SLO LIFE Magazine Aug/Sep 2019

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2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 20192226 Beebee St, San Luis Obispo, CA | 805.543.6844 | BUILD YOUR BRAND BUILD YOUR LEGACY From concept to creation, our design, print, mail, apparel, web and promotional item services will help you reach your audience. We want to serve you by more than just printing your message- we want to help you build your legacy. GeÖ


4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 Find your nearest bus stop and track buses live with the SLO Transit App. Download. Go. Where in SLO? For more information, call 805-541-2877, visit or email

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Mestiza focuses on the ofauthenticsimple,flavorsSouthernMexico

It’s a bustling Thursday night at Mestiza and it’s engaging wait staff is operating at full tilt, delivering a seemingly endless stream of the restaurant’s signature Flor de Calabasa Quesadillas, Queso Fundido, exotic street tacos, and trays filled with shots of artisanal Mezcal and colorful craft cock tails. Presiding over the activity is Co-Owner/ Executive Chef Ricardo “Rico” Ortega, a 14-year veteran of Compass Health’s collection of 8 local restaurants (including Ventana Grill, Oyster Loft, and Olde Custom House). Ortega’s family roots and en thusiasm for authentic Mexican cuisine have been a driving force behind the menu. “We have tried to keep things simple and delicious, with vibrant flavors, and fresh local ingredients. In everything from our fresh stone-ground tortillas, to some of the best Mezcal in the world, we have worked hard to share the warm, rich flavors of Mexico,” says Ortega.


Court Street • Monterey Street • Downtown Centre

Signature Mezcal and Tequila based cocktails and a sunny outdoor patio are just part of the ambiance at Mestiza, according to Executive Chef / Co-Owner Ricardo “Rico” Ortega.

Perched above Monterey Street near Downtown SLO’s historic Mission Plaza, Mestiza sits in a lively new culinary corridor that features Mint+Craft, Palazzo Giusseppe, Luna Red, plus 2 new restaurants in the upcoming Hotel SLO. Ortega explained, “We’re excited to be part of what’s happening on Monterey Street. It has a great feel about it right now, and with all the revitalization going on, it’s only going to get better.”

Mestiza opens at 3:30 daily, Tuesday-Sunday. Happy Hour from 3:30-5:30. 805.592.3201 Mestiza is located above Williams Sonoma, in the new Monterey Street Center.

A Slice of Oaxaca hits Monterey Street

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Fresh from the garden and topped with goodness, JAIME LEWIS explores the ways a salad can make a meal.


Recently tapped for the job as fire chief at the San Luis Obispo Fire Department, KEITH AGGSON stops by to discuss drought, climate conditions, and California’s blazes.

Now Hear This With several albums under their belt PONCHO AND THE WIZARDS have an ever-growing fan base.

Profile The San Luis Obispo Leadership Program marks its 28th year. We introduce the members who make up the current class.

Real Estate


T he KOSTELNIKS open the doors to their newly remodeled Spanish-style home.

Wine writer ANDRIA MCGHEE takes you out of the vineyards and into the tasting rooms for exceptional flavors worth trying.

Brew A lways in the know, BRANT MYERS shares the inside scoop on what’s happening behind the scenes of our local breweries.

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


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 county of San Luis Obispo.

With her finger always on the pulse, ERIKA FITZGERALD dives into the nitty-gritty details of one of the hottest trends in health: Charcoal.

Kitchen Whether you prefer peaches or nectarines, apricots or cherries, there’s just one problem—these gems don’t store well. CHEF JESSIE RIVAS saves the day for that over-ripe produce with his version of a traditional cobbler recipe.




Family PADEN HUGHES heads to north county and takes in the glowing scene of Sensario.

Wine Notes


On the Rise Mission College Preparatory High School senior BRYCE HILTON combines athleticism and academics with generosity and care for others.


Get the story within the story by going to and subscribing to Tom’sBombs to receive the next installment.

Still, there was no way I could justify that sort of expenditure. At the time, the kids were still crawling around on all fours and $600 was a lot of diapers. But, we could start making our own baby food, after all. That’s when the guest chimed in to drop the hammer. After listing all of the stuff they are magnanimously handing over—a free blender, for goodness sake—she explained that you didn’t even have to pay for it, at least not today. “If you call right now, within the next 14 minutes, for just $49.99 we’ll ship everything you see here, plus the free Vitamix 750!” Reflexively, I hollered out with every ounce of remaining energy: “Hey, Sweetie, can you please bring me my phone and my wallet?”

It was ten, or maybe eleven years ago, when I considered that death may be a better option. My stomach revolted violently for three days straight. Once I was able to make it out of bed, I planted myself on the couch enshrouded in our family’s “snuggly” blanket. Everything hurt, even my fingers when I flipped through the channels until I found something worth watching.

Ah, man. They had to talk about pesto. Now I was on the ropes. Despite never having bought anything from a TV show—although, I have an aunt who seems to only buy her stuff that way—I was now hanging on every word, waiting in rabid anticipation for the price to be revealed. But, the unnaturally happy and suspiciously tanned pair kept on going, whipping up one quick meal after another—“This is so simple, folks”—and sampling their concoctions with exquisite delight. I was equal parts frustrated and fascinated, and I wished they would stop calling me “folks.” It was making my headache worse. Finally, they went in for the close. After the camera panned back to show all of the amazing stuff that they made right there on the set, they then zoomed in on the Vitamix 750 Professional Series and claimed that it contained more horsepower than many lawn mowers. This thing was no joke. “And, how much would you expect to pay for this incredibly magical machine, which will look so beautiful on your kitchen counter?” the host inquired. “How about $3,000? $2,000? $1,500?” Now lowering his voice and his pace, “Well, what if I were to tell you that you can have all of this for just $599.95?” I snapped out of my trance and jerked back to reality. There’s no way I was going to pay $600 for a blender. Give me a break! That’s when the host heard my objection and answered back. “But, we’re making it really easy, folks. If you order within the next 15 minutes, we are going to throw in all of these additional accessories worth another $599.95—it’s like getting a free Vitamix 750!” Wait, what? I’m getting the blender for free?

Some people take great satisfaction in paying off a car or a boat or a house. For me, it was a blender. After eleven months of “EZ Payments,” I became the proud owner of a fully unencumbered Vitamix 750 Professional Series blender—which now sits on the top shelf of our pantry, covered in dust.


One by one, the annoying duo unveiled yet another thing that can be done with the 750: “You can make an amazing tomato soup!... Ice cream, anyone?... Protein shakes are so easy with the Vitamix, and you’ll build muscle as you commute to work!... You can make your own almond butter!... Do you love fettuccine Alfredo? Well, I’ve got good news for you!... Tired of chopping your veggies?... Bread dough is a snap... No more buying baby food at the store, the Vitamix has you covered!... And, here’s one of my favorites, folks: Pesto!”

The chipper television host had an equally chipper guest. And, “chipper” is probably not the right word choice, as those two were in rapture; radiating joy from every pore. And all because of a blender. But, it was not just any blender, it was the Vitamix 750 Professional Series. And it was available exclusively on the Home Shopping Network.

With the initials HSN permanently affixed to the lower right-hand corner of the screen, I leaned in a bit, but only to the point where my guts began to object again. After 72 hours without a meal, I was led into a trance by their “Simple Smoothie” recipe. “Now, folks, this is so easy,” the host assured. “Just toss in whatever you’ve got laying around: half a banana, a handful of blueberries, some chocolate powder, maybe some yogurt, add some ice cubes, and you’re all Watchingset.”them

lift the drinks to their lips and sample their frozen treat drove me to the precipice of madness. With sweat beading up on my forehead, the room began to spin as a bizarre set of competing emotions took hold. I felt both an intense contempt for those two—they were just so smug—as well as complete fascination with their high-powered appliance, to the point where, looking back on it now, I may very well have been in some early stage of hypnosis.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you.


Whenever a flu bug courses through our family, which seems to happen every few years, I am always the last one to get sick. I’m the guy who hands out the wet washcloths and makes sure everyone has a barf bowl between my runs down to the grocery store for Saltines and 7UP and Campbell’s Soup. Then, it’s my turn.

Live the SLO Life! Tom tom@slolifemagazine.comFranciskovich



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David VanessaJenniferLalushOlsonPlakias Sofia Rivas Vincent Shay

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

LIFE magazine Elder Placements realizes the IMPORTANCE of listening to the client, in order to find the appropriate: Independent Living Assisted Living Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care Homes Let their experienced Certified Senior Advisors take you on a tour to find the Retirement Home or Community that fits your loved ones Medical, Financial and Social needs, at NO Cost to you. Contact us today for FREE placement assistance. (805) elderplacementprofessionals.com546-8777 Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

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16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA info@slolifemagazine.comSLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM (805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax PUBLISHER Tom Franciskovich CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sheryl Disher CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlotte Alexander Erika AndriaPadenFitzgeraldHughesJaimeLewisMcGheeBrantMyersJessieRivasShawnStrong


Oh, I just love this shot. It reminds me of some vintage Italian black and white. It was so funny, the two guys in the background were so curious about the shoot and wanted to know who Melissa was and how they could follow her on Instagram. Her office is in the Hot House downtown, and I loved seeing all the skateboards and bicycles. Such a great way to commute and what an awesome vibe. The place is filled with little startup companies, and the culture of the place seemed like the perfect launching pad. I was able to talk one of the students into posing with his skateboard for me.


It was so sweet, Melissa told me that her daughters were so excited about being on the cover, and so she had them help pick out her outfit. They chose this necklace, and you could tell that she was just so proud of her little girls. Is there a hashtag for #bossmom? If not, there should be. the scenes




I caught a light moment when Melissa checked in with her VP of Strategy, Andrew Hackleman, whom she refers to as her partner. You could clearly see that they work well together. They were sort of joking around about their office, referring to it as the dorm room.

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20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 BARCELONA, SPAIN Take us with you! | IN BOX 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 ORCAS ISLAND, WASHINGTON AGRIGENTO, SICILY BUDAPEST, HUNGARY BOB and THERESA RUSH with JUDY GORDON PAUL and KRISTIE KEMP DORIS KELTY in Budapest, Hungary but SLO Life Magazine also traveled with me through Austria, Germany, and Slovakia on our beautiful cruise down the Danube River. JACQUELINE CARR



AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23 CRATER LAKE, OREGON The DELBERGS MOUNT ROBERTS, JUNEAU, ALASKA DALLAS WORLD AQUARIUM, TEXAS NORWAY JOHN and FREDENE MEXICAN RIVIERA CRUISE JIM and RHONDA SEYBERT JIM RENZI and LIZ celebrating their 80th birthdays and their 60th wedding anniversary. Please send your photos and comments to Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit Visit us online at Letters may be edited for content and clarity. To be considered for publication your letter should include your name, address, phone number, or email address (for authentication purposes). KIM and CAROL BENNETTS INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA CORE DANCE COMPANY


The newly-reduced price of a piece of California history: Nitt Witt Ridge in Cambria, also known as the “Anti Hearst Castle.” Still on the market in July, six months after being listed for sale at the original asking price of $425,000. The eccentric structure (considered by some a remarkable piece of folk art) is California State Landmark 939.

And now it’s on a 32,000-square-foottwo-story,instructional building, too. Cuesta College’s seventh president, Dr. Jill Stearns, honored its second president, Dr. Frank R. Martinez, during a recent naming ceremony for the first structure to be built on campus with Measure-L bond funds passed in 2014. The 96-year-old Martinez joined the college as vice president in 1964, became president in 1977, and retired in 1988.

Northern Chumash Tribal Council Chairman Fred Collins speaking in support of the California Coastal Commission staff’s recommendation to phase out off-highway vehicle access to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. “We want peace and joy to be given a chance.”


Registered borrowers in the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries database, a number that has grown from around 1,400 when the system was founded 100 years ago. The number of branches also has grown from one in 1919 to fourteen in 2019 covering 3,000 square miles from Cambria to Nipomo.

The number of deaths at the Oceano Dunes year-to-date, making it the most lethal on record.

The value of clothing, jewelry, and home goods made by artisans from around the world that HumanKind has sold during the decade it has been open in downtown San Luis Obispo. The shop on Monterey Street, which operates as a nonprofit, celebrated ten years of “fair trade” shopping and inspiring change in July. million



The percentage of incoming Cal Poly students who identify as members of a minority, making this the most diverse class in the university’s history. That’s 2,609 out of 5,769 transfers and firsttime freshmen enrolling for Fall 2019, including Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, Native American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, multi-racial, and undocumented students.

“That’s America’s Top 25” favorite pizza joints from New York to California according to Yelp reviewers—and Petra Mediterranean Pizza & Grill in SLO made the cut this year. How’d they do it? The website 24/7 Tempo says it’s the restaurant’s unique pizza selection that wows customers, including a gyro pizza and a Greek feta pizza. Owner Todd Aburashed says, “You have to have a lot of love and care; you have to be generous.”


A soon-to-be-patented device small enough to hold in one hand, yet a potential source of light for the more than 1.6 billion people in the world living off the grid. The impact of the MISO, short for “Multiple Input Single Output DC-DC Converter with Equal Load Sharing on Multiple Inputs,” could be profound, according to Cal Poly professor Taufik who developed it with former student Owen Jong. MISO combines the input of multiple low-power electricity sources into one stronger output source. “In the developing world,” Taufik says, “a little electricity goes a long way.”

TOP 25

Among the many items event-goers could not bring into the California Mid-State Fair that opened for 12 days beginning July 17th. All visitors (except law enforcement) who hoped to attend the mutton-bustin’ or vinegar competitions, see the Fabulous Thunderbirds in concert, or enjoy the carnival rides for free on opening day (a first in the 73-year history of the fair) also were screened for ammunition, knives, Mace, and handcuff keys among multiple other no-nos. BB Guns, Batons, & Brass Knuckles

6 65,82045% MISO

“Frank’s imprint is evident in every facet of this institution.”great

AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25 True Community Banking is Here Welcome to American Riviera Bank; now open in San Luis Obispo. We’re a bank built on relationships with you and with our community. Come see what better banking means! San Luis Obispo Branch • 1085 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.540.6240 • San Luis Obispo • Paso Robles • Goleta • Santa Barbara • Montecito Business Banking | Personal Banking | Business Loans | Agricultural Lending | Residential Lending



The economic impact of the closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant will be significantly less than previous estimates of $1 billion per year for ten years, according to a state-commissioned study released during a public forum in San Luis Obispo. Researchers at UC Berkeley, who authored the report, say the economies of SLO County and northern Santa Barbara County will experience a net economic loss of $77 million annually for the decade following the plant’s shutdown in 2025, because decommissioning expenditures and a recently approved settlement package will offset a majority of economic losses attributable to the closure.


The SLO County Grand Jury identifies the shortage of affordable housing on the Central Coast as an urgent problem after reviewing local city ordinances and interviewing government officials and others in the private sector. The Grand Jury’s report begins, “The majority of homes in San Luis Obispo County are affordable to someone, but certainly not by those supporting our service economy, driving a bus, or teaching in a public school.” Among its findings? The supply of rental units available to low-income families is insufficient. Among its recommendations? Increase developer in-lieu fees to realistically support the cost of inclusionary housing units or eliminate the in-lieu fees altogether and simply require lowincome housing construction.

San Luis Obispo High School switch-hitting shortstop Brooks Lee turns down multiple $3 million offers from Major League teams, honoring a commitment to play college baseball for his father, Cal Poly coach Larry Lee. The younger Lee was invited to tryouts with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks in the final days leading up to the Major League Baseball draft. He hit .405 as a senior shortstop in the spring, going 32-for-79 at the plate with 13 doubles, two home runs and 25 RBIs. He struck out just nine times in 92 plate appearances and led the Tigers to a 23-5-1 overall record. Lee was considered by many to be the top high school prospect from California in this year’s draft.

The California Employment Development Department releases statistics showing San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate hit an all-time low of 2.4 percent in May 2019. With more jobs available in the area—200 more, in fact, since the previous month, mostly in the hospitality services sector—fewer people in the county are looking for work. The previous record low of 2.5 percent was set in May 2018. The county rate is lower than the national average of 3.4 percent and the state average of 3.5



| TIMELINE Around the County JUNE ’19

Think there are more businesses leaving San Luis Obispo County than migrating in? Think again. According to a first-ever evidence-based report released by the Economic Vitality Corporation that details business migration patterns in three counties, in SLO County, more companies are coming rather than going, and “the net economic impact of sales and the value of jobs for the businesses coming is higher than for the businesses leaving,” explains EVC President Michael Manchak. A major takeaway from the report is that the discussion about values and places to do business can now move from the anecdotal to actual numbers.6/28


The County District Attorney’s Office charges the wife of SLO County Clerk Recorder Tommy Gong with embezzling more than $32,000 from the Atascadero High School Band and Pageantry Booster Club. Sherry Gong faces three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement for allegedly stealing the funds between July 2017 and April 2018, while she was treasurer of the organization. Her husband, whose job is to maintain the integrity of County elections and records, is not implicated in the charges. Gong said he didn’t know about the theft until his wife was contacted by police.




A major three-month-long road construction and repaving project begins in San Luis Obispo on South Broad Street, from Tank Farm Road to just south of the airport. In addition to roadway improvements, the project includes striping to improve safety for bicyclists.

Funded by a local revenue measure, a one-half percent sales tax approved by city voters in 2006, and again in 2014 to preserve essential community services, it also contributes to the 2019-21 major city goal of sustainable transportation. Information on traffic impacts is available by calling the South Broad Street Resurfacing Hotline, (805) 783-7858.

Following more than six hours of testimony at a meeting held in San Luis Obispo, the California Coastal Commission rejects a staff recommendation that would phase out off-highway vehicle access to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. While commissioners say they are concerned about the impacts of off-road vehicles on air quality, sensitive habitats, and endangered species, they are giving California State Parks a year to complete a “Public Works Plan” to address future operations, which is subject to the Coastal Commission’s review and approval. Later that day, a motorcyclist became the fifth person to die in 2019 at the Oceano Dunes, which was followed by a sixth death a few days later.


Downtown SLO announces it will not move forward with a Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) tax proposal that would have brought in $400,000 to clean streets and provide added resources to San Luis Obispo’s downtown area. While enough signatures were collected from area business owners to allow the proposal to go to the City Council for consideration, the group’s Board of Directors decided the issue had become too

The San Luis Obispo City Council directs staff to update the city’s public art policy to preclude erecting monuments depicting specific historic individuals on public property. The decision comes on the heels of a controversial proposal to put a privately-funded statue of President Theodore Roosevelt in Mitchell Park. Some questioned the choice to honor Roosevelt, rather than a person more closely associated with the City. Council members agreed it made sense for San Luis Obispo to celebrate ideas and ideals instead of individual persons. City staff will draft new public art guidelines for a future council vote on the issue.



28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 a powerful draw. So much so, that nearly every day, that is where you can find Shay. For the past ten years, he has been outfitting tourists and locals alike with rentals at his business, Avila Beach Paddlesports. Together, with his wife, Emily, the two have carved out a corner adjacent to the boat launch in Port San Luis, where they share the love of the ocean by teaching newbie paddlers what to expect in the water. The question he receives most often from his customers before helping them shove off from his dock is: “What about sharks?”


Shay’s face registers disappointment when he admits that he has never seen a great white in person and marvels at the fact that none of the other thousands of people he has sent out to the San Luis Bay have either. “But, they’re out there,” he says, “and they always have been.” The word “stoked” is commonly associated with surfers, who report feeling especially joyful, satisfied, and grateful after riding some particularly epic waves. If there ever was a living and breathing embodiment of that word, “stoked,” it would be Vincent Shay. The only time he could be described as something other than fully stoked is when the conversation turns negative and fearful as it relates to the ocean’s apex predator, the great white shark. Always on the lookout for one, and continually stressing the importance of sharks to the environment in conversations with his customers, Shay keeps one eye out on the horizon, hopeful to find a distinctive triangleshaped dorsal fin. Gazing seaward on a winter’s day earlier this year, as he strolled along with his wife along the Capofaro Creek mouth, near Ragged Point, a flock of seagulls caught his imagination. From the time he was 17 years old, he had been capturing moments just like this one on an old film-based camera. On this day, he was toting a Canon 7D Mark II outfitted with a shark-ready telephoto lens. Gauging the light, he could see this was going to set up in the most perfect way. Clicking the shutter setting down to a low-speed and steadying the camera sniper-like, Shay drew a deep, quiet breath. Waiting. And waiting. Then it happened. Something spooked one gull, which spooked another. Soon the entire flock was launching itself from the creek mouth, and Shay was there clicking through it all. The result is the composition you see here, which went through minimal postproduction, commonly referred to as “Photoshop,” as light and water and movement combine to tell the story—the story of the sea.



ife for Vincent Shay revolves around the ocean. And that has always been true. Ever since Shay’s father loaded the family into the station wagon so he could transfer jobs from one nuclear reactor to another— San Onofre to Diablo Canyon—the ocean has been

What can be done to lessen the odds?

Tell us, Keith, where are you from? I grew up here. We lived on nine acres in the Atascadero area. Back then, you were playing a sport, or you were out in the creek fishing, or you were hunting with BB guns. I was super fortunate to grow up in that environment. My parents are just hardworking; a blue-collar family. I’m the first in my family to get my bachelor’s degree and do something different. They have always been in the trades. My father did framing and concrete. I did a lot of construction growing up. It’s backbreaking work. We had a neighbor who was a firefighter and he encouraged me to check it out. So, while I was still in high school, I was able to take some basic fire classes at Allan Hancock and, as soon as I graduated, I was able to start working in CAL Fire’s seasonal program. And, what was your first “real job?” I became a reserve firefighter in Atascadero, and went to the fire academy and paramedic school, and became full-time there at the age of 20. I got a ton of great experience, lots of emergency calls. One of the funniest was a call we received for a goat stuck in a tree. We normally don’t retrieve animals from trees, but we said, “Okay, we’ll go have a look.” I’m not kidding, this goat was legitimately 45 feet up in that oak tree. I’ve never seen anything like it. So, we sprayed some water at him with the hose and got him mad enough where he started to climb back down on his own. But, I’ve been called out to some really massive fires. And the interesting thing is we keep being told, “This is the biggest fire you’re ever going to see in your entire career—you’ll never see anything like this again.” Sure, enough, they keep getting bigger. Why is that? What’s happening? It’s the climate; it’s the drought; and over the last 125 years we’ve been putting fires out and not allowing them to burn through to clean the forest out like Mother Nature intended. So that’s why I think we’re seeing more of these highenergy, rapid-burning, rapid-propagation type of fires. At the same time, people are building farther out into the interface areas. And, I know that people say it can’t happen here, but that is what they said in Santa Rosa, too. I have a close friend who lives there; he’s a division chief, and says, “If someone would have told me my house would burn down from a wildfire, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy.’” A couple of years ago, he lost his home, and so did his in-laws, in the Tubbs Fire, which, at the time, was the state’s worst fire. We have some commonalities here in San Luis Obispo and an interface fire, which is what happened up there, and with homes that are built closely together and with, at times, strong winds and dry conditions, it’s something we need to think about.



Believe it or not, it’s usually the landscaping around homes that is the issue. Having an appropriate amount of landscaping and keeping it trimmed back and away from your home is the number one thing you can do. Beyond that, everyone should have a 72-hour kit with enough food and water for three days. You should have a plan for how to evacuate quickly, and a plan for where to go. My wife and I keep a bag that is ready to go at all times with a little bit of cash, a couple credit cards, and some food and water— and also, something most people forget about, which is copies of all your identification. This is especially critical for a small business. Many of them never fully bounce back from a disaster because they lose so many of their valuable documents and so much important data that may not have been stored in the cloud.

You mentioned your wife. Tell us how you met. It was about ten years ago; we were both single. We were all at a restaurant eating dinner after a fire. I saw her walk in—she was with someone who I recognized from my gym—and I thought, “Man, I sure would like to meet that girl, find out who she is.” So, I’m trying my best to not be a creepy stalker as I asked around at the gym, “Hey, who was that?” A day or two later, I get an email through Facebook. It was from someone I didn’t know who was trying to track down my younger brother for his class reunion. We emailed back and forth, and this goes on for something like five or six weeks. Finally, it dawns on me, and I ask her, “Were you that girl that walked into the restaurant a couple of months ago?” And, she said, “Yep, that’s me!” [laughter] Turns out that she had gone to high school with my brother. I said, “Hey, you’ve got to let me take you to dinner.” We’ve been together ever since. She’s a super supportive, amazing person. FIRE CHIEF

Not quite six months into his new job as the San Luis Obispo Fire Chief, KEITH AGGSON dropped by the office for a conversation that range d from emergency preparedness to how he met his wife. Here is som e of what he had to say…

| Q&A

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32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 | NOW HEAR THIS PANCHO & THE WIZARDS BY SHAWN STRONG “Play before you get good, because by the time you get good, you’re too old to play.” —Joey Ramone

other hand, the musician was equally amused by the idea of staying with the Wizards and launching a tour throughout California.

F and start recording. As the sizes of shows continue to increase, income begins to flow in, and band confidence rises, the Wizards hope to build on the upward momentum, while also maintaining the informal nature of the group. That being said, recognition seems unavoidable for the band, as a recent collaboration with local brewery giant Firestone-Walker spells some welldeserved exposure for this talented group of musicians. With the financial and artistic support of the brewing powerhouse, the Wizards look forward to a physical release of their latest album “Cemetery” sometime during the fall of this year. A first for the band, this pressing hopefully marks the beginning of a series of albums that will boost the group’s ability even further.

The remarkably talented Tristan Wildey seems suited to follow the same trajectory, spending the last four years building a dedicated following, while honing an already impressive natural ability for songwriting. Wildey’s group, Pancho and the Wizards, has benefited from a rotating roster of fantastic local musicians, but under the young musician’s steady leadership, the Wizards have cultivated an impressive catalog of music that is undeniably their Hailingown.from Arroyo Grande, Wildey spent his teenage years playing with friends at house parties and the like. Despite growing up with a family that wasn’t overly musical, the budding artist was drawn to music early on. An avid crate-digger, Wildey has been cultivating a solid vinyl collection since his teens. This appreciation for music has yet to dissipate and has come to influence his current style. Drawing from a pool of punk and garage rock that is deep as it is wide, Wildey’s music is reminiscent of a number of well-known acts like Iggy Pop and the Ramones, while avoiding genre clichés and remaining distinctive. Not only does the young musician carry an impressive arsenal of musical influences with him, his notable perspicacity concerning the intricacies of audio production is readily apparent, after even a short discussion with him. Without doubt, it’s these two traits that allow Wildey to develop such a specific tone in his work, unmistakable in his live performances and studio recordings.

skills and taking the musical world by storm seemingly overnight.

Considering all business aspects of Pancho and the Wizards are currently managed entirely by Wildey himself, a tour would be a momentous undertaking to say the least. However, the everdetermined Wildey says he’s ready to make it happen should the opportunity present itself. With so much going for the group already, both options seem entirely attainable. In either case, make a point to see the Wizards as soon as possible, either locally or wherever the young musicians find themselves in the coming months. Otherwise, turn on the radio because chances are you’ll be sure to hear them crashing over the airwaves any day now.

Outside of music, Wildey maintains a busy personal life working several jobs while also pursuing a degree in communications. With one semester left before graduation, Wildey already boasts a certificate in audio engineering and has been working closely with audio engineers and record producers throughout the county on projects of his own, as well as those of fellow bands. When questioned about post-graduation plans, Wildey was undecided yet optimistic about his future. While staying local and continuing to play with the Wizards is obviously enticing, Wildey expressed interest in possibly moving south to continue his education, while also exploring new music scenes and expanding his sound. On the Los Angeles born, SLO County raised, SHAWN STRONG’s passion for the local music scene and artists that have created it, fuels his writing and drives his commitment to living the SLO Life.


On the origins of Pancho and the Wizards, Wildey reminisced on the casual attitude he took when approaching the idea of showcasing his work. Without being too serious, the Wizards were simply a way to gain perspective on the credibility of his songwriting and musicianship. After four years of steady growth and positive reception, there was obviously something going for the 18-year-old vinyl-hoarding punk rocker when he decided to plug that amp in SLO LIFE rom the Stones to Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, and Janis Joplin, some of the world’s most phenomenal musicians began their musical careers early in life, quickly developing their

The best way to experience this art form is to time your arrival just right. As I mentioned, I love the California hills and oak trees, and I have always loved our sunsets. When I was a child my mom would point to a colorful sunset and announce, “The fairies are making cotton candy.” In fact, my favorite time of day to experience Sensorio is right before the sun sets, so the magic of the changing colors can transport you. That’s exactly when we pulled into the parking lot, strolled into the exhibit area, and first glimpsed the illuminated countryside.

I t’s been over a decade since my parents and siblings moved to the UK, and each time they return to the Golden State for family reunions, there is always one comment you can count on hearing them say, “It’s so good to be back home in the land of gentle rolling hills

The sky was on fire with orange and pink, darkening the silhouettes of ancient oak trees, while the rolling hills were illuminated by solar blooms in vibrant colors. It really stops you in your tracks. My inner child rejoiced to see the fairies making cotton candy in the sky and that Munro had matched their magic with his own vibrant rendition in the landscape beneath.

FIELD OF LIGHT at Sensorio


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

Insider Tips While there were not a lot of children there when we visited, the exhibit would enthrall all ages. It can get windy, so I advise bringing a jacket and wearing layers. Finally, tickets are sold for specific time slots during the evening hours, so plan accordingly. This helps keep the foot traffic down so viewers are not overcrowded.


studded with gnarled oak trees.” I know what they mean. I spent a gap year in Europe before starting at Cal Poly and I remember the sense of belonging that swept over me when I drove through the golden California hills. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to help you reconnect with the beauty of the scenery you walk in daily. The most recent person to gift me with a fresh look at California’s beauty was Bruce Munro, an internationally acclaimed artist, who transforms landscapes into canvases of art. Specifically through his Sensorio installation, which he designed with solar-powered orbs on stems that glow and subtly morph into bright colors. The result is hypnotizing. Munro has long had a dream of bringing his art around the world. Sensorio in Paso Robles is his largest installation to-date. Covering several acres, with over 58,800 stems to fill the space, this art form is unlike any show or exhibit we typically see in our small corner of the world. It was delightful to experience the installation while marveling as it changes colors and shapes with the landscape. It felt surreal, almost like walking into another world. It brought my childlike imagination to life and I felt as though I might have entered the imaginary place of Alice in Wonderland. It’s not just the orbs themselves, but the network of them that was so captivating—like a tangle of brain neurons and synapses. You could easily lose yourself in the design and experience and allow your mind to wonder at all manner of complexities in life. BY PADEN HUGHES

Location & Price Sensorio is located off of Highway 46 East. More specific directions are available online, as well as ticket pricing information. Tickets can be bundled with VIP dinner on the terrace overlooking the scene. If you’re not hungry for dinner, but want to toast to the region, beer and wine are also sold before entering the exhibit.

The Field of Light will be here through the first week of January 2020.




Introduce us at

What about college and career? I am still figuring out where I want to apply, but I know that I want to study engineering in college because I am fascinated by how science and industry can change so many lives for the better. No matter which field I end up in, I want to be in a career where my work has a direct impact on the welfare of those around me.


If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? Because of how his innovative mind helped structure our nation, I would want to meet Benjamin Franklin. I want to know the mindset that allowed him to be so successful in such a broad range of disciplines.


This seventeen-year-old Mission College Preparatory High School senior is bounding toward a bright future. Know a student On the Rise?

What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I play baseball and basketball, I am Mission Prep’s ASB President, and I am an Eagle Scout. What awards and recognition have you received? Mission Prep Scholar Athlete of the Year, Eagle Scout, elected Freshmen and Sophomore class president, nominated to be a leader for MCP’s senior class retreat, and Mission Prep ASB President. What is important to you outside of high school? When I was in middle school, one of my best friends and I created a Wiffle Ball tournament to benefit Jack’s Helping Hand. Through the donations from the event, we have been able to help build the Jack Ready Imagination Park in Nipomo. I’m really proud of how the tournament has grown over the years, and the fun memories we have had in the process. What are your hobbies? I love to go backpacking, camping, fishing, and finding cool spots on the Central Coast to drive my Jeep. What has influenced you the most ? The sacrifices that my family has made for my sake inspires me the most. They have worked harder than I could ever imagine so that my sister and I can have the opportunities we have had. This commitment to selfless dedication is something that I try to embody.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Regardless of which part of the country I attend college, I see myself coming back to live on the Central Coast and beginning my professional career here. This area is where I want to raise my kids and start a family. What do you want people to know about you? I want to be remembered for both my work ethic and generosity. Bryce Hilton

What is your favorite memory of all time? During Thanksgiving, many of my closest relatives come to our house. Last year, right before dinner, about 50 of us were standing in our living room, and I had the opportunity to say a few words about how thankful I was for the people in that room. I cherish how generous, loving, and passionate my family is—they truly inspire me.

What do you dislike? Tomatoes in a burger. It just doesn’t make sense to have fruit with ground beef and cheese.

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On Highway 36, somewhere between Denver and Boulder, with the tumbleweeds bouncing along the high plain, someone on a northwest-bound tour bus asked an intriguing question: “Hey, what if we all worked together on this?” By “this,” that person was referring to the scheduled closure of Diablo Canyon and the expected multimillion-dollar annual hit to the Central Coast economy that it is forecasted to leave in its wake. The “we” addressed in that question was a collection of government-types, chamber of commerce representatives, various people from advocacy groups, and local business leaders. As with many big questions such as this one, no one recalls who posed the question in the first place, but one thing is for certain, MELISSA JAMES was right in the middle of it. And she continued to agitate for an answer when she returned home to San Luis Obispo, moving it forward until the logical next step became the formation of what is now known as The Hourglass Project. Now, as its President & CEO, she spends her days thinking about the future of the Central Coast, while taking concrete steps to ensure progress toward a vision that includes a larger economic pie for those who want to live here, work here, and own a home here in this collection of small towns on the California coastline, this place we call home. Here is her story… BY VANESSA PLAKIAS



What was that like? I started at the lowest level, as a caseworker where you’re doing constituent services, which fit for me because I was into the helping-people-type stuff. I really liked it. And it was a real education about how government works, because somebody comes in and has some problem, and you’re like, “Okay, I’ve got to help this person. I have no idea what to do, but I need to figure out how to do it.” And, from there, you learn how state government works; you have to navigate all of the various agencies, and then you figure out how the policy works. After a while, I was promoted and became a district representative, or a field rep, where you’re going out and starting to do more of the community stuff and representing the assemblyman in the community. And then, I got promoted again when he moved to the senate. I became the capitol director. I was pregnant with my first daughter at the time, and my husband and I, we moved, actually, up to Loomis. I thought, “You know what, we’re starting a family. I’m going back home. This all kind of makes sense.”

How was it working at the Capitol? I worked in Sacramento until Sam retired from the legislature, and then I worked for a while after that at a consulting company, actually a polling company. I had this nostalgia for being back in Loomis, but I was commuting an hour each way. I felt like when I wasn’t working, I was sitting in traffic. It just wasn’t making sense for our family. That was around the time that Sam was back in SLO launching the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at Cal Poly, which is how I ended up back here. Ironically, I was five months pregnant when we moved up to Sacramento, and I was five months pregnant with my second when we moved back to the Central Coast. [laughter] So, yeah, it’s kind of like a think tank at Cal Poly, and they looked at big issues in energy, open government, and education, and the goal of the institute was to work at the nexus of industry around the private sector, academia, and government to try to find technology solutions to big public policy and societal challenges. That sounds really interesting. It was; it really was. I was on the start-up team and did that for maybe three years at Cal Poly, but I really missed the people impact, the one-on-one contact, so I went back into community-facing roles, first with the Economic Vitality Corporation and then the SLO Chamber. This was a few years back when the planned closure of Diablo was announced. A lot of people were saying, “We need to be thinking proactively about how we’re going to move forward out of what we know will be a big hit.” It was from that place that I began working with a group that came to be known as the Hourglass Project. I would say that it really started to gel during a trip that we put together at the Chamber to visit Denver and Boulder. We called it an Economic Vision trip, and the goal was to bring a cross section of leaders from government, from elected officials, from the private sector and non-profits to go on an exploratory learning trip. We wanted to have a look at communities that have vibrancy and economic prosperity so we could learn some things and apply them back home. And, out of that trip, came this concept of regionalism.

But, I decided to come back and go back to school, and when I did, I came back to the Central Coast. I worked for a time, actually, at Calvary Chapel, maybe for a year, then a friend of mine told me that the office where she kay, Melissa, let’s talk about your background. Where are you from?

And what about college? As I was getting set to graduate, I was planning to go to San Diego State. I was already wearing all of my San Diego State gear; I was ready to go. But, one of my teachers, his name was Mr. Davis, and he was my economics teacher, he kept telling me I should go to Cal Poly. He was a Cal Poly alumn. And I had also been accepted there, but I didn’t want to go to another small town. I wanted to go to San Diego and experience something different in a big city. Then, I went on a road trip with a girlfriend and we stopped in San Luis Obispo. It just felt so much more familiar and more like home to me, still different and a new college experience, but when I went down to San Diego, it just felt like this sea of people that you get lost into; and, as I actually started thinking about living there and going to school there, I decided that I really liked the San Luis Obispo community, and it was where I fit instead.

AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41 worked for Sam Blakeslee, who was then a state assemblyman, needed someone to come in to help do casework for a six-month stint.

I’m from a little town in Northern California called Loomis; it’s between Sacramento and Tahoe. Their motto is “A small town is like a big family.” I grew up there, lived in the same house, attended just two schools, K-8 in one

And who were these people exactly? Usually they were in orphanages and were really poor, or they were impoverished types of populations, but I soon found my fit where I was the head of the girls’ dorms. It’s kind of like an RA position, where there’s something like 60 college students, all young women, and I had this mentorship role. And I found that I loved it. I loved exposing them to new experiences and doing the missions, but what I really loved was the one-on-one mentoring relationships. So, I told myself, “I’m going to be a counselor and I’m going to go get my MFT.” It was a really good experience, and I thought I was going to do it forever.

What did you study? I studied social science and also got a minor in psychology. I was convinced that I was going to be a high school teacher, or a school counselor, so I did peer helping and loved that. And then, I thought I was going to someday be a high school principal. I left high school wanting to create those types of experiences that I had for other kids. I obviously kind of shifted along the way. That’s not what I’m doing right now. I actually married a teacher, but after graduating from college, I spent two years in Hungary where I was a missionary in Eastern Europe. I was a student at a bible college for about six months, and then I became an intern and I led college teams throughout Eastern Europe, small mission trips through 20 different countries. I really loved the experience of helping. I’m very people-oriented, and I wanted to be serving people in Eastern Europe that needed help.

Why is banding together as a cohesive Central Coast region important? So, the question we ask is, “How do we plan for the future? How do we prepare for the future?” One of the things we’ve realized is that a lot of times, we just talk about it. We talk about our problems. “We have high home prices and low wages,” or whatever we see as the problems. But, it >>

O and high school in the other. I’m the middle child; I have two sisters. We had horses and kind of lived a rural, country lifestyle. I hung with the guys a lot, so there was this whole group of friends, a bunch of guys and girls, too, but I had really close guy friends, so I was kind of rough and tumble. You know, you’re out at the lake and always trying to keep up with the guys, trying to do what they’re doing. I was really social and loved hanging out with my friends, loved getting involved in everything. But I would say, I was one of those all-in high school students: senior class president, peer helper, team captain. I did cheerleading and volleyball and swimming and all the activities. I really got some mileage out of high school.

Other than wine and tourism, where do you see opportunity here?

I would say we have a lot of amazing assets, but there are two in particular that I would highlight. And I would say they’re not just Central Coast assets or even just California assets, but national assets really. And that would be Vandenberg Air Force Base and Diablo Canyon. Right now, SpaceX launches from Vandenberg, but when you think about the potential for private-company space exploration launches that could be done out there and all those jobs that go along with those missions, it adds up. There was a recent study by Bank of America that saw the private space exploration industry growing to $2.7 trillion within 30 years. That’s

trillion with a “t.” For us, that can mean high-wage jobs, quality careers, and high-growth companies that could pop up all around the Central Coast as part of that industry. We’ve got a lot of potential in this area. And, I would say Diablo is similar. They have a desalination plant, and they have all this existing infrastructure, energy infrastructure; and we’ve been an energy producer on the Central Coast for the state for decades with Diablo, and there’s no reason why we can’t continue to be that. Not with nuclear, but there are conversations about renewables, such as solar and wind. There are all kinds of regulatory barriers and other hurdles, so it’s not something that’s going to happen tomorrow, but offshore wind, for example, could happen and we have the infrastructure at Diablo to be able to plug that power into the grid. There’s no reason why that couldn’t happen. So, when we ask ourselves, “What are the jobs of the future? What does an economically vibrant, prosperous community look like for the Central Coast?” Those two areas, Diablo and Vandenberg, will absolutely be a big part of that answer. What motivates you about this forward-looking work you do? My family, my two girls, are my motivation. They are five and seven years old now, and I think about 20 years from now, when my kids are 25 and 27; that’s the time in which they’ll be entering the workforce, and I can see if everything stays stagnant where it is now, I think it’s very likely that my kids will go somewhere else to go to college and won’t have the opportunity to return, to work here. That’s not an unlikely scenario. I want >>

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 doesn’t always move past talking about the problem and into solutions. So, collectively we’ve coined this idea here. We like to say: “We get stuck admiring our problems.” So, it was decided that we need to be able to bring the right people together to drive some action and take some steps if we want to change the future in some way. So, regionalism is actionoriented and often private-sector led. For the most part, there’s economic development that happens across the Central Coast in smaller siloed pockets, but there’s not a unified private-sector voice or perspective. There are public/private partnerships, and there are chambers of commerce that definitely have brought a private sector perspective, but they’re focused on one local community. So, what we’re looking to do is to identify the things that are working and then bring people together to collectively put them into practice for the benefit of the entire region.

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Are you going to feed your kids solids?” Before they’re even born until the questions become, “Are you going to put them in public school or private school? Are they going to day care or are they not?” Every decision, every mom researches and thinks about and agonizes over and makes the call; and you can feel like if somebody makes a different decision than you, it’s a judgment on your decision and vice versa. We torture ourselves.

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 >> them to have the opportunity to work here and have a home here. This is the community that we’re raising our family in, and I want them to have those options. And, so, coming into this job now as CEO, I’m obviously full-time and I’m putting my heart into the work I’m doing, but I had a big perspective shift for what it means to be a mom and what makes a good mom or a bad mom. And with my kids, one of the things that’s been neat about the experience is they’re getting to see me in this new role, and so, like, “Yeah, Mom’s the boss or Mom’s the leader,” and they see me speak at places, and for them, just being five and seven, they’re soaking it up with all kinds of questions. And when they’re 25 and 27, I’d love for them to be able to be leaders in whatever they’re doing or to know that they can.

You had mentioned a perspective shift… You know, for me, I realized that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you’re an expert at it. We’re all learning as we go, and every kid is different, and the choices that you make have to work for your family. But, I think, moms, we carry a lot. And then, when you’re a working mom, you have your pressures and demands at work, and you have the stuff that’s happening at home, and you’re always carrying all of it all the time. You’re never not a mom, even when you’re at work, and not that it’s necessarily a mom or dad thing, but I do think moms carry it in a different way than dads do. For the first six months of my daughter’s life, she came to work with me every single day to the Capitol in Sacramento; literally, she slept under my desk, and I carried her around. When I had my second daughter, she came to work with me, as well. And, I mean, had I not had those types of opportunities with a more flexible, family-friendly work environment, I would have stopped working and it would have been a totally different direction

And, what’s it like to be a working mom on the Central Coast? There’s a lot of working moms here on the Central Coast because you often need two incomes to survive, to make living here affordable. And being a working mom is something I think about a lot, making sure I am keeping a good balance and doing a good job as a mom and doing a good job at work. It’s definitely a balance because you have a lot of expectations to do all the things at once. You just put a lot of pressure on yourself as a mom because you want to be a really good mom, and there’s so many different opinions about what that means from the very beginning: “Are you going to have an epidural or not? Are you going to breastfeed or not?

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because I couldn’t see a way in which I could be both at the same time. So, I think about what other moms have to go through when they have young ones, and if they don’t have those same types of opportunities, you know, it can make it really hard to fit the pieces together.

How does the future look from where you sit? You know, one of the things that really stuck with me when we were in Boulder was a comment from the guy who planned Pearl Street there. He said, “The fear, looking ahead, is that it’s going to be too rich, too white, and too old, and that you lose your community when it becomes that way.” So, as we think about a vibrant community and a vibrant economy, you have to create opportunity for more people. Sometimes economic development seems like this weird concept. Economic development—what does that even mean? It can be really sterile, like you’re just trying to grow the bottom line. But the way we’re looking at it from the perspective of The Hourglass Project is that it’s about growing more than just the bottom line. It’s about inclusive economic growth and ensuring that you’re growing your economy for more and more people to benefit, and to lift people up out of poverty, and create a vibrant middle class, and grow the economy for those that live in it. Not that it’s easy, but that has to be your North Star and what your focus is. And, at the end of the day, it really is about people.



retirement and all those things that are down the road. You may not be experiencing them now, but you need to be planning for them.

How does living in San Luis Obispo contrast with your experience in Sacramento? I’m sure if we stayed in Sacramento, I would have earning potential two to three times what it is here. The pay for teaching is relatively the same, so it hasn’t affected my husband’s job much; but when we made the choice to move here, it was in 2013, and we were looking at houses in the Roseville/Loomis area for $200,000. And so, we took our income down by half and took our home cost up by three times, right? And rational people say, “You’re crazy. That move doesn’t make sense,” but it made sense for us. We want to live here. We want to raise our family here, and we are going to invest. We were going to make an investment in how we want to raise our family and the experiences we wanted them to have, but it’s definitely not easy. For a lot of people and a lot of families trying to make it on the Central Coast, it’s challenging, especially when you’re thinking out a ways ahead about college and weddings and

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Brooke Burnham VP of Marketing Visit SLO CAL


Each and every year, for 28 years, the San Luis Obispo-based non-profit known as Leadership SLO welcomes a cohort of three dozen participants hailing from all corners of the county with backgrounds ranging from law enforcement to engineering, bakers to bankers and everyone in between. The ten-month program, with an alumni network of more than a thousand, focuses on further integrating its participants into the community through day-long programs focused on one aspect of the county’s inner workings, with themes ranging from farming and sustainability to law enforcement and the arts. At the culmination of their year together, each class embarks on the completion of a “legacy project” where something is done to better the community, for example working to construct a portion of Johnson Loop Ranch trail. This year’s class, just like all of the others to come before it, is comprised of a diverse collection of individuals, all with unique hopes and dreams and backgrounds. Here is a tiny snippet from each of them. Those interested in joining may apply by visiting

As a member of Leadership SLO’s first class—Class 1— and the SigurdsonoverThroughoutfarewellSandiExecutiveprogram’sDirector,Sigurdsonbidsthisyear.hertenurethepastdecade,hasserved BY JENNIFER OLSON

Dusty SLOVisitorColyer-WorthCenterManagerChamberofCommerce

Mike Manager,BusinessCaseyDevelopmentDigitalWest

I was raised in Belmar, New Jersey and was the first in my family to graduate college. Although my career is business focused, I am fascinated with nature, and graduated with a BS in Biology and minor in Chemistry. I look forward to traveling, building a family of my own, and a strong career.

Jill OperationsDagion Manager Invata Intralogistics


Que DirectorDangof Student Equity & Success Centers Cuesta College

I am a refugee from Vietnam and came to the United States at three years old. Culture, family, and food are central to my life. I hope my two boys grow up with a strong sense of identity and voice. as a surrogate mother to those making their way through what often results in a transformative and sometimes lifechanging process. With a quick wit and a wicked sense of humor, it has been her uncanny ability to know just when to offer a soft shoulder to cry on or a swift kick in the butt—and sometimes both—which has propelled Leadership SLO to new heights on her watch. Sandi Sigurdson will always be remembered as a leader among leaders.

Allie SeniorBurnettDirector of Gift Planning Cal Poly

I have done a few years of big wave surfing, ocean rescue, done some remarkable surf trips, spent several years living on my bicycle, and raised a child to become a fine young adult. My dream now is to build a home to leave as a legacy for my daughter.

When I was 19, my family took a European vacation that would have rivaled National Lampoon: five countries, three robberies, and a trip to the embassy in Brussels for new passports. I love working in tourism and have recently made personal travel a higher priority. Someday I even hope to live overseas for a while.

I feel fortunate that my career offers me the opportunity to contribute to Cal Poly and our extended SLO community. In my spare time, I do art projects with my daughter, have family dinners, and try to fit in a happy hour with friends. And I’m an excellent hula hooper.

I went to the Gemological Institute of America. I still make jewelry for fun. I also enjoy painting in my spare time. I’m kind of a gamer nerd, so I love getting together with friends for some old-fashioned table top games. And, I like to dabble in mixology and craft some amazing cocktails.


It is a way of thinking and acting. We advocate for solutions that maximize our planets resources in order to preserve our natural spaces for future generations to


A few years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to take a long road trip through the states to visit the National Parks we had always wanted to see. We took two months off of work, sold all our stuff, moved out of our apartment, packed our car full of camping gear, and hit the road. It was a crazy adventure.

I used to act, and was a dancer in a music video for the singer Coolio; I did a commercial; was on the show “ER;” and did a TV show for Discovery Channel. Although I am an RN now—just like my mom—I would love to be back to acting at some point.

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 Art MedicalSierraChiefDominguezNursingOfficerVistaRegionalCenter

Tessa SeniorEspinozaDirector of Strategy & Engagement, Cal Poly My mom and dad met on “The Dating Game” TV show in 1971, got married seven months later, and are still married. I’m the offspring of one of the original reality TV couples. I love to play guitar, and my dream is to follow an executive career path and retire early.

Rob Down Vice EarthPresidentSystems Pacific

Erica Inderlied City Clerk City of Pismo Beach I paint, and would do just that if it paid the bills. I love to cook— specializing in vegan food, lately. I hike, camp, and practice yoga frequently. I enjoy gardening and reading; and I’m also a Simpsons fanatic who is known for having an encyclopedic knowledge of the show and its characters.

Daniel Gilman Risk MorrisAdvisor&Garritano

I recently returned to SLO—my hometown—with my family after 23 years away. I never really expected to move back, but eventually, after a lot of traveling, I never found a place I wanted to live long-term and raise a family, other than right here in San Luis Obispo.

I was a classic latchkey kid growing up, and the second I got home from school I’d lace up my roller skates and circle the block so that I could visit all of my neighbors. My life changed forever the day a UC Outreach counselor reached out to me, and I became the first one in my family to go to college.

Holli AnimalVolunteerHargroveCoordinatorServices,County

Mostly, I love spending time with my family and coaching. I dream of traveling more. I have been to Nicaragua with the Cal Poly Engineers without borders a few times and aided in construction of a health clinic there. I hope to make my daughter proud and see her find happiness.

Shannon Jessica Senior Civil Engineer Wallace Group I love being outside and traveling— camping, backpacking, road tripping. I once had the opportunity to mentor a group of Cal Poly Engineers Without Boarders students on a month-long journey to a remote village in the Himalayan Mountains in India. It was extremely challenging and completely life-changing.

Jayan CalUniversityMarketingKalathil&Communications,DevelopmentPoly

Sheryl SLOCreativeFranciskovichDirectorLIFEMagazine

Lauren AssociateFinleyCreative Director AMF Media Group

of SLO I spent years practicing law in Alabama only to change careers. I now work in animal welfare. It’s been quite a journey. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, spin classes, reading, travel, and I also volunteer. Someday, I hope to complete a triathlon.

My wife and I have a little one, he’s just two years old, so I don’t have a lot of free time. But, when I do, I love to go backpacking, camping, cycling, running, and snowboarding. Someday I hope to hike all 211 miles of the John Muir Trail.

Patrick McGrath Water Resource Recovery Facility Operator, City of SLO Sustainability has long been my jam: I left for New Orleans after SLO High where I used limited supplies and maximum creativity to have some effect postKatrina. Shortly thereafter, my wife and I were broke, bike-riding college students running a zero-waste household. I now have a career transforming hazardous waste into renewable resources.

Lauren DevelopmentMeers Manager The Land Conservancy

When I was in high school, I attended a summer program in Colorado that changed my life. At the time I was extremely shy and introverted and it gave me a safe place where I learned to not only trust myself, but also others. It definitely shaped who I am now.

When I was in college, I started a company selling candles. I sold all my inventory within a year and turned a profit, all while being a full-time student and working full-time during the summer. My dream now is to someday become an author.

Yukie DirectorMurphyofMarketing & Communications for Student Affairs, Cal Poly

Technician City of San Luis Obispo Before moving to the Central Coast, I worked near Shaver Lake where I got to fly on the company helicopter to some of the most beautiful locations, and drive some of the craziest back roads. That experience living in that small mountain town with only 300 people was an amazing journey and something that shaped who I am today.


Both my parents were heavily influenced by World War II. My mom lived in German-occupied France and has vivid memories of soldiers taking over her home in the middle the night. My dad and his family were relocated from Seattle to an internment camp in Wyoming. They both lost everything.

A surprising number of adults call me “Meerkat.” I have a very loud laugh that isn’t well controlled in fun environments. My family and I quote movies in almost every conversation we have with each other, which my dad and my uncle experienced growing up and brought the tradition into both of their families.

A two-week mission trip to Cambodia five years ago was my life-changer. Also, I spent six years working in Watts and Oakland managing businesses in the inner city. It was interesting being in a minority, and that experience was crucial in understanding the value of diversity.

Shawn MintonPresident/BrokerMintonInsurance&Financial Services

I used to think I wanted to be the modern day Martha Stewart, however, this has evolved as I continue to reflect on what brings me happiness. I love bringing people together, whether it is my family, friends, or the community. My dream is to spend my life creating moments and opportunities to do more of this.

Haley ControlLehmanSystem

Director of Management,EmergencyCalPoly

Rachel Maiorino Chief Operating Officer Downtown SLO

After high school, I worked for a Hollywood movie producer and got to work on several films. I worked for him for five years, and was able to travel to some fascinating locations to shoot. I love to golf and spend time with my friends and family. Someday, I’d like to flip houses and develop commercial properties.

Ray SanSeniorRiordanStrategistLuisObispoTribune

The most remarkable journey I have taken in life is becoming a father. Seeing life through my daughter’s eyes over the past five years has been a truly priceless experience. Her exceptionally positive and kind personality makes me want to be a better

Sarah NuclearRisleyTraining Accreditation Supervisor, PG&E

Julia Principal/LandscapeOberhoff Architect Ten Over Studio

AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53 ForgeaNaturalConnectionwww.GardensbyGabriel.comlic.#887028805-215-0511 onlivetoarteclectic,smart, 1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | (at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados) Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm

Matteo TalleyOperationsSchettinoManagerFarms

I grew up on a cattle ranch that has been in my family for over 140 years, and it is a huge piece of who I am. I learned so much from growing up there— how to make decisions, and the importance of open space. I attended Shandon High School where my graduating class was only 27 kids.

Michelle Shoresman Division Manager Health Care Services County of San Luis Obispo

Sabrina Pratt Owner & Artistic Director Central Coast Comedy Theater



Berry Worden Client Service Manager Ad Club Advertising

Self-employed I’ve been a fire fighter, EMT, life guard, and park ranger. I completed fire school when I was 16 years old. I love biking, backpacking, hiking, racquetball, swimming, travel, and going on adventures. I want to be an asset to my community and be remembered as a kind and loving human.


People call me Drea, and it sometimes comes as a surprise that I grew up in the country where I raised pigs and sheep for FFA. Last year, I ran the Boston Marathon and someday I hope to return to Europe to visit the place in Switzerland where I was an exchange student.

Megan Souza Megan’sOwner Organic Market Inspired by Jack Kerouac, I hitchhiked across the country with my first love when I was 22. We had near death experiences, fled from religious zealots, were blessed by benevolent criminals, endured frigid winter weather, and came to know the vastness of the good that people are capable of.

My life changed completely when I decided to move to the United States. I decided to leave everything and everyone I knew for a new life and new opportunities. Someday, I would like to have an opportunity to be able to travel more often to Italy to see my family and friends.

My mom had me at 17 and one-year later she met the man who would become my adoptive father. When I turned 16, we hired a P.I. to find my biological father. Two years later, after building a relationship and meeting my newly discovered siblings, I walked my mom down the aisle and gave her away to my biological dad, who I call “Pops.”

Julie Sinton Pruniski Non-profit Consultant

Tracy FrenchSpecialTimmonsEventsCoordinatorHospital

Phyllis Wong VP of Mortgage Lending Guaranteed Rate I’m a proud child of immigrants. My parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1977. As a result, I grew up with two primary languages, Cantonese and English. I love reading, hiking, and spending time with my kids; also I have many, many stupid human tricks.

In 2014, I brought my love for life, adventurous spirit, and lifetime of work experience in the comedy industry from Chicago here to the beautiful Central Coast. Some of my favorite things are backyard cookouts, fine cocktails, and my cat, Butters. I’m a water baby and I enjoy beach days laughing and playing.

My bucket list includes writing a book, marriage, and a Bernedoodle, but also a lot of traveling. I make a point to travel somewhere new every year. This year, an African safari. Eventually, I’d like to see baby turtles hatching, a hot air balloon ride, Greek island hopping, lots of national parks, castles in my motherlands—Ireland and England.

Kris MarriageRoudebush&Family Therapist

Andrea Soderin Broker

I was raised by my single dad from age 6 when my mother passed away at 31 from breast cancer. I completed an Ironman in her honor, raising money for breast cancer survivors. I have spent time in Africa twice, in Senegal with Peace Corps, and in Zambia with USAID during and after grad school.

AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55 Call: (805) 548-0800 Text: (805) corey@stollmeyerlighting.com440-9945 LIGHTING DESIGN New Construction . Remodeling LED Recessed Lighting . Smart Control Interior . Exterior . Ceiling Fans . Landscape SHOWROOM 2304 Broad Street . San Luis Obispo . parking in back Book AppointmentConsultationLightingYour Your Central Coast Lighting Experts Since 1926



oward the end of her first semester at Cal Poly, Megan Kostelnik found herself falling in love. This was not just a schoolgirl crush; this was for real. And it was unlike anything she had felt before. Looking back now, it is difficult to tell precisely when the feelings began bubbling up to the surface. At first, there were the usual warm fuzzies, which were followed by a heartbeat that felt as if it were misfiring, then it was something deeper, much deeper. It’s a feeling that poets, singers, and painters have been attempting to describe for many years, perhaps since the beginning of time. Inseparable from the human condition, love paints a shiny hue for the eye of the beholder. And, yes, Kostelnik was in love. But it was not with a person. It was with a place—San Luis Obispo. Life in and around San Jose was all Kostelnik had ever known. Her family had been there for four generations, reaching back to a time when fruit trees reigned supreme and getting into high-tech meant buying a new tractor. And, to be sure, it was a good life. But the place had grown, and with it, so had the pace. The go-go Bay Area had an undeniable buzz to it, a palpable energy, and it was intoxicating to operate in the hub of a fast-growth software company, but once her children came into the world—first >>



60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 a son, now seven years old, and then twins, a girl and a boy, now four years old—things started to change. Everything that would be counted as a “pro” on the ledger before the kids arrived seemed to migrate toward the “con” column. But, mostly, it did not feel like home anymore. It probably did not help that things started to feel a little cramped in the 1,200-square-foot rental house. Although the busy family of five would have loved a bit more room to stretch out, Bay Area home prices orbited somewhere in the low stratosphere. Everything changed one day, however, when Kostelnik’s husband, Erik, received a phone call. He was a co-founder of a software company called TextRecruit, which is where the couple both worked, and he had put in obscene hours talking venture capitalists into making an investment in the firm. One thing led to another, and on this fateful day, he learned that the company was being acquired. They were being swallowed by a bigger fish, which was incredible, life-changing news because it would allow the young family to, among other things, plant some roots for good. That is about the time that Kostelnik revealed to her husband that she had fallen in love in college, and those feelings for San Luis Obispo never abated. >>


The Kostelniks returned to the town, seeing everything through new eyes. They had vacationed in Avila Beach previously and were drawn toward the ocean. They started poking around, checking out different neighborhoods, and looking into schooling options until they found what seemed to be a made-to-order home in the Avila Valley. It was the first and only home for sale that they actually stepped into, and they knew right away it was the one. The high ceilings and doors were an immediate indication that they were on the right track—Megan is six-feet-tall, and Erik is six-six. But, it was the location of the home and the “community feel,” which had been advertised as “Montecito-style” that had them sold. A competent minor league outfielder could throw a baseball and hit BellevueSanta Fe from the front yard, which meant the kids could walk to and from elementary school. And the sand and the surf are a bike ride down the Bob Jones Trail away, and time there, they knew, would bring the family closer and melt away the residual hustle and bustle from the never-ending Silicon Valley grind. Everything about the house was gorgeous, but the Kostelniks wanted to make it their own; they wanted to put their stamp on it. So, they reached out to San Luis Obispo-based >>



Enjoy ocean views from this 3 bed, 3 bath opulent home in prestigious Rancho Pacifica. Attention to detail is evident with the feel of a Tuscan villabeautifully appointed with hand-scraped wood and travertine flooring, expansive windows, chef’s kitchen with Thermador professional appliances and granite counters, home theatre system with media closet, 3 fireplaces, wine cellar. Website:

Let's talk about upgrades! New roof in 2018, interior and exterior painted, fully remodeled kitchen, three remodeled bathrooms, new flooring throughout and custom hand made light fixtures. This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 1,731 sqft corner lot home is turn key. Website: KIM REALTOR®,WURSTERLIC.#01018025 805.441.2112 KURTIS WURSTER REALTOR®, LIC #01931796 805.441.1419

LOS OSOS Luxury living. Magnificent soaring views. Attention has been paid to detail, finish, and quality. 4 bedrooms, 4 fireplaces, 4 bathrooms, large living spaces and an abundance of magic. This property reflects art in architecture at its best and is like a creative retreat for the heart, soul, body and mind. Open floor plan filled w/ natural light. Large kitchen with beautiful bay views, travertine flooring, Jerusalem stone counters w/ iridescent green glass pinwheel back-splash, solid oak cabinets with glass insets, vaulted ceilings and recessed lighting. Master bedroom has its own suite and features gorgeous views of the bay, golf course, sand spit, Hollister Peak and the Santa Lucia mountain ranges. Bonus spa room that is fashioned after the Ritz Carlton in Cannes France. Added bonus: large art studio. SAL RUIZ, REALTOR ® , LIC. #00865841 805.235.7825

Features a delightful living room with fireplace and built in bookshelves with ample storage. Newly painted deck. The kitchen is in great condition and has lots of cabinet space. The very large master bedroom looks up to the beautiful Irish Hills. Website: LINDA REALTOR®,BUTLERLIC.#00597458 805.801.5914 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Haven Properties 441 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442 805.592.2050 STEVE REALTOR®,INGELSLIC.#01121033 805.305.8882 LYNN COOPER BROKER ASSOCIATE, LIC #00273080 805.235.0493



architecture firm Ten Over Studio to inquire about a remodel. One thing led to another, and soon they had their vision on paper. “Lighten and brighten” were the guiding words for the project. The Saltillo tiles and heavy wood accent were beautiful and exactly what you would expect to find in a Spanish-style home, but they felt heavy and dark—the opposite of light and bright. They had to go. So, with the architectural renderings in-hand, the Kostelniks hired Jeff Pittman as their construction project manager and John Tricamo Construction as the contractor, both of San Luis Obispo, to go to work. And go to work they did. Within a span of 60 days, the lightning-fast update was completed. By the end of last summer, the Kostelniks were moving into their new home, which they describe now as “Modern AccordingSpanish.”toMegan Kostelnik, who served as the interior designer, “I wanted it to feel clean and cozy. It’s big; a lot more space than we were used to, so I did not want it to feel impersonal. Everything is simple but welcoming.” The floors were replaced, everything painted, new countertops throughout, new tile, and many details added. A new mantle was installed after the couple found the perfect wood slab at Box Kite Barnyard (scraps from the piece >>



right choice for our family. The kids are outside so much and are so happy here.” Plus, as it turns out, Erik has brought tech along with them, as he is busy now preparing to launch a new software company here this fall. The company, the couple proudly declares, will be headquartered in San Luis Obispo, and hopes to make an impact on the local economy by hiring local people— combining Silicon Valley with Avila Valley.

DAVID LALUSH is an architectural photographer here in San Luis Obispo. were used to build bathroom shelves) and the furniture was sourced locally, as well, with the pieces coming from either Habitat Home & Garden or Basalt Interiors. Even the plants were found at local retailers. Shopping local throughout the process was a priority for the couple, who were making the transition from tourists to locals in the process—a choice their friends back in San Jose could never quite understand, until they visited.

“It was a big decision for us to move here, to leave the tech scene,” Megan admits. “But, it was definitely the SLO LIFE

181 TANK FARM ROAD . SUITE 140 . SAN LUIS OBISPO . CA . 805-543-7600




johnsonave *Comparing 01/01/18

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market 2018

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market 2018 $803,35030$793,86298.82%22 2019 $782,53438$773,41898.84%25 +/26.67%-2.59%-2.58%0.02%13.64%

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS® | SLO CITY SLO LIFE

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market 2018 $882,0008$872,52798.93%23 2019 $793,79016$787,68899.23%20 +/100.00%-10.00%-9.72%99.10%-13.04%farmtank

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market 2018


$794,20542$777,52197.90%42 2019 $743,969$762,4533097.58%51 +/-28.57%-4.00%-4.32%-0.32%21.43%downtown


Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market 2018 $974,78015$934,68195.89%19 2019 $1,054,80616$1,018,80596.59%32 +/68.42%9.00%6.67%8.21%0.70%cal areapoly

Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average

Total Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price # of Days on the Market 2018 $909,40331$904,78999.49%35 2019 $800,454$819,5613397.67%27 +/-22.86%-11.53%-9.88%6.45%-1.82% - 07/24/18 to 01/01/19 - 07/24/19


$1,278,24012$1,236,16596.71%48 2019 $1,492,647$1,547,5291796.45%87 +/20.75%41.67%21.07%-0.26%81.25%countryclub



Total Sold Asking Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price # of Days on the Market 2018 $922,433$928,6752499.33%24 2019 $927,75026$876,63194.49%33 +/37.50%-4.84%-4.97%-0.10%8.33%

Price Average

AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69 Don’t wait! Call us today and let’s get started. It costs to wait They say it pays to be patient, but not when it comes to buying a house. With rates still historically low and uncertainty ahead, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the housing market and buy your dream home. July 2019 December(Projected*)2019 May(Projected*)2020 Sales Price — Single Family Residential $540,000 $563,220 $579,553 Interest Rate 3.875% 4.375% 4.875% Monthly Payment $2,031 $2,250 $2,459 *Sample ‘future’ rate provided for illustration purposes only and is not intended to provide mortgage or other financial advice specific to the circumstances of any individual and should not be relied upon in that regard. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. cannot predict where rates will be in the future. Above scenario assumes a first lien position, 740 FICO score, 20% down, and 40 day rate lock on a primary residence. APR and payment may vary based on the specific terms of the loan selected, verification of information, your credit history, the location and type of property, and other factors as determined by Lender. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information. Sales prices are based on California homes. Donna Lewis NMLS ID: 245945, CA - CA-DOC245945 • Dylan Morrow NMLS ID: 1461481, CA - CA-DBO1461481 • Maggie Koepsell NMLS ID: 704130, CA - CA-DBO704130 • Phyllis Wong NMLS ID: 1400281, CACA-DBO1400281 • Luana Gerardis NMLS ID: 1324563, CA - CA-DBO1324563 • NMLS ID #2611 (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System • CA - Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, Division of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act Lic #4130699 Maggie Koepsell VP of Mortgage Lending O: (805) 335-8742 C: (805) maggie.koepsell@rate.com674-6653 Dylan Morrow Associate VP of Mortgage Lending O: (805) 335-8738 C: (805) dylan.morrow@rate.com550-9742 Donna Lewis Branch Manager/ VP of Mortgage Lending O: (805) 335-8743 C: (805) donna.lewis@rate.com235-0463 Luana Gerardis VP of Mortgage Lending O: (805) 329-4087 C: (707) luana.gerardis@rate.com227-9582 1065 Higuera Street, Suite 100 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Phyllis Wong VP of Mortgage Lending O: (805) 706-8075 C: (805) phyllis.wong@rate.com540-8457

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO COUNTY SLO LIFE Arroyo CountywideTempletonSantaSanPasoPasoPasoPasoPismoOceanoNipomoMorroLosGroverCrestonCayucosCambria/SanAvilaAtascaderoGrandeBeachSimeonBeachOsosBayBeach(InsideCityLimits)(North46-East101)(North46-West101)(South46-East101)LuisObispoMargarita BY THE NUMBERS 2018 1,6072071757953167298721802685232377334184870 2019 1,585222198178127224566897716229732974352161667 REGION NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD 2018 106102425159717446356452517134518166388152 2019 1034049661149156377962608348737169401107556 AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET 2018 $1,129,339$1,306,728$574,499$772,588$752,568$721,000$530,302$641,943$702,887$665,635$498,615$981,997$497,284$512,814$651,574$770,162$947,238$444,250$777,629$691,448 2019 $1,459,006$825,959$582,581$871,964$882,167$991,000$542,289$629,770$734,837$660,440$539,086$1,160,376$531,111$491,172$648,680$558,196$900,650$548,156$770,072$708,954 MEDIANPRICESELLING SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®*Comparing 01/01/18 - 07/24/18 to 01/01/19 - 07/24/19 REAL ESTATE** Mortgage Advisor NMLS Sanblerner@opesadvisors.com3957231212MarshSt.,Suite1LuisObispo,CA93401 Ben 805.441.9486Lerner © 2019 Opes Advisors, A Division of Flagstar Bank | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender * Top 1% Mortgage Originator | Mortgage Executive Magazine ** Scotsman Guide’s Top Mortgage Originators 2018 Contact me today to learn how I can help you purchase or refinance your home. Your Local Trusted Mortgage Advisor



Real-Deal Detox or Phony Wellness Fad?





recently found myself in the oral hygiene aisle, comparing my usual Colgate Whitening toothpaste with a natural alternative touting the ability to brighten my pearly whites with inky-colored activated charcoal. A sucker for all-natural remedies, I got to Googling and discovered all kinds of charcoal products promising a variety of “is it too good to be true?” health benefits. As it turns out, ever since Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow proclaimed activated charcoal lemonade as one of “the best juice cleanses,” the jet black powder has been making its way from the Instagram feeds of mega-influencers to the shelves of our local CVS. Last year, San Francisco even hosted the nation’s first-ever activated charcoal food festival (aptly named “50 Shades of Charcoal”). Everything from inky house-cocktails to ash gray ice cream lined the streets, making for a less-than-ordinary culinary experience. As this pitch-dark additive becomes increasingly inescapable, the question begs: Is charcoal in any form actually healthy? The answer: It depends. >> BY ERIKA FITZGERALD FITZGERALD is writer and traveler with a healthy addiction to kombucha and kale.


So, while activated charcoal has won the hearts of yoga mat toting juice lovers and other health-conscious consumers, medical practitioners prescribe skepticism, citing risks that range from “a waste of money” to vomiting and serious constipation.

In its simplest form, charcoal is the carbon left over when all the water and other defining components are heated out of organic materials such as wood, peat, and coconut shells. At this point, you can use it to grill a mean tri-tip.

To become “activated,” charcoal must undergo treatment with high temperatures and oxidizing gases that purify and pulverize it. The result is a highly porous sponge-like powerhouse capable of soaking up toxins and unwanted impurities through an expansive surface area. Well, maybe.

While consuming small amounts of activated charcoal in any of its many forms won’t necessarily “detox” your body, rubbing it on your skin may be the golden ticket when it comes to this bizarre health fad.


Dermatologists have found that activated charcoal can help control body odor in the form of deodorant. When it comes to stinky pits, activated charcoal increases the surface area of the skin and gives the odor more space to filter out. Think of it like a Brita filter for your underarms.

Although unlikely in such small doses, activated charcoal can also Hoover up the good with the bad, robbing your body of essential vitamins, nutrients, and even prescription meds. This—along with other uncomfortable side effects—is why doctors pump it back out after it finishes poison clean-up.


You can eat it, you can brush your teeth with it, and—yes—you can add it to your daily skin care regime, too.

Unlike supplements and toothpaste, using activated charcoal on your skin carries little risk of side effects, making it a popular ingredient for facial masks and other topical skin treatments. When applied, charcoal helps clear soiled skin by drawing oil, dirt, and other unwanted particles to the surface. >>

Backed by clever marketing and curiosity-piquing Instagram photos, activated charcoal has made its way into a myriad of beauty and wellness products—from face creams and toothpaste to coconut water and even pizza crust. Retailers sell it as a sort of “body detoxifier” that can cure everything from a nasty hangover to high cholesterol. This isn’t entirely the case, however. Activated charcoal is used as a remedy for poison and drug overdose, adsorbing unwanted pollutants (toxins stick to the surface) before they can enter the bloodstream. The catch? You need to take 50 to 100 grams of activated charcoal within two hours of ingesting a dangerous substance. This is considerably more than the 150 to 500 milligrams found in most over-the-counter supplements and foods.


Before you go rub a briquette all over your face, know that the activated charcoal in Paltrow’s choice lemonade is not the same.





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But, what about adding it to an already-healthy food or beverage?

Some restaurants have gone so far as to claim their charcoal infused pizza crusts and burger buns aid in digestion. Hate to break it to you, but adding charcoal to your pepperoni-topped pizza or double cheeseburger doesn’t make it any more “healthy.”



So, is charcoal the magical formula to optimal health and wellness? If we look to seasoned medical professionals, the answer seems to be a firm “no.” While an occasional indulgence is unlikely to do any harm, it’s equally unlikely to add years to your life expectancy. #5


When it comes to using activated charcoal on your teeth, dentists remain skeptical. While regular kinds of toothpaste have undergone decades of testing to pinpoint just the right amount of abrasion needed to remove stains without damaging enamel, charcoal toothpaste is relatively new and lacks the same tried-and-true testing.

Charcoal may look cool on the ‘gram, but you can’t beat a vitamin-packed green juice from one of SLO’s colorful juice bars. SLO LIFE


Aside from the aforementioned fact that charcoal may actually adsorb nutrients and vitamins, it has no known nutritional value of its own. Rather than shell out $8 for an activated charcoal add-on in hopes of Brita-filter-like body purification, remember that the liver has been successfully detoxifying the body… well, forever.

The verdict: Don’t let buzzwords like “all-natural” and “eco-friendly” trick you into this dental hygiene trend. A study published by the Journal of the American Dental Association found no evidence that activated charcoal toothpaste works, and that using it could actually lead to cavities and tooth decay in the long run.


Activated charcoal really has squeezed its way into just about everything. Toothpaste is no exception, promising to remove stains and bacteria through a process called adsorption (not to be confused with absorption). In other words, activated charcoal gently exfoliates the teeth to yield a brighter, cleaner smile. Perhaps not gently enough, though.

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JAIME LEWIS writes about food, drink, and the good life from her home in San Luis Obispo. Find her on Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.


I visited three stalwart San Luis Obispo eateries (plus one bonus establishment) that offer big, meal-worthy salads. Of course, there are many more (as always), but these comprise a thorough education. Start here, and you will be sated indeed.


SLO County salads go from meh to meal-worthy.

eter Rabbit would live contentedly in San Luis Obispo; Mister MacGregor’s garden has nothing on our fresh, leafy greens. But it wasn’t always so.


food. In popular culture, people in leotards and spandex ate them with “lite” dressing on the side. Despite all the hype, a bowl of iceberg leaves and shredded carrots offered about as much excitement as a funeral dirge.

Thank goodness things have changed in San Luis Obispo County, where you can’t throw a rock without hitting fresh produce, still dewy from the field. Abundant greens, vegetables, fruit, proteins, grains, and nuts make this a very special place to compose a robust salad, satisfying enough for an entire meal.


Growing up in the ‘80s, most of us came to understand salads as health

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“It’s the first thing I ever got here,” says Alyssa Howarter, the restaurant’s marketing manager, of the Strawberry Field Salad. She serves me a plate of crisp greens bejeweled with strawberries, dried cherries, Gorgonzola crumbles, blush wine vinaigrette, and pecans encrusted with sugar.


The word “salad” originates from the Vulgar Latin term for salted vegetables. But at Old San Luis BBQ downtown, one of the salads on their menu happens to be sweet, not salty.

Though Old San Luis BBQ is probably best known for their Santa Maria-Style tri-tip, the Strawberry Field Salad has its fans. “It’s definitely our most popular salad,” Howarter says. She adds that it’s also popular for weddings and other catered events that Old San Luis BBQ does. As many ingredients as owners Matt and Danae Pearce can source from local farms, they do, she says; for my salad, the greens and strawberries came from Arroyo Grande.


I take many big forkfuls of the salad, enjoying the tang of Gorgonzola and vinaigrette against sweet cherries, strawberries, and pecans. And to drink? Howarter recommends a wheat beer from 21st Amendment Brewery called Hell or High Watermelon for a fruit-forward, modern salad experience. >>

“Those pecans are where it’s at.”

“Sometimes we eat those warm from the oven,” she says of the pecans, which are roasted with a meringue candy coating.


And for good reason. Holt explains that he marinates organic chicken breast strips in equal parts buttermilk and eggs for up to four days to tenderize it and keep it moist. He then dredges the strips in flour and blackening spice, then flash fries it in canola oil. This is the crowning glory of the dish: crisp yet tender fried chicken. Other pieces of the salad include a bed of mixed local lettuces, shredded beets and cabbage, candied pepper pecans (blackened in a dry cast iron skillet), and black eyed pea chow-chow, sometimes called a “piccalilli,” which is a Southern salsa-like garnish. A creamy pecan dressing rounds the whole dish out for an effortless balance of savory, sweet, tang, and spice.

As I cut into a juicy strip of fried chicken, I remark to Holt how simple the dish is, yet how complex it tastes. “Some of the best foods are the simplest,” he says, smiling. >>


At Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo, I meet with Chef Greg Holt, who purchased the iconic southern-style restaurant from founder Charles Myers after cooking there since 1994. I tell Holt I think I’ve been eating the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad for a decade—if not decades—and he confirms.

“When I started with Charles in 1994, it was already on the menu,” he says. “It’s a foundation dish.”


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Interestingly, the salad originated not as a specialty but as a way to minimize waste in the restaurant. “We sell steak, so when we trim the ends of that steak, we use those trimmed bits for our salad, along with other items,” says a Firestone owner, Hal Billingsly, whose family owns locations in Cambria, Fresno, and Bakersfield, in addition to SLO. Billingsly estimates the restaurant goes through 1,000 to 1,800 pounds of tri-tip per week.

The silver bullet of low-carb menu options, the Steak Cobb Salad at Firestone Grill in SLO brings new meaning to the genre. Loaded with blue cheese, onion, tomato, bell pepper, bacon, and generous hunks of tri-tip on green leaf lettuce, this dish packs a powerful protein punch.

If you’ve never dined at The Range in Santa Margarita, first of all, come out from beneath that rock: Chef/Owner Jeff Jackson and his team are making country culinary magic over the hill. Secondly, be sure to get The Original Man Salad when you visit. An homage to wedge salads of yore, this dish comprises half a head of iceberg lettuce, paper-thin red onions, sweet cherry tomatoes, croutons, and slices of bacon beneath a blanket of blue cheese-creme fraiche dressing. With a couple hunks of housemade bread, this makes for a satisfying summer dinner. And, as for presentation? The Range serves it with a massive Davy Crockett knife, sturdy enough for a T-bone.


While Firestone Grill, of course, prides itself on Central Coast barbecue, it offers more than one leafy option, including the Firestone Salad (with feta and pine nuts), Asian Chicken Salad, and Southwest Salad, with all ingredients prepped daily. But the king of Firestone’s salads? “The steak cobb is our most popular salad by far,” says Billingsly.


ROUND: Salad With A Steak Knife SLO LIFE

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While they are known for tasting delicious, cobblers weren’t made to be pretty. During the 1800s early American settlers “cobbled” together this dessert with fruit—usually canned— and clumps of dough, then cooked it over an open fire. The recipe has evolved over time, but the traditional sweet flavor and rustic presentation has remained the same.




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

1 ½ cup flour 1 cup + 1 Tbs sugar ½ tsp salt 1 Tbs baking powder 1 Tbs cornstarch 1 cup milk 3-4 cups sliced peaches Toss sliced peaches with corn starch and 1 Tbs sugar. Set aside. Melt the butter in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Mix all remaining dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Fold in milk until just incorporated. Pour batter over melted butter in baking dish and top with the sliced Bakepeaches.at350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Cobbler is done when the center is firm. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving. SLO LIFE

JESSIE’S TIP: I like to mix it up and add a few other berries like boysenberries, raspberries, or blueberries with the peaches. And, it is delicious served warm with ice cream on the side.

! !

1 cube salted butter





middle of nowhere. They can choose a location on a convenient traffic route for both trucks and visitors. Multiple wineries can utilize one grower, which cuts costs for everyone. There’s a phrase that if you want to make a million dollars running a winery, you should start with $10 million. The new winery model gets great wine in our houses without having to lose the ranch. All three of these wineries choose their grapes very carefully. They have contracts with vineyards in cooler San Luis Obispo and warmer Paso Robles. They all left me awestruck. The password at the door is “I love good wine.” They should let you in.

There is something magical about going to a vineyard, but the experience of a wine tasting room elsewhere, on the main street or in a production facility, is an exceptionally great time, as well. They remind me of a speakeasy that you only hear about through friends. More importantly, their wine will knock your socks off. It is a great way to find some exceptional wines, so keep these on your radar.

hy have a winery at a production facility or have a remote wine tasting room away from the grapes? You might think that you would need to own a vineyard to make wine. Many wineries challenge that model and realize that you can make wine anywhere. You need

>> ANDRIA MCGHEE received her advanced degree in wines and spirits from WSET in London and enjoys travel, food, wine, and exercise as a means to enjoy those around her. some machinery, a temperature controlled room, good grapes, a winemaker, and some diligence. A winemaker can be an expert of their skill, while the grape growers can be an expert in their field (there’s a pun there). This gives freedom to both the winemaker and the grower. The winemaker is able to choose the grapes that are best for the style they’d like to make. They have many properties to choose from on the Central Coast. The winery is not bogged down in overhead costs of a plot of land, or costs of constructing a building in the




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You can only make good wine from good grapes, so they look all over the county for the best offerings. Just try Big Ring, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Syrah for a big flavor of dark cherries without the huge chewy tannin feel. Trish is usually in the tasting room to pour you some wines they have made along their ride on the Central Coast.

This little gem is tucked away behind Avila Beach’s boardwalk. Bill and Trish Kesselring have long loved cycling. The name Peleton comes from the main group in a bike race that the camera is usually watching, like in the Tour de France, to see how the big group will influence the race for each day. They have folded these two loves into each other well. Cycling takes hard work, determination and careful planning. After my sampling, it’s obvious that the owners have taken those same characteristics into their wines.


ONX, Tin City 2910 Limestone Way, Paso Robles Central Coast Wines, 712 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo Wine Sneak, 4468 Broad St., Suite 120, San Luis Obispo


Croma Vera // 3592 Broad Street, #106, San Luis Obispo 2018 Albariño // $27 Just like a little hidden speakeasy, this is located between a coffee shop and a hair salon. They make some special Spanish grape varietals like Tempranillo and Grenache (or in Spain: Garnacha). The name means “true colors” in Spanish because the owners Mindy Oliver and Chris Steins are dedicated to showing off the grape and what it becomes because of its environment. They were lucky to snag Jeremy Leffert, who shared in their vision and love for these types of wines. They have a winning combination of passion, vision, and know-how.

Peloton Cellars // 470 Front Street, Avila Beach 2016 Big Ring // $39


Pinot Noir, Albariño, and Chardonnay grapes come from the Edna Valley whereas the Zinfandel and Petit Syrah grapes that need a little more heat and sunshine come from Paso Robles. Stephen Ross also co-owns Stone Corral Vineyard with a couple wineries so they can experiment and try some new grape growing techniques with each passing year. Being a Pinot Noir lover, I felt right at home in this place. They do have a great range of wine types ranging from lighter to bold. All were smooth with many layers of flavors. The Rosé knocked my socks off. It is made from Grenache, which has a spectacular strawberry flavor and a hint of peach. So good for the warm weather.

Stephen Ross // 178 Suburban Road, San Luis Obispo 2018 Grenache of Rosé, Edna Valley // $25

They make big red flavors from Cabernet Sauvignon to Tempranillo and Grenache though the Albariño pulled me in with its citrus favors. It has good body that would please even a red wine lover. The cool San Luis Obispo breeze mimics Riax Baixas region in Spain, where Albariño thrives. Thank you, cool breezes!

Sinor Lavallee, 550 1st Street, Avila Beach

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Foremost in the news has been the forced closure of Bang the Drum. Located off Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo, this beacon of arts and entertainment has been known for slinging their nanobrewed beers for five years and, having one of the first outdoor live music permits within the city, a destination for evenings filled with the music of artists ranging from impromptu drum circles to electronic dance parties. The move is in response to a developer using the land to make way for more homes in the area. Bang the Drum will have been closed by the time this goes to print, but

After running into Nate Adamski at the latest SLO Chamber of Commerce Mixer, we found out that this former Tasting Room Manager at See Canyon Cider is headed over to a new venture a little bit closer to town to create SLO Cider Co. Their liberal use of dry yeast strains elevates fermented apples beyond the cloyingly sweet sugar bombs many of us

92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2019 owner Noelle DuBois has plans to relocate once a similarly suitable location has been scouted. Keep an eye out for any crowdsourced funding for the move and help support this family-owned business churning out SLO-style nightlife.

fter a relatively tranquil couple of years, the local brewing industry is shaking up again. In a market that had stabilized after seeing long periods of double-digit growth and a rapid expansion, breweries are opening, closing, moving, and shifting while the industry adapts to the competitive market and elusive culture of local brews. BY BRANT MYERS

>> | BREW

The heavily-medaled Brendan Gough, formerly of Central Coast Brewing (then Firestone, then Central Coast Brewing again) will be leaving to start his own brewery in the building that we knew of as Tap It (then Santa Maria Brewing) to open Liquid Gravity Brewing. He’ll be leaving the gold, silver, and bronze at CCB along with a skilled team of brewers such as Greg Buergler and Skyler Oatman to continue their tradition of brewing the dankest clean and hazy IPAs that they have become known for consistently churning out. We will be sad to see Brendan go, but we’re sure he’ll be doing great things at a new facility he can call his own. We can’t say much for his high score on Street Fighter II, however, as now it’s up for grabs on Higuera Street.

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Like weddings, college, and construction projects, things are bound to cost more and take longer than expected, but we’re excited to see what’s in store for our local beer scene. I know I’ll be supporting the new ventures by helping to spread the word and, most importantly, by opening my wallet when they open their doors. So in keeping with the tradition I’ve come to know and love about San Luis Obispo, let’s tap the bar then raise our glasses and salute the people that dedicate their lives to making drinks so we can enjoy ours.

BRANT MYERS is a 14-year veteran of the Central Coast craft beer industry who enjoys sharing his passion with anyone who doesn’t put an orange in their hefeweizen.

SLO LIFE associate with cider and we look forward to seeing progress as he inches toward an opening date slated for later this year.

The original founder of Libertine Brewing Company, with locations in SLO, Avila, and Morro Bay, has moved on to form a family-run craft beer and wine bar in Atascadero named Raconteur Room. Tyler Clark along with wife Shannon Clark and their two little groms have gone up the grade to create a place all their own. Resplendent with irreverent artwork and utilizing his connections from years in the industry, this funky spot is located next to Traffic Records on Traffic Way where you can find them spinning vinyl in between live music performances. Head up there on a Thursday to hear the Turkey Buzzards prove they’re “the best little two-piece band this side of the Mississippi” while drinking a rare Belgium sour from Cantillon on draft, a cold IPA from Faction Brewing, or any of a number of glasses of local wines hand-curated by the owners themselves. Heading in the opposite direction of SLO is the newly conceived brainchild of notable homebrewers Lee Samways and Justin Childs. Humdinger Brewing can be found in the heart of downtown Arroyo Grande across the street from Klondike Pizza. Still in the early stages of licensing and building, this is shaping up to be a great location and a much-needed spot for the breweryscarce area of Five Cities. These homebrewers are already familiar with working on larger systems having guest-brewed beers at established breweries and we

know their years of finely-honed home recipes will translate well to the scaling up of production. This will be another one to keep your eye on and we expect big things from these largerthan-life characters once they step out of the garage and into the big leagues.

Slainte! Prost! Cheers!




What do Arles Struvie, Thurston Wheelis, Aunt Pearl, Petey Fisk, Phineas Blye, and Rev. Spikes have in common? In this hilarious send-up of small-town morals and mores, they are all among the upstanding citizens of Tuna, Texas. This long-running off-Broadway hit features two amazing actors creating the entire population in a tour de farce of quick-change artistry—doffing costumes and characters faster than a jack rabbit runs from a coyote. Two actors, 20 characters, and a barrel of laughs, y’all. August 9 – 25 //

The Central Coast Film Society is honored to host this classic. Before you see the end of the Skywalker saga later this year, celebrate our first glimpse at a galaxy far, far away with a community screening of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, with special guest Ken Napzok, Arroyo Grande native and author of “Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” August 24 //


Come out for a carnival of exotic and classic cars, trucks, off roads, and bike builds. Enjoy the county’s best food trucks, catering, breweries, and wineries with live music from local DJs and bands. Cali Auto Fest will also be hosting a raffle, along with other items from the show’s sponsors, for Along Comes Hope, a non-profit that helps children fighting cancer. August 10 //

The history of the Wild West is filled with outrageous stories, but few are as wacky as this. A visit to the Arizona frontier is filled with card games, duels, a dirty saloon, pillow fights, and modern pop songs. It pairs witty wordplay and physical comedy with tall tales inspired by the American West. Through September 22 //



LINEUP August 2 . Damon Castillo Band August 9 . Bear Market Riot August 16 . The JD Project August 23 . Soul Scratch August 30 . Resination September 6 . Mother Corn Shuckers September 13 . Truth About Seafood


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 14th through September 13th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Local vendors offer food and beverages for concertgoers. 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.


AUG/SEP 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97 2019 | 2020 SEASON season 805-756-4849infoCALPOLYARTS.ORG BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL JON COLINGEORGEBATISTELOPEZMOCHRIE & BRAD SHERWOOD FLOR DE TOLOACHEMANDY PATINKIN CIRQUE ÉLOIZE 2019 FRI OCT 11 Leo Kottke FRI OCT 18 Thelma Houston’s Motown Experience TUE OCT 22 Jake Shimabukuro TUE OCT 29 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet WED OCT 30 Las Cafeteras – Dia de los Muertos FRI NOV 1 Jon Batiste and Stay Human TUE NOV 5 An Evening with David Sedaris SUN NOV 10 The Hip Hop Nutcracker TUE NOV 12 Nat Geo Live – Ami Vitale SAT NOV 16 George Lopez – The Wall World Tour SUN NOV 17 Raúl Prieto Ramírez WED NOV 20 Mandy Patinkin – Diaries WED DEC 4 Pink Martini featuring China Forbes 2020 WED JAN 22 Beautiful – The Carole King Musical THU JAN 23 Beautiful – The Carole King Musical TUE JAN 28 Emanuel Ax SAT FEB 1 George Winston WED FEB 5 Nat Geo Live – Steve Winter FRI FEB 7 Metta Quintet SAT FEB 8 A.J. Croce – Croce Plays Croce SUN FEB 9 Waipuna TUE FEB 11 Cirque Éloize – HOTEL FRI FEB 28 Flor de Toloache TUE MAR 3 The Mikado THU MAR 12 Cherish the Ladies FRI MAR 13 Siberian State Symphony Orchestra SAT MAR 14 Christian Elliott – Why Be Good? TUE MAR 17 Dorrance Dance – SOUNDspace FRI APR 3 Lula Washington Dance Theatre SUN APR 5 Diego Figueiredo Trio – Brazilian Nights THU APR 9 The Illusionists – Live from Broadway WED APR 15 TAO – DRUM TAO 2020 SUN APR 19 Loreto Aramendi WED APR 22 Nat Geo Live – Bryan Smith FRI MAY 8 Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood WED MAY 13 An American in Paris FRI MAY 29 The Improvised Shakespeare Company SUN JUN 7 Waitress AUGUSTONTICKETSSINGLESALE5! More than three showsdozeninall! SECOND SHOW ADDED! WAITRESS SIBERIAN STATE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS

HOMES OF DISTINCTION will have an exclusive look into beautiful and unique homes as the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo presents the 19th Annual Homes of Distinction Tour. home has a unique ambiance where architecture, and landscaping tell the stories of their lives. 15 // Nowak and Orchestra Novo go Hollywood as they bring movie music to life onstage at the Alex Madonna Expo Center. As always, the community is invited to circle up for picnics at this indoor Boston-style Pops. 1 //









DUNE WALK & RUN Enjoy a 5k Run, 5k Walk, and 10k Run through scenic Central Coast dunes. Hard-packed beach and soft sand dunes create a fun combination for all ages. An awards ceremony will immediately follow the end of the race. September 15 // Dr. Arnie Horwitz HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS Are you feeling overwhelmed and confused? I can help. Specializing in - Relationship Conflicts - Parenting & Self-Esteem - Separation and Divorce - Personal Life Planning - Grief and Loss - Career Uncertainty Therapy/Counseling/Coaching Dr. Arnie Horwitz • 30 yrs. SENIOR DISCOUNT Mon & Tues 10 to 2 . $15 1351 Monterey Street . San Luis Obispo (805)783-2887 .

SEPTEMBER 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 POPS ON! Michael


The Three Speckled Hens are proud to present their spectacular antiques and old stuff show at the Paso Robles Events Center. Grab a friend (or two) and make a weekend of it. Discover one-of-akind antiques, vintage and re-purposed treasures curated by some of the West Coast’s most talented dealers. With over 150 vendors you will need two days to see it all. 28 – 29 //

HAVEN PROPERTIES To learn more about our Distinctive Collection listings visit Representing Your Luxury Properties Across the Central Coast

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