SLO LIFE Magazine Oct/Nov 2012

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Meet Adam Stowe OCT/NOV 2012 baseball, family, and coming home PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT 113 SANTA ANA, CA + Hip Habitat SEISMIC TESTING GMOs ZONGO ALL STARS
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6 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 SLOLIFE magazine October/November 2012 24 8 | Publisher’s Message 10 | Info 12 | Notes 14 | Timeline 16 | Q&A 18 | Places 20 | Meet Your Neighbor 24 | The Way We Live 28 | SLO City Real Estate 30 | SLO County Real Estate 32 | No Place Like Home 34 | Choose Your Adventure 36 | To Your Health 38 | Alternative Health 42 | Music 44 | Special Feature 46 | Arts 48 | Recipe 50 | After Hours 52 | Community Calendar 20 50 34 | CONTENTS

Underoos and World Peace

Seriously, can there possibly be anything better than Underoos?

When I was a kid they were all the rage, and I am happy to report that they are making a comeback.

My three-year-old son, Harrison, has recently discovered what I have known most of my life: Underoos have secret powers. Since discovering this fact for himself, he pretty much wears nothing else.

And, which Underoos you choose to wear says a lot about who you are (I’m surprised that a pop-psychology book was never written, “My Underoos, My Identity”). Harrison has chosen Spider-Man and loves to climb and jump off of just about everything in the house. Plus, he has learned how to shoot webs from his wrists (he makes an “L” shape sticking out his thumb and forefinger). But, most of all, he is busy looking after the safety of our neighbors.

The interesting thing about Underoos is that there really are no bad guy Underoos. To clarify, from the Star Wars collection they have Darth Vader, but we all know he became a good guy after he finally took off his mask. And there was Boba Fett, who was a bounty hunter, but he was just so amazingly cool that the Underoos executives had no choice but to make an exception.

In this season of politics and elections and propositions, I would like to propose mandatory adult Underoos for everyone. That’s right. And I want to be The Flash. Can you imagine how the world would change if we all wore Underoos? I mean, you cannot help but step up your game when you are a superhero under your street clothes. The world would be a better place as millions of Wonder Women and Supermen strode off to work each day answering to the higher calling of their Fruit of the Looms.

We would be constantly looking out for each other and ethical decisions would be a snap. Imagine if Jeffrey Skilling at Enron had been wearing Green Lantern Underoos under his custom Italian suit? Obviously there have been some people who have been wearing theirs already. The guy who safely landed his commercial jet in the Hudson River comes to mind—rumor has it he was sporting Captain America ‘roos.

Clearly, we, as a community, have some big issues ahead of us including one brewing in the waters off of Diablo Canyon [see “Seismic Testing” on page 44] as well as Proposition 37, which is bound to have an effect, one way or another locally [see “GMOs” on page 38], but I am completely confident (well, at least as confident as I can be because, as of this writing I have not yet received my government-issued Underoos) that, if we can call on our best selves, even if it means squeezing into colorful, old school “tighty-whities,” it will mean good things for all of us. I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all of the people who had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine. And, to our advertisers, thank you for making it all possible.

Live the SLO Life!

8 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
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We want to hear from you!

Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Let us know! To have your letter to the editor considered for publication in the “Notes” section, please email it to Be sure to include your full name and city. And, it’s best to keep it to 250 words or less.

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SLOLIFE magazine


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Tom Franciskovich



Chris Bersbach


Submit your story ideas, events, recipes and announcements by visiting us online at

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


So many of the stories we publish come from our readers’ great leads. We are always looking for interesting homes to profile (see “The Way We Live” on page 24), have a recipe that your friends and family love? Share it with us! To get an idea, check out “Recipe” on page 48. Is there a band we should know about? Something we should investigate? Go to and click “Share Your Story.”

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

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

10 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
Sheryl Disher
Jeanette Trompeter Paden Hughes
Elliott Johnson Lance Kinney Katie Osekowsky
Tell us
your story!


e article about homelessness in the last issue (“Understanding Homelessness in San Luis Obispo”) struck a chord with many of you. Clearly this is a big issue, but nearly all of the readers we heard from seem con icted in a similar way. On one hand, there appears to be a deep compassion for those that genuinely need help, but on the other hand, there exists a lot of frustration for those that do not necessarily want to change their situation (identi ed in the article as the “will-nots”). ank you to all of you that wrote in. Below is just a sampling of what we heard…

Dear SLO LIFE, ank you for the insightful and informative article regarding the homeless situation in San Luis Obispo. Most compassionate citizens wish to aid and assist the “have-nots” and “cannots” as described by the author in the article. e frustration many have with the proposed plan for the new Homeless Shelter building is in regard to the “will-nots”, who are distorting the homeless numbers and taxing the already thin resources designated for those in need. I often eat lunch at Mitchell Park as it is close to my o ce in San Luis Obispo. Many willfully homeless congregate in the park and I have personally witnessed multiple episodes of drinking, drug use, and belligerence in the proximity of children playing at the park. You can barely walk a block in downtown San Luis Obispo without passing a 20 something yearold homeless male with a dog, a cell phone and a sign and wonder if this is a condition or a chosen lifestyle. I hope the decision makers in San Luis Obispo work with the Police in considering all of the facts about the homeless issue before turning what was supposed to be a safety net for those in need into a hammock.

Dear SLO LIFE, e article on homelessness in the August/ September issue was interesting to me and brought back memories of my career at Social Security. When Social Security acquired the aged, blind and disabled (renamed Supplemental Security Income or SSI) programs from the Department of Social Services in 1974, we discovered an entirely new type of bene ciary. It is true that there was (and probably still is) a west coast homeless route. Back then it began in Washington and moved up and down the coast to San Diego depending on the season of the year. e article mentions homeless receiving ‘social security’ a couple of times. To receive retirement, survivor or disability as a social

security bene t, one must have FICA earnings to qualify. To receive SSI, one must meet nancial requirements and disability requirements if under age 65. More likely, the homeless are receiving other bene ts from social services.

Dear SLO LIFE, Your story on homelessness clari ed the issue for me for the rst time ever. In the 23 years I have lived here, this is something that has always puzzled me especially in recent years, where many of the homeless do not appear to be simply down on their luck. It’s something I have struggled with because I do consider myself a very compassionate person and my heart hurts for those that are truly in need. I can’t begin to imagine what that must be like to not have a roof over your head. at makes it all the more confusing when you see people out there who are of sound mind and body taking up resources for those that really do need it. Not to mention that it can be somewhat scary and intimidating by some of these folks who are quite aggressive in asking for money. Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for bringing some understanding to such a confusing subject. I just wanted to o er some feedback.


BIG BIRD! Dear SLO LIFE, You are never too young to start birding!

ANYTHING FOR A LAUGH Dear SLO LIFE, I just nished reading the Publisher’s Message in SLO LIFE about the treadmill desk. It made me laugh because I had often thought of putting together the same sort of thing for myself when I was primarily working in an o ce. I had originally heard that Donald Rumsfeld had something similar set up, and that’s how I got the idea. Glad I didn’t go to

12 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
Bird Watching at Port Hartford
Tom Slater Slater Photography
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the trouble of actually trying it now that I read how difficult it was to actually put it into practice! Thanks for the laugh :)

Cindy Dobyns Shell Beach


Dear SLO LIFE, Adore the magazine. Thanks for the article on “Splenda” --- I tell everyone I know about it. Also, I have just published my autobiography “Linda Allsoh” - all true and on I would love the chance to share my story from moving from Iowa to California. Lots to say to help others who have been in my situation and need to get out.


Dear SLO LIFE, I have just finished reading your current issue (Aug/Sept) and would like to know how I can get a copy of the picture of Montana de Oro shore line taken by Elliot Johnson? We often take family and friends there and walk the trails shown and it would be great to have this fantastic viewpoint hanging in our home. Please let me know who to contact or where I might be able to purchase a copy.

Thanks, Herb Klein Atascadero

Thanks for your inquiry, Herb—we have heard from quite a few readers about that shot wondering where they can purchase a copy, so we figured there are probably many more who would like to know. The photo was taken by Elliott Johnson, who is a professional photographer based in Los Osos. His number is (805) 550-2380 and his email is Be sure to tell him we say “hello.”



I was wondering what your policies are for advertising events on your community calendar. We have monthly restoration parties at our Nature Preserve and this winter is going to be especially critical that we have a high turnout, because we have 3000 plants to put in. It’s a favorite for the community – getting the word out is the key.

Sounds like a great event, Holly. We don’t have a set policy for placing events in the community calendar, but we try to do a good job of recommending just a few to our readers. Please send us some additional information and we will see what we can do.



Would you please stop telling everybody about all the little secrets around here? Seriously - my favorite thing in the world is to go to the Lido Restaurant after work on Thursday nights to have myself a cold beer and watch Three Martini Lunch. Since your article came out the place is packed! And I never get my favorite seat anymore. Just pipe down and keep it to yourself already!!


We failed to properly credit Chris Bersbach for the amazing photography in the “Meet Your Neighbor” feature including the cover shot in last issue. Although Chris is currently away on his honeymoon, we would like to say “thank you” and job well done. And, congrats and best wishes on tying the knot! SLO

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

letter published?

Protestors gathered at Cal Poly, the location of the only Chick-fil-A outlet in SLO County to hold a “kiss in.” The fast food chain’s president, Dan Cathy, who had made controversial statements regarding gay marriage failed to show up at the protest prompting some to call him “Chikin.”

By a unanimous decision, SLO County Supervisors denied Excelaron’s application to build a dozen oil wells in the Huasna Valley. As the vote was tallied, the chamber erupted with the emotional cheers and highfives of local residents who had banned together to send the multinational energy company packing.

Arguing that it violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a group called “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” sues SLO County over its ordinance banning the use of plastic bags in grocery stores, which had been scheduled to take effect on October 1st. As of this writing, Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall has yet to answer the question: “Will that be paper or plastic?”

August 3

August 22

August 30

August 10

August 23

This summer’s “Whale-a-palooza” reached a crescendo as visitors and national media descend on Avila Beach to catch a rare glimpse of our friends from the deep. Concerned about whale safety, the NOAA issues a warning to bystanders requiring them to remain at least 100 yards away, prompting one seismic testing protestor to respond: “Seriously? We can’t get near the whales, but you are going to allow them to be blasted to Kingdom Come?”

In a settlement with the SLO Homeless Alliance, the City Council agrees to dismiss all tickets written for illegal overnight car camping during this year. City Attorney Christine Dietrick explained that it was just too expensive to continue hiring outside lawyers (the tab was $120,000 at the time) and that she and her staff did not have enough time to do the work themselves. City Council has vowed to find alternatives to prevent overnight car camping.

14 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | TIMELINE

A 77-year-old father and his 36-year-old son count their lucky stars as the single engine plane they had been flying to British Columbia for their annual fishing trip lost power and crashed off the coast of Cambria. The pair waited for two hours in heavy seas until a Coast Guard helicopter gave them a lift. As their pontoon plane sank to the bottom they were notified that they would have to pay to retrieve it because it’s in a marine sanctuary. Figuring fishing the plane out was going to cost quite a lot, they denied medical assistance, rented a compact car and headed to Wal-Mart to buy some dry clothes.

September 6

September 9 September 10

Before the sun came up, someone saw something that didn’t look quite right on a remote beach about 12 miles north of Hearst Castle: it was a bunch of fast-moving guys carrying large packages from a boat to an RV parked on Highway 1. One phone call was all it took for a massive law enforcement response that included planes and helicopters. At the end of the day, 3,000 pounds of marijuana with a street value estimated at $4.5 million had been seized and 20 smugglers were in federal custody.

Trial begins for SLO Firefighter, John Ryan Mason, who fought Los Osos furniture maker Jory Brigham in Pappy MacGregor’s men’s room following a wedding reception. Brigham’s injuries were likened to a car crash victim by the prosecution as he suffered 17 facial fractures including a broken nose and jaw and was left unconscious by Mason, who had no wounds.

PG&E receives another in a series of approvals in its steady march toward seismic testing off the shores of Diablo Canyon, scheduled to begin November 1st. This time, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), approves PG&E’s request to pass off the cost of the test to local rate payers—all $64 million of it will be paid by its customers. September 15

September 13

A rodeo clown at the Creston Classic Rodeo makes racist comments involving Michelle Obama while addressing the crowd on the public address system prompting executives at the rodeo headquarters to consider using a mime next year.

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 15

Kara Woodruff Blakeslee

During her time with the American Land Conservancy, she played a key role in the Hearst Ranch Conservation Project, which prevents any future development on all of the 82,000 acres surrounding Hearst Castle. In 2005, after years of work on the project, she became vice president of the financial planning firm, Blakeslee & Blakeslee, at a time when her husband’s political career was starting to take off. Today, she strives for balance in a hectic life that includes a full-time career, raising two daughters, and volunteer fundraising for the Wild Cherry Canyon project. We stopped by one morning to see how things were going…

Thanks for meeting with us today, Kara. By the way, that’s a great photo there behind your desk. That picture is taken at San Simeon Point. After the Hearst Ranch project was successfully completed, Sunset Magazine did an article and they needed a tour around the property, so I brought my daughter who is now a junior at SLO High School. We toured around the property and we were standing there and he took our picture, I did not know he was taking it. And then we walked away and he took it again without us, and that picture without us ran in the magazine. But then after the fact, the photographer, sent it to me to say, “Thanks for the day.” It’s a very important picture to me because my daughter is there and we’re out at San Simeon Point looking over to Hearst Ranch. I love it. It has a lot of personal significance. My older daughter really lived through Hearst Ranch and my younger daughter, who is in fourth grade now, has lived through Wild Cherry Canyon. I kind of define projects by which daughter had to go through all of the public hearings. [laughter]

Why conservation?

I grew up in San Diego. From the time I remember my earliest days to the time I left high school, I saw such an enormous change right there in my backyard. The open fields where I used to play literally are now high-rises. When I came to Cal Poly I was so impressed by the fact that when you drove out to Morro Bay at night, it was all dark. And I loved that feeling of darkness at night when it wasn’t flooded by artificial light. And, I think when I started contemplating what my career would be, a good part of the reason I went to law school was that I wanted to prevent unbridled, unplanned development from occurring in places that I love.

So, what did you do?

Prior to working at the Nature Conservancy, I was in a 35-story office building in the financial district of San Francisco practicing corporate law in the environmental land use field. A year later I found myself working in downtown Guadalupe, on the GuadalupeNipomo Dunes, in a little, tiny shoebox office and I could not have been happier. And, my salary went down significantly, too. [laughter] But, I loved it, every minute of it. It was quite a change and exactly the change I was looking for. I’ve never been a big city gal. And, so working in Guadalupe, being surrounded by wonderful people, spending a lot of time out on the dunes which are just so beautiful and peaceful and calm, I love them. There are some incredible botanical resources and wildlife there, too.

Can you give us some background on Wild Cherry Canyon?

I started working on the project in

1999 and it has been a series of successes and obstacles along the way. At this point we are very close to completing the project, and yet getting it past that last hurdle has been very challenging. It’s a $21 million deal and if we are successful we will protect 4,000 acres which would be added to Montana de Oro. And, one of the truly wonderful aspects of this project is that it completes the connection between Avila Beach and Montana de Oro. So, if we acquire the property it will go to the State, and you will be able to wake up in the morning, maybe have breakfast in Avila, walk twenty-some miles, camp if you want to, but you could continue on and have dinner in Morro Bay; and not see any cars along the way. It would be fabulous.

These conservation projects must really benefit by the fact that you are married to a state senator. There have been times when Sam’s position as an elected

official has actually worked against the project. And, the most glaring example was when Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor. We had the project very much put together as a package and it was set to go before the Public Works Board, which would have been the final approval. But, right on the eve of the scheduling of that agenda item, the governor killed the project. And, we were told very directly by people who talked to the governor’s staff that the reason was that the governor was dissatisfied with Sam’s vote on the budget. So, as a way of punishing Sam, he took it out on the project, although those two things were only connected by the fact that Sam and I are married. So, it felt extremely frustrating, to say the least.

These projects go on for years and years. How do you keep pushing forward?

There’s an old Calvin Coolidge quote about persistence that I keep on my computer. It’s a pretty long one, but I will go ahead and read it to you. I just love it. It is probably his most famous quote. Here goes… “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Like many others, I have certainly faced a number of personal and professional challenges, but what can you do? You get up, it’s a new day and press on! [laughter]

16 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
| Q&A
SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 17 805 541-1790 Call us today for your consultation Helping You Hear The Things You Love Your
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Known for some of the best and consistently warm weather in the world, south facing Avila Beach is uniquely sheltered by a series of geological improbabilities. And, it is very rarely the subject of a dramatic storm photograph such as this one. But winter stuck around well into April this year giving Avila-based professional photographer and self-described “storm lover,” Lance Kinney, a unique opportunity to capture his hometown in a different light. Standing on rain-soaked Dog Beach, facing the Cal Poly Pier (the Avila Pier is in the background) just before 6:30 in the morning Kinney took five shots in rapid succession, the first two were underexposed, the third was as-is, and the last two were overexposed. Then, blending them together in a technique called “HDR” (high dynamic range) he developed what you see here, a sharply contrasting and true-to-life reproduction of the real thing. “I love it when I get a local image that people don’t immediately recognize,” explains Kinney. “It’s interesting how people project themselves into the photo, but this one is different, even many locals are surprised to learn that this was taken right here in Avila.”

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


Adam Stowe

So, Adam, where do you get your passion for the game?

Some of my earliest memories are of attending sporting events with my father. My dad was a baseball player. He played Triple-A ball before he decided that he needed to support a family, so he went back and got his Ph.D. in physics and became a professor at Cal Poly. He loves baseball and comes out to the park all the time. He and my mom were a host family this year and had a Blues player living with them at their house. They even ran the concession stand a couple of years back. They volunteered to run it, but they’ll never volunteer to do that again. [laughter] Long hours and terrible pay. I won’t let them work at the concession stand again. I love them to death for doing that, but that was more than anyone can ask.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a baseball player or a fireman. I was always an organizer, though. From the time I was probably five-years-old I was organizing neighborhood baseball games or soccer games or whatever you wanted to do that day. I was always the one making the phone calls and making sure everyone was coming and had rides. At one of the local neighborhood baseball games I organized, I must have been ten-years-old, someone had fouled off a pitch and I went to retrieve it and found that the baseball had gone straight into a beehive. All of a sudden a thousand angry bees are charging at me. I look down and my sweater is just covered in bees. Somehow I managed to take it off and throw it down on the street without being stung. But all of the other kids that were out there with me that day got stung, and they were all banned from playing baseball with me for a couple of weeks. It was torture.

In this installment of our “Meet Your Neighbor” series, SLO LIFE Magazine sits down for a conversation with Adam Stowe. Born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Los Osos, he has had a lifelong passion for sports, especially baseball. He went off to the University of Michigan but graduated from Cal Poly. He and his wife, Lauren, a speech therapist, moved to New Orleans a week before Hurricane Katrina arrived. Together they have a three-year-old daughter, Quinzi, and live a stone’s throw from Sinsheimer Stadium in the same family house that Stowe did at that age. Today, he is three years into his tenure as General Manager of San Luis Obispo Blues Baseball, where he has been engineering a remarkable turnaround of the organization, which just a few years ago was on the brink of shutting its doors. For two years running the Blues have finished in first place and this year they played in the World Series in Wichita, Kansas.

Here is his story…

Tell us about your family.

I think I am the luckiest guy alive because I don’t think that any other woman in the world would put up with someone who puts in so many hours for something that pays so little. It just happens that she’s a sports fan and understands my drive. It wouldn’t even be enjoyable without her. If I didn’t get to share all of our successes and problems I don’t think it would mean half as much to me. We have a beautiful three-year-old daughter, Quinzi, which is Lauren’s mother’s maiden name. She loves to go to Blues games. When I get up in the morning on the day the Blues are playing I wake her up by saying, “Hey, Quinnie, what day is it?” And she says, “Game day!” She’s got her own Blues hat and she walks in the stadium very proudly. She’s adorable. I guess I’ll give her a couple more years before I make her my official ticket taker. Lauren and I originally met in San Luis when she was a travelling speech therapist, which I find a little bit ironic because my mom was also a speech therapist. But, by the time that we really started talking, her assignment was up and she moved back East. We continued talking more and more and the relationship developed and we decided that one of us needed to move or we needed to call it off. So, she decided to move with the stipulation being that in a few years, when it was time for her to go off to school, I would go with her. A few years later she wanted to get her Ph.D. from Tulane because they were doing the kind of research she wanted. We went down there for a weekend and put an offer on a house. She went down and closed the sale and started decorating and moving in. Then a week later Hurricane Katrina hit. She had to evacuate. Our house was flooded and whatever wasn’t damaged was stolen. She was in Northern Louisiana for four

20 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
(continued on page 22)
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or five days before being able to fly back here. We spent the next six months flying between San Luis and New Orleans trying to fix our new house. I hate talking about it because so many people were so much less fortunate than us.

You lived in New Orleans for four years. What was that like for you? I had done the whole corporate marketing thing, it was great, but it just wasn’t for me. You can only get so excited about selling widgets. When I got down there I contacted athletic directors all over the area. I talked to LSU, Tulane, University of New Orleans, Alabama, and on and on. They all said the same thing, “You have great business experience but nothing in athletics. Our advice to you is to get some experience… volunteer, take tickets, pick up trash after the game. It doesn’t matter, just get your foot in the door.” So, the University of New Orleans needed an intern in sports marketing promotions. I started as a volunteer there with my first task being to promote women’s basketball. Two months later they fired their director of marketing and hired me. I held that position for a couple of years and then moved up to the president of their athletic foundation. I was their chief fundraiser.

What brought you back to SLO?

Once we found out that Lauren was pregnant we decided that we didn’t want to raise our child in New Orleans. We literally picked up when she was eight months pregnant, packed up our whole house and moved cross country with two U-Hauls and two cars in tow. [laughter] But, we were trying to figure out how it was going to be possible, financially, to come back. She could work as a speech therapist. There is a lot of need for speech therapy out there right now, but she couldn’t do it full-time because we had a newborn. I contacted Cal Poly, they were very interested but in a budget freeze. Cuesta didn’t really have a spot in their athletics department for my position. I contacted the Blues and my timing was great because they had just decided that week that they didn’t know anything about sales and marketing and that they needed to hire somebody. So, I flew back and checked out a Blues game and they asked me what I needed to be paid and I told them and they said, “Ummm, yeah… we can’t afford that.” So I said, “What can you afford?” A few days later they called me to say that they had come up with a creative idea where one of their sponsors, Ultrex Business Products, and the Blues would each offer me a part-time job to make one full-time position. So, in that first year I was splitting time, six months at Ultrex and six months with the Blues.

Tell us about the Blues.

It’s collegiate summer ball. The way the NCAA works is that, most of the preseason is spent by their coaches finding their players places to play during the summer. By NCAA rule, coaches can only have organized practices or coach their kids for so many hours during the course of the year. But, they also want them to stay active during the summer and the kids want to improve their skills so they’ll look to farm them out to teams like us. Because we have amateur athletes we can’t pay them, so we find them local host families who give them a room. They play against teams from all over California, even Las Vegas. Our team is made up of kids from around the country, we have kids from Kentucky, and Texas, and Villanova, Washington, all over the place. Nationwide, there are about 400 collegiate teams during the summer with about 40 leagues. So, within those leagues there are probably 200 legitimate college teams represented. Our league, the California Collegiate League, or CCL, is currently made

up of five teams and it’s considered probably one of the top five leagues in the country, behind Cape Code and the Alaskan League it’s probably number three or four.

The Blues have had a colorful history, particularly in the past five years or so. Can you give us some background?

Oh, wow. I’m not sure I can do that justice honestly. I really just have secondhand information. I don’t know the specifics, but I can give you the order. It started off with Tim Golden. He took a failing product and turned it into a viable entity in San Luis Obispo. He eventually ran into financial trouble and brought in an outside investor. That investor, Joe Vergara, dumped a ton of money into the Blues. A lot of which, in retrospect, probably wasn’t spent exactly wisely. As money kept being invested it wasn’t coming back so they brought in another partner, Stevie Mac, who ended up, to the best of my knowledge, being mostly a con man. When he went to jail the team nearly folded. Joe said, “I have no more money, I can’t pay anymore.” Stevie Mac was in jail. They were going under and the coaches were looking at each other a couple of weeks before the season and saying, “Are we even going to try to do this?” And they decided that if they could raise enough money to get through the first few weeks of the season that they could then figure out a way to foot the bill for the remainder. That’s when they approached Jim Galusha, who was an ex-sports agent and the owner of Silverado Stages. The coaches pitched him on the idea of funding it and he said, “Sure. I’ll do that.” That year, the 2009 season, they got through. The next year they brought me on.

Anything stand out for you as you began your tenure?

One of my very first games with the Blues this ambulance rolls up and I didn’t even know that someone was hurt. I kind of got panicked and started running around asking, “Who’s hurt, who’s hurt?” And they said one of the players is hurt; he separated his shoulder. And, I said, “What, we called an ambulance for that?” And they said, “No, the ambulance is for the trainer.” And, I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Well, she took one look at the player’s shoulder and said, ‘I think I am going to pass out,’ and I thought she was kidding but then she really passed out.” Apparently, one of the coaches caught her but then someone called the ambulance because the trainer had passed out looking at a separated shoulder. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into?” I don’t think she’s in that line of work anymore. [laughter]

What’s new with you as GM?

One of the first things I asked when coming on board was, “Have you ever considered becoming a non-profit?” I thought it would be a great benefit to the organization, most importantly it would allow donors to make tax-deductible donations. Last year was the first time we officially became a 501(c)(3). We would not have been able to send our team to the World Series in Witchita this year without our non-profit status. We had an anonymous donor come forward and because of our non-profit status he was willing to fund up to $15,000 for the trip. Beyond that, I have had this picture in my mind for how to run a clean, family baseball program here in San Luis since, I don’t know, probably college. And, it has taken me three years to get to the point that I consider a baseline. A lot of it was recovery and I have had a lot of help along the way. But, number one, I want it to be family entertainment; number two, I want to provide the players the opportunity to play against top-level competition; and number three, I wanted to make best use of the most underutilized resource on the

22 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012

Central Coast, Cal Poly, by starting a thorough internship program where they actually “learn by doing” like their motto says. I think we are finally where I would like to start. I mean, I think the year before I came on their annual attendance was 7,000. This last season it was 22,000, so it has basically tripled in three years. But that’s our starting point.

What comes next?

This is where I can really start to get creative. Now that we are basically breaking even I can try things. We’ve thrown so much against the wall some of it was bound to stick. I really want to give it a minor league feel. I want it to be interactive with the crowd and the staff and the players. The last thing I want is a separation between the field and the fans. I want it to be sort of one big neighborhood barbeque with a baseball game going on at the same time. I want to have more fireworks shows, I want to do more special events at the ballpark, I want to have more theme nights. I want to get more involved in the community. I want to have more local non-profits come out to games. You know, I’d like to team up with local non-profits to do fundraisers all year long. I’d like to give back to the city every year to make improvements to Sinsheimer Stadium. The city does an amazing job of keeping that facility going during the summer. It is so highly used and it is a picturesque facility. I mean, I really don’t think we could ask for anything better. I really want the Blues to be a communitydriven team. And that is where I see us going and all of my efforts will be directed toward that end. My latest marketing idea is, you know those Napa Auto Parts trucks that drive around town? They’ve got those Napa baseball caps on top. I am so getting one of those! Do you know where I can get one of those? I want to put a Blues hat on my car. Actually, I could probably just buy one from Napa, paint it myself and put it on my car. That would be awesome to have a little Blues car driving around town!

Well, the Blues are going places. Reflect on your recent trip to the World Series for a moment, what goes through your mind... I have been humbled by the amount of support from the community.

People truly want to see the Blues succeed. Some people may be hesitant and not confident yet, based on the recent history, but people are trying. These are still challenging times and people are coming forward to help out whether it is volunteering or being a new sponsor. I’m amazed. And it actually makes me prouder to be a member of this community to see all of these different people coming forward to help. We have an incredible manager and recruiter in Chal Fanning. Jim Galusha and his wife, Sharron, have been wonderful. They have allowed me an amazing amount of leeway. I was very fortunate from the get-go that they put a lot of trust in me and allowed me to try things. Some of which failed, some of which worked. But, because of that, we are now back to where we should be. I’m just thankful they put their faith in me.

It really seems that you have gone full circle in so many ways. That’s true. My family and I are now living in the house that I was born in. My grandmother lived there, my great grandfather lived there. So, I have had many Christmases in that house with great memories of my grandparents and family already. Then after college I lived there again with a bunch of buddies. I made the Ox for the Blues in that backyard, then when we came back from New Orleans—I’m there again. So this is the third time I have lived there. It’s awesome, I mean, my daughter is now in my old room where I was when I was her age. I can’t imagine anything better. I get to have my parents and my wife and daughter at a Blues game. It doesn’t get any better than that. I get to sit next to my dad, and instead of him worrying about how many hotdogs need to be on the grill, he talks to me about how this batter needs to be more aggressive or that fielder needs to get in front of the ball. It’s ideal. It’s a true family business, from grandparents to grandkids.

Adam, it has been great talking with you and we wish you much success in the coming season. Thank you, anytime and Go Blues! SLO LIFE

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 23
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The use of Ipe wood and corrugated metal combined with a drought-tolerant landscape work to bring the HamachiWiseman home up-to-date. top left MODERN STYLING

Lime green walls, sophisticated furnishings and a metal stair rail create a relaxed, contemporary living space. bottom left INDUSTRIAL CHIC

Stainless steel appliances and backsplash, sleek cabinet handles and a concrete slab countertop make up a beautifully modern kitchen.

HiP HabitaT

It was a Thai restaurant in Pismo Beach that brought Tricia Hamachai to San Luis Obispo. In 2003 her father, who was looking to “semi-retire” on the Central Coast decided to start a restaurant. Demand was stronger than expected and the first-time restaurateur became overwhelmed and needed help, so Hamachai took a leave of absence from her employer, a Los Angeles-based architectural firm, to give him a hand.

After a few months away, Hamachai began to realize just how much she loved architecture and missed the creativity needed to contribute to the renaissance taking place in downtown Los Angeles where she had specialized in “adaptive reuse” projects. “We would take a dilapidated, old, rundown 1920’s vintage high-rise, for example, and repurpose the upper stories as loft space and the lower level as retail,” she explains.

The restaurant had found solid footing and Hamachai returned to the hustle and bustle of the big city, but after her time in Pismo Beach something had changed in her and she had persistent thoughts about the Central Coast that she could not seem to shake. The trips north became more and more frequent, but it was when her daughter, Jade, was set to start preschool that things started to click. Hamachai kept an open mind and started to speculate that “maybe this is where my path is taking me.” A series of serendipitous events then unfolded, which included the establishment of a remote working relationship with her firm that allows for the best of both worlds—she now commutes to Los Angeles once a week to see clients.

When the time came in 2007 for Hamachai and her husband, Jason Wiseman, a selfemployed internet marketing specialist, to buy a home they searched for a small scale rehab project. “We wanted a home that had good bones and we found this one, which was originally built in the seventies and was ready for a remodel,” recalls Hamachai, who likens the project to a micro version of what she does in downtown Los Angeles. “I believe in wasting no space because you can really do a lot in small spaces.”

The couple started by opening up the interior, mostly by removing the existing low profile walls and installing industrial looking steel rails which allowed for an abundance of light. The brightness allowed for darker flooring, mostly bamboo (their young son, Xavier, finds it perfectly suited for launching stomp rockets down the hallway). Attention to detail is apparent in the kitchen where full-extension drawers, an “appliance garage” and a vent hood are hidden behind cabinet doors. The childrens’ bedrooms closet doors also function as giant blackboards, and a cozy reading nook is found tucked beneath the stairs.

Outside, the split-level home underwent a dramatic transformation when it was covered with Ipe wood, which is a renewable hardwood that is resistant to fire, termites, and dry rot. Add two-tons of corrugated metal to the exterior and it can be difficult to know whether you are in a cutting edge, downtown Los Angeles loft or in a 1970’s-era singlefamily home in Sinsheimer—Hamachai would say that it’s the best of both worlds.

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 25


Trading half walls for open metal railing and increasing window sizes throughout the home work seamlessly to create a bright, spacious environment.


This once basic bathroom now shines with designer details and clean lines. Lic. no. 887028

The garden connects us to Nature and to each other. It is a refuge for rejuvenation, a sanctuary for the spirit, and a haven for having fun.

26 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | THE WAY WE LIVE
visit - or- call 805.215.0511
SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 27
PLEASURE The solarium was dismantled to reveal a beautiful covered patio, bringing the outside in and creating flow through the home’s modern sliding doors. smart, ecle ctic, art to live on 181 Tank Farm Road, Suite 110 (at Cross & Long Streets, behind Trader Joe’s) 805.544.5900 | Hours : Monday - Saturday 10-6pm

the numbers

laguna lake

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

tank farm

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

cal poly area

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

country club

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


foothill blvd


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

YTD 2011 22 624,032 608,795 97.63 92

+/0.00% 14.16% 16.44% 1.86% -38.46%

YTD 2012 24 576,963 563,605 97.61 57

+/9.09% -7.54% -7.42% -0.02% -38.04%

YTD 2011 15 551,727 527,166 95.20 107

YTD 2012 19 519,953 495,881 95.36 47

+/26.66% -5.76% -5.93% 0.16% -56.07%

YTD 2011 18 903,456 849,444 94.87 121

YTD 2012 11 815,455 785,772 96.58 158

+/-38.89% -9.74% -7.49% 1.71% 30.58%

YTD 2011 24 674,702 604,263 92.89 98

YTD 2012 36 593,008 579,241 98.27 62

+/50.00% -12.11% - 4.14% 5.38% -36.73%

YTD 2011 26 540,953 516,480 95.86 55

YTD 2012 39 524,029 518,719 99.21 30

+/50.00% -3.13% 0.43% 3.35% -45.45%

YTD 2011 32 544,281 518,331 95.46 92

YTD 2012 37 566,124 556,824 98.16 72 by

+/31.25% 12.39% 14.62% 2.88% -27.17%

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS®

28 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
YTD 2011 37 495,904 478,189 96.30 117
Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market
YTD 2012 42 611,702 594,114 98.34 67 ave *Comparing 1/1/11 - 9/20/11 to 1/1/12 - 9/20/12
SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 29 Put your Money to Work with Trust Deed Investments Reap the rewards of a lender in today’s real estate market. Call today and let us show you how. Making your money make money REAL ESTATE BROKER – CA DEPT OF REAL ESTATE – LIC# 01866199 WWW.TRIADSLO.COM 865 AEROVISTA PLACE SUITE 110 SAN LUIS OBISPO CA 93401 INFO @ TRIADSLO.COM IRAs, 401k plans, and Trusts are eligible.

Atascadero Avila Beach Cambria/San Simeon Cayucos Creston Grover Beach Los Osos Morro Bay Nipomo Oceano Pismo Beach Paso (Inside City Limits) Paso (North 46 - East 101) Paso (North 46 - West 101) Paso (South 46 - East 101) San Luis Obispo Santa Margarita Templeton Countywide

456,000 300,000 735,000 462,000 645,000 331,000 300,000 309,000 405,500 340,500 249,500 560,000 302,000 225,000 243,500 281,600 535,000 272,200 484,500 360,000

455,000 320,500 580,000 480,000 633,000 434,500 311,000 320,075 397,000 400,000 231,000 570,000 317,000 224,000 334,750 325,000 529,500 272,100 412,500 385,000

Arroyo Grande
by the numbers YTD
MEDIAN SELLING PRICE SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ® *Comparing 1/1/11 - 9/20/11 to 1/1/12 - 9/20/12 Wealth Manage M ent David S. Nilsen President & Chief Financial Advisor 1301 Chorro Street, Suite A San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.541.6500 Risk Management | Estate Planning Accumulation | Taxation | Business Planning | Retirement Planning Inv ESTME n T R ETIREME n T In S u RA n CE David Nilsen is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with/ and offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor, Insurance Lic. #0B50436. Fixed Insurance products and services offered by Obispo Wealth Management are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. FREE PORTFOLIO REvIEW Call today to get started!
2011 219 222 9 92 35 5 71 77 102 160 48 77 310 72 68 62 203 14 72 1,918
2012 240 232 10 111 44 10 80 142 85 183 37 77 294 50 76 57 262 19 88 2,097
2011 106 93 70 129 200 90 78 104 116 117 84 127 95 110 127 84 106 92 107 110
2012 105 100 241 109 149 239 105 80 118 91 97 120 83 85 120 147 67 64 95 97
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We are surrounded by beautiful mountains, hills, and canyons. It’s always amazing to me, no matter how much you hike, there always seems to be uncharted territory to explore. It’s just another reason, There’s No Place Like Home.

Just beyond the city limits of San Luis Obispo toward the bottom of the Cuesta Grade, you’ll find this little escape off Reservoir Canyon Road. There’s just something about waterfalls. Big or small; they capture your attention with their soothing serenade. “It feels kind of Edenistic,” says Bryan Quigley of San Luis Obispo, who comes here often with his son. And this waterfall is barely a few hundred yards off the highway over the Cuesta Grade. “It feels good! You know with the water and the moisture and the green and the sun and knowing where it’s tucked in this little place. It’s just, it’s amazing!” exclaims Quigley.

And if the waterfall isn’t enough to get you off the highway, maybe the cave will be. Behind the cascading waters an adventure awaits. Depending on what time of year you go, you may want to bring your mud boots if you plan on exploring all 70 feet of the cave that tunnels into the rocky mountain. “It kinda looked like a gold mine,” said Jayleen Quigley of San Luis Obispo. “It looked like, it looked like a train tunnel,” added exploring partner for the morning, Oak Emmons. “I was thinking Sasquatch went in there,” Jayleen continued as they shared the tale of their adventure.

And once you’ve conquered the cave, and frolicked in the falls, there is that mountain to climb. It’s about 6.5 miles to the top and back, and well worth every step. Because, as is the case with so many hikes along the Central Coast, the scenery changes around every corner. “It’s one of the gems of San Luis Obispo,” proclaims Kevin Toque, who hadn’t been in a while, but wonders why he doesn’t come more often. “I normally go over to Montana de Oro or Pismo or something, but for SLO this is such a cool hike to look out over the valley.”

It’s a moderate climb for the most part, but there are times when the steps get steep. “It’s a really good aerobic workout going up,” said Virginia Jensen of Los Osos, who shares that she hikes this trail fairly often. It’s a little trek, but when you get to the top it’s worth it. And if you plan ahead, you can avoid retracing your steps on the way back down by leaving a car on the other side.

Give yourself at least a couple of hours to complete the journey. And I recommend scheduling extra time to take it all in once you hit the top.

“Think of how many people drive by this highway and have no idea that this little spot is just so easy!” says Quigley. And it’s all right in our own backyard offering more proof, There’s No Place Like Home.

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

32 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
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Bob Jones Trail

city to the sea


I think it comes with the territory to evaluate your “greenness” when you hail from the Central Coast. One of my personal challenges as a local to San Luis Obispo is to get outside more and find transportation alternatives to my car. I rely too much on my CR-V to get me from A to B. But, if you’re like me, and you are ready to dedicate a few hours to getting out to see the beauty around, keep the car parked.

By the time the weekend rolls around I get the urge to hear the calming sound of waves, lay out and enjoy the sunshine. But this time, I’ll be getting to the beach on a different set of wheels.

Do you remember how old you were the first time you rode a bike? Teetering back and forth insecurely in the beginning, and increasingly becoming confident enough to speed down hills and race your friends. It was magic! For me it still is... aside from the moments you inhale a hideous amount of exhaust from those less excited about alternative transportation.

That is why I crave bike paths away from the red lights, merging lanes and drivers who are rocking out to Def Leppard or updating their Facebook status as they careen past you.

This Saturday I decided to go on my favorite bike ride in San Luis Obispo. My choice may surprise more serious members of the cycling community.

There are a wonderful number of bike trails and routes locals will recommend. When asked for my personal favorite, I would have to say biking through SLO to Avila via the Bob Jones Trail. It’s by no means a hard route, but it is a fairly long one for a recreational

Arriving safely...

biker. Plus the trail rewards you with panoramic views of the sparkling blue ocean swells, warm sunshine and sounds of happy tourists playing in the water with their children.

For those wanting to avoid the road hazards I hinted at above, perhaps it may be worth the drive through town, at least until you get to Johnson Ranch on Ontario Road. You can take South Higuera until you go under Highway 101. Once there, avoid the ramp that intends to spit you out onto Highway 101 and turn right instead. From here you can park, gear up, and bike alongside the highway from a much more secure roadway that dips up and down, winding its way toward Avila. If you would like to start the Bob Jones Trail from the beginning, which I recommend, negotiate crossing San Luis Bay Drive carefully, and then continue down Ontario Road until you come to the park and ride, which marks the start of the trail to the right.

Through the canopy of large oaks, along a slow river, I coast, I climb, I veer right or left, and breeze through the beauty around me. This 2.84-mile pathway is paved and winds past San Luis Bay Estates and the Avila Bay Club recreational area. From there the trail snakes through the golf course, up and over the bridge and alongside the town of Avila. If you want to hit the beach, you can turn left into the town. Or you can continue on headed for the piers further away and enjoy cycling along the curve of the bay.

Fall is such a beautiful time of year in San Luis Obispo, the sun is still warm but the air can have a slight crispness to it that makes it perfect for riding. I hope you venture out and give Bob Jones Trail a try. It’s well worth the effort.

1. If you are going to bike on public roads, know your road signals so drivers know your intentions.

2. If you are biking in a group, do not bike more than two deep.

3. Avoid listening to music or talking on the phone during the trek, it could prevent you from hearing what is coming up from behind you or around the next bend.

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 35

Interval Training

You can get more out of that spin class, run, or lap swim by alternating short bouts of high-intensity exercise (yes, you have to work hard!) followed by a few minutes or seconds of rest. With interval training, you stress out your cardiovascular system and build up lactic acid in the muscles—which boosts body fuel, strength, and stamina—while then letting yourself recover and prepare for the next tough interval.

The trend toward interval training isn’t new for seasoned athletes, but the technique is gaining popularity among general fitness buffs looking for big gains in a short amount of time.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, not only are more calories burned in short, high-intensity exercise, but cardiovascular improvements happen faster with something as simple as 30-second sprint workouts than they do with long, steady endurance exercise.

Evidence shows that with high-intensity interval training, participants can increase their maximum aerobic capacity—how well their body uses oxygen for energy at their greatest heart rate—more than those who participate in a continuous exercise program, such as going for more than a 20-minute run, bike, or swim at a steady, moderate pace. The more oxygen your body can convert to energy, the stronger and faster you become. As your body adapts to the stress of interval training, your fitness level improves along with your muscle function.

Doing bursts of hard exercise not only improves cardiovascular fitness but also the body’s ability to burn fat, even during low or moderate-intensity workouts according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Eight women in their early twenties cycled for ten sets of four minutes of hard riding, followed by two minutes of rest. Over two weeks they completed seven interval workouts. After interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling increased by 36 percent, said Jason Talanian, the lead author of the study and an exercise scientist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Cardiovascular fitness—the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to working muscles—improved by 13 percent.

And, it didn’t matter how fit the subjects were before. Borderline sedentary subjects and the college athletes had similar increases in fitness and fat burning. “Even when interval training was added on top of other exercise they were doing, they still saw a significant improvement,” clarifies Talanian.

An advantage to interval training is that it allows athletes to spend more time doing high-intensity activity than they could in a single sustained effort. “The rest period in interval training gives the body time to remove some of the waste products of working muscles,” explains Barry Franklin, the director of the cardiac rehabilitation and exercise laboratories at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.


36 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | TO YOUR HEALTH
muscle fibers is going to
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To go hard, the body must use new muscle fibers. Once these recent recruits are
they are available to burn fuel even during easy-does-it workouts. “Any form of exercise that recruits new
enhance the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and fat,” points out

“Interval training also stimulates change in mitochondria, where fuel is converted to energy, causing them to burn fat first—even during low and moderate-intensity workouts,” adds Talanian.

Improved fat burning means endurance athletes can go further before tapping into carbohydrate stores. It is also welcome news to anyone trying to lose weight or avoid gaining it.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t active enough to keep muscles healthy. At the sedentary extreme, one result can be what Dr. Coyle calls “metabolic stalling”—carbohydrates in the form of blood glucose and fat particles in the form of triglycerides sit in the blood. That, he suspects, could be a contributing factor to metabolic syndrome, which is the combination of obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and elevated triglycerides that act as the perfect storm, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

By recruiting new muscle fibers and increasing the body’s ability to use fuel, interval training could potentially lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Interval training does amount to hard work, but the sessions can be short. Best of all, this workout leaves little time for boredom.

getting started...

There is no single accepted formula for the ratio between hard work and a moderate pace or resting. In fact, many coaches recommend varying the duration of activity and rest.

But some general guidelines apply. The high-intensity phase should be long and strenuous enough that a person is out of breath— typically one to four minutes of exercise at 80 to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate. Recovery periods should not last long enough for their pulse to return to its resting rate.

Also people should remember to adequately warm-up before the first interval. Coaches advise that, ideally, people should not do interval work on consecutive days. More than 24 hours between such taxing sessions will allow the body to recover and help you avoid burnout. Your best bet is to consult a personal trainer prior to designing an interval training program. SLO LIFE

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 37
Ed Coyle, the director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
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You could say it is human nature to desire efficiency and improvement. And when it comes to factory farming the end goal is, by definition, an efficient, abundant crop. This brings us to the increasingly hot topic of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). The term GMO refers to a living organism whose genetic code has been altered in order to give it characteristics that it does not have naturally. Scientists can now transfer genes between species that otherwise would be incapable of mating, for example, a goat and a spider. This is called transgenic technology and has been used in over 40 species of plants for food and fibers. In crops, the technology has generally been used to incorporate genes that are intended to enhance resistance to insecticides, herbicides or pesticides, enhance drought tolerance, encourage higher yields or promote the ability to plant more in a smaller area. Little is known about the long-term effects of such manipulations on both humans and the environment. And while some see GMOs as the way to the future, others believe that scientists have gone too far in tinkering with the essence of life.

is using GMO seeds, and they happen to go up in the air and pollinate a neighbor’s non-GMO crops, the patent owner can now own those crops—as was the ruling in Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser.

The customary practices of farmers to save, reuse, share and develop plant varieties comes into direct conflict with the bottom line of agricultural biotechnology corporations like Monsanto Company. In fact, customers who buy patented transgenic seeds from Monsanto must sign a contract not to save or sell the seeds from their harvest.

According to the Center for Food Safety, 85% of US corn is genetically engineered (or, GE, which is synonymous with GMO), as are 91% of soybeans and 88% of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). GE sugar beets were introduced in 2008, and within the first year, 90% of the sugar beets grown in the US were genetically engineered—now that number is up to 95%. It has been estimated that nearly 70% of processed foods on supermarket shelves—from soda to soup, crackers to condiments—contain genetically engineered ingredients.

The most popular herbicide-tolerant GMOs are Monsanto Company’s “Roundup Ready” crops, which are engineered to be resistant to the company’s own flagship glyphosate herbicide, Roundup. This enables growers to use large quantities of Roundup on their fields, which will kill everything except the genetically modified crop. Monsanto at one time claimed that Roundup was biodegradable, but this was later proven false. According to RP Siegel of the watchdog website Triple Pundit, Roundup is among the top three causes of pesticide-related illness among farm and landscape workers in California, and the New York Attorney General has required them to remove “environmentally friendly” from the label.

Impact on Farmers

There have been many arguments justifying the incorporation of GMOs into the food supply. However, one of the main issues debated is the uncontrollable cross-pollination, known as “out-crossing,” by means of wind, insect pollination, or other transfer. According to the World Health Organization, this is a very real risk, which can radically alter entire ecosystems if the hybrid plants thrive.

While non-GMO and organic farmers may take every preventive measure to stop GMO contamination of their crops, cross-pollination and drift from other farms is out of their control. There is a legitimate concern that non-GMO farmers will be punished due to GMO proliferation. Since the new genes have been patented, if they spread to other nonGMO commercial fields and that farmer selects the modified plants for subsequent planting, then the patent holder has the right to control the use of those crops. Yes, you read that right. If a farmer downwind

Monsanto has received a backlash as a group of 83 farmers representing non-GMO seed producers are filing suit against the company in an effort to get them to stop suing farmers. The plaintiffs in the suit are led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and their complaint is aimed at Monsanto’s so-called “seed police,” whose tactics include suing farmers for patent infringement any time pollen or seeds from a farm growing GMO plants nearby drift onto their land, as was featured in the film Food Inc. The group is being represented pro-bono by the Public Patent Foundation, an organization that “represents the public interest against undeserved patents and unsound patent policy.” They claim that Monsanto has filed 144 lawsuits against farmers between 1997 and 2010, and that they investigate some 500 farms each year. The group presented their opening arguments at the US District Court in Manhattan in February 2012 as some 200 supporters rallied outside. OSGATA President, Jim Gerritsen, an organic farmer from Maine, said, “We want nothing to do with Monsanto. We don’t want their seed. We don’t want their technology. We don’t want their contamination.”

Impact on the Environment

Another concern with out-crossing is the depletion of crop diversity resulting in resistant “super-weeds” and “super-pests.” As many critics have long maintained, the proliferation of genetically modified crops would eventually lead to the proliferation of herbicide-resistant superweeds, such as pigweed, which is exactly what has happened. Despite the initial assurances that less herbicides and pesticides would be needed, the increase of GMO crops and the super-weeds that accompany them has led to an increase of 318 million more pounds of herbicides and pesticides used in the past 14 years.

In response to the appearance of these super-weeds that are resistant to their best-selling weed killer Roundup, Monsanto submitted an application to the USDA, which is poised for approval, for permission to sell a new seed that is resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, a key ingredient in Agent Orange. A review of 2,4-D appearing in the January 2012 issue of BioScience written by David Mortensen, and a team of scientists from Penn State, Montana State, and the University of New Hampshire, describes the effects on agriculture from an over-reliance on glyphosate (patented and sold by Monsanto as Roundup) and an overuse of genetically modified seeds. It also discusses at length the risks of using new seeds that “stack” resistance to various pesticides into one genetically engineered package.

What these scientists conclude is that with so many weeds resistant to glyphosate already, it will not take long for them to develop resistance to 2,4-D as well. According to the study’s authors, almost half of the nearly 40 species of weeds that are already resistant to two pesticides have arisen since 2005 (that is, since the Roundup Ready era began). In short, the crisis 2,4-D is promising to head off, is already here.

But, that’s not the only problem with 2,4-D. It has a strong link to cancer and a much greater tendency to drift in the wind (and thus contaminate

38 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | ALTERNATIVE HEALTH
...nearly 70% of processed foods on supermarket shelves—from soda to soup, crackers to condiments—contain genetically engineered ingredients.
“ ” (continued on page 40)
engineering profits and why you should care about prop.
SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 39
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nearby fields and waterways)—problems that the development of the less toxic, less volatile glyphosate was supposed to have solved.

There is, however, an alternative—and one that does not require a total transition to organic agriculture. Mortensen and his team describe in detail a practice called Integrated Weed Management (IWM). Like its sibling, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), IWM does involve the use of chemical pesticides. But it is a judicious use that can act as a last resort rather than a first line of defense. As the paper states:

IWM integrates tactics, such as crop rotation, cover crops, competitive crop cultivars, the judicious use of tillage, and targeted herbicide application, to reduce weed populations and selection pressures that drive the evolution of resistant weeds.

It is designed for large-scale production agriculture and would likely increase farmer profits since farmers would get the benefit of reduced seed and pesticide costs and no real loss of productivity.

Impact on Health

Regardless of what the FDA says about GMOs, there are many people who are concerned that these foods have not been sufficiently tested to guarantee their safety. And they might have good reason for thinking so. Several studies have already suggested that existing GE foods might present a health risk. For example, The International Journal of Biological Sciences showed evidence in their 2009 study that Monsanto’s Bt corn— engineered to kill the larvae of beetles, such as the corn rootworm—causes organ damage in lab animals. In 2011, doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood of 93% of pregnant women tested, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies and 67% of nonpregnant women. What’s more, according to a June 2012 article published in the Digital Journal by Anne Sewell, a new resistant strain of rootworm or “super-bug” is emerging as a direct result of Bt corn.

Then there is the 2002 Japanese study in Cell Structure and Function, which showed that GE soybeans can alter mice on the cellular level—an indication that genetically modified material survives digestion and is active in animals that consume it. Monsanto’s position according to its company website is that:

There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. DNA (and resulting RNA) is present in almost all foods … DNA is non-toxic and the presence of DNA, in and of itself, presents no hazard … So long as the introduced protein is determined to be safe, food from GM crops determined to be substantially equivalent is not expected to pose any health risks.

However, a recent study, performed by researchers at China’s Nanjing University and published in the journal Cell Research, found that a form of genetic material—called microRNA—from conventional rice survived the human digestive process and proceeded to affect cholesterol function in humans. This is a powerful finding because the Chinese study happens to involve exactly the kind of genetic material—microRNA—that biotech companies hope to use in their next generation of genetically modified foods.

Today’s GMOs are almost entirely based on adding new genes to crops like corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton in order to alter the way the plants function. And, even then, new functions are mostly limited to making plants either able to tolerate herbicides or to produce their own. But if biotechnology companies are successful in their efforts, there may soon be genetically modified foods that use microRNA—simply put, snippets of RNA whose potency were only discovered around a decade ago—to target and block the function of specific genes in pests.Thus the news that plant microRNA can survive digestion and affect human systems brings into question the wisdom of pursuing this kind of technology in food.

As explained by Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists and expert in genetically modified foods, microRNA technology is an area that biotech companies are actively pursuing.

Monsanto itself has a whole web page devoted to the technology, which they call “RNA interference.” Gurian-Sherman notes that the Chinese study—though requiring confirmation and follow-up research—raises “an initial red flag.” It calls into question “any general statement that [microRNA] technology would be inherently safe,” he adds. He observes that humans and insects share a surprising amount of DNA material— evolution favors reusing and recycling genes, even among creatures as different as insects and humans. If this research bears out, then it is entirely possible that microRNA meant to target a specific insect gene will also have an effect—possibly unpredictable—in humans. This is especially true because, for technology like this to work as a pesticide, the microRNA must be present in high levels in the plant, which makes it even more likely the genetic material will make it all the way into the human gut. Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at Consumers Union agrees that the study “showed that the microRNA not only survived digestion [in humans] but also was taken up and moved to other parts of the body where a specific impact was noted.”

Gurian-Sherman also pointed out that microRNA techology poses an even greater environmental risk. There are many beneficial insects, such as various beetle species, that are closely related to crop pests and can coexist in the same field. It is therefore difficult to imagine being able to find a gene to target in a pest that will not also hurt their beneficial cousins.

So where does this new research leave us? It suggests that, given the possibility of affecting humans and other bystander species, microRNAbased technology would require unimaginably high safety standards. And neither the biotech industry nor federal regulators have really shown an appetite for that kind of rigorous testing. According to a 2007 Report of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology, the FDA does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of food for the nation. The report states, “FDA’s inability to keep up with scientific advances means that American lives are at risk.”

Impact on the Future

There is a ballot initiative up for vote next month here in California, Proposition 37, which would require all GMO foods to be labeled. Biotech executives have admitted that the financial impact of this would be devastating to companies like Monsanto, considering that 70% of all foods on US grocery shelves now contain genetically engineered ingredients. The proposition would also prohibit the common practice of labeling genetically engineered foods as “natural” or “all natural.” The biotech industry is not about to let this pass without a fight—Monsanto, the Farm Bureau, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and corporate agribusiness are raising millions of dollars in an effort to defeat the California ballot initiative, just like they did a decade ago in Oregon. At that time a faction of corporations, including Monsanto, DuPont, General Mills Inc. and H.J. Heinz, calling themselves the “Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law,” outspent the pro-labeling group 30 to 1 and successfully defeated the initiative with a campaign that told voters labeling genetically engineered foods was unnecessary and would raise food prices (sound familiar?). They did it again in the state of Washington in April, where, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, campaign contributions to three of the eight politicians on the Senate Agriculture Committee (Democrat Brian Hatfield and Republicans Jim Honeyford and Mark Schoesler) guaranteed the bill’s demise in committee. Right now the biotech industry is also working to defeat similar GE-labeling bills in Vermont, Hawaii, and Connecticut. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Monsanto spent $8 million on their lobbying efforts in 2010 alone and gave more than $400,000 in political contributions. Monsanto also spent $120 million on advertising to convince consumers that genetically engineered foods are safe. Americans have been slow to take up the GMO debate, which has raged across Europe and elsewhere for several years. Some 15 countries now require food labeling for GMOs and 30 have significant restrictions placed on GMOs. SLO LIFE

40 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
(continued from page 38)
SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 41 1443 Marsh St., S an L u i s O b is p o • (805)544-6454 • Corporate Lic# 0D44015 HEALTH • LIFE • LONG -TERM CARE • MEDICARE • GROUP We can help you sift through the many options Medicare offers. Call us today at (805) 5 48-8410. • • • Prescription Drug Plan Open Enrollment October 15th through December 7th, 2012 Susan Kelly KellyAnn Masters Medicare. at 1 2 3 REGISTER join FunRide for just $30 per year RESERVE 24/7 reservation online RIDE your fob* gives you access to the car *fob: electronic device that unlocks the door to all FunRide vehicles where your key awaits! Find out how your business, your family, and you can save money using FunRide! Serving College Students Age 18+ Paid for by Committee to Elect Dan Carpenter for SLO City Council 2012 ID #1346426 A committed leader. A voice for citizen’s priorities. “I stand on my record and am committed to serving the citizens of San Luis Obispo with the utmost integrity and fiscal responsibility to ensure a quality of life that we can all be proud of.”
Dan Carpenter
Luis Obispo City Councilman Vice Mayor

ZONGO All Stars

The type of music that Zongo All Stars plays is so unique that they have come up with their own name for it: “Cali-Cubano.” Drawing inspiration from an Afro-Caribbean sound, the band infuses it with its own brand of laid-back Central Coast vibe. Then they shake, mix and blend it together as something that can only be described as up-tempo beach party dance music.

Everything centers around the drums, then throw in the congas and timbales and you are only just scratching the surface. The eclectic group of seven adds bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophones, flutes, among other things, and, of course, steel drums to delight the senses. This is music that you can feel as much as you can hear.

The band members have been making music together for twenty years under various names, most recognizably Mozaic, a popular Central Coast Afro-Funk band in the early 90’s that included six of the current seven players. But, as life pulled the band members in different directions Mozaic broke up. Dylan Johnson and Jacob Odell both left to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Jennings Jacobsen went on to tour professionally with Rock Steady Possee and then with Damon Castillo Band. Justin Perkins left to play with various bands while Andrew Wise and Paul Irving worked together to develop over fifty of Wise’s original compositions.

Fast forward ten years and Johnson had returned to the Central Coast from New York where he had received his masters degree in jazz studies at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Wise and Irving invited him to lunch to welcome him back and talk soon turned to forming a new band. By the time the trio had calculated the tip for their meal all available napkins had been excitedly scribbled on and there was a palpable excitement for what was to come. Odell and Perkins received calls immediately afterward. They were both in. Drummer Sean Sullivan (he was replaced later by Jacobsen) was recruited and John Lee, a multi-instrumentalist with a masters degree in Latin Jazz rounded out the new band.

The group quickly gelled and in 2007 Zongo All Stars made its debut at the Baywood Park Oktoberfest. By all accounts, the crowd went nuts for the new and unusual sound, which set off a string of gigs that continues to this day. SLO LIFE bottom row (left to right) Justin Perkins (percussion, steel drums), Paul Irving (trumpet), Jennings Jacobsen (drums), John Lee (tenor/bari saxes, flute, percussion) top row (left to right) Dylan Johnson (bass), Jacob Odell (guitar), and Andrew Wise (vocals, alto sax, flute)

42 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | MUSIC


Coming soon... go to and click on “See our Commercials” to watch “How SLO Can You Go?” written and performed by Zongo All Stars.


Early one morning this summer, the fog was hanging around and the seas were calm, so I decided to take a cruise around Avila Bay on my stand-up paddleboard. Far off in the distance, I would guess it was about a halfmile or so, I spotted a pair of humpback whales breaching the surface, spraying plumes of water vapor into the air, lifting their massive tails out and then back in. This continued for a while as they kept a steady pace, swimming toward the rock jetty at Port San Luis. I started paddling out for a closer look and, after a while, I was within about 100 yards of them. As I stood there marveling at how a 40-ton animal could be so graceful, I was mostly thinking about how lucky we were to live in such an amazing place that we could hang out with whales before breakfast. I continued to take it all in when I realized that it had been a while since my new friends had surfaced. I wondered where they would pop up next. As I scanned the horizon thinking they may now be out of range, a wall of gray barnacle-speckled mass rose out of the water ten feet in front of me and seemed to eclipse the sun. My knees buckled, my stomach dropped, and my heart pounded. The pair exhaled and gracefully disappeared, swimming directly below my board; the shifting water seemed to pull me along with them. It was one of the most unique and incredible experiences of my life. And, it got me thinking…

• • •

Despite much initial controversy, since construction started in 1968 Diablo Canyon has been a good neighbor. The nuclear power plant has generated mostly carbon-less electricity, provided a huge amount of property tax, employed friends and family, sponsored local sports teams, and on and on. It would be fair to say that a lot of goodwill has been created between Diablo Canyon and the community since its inception. But, perceptions began to change on March 11th of last year when a massive earthquake erupted off the coast of Japan. The resulting tsunami with its surging seawater, as high as 130 feet in some cases, sped toward Japanese nuclear reactors, which had been strategically built on its coastline to use the cold ocean water to cool their cores. Three reactors suffered meltdowns and at least three experienced explosions. In the days that followed uncertainty reigned and it was not inconceivable that Japan, as we knew it, could have disappeared under a mushroom cloud.

The aftermath caused much handwringing and introspection here as policymakers turned their attention inward to America’s aging nuclear infrastructure, and at the top of the list was Diablo Canyon, one of two California reactors, which is perched atop the Hosgri fault (this was discovered after it was built). Later, in 2008, a second active fault was found running along the shoreline. Considering what happened in Japan, it would be logical to want to know more about the risks presented by these faults. It would make sense then to employ whatever means necessary to attempt to predict the likelihood that those faults would generate an earthquake. So, AB 42, a bill sponsored by San Luis Obispobased State Senator, Sam Blakeslee, which requires PG&E to conduct seismic testing, became law. PG&E has since sought permits to begin testing along a 90-mile stretch of water off the shores of Diablo Canyon beginning next month.

Originally developed in the 1920’s, seismic testing has been used primarily for two purposes: first, to locate oil and natural gas reserves for which it has proved incredibly effective; and, second, to analyze and map fault lines (some claim it is also able to actually predict earthquakes, but that has proved dubious at best). Although the sophistication of the equipment

used has evolved considerably, it is still based on the same relatively basic science: create massive shockwaves capable of reaching miles below the seafloor and then use sensitive listening equipment to receive the reverberations of those sound waves as they bounce back. The result is a three-dimensional map of whatever is below the Earth’s crust.

While basic in its science, the resulting aftermath has been much more complicated and it seems that everywhere seismic testing has gone controversy has followed. It has been argued, although unsuccessfully, that by agitating and blasting a known active fault line with powerful shock waves, it may artificially trigger an earthquake. By definition, a fault is a point where two tectonic plates intersect; they exist under tremendous force that is constantly seeking release—any disturbance to this homeostasis could potentially cause a sudden and dramatic slippage or shift, also known as an earthquake.

But, it is not earthquakes that local opposition groups such as Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing has been worrying about. Their focus has been on the damage that may be done to the marine wildlife as a 240-foot ship tows a quarter-mile array of eighteen 250 decibel “air cannons” that send out blasts every twenty seconds, twenty-four hours a day for 42 days straight. How loud is 250 decibels? To put it in perspective, each unit of measurement is ten times louder than the last one, so 2 decibels is louder by a factor of ten than 1 decibel and so on. A gunshot measures 133 decibels, 164 decibels is like being inside a jet engine, eardrums burst at 195 decibels, at 202 decibels the sound waves become lethal to humans, and a nuclear bomb generates 278 decibels. Would opponents then be correct by asserting that PG&E would be effectively carpet bombing a sensitive marine habitat that includes the protected Point Buchon State Marine Reserve with sound waves strong enough to instantly kill a human being and is approaching the energy blast created by a nuclear warhead? The size and scope of the proposed seismic test is unprecedented and would, at least according to California Fish and Game Commissioner, Richard Rogers, “cleanse the Point Buchon State Marine Reserve of all living marine organisms.”

An article earlier this year in Scientific American, attempts to answer the question as to why a massive number of dolphins (at the time of its publication the count stood at 2,800) had washed up dead on remote Peruvian beaches. The article quoted local veterinarian, Carlos Yaipén, who is also the founder of Lima-based Scientific Organization for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA). The article stated that “All of the 20 or so animals Yaipén has examined showed middle-ear hemorrhage

44 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | SPECIAL FEATURE
Their focus has been on the damage that may be done to the marine wildlife as a 240-foot ship tows a quarter-mile array of eighteen 250 decibel “air cannons” that send out blasts every twenty seconds, twenty-four hours a day for 42 days straight.

and fracture of the ear’s periotic bone, lung lesions and bubbles in the blood. To him, that suggests that a major acoustic impact caused injury, but not immediate death.” Although the article goes on to offer different hypotheses for the dolphin die-off, including toxins that may have been present in the water, only one seems plausible in that it is consistent with the injuries sustained: seismic testing by a petroleum company believed to be searching for oil deposits in the area.

currently taking place at Diablo Canyon? There is nothing that can be done to, say, add steel bracing to shore up a fault line here or fill in with cement a fault line over there. Eventually they will produce an earthquake. That’s just what faults do and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. And it is unclear how the information we gain by doing the testing, which may or may not—depending on who you ask—come at a great cost to our sensitive local marine ecosystem, would mitigate the disaster resulting from a massive earthquake. It would be one thing if seismic testing was able to forecast earthquakes. For example, if by doing this we knew that next summer the Hosgri fault would produce somewhere between a 7.0 and 8.0 earthquake, then that would certainly change the equation, but predicting earthquakes with seismic testing has long been debunked—it just doesn’t work. Any way we slice it, for better or worse, we are left with an aging nuclear power plant resting upon a hotbed of seismic activity perched on the side of an ocean cliff. Besides, no amount of retrofitting, it seems, could have prevented the Japanese meltdowns resulting from what turned out to be a 9.0 earthquake. Realizing this reality, Japan last month announced that it is phasing out all 50 of its nuclear reactors by 2040.

Although seismic testing is on schedule to begin next month, there is still one big hurdle to clear: the California Coastal Commission. The group will be hearing the issue in Oceanside on October 10th and it appears they may be leaning toward approving the project, as they gave PG&E the green light to install six seismic monitoring devices on the seafloor near Diablo Canyon in April.

© Reuters

Anticipating the effect testing may have on the local fishing industry, PG&E has offered $1.2 million as compensation for the loss of revenues during November and December. Giovanni DeGarimore, who owns and operates Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley in Morro Bay says, “Initially, when I first heard about this, I took a somewhat self-centered position and it all came down to how much will PG&E be compensating me? But, the more educated I became on the subject the more I realized how much bigger this is than me. And, I’m not a political activist type, but at some point you have to stand up for what you believe in.” In many ways DeGarimore is at the center of Morro Bay’s fishing industry. In addition to selling fish in his market, he is also in the business of unloading the daily catch from commercial fishing vessels as well as selling fuel to the fisherman who almost never lack an opinion. “It’s been really refreshing to see the fisherman go from saying, ‘How much can we get from PG&E’ to saying, ‘Hey, we don’t want this it all, I don’t care how much you pay us. This is bad; really, really bad.’ We’re not just looking at total devastation of the mammals, but also the fish and who knows if it ever comes back. And all this for what? So, PG&E can get a new map to renew their license for another 20 years?” It’s worth noting that the cost of seismic testing is estimated at $64 million, which PG&E will be charging to their customers—you and me—in order to cover the expense.

While policymakers’ intentions appear to be noble—looking after the safety of Central Coast residents—it is not entirely clear how the results of seismic testing would achieve that goal. Just how do highly detailed threedimensional maps of the area’s spider web of fault lines change anything

Maritime lore is rich with a history of harrowing shipwrecks and sailor survival stories. Many of them feature a friendly sea mammal, typically a dolphin or a whale showing the way to safety or providing a lift to someone in dire need, often just before death. In those instances sailors describe a unique bond and a method of communicating between species that is difficult to comprehend, and probably impossible unless it is within the context of some extreme emergency or crises. After briefly interacting with the humpbacks myself this summer, I can begin to see how there may not be as much separating us as we may believe. Although I likely encountered the whales early on in their visit to Avila Beach—probably just as they entered the bay—so many of us were able to have our breath taken away by these majestic creatures who paid us a very special visit this summer. But, maybe, they were here for a reason. Maybe they were trying to tell us something.

Want to know how you can weigh in on seismic testing?

Contact the California Coastal Commission before their meeting on October 10th to voice your opinion.

California Coastal Commission Energy & Ocean Resources Cassidy Teufel 45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000 San Francisco CA 94105 (415) 904-5502 (415) 904-5400 fax

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 45
Dolphin carcasses washed ashore along a remote Peruvian beach.
• • •

John Ramos

Nestled smartly in an impossibly enchanted grove of gnarled, twisting oak trees in the hills above Los Osos, it is difficult to imagine a more conducive setting for John Ramos to perfect his craft. “I really don’t want to classify myself,” Ramos explains while sipping a hot cup of coffee on a sundrenched porch overlooking the oaks one recent morning. “But, my work does have an enduring theme: ocean, surfing, Mexico, wish-I-was-there landscapes, Jimmy Buffett, nostalgia.” Jimmy Buffett, yes, but also Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter, who happens to be Ramos’ son-in-law.

After operating an art gallery in downtown San Luis Obispo for 11 years, Ramos and his wife, Donna, learned in 2003 that the building they were occupying would have to be closed for earthquake retrofitting. Ramos turned to his wife and suggested a

wild idea, “Rather than start over in a new space, let’s just pack it up and move to Mexico.” The couple found Lareto, in Baja where they bought a 100-yearold gallery that they operated for nearly five years. The environment was rich with colorful subjects and the experience full of inspiration for Ramos, who captured the laid-back local vibe with soft oil paints. Today, the couple is back in their Los Osos studio—which includes a “by appointment only” gallery for visitors—where they stay busy shipping out prints to customers nationwide. Ramos, who is somewhat camera shy and clearly most at ease while discussing his art, observes that, “I’m not really into aggrandizing myself. I let my work speak for itself; they are the emissaries that I send out to the world.”

above KILLERS surf spot north of Cayucos far left THE SECRET SPOT foggy eucalyptus grove along the coast of Montana de Oro near left THE SEGO PALM FLOWER commissioned painting for a cancer research fundraiser

below STAR-EY NIGHT nod to Van Gough from the perspective of Ramos’ studio

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 47
For a Thriving, Sustainable San Luis Obispo Vote Jan Marx for Mayor

SLO Roastin’

With fall upon us our cravings are for all things comfort food. We’re sharing two of our favorite recipes that are sure to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. We recommend using locally grown, organic produce and free-range poultry whenever possible.

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

16 ounces pasta

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1 medium onion, peeled, quartered and sliced

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese

sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Toss butternut squash with onions, garlic cloves, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and olive oil.

3. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes until butternut squash is golden. Add pecans to baking tray for the last 5 minutes to toast.

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta per package directions and drain. Toss roasted vegetables into pasta. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh chopped sage and sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese.

If you haven’t tried quinoa pasta, you’ve been missing out—not only is it nutritious and delicious, it’s also gluten free.

48 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | RECIPE
*What we love!


4 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

fresh ground pepper to taste

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 onion, halved

1 lemon, halved

2 whole chickens (aprox. 4lbs each)

1. Remove giblets and neck from chickens and rinse cavity.

2. In a small bowl, mix together herbs and spices.

3. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture.

4. Place half of an onion and half of a lemon into the cavity of each chicken.

5. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

7. Place chickens side-by-side in roasting pan and bake uncovered for 5 hours to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees.

8. Let the chickens rest for 10 minutes before carving.

try this!

Save the left over carcass from your chicken to make a delicious broth. Simply place bones in a large pot or dutch oven with an onion, carrot, celery stalk, bay leaf, garlic clove, tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and enough water to cover (aprox. 8 cups). Simmer for about an hour and strain. Once cooled, refrigerate or freeze broth for later use.

Have a recipe to share? Go to to tell us about it.

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 49
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mike roberts

A little more than two years ago, local photographer and videographer Mike Roberts was invited to video something that he was told would “blow his mind.” He set up his equipment and waited until a pack of longboarders came whizzing by at about 35-miles-per-hour. Wearing special gloves made of leather and hard plastic they dragged their hands on the ground while negotiating a turn ahead. The video turned out so well that the company, who had sponsored one of the riders, sent Roberts a board of his own. A few weeks later he mustered the courage to try it himself and has been hooked ever since. In this photo Roberts is somewhere in the Huasna Valley. Asked what he was thinking about, he says “That’s what I love about it. Everything leaves my mind and I am just totally in the flow. All of my attention is pulled to staying on the board; my mind is completely clear of anything else.” In light of the exploding popularity of downhill skateboarding in recent years, the International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA) strongly encourages safe practices, such as wearing full gear and a helmet and using spotters. Roberts, who has had his share of injuries and near misses, says he will not even skate to his neighborhood market without wearing a helmet.

What do you do after work? Tell us about it at

SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 51 Now offering extended evening and weekend hours. Please call for more information. 878 Boysen Avenue San Luis Obispo (805) 544-9440 SCENIC L ANDSCAPE and D ESIGN design / build / maintain Artist renderings for preliminary approvals • Plans Installation • Project Management Maintenance Program • Redesign existing landscapes Public risk analysis related to landscape in public areas Native plant/drought tolerant installations Instructive signage • Consultation • Onsite public relations 805.459.5001 • CA License #907167 WBE & SBE Certified Gardens of Avila Restaurant at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort FARM | TO TABLE | CUISINE Locally Inspired. Seasonal Ingredients. New Menu by Chef Robert Trester Dine with us: Open Daily | Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Alfresco Dining on our Patio • Romantic Dining Room VIP Dining Packages • Bar and Lounge Private Events from 10-100 Guests Gift Cards available to redeem Resort Wide all year long | 805-595-7302 1215 Avila Beach Drive | San Luis Obispo

Plein Air Festival

Oct 1 - 7

San Luis Obispo County

The nation’s top plein air artists are selected to venture outdoors to paint the unspoiled landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes of San Luis Obispo County. Come discover the talent and techniques behind this exciting art phenomenon called plein air. Watch over the shoulder of a world-class artist while a painting comes to life before your eyes. Wander the lovely backroads and find artists capturing a scenic vista on canvas. Share the anticipation of being the first to view the juried exhibition on Friday night. Experience the excitement of the Quick Draw on Saturday morning when the artists have two hours to create a painting in the downtown area near the Museum of Art. Watch live auction of the Quick Draw painting in the Mission Plaza amphitheater Saturday afternoon.

Passport to the Arts October 6 Downtown San Luis Obispo

The Central Coast Center for Arts Education at Cal Poly, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art and ARTS Obispo (the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council) have joined forces to entice families to come downtown to experience the arts for free throughout the city center. Beginning at the Museum of Art at the Mission Plaza families will receive a passport in which children can get the signatures or stamps of performers at several sites, as well as a reusable bag of information about upcoming arts events, lessons and performance information for the year.

The Best Man

October 12 – November 4 SLO Little Theatre

The Best Man puts you in the front row of one of the most heated, vicious presidential campaigns ever imagined. William Russell, is a wit and scholar with high liberal principles. Joseph Cantwell is a ruthless and hard-driving young man, a dirty fighter who will let no scruples stand in the way of his ambitions. On the eve of the convention, Cantwell got ahold of papers indicating that his rival once suffered from a mental breakdown, which he cannot wait to use in order to destroy his opponent. This Tony Award-winning play set the bar for all political thrillers. Don’t miss it.

52 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012
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SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 53 Headquartered in SLO, Advantage Answering Plus offers live and local telephone reception service for businesses large and small. Having important business calls answered professionally around the clock will: Improve customer satisfaction Increase operational efficiency Capture additional business opportunities Reduce business costs Let’s talk about how we can make a positive difference in your business, today. To learn more, go to or call us at 805.545.8282

Bravo SLO! October 21

10:00am – 4:00pm Christopher Cohan Center

Back by popular demand, the Performing Arts Center is offering a preview of its upcoming season at BravoSLO, a free performing arts showcase. In addition to enjoying instrumental and choral ensembles, dance groups, film shorts, and the Forbes Pipe Organ, attendees will be eligible to win from a fantastic assortment of door prizes and receive complimentary coffee and pastries. BravoSLO is a fantastic, free community arts event that has something for everyone.

Mud Mash

October 27 – 28 Laguna Lake

Tougher than the tough ones, and more fun than the fun ones: the All Out Way! The Mud Mash is a 5k and 10k mud run with dirty obstacles, wall climbs, lake scramble, hay bales, slip and slide and, of course, a huge, nasty mud pit. Not to mention some tough trails that will be even tougher when

wet and muddy! A portion of Mud Mash proceeds benefit SLO County’s Special Olympics who are dedicated to providing year-round sports training and athletic competition to more than 2.25 million people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.

Cal Poly Symphony Fall Concert

November 18

3:00pm Christopher Cohan Center

The Cal Poly Symphony kicks off its season with music inspired by—and interpreted through—visual art. The centerpiece of the concert features a collaboration with Sky Bergman, an internationally exhibited and published photographer who serves as the chair of Cal Poly’s Art and Design Department. Bergman will re-interpret Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” with her own images of people and cultures across the globe. Mussorgsky’s music itself was inspired by illustrations by the composer’s friend, Viktor Hartmann.

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SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 | 55 Is your Internet Marketing putting customers to sleep? Central Coast Web Services can help! Website Maintenance • Email Marketing Facebook Pages and Ads • Google Ads Search Engine Optimization • Pinterest Contact us today for your free website, facebook and email analysis! Central Coast Web Services 805.602.2777 davek@centralcoastwebservices. com for a good time call 543-8600 Our Publisher, Tom Franciskovich, has a long track record of helping companies just like yours achieve their marketing objectives. Call him, he’ll let you know how we can help you. Plus, he’s a lot of fun.
56 | SLO LIFE MagazInE oct/nov 2012 962 Mill Street, San Luis Obispo, California 93401 Gavin Payne 805-550-3918 Jed Damschroder 805-550-7960 Kate Hendrickson 805-801-1979 Chris Engelskirger 805-235-2070 The Payne Team The Payne Team Available for complete or fractional ownership. Our approach to real estate is about much more than property... it’s about people.
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