 31 Average # of Days on the Market

2018 4 $909,500 $889,054 97.75% 25

+/-42.86% 26.37% 24.72% -1.30% -19.35%

cal poly area

2017 Total Homes Sold 13 Average Asking Price $834,154 Average Selling Price $812,077 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 97.35% Average # of Days on the Market 38

2018 9 $9 1 4 , 1 1 1 $900,036 98.46% 15

+/-30.77% 9.59% 10.83% 1.11% -60.53%

country club

2017 Total Homes Sold 5 Average Asking Price $959,580 Average Selling Price $937,890 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 97.74% Average # of Days on the Market 59

2018 9 $1,331,164 $1,275,442 95.81% 46

+/80.00% 38.72% 35.99% -1.93% -22.03%

down town

2017 Total Homes Sold 37 Average Asking Price $697,478 Average Selling Price $690,247 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.96% Average # of Days on the Market 52

2018 22 $976,286 $976,045 99.98% 86

+/-40.54% 39.97% 41.41% 1.02% 65.38%

foothill blvd

2017 Total Homes Sold 19 Average Asking Price $763,453 Average Selling Price $752,023 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.50% Average # of Days on the Market 32

2018 18 $924,011 $925,438 100.15% 20

+/-5.26% 21.03% 23.06% 1.65% -37.50%

johnson ave

2017 Total Homes Sold 24 Average Asking Price $790,950 Average Selling Price $788,021 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 99.63% Average # of Days on the Market 47

2018 17 $760,580 $779,059 102.43% 42

+/-29.17% -3.84% -1.14% 2.80% -10.64%

*Comparing 01/01/17 - 05/22/17 to 01/01/18 - 05/22/18

®

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS

SLO LIFE

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Help Us End Hunger In San Luis Obispo County

Please join in helping RPM Mortgage and the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County in their efforts to end hunger. RPM will donate $100 for every loan closed beginning Hunger Awareness Day, June 1st, 2018 through June 1st 2019 with a goal of raising $25,000.

Donna Lewis

Kim Gabriele

NMLS #245945 805.235.0463 donnalewis@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/dlewis

NMLS# 263247 805.471.6186 kgabriele@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/kgabriele

Dylan Morrow

Ken Neate

Branch Manager/Senior Loan Advisor

Loan Advisor

NMLS #1461481 805.550.9742 dmorrow@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/dmorrow

Brandi Warren Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS# 290534 661.332.2074 bwarren@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/bwarren

Senior Loan Advisor

Loan Advisor

NMLS# 373607 925.963.1015 kneate@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/kneate

Valerie Gonzales Loan Advisor

NMLS# 1082998 805.550.4325 vgonzales@rpm-mtg.com www.rpm-mtg.com/vgonzales

1065 Higuera Street, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 LendUS, LLC dba RPM Mortgage NMLS #1938 - Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act. | 11310 | Equal Housing Opportunity. JUN/JLY 2018

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Be confident in your mortgage decision.

| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE BY THE NUMBERS

REGION

Ben Lerner

Mortgage Advisor NMLS 395723 805.441.9486 blerner@opesadvisors.com 1212 Marsh St., Suite 1 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

opesadvisors.com © 2017 Opes Advisors, A Division of Flagstar Bank Member | Equal Housing Lender 2018 66 | SLO LIFEFDIC MAGAZINE | JUN/JLY

NUM B E R OF H OM E S S OLD

A VE R A GE DA Y S ON M A R K E T

MEDIAN SELLING PRICE

2017

2018

2017

2018

Arroyo Grande

105

112

69

55

$799,551 $760,106

Atascadero

155

130

69

38

$539,413 $566,528

Avila Beach

7

4

118

90

$1,079,668 $1,176,273

Cambria/San Simeon

52

56

86

83

$690,106 $748,052

Cayucos

18

21

118

90

$1,122,667 $957,952

Creston

6

2

73

138

$635,667 $587,500

Grover Beach

77

45

46

57

$516,921 $534,954

Los Osos

51

69

34

37

$597,453 $644,185

Morro Bay

53

42

62

75

$679,840 $708,536

Nipomo

83

112

56

51

$602,229 $667,389

Oceano

19

17

65

49

$439,416 $486,059

Pismo Beach

39

62

47

77

$1,104,985 $990,145

Paso (Inside City Limits)

175

154

51

34

$471,496 $495,162

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

17

29

51

54

$471,609 $508,531

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

41

47

122

86

$489,482 $646,486

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

18

24

99

72

$823,025 $739,646

San Luis Obispo

146

119

40

44

$743,544 $952,994

Santa Margarita

10

5

46

161

$390,700 $463,800

Templeton

45

47

74

80

$706,748 $780,764

1,100

1,046

61

54

$628,585 $688,447

Countywide

*Comparing 01/01/17 - 05/22/17 to 01/01/18 - 05/22/18

2017

2018

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS

®

SLO LIFE


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SPONSORED

LINNAEA’S CAFE Marianne Orme, who co-owns Linnaea’s Café with her husband David Arndt, never thought she would be the owner of a café. In fact, after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and working in several restaurants, the last thing she wanted was to be a restaurant owner! When Marianne started working for Linnaea back in 1995, first as a cook, then a baker, and then as a manager, she never expected to be buying the café 13 years later. Being a single Mom and recently relocated to San Luis Obispo, Marianne was very happy to have a job that gave her the time to be with her young son and to live in a town that welcomed them both with open arms. She cried the first time she was able to pick up Chris after school, and it was thanks to Linnaea - and her willingness to be flexible - that Marianne could do that. It came as a big surprise when Linnaea, out of the blue, decided to ‘retire’ and offered to sell the café to Marianne. During this time Marianne had fallen in love and had married David, her young son Chris had grown and was working at the café as a barista, and purchasing the café fell into place. It seemed to be a natural progression for both the café and for Marianne. The iconic gathering spot would not disappear as many long-time residents feared. It was a bit of a struggle at first. The town freaked out that Linnaea’s was being sold, but everyone soon realized the spirit and feel of Linnaea’s was not changing with the new ownership. Marianne and David continue to retain the café’s hominess, warmth and the tradition of acceptance and equality.

Marianne and David really do not have anything different to offer the community except themselves. They are avid volunteers at many local events, and regular volunteers with SLOfolks concerts and at the Live Oak Music Festival. You can get a good cup of coffee in a hundred places in San Luis Obispo but you can only find these two on Garden Street at the original, iconic Linnaea’s Cafe. They love what they do, they love cooking and baking for you, and they love having the space to share with you.

The People of Garden Street LUCIANO

OWNER, LA LOCANDA The greatest musician of all time: Mozart Dream car: Maserati Quattroporte Who would you cast in the movie of your life? Al Pacino If you could invite one person from history to dinner, it would be: Leonardo da Vinci When I was little I wanted to grow to be: a professional soccer player Comfort food: Spaghetti Bolognese

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T - The Heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo


SPONSORED

MAKE AN ENTRANCE

Spectacular earrings by Eddie Sakamoto! They move, they swing, they will catch everyone’s eye as you enter a room. Diamonds and gold like you’ve never seen them. See this spectacular collection at Marshalls Jewelers, right here in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. Contact for Pricing Marshalls Jewelers 751 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 543-3431 // marshalls1889.com

YOU’LL BE HOOKED

San Luis Traditions has multiple area rugs in custom and standard sizes. Hooked by skilled artisans of 100% wool, this collection boasts bold colors with impossible-to-miss patterns for a decidedly statementmaking series of rugs.

LOVE YOUR CURLS

The easiest thing you can do to get gorgeous curls is to ditch your shampoo. Without the harsh chemicals found in most traditional formulas, your hair is transformed. No more dryness. No more frizz. All you’re left with is beautiful, healthy curls that can handle any style you feel like trying. Pick up DevaCurl No Poo 12-ounce bottle today. $22 // Salon62 // 1112 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 543-2060 // salon62.com

Starting at $329 San Luis Traditions 748 Marsh Street San Luis Obispo (805) 541-8500 sanluistraditions.com

DOUBLE HAPPINESS

A beautiful blend of modern and classic design elements intersect within our new Double Halo Engagement Ring. Fifty-eight small brilliant Canadian diamonds trace a 0.62 carat round center diamond forming two concentric cushion shape halos, all set in lush matte finished 18K Rose Gold. Modern classic jewelry. Made fresh daily. $5,865 // Baxter Moerman 1128 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 801-9117 // baxtermoerman.com

RESPONSIBLE LUXURY COFFEE & GIFTS

Scout is known for its beautifully curated gift section, and pretty ceramics are always in the mix. There is currently a wide assortment of lovely handmade mugs ready to become your favorite. Come in, sip your favorite drink and browse the ever-changing selection. And, for updates be sure to check them out on Instagram. $12 to $32 // Scout Coffee Co. 1130 Garden Street and 880 E. Foothill Boulevard San Luis Obispo (805) 439-2253 // ScoutCoffeeCo.com

With Responsible Luxury being a vital brand pillar for Hotel Serra, demonstrating environmental accountability is paramount. Utilizing green products and practices assist in achieving this goal. All Hotel Serra guests will receive a complimentary, reusable, BPA-free water bottle upon check-in. Filtered water stations will be strategically positioned throughout the hotel. Hotel Serra Coming Soon 1125 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo hotelserra.com

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SPONSORED

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS

Soon to be reincarnated as Brasserie SLO, the 1924 Union Hardware building will shine as a lively, bustling eatery. We’ve commissioned this series of colorful dishes for breakfast and lunch service that take inspiration from French brasseries of the same period. Stay tuned because this limited-run, fun 1920’s Series custom chinaware will also soon be available for sale. Prices will vary // Brasserie SLO 1119 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo hotelserra.com

FOR THE LOVE OF SUMMER GHEMME A NEBBIOLO

It preceded the Barbaresco and Barolo in consumption back in its home country, Italy. This beautiful, bold red has inspired the poets and painters who have in turned inspired us. It plays well with almost any meal. A vintage 2011 has your name on it and is ready to be uncorked at your table tonight. $93 // La Locanda 1137 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 548-1750 // lalocandaslo.com

CHEESE CAKE

Known as “The Gem of Gems” sapphires come in a rainbow of colors. Perfect to represent your love of summer, this delicate 14K dragonfly pendant shows those vivid tones while holding the delicateness of nature in the hand-finished wings. Appraised at $970. Available at Garden Street Goldsmiths, your trusted expert since 1974. $649 // Garden Street Goldsmiths 1114 & 1118 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 543-8186 GardenStreetGoldsmiths.com

HERE COMES THE CAKE

Check out the cheese wheel cakes at Fromagerie Sophie. They are the perfect way to say cheese for a wedding, graduation party, anniversary or any event where a cake just won’t cut it. It’s a great option for something that’s deliciously different and sure to be a crowd pleaser. Stop by the shop today to find your favorite fromage.

Did you know Linnaea’s Cafe will create your dream wedding cake? They specialize in vegan, gluten-free, and classic buttercream cakes and cupcakes—the flavor choices are endless. Be sure to contact Marianne at linnaeascafeslo@gmail.com to discuss your celebration. Prices vary // Linnaea’s Cafe 1110 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 541-5888 // linnaeas.com

Contact for Pricing // Fromagerie Sophie 1129 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 503-0805 // fromageriesophie.com

FEELING TROPICAL

In beautiful embroidery, the Rosario handwoven straw and raffia bag by Aranaz is fun, practical and elegantly modern. Each bag is hand-woven by local artisans in Manila, each design a treasured, entirely handmade piece that will not leave your side all summer long. $126 Finders Keepers Consignment Boutique 1124 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo (805) 545-9879 // slofinderskeepers@gmail.com 70

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SPONSORED

and style, Kim has chosen to embrace the past, and focus on personal connections, not unlike what they probably provided back in 1935. Kim and her husband Eric have been in business together for over thirty years. With their two Preschools they have educated thousands of children over the years. However, fifteen years ago Kim decided to embrace her new calling-the world of beauty-and open their first salon in Atascadero. Although the north county is where Kim and Eric raised their family, San Luis Obispo was where they found they needed to be. Eric’s family, the Graggs, were some of the earliest ranchers in the SLO and Shell Beach area. Eric’s grandmother was a teacher at the old school in Avila, where she met his grandfather surveying then Highway 1 back in the 1920’s. With this combination of history and this perfect connection, they found themselves on Barrett Block with the owner Nancy Megli reiterating they are exactly where they are supposed to be.

HAIR TODAY, HAIR YESTERDAY THE OLDEST RUNNING HAIR SALON IN SAN LUIS OBISPO The idea that a storefront in heart of Garden Street in downtown San Luis Obispo has been operating as a hair salon since 1935 is hard to believe. So many things change with time; upgrades, modernization, and even moving on to a new location—but not Salon62. As Kim Boege reaches her third anniversary on Garden Street she continues to research the history of the “Barrett Block” and the salon space she calls home. As salons become very high tech and very modern in look

Kim’s passion for the care of her own curly hair has created some very special outgrowths. (no pun intended) Not only has Kim embraced the education of Aveda and DevaCurl, but she has created a soon to be non-profit called “The Curly Cure” which provides complimentary services for cancer patients dealing with the new growth of their curly hair after chemotherapy. Kim and all the incredible stylists at Salon62 look forward to serving the community for many years to come. Our stylists are committed to providing the personal touch that may have been lost in our fast paced lives.

The D ogs of Ga rde n Street

P RO G R ESS R EP ORT As we approach the final stages of the Garden Street Improvement program, Hotel Serra would like to thank all of our neighbors for their gracious support and patience. The end result will be well worth it. The next focus on Garden Street will be the revitalization of two historically important buildings. The previous Christian Science reading room and SLO Brew buildings have had many lives over the years providing downtown San Luis Obispo with a variety of goods and services. In their next life they will become, Hotel Serra entrance with a beautifully designed lobby lounge and Brasserie SLO, café, restaurant and bar in the style of European Brasseries.

Penny // Chihuahua-Dachshund // 3 1/2 Years Adopted from Woods Humane Society, Penny loves lounging in the sun, long walks, and a warm lap to snooze upon. Most days you can find her in front of Baxter Moerman with her buddy, Indi. Check out woodshumanesociety.org to find your own Penny.

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sum mer time

| HEALTH

health trends

T

he sun is sticking around the Central Coast sky much longer before dipping into the ocean for the night, and our bodies are acting differently. That ancient hardwiring, which scientists call biorhythms, is busy at work, pushing combinations of hormones into our veins that are different

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than at any other point during the year. Summertime is not just about being swimsuit-ready, it is also an ideal time to achieve optimal health. To help, we did a quick, highly unscientific survey here at SLO LIFE Magazine to find everyone’s favorite tips. Here is a list of the top five. >


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#1 GET HIGH ON ENERGY While its cousin, marijuana, seems to get all of the attention these days, people are starting to tune into the benefits of hemp hearts. Essentially making up the center, or heart of the Cannabis Sativa plant, these little seeds are a super food powerhouse that you probably have not heard of yet. It won’t be long before you do. Hemp, unlike marijuana, has only trace amounts of psychoactive properties. It also is a much hardier plant and can grow just about anywhere. Unfortunately, hemp was collateral damage when it was unintentionally outlawed when President Nixon declared his “War on Drugs” in 1970. Snacking on these little seeds will not get you high, but they will provide a list of nutrients too long to include here, and will give you a sustained burst of energy to keep you going on the trails or at the beach this summer.

#2 SERIOUSLY, GUYS, EYE MASKS? Don’t laugh! These bad boys really work. Think about it: for thousands of years, since the first Homo sapiens walked the earth, we have slept when it was dark, awakened when it was light. This diurnal pattern has always been the norm, that is until Thomas Edison had his “aha moment” with the light bulb. Now, if we’re not bingewatching Neflix late into the night, we’re catching up on emails, or texting our friends. Our brains are freaking out, people! And that means that our bodies get confused about whether it is day or night. And, any bit of light finding its way into your bedroom, whether from the street lamp outside, or your bed partner’s Stephen King novel on the Kindle, will negatively affect your sleep. Do yourself a favor and give an eye mask a try this summer. After a week, we bet your energy will be so improved that you will never climb under the sheets without one of these light blockers again.

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#3 SOMETHING’S A LITTLE FISHY The word “sardine” originates from the early 15th century, when fishermen in Sardinia, the island near the shin bone of Italy’s boot, were hauling these little guys up by the ton. There is no particular species of fish called a “sardine,” the designation goes to pretty much any small, oily herring or, if you are a marine biologist, Clupeidae. While we keep hearing mixed reports on the wisdom of eating fish—on the one hand, most of them are jam-packed with important nutrients, but on the other, we are learning more and more about their high levels of mercury. The sad news is that our fish populations are susceptible to the same pollution we are, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Larger species of fish, such as tuna and halibut, often contain the most mercury. The ocean’s pipsqueaks, sardines, have the least, and are full of brain and body boosting nutrients. Don’t judge—give ‘em a try! >


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#4 BLOCK THAT KICK ELECTROMAGNETIC RAY!

ATTENTION ATHLETES

Just like light, we modern day humans are also inundated daily with electromagnetic waves. From the cell phone in our pocket to the iPad in our backpack, there is a constant onslaught of unnatural energy beams pointing at us for most of our waking hours. And, for those of us that sleep next to our cell phones, it’s more like 24/7. Consider this: radio waves, now ubiquitous, would have been experienced by our ancestors only during a lightning strike, and more faintly emanating from the distant stars. Now, its true that everything, including our own bodies, emit electromagnetic radiation, but, many alternative health practitioners, particularly those who identify as energy healers, argue that our cell phones are messing with our auras and, therefore, making us sick. Many traditional white coats pooh-pooh the claim, noting that science has yet to make a definitive link. Why not hedge your bets? Airestech, the leader in the field of electromagnetic blockers, has a full, low-cost product line.

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EAT YOUR WEED-IES In cities all over the world, more and more people can be found at parks eating, you’re not going to believe this—weeds. Called “urban foragers,” these current day hunter-gatherers see sustenance where you and I see nuisance. That stinging nettle in your backyard, it’s loaded with vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. The wild amaranth, common this time of the year, it’s a protein powerhouse. For those of us with less time and imagination, there are weed sellers everywhere (no, not that kind of weed!), so look no further than top-selling website SeedsNow.com for guidance. Become a weed farmer this summer. There is plenty of instruction available for sprouting these guys in a mason jar; it’s not difficult stuff. Dandelions are our favorite, so far, but there are so many that we are excited to sample. Grow, eat, repeat. Sprinkle on salads, eat them raw, make a tea. Get excited about weeds. SLO LIFE


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| TASTE

FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH not from nowhere

>

These delectable concoctions are popping up around SLO. But do you know the background?

BY JAIME LEWIS

IT’S time to talk about one of my all-time favorite dishes: the fried chicken sandwich. But first, I think we need a quick detour into the subject of cultural appropriation. Stay with me here, San Luis Obispo. Cultural appropriation refers to when a dominant culture wields its power to siphon cultural capital from a minority culture for its own benefit. Alternatively, multiculturalism refers to when a society respects, celebrates, and footnotes its myriad cultures for their contribution to the whole. Confused? Here’s a good test. If you benefit from a culture without engaging in it directly (say, oh I don’t know, dressing up in blackface for a laugh), it’s probably cultural appropriation. If, on the other hand, you appreciate a culture from a place of humility and shared humanity (like dancing to West African drumming—I defy anyone not to at least tap a toe), it’s probably a case of multiculturalism. Food might seem an innocuous subject in this regard but, like so many facets of American life, can be a cultural appropriation minefield. Think of yuppies ordering sushi in the ‘80s, or bun-headed hipsters debating the minutiae of burritos. (Sigh: guilty.) Are we acknowledging the origins of our food, or are we ignoring them in an exhausting game of culinary one-upsman-ship? Now to the subject of this column. On their website, the company Chick-fil-A claims that founder S. Truett Cathy invented the fried chicken sandwich outside Atlanta in the 1960s. But guess what? Fried chicken sandwiches contain fried chicken, a dish born of African people, enslaved in the American south and denied access to more expensive proteins like beef. So the next time you bite into a fried chicken sandwich like the outrageously tasty ones I profile here, get real with what you’re eating. Touch down on the truth of why it exists and who brought it to your plate, across the centuries and across the world. Because, ultimately, food isn’t really about ingredients, technique, or presentation; JAIME LEWIS is a world it is, and will always and traveler, and food writer, who forever be, about people. >> lives in San Luis Obispo.

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First Presbyterian Church is committed to expressing our love of God through inspirational worship.

Summer Worship time: 10am childcare available

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At Spirit of San Luis at the SLO County Regional Airport, new owners Mike and Ellen Stanton have given the stalwart restaurant a new, crisp interior to frame panoramic views of the runway. They’ve also freshened up the menu, which includes a lofty fried chicken sandwich on brioche. I order mine with house-made chips. “Why fried chicken?” I ask Ellen between bites. “It’s just a nice contrast in textures,” she says, humbly. “A classic combo.” Veteran restaurateurs, Ellen and Mike owned Gus’s Grocery for 28 years, over which time they perfected the seasoning and crispiness of fried chicken tenders. When they sold Gus’s and purchased Spirit of San Luis in August of 2017, the Stantons brought that recipe and know-how along, opting to put a fat wedge of tomato, pickles, fluffy greenleaf lettuce, and an Edna’s Bakery bun on top. The result is a long slab of fried chicken, barely contained by the brioche, with a rich crunch that positively begs for a beer alongside. Pair that with plane-watching on a warm day and you have a slice of Central Coast heaven. >>

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When I meet Chef Thomas Fundaro on the cozy, creek-facing patio at SLO Brew downtown, he describes his dilemma with chicken sandwiches. “You gotta have a chicken sandwich,” he says, rubbing a calloused hand over his head. “Usually that’s a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado on herbed focaccia or something. Kind of anemic.” Instead, when he developed SLO Brew’s menu, he chose to make use of the restaurant’s new pressure fryer and offer something better for a brewpub. “One of my favorite dishes is Nashville Hot Chicken,” he says, referring to the spicy, sweet fried chicken made famous in Music City by Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. To riff on that style, he dredged chicken thighs in brown sugar, flour, and a happy helping of spices before frying them in oil. Then, he toasted a brioche bun and layered Kewpie Mayonnaise (a creamy Japanese mayo), house-made pickles and lemon-kale slaw on top of the chicken for a symphony of crunch, acid, sweet, and spice. The name? Nasty Nashville Hot Thighs Chicken Sandwich. >>

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Small plates and share-able gastropub fare are the modus operandi at Sidecar Cocktail Co., where Chef Kyle Rucker offers a plate of fried chicken sliders made from just a handful of ingredients. “All my food is simple and easy to execute,” he says. “Not hoity-toity-crazy. People can’t connect with that.” To that end, he batters chicken in buttermilk and breads it in flour, cayenne, paprika and garlic before frying. Two sets of halved buns get a schmear of aioli and sear on the flat-top (resulting in what Rucker calls “one of my top five favorite smells in the kitchen;” others on the list include that of fresh mint and bacon) before being loaded with house-made pickles, rings of red onion, and another swath of aioli. When Rucker delivers my impossibly cute sliders on a small wooden board, I take it all in: the warm slate walls, the ‘70s punk coming over the speakers, the vintage lamps, the glass-backed bar—and the aromas of a toasty fried chicken sandwich under my nose. “I make this food because this is the food I want to eat,” Rucker says. I decide I want to eat it, too. And with that, I dig in. SLO LIFE

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| KITCHEN

TÍA’S ALBONDIGAS SOUP For some reason my aunt—mi tía—thought albondigas soup was my most favorite meal, so she would make it for my birthday every year. I grew up in Bakersfield and my birthday is in July—we all know how hot it is that time of year in the valley. Still, every summer she would make this warm, hearty soup and the whole family would gather outside sitting in and around the swimming pool eating albondigas soup. I have kept the tradition and still love making and eating the soup soaked in summer sunshine. BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

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TÍA’S ALBONDIGAS SOUP Meatballs: 1 lb ground beef 1 cup long grain white rice (uncooked) 1 egg ½ yellow onion, minced 3-4 cloves garlic 2 tsp oregano ½ bunch or 3 Tbsp chopped mint leaves ½ tsp ground cumin salt and pepper to taste Broth: 2 quarts chicken or beef broth 1 cup water 1 whole yellow onion peeled, cut in quarters 2 tsp cumin 1 cup tomato sauce salt and pepper to taste Vegetables: 2 carrots 2 stalks celery 1 zucchini 2 red new potatoes 1 jalapeño

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To make the meatballs, sautée the onions and garlic and let cool. In a large mixing bowl mix ground beef, uncooked rice, sautéed onions, garlic, egg, oregano, mint, cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Prepare soup in an 8-quart stock pot. Add stock, water, onion, cumin, tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. While the soup is coming to a boil, roll meatballs into 1-ounce sized portions.

JESSIE RIVAS is the owner and chef of The Pairing Knife food truck which serves the Central Coast.

When broth is at a boil, add chopped vegetables and let the broth come back to a boil. Add meatballs one at a time, slowly so the broth stays hot. Once all meatballs are added, lower soup to a simmer and let cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve. SLO LIFE

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| WINE NOTES

Can You Handle It? Surprises are popping up with this new trend of wine in a can. So much of wine hype is surrounded by a luxurious lifestyle, though wine is part of our everyday lives. Cans are challenging our previous packaging ideas as convenience, freshness, sustainability, and quality are very important to many consumers and is the reason for the up-and-coming canned wine trend.

BY ANDRIA MCGHEE

S

imilar to cans, when screw caps on bottles were first introduced, they were seen only on low quality wines, but winemakers began noticing the benefit of no corks. Cork was expensive to import and caused a lot of wine to turn bad. Better screw caps were made. Winemakers changed their process to use them more. Now, the screw cap is mainstream and easily opens us to amazing wine. We are currently at a similar early stage with canned wine, though untraditional and so convenient, when done right, still commands excellence. Still, why cans? They’ve been around for 60 years, stack and fit well into each other, are lightweight, and have helped us easily store food and drink. Wine cans pull the same utility because they can go almost anywhere. Throw that can into your backpack and take it on a hike, or throw it in the cooler for the beach, or tailgating. Pick one up when rushing over to a friend’s house for a barbecue. Cans work when glass is not invited to the party, whether it’s a pool, a raft, a concert, or a fishing trip. Aluminum has introduced wine to places where other drinks were exclusive. Plus, no wine opener needed. >>

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Cans equal freshness; as with the screwcap, you will never get a corked (spoiled) wine. If corks are temperamental, another enemy of wine is oxygen. You open a bottle for dinner one night and it tastes totally different the following. Cracking open a can will give you smaller servings and freshness every time. Everyone can pick something different to drink without a lineup of half-finished bottles at the end of the evening. What about recycling? Fully 25% of bottles arrive to the recycling center and take large amounts of energy to process; compare that to cans which come in at 80%. “It takes three months from a can in your hand to the shelf again,” says sustainability nerd Jordan Kivelstadt, CEO of Free Flow Wines. Paradoxically, new glass is cheaper than recycled. Some argue that this is the weakness of the recycling system, which could be changed if market prices dictate. What about the big question—how does it taste? I love it. As with wine in bottles, I prefer some varieties to others. I am surprised at the quality and the lack of aluminum taste. High quality wine does not always need to be aged, so quick drinking is great in the can. The people at Field Recordings in Paso Robles’ Tin City are making some of my favorites. Hans Gruner is a light white wine with crisp, green fruit. I found this at The Spoon Trade in Grover Beach where Brook and Jacob Town stock many canned wines in their restaurant because of quality and convenience. Try it with the fried chicken and you have a good thing going. Another favorite is the Alloy Works Antipasto, which is as charming in its design as it is a wine. This Italian variety Sangiovese is awesome alongside edibles from the grill, or with pasta. Cans are now seen in grocery stores, delis, and liquor stores. Grab one and try it. It won’t break the bank. You’ll see Porch Pounder, Underwood, and Essentially Geared, as well; all focused on getting quality wine to people, the best way possible. So, are there any downfalls to aluminum? The can is working well, but still has room to improve. Right now, it is recommended that you drink wine from the can within three months of its “born date” for freshness. Most wine is consumed within about 24 hours of purchase anyway, so these cans have a place in the wine world. One concern is wine’s exposure to oxygen in canning, as the top is open and filled with wine until it is sealed with a lid. So, though it is a slight amount, the wine may get some exposure to oxygen on the production belt before it is sealed. The great thing about a growing trend, like screw caps, is that the aluminum can will drive innovation. There is still a place for corks and bottles. Some wines need aging. Every wine package option serves a purpose. We innovate here on the Central Coast and tend to have a non-traditional outlook compared to other places in the world. People like wine in all aspects of their life. There is no need for a super special occasion. So, bust open a can and break down those barriers. SLO LIFE 90

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ANDRIA MCGHEE received her advanced degree on wines and spirits from WSET in London and enjoys travel, food, wine, and exercise as a means to enjoy those around her.


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| BREW

PAIRING BEER WITH

MOOD

At this point in the craft beer game, many of us know that beer pairs well with most any food. Some go better than others such as pilsners with hot wings, lagers with sushi, saisons with cheese, stouts with chocolates, and on and on. If you want to know any of these, all you need is a quick online search and you’ll get about a million articles and blogs talking about the subject, so answering that question is easy. However, when asked what my favorite beer is, I’m not thinking about what I’m pairing it with, but how I’m enjoying it. For the most important pairing of all is with mood.

BY BRANT MYERS

A

s camping season descends upon us and the barbecue grill covers come off, it’s important to remember how you’re enjoying your beer. The days of buying a thirty pack of grain-flavored water are over. People want an experience when they drink a craft beer and part of that comes down to proper use of the beverage. After all, beer is living so shouldn’t we be doing the same? Most of us love to have a few while camping and I feel it’s the perfect example of how you can pair emotions, activities, friendships, and experiences while complementing the day, from start to finish, with the perfect beer. The morning is tricky, and much like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you can go one of two ways. Coffee drinkers should opt for the lightly caffeinated and bold flavors of a robust coffee porter such as 92

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the “Cafe Noir” from Tap It. This imperial porter was barrel-aged in pinot noir barrels then infused with cold brewed coffee. It’s sure to take the edge off the late night you just spent around the campfire the night before and give you a jolt of coffee to knock the cobwebs loose. If you want to maintain some sobriety for that hike you’re about to embark on, you should go the route of a cold glass of juice. No commute to work and no responsibilities means that you can pop the top and pull the cork off of Libertine Brewing’s “It’s Cobblering Time.” At half the ABV (alcohol by volume) of the porter, this wild ale is blended with fresh peaches, cinnamon sticks, and Madagascar vanilla beans. So now you can have your pastry and drink it, too. As the day grows warmer and you find yourself on the beach or atop a mountain, it’s time to get into the bolder flavors. That’s right, it’s time for some hops. Luckily, we have a plethora of options here, so let’s talk about two thirst-quenching and very popular fruited IPAs. I hope you stopped in the Barrelhouse Speakeasy to grab a sixpack of “Mango IPA” because this brew is wildly popular for good reason. Just enough sweetness from the mango commingles with the aromatics and bitterness of the hops to create a real thirst quencher that will give you a buzz for the hike back to camp or the brass to run into the cold ocean waters. Another option is the brand new release >>


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hailing from Figueroa Mountain with their “Painted Cave,” a guava purée infused IPA with bold aromas complementing the sweetness coming from liberal use of Citra, El Dorado, and Simcoe hops. Guava is such a delicate flavor that it really is the perfect brunch beer. Not quite sweet enough for breakfast, not quite hearty enough for lunch, but that perfect intersection of your day and your palette. There’s still a fire to be built, dinner to cook, and sand to knock off your blanket, so let’s talk about the best part of the camping day—dusk. Once back at your site, it’s time to start surviving in earnest. There’s wood to chop, a picnic table to reset to eating mode, and maybe even a sunset to catch while the foil is nestled in the coals. This is the time for lagers. In San Luis Obispo there is one true powerhouse when it comes to this style and the title goes to Central Coast Brewing. You can’t go wrong with a few crowlers (32-ounce cans filled on the spot) of any fresh offering they have, but I would go with their “Terrifico.” This Munich Helles lager has been brewed with lime zest and sea salt for a well-deserved quencher after a long day and as a reminder that even though it can be work, you’re still on vacation. Its drinkability and low alcohol content lets you keep one in your hand and still man the grill without falling into the flames. As the sun sets, appetites are satiated, those damn pesky raccoons keep trying to steal your bag of marshmallows, so it’s time to get into the dark stuff. What beer pairs well with camaraderie and regaling friends with tales of antics past? My go-to would be a campfire classic—whiskey. Passing around the bottle will surely make you “those people” at the campground, so why not treat yourself to something a little more mellow and refined? Don’t worry though, you’ll soon be snoring in your tent regardless. My go-to could be nearly any limited release or anniversary beer since they tend to be bourbon or whiskey barrel aged, boozy, and the perfect thing to drink while entranced in the flames of a campfire. Although mainly released in winter, these bold brews can get tucked away for such an occasion. As a matter of fact, this is the perfect time to drink SLO Brew’s 30th Anniversary beer “Winter Braun.” A take on their traditional winter warmer, this beer has come full circle with the mash going to RE:Find Distillery in Paso Robles to create whiskey, then sending the whiskey barrels back to SLO Brew to age their core beer, before becoming whiskey barrel aged Winter Braun. What a special beer to pair with the ones you consider special in your life. Get out the enamel mugs and pour a dram for everyone. So no matter where this summer takes you, or who you spend it with, remember that beer is more than a beverage, it’s an experience, so go out there and drink it in. SLO LIFE

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BRANT MYERS is owner of Hop On Beer Tours, a concierge service for craft beer enthusiasts along the Central Coast.

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Dr. Daniel Orthodontics 1356 Marsh Street . San Luis Obispo (805) 543-3105 . drdanielortho.com JUN/JLY 2018

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| HAPPENINGS ANNIE Leapin’ Lizards! The world’s best-loved musical will be the fabulous finale for the inaugural season. Based on the comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including “Easy Street,” “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism: “Tomorrow!” June 8 - July 1 // slorep.org

JUNE

CONCERTS IN THE PLAZA Concerts in the Plaza features musical genres across the spectrum from reggae to rock, blues to jamgrass, soul, California roots rock and more at Mission Plaza in Downtown San Luis Obispo every Friday June 8th through September 14th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Local vendors sell snacks and food for hungry concertgoers while Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Chamisal Vineyards supply beer and wine for purchase. Be sure to bring your own reusable cup or purchase a commemorative Concerts in the Plaza tumbler. Non-alcoholic beverages are provided as well. No outside alcoholic beverages or pets are allowed and this is a non-smoking event. All concerts are free to the public.

SYMPHONY AT SUNSET Enjoy estate wines under the stars during an intimate live performance at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre. Take in an Evening of Pops Under the Stars with the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra. Conducted by Artistic Director Brian Asher Alhadeff, this family-friendly program will star soprano Alba Franco-Cancél as well as pianist Matthew Harikian and include familiar classics, Broadway hits and popular music ranging from Star Wars to the Beatles. June 10 // vinaroblesamphitheatre.com

JERSEY BOYS “Too good to be true!” raves the New York Post for Jersey Boys, the 2006 Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. This is the true story of how four bluecollar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide—all before they were 30. Jersey Boys features a compelling script and an absolute treasure-trove of their hit songs, including “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and so many more. June 19 - 20 // pacslo.org 96

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LINEUP June 8 . The Molly Ringwald Project June 15 . Fialta June 22 . Young Dubliners June 29 . Truxton Mile July 6 . Stellar July 13 . Resination July 20 . The Tipsy Gypsies July 27 . The Kicks August 3 . Damon Castillo Band August 10 . Bear Market Riot August 17 . Truth About Seafood August 24 . Diego’s Umbrella August 31 . The JD Project September 7 . The Mother Corn Shuckers September 14 | Moonshiner Collective June 8 - September 14 // downtownslo.com


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#IMOMSOHARD Enjoy estate wines under the stars during an intimate live performance at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre. Come join an entertaining evening with comedy duo Jen Smedley and Kristin Hensley, creators and stars of #IMOMSOHARD. June 16 // vinaroblesamphitheatre.com

JUNE 8–JULY 1 Wed-Sun@7 pm Sat-Sun@2 pm

Bring the whole family to enjoy this delightful Tony Award winning musical! Tickets: $20-$38 • slorep.org • (805) 786-2440

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HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ROLL OUT THE BARRELS Kick off the summer in San Luis Obispo’s Wine Country at the 28th Annual Roll Out the Barrels Weekend. Your getaway to our coastal wine mecca begins Thursday, June 21st at Barrels in the Plaza, with over 50 wineries and local chefs dishing out delicious food and wine. Then on Friday and Saturday, sip your way through San Luis Obispo tasting rooms with our Passport to Wine Country. Walk the vineyards, barrel sample the new vintage, and enjoy open houses, wine tastings, and festivities all day Friday and Saturday. June 21 - 22 // slowine.com

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5K BEER RUN Enjoy a celebration of local craft brewing, an active lifestyle, and the surrounding community hosted at BarrelHouse Brewing Company. Food will be available for purchase on-site from Shave N Flav and the band Bad Obsession will be providing live entertainment. June 30 // templetonrecfoundation.com JUN/JLY 2018

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| HAPPENINGS

BLUES BASEBALL FIREWORKS Since 1946, Blue’s Baseball has been a San Luis Obispo tradition. This family-friendly setting offers plenty of games and activities for the kids, as well as a concession stand and beer truck. The fireworks show will begin immediately following the game. July 3 // bluesbaseball.com

JULY LAVENDER FESTIVAL Enjoy a day in Paso Robles with the tastes of lavender cuisine, sampling of oils, dipping sauces, ice cream, education, growing, and sustainable farming practices throughout the county. July 7 // cclavenderfestival.com

SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL The Filipponi Ranch is once again hosting the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival with live music performed before each Friday night production. Pack a picnic or purchase delicious fare on site and bring low-back chairs. Wine will be available for sale by the glass and bottle. July 13 – August 4 // centralcoastshakespeare.org

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ROCK TO PIER FUN RUN 2018 marks the 49th year of the Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to Pier Fun Run. This six-mile event is held entirely on the beach from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier and is open to participants of all ages and abilities. July 14 // morrobay.org

FESTIVAL MOZAIC The annual Summer Music Festival features orchestra, chamber music, fringe concerts, notable encounters, family activities and other musical and social events for you to enjoy. July 17 – 29 // festivalmozaic.com

MID STATE FAIR The California Mid-State Fair is held annually and runs for twelve days at the end of July. The Fair has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry. July 18 - 29 // midstatefair.com


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HAVEN PROPERTIES

To learn more about our Distinctive Collection listings visit www.havenslo.com/distinctive

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SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

| JUN/JLY 2018


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