SLO LIFE Magazine Oct/Nov 2016

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 7 BIKE // WALK // BUS CARPOOL // VANPOOL RIDESHARE WEEK ‘16 OCTOBER 3-7 It’s not a mode. It’s a movement. Pledge to make a difference and make a smart commute choice at A PROGRAM OF: SPONSORED BY: A program of SLOCOG
8 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | O ct/n O v 2016 SLOLIFE magazine 32 CONTENTS Volume 7 Number 5 Oct/Nov 2016 TAYLOR NEWTON We spent an afternoon in Morro Bay to find out what makes this guerrilla gardener tick. Publisher’s Message Info On the Cover Inbox 12 14 16 18 Timeline We look back at the most recent newsworthy events from in and around the Central Coast over the past two months. View A warm afternoon in Pismo Beach led surf photographer CHRIS BURKARD into the water to capture a perfect sunset. 26 28


With five books to his name, a fulfilling career in psychoanalysis, and an opera in the works, DR. JOSEPH ABRAHAMS shares his secret to a successful 100 years.


Self-desciped as “sweet and sour” local band HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS is set to release their debut full length album.

On the Rise

San Luis Obispo High School student ARIANA KING combines athleticism with academic achievement to create success.


After taking an outdoor space from boring and outdated to modern and inviting, VIC and CAROL ASCRIZZI reveal their Varian Ranch oasis.


With the drought in mind, we turn to our local landscape experts who offer guidance and tips.


Looking for a perfect picnic spot , PADEN HUGHES stops by the botanical gardens.


Wanting to improve efficiency and maximize gains, we searched far and wide for the best workout tips and tricks.


With voting just around the corner, we asked our Central Coast candidates why they deserve our support.

Special Feature

We wrap up this year-long series exploring the 25-year-old San Luis Obispo County institution known as LEADERSHIP SLO, by getting to know a few of its graduates from classes twenty one through twenty five.


We all find ourselves on the hunt for that quick, fresh takeout from time-to-time. Join JAIME LEWIS as she searches out the best local rotisserie chicken dinner.


Stuffed peppers are about to become a family tradition when CHEF JESSIE RIVAS shares his recipe for this savory treat.


In partnership with the American Institute of Architects, we present two top ranking projects along the Central Coast designed by local architects.

Real Estate

We share the year-to-date statistics of home sales for both the city and the county of San Luis Obispo.


In season and on trend, local expert, BRANT MYERS explores autumn’s best brews and ciders.


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

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 11

our tribe

The other day, I was sitting in my truck anxiously waiting for the light to turn green.

Running late, as usual, I was four or five cars back sitting adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial in front of Fire Station No. 1, just off Broad Street in San Luis Obispo. What happened next is likely to stay with me for a long time.

An older woman, after cautiously looking both ways, started walking her bike across the street when a gust of wind came out of nowhere, blowing her wide-brimmed sun hat into the busy intersection. A young man, I’d guess around thirty, sitting in his car at the other side of the intersection, about fifty yards away, watched as the hat bounced like a tumbleweed in the breeze. Without hesitation, he clicked on his hazard lights, hopped out of his car, and stretched his arms out like a drum major to the approaching vehicles, which crawled to a stop. Then, he gingerly tiptoed his way to the far lane and snagged the hat. Continuing to hold up his right hand as if he were a crossing guard escorting a flock of second graders, he strode up to the now beaming woman and returned what she had lost.

One by one, the procession of cars turned left in front of the man, each one slowing down to offer him a comment, flash a “thumbs up,” or honk a friendly “beep-beep.” When my turn came, I craned my head out of the window and shouted, “Have a great day, buddy!” But it was my day that turned out to be great, as I found it impossible to shake the buoyant mood that stuck with me until at least the next morning. During that time my entire worldview was seen through the prism of that experience.

I’m a big fan of the journalist Sebastian Junger (he’s the guy who wrote The Perfect Storm), so when his new book, Tribe, was published, I was all over it. In the first few pages, Junger shares a letter penned by Benjamin Franklin, who in 1753 was lamenting the loss of colonial Americans who were leaving behind the comfort of their homes in town, opting instead to live with the neighboring “savages.” Franklin observed of colonists who sampled native living, “… there is no persuading him to ever return.” The story continues its documentation of this phenomenon—which I did not learn about in elementary school, presumably because, as the saying goes, “The winners write the history books”—and finally offers a theory. Counterintuitively, it would seem, the Native Americans did not leave their primitive encampments in search of the greater conveniences enjoyed by the colonists. And when they did give modernity a try, they did not stick around for long. Franklin and his contemporaries found the whole thing inconceivable.

For many millennia, we Homo sapiens have been a highly communal bunch, Junger reasons. It is only recently, relative to our existence on earth, that we began living separate, compartmentalized lives. It started with agriculture some 10,000 years ago, accelerated during the Industrial Age, and is going full steam ahead today. It is now possible to live an entire lifetime with almost no human interaction at all. While we once relied upon a joint effort with our neighbors for daily survival and sustenance, our wealth has enabled us to vastly reduce the messy interactions within our communities. As a result, rates of depression and other emotional and behavioral disorders, such as anxiety and ADHD, have skyrocketed. Yet, as Junger reveals further along in the book, these maladies practically disappear during periods of war or natural disaster that instantly obliterate class distinctions and societal separation and stratification. As London was being bombed into the Stone Age by the Germans during World War II, studies show that as they huddled together in underground bunkers, their rates of depression and suicide vanished. Paradoxically, many of the survivors who were interviewed admitted sheepishly to longing for the days of the bombardment, when all Londoners, bankers and shoe shiners alike, worked shoulder-to-shoulder in horrible, jam-packed quarters to muddle through the Nazi blitzkrieg.

The central theme to Junger’s argument is that, even if we do not know it, we yearn for human contact and are hardwired to contribute to a cause outside of ourselves, because that is what ultimately makes us happy and fulfilled. I think that the thirty-something-hat-rescuer guy knows this, at least intuitively, which is why he did what he did the other day. And, as communities such as ours are starting to rediscover these ancient truths, and as they are realizing that a real “thumbs up” earned by doing real things alongside real people is much more fulfilling and meaningful than passively clicking a virtual “thumbs up” in solitude could ever be, I am becoming more hopeful for the future of humankind—our tribe—than I have ever been. I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

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SLOLIFE magazine



Tom Franciskovich


Sheryl Disher


Paden Hughes

Dawn Janke

Jessie Rivas

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers


Vanessa Plakias

Trevor Povah

Renoda Campbell

Chris Burkard

Patrick Patton

Blake Andrews


Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes and announcements by visiting us online at and click “Share Your Story” or email us at Be sure to include your full name and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.


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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.

Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 15 Timeless Treasures Home Consignments Where old world charm meets new world style. 5,000 square foot showroom. Specializing in furniture, antiques, collectibles, art, lighting, rugs, home decor & more. (805) 202-4447 • 4554 Broad Street, SLO HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm We are across from SLO Airport. Andrea, Phil, Linda & Nick look forward to meeting you!


BEHIND the scenes

I showed up to our shoot and found a quirky, funky little thrift shop right there on Main Street in Morro Bay. They had a huge Guerilla Gardening Club logo on the wall and we started off by talking about the various philosophies that go into it.

The thrift shop reminded me of a sitcom. The vibe was super friendly, very welcoming. There was a steady stream of friends stopping by with fun, interesting personalities. A woman who was there buying a tea kettle got caught up in the silliness of it all and let me take some shots when she was checking out.

They share the space behind the building with a Mandarin family that owns a foot massage salon. There was a lady out back picking from her garden. It was sweet because Taylor had put boxes of palms and plants around to protect her garden from everything they had going on out back.

We talked about my band, and the fact that I love to perform; it’s all for fun, of course, but it makes me happy and I think that it makes other people happy, too. He said something that I always used to tell my kids when I was a teacher, he said, “You’ve got to shine your light.” He went on to explain how he tells the kids in his club that he is shining his light for them, so that they can go out into the world and do the same for others.

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Our wonderful hosts in Adare, Ireland, Rainey and Chad Noland. They loved having a little bit of home brought to them from SLO LIFE Magazine. — Teri and Ron Andrs Cathy Short, Ann Flores, Paula Gingrich Stacey Azcona, Penny Blackledge, Lexenn Latasa Jackie, Ryan & Mike Duffy Lucy, Ella & Coco Fortini
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Opes Advisors is licensed by the CA Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License #4150089, CA Bureau of Real Estate 01458652, loans will be made pursuant to the Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO Registration Regulated by the Division of Real Estate, Idaho MBL8530, Montana Mortgage Lender License #235584, Oregon ML4902, Washington CL1178435, Wyoming #2667 and NMLS 235584. Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. Opes Advisors is a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). © 2016 Opes Advisors, Inc. All rights reserved. We helped more people purchase a home in 2015 than any other lender in San Luis Obispo County. THANK YOU! Help when you make the most important financial decisions of your life. Ben Lerner Mortgage Advisor NMLS 395723 805.441.9486 1212 Marsh St., Suite 1 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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I just returned from a hiking trip in the Eastern Sierra. This is Piute Pass, up above Bishop, CA. Altitude: 11,423 feet. I would like to thank the doctors and nurses of Sierra Vista Hospital, especially my surgeon, Dr. Edwin Hayashi, for making this possible. I almost died two months before this picture was taken!

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Our magazine travelled 3,400 miles through France, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic with us!! — Sharynn Chirpich Paris, France Prague, Czech Republic Poland FETHIYE BAY, TURKEY Riesen, Coen, & Carissa Carlberg Jacki Williams & Paul Ellars — Nancy Moore


CRATER LAKE, OREGON Katie Lichtig & Mark Loranger MOUNT WHITNEY Maddie, Lilly, and Nicole My fourth trip to the top of Mt. Whitney. Fortunately, SLO Life didn’t add much weight to my backpack. — Ken Riener



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BARRIERE, BRITISH COLUMBIA I’m in Nashville for the coolest concert ever, honoring Guy Clark! — Kara Woodruff NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE Lily & Sammy Daane Roxanne Carr We enjoyed fishing for trout at Caverhill Lodge. — Kingston Leong, Jim & Marge Harris, Carol Leong, Paul Neel, Pam & Dick Zweifel, Allan & Richard Cooper

We love SLO LIFE Magazine. Read it cover to cover. Here we are on the Island of Sao Miguel (Saint Michael) in the archipelago of the Azores. Nine Islands in the middle of the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal. Behind us you see the Portas da Cidade (Doors of the City) in the center of the capital city of Ponta Delgada (Narrow Point). Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal.

- Joseph, Rosa and Ethan Santos


The Ross kids took their SLO LIFE mag with them on their summer vacation to Lake Tahoe. They clicked a pic of it with them on their pontoon boat ride as they crossed state line CA/NV in the middle of the huge blue lake.

— Grace, George, and Julia Ross





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Catching up on the hometown news in Copenhagen, Denmark. Missing SLO but having a great time. — Karen Petersen & Lisa Simon
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Around the County AUGUST ‘16


The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN), a non-profit watchdog group based in Santa Barbara, sued San Luis Obispo County, Justin Vineyards and Winery, Vina Robles, and Bakersfield-based Lapis Land Company over their recently approved well permits. In the suit, C-WIN argues that deep wells dug by corporate entities are harming nearby residents and small ranchers by taking a disproportionate share of water and they should therefore receive more scrutiny and be subject to the requirements of the more stringent California Water Quality Act.


State Parks published a draft environmental impact report (EIR) concerning dust control activities at the Oceano Dunes, which proposed a five-year program for a variety of additional mitigation measures, such as more so-called wind fences and additional tree plantings. Last year, a less windy year than usual, particulate matter on the Nipomo Mesa, which is downwind from the off-road recreation area, reported 62 days that exceeded state health standards. In 2011, the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District issued Rule 1001 requiring State Parks to reduce the dust levels. Rule 1001 has since triggered three lawsuits from the off-road advocacy group Friends of Oceano Dunes.



Food waste containers were delivered to 51,000 local homes by Waste Connections, the private garbage disposal company that services the county. In an effort to keep organic waste out of the landfill—the state has a mandate for diverting 75% by 2020—food scraps are now taken to an outdoor composting facility in Santa Maria. Waste Connections has also submitted plans to build an indoor anaerobic digestion plant in conjunction with Japanese-based Hitachi Zosen Inova, a 36,000-square-foot facility near the San Luis Obispo Airport, which would capture the methane gas produced as part of the decomposition process and use it to power up to 650 local homes.


A fire broke out in the area of Chimney Rock Road near Lake Nacimiento forcing hundreds of evacuations. The blaze, which became known as the Chimney Fire, quickly grew in size and intensity and went on for nearly a month as it burned 46,433 acres, including 49 homes and 21 other structures. Thousands of firefighters from around the state took up residence at the fairgrounds in Paso Robles, which served as a makeshift basecamp for the operation. Dry vegetation resulting from a protracted drought and hot summer weather combined to create the perfect conditions for the blaze, which had at times threatened nearby Hearst Castle. The cause of the fire has been under investigation and remains unknown.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to extend the temporary oak tree protection ordinance, as well as an ordinance governing ag ponds and reservoirs, until April and May respectively. The urgency ordinances were originally enacted in July after it was discovered that Justin Vineyards and Winery, which is wholly owned by The Wonderful Co. of Beverly Hills, had recently clear-cut thousands of oak trees at one of its vineyards. Amid public outcry, which included boycotts of The Wonderful Co. brands such as Fiji Water and POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, the company’s owners, Stewart and Lynda Resnick issued an apology claiming, “We fell asleep at the wheel.” About a week later, news surfaced that Justin Vineyards and Winery had clear-cut 17,000 trees, including 15,000 mature oaks, at another North County vineyard in 2011.

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News of a new plan to rehabilitate Pirate’s Cove in Shell Beach emerged two years after the county’s effort at a $1.5 million overhaul, which had required a decade of planning, was nixed by the Coastal Commission, including opposition by Commissioner and Pismo Beach City Councilmember Erik Howell. The 55-acre park, which offers a spectacular ocean view, has become blighted over the years with graffiti and litter and is well known to local law enforcement as a trouble spot that attracts illegal nighttime activities. Although half of the $1.5 million funds had been in the form of two grants that have since been rescinded following the Coastal Commission’s denial in 2014, the beginnings of a new effort from the county continue to stress the importance of safety and the environment, and identify a need for bathrooms, parking, signage, and trash cans.

Flanked by FBI agents near the top of Cal Poly’s campus, Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced in a press conference that excavation near the “P” on the hillside above the university would begin after a lead was developed by a sheriff’s detective that had been working a twenty-yearold cold case full time for two years. Kristin Smart, a Cal Poly freshman, vanished during Memorial Day weekend in 1996 and was last seen by fellow student Paul Flores, who remains a person of interest. Over five days digging at three locations, some “items of interest” as well as a few bones were discovered. According to one person not authorized to discuss the case, it appears that they were animal bones, yet as of this writing no official declaration has been made as to whether or not they were human remains.


Heavy equipment descended upon the south side of Tank Farm Road in San Luis Obispo where a massive remediation project began. The owner of the 332-acre parcel, Chevron Corporation, expects the clean up to take three months. The effort is the first step in what is expected to be a decades-long effort to develop the corridor, which includes widening the lanes, constructing commercial facilities, and building a park. Tank Farm, as its name implies, was once a sprawling series of tanks and ponds designed to store oil reserves. In 1926, the site was host to one of the county’s most devastating environmental disasters when lighting ignited an oil reservoir spawning a massive fire, which sent burning oil flowing down San Luis Creek.


A coalition of six cities within San Luis Obispo County formed to contest Diablo Canyon’s closure plan. The cities, which include San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, and Pismo Beach, filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission asking that they formally hear their concerns regarding the economic impact caused by the nuclear facility’s closure. PG&E announced in June that it would shutter the county’s largest private employer, Diablo Canyon, by 2025, which is expected to have a $1 billion impact annually on the local economy. The coalition of six cities claim that they are not opposed to the closure, but they are frustrated with PG&E’s lack of communication concerning how the move, which according to one study will result in the loss of 3,286 local jobs, will impact the economy.

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It is no secret to those living on the Central Coast that summer often comes late. It can be cold and foggy during the period that the calendar identifies as summertime, with “June Gloom” sticking around long after the kids are out of school. Equally perplexing is the phenomenon known as the “Indian Summer,” those warm summerlike days that appear during the fall. While it remains unclear just how the term came to be—it has been surmised that the weather pattern was originally observed by settlers in an area inhabited by Native Americans—the fact is that summer here on the Central Coast comes and goes on its own terms.

Although he is known for chasing waves in far off corners of the globe, it was an unseasonably warm afternoon when Chris Burkard found himself relaxing on the sand at his favorite hometown spot in Pismo Beach, surrounded by his family and friends. He hadn’t planned on making pictures that day, but grabbed his camera anyway for a few candid shots with his buddies. They cooled off by paddling out into the surf, then found a good spot to watch the sunset. As the sun began dropping down over a mirror of glassy water, he could not resist the opportunity to capture a few frames. In discussing the photo you see here, Burkard offers, “I always try to look for the quiet moments; the ones that pass us by.”

After first picking up a camera at 19 years old, Burkard credits an internship he landed at Transworld Surf Magazine as the pivotal experience on his path to making his living capturing images. His passion for conservation led him to adventure and landscape photography, and through trial and error he developed his own style to help people see the beauty around them through the eye of his lens.

Today, with half a dozen photography books and thousands of magazine appearances to his credit, a TED talk presentation under his belt, and too many Fortune 500 clients to list, Burkard finds himself with a jam-packed travel schedule. Yet it’s days like these, at home with his wife and two young boys during the endless summer, that make it all worthwhile. “This image encompasses what I love about where I live and why I live here,” reflects Burkard. “I think that the more that I travel, the more I understand that.”


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I always try to look for the quiet, moments; the ones that pass us by.
“ ”
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On the eve of his 100th birthday, DR. JOSEPH ABRAHAMS visited with us over a plate of his favorite cookies, chocolate macaroons. During his long career i the San Luis Obispo resident pioneered a breakthrough method of group therapy and went on to write five books on the subject. Today, as he continues t he is also writing an opera about the life of Virginia Woolf, the British novelist.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Joe! Please tell us about yourself. My family came here from Lithuania, which was still under Russian influence in those days. And I can still speak some Russian [he speaks a couple of sentences in Russian]. They immigrated to New York. I have always loved to swim, and my first swimming was in the Long Island Sound when I was a little boy. I don’t know why I insisted on going there and doing it on my own. I always wanted to do it on my own. I said, “I’m going to do it my way!” just like Frank Sinatra. Later we moved to the Lower East Side. That’s when I started swimming in the East River. I swam at the Y up until about two years ago.

And so you remained in New York, correct? Yes, that’s right. After medical school at Emory University in the South, I returned to New York City to do my internship. I wanted to become a neurologist, so I became the neurologist for the City Hospital in New York, which was the hospital that covered the emergency needs for Manhattan. I started there by doing what they called “riding ambulance.” The ambulance in those days didn’t have a siren, just a bell. I’d pull the bell—clang!, clang!, clang!—and then I’d jump out and take care of the person; stitch them up, or something like that, and take them back to the hospital. During that time I also delivered 54 babies.

When was it that you got into group therapy? When I was in the Army, during the war [World War II], I was put in charge of a treatment program for delinquent soldiers. They got into trouble for being drunk or assaulting their officers or going AWOL, stuff like that. I didn’t know what to do, but I got up in front of these people and they took to me. They liked me. I tried to figure out why. I had a love of horses. I knew how to handle a horse. I think they sensed that I was in mastery of the situation, like I was with a horse. Does that make sense? I was very fortunate to have a commanding officer, Colonel Miller, who had confidence in me. This business of whether or not someone has confidence in you is the whole thing. In medical school,

when the professor gave me a hard time I became dumb as hell. So, I was successful with these bad kids and they graduated from my program to go on and become good soldiers.

So how is it that you ended up here? After the war, I was asked to go to Washington, D.C. to teach other people how to conduct this group therapy I had developed. There I continued my training as a psychoanalyst because I wanted to help heal people’s minds. And I realized that I needed to get all of this down on paper; I needed to write a book. So afterward, I came out to California to write. That’s how I ended up in La Jolla.

I was there for twenty years when I started thinking about what was good about what I was doing and what was bad. So, I moved to San Luis Obispo so that I could try my stuff out at Atascadero State Hospital. I started a therapy program there, built it from the bottom-up, and I also continued to write books.

I had always planned on returning to La Jolla after this period, but my wife, Elisabeth, fell in love with this town and I couldn’t pry her away.

Describe a typical day, if you would. up and go to work. I write every day. It consists of meeting with two assistants at my computer; they are young students, a man and a woman. I can’t read because I’m effectively blind. Right now you look like a shadow to me. I have to have people read for me, then I process it in my head, and then I dictate back. Additionally, I still do have one patient that I treat three days a week. I also keep up with the news. The news is a big deal to me. The problem, as I see it, is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The challenge is that each of us needs to do something about it. The question becomes, how can somebody working have as much power as the person who employs him? What are the ways of going about changing? I have some ideas about that if you have the time. [laughter]

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 31 80 5 541-1790 Call us today for your consultation Wonderland Helping You Hear the ings You Love


Six years ago, TAYLOR NEWTON combined his passions for cultivation and mentorship when he formed a non-profit service organization he calls the Guerilla Gardening Club. Since that time the program has helped hundreds of at-risk youth and homeless individuals countywide through an unconventional approach, which relies heavily on unvarnished self-evaluation and tough love, as its members work side-by-side completing projects ranging from municipal revitalization to zero waste education and outreach. According to Newton, who lives in Morro Bay with his wife and daughter, along with two stepdaughters, and brother, the most effective thing that can be done for a troubled soul is to return to the land, where the best therapy is found by tilling the soil in an effort to help others. Here is his story…


We like to start from the beginning, Taylor. Where are you from? I’m from Sacramento. I’m actually from a small town called Loomis. It’s on the I-80 going up towards Tahoe on the old mining trail. Donner Pass is about an hour from where I grew up. We lived on a farm next door to a Methodist church. I spent all my free time there when I wasn’t working with my dad on our farm, or doing school, or sports, or service; I would just play at the church grounds because the church had massive acreage and

all these gardens. My mom made us go to church, but my dad was the one who would volunteer for all of the service projects. He loves to do things for others. And so we would build houses for Native American reservations, and we would go volunteer with the homeless. My parents were hippies. And they were growing their own weed, and raising chickens; we slaughtered a cow every year. I remember my first show-and-tell in kindergarten. I brought a jar with the two eyeballs from the cow we had just slaughtered. I thought that was normal.

How did your parents start down this path? They had a dream of buying a piece of property and living off the land. That was beautiful, but by the time my third sister was born, we were almost bankrupt and it forced my dad to get a job as a teacher. Growing up, I was required to do sports, service, school, and work. I had my first gardening route when I was 13. My parents did a really good

job of making me be perfect for 22 years. I was very fortunate, and I was the perfect kid. Didn’t go to parties. I was class valedictorian, senior class president, varsity swimming since my freshman year, never missed a day of high school, had a full ride scholarship to Cal Poly where I had a 4.0 GPA. I was on the swim team, did triathlons, all this stuff. I worked for the navy. I travelled the world. I got a job at UC Davis. By the time I was 25, I had multiple careers, traveled and seen all kinds of things and realized that sharing those opportunities with young people would make them want to be better people. And in a matter of five years, after an equal number of good and bad choices on my part, I found myself starting an urban farm in Morro Bay.

Okay, hold on. It seems like you just skipped over a bunch of stuff... Yes, you’re right. I did. I got, well, at 22, I had some medical problems that are part of my mom’s genetics

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that I was dealing with. I was having a really hard time living inside my body. It was depression. I tried medication and it didn’t work. I tried a lot of different drugs, and talking to people, and all that stuff. None of it worked. I was just super depressed. It was like I was sick in the house. Outwardly, it looked like I was doing great, doing perfect. I was working for Head Start as a pre-school special instructor where I did science lessons and stuff for the kids. I was in Atascadero, so I was mostly working with low-income white families where you would see a lot of methamphetamine use with the parents. Then I decided to go to San Luis to work in restaurants. After that I was a tow truck driver. The whole time I spent my nights just being awful, running the streets basically. I’ve always had great stamina and work ethic, and I never missed any work, but I was doing the minimum hours between shutting it off and going to work so that I would not be drunk when I showed up in the morning. I saw a lot of bad things during those years, but looking back it was very educational and it gave me a wealth of relatable experience to draw from now.

Okay, now we’re back to the urban farm. Yes. This is when things started clicking and it was going well. I actually had people starting to stop by to ask me about how to grow marijuana. It kept happening, over and over. And each time I would ask them, “Do you know how to grow any other stuff?” And usually they’d say, “No, I don’t grow anything.” Then I’d ask, “Why are you starting with marijuana?” You know what I mean? Marijuana is a flower. Flowers are hard to grow. Look at your yards; flowers are the most difficult thing to make happen, especially if it’s something you’re going to inhale. I mean, come on, man. After a while, after so many of these conversations, the idea came to me to start the Guerilla Gardening Club.

What type of person normally joins the club? I used to think that there’s a certain type of person that was coming to me that wanted to be in the Guerilla Gardening Club. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think it’s all people. All people. I just think all people are the same. And, we’re all dealing with the same issues. Some of us like to paint, some express ourselves through music, some of us want to be doctors, some of us want to be lawyers. There are so many different pathways. The Guerilla Gardening Club is a service program that I think applies to a lot of people. For the most part, though, I do think that we’re mostly semi non-conformist. If it bugs you to be told what to do, you’d probably fit in with us.

So, what exactly does the club do? We have a very dynamic gardening program that deals with homelessness and facilities and grounds maintenance. We work for the City of Morro Bay; we have all kinds of projects with them. We work with private companies and families with large ranches all over the county. We also do a lot of teaching. We’re doing a zero waste recycling program, teaching composting. We travel quite a bit, too. We’ve taken trips down to Skid Row in L.A. We started another club down there, and we are working on opening one in Oakland. We’re going to Italy to garden with a group there. We have an annual winter field trip. We’ve come up with a new field trip for the spring when the wildflowers bloom in the desert, which will be a backpacking trip and survival training. All sorts of things. But, mostly, we create a garden as a way for people to help themselves and help others. And in our program we have ways for them to get food and help them get shelter, help them to get into school, clothing, jobs, money, all the things that they need to take care of themselves and, in doing that, we’re creating a tribe, a family, an army.

And, what is it about gardening that resonates with people? Growing things is intrinsic to humanity on earth. It is also how we created our problems. Without it, cities wouldn’t be cities. All these things wouldn’t have started without agriculture. Agriculture made us live in groups, which is why we have everything that we do, good and bad. Do you follow me there? Agriculture is the key, so what else does that mean? >>

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What it means is that agriculture is part of something we’re supposed to do every day. It is frightening that people don’t know how to work in the soil. It is frightening that people don’t know how a plant grows off dead stuff—compost. The answer to life is compost. When you die, you become compost. I mean compost is so important because it completes the cycle and returns everything to the earth. So agriculture is a no-brainer and that moment that any human being puts their hands into the soil, they’re

minutes. And they’re like, “I don’t like gardening. I don’t like this, I don’t like that.” But, you just revealed your problem. You can’t sit still for half an hour. Why can’t you sit still for half an hour? That’s the question. Deal with that question right now.

So, it’s therapy… Exactly. And, that’s an interesting way to put it, an interesting way to think about it. Really, if we took each human being

focused outside of themselves and using their hands to go back to the beginning. Cultivating is a huge part of who we are, and anybody that goes out into the garden is tapping into the core part of what made us modern humans. It’s a no-brainer. It’s such a no-brainer, in fact, that it’s hard to explain to people why gardening is so important. And a lot of times I try to get them to just experience it. Most of the time it works. A lot of times, if you can’t garden it shines a light on what you have as a problem. For example, I have people that cannot sit still for over thirty

and forced them to garden every day for an hour, what would come out of that? I think, I really do think, it would reveal what is going on with your mind. And if everybody had a garden, I think that would make the world better. By going out and giving time and energy to an action to something that is outside yourself, you are making the community a better place and yourself a better person. When you think about that, how many people every day do something for somebody or something else? You know what I mean? And at the same time, gardening is all about putting a whole

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The answer to life is compost. When you die, you become compost.
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bunch of time into very little product. The reality is that you aren’t getting a lot of physical reward out of it. There’s a reason people don’t garden.

Elaborate on that idea, if you would. Most of what we can do is going to be destroyed by animals, or other people, or the environment. Nature is all about destroying what we grow. And there’s a lesson there. And by doing that action, that selfless action just because it feels good to help something grow, that feeling, that thing you find by working with your hands in the garden shows you everything in the world. And I do think that if you can get people to garden, it can help them find humility. People that doubt anything besides themselves, people that are like constantly, “I don’t see how anybody can be right except for me,” I don’t know how I can help you. If you can’t think that you’re wrong, you don’t have humility, then there’s no growth for you. You’re done. I’ll see you in the next lifetime.

Can you give us an example? Sure. My friend Mike—I call him my brother because he’s been a close friend of mine for twenty years, eleven of those years he was in prison—works with the Guerilla Gardening Club. He’s been one of my main instructors with me for the club. He’s really tough. And you would have these kids in the club who were complaining about these everyday life things that, to somebody who has his experience, who’s put himself through a lot, he didn’t have any sympathy. They’d tell

him their sob story and he would say, “Oh, man, you should kill yourself. Just get it over already. No, no, I’m serious. You should go kill yourself right now.” And I’m always like, “Mike, Mike, you can’t say that!” And Mike’s intimidating; he’s this huge 350-pound black man. And he would be so serious. He would be out weeding in the garden and a kid would say, “My girlfriend slept with my best friend, and I’m failing all my classes, and I can’t stop doing cocaine.” And with a straight face, Mike would respond, “Man, that sounds terrible. You should kill yourself.” And they’re like, “How can you say that to me?” And he’d say, “Because you just sound like a waste of life. You should just get it over with and make room for other people. There are so many other people that would love to take your place right now.”

Wow, that is hardcore! Did that approach work? At first I was like, “Mike, seriously, how is that helpful?” But, oftentimes that slap in the face would just instantly demolish their ego; and it was immediate humility because no one was going to ever take on Mike. Usually, they would walk over to me to tell me what happened with Mike and I’d say, “Yeah, that sucks, but you’ve got to remember where he came from and what he’s been through, and, unfortunately, he just doesn’t have my patience for your whininess. You’re welcome to talk to me about it, and I’ll tell you nice things and suggest smart ways for you to get on with your life. But Mike’s

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not wrong. If you want to spend your whole life being this whiny, crappy human being, maybe you really should make room for somebody else. I mean, in no way do I want you to commit suicide, but there’s a lot of people out there that need what we are doing here; so if you aren’t going to step it up and get in line, then maybe you should move on.”

Hey, what is that in your mouth? Do you have a tongue ring? Yep, sure do. It’s gold. I always loved tongue rings. I think it’s such an interesting piercing. It’s visual but not visual; you can hide it. It’s a very painful and uncomfortable piercing, just the idea of having somebody shove it into your tongue. I also have a problem talking too much, and too fast, so I got the tongue ring to remind me to slow down. It reminds me to watch my words. You know words are very strong, especially in this role that I am in now, and the tongue ring’s a constant reminder of that. It’s almost like a weight, like a leash for my words.

Getting back to the club, it really does seem like you are on to something… I do think that we really nailed it for right now. I like that the way that we’re doing it; the equation applies to now. Maybe this equation will change and it won’t apply later, I don’t know. Maybe we’ll have massive nuclear war and everybody will become a conformist because we have to in order to survive. In that case, I would have to rethink the model. In this lifetime I’ll probably change the model because it’s my job to figure this out, over and over again. And I have no problem with that. I go to sleep every night praying for the well-being of my daughter first, then my immediate family, then all of the rest of my family, all my friends, the whole world; and I thank God for giving me this opportunity to do what I’m doing, and I pray I am able to do it over and over again. There’s nothing I would love more than to continue to do what I’m doing, die, and do it again. That sounds awesome. SLO LIFE

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As the guitarist and frontwoman of local band Hayley and the Crushers, Hayley “Crusher” Cain has been likened to “a demonic Go-Go,” and she couldn’t be happier with the reference. “Rarely are women allowed to be both sweet and self-empowered on stage,” she says. “I want to crush that idea.”

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Cain’s earliest musical memory is of putting on her mom’s copy of The Go-Go’s “Beauty and the Beat” at eight years old and bopping around their Hermosa Beach apartment like a crazy person. Cain says with her music she wants to spread that subversive energy: “I want people to sweat and dance and meet each other and start things together. I want to see people collide—that is where the magic is.”

Hayley Cain credits her husband, Reid “Dr. Crusher” Cain, owner of Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games in downtown San Luis Obispo, with encouraging her to create her own magic. Upon his urging, in 2012 she started Swap! Zine, a local, do-it-yourself magazine, to which she invited contributors to swap stories, songs, poems, and pictures about the SLO scene. “From that moment, my entire life changed,” she says.

Since then, the Cains have collaborated on a number of projects and have shared the stage under many names, including Magazine Dirty and Tarweed Two and the Two-Time Boys. Hayley Cain says that music is the lifeblood of their relationship. “I want to follow in the footsteps of bands like X and The Cramps, who use that energy, that tension, that passion, to create weird art.”

Hayley Cain’s current art is in part influenced by her late teen years in L.A., which she describes as dark and destructive, a selfprofessed “wild time” dotted by an obsession with Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.” When she relocated back to the Central Coast in 2009, Cain says she found a safe space where she could tackle her struggles, which included depression and anxiety. She explains, “When I was surrounded by chaos and my life was chaos, I couldn’t step away from it enough to understand. SLO was a safe harbor where I could weave troubles into creativity.”

One listen to Hayley and the Crushers reveals that she indeed has woven a creative web together with her husband on bass and local drummer Gabriel “Crusher” Olivarria keeping the beat. The band is a “melding of sweet and sour,” explains Hayley Cain, “bolstered by the bold, metal influence of Olivarria.”

The Cains first saw Olivarria perform with the band Wolfcross, and they loved the fact that he was theatrical and really had fun with drumming. Reid Cain is proud to state that he recruited Olivarria for the band. According to Hayley Cain, the band’s sound is what it is because of Olivarria’s technical skills: “He’s able to create a rock-solid rhythm, but he also coaxes out a swing to the music that’s super danceable.”

The Ramones, The Runaways, pop music of the 1960’s, and wild surf punk of the 1980’s like Agent Orange influence the band’s sound. Reid Cain says, “We have a unique combination of a metal dude, a punk girl, and a country guy. Put it all together, and it is not just one thing.” Hayley Cain adds, “We have respect for the melody and the classic hooks, but we’re putting them in a blender with studs and leather.”

The frontwoman describes their debut full-length album, “Jewel Case”, as “part punk rock empowerment anthem; part insecure, tear-streaked teenage diary entry; and part jangly, garage rock party.” Patrick Hayes at Cock’s Lodge Studio in San Luis Obispo played a role in the initial recording process, and Randall Sena at Certain Sparks Studio in Lompoc recorded and mixed the album. Sena has worked with local bands like Pancho and the Wizards and Magazine Dirty, and Reid Cain points out, “A large part of our sound comes from Sena’s finesse.”

The band first worked with Sena and Certain Sparks in 2015 when they recorded their EP “Gidget’s Revenge” with Max Triplett from local band King Walrus, who stepped in to help with drums. Released in March of 2016, the EP is a nod to Hayley Cain’s love of the 1960’s TV icon Gidget. She explains, “I felt like Gidget deserved a bit of redemption. She’s always falling on her face or wiping out on her surfboard.” She continues, “The EP was recorded with a more or less ‘live’ setup, which gave it a gritty urgency.” For Jewel Case, the band wanted to go a tad more polished pop. “We incorporated Glockenspiel, chimes, and mesmerizing backing vocals into the new album. It’s punk rock with a bow on top,” says Hayley Cain.

“Jewel Case” is being released on Portland label Lost State Records, which was born in SLO and is still committed to showcasing up-and-coming bands from the Central Coast. Founder Trey Hanawalt does so mainly on cassette tape, which is by all accounts de rigueur. Olivarria, who works at Boo Boo Records, agrees: “There’s definitely a resurgence in cassette tapes. It’s a really inexpensive way for small bands to get their music out.” In addition to being released on cassette, “Jewel Case” will be available on CD, handmade “8-tracks,” and

digitally on October 8th, in line with worldwide Cassette Store Day. An all-ages show at SLO Brew will follow on Sunday, October 9th, with other local acts sharing in the celebration.

Hayley and the Crushers’ cover of the Go-Go’s song “This Town” on “Jewel Case” reflect the trio’s embrace of San Luis Obispo: “This town is our town,” the demonic Go-Go sings. The band plays for everybody, but especially “for the wallflower, the awkward teenager, the weirdo,” explains Hayley Cain. She continues, “We say, ‘You don’t need to wait for someone to turn on the spotlight.’” Olivarria adds, “You’ve got to bring your own lightbulb to the party.”

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DAWN JANKE, Director, University Writing & Rhetoric Center Cal Poly, keeps her pulse on the Central Coast music scene. Album Release | SLO Brew, San Luis Obispo | October 9 Instagram @hayleyandthecrushers


Ariana King

Fifteen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School sophomore tennis phenom, ARIANA KING takes a break from practice to talk about what she’s been up to lately...

What sort of extra-curricular activities are you involved in? I am in the SLO Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra, am involved in Parliamentary Procedure through FFA, and play on SLO High’s varsity tennis team.

What recognition have you received? This past spring, our Parliamentary Procedure team won at State Finals, and in October we are going to Nationals. The last two years I have received the mayor’s award for performing community service. Two summers ago, I won first place at the Mid-State Fair Talent Show. I received the Golden Knight award for math. I have done well in local tennis tournaments and this summer received the Matt Will Grinder Award at Brady Tennis Camp.

What have you been up to lately? Right now, I’m working hard at school, and tennis, and our Parlimentary Procedure team is prepping for Nationals.

What is important to you outside of high school? Music, my family and friends, and staying healthy and happy. Also, trying to be positive and nice is important to me.

What annoys you the most? I dislike when people exclude others. There’s no reason to, and it’s a lot easier just to be nice.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be ? I would want to meet Queen Elizabeth because she was a great leader and we are learning about her right now in AP Euro.

What career do you see yourself in someday? I see myself teaching math to high school or college students because math is my favorite subject, and I enjoy helping others and interacting with people.

What is your favorite memory of all time? Traveling with my family, my favorite trip was a couple of summers ago when we cruised around the Caribbean for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary.

Who has influenced you the most? My parents have influenced me the most on my life, because they are patient, kind, hardworking, and fun.

If you won $1 million, what would you do with it? I would donate $100,000 to charity; $50,000 to the Women’s shelter of SLO and the other half to the Prado Day Center. I would save some for college, and then the rest I would share with my parents, because they have more use for it than I do at this point.

What is something that not many or that no one knows about you? I love to cook with my family, and I play the ukulele in my spare time.

What schools are you considering for college? I don’t know where I want to go to college yet, maybe somewhere on the East Coast. UCLA looks fun, too.


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With pathways that felt difficult to maneuver and exterior details out of scale, Vic and Carol Ascrizzi had their work cut out for them when it came time to update their outdoor living.

At first the birds were cute. The woodpeckers had burrowed nests into the Styrofoam elements abutting the eves over the misshapen entryway framed by pink stucco. But, picking up their daily mess started to get old after a while, and somewhere along the way the winged guests lost their charm.

As Vic and Carol Ascrizzi began looked into relocating the aviary overhead, they came to realize that the front of their home was just not very welcoming, to people anyway. According to Carol, “There were these two pillars that were just way out of scale, too big. They said, ‘keep out,’ rather than ‘come in.’” After living there for while the couple noticed other problems, such as the spa in the backyard which featured a skinny foot-and-a-half walkway leaving a perilous “walk the plank” experience when traversing the yard.

The couple made a list of all the little things that were not quite right about the home, and it turned out that they were all part of the home’s exterior, and most of those things had to do either with texture or proportion. With sweeping views of the Edna Valley, the property had a lot to gain by maximizing the outdoor space. As part of the Varian Ranch neighborhood on the Arroyo Grande-San Luis Obispo border, the Ascrizzi home is one of 45 nestled atop one of the rolling hills within the 3,500-acre gated community. Over the years, it had become a family headquarters of sorts, and a popular destination for their three adult children, and more recently, their children’s children. With a clear vision for the project, the Ascrizzis brought on San Luis Obispo-based general contractor, Robbins Reed to orchestrate the nine-month transformation.

Come on in To create a more welcoming entryway, the awkward, oversized, boxy pillars were replaced with stone platforms and half walls, which added both dimension and style.

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Making a statement By replacing the outdated white pillars and overhang the backyard space is brought up to date. Adding an outdoor bar, dining area, and extra seating makes entertaining a breeze. Top it all off with amenities like the pergola outfitted with heat lamps and lighting as well as the built in fireplace along the wall, and you have luxury living at its finest.

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>> Design in mind With a landscape and hardscape plan in hand, stucco walls gain style and color. Plants were chosen for size, shape, and drought tolerant qualities.
In Ho us e Se rv ic e & In sta ll at io n Si nc e 19 54 Sa ve up to 40 % of f Fa ct or y Sc ra tc h & De nt M� �� � �h a� y� � w� n� f� � y� �� h� �� 23 61 THEATRE DR. 80 5-23 8- 60 20 12 2 CROS S ST. 80 5-54 3- 66 00 18 9 CROS S ST. 80 5-269 -6 60 0 1158 W. BE TTER AVIA RD. 80 5-34 8-10 00 PASO ROBLES SAN LUIS OBISPO SLO SLEEP & COMFORT STUDIO SANTA MARIA APPLIANCE CENTER � w �n � � h �� �!
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SLO LIFE TREVOR POVAH is an architectural photographer here on the Central Coast. Room with a view By replacing the outdated awnings and building out a bar top while incorporating stone and rustic wood, the overall design is tied together, creating a livable outdoor space, complete with sweeping views.

Mason, Megan and Leila Schroder

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We were newly married and expecting our first baby, it was our dream to buy a home on the Central Coast. Holly Rodgers and the team at San Luis Obispo Realty provided the utmost professionalism, guidance, and commitment to turning our dream into reality!
San Luis Obispo
is committed and proud to help buyers and sellers, of all kinds, make their dreams come true!


In this ongoing feature, SLO LIFE Magazine is proud to partner with the American Institute of Architects California Central Coast to unveil its current project winners and highlight our local design and engineering talent. Each month, the organization reviews submissions and selects the top Central Coast projects. Below are two installments in this series.

+October Project Recognition

INhouse – Solar Decathlon House Design Team

Sandy Stannard, AIA, Architect, Professor, LEED AP [principal investigator]

Dr. Kim Shollenberger, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Richard Beller, Architect, Lecturer

Dr. John Clements, Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Dale Dolan, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering [with special consultation from Architecture Professors Dale Clifford and Jeff Ponitz]

Student Co-Project Managers

Lisa-Marie Mueller, Alyssa Parr

Client College of Architecture and Environmental Design [CAED], Dean Christine Theodoropoulos Lead Contractor Maino Construction

The INhouse is a residence which was designed at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design of Cal Poly by a team lead by architect/ professor Sandy Stannard for the Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition in which teams of faculty and students work to design, build, and compete with solar powered residences. The team from Cal Poly, called “Solar Cal Poly,” included faculty and students predominantly from architecture and engineering but also included members from four colleges and over ten disciplines involving over 100 students over the two-year-project. The hands-on nature of this design/ build/operate competition offers faculty an opportunity to work in tandem with students in an attempt to put their ecological ideals into action.

The design of INhouse is driven by climate and place. INhouse is a net zero energy house intelligently designed to respond to the climate of coastal

California, with the majority of its needs for heating, cooling and lighting addressed architecturally. The public and private wings are serviced by an active core that contains the home’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems. The private wing includes a master bedroom and a flexible space which may serve as a library, office, or secondary bedroom space. The public wing incorporates entertainment and dining spaces with thoughtful linkages to the exterior spaces and the views beyond.

The fundamental design drivers in the simplest of terms included: organize; insulate; shade; stabilize; and collect. The goal of the project was to present a new standard of “in” by creating a notion of ecological living that is enticing as well as achievable.

INhouse is an approach to living well while still living within our ecological means. For more information visit:

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 55 ENGAGE. COLLABORATE. INNOVATE. AIA CALIFORNIA CENTRAL COAST. COMMUNITY FIRST. For more information about the American Institute of Architects - California Central Coast Chapter, or to find an Architect, visit

Mindbody software connects 50,000 businesses around the world in the wellness industry. A company of that stature needed new corporate headquarters suited to its position as a world leader in this sector. NKT Commercial developed the shell, site and parking structure while Mindbody developed the tenant improvements. The 64,000 square foot, two-story building wraps around a large plaza that shelters outdoor events and is the heart of the Mindbody campus. A two-story atrium and butterfly roof create a focal point at the building entry. Designing a distinctive structure close to the airport posed a challenge with restrictions on building heights and exterior cladding. The sweeping butterfly roof gracefully keeps most of the buildings low with clean simple lines. Mindbody and other tenants in the adjacent business park remained in full operation during construction, but now enjoy a revitalized “campus.” Low impact development methods, cool roof and paving materials help mitigate the impact of the new facility. Exterior sun controls, daylight harvesting, high efficiency lighting and low VOC products ensure occupant comfort and reduce energy costs. On-site childcare and food service help reduce vehicle trips as does a prime

About the AIA CCC

The American Institute of Architects has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1957. The local California Central Coast division works in collaboration with SLO Life Magazine to showcase its monthly award winning projects demonstrating notable concepts that have been constructed after being designed by local architects.

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location along public transit lines. November Project Recognition MindBody Headquarters Architect, Landscape, Planning RRM Design Group Electric Thoma Electric, Inc Sturctural Engineering Taylor & Syfan Green Consulting In Balance Green Consulting Mechanical/Plumbing Brummel, Myrick and Associates, Inc. Builder JW Design Developer NKT Commercial SLO LIFE


laguna lake

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

2015 50 663,220 649,955 98.01 71

tank farm

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

2015 23 763,295 743,404 97.39 73

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

2015 19 783,526 745,758 95.18 58

country club

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

2015 8 1,422,125 1,053,125 74.05 51

2016 38 699,105 691,675 98.93 38

+/-24.00% 5.41% 6.42% 0.92% -46.48%

2016 27 771,300 763,507 98.99 44

+/17.39% 1.05% 2.70% 1.60% -39.73%

2016 21 757,843 750,879 99.08 23

+/10.53% -3.28% 0.69% 3.90% -60.34%

2016 16 1,316,500 1,262,281 95.88 86

down town

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

2015 31 697,248 685,916 98.37 51

+/100.00% -7.43% 19.86% 21.83% 68.63%

2016 48 707,706 699,415 98.83 26

+/54.84% 1.50% 1.97% 0.46% -49.02%

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

2015 37 741,635 730,810 98.54 28

2016 31 823,400 807,242 98.04 44

+/-16.22% 11.02% 10.46% -0.50% 57.14%

2016 39 807,870 794,053 98.29 59 johnson ave *Comparing 1/1/15 - 9/14/15 to 1/1/16 - 9/14/16

2015 44 673,111 654,801 97.28 38

+/-11.36% 20.02% 21.27% 1.01% 55.26%

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS®

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foothill blvd
Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 59 Relax. Let us do the work. For the best Real Estate Search Site look here. Bruce Freeberg Bruce Freeberg • Broker Associate # 01771947 • (805) 748-0161
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His professionalism and incredible people skills made an emotional time a positive experience. He managed the presentation of our home in a beautiful way and walked us through the entire process with great skill. We felt lucky to have him represent us.” - Jennifer and Mike Krukow

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2016 647,500 460,000 870,500 579,000 764,000 566,000 496,000 545,000 588,500 564,525 412,450 809,592 441,500 410,000 519,000 495,500 703,673 339,000 575,000 546,000

60 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | O ct/n O v 2016 | SLO COUNTY SLO LIFE
Association of REALTORS ® *Comparing 1/1/15 - 9/14/15 to 1/1/16 - 9/14/16 REAL ESTATE H & S WELL DRILLING and Pump Co. Inc. UNBEATABLE PRICING Serving San Luis Obispo County RESIDENTIAL 150 FOOT WELL INCLUDING CASING IS JUST $7,999 (805)
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 License # 1008252
2015 206 273 11 100 34 10 75 133 107 184 42 99 363 32 74 44 257 14 78 2,220 2016 216 224 14 117 23 7 98 111 109 185 34 83 338 27 73 36 265 15 87 2,141
2015 78 62 86 105 100 132 55 53 77 68 54 63 73 81 115 119 53 91 93 75 2016 52 59 191 103 138 162 42 68 66 57 48 90 60 60 128 103 48 46 110 69
2015 657,500 463,850 865,000 597,000 867,500 498,750 463,000 460,000 575,000 539,500 386,450 795,000 415,000 382,500 430,000 462,500 667,000 421,750 518,000 510,000
Jeanne Kohlbush 805.441.4416 Originally part of See Canyon Fruit Ranch, this 10-acre parcel surrounded by majestic mountains and stately oaks is private, has wonderful sunlight, and beautiful oak trees. It is located off of See Canyon Road in San Luis Obispo County, just 9 miles from downtown SLO and 4 miles from Avila Beach. Secluded country living doesn’t get any better than this. Make an appointment to see this exceptional lot.

• It is important to be prepared for any type of emergency that could impact San Luis Obispo County. In the unlikely event of an emergency at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, it’s important to know if your home, workplace, or children’s schools are within the Emergency Planning Zone as well as any actions you may be directed to take. Your plan should include any assistance needed by elderly family members, those with medical needs, as well as your family pets.

• In an emergency, officials may direct protective actions to protect public health and safety. It is important to stay tuned to local radio and TV stations throughout the emergency to receive current information and actions you may need to take.

• For more information on how to prepare, visit: or call (805) 781-5011.

Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 61 Please join us at our Arroyo Grande office for our OPEN HOUSE Thursday . October 13 . 5pm-7pm INVESTMENTS | INSURANCE | FINANCIAL PLANNING | RETIREMENT PLAN CONSULTING Erika D. Bylund, CRPS® | Vice President Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Point Sur Wealth Management, Inc. is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. CA Insurance License 0I12781. 524 EAST BRANCH STREET, ARROYO GRANDE (805) 574-1620 | ERIKA@POINTSURWEALTH.COM Christopher Cooke (805) 206-8529 CalBRE #01953565 Aaron Anderson (805) 550-7074 CalBRE # 01408502 Leah Cowley (805) 235-5195 CalBRE # 01497156 Rock View Realty® . 146 North Ocean Avenue . Cayucos

TODD DAVIDSON Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery

Favorite drought-tolerant plant Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea) because it thrives in dry shade environments under Coast Live Oaks. I named my landscape company “Sage” after this plant. I still love Hummingbird Sage today just as much, since shade tolerant sages are virtually non-existent

Tip The best advice I have for dealing with the drought in our landscapes is to get rid of all water thirsty plants and convert to water wise, drought-tolerant plants. Planting in fall and winter is the best time to catch anticipated rains to help your new plantings get a jump-start on establishment. Also, mulch, mulch, mulch! Use bark chips or weed fabric with gravel to mulch over all planting areas to prevent evaporation, water loss, and retain soil moisture for your plants.

Amid a seemingly drought that has Central Coast, daunting when water priority. We rounded up to ask them about drought-tolerant share a tip for the dry spell.

Favorite drought-tolerant plant Colorful, bold foliage and stunning blooms make the Aloe tribe a fantastic group of succulent plants to feature in any garden. Their lean reliance on water and maintenance makes them drought-proof. Versatile shapes from tree forms to ground covers allow them to be userfriendly in many zones throughout the garden.

Tip Utilize grey water from your washing machine and other fixtures, if possible. Laundry-to-landscape is a year-round resource almost everyone can use to irrigate their gardens. Also, if you can, I recommend attaching downspouts to French drains and directing them toward planted areas. Your plants will root down deeper to utilize this water as surface layers dry out in the summer, which increases their longevity and hardiness.

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GARBRIEL FRANK Gardens by Gabriel

Fortini Landscapes

Favorite drought-tolerant plant I like Agave “Blue Glow” for its handsome, small, compact size; its stiff leaves which are roughly 1-2” wide have a blue-green body with red margins, and is impressive when backlit. The Agave “Blue Glow” is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and easy to maintain because of its size. It is quite the universal plant for a variety of planting schemes.

Tip Install a smart irrigation controller with a rain sensor and moisture probes—it will help to really track and measure what is going on in a landscape environment. In the end, it will help regulate the amount of water that is necessary for your garden to flourish, instead of just programing a clock, forgetting about it and not adjusting what is actually needed based on the everchanging environmental conditions.

never-ending enveloped the gardening can become conservation is the some top local experts their favorite plant, as well as to thriving through

Ecotones Landscape Design and Installation

Favorite drought-tolerant plant Ribes Sanguineum Glutinosum “Claremont,” pink-flowering currant is a deciduous shrub to small tree featuring clusters of pink flowers that attract hummingbirds. Given space to grow they achieve a balanced, vase shaped form that can act as a great focal point in the garden.

Tip A shift in perception of what a garden should be is helpful. Put aside those visions of lush East Coast landscapes with an acre of lawn and Hydrangeas the size of cars. Opt for a garden with a sense of place, a garden that reflects the realities we find ourselves in right here on the Central Coast. Be open and excited to create a succulent garden or a bird garden with California native plants.

Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 63 SLO LIFE


Of twenty three hundred realtors surveyed by NAR, over 71% who Represent the Seller believe a staged home generates an Increase from 1% to 20% of the dollar value, and 81% of buyer’s Realtors believe staging made it easier to visualize the property as a future home.

Shea Lockhart of, growing up in a family of Real Estate Brokers, states, “selling homes isn’t the same process it use to be. Now most customers will view homes online, and select the homes that appeal to them. A seller wants their home to stand out above the competition; staging will show your home at its best, and significantly improve online photo presentation. Stats show this translates into much shorter market periods, more net proceeds, including savings on mortgage payments due to the accelerated market period.”

Shea, a local Cal Poly alumni whose studies emphasized Architectural Design and Art, with a background in Model Home Staging says, “I love taking both vacant homes, and well lived in homes to a higher visual level using the psychology of color, and the flow of arrangement to excite prospective buyers. It is about lifestyle, and creating desire to live here in this house now; revealing the best of every property we stage.”

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Shea Lockhart
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 65 Shea Designs Staging . (805) 305-0080 . Setting the mood with evocative local art. Featured artist
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On the hunt for al fresco dining at its finest we headed down Highway 1 to Rancho El Chorro Regional Park.

Officially called the Friends of San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens, a passionate group of locals have secured 150 acres and a 99-year lease with the intention of vastly expanding the six-acre garden. Initially started in 1989, the garden’s mission is to honor and preserve our connection with nature. It’s exciting to see the vision for future expansion, and I was impressed to learn that there is a master plan that includes 50 miles of paved trails, restaurants, and cafés dedicated to serving Mediterranean cuisine.

The plants featured thoughout the garden are indigenous to the world’s five Mediterranean climates: California, the Mediterranean Basin, the central coastal of Chile, the Western Cape province of South Africa, and southwestern Australia. Educational signs posted along the trail indicate both the plants’ function and its native region.

With an obsession for solar and electric energy used to power everything from Teslas to commercial buildings, a favorite feature of the garden for my husband, Michael, was the solar-powered water pump.

In light of all the fires our region has been battling this season, I particularly liked the Fireseafe Demonstration Landscape. With information about each plant, this landscaped

section is entirely devoted to showcasing types of plants that actually are fire resistant and could be helpful in protecting residential properties from wildfire.

My final favorite, at the top of the bird watching hike, there is a massive human sundial, a legacy project created by Leadership SLO’s Class 20. If you stand on the name of the current month, the shadow the sun casts will tell you the time. This was definitely fun to try and the views were beautiful.

While there are no designated picnic areas within the garden itself, opposite the entrance there are picnic tables and a small playground which made a lovely backdrop for enjoying our Lincoln Street Deli sandwiches.

DIRECTIONS: The Garden is located in El Chorro Regional Park, halfway between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay on Highway 1. Coming from San Luis Obispo, turn right at the light across from Camp San Luis, just before Cuesta College.

PRICE: Admission is free, but the regional park does charge for parking.

HOURS: The garden is open from sunrise to sunset daily (specific hours of operation for Eve’s Garden Shop, Library and Pavilion are more limited).

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SLO LIFE PADEN HUGHES is co-owner of Gymnazo and enjoys exploring the Central Coast.
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 67
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Zero Waste

reworking your workout

No one expects perfection from every workout, and we all know that there are endless benefits to just getting moving—but if you’re waking up extra early to hit the gym or are skipping happy hour to make a spin class, you want to make the most of it. Which is why it helps to think about efficiency. Here, experts reveal how to make every second—and rep—count.

No. 1


“Especially in the morning, when you go from 0 (sleeping) to 50 (sweating), you sort of shock the heart,” Edward Jackowski, Ph.D., founder of EXUDE Fitness training programs and author of Escape Your Weight explains. People who do intense anaerobic exercise in the morning without a warm-up tend to be more tired throughout the day. A 10-minute morning warm-up can take the edge off so you’re more active after the gym, which will increase your overall calorie burn.

No. 2


Sit-ups generally get a bad rap, and that’s primarily because it’s hard to do them right, explains celebrity trainer David Kirsch. “It’s easy to do the exercise incorrectly and end up targeting your arms and neck instead of engaging your core,” he says, suggesting planks instead.

Even push-ups—one of the most basic, time-tested, effective exercises—can be useless if you’re not strong enough to do them correctly, he says. Feeling it more in your lower back and neck instead of chest, triceps, and core? That’s a sign that you might not be getting as much out of the move as you’d like.

“Pay attention to the areas that the exercise is meant to target,” Kirsch advises. “If you’re doing an exercise incorrectly, it’s a complete waste of time and could end up hurting other areas of the body that are not meant to be affected by the workout.”

68 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | O ct/n O v 2016 | HEALTH
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No. 4


A HIIT session (or high-intensity interval training) can boost your resting metabolic rate for up to eight days. (Yes, you read that right.) If you do it every day, it’s a total waste because your muscles won’t have time to recover, explains Franci Cohen, an exercise physiologist and certified nutritionist. But a proper HIIT session (like a class, where an instructor can help you perfect the technique and practice it safely) a couple times a week could really make a difference, Cohen says.


If you hit your favorite indoor cycling studio or hop on a treadmill five days a week, every week, your heart will stay happy and endorphins will be flowing. But if you want to see results (say, in terms of fat burning), your body will generally hit a plateau after three weeks, says Nedra Lopez, trainer and owner of The P.E. Club.

“A waste of time would be doing the same thing every time and never increasing your weight, volume, or reps,” she says. “You need to consistently be increasing intensity—and keep your body guessing. Don’t just stick to things you’re good at.”

No. 5


Also known as cross-training, this technique helps you sustain a higher level of intensity for longer than you would if you’d simply stuck with working one area. So move onto overhead presses as soon as your legs are spent from doing lunges. Once your legs recover, you can pick up where you left off with a set of squats, box jumps, or another form of lower body toning.

No. 3 No. 6


Training in an air-conditioned space, and training outdoors in the heat or on real terrain are two very different things. When you change your environment, you throw your body off, which means you’re burning more calories. So, switch it up.

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Most exercises involve your core in some capacity—and even more so if you remember to squeeze it. You burn more calories when you work larger muscle groups (your abs and back) than smaller muscles (like biceps). To max out, engage all these groups at once—and try some moves that involve rotation, such as plank twists (they’re the human version of wringing out a towel—just imagine squeezing out the fat for a narrower, tauter waistline). And, note this bonus: People with stronger cores tend to get full faster because the abs stop the stomach from expanding indefinitely when you eat, explains Cohen, who likens strengthening the core to a nonsurgical gastric bypass.

You might feel like a rock star when you double up on fitness classes or outlast the girl on the next elliptical. But unless you’re a pro athlete or you’re training for a competition, “No one needs to work out for more than an hour and fifteen minutes—more is not better,” says Dr. Jackowski. Overdo it, and you’ll set yourself up for stress fractures, insomnia, and exhaustion, all of which could put an end to your exercise routine and stand in the way of your fitness goals.

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 73


Always interested to hear what our local candidates have to say, we asked just one question: Why are you running for office?

JORDAN CUNNINGHAM 39 years old Small Business Owner, School Board Trustee California State Assembly District 35

It’s no secret that Sacramento can do better. I am a policy-oriented small businessman, a school trustee, and a former prosecutor. I am running to bring common sense back to our state government and make it work better for families on the Central Coast.

Each year, businesses leave California for more business-friendly states, taking good jobs with them. It’s time to turn the tide. The California Small Business Association supports my vision for a growing economy. They know that I will use my experience as past President of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association to fight the tax increases and regulatory burdens that are costing us jobs.

Failed policies from Sacramento have endangered our neighborhoods. As a former prosecutor, I know what we need to make our community safer. District Attorney Dan Dow and Sheriff Ian Parkinson have endorsed me because of my dedication to public safety.

California’s future workforce is a direct product of our education system. We must do everything we can to support our schools, and to make our public colleges affordable for working families. I have worked with students, parents, and teachers as a school trustee. This election cycle I am one of the only candidates in the state endorsed by both the California Teachers Association and the California Charter School Association because of my pragmatic vision for improving our schools.

I will be accountable to you, providing common-sense leadership and a voice for the Central Coast and our values. I hope to earn your vote.


57 years old Small Business Owner California State Assembly District 35

In a world undergoing tremendous transformation without easy answers for the issues we face, collaboration is critical. My experience working as a small business owner has taught me how to work with diverse interests to create common sense solutions for complex issues.

As a 24-year resident of the Central Coast, I understand our distinctive community. I know the problem of living in an area with a high-cost-of-living, where it is difficult to find good paying jobs. I am the candidate who has actually created jobs in this community. Working for First Solar, I set up job fairs throughout the area to find qualified workers for one of the biggest solar projects in the world—Topaz Solar Farm. This project created over 400 jobs in the region—jobs that helped launch careers. It generated more than $400 million in positive economic impacts to this area and 550 megawatts of energy that can power 180,000 homes.

I have a Master in International Public Policy and together with my real world experience, I am uniquely qualified to be ready on day one to represent the 35th. I am committed to working across the aisle as a voice for Central Coast families, agriculturists, business owners, students and retirees. I will listen, learn and then take action. The best solutions result when you understand all perspectives.

This is what I offer you as your Assemblywoman. I respectfully ask for your vote.

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DAN CARPENTER 62 years old Councilman, Vice Mayor, City of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 3

I learned early on in life by my parents’ example how important it is to give back to your community. Many generations of ancestors

My involvement in public service began many years ago on city advisory bodies and culminates this year with the end of my second

I’m running for 3rd District Supervisor to bring back respectful leadership. It’s time for a change! On day one, my presence on the Board of Supervisors will remove the appearance of impropriety that has existed with our current supervisor. My leadership style is one that listens to all people and responsibly embraces a pragmatic process for appropriating public funds. My history of transparency while avoiding special interest influence brings me great pride and

My many years of leadership in scouting, service clubs, and nonprofits have taught me the value of respect and integrity. As an elected official, I remain humbled by the power given to me by the residents I serve. I have a moral obligation to uphold the highest standard of character to genuinely fulfill this special calling in the most unselfish way. I’d be honored to have your vote on or before November 8th to continue my public service in our community.


50 years old County Supervisor, 3rd District (incumbent) County Supervisor District 3

In these times when political opportunists look to exploit anxiety and sow division, I want to underscore our challenges and do so boldly knowing we can meet them with continued good governance and strong leadership.

We have to better manage our water, not only according to recent state guidelines, but also to stop waste by recycling and reclaiming all used water. Once is simply not enough for anything anymore. Upgrading all our systems is a must, and this should include incentive upgrades for existing homes and buildings.

Traffic congestion has become an increasing concern and we have been proactive in programming new infrastructure, but the state is no longer providing us with funds (as it did to help LOVR and other previous problem spots). We have to help ourselves to provide match funding for big projects.

I’m proud to have led the effort conserving the 900 coastal acres known as Pismo Preserve. There are other opportunities, from Avila to the outskirts of SLO. Trails for hikers and bicyclists have become increasingly popular for residents and visitors alike.

Finally, as we transition to a post-Diablo economy, there’s much to build upon thanks to efforts I am especially proud to have led, such as the EVC/County economic development project and the County partnership with the Poly HotHouse. We have a growing technology sector providing key jobs for young families. This has to continue as a primary focus and you can count on my experience to keep our local economy healthy.

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Always interested to hear what our local candidates have to say, we asked just one question: Why are you running for office?

HEIDI HARMON 46 years old Community Advocate Mayor

Having been an advocate for positive solutions in San Luis Obispo for the past 30 years, I have watched our city change and grow. SLO is at a crossroads and we must decide what kind of city we want to become. We need strong proactive leadership that is responsive and supportive of the needs of our community. I am running for Mayor to bring fresh ideas to our local government, and to proactively work towards the solutions we need to support your vision for our city.

I am committed to policies and practices that keep our downtown and local economy supportive of local business creation and growth. We will work together to enhance community resilience by actively working toward 80% renewable energy by 2030. I will implement creative housing solutions for families, young professionals, and retirees to build the type of neighborhoods we want to come home to. The Rental Housing Inspection Program is not working effectively; instead we will focus on solutions to support renters, landlords to create an environment that offers more diverse and accessible housing. We must work with Cal Poly to share the burden of our housing challenge.

This is a pivotal time for the future of our families and community. It is my promise to honor the collective voice of our citizens and champion the solutions that you seek for our city. Let’s build a government that works for all of us. Please join me, as we move San Luis Obispo forward together.

JAN MARX 71 years old Mayor (incumbent), City of San Luis Obispo Mayor

I am running for a fourth term as Mayor because I am passionate about serving San Luis Obispo. My experience, effectiveness and vision make me the best qualified candidate. Under my proven, proactive leadership, we’ve been universally recognized as an outstanding place to live, work and play. I am committed to preservation of our unique natural, historical and cultural resources.

I’ve responded decisively and creatively to budget challenges, successfully guided us through the Recession, practiced fiscal responsibility, paid down pensions, and invested in infrastructure. On SLOCOG, I’ve facilitated funding for bike paths, transit, and roads, including the LOVR interchange and the property for homeless services center at 40 Prado Road.

I’m proud of past accomplishments, but there is still much more to do to sustain our City’s upward economic, social and environmental trajectory. During my next term, I will: implement the new Land Use and Circulation Element, bringing in new smart growth neighborhoods; step up implementation of the Climate Action Plan; increase City use of renewable energy; augment water security by further purifying recycled water; increase infrastructure investment, including parks and bicycle paths; strengthen neighborhood wellness and safety; facilitate new affordable and workforce housing; evaluate the rental housing safety program; protect more open space land; and promote diversification of our local economy, economic vitality and head of household jobs as we face Diablo closure. I will continue to urge greater transparency in government and better communication with City residents.

For a thriving, sustainable San Luis Obispo, re-elect Jan Marx.

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Dan is the only elected official who voted against the Pismo Preserve. He also voted against the LOVR bike path.


Dan campaigned against the Cuesta and San Luis Coastal bond measures, and wanted to sue Cal Poly over on-campus housing.

Adam’s hands-on leadership was key to creating the Pismo Preserve, as well as the Bob Jones Trail expansion project.


Adam worked for the Cuesta and San Luis Coastal bond measures, and is a trusted partner with Cal Poly.


Dan resisted all community efforts to create good-paying jobs on the Central Coast, and has opposed many efforts that would safeguard existing jobs


Dan takes hot-issue investor money: owner of proposed Santa Margarita gravel mine, designer of Laetitia Ag Cluster, and Texas businessman who fenced off the hiking trail above Avila. Ruled by COLAB, Dan publicly supported reform, but then voted against it.


Dan took a year off from most SLO City Council duties in 2014. Dan Carpenter won’t play if he can’t get his way – sometimes he doesn’t even show up.

Adam was co-chair of County/EVC economic development project, created the Cal Poly HotHouse partnership, and constantly meets with local entrepreneurs to better understand their needs.


Adam accepts contributions from a diverse group of supporters: local businesses, labor, teachers, working residents and retirees. He has a strong pro-environment voting record, and supports campaign finance reform.


Adam is a strong advocate for the poor, the mentally ill, and those who’ve been marginalized by discrimination. Adam Hill has shown time and again that he works with people from all sides of an issue to find common ground and get the job done.

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Always interested to hear what our local candidates have to say, we asked just one question: Why are you running for office?


37 years old Small Business Owner City Council

Over the years my family has enjoyed the wonderful quality of life our city leaders historically took great pride in preserving. I am running for office to correct recent changes in the city’s direction that threaten our small town quality of life.

Residents’ influence and interests are receiving reduced attention as Cal Poly, development, and the tourist industry have moved to the forefront. I have watched residents go to Council meetings, explain their neighborhood’s problem, ask for the issue to be agendized and then be rebuffed. This should not happen.

As Cal Poly adds students without sufficient on-campus housing, students are forced to seek housing in residential neighborhoods. This in turn consumes what other cities would commonly term workforce housing. The city then gets caught in a seemingly endless loop of encouraging the construction of additional workforce housing—much of which becomes student rentals.

The quality of life in our residential neighborhoods becomes an afterthought in too many instances.

I will encourage residents to become just as actively engaged in what is and will be happening to their town as are other groups. Together, we can correct the balance back in favor of residents to ensure the safety, security and quality of life in our residential neighborhoods, protect our city from massive development that overwhelms its limited resources, preserve San Luis Obispo’s historic small-town character and charm, and maintain our cherished views and surrounding open space.

Residents elect us to office. Their voices and votes should matter.

I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, I am a second generation Downtown business owner, and I plan to live out my days here. I sit on two boards and four committees. I am also in the current SLO Leadership class.

I participate in all of the above mentioned because of my love for this city. It is my belief that the only way we can make this world a better place is through participation. Our city is a reflection of healthy participation.

What makes SLO so amazing is not just the spectacular open space or the rich history, but it is the people. People are what make our community what it is. As we continue to evolve we need to also continue to foster diversity. A diverse economy, a diverse ecosystem, and diverse perspectives. That is the key to any thriving organism. But it is very difficult to maintain or create any sort of diversity when we are the sixth least affordable city in America. It is time that we bring some balance back to that metric.

In order to do that we need leaders that are willing to make tough decisions for the greater good of our community. Decisions based on public input, rational thinking, and expert advice. I am at a time in my life that I can be that decision maker. Helping one another be better people is more important to me than pushing a single agenda.

22 years old Student City Council

This community will be my home for many years to come and I hope that I can play a small part in building a better San Luis Obispo. Today we have the chance to face the challenges ahead as one.

We are all familiar with what those challenges are: lack of affordable housing, fear over a secure long-term water supply, strained town-gown relations, the effects of a post-Diablo Canyon, or the obstacles with preserving a strong local economy. The election this year will decide the path for what our community will become in the next ten to twenty years.

That is why this year’s election is a very important one. What we need is leadership that is prepared to tackle these challenges and understands the importance of working with community members to create solutions. We need leadership that is willing to engage in discussion, dialogue, listen to new ideas, and compromise. It won’t be easy and we won’t agree on everything. The ability to listen is what I believe sets me apart from other candidates. I understand that there is never a definitive right or wrong solution, but rather we must embrace a combination of ideas that work together to move us forward.

I hope to raise my family in this community and hope that they can experience everything that’s wonderful about this city, as I have. It is up to us to take the community we have inherited and make a better place for future generations.

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MIKE CLARK 71 years old Army Officer (retired) City Council CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 79 MILA VUJOVICH-LA BARRE FOR SLO CITY COUNCIL 2016 “When you vote for me on November 8, 2016, you will elect a listener, a leader, and a long-term planner that will best serve you and the residents of San Luis Obispo!” — Mila 805.441.5818 email: Facebook: Mila Vujovich-La Barre for SLO City Council FPPC #1387628 economy My vision for San Luis Obispo is one of balance: A healthy economy, where businesses succeed & employees thrive; environmental stewardship, to protect our beautiful surroundings and resources; and livable community, making sure a great quality of life is available to everyone. • • environment community FPPC ID#1383366


PEASE 50 years old Green Building Architect City Council

I’m running for City Council because I love this city! I believe local government is the way for residents to truly influence decision-making and outcomes. At the local level, government can be creative, agile and responsive, and good solutions can ripple to other communities and beyond.

My husband, Frank Basich, and I moved here almost 20 years ago and feel so fortunate to live here, work here, and raise our two daughters here. I am a green building architect and co-owner of a small business in town. I have served in many organizations, including as a founding Board member of SLO Green Build, co-chair for Yes on Measure G, and currently serving on the Central Coast Green Building Council and the Chamber of Commerce boards. I will bring this experience and perspective to the Council.

“Balance” is a core value for me. As we envision our future, I believe we can have a balance of healthy economy, environmental stewardship, and livable community. We do have challenges ahead and I believe we can address those challenges together. I will prioritize policies and programs to improve housing options and affordability, promote a sustainable water supply, encourage head-of-household jobs, and implement climate action.

Our community is strengthened by different backgrounds and opinions, where all voices are heard. We can make choices that respect our past, while planning courageously for the future. I am excited about that future and would be honored to serve as a City Council Member.

Always interested to hear what our local candidates have to say, we asked just one question: Why are you running for office?

BRETT STRICKLAND 30 years old Project Lead, Engineering City Council

As a 24 year resident of SLO County, I have thoroughly enjoyed our beautiful open spaces, the vibrant downtown area, and wonderful people. I have decided to enter public service because of my love for this community. San Luis Obispo has given me so much, and I would like to give back.

The people of SLO deserve to be served by a Council which possesses a diversity of opinion reflective of the community; including the voices of working professionals, tenants, and residents under the age of 40.

Residents deserve a pragmatic approach to solve the severe housing and rental market issues. That means adopting positive housing solutions and repealing the Rental Inspection Ordinance, which the community as a whole has opposed.

The residents deserve to be served by a Council that is fiscally responsible and will prioritize paying the City’s pension liabilities that are in excess of $120 million.

SLO residents deserve a Council that is proactive in managing and exploring options to expand our water supply.

I understand every issue that comes before the Council has the potential to impact all residents, the weight of that responsibility is not lost on me. I’m running for City Council because I love SLO and our residents deserve leadership that is representative of our community. I am ready to listen and prepared to act, on behalf of this amazing City and its residents.

Having explored many parts of our country and the world, I believe that San Luis Obispo is one of the best places on earth!

I have raised a family and thrived here for 25 years. Now, after years of community involvement as a bilingual teacher, 24 Hour Relay organizer, civic volunteer, and leader, I am prepared to serve on City Council.

Currently, San Luis Obispo faces challenges that my determination, skills, and experience will help to address.

These involve planning for more frequent and extended droughts, finding solutions for traffic congestion and parking, protecting the functionality and growth of the San Luis Obispo County Airport, advocating for workforce housing, caring for our homeless population, dredging Laguna Lake, beautifying recreational areas, building Class 1 bike paths, finding solutions for rising crime, supporting campaign finance reform, assuring responsible fiscal and environmental processes, and preserving beloved viewsheds and open space.

I look forward to strengthening all of our neighborhoods by working with neighborhood groups, city advisory bodies, students, and other community organizations. I will do everything within my power to protect our small town quality of life while enhancing and safeguarding our City’s economic, social and environmental health and vitality.

I am a good listener, leader and long-term planner who will strive to make San Luis Obispo an even better place to work, learn and live! I will be honored to serve you on the City Council!

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MILA VUJOVICHLA BARRE 60 years old Teacher City Council
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 81 Vote Dan Carpenter PROVEN LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS City Councilman . Business Owner Cal Poly Graduate . 5th Generation Native Paid for by the Committee To Elect Dan Carpenter Supervisor 2016 ID # 1376621 Mike Clark City Council If you want a City Council Member who will: • Listen to and be a voice for residents and their concerns • Respect and value our many unique residential neighborhoods and work to preserve and protect them • Be mindful of our water resources • Be financially responsible with taxpayer money • Work to protect and maintain the beautiful open space that surrounds us • Be mindful of our existing small businesses and not add barriers to their success • Work to add on-campus housing at Cal Poly—in appropriate locations • Work to keep our downtown family-friendly Then you should support and Vote for Mike Clark for City Council. Paid for by Clark for SLO Council 2016 Committee, FPPC ID #1384708


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Since her 2012 Leadership SLO graduation AMANDA COLLINS DIEFENDERFER went on to found a thriving consultancy called Big Red Marketing and has published her first book “Listening to Millennials: 56 Priceless Tips for Managers.”

Website consultant, DAVE KASTNER has donated countless hours to Leadership SLO as its Facebook page manager. His breezy updates are eagerly anticipated by alumni who appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch with the program and share photos with one another.

KSBY-TV’s Marketing Director, BRANDON DOWNING, along with his wife, Shannon, who is an executive with Sierra Vista Hospital and a graduate of Class 19, have gone on to new career heights and they continue to donate countless hours in support of the Women’s Shelter as they star in the Madonna Inn Fashion show, alongside their 5-year-old son Carter.

2012 CLASS XXI >

Hailing from the “Forever 21” class of Leadership SLO, ALEXANDRA SUTTON fell in love with San Luis Obispo while visiting a friend who was attending Cuesta College and living in Morro Bay. The draw to the Central Coast was strong and just three weeks later, she packed up her life in Redlands and moved, determined to make it work. Today she is the Spa Director for the Madonna Inn.

Sutton first heard about Leadership SLO through a social mixer being held. Told that the event was only for Leadership SLO graduates, she decided to apply to the program. The deadline was the following day, so she quickly finished her application, got permission from her supervisors and submitted her reference letters. A few weeks later she was accepted into Class 21.

“Leadership SLO is a tribe that is dedicated to adding more to its numbers,” Sutton shares. “It helped to boost my confidence as a leader. It helped me be more fearless in voicing my questions and concerns. I now feel that my voice counts. I also feel I’ve come away recognizing how important each individual’s actions are at the local level. Volunteerism and the spirit to help and giving back are so vibrant here and I’m always happy to be a part of it.”

Each month Leadership SLO’s class of 36 leaders takes a full day to dive into understanding a key industry sector in the county. The experience that stood out to Sutton was the tour at county jail for Justice Day. Clearing security, meeting guards, and walking through the county jail, and observing inmates on the other side of the glass was an intense experience. Sutton is a self-proclaimed optimist and she remembers how thankful she was to see the state of the jail first-hand. It was bleak, emotionally heavy, but it explored a side of society that is hard to face and harder to fix. It made her want to learn more about what is being done to improve our justice system and support programs seeking to reintegrate inmates productively back into society.

Sutton currently enjoys volunteering with the Women’s Shelter, surfing and hiking with her husband, reading good books, and exploring her fascination with foreign languages. Raised in Japan, Sutton is fluent in English and Japanese. She also enjoys studying Spanish and French, and equates this effort with trying to solve a musical puzzle.


Mike Anderson, Rachel Carscaden, John Cascamo, Skye Christakos, Michael Codron, Mandi Collins, Grace Crittenden, Brandon Downing, Jaime Dwight, Brian Engleton, Tom Franciscovich, Craig Hill, Floyd Hitchcock, Sasha Irving, Dave Kastner, Kaitlin King, Betsy Kinsley, Melody Klemin, Steve Kragenbrink, Aaron Lambert, Wendy Lucas, Ben Marquart, Josh Martin, Chase Martin, Danielle Marinez, Heather McMillan, Steffanie Medina, Linda Parker Sanpei, Liz Ruth, Terri Sablan, Keith Storton, Alexandra Sutton, Bettina Swigger, Julie van Hoff, Kacy Vradenburg, Aimee Wyatt

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Alexandra Sutton
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Talley Farms Fresh Harvest manager ANDREA SHAPIRO CHAVEZ continues to connect farmers and neighbors through her popular Community Supported Agriculture program. And, she also donates her time now to Leadership SLO’s Tour Day, as she introduces new classes to farmers who are growing everything from ancient grains to small-scale blackberry patches.

Since her Leadership year JESSICA STEELY has added President/CEO to her general contractor title at Semmes & Co. Builders. She has also served as President of SLO Green Build and is with the Economic Vitality Corporation’s Building Design and Construction cluster.

DOMINIC TARTAGLIA, whose family has longtime roots in the community, is now sharing his love of all things San Luis Obispo as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association. He is also a member of the Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team and an avid outdoorsman.


First visiting SLO County in 1979 on a family road trip, STEVE KNUCKLES and his parents were just exploring the area when they fell head-over-heels in love with it. That same day they went to a realtor to check out the housing market and liked the first house they saw so much they bought it and moved the family from Orange County to Paso Robles. Knuckles recalls how lucky he felt to grow up in a small town and how moving to the Central Coast helped him find his career in the fire service.

All it took was watching his friend, a high schooler in the fire reserve, put out a barn fire, to spark his interest. That same day Knuckles joined the fire reserve, and a week later helped on his first fire. Since then he pursued an EMT certification while continuing to work part-time with the fire service, then eventually accepted a full-time position in Atascadero. Today, Knuckles is the Fire Chief for the Morro Bay Fire Department.

Knuckles first heard about Leadership SLO through an ad in a local magazine stating that the program was focused on leadership and networking. He was immediately interested and applied. During his time in Leadership, Knuckles recalls becoming exposed to a cross section of people from wildly different backgrounds, all committed to making the county a better place to live.

“Each month I was able to witness the individual passions of each member of my class come out, from Adam Stowe and his passion for Blues Baseball, to Herb Stroh and his passion for justice, to Andrea Chavez and her passion for Talley Farm’s local produce,” Knuckles continues. “As a fireman you can believe your passion to keep the public safe is the most important. Leadership SLO showed me the broader eco-system and how different passions and purposes work together to make our community so vibrant.”

The highlight for Knuckles was Media Day where he learned how to handle a difficult interview with aplomb. At the time, his fire department did not have meaningful relationships with local media. Learning to deal effectively with this sector proved to be critical to his career. After Media Day, Knuckles, joined by the Morro Bay Police Chief, initiated a meeting with KSBY-TV’s news team to learn about how they could more effectively communicate with each other. This meeting was a success and it led to similar meetings with other media outlets, which has led to a much-improved connection between the fire department and the community it serves.

When he is not putting out fires or working to improve the City of Morro Bay, Knuckles enjoys coaching his son’s basketball and football teams. He also continues to be involved in the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, where he helps run camps across the state for burn victims.


Jennifer Alton, Lauren Bell, Mark Bieraugel, Susan Branche Poteet, Patty Carpenter, Andrea Chavez, Colby Courter, Juliette Duke, Maureen Forsberg, Daniel Glimpse, April Hoey, Paden Hughes, Kristin Inman, Emily Jackson, Trevor Keith, Steve Knuckles, Mike Konjoyan, Robyn Kontra, Denise Leader Stoeber, Sandy Lee, Loren Leidinger Avila, Deepa Mallareddy, Jeff Minnery, Kerry Morris, Sunni Mullinax, Pamela Ralston, Megan Rivoire, Sue Roberts, Kelli Schonher, Ray Spellerberg, Jessica Steely, Adam Stowe, Herb Stroh, Dom Tartaglia, Melinda Thomas, Janet Wallace

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Steve Knuckles
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 87 5 World-Class Conductors I 5 Virtuoso Soloists 1 Singular Transformative Season SATURDAY EVENINGS AT 8 PM IN THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 201 6 · 2017 SEASON OCTOBER 8, 2016 I OPENING NIGHT FOR TICKETS GO TO PACSLO.ORG SLOSYMPHONY.ORG · 805.543.3533 OUR SPONSORS ARTISTS & PROGRAMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE SPONSORED BY PATRICIA McNAMARA · ROGER & JANICE VERITY CLIFTON SWANSON PAC COMMUNITY ACCESS FUND SPONSORED BY JIM & BEVERLY SMITH ANONYMOUS: HONORING THE CULTURAL LEGACY OF THE SLO SYMPHONY José-Luis Novo I Conductor Sara Sant'Ambrogio I Cello Andrew Sewell I Conductor Giora Schmidt I Violin Rossini / Overture to The Barber of Seville Lalo / Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra Beethoven / Symphony No. 5 in C minor ..................................................................... november 12, 2016 I classics 2 G.W. Chadwick / Jubilee from Symphonic Sketches Elgar / Cello Concerto J. Sibelius / Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43


The ever-creative BRANDEN WELSHONS leant his good business sense and sophisticated palette to co-founding Jean Marie Cidery. His craft hard cider, which was named by taking the middle names of his mother and his business partner’s and combining them, has been earning critical acclaim.

Since her Leadership days, HEIDI HARMON has jumped into the political process with both feet, first running unsuccessfully for State Assembly in 2014 and now in a hotly contested race for Mayor of San Luis Obispo. During the past 15 years, she has led Music Time for pre-schoolers at Boo Boo Records.

Devoted family man and Morro Bay Police Sergeant JODY COX, along with two of his colleagues, was recognized earlier this year for his work in solving commercial burglaries that had plagued the seaside town. The trio was awarded Investigation of the Year.

After six months studying abroad on the Gold Coast of Australia, with two weeks left on his visa, MICHAEL HUGHES remembers asking a friend where he should go next in life. Knowing he still had a couple of classes to complete for pre-requisites for Physical Therapy grad school, he just couldn’t bear going back to Fresno to finish it. Australia had been life-changing, and he wanted to go somewhere equally inspiring. His friend suggested San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly. So he went back home, packed up and moved to SLO to finish his remaining classes and find work.

Now San Luis Obispo is his home, the place he started his business, Gymnazo, and where his family is being raised. He had been growing his fitness business in the community for several years before he heard about Leadership SLO through a friend.

“I saw Leadership SLO as giving me a backstage pass to the county,” Hughes recalls. “I care deeply about this community, where it is headed, and how it is going to get there. Leadership SLO was a great opportunity to help me network, get the inside scoop on the inner workings of the county and help grow my ability to be a better leader.”

His favorite experience was attending Economic Development and Business Day because he heard from successful business owners, who have large businesses here that are thriving, yet out of the limelight. To hear the stories about how these leaders grew their businesses was personally encouraging to Hughes, who strives to do the same with his own company, although he is candid in relating his own experience when he shares, “San Luis Obispo is a funny place, because it can seem like no one really builds careers here; they just have money and live here. But to know there are ways to stay here and grow here is very encouraging to me. It made me want to do the same thing.”

When not correcting movement dysfunction or coaching small group classes at his gym, Hughes is an avid boater and lives for weekends at Lake Nacimiento where he grew up wakeboarding with his four brothers. He also enjoys playing golf with his wife, traveling to new countries and is excited to welcome his first child, a girl, into the world sometime in January.


Stacy Axan, Gina Axsom, Jesse Bilstein, Aram Casparian, Rachel Cementina, Craig Christakos, Heather Cochrane, Jody Cox, Steve Davis, Kelly Donohue, Rachel Fernflores, Kristin Flynn, Rusty Hall, Heidi Harmon, Adrienne Harris, Erin Hoffman, Michael Hughes, Marty Imes, Cindy Jacinth, Melissa Jenna Godsey, Amanda Leath, Courtney Meznarich, Carrie Miller, Rachell Newburn, Garett Olson, Nohemy Ornelas, Joy Pederson Harkins, Adam Peterson, Katie Reginato Cascamo, Missy Reitner Cameron, Deanna Richards, Jeff Smith, Mike Sparrow, Branden Welshons, Greg Whitener, Brett Zika

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Michael Hughes
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Since graduating, English native GARETH KELLY married, moved to Florida and moved back to the Central Coast in short order. As an advocate for immigration reform and a budding journalist, he briefly received national attention last year when he publically revealed that he, too, was in the United States illegally.

Verdin operations manager MICHELLE STARNES became a partner in the firm midway through her Leadership SLO year, and is an enthusiastic proponent of its “24-Hour Give,” which selects a local non-profit to receive a full day, all through the night, probono makeover of its brand image.

Crossfit aficionado, SHANNON LARRABEE is the Director of Government and Industry Relations at Central Coast Distributing where she has become the go-to expert on the craft beers that are distributed by the familyowned company.


San Luis Obispo County native, BRYAN IDLER was eager to strike out on his own and find his path in life. His journey took him to San Diego State and then on to the East Coast. Working for Robert Kennedy’s son and then spending some time working on boats, Idler embraced the East Coast lifestyle. It wasn’t until he received a phone call from his father letting him know the family business could use someone like him, that Idler returned to the Central Coast. After starting in the warehouse and working his way up to sales manager, Bryan enjoys working for the family business, Idler’s Home, which has been operating since 1954.

About four years after his return to the Central Coast, Bryan was transitioning from sales in the company’s San Luis Obispo location to sales manager for all three locations, when an enthusiastic Rotarian told him about Leadership SLO. After receiving encouragement to apply, Idler considered that the program may be a valuable way to learn more about the community, as well as a way to build upon his professional network in the area.

“I thought this program would be a little more formal in its leadership training with an emphasis on public speaking skills, but I couldn’t have been further off,” Idler intimates. “The program is far more focused on giving you the opportunity to tune into your community at a whole new level and meet the experts who help shape our community. I loved it.”

Idler recalls that after the initial retreat at Wonder Valley, the first meeting he attended started off with being taught a Polish dance with his classmates. He remembers circling up with his newly acquainted classmates and dancing and jumping around for twenty minutes, trying desperately to make the dance moves look authentic. It was the perfect way to break the ice as the group started Arts and Education Day. Later that same day he recalls listening to leaders in local Arts organizations explain the plight of arts in San Luis Obispo. Idler recalls that Arts wasn’t something he had thought about much, but after learning about what goes on behind the scenes as these organizations struggle to support their operations in the community, it opened his eyes to see how important it is for locals to support their efforts. “Perhaps the single biggest takeaway for me was that Leadership SLO showed me that I could still be more involved than I was at the time,” Idler pauses to collect his thoughts. “Regardless of how little time I have, I can still impact change in our deserving community.”

When Idler is not working or volunteering his time, he enjoys boating and spending time at the family cabin in Lake Nacimiento. He also enjoys hiking, surfing, and little by little, improving his own home.


Amy Bisely, Autumn Clark, Loch Dreizler, Amanda Dunton, Katie Ferber, Rebecca Gershow, Monica Grant, Andy Greensfelder, Ray Hais, Sabrina Harper, Steve Hilstein, Shonna Howenstine, Bryan Idler, Derek Johnson, Burke Kascha-Hare, Gareth Kelly, Molly Kern, Will Landreth, Shannon Larrabee, Jenna Miller, Nicole Moore, Kendra Paulding, Andy Pease, Gene Richardson, Randy Russom, Jenna Smith, Maryann Stansfield, Michelle Starnes, Susan Stenovec, Heather Tarango, Lynn Tillman, Cheryl Wakefield, Brian Weiss, Jason Wells, Dave Wilson

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Bryan Idler
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 91 smart, eclectic, art to live on 1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | (at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados) Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm


Executive Director of Granite Ridge Camp in Creston, SHAY STEWARD , who is married to Class 15 alum, Erica Stewart, hosted a Leadership fundraiser at his facility called “The Hunger Games” where participants competed in archery, tomahawk throwing, and skeet shooting which culminated in a wild game lunch.

ELLEN DREWS , who is the mother of two and an attorney at San Luis Obispo-based firm Sinsheimer Juhnke McIvor & Stroh found the time and motivation to train and compete in the Boston Marathon last spring, finishing with a personal best time.

Event planner, DANA MATTESON , who also works at Cal Poly’s Office of the President, played a major role in bringing the Leadership SLO 25 Year Anniversary party to life, as she prepares the San Luis Obispo Veteran’s Hall for an estimated 300 alumni and guests.

Growing up in Davis, California, KYLE AHLGREN knew that as soon as he was ready to raise his own family he would like to return to the charms of a small town. After marrying an Orcutt native, Ahlgren frequented the Central Coast for holidays and family events. Almost five years ago, Ahlgren and his wife decided it was time to relocate from Santa Monica to San Luis Obispo to raise their family.

Ahlgren first heard about Leadership SLO while he volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce as part of their Ambassador Committee. Later, it came up again when his employer, Missy Reitner-Cameron, a graduate of Class 23, talked about her experience. Since he knew that he wanted to stay involved in the community to better understand the issues of his adopted home, he submitted his application. “From my experience with this program, Leadership SLO prepares you to be a leader, but not in the formal sense,” Algren reveals. “It enables you to know the issues, the players, the interdependencies, and, ultimately, that education makes you a better local leader. Knowledge and understanding creates empowered citizens who will one day take charge of the direction of our community. I look forward to being a part of that.”

For Ahlgren, the program highlighted the concept that all it takes is someone with a strong desire to get something meaningful accomplished in a small town. He describes meeting people in the program who have impacted the community in many different ways, from launching a non-profit, to building new trails, to starting a business.

One of the experiences that most stood out to Ahlgren was an exercise on watching how public opinion shifts: two experts with opposing views on how to develop San Luis Obispo’s downtown were asked to debate one another in front of Class 25. As they did, the class had to shift their physical location in the room to the side of the room with the speaker that was most compelling to them. For Ahlgren it was fascinating to visually see how opinion shifts and evolves as arguments unfold.

As Class 25 comes to an end, Ahlgren feels he is one step closer to finding where his role will be in paving the future for San Luis Obispo. There are so many opportunities he has identified where he can contribute to making an enduring impact. While he admits to not knowing exactly what the future looks like, he shares that he is now feeling far more prepared and confident to jump in and participate.

When not at work, Ahlgren enjoys spending time with his family and raising his two daughters. He also loves to garden, go backpacking in Big Sur and the Sierras, skateboard, and mountain bike.


Kyle Ahlgren, John Bledsoe, Ron Brown, Dan DeGroot, Ellen Drews, Jim Duffy, Erica Fryburger, Lisa Funk, Aaron Gomez, Victoria Hanna, Brent Hansen, Josh Haring, Stacey Hunt, Paul Irving, Tim Kensigner, Joshua Kimball. Jill LeMieux, Katie Lichtig, Dana Matteson, Michelle McCovey-Good, Nicole Morris. Melissa Mudgett, Lynne Oliverius, Rosey Parks, Jennifer Porter, Gabe Quiroz, Susan Richardson, Ben Ruttenberg, Jonah Stepro, Shay Stewart, Amber Stone, Angela Tahiti, Graham Updegrove, Valerie Vaz

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2016 CLASS XXV >
Kyle Ahlgren


Hospital Medical Center’s

San Luis Obispo Perinatal Center’s highly experienced OB/GYN physicians are dedicated to providing quality maternal-fetal health care throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Maternal Fetal Medicine services include, but are not limited to:

• Routine and high risk maternal-fetal assessment using state-of-the-art technology

• Advanced invasive and noninvasive fetal genetic testing

• Antepartum testing

• Diabetes or gestational diabetes program

• High blood pressure program

Accepting new patients Open Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please call 805.786.6170.

San Luis Obispo Perinatal Center: 1941 Johnson Ave., Suite 105B San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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Laurence Shields, M.D. Daniele Feldman, M.D. Stephanie Lin, M.D.
New Patient Special $99 Dental Consultant, Exam X-Ray & Standard Cleaning
Perinatal Center — Now Open! 1551 Bishop Street Suite D-420 San Luis Obispo 805.547.7010


The Busy Person’s Best Friend

have a complicated relationship with rotisserie chicken meal deals. Walking into the grocery store on a Wednesday afternoon with two cranky kids and $12 in my wallet, I’ve been known to succumb to the aroma of lemon-pepper chickens under a heat lamp, purchasing a bird, two sides and a bag of Hawaiian rolls with the hope that the weave of my life would loosen up as a result. But the payoff never meets my expectations: the meat is inevitably dry, the sides unconscionably goopy, and after reading the nutritional information on the bag of Hawaiian rolls, I swear I’ll never let one pass my lips again.

Fortunately, rotisserie is experiencing something of a renaissance, and many chicken dinners are being made with straightforward, whole ingredients and the gourmand in mind. (According to Google Trends, searches for “rotisserie chicken” have tripled in California since 2006.) What better time to explore local takeaway rotisserie dinner deals than in the fall, when schedules suddenly explode and work loads hit the breaking point?

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JAIME LEWIS is a sommelier, world traveler, and food writer, who lives n San Luis Obispo.

Life Made Deliciously Easy #1: De Palo & Sons, Shell Beach

Owner Andrea Williams meets me and my kids at the front counter of her family’s venerated delicatessen and grocery. Her first order of business is getting in tight with my little people. “Can they have a cookie?” she says, motioning to a glass case full of gorgeous confections. I say, “Yes, thank you,” and the die is cast: she is their new favorite person.

Williams shares how she and her husband, Scott, bought Spyglass Deli in 1984, converting it to an Italian grocery and wine shop and expanding into the adjacent suite in 1998 with a long deli case and rotisserie. She packs a chicken up for me, describing how each bird is stuffed with rosemary and whole garlic cloves, then rubbed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a proprietary seasoning before turning on the rotisserie. She also packs some favorite sides: a sweet broccoli salad, tortellini with feta, olives and sundried tomatoes, a rotelli salad with peppers and scallions, and a wheel of herbed focaccia.

At home, we dig into our chicken dinner on the patio, light fading on the mountains. The chicken falls off the bone, with plenty of savory seasoning trapped in the crispy, almost candy-ish skin. The kids love the focaccia; my husband and I especially appreciate the wine, a bottle of Albariño from the Williams’ Mattina Fiore label. All is flavorful and light, with a slight Italian accent.

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Life Made Deliciously Easy #2: The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar, Paso Robles

For all its of-the-moment ingredients and gourmet approach, The Hatch still feels a lot like your favorite greasy spoon, only cleaner in every respect. Opened in 2015 by Maggie Cameron and Eric Connolly, The Hatch’s comfort-heavy menu includes dishes Cameron remembers from spending childhood summers in the South.

Though takeaway is a popular option, my husband and I decide to dine in for the full experience. Our server, J.P., pummels us with starters: roasted shishito peppers, fried green tomatoes, Hen Of Woods mushrooms in sweet soy glaze, and pork belly with mostarda and hoppin’ john. Then comes the chicken, brined twelve hours and fired over oak in the rotisserie, served with half a grilled onion and little cups of buttermilk sauce and house-made “rooster sauce.”

“You don’t want to mess around with the rooster sauce,” says J.P., explaining that it’s made with habanero and ghost chilies. I blend a little with the buttermilk sauce, dip and bite. Spicy, yes, but also transcendent. And then there are the grits.

Here on the Central Coast, most of us have never had grits, and, therefore, have no idea what we’re missing. J.P. pushes a platter of white, South Carolina stone-ground grits in front of us and calls the gooey mound “a cloud of heaven.” I take a bite and start to understand: they are pure decadence with white cheddar, butter and cream, the perfect exclamation point on a spectacularly indulgent meal.

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 97 HOME TO EDNA VALLEY’S MOST DRINK IT ALL IN. CHAMISALVINEYARDS.COM 7525 ORCUTT ROAD • SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA 805-541-9463 TASTING ROOM OPEN 10AM-5PM DAILY 1020 RAILROAD AVENUE, SAN LUIS OBISPO (805) 541-6800 . CAFEROMASLO.COM The Rizzo Family presents Café Roma... Italian Cuisine - Fine Dining - Full Cocktail Bar - Garden Patio - Banquets & Events - Catering est. 1980 Meeting Rooms Available Amenities Include: Hi-Speed WiFi, Stage, Podium, Easel, Whiteboard, PA System, Digital Projector, Speaker Phone, Large Flat Screen HD TV, Beverage Service, ADA Accessible Facility, Ample Parking and more. Board Room . Accommodates up to 25 guests 1/4 Room . Accommodates up to 36 guests 1/2 Room . Accommodates up to 72 guests 3/4 Room . Accommodates up to 120 guests Full Room . Accommodates up to 150 guests 1930 Monterey Street San Luis Obispo 805.544.0500 800.441.4657 Call for pricing and availability

Life Made Deliciously Easy #3: SLO Provisions, San Luis Obispo

Full Disclosure: I already loved SLO Provisions before writing this story; the crisp white-and-red motif of the interior, the emphasis on pure ingredients, and the owners, Steve Bland and Dwyne Willis.

I also happen to love the Family Chicken Dinner, which includes a whole rotisserie chicken, a side salad, roasted red potatoes and dessert for either two or four people. I walk into SLO Pro on a Tuesday afternoon when the chickens come off the fancy French Rotisol rotisserie. Willis explains that they’ve been herb-brined for 24 hours and then air-dried for another 24 hours for moist meat and golden skin. The shop is bustling so I move aside as he packs a carton of potatoes, kale, and cauliflower salad, and an assortment of desserts—pecan bars, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies—with my chicken.

Once again, our family dines beautifully that evening. Herbal and savory, the chicken is expertly cooked— with not a wisp of dryness—as are the rosemaryflecked potatoes. The kale and cauliflower salad, already a favorite in our house, is tender with grainy mustard, lemon, and Parmigiano. “Look at what I did!” my son exclaims not long after we sit down. He raises his plate to show that he has eaten the entire dinner: chicken, potatoes, kale, cauliflower and all. Win-win.

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 99 Serving the Central Coast for over 15 years as Same trusted service. Same owner. New Name. Full service automotive repair • Fast, reliable, same day service • Smog while you wait Conveniently located downtown SLO • Free shuttle service (805) 541-3070 426 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo



With a nontraditional twist, Chef Jessie Rivas takes stuffed peppers from blah to boastful.



8 large poblano or pasilla chilies

4 cups vegetable stock

½ cup BarrelHouse Rye IPA

2 Tbs canola oil

1 cup diced yellow onions

2 cloves garlic

2 cup quinoa

¾ cup cooked corn kernels

¾ cup butternut squash, finely diced

1 cup kale, leaves only

½ cup Monterey cheese

½ tsp kosher salt pepper to taste

Pepper preparation:


El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco is easy to find in your local grocery store and is a great alternative sauce for the stuffed peppers.

Cumin Cream: ½ cup sour cream juice from ½ lime ½ tsp cumin salt and pepper to taste

Serve with: crumbled queso fresco cilantro for garnish

On a gas stovetop place peppers on flame and char skin until it blisters. Put blistered peppers in a glass or stainless steel bowl and cover to sweat peppers, until they cool. Peel skins and cut a slit on one side. De-seed the peppers but leave stem attached and set aside.

Quinoa filling:

Steam quinoa in vegetable stock and beer until just cooked. Drain any excess liquid.

In an 10 inch sauté pan add oil and heat until just smoking. Add butternut squash and stir often for five minutes. Add onion, corn kernels, garlic and stir together. Cook another five minutes. Let cool for five minutes and add Monterey cheese, kale, salt, and pepper. Cool to room temperature

Stuff peppers will filling and set in a well oiled 9x13 casserole dish. Cook in oven for 15 minutes at 350°. Add queso fresco over peppers and keep in oven until just melted. Pull from oven and serve with cumin cream and garnish with cilantro.

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JESSIE RIVAS is the owner and chef of The Pairing Knife food truck which serves the Central Coast.
! 805.709.2780 CENTRAL COAST FRESH HARVEST BOXES DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS Fresh Picked & Locally Grown Pesticide Free Produce Weekly or Bi-weekly Delivery No Contract Required Fresh caught local fish also available SERVING San Luis Obispo | Avila | Los Osos Morro Bay | AG | Cayucos Five Cities | Nipomo


With crisp autumn nights upon us, fall brews from Märzen to cider are ripe and ready to be enjoyed.

As the skies grow darker and the night creeps into our day, so goes the beer. Before the ease of refrigeration and climate control, we drank what could be brewed in ambient temperature, which paired perfectly with the seasonal foods being grown locally as we got ready to embrace the coming cooler climate. Beer, much like our changing weather and the color of leaves, is seasonal. Nowadays we can make any type of brew year-round, but there is nothing quite as special as drinking a centuries-old recipe that pairs perfectly with the season.

A prime example of this would be a Märzen bier, more widely known as an Oktoberfest beer. Historically brewed in spring and kept in cold storage until fall to prevent infection, this style is still celebrated after what we can assume was a hot and terrible three months without sudsy refreshment. Our favorite right now is the Oaktoberfest from Firestone, which is richly complex in its malt profile, balancing a sweetness that tastes like autumn itself with Noble hops adding an almost imperceptible spice. This brew pours an amber hue with hints of copper, like wearing UGG Boots while carving a pumpkin and watching a sunset. It tastes like it, too.

Yes, you will see pumpkin beers hit the shelves and spice beers with orange labels being sold next to plastic black cauldrons, but it’s not all gimmicks and holidays. There are some fantastic beers that scream autumn without the hype and trends. Pop into Bang the Drum before it’s too late and grab their Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel-aged Maple Brown Ale. Russet in color, a hue associated with seriousness, this beer is nothing to scoff at. Don’t let the dark color fool you; this beer looks like winter but tastes like a brisk sunrise. The first-use bourbon barrels imparts traditional flavors of maple syrup and oaky tannins while the base beer does its job

of melding with the devil’s cut to create a warming brew that can be enjoyed both during the day and around a fire pit at night.

Don’t panic, we’re not into stout and porter season yet so those of you that decree the evils of dark beer are safe. Most color has been imparted from the roast levels of the grains being used and can range in flavor from honey to coffee. Remember, you can’t taste color so enjoy these darker beers with an open mind and you’ll soon find that they can open up like a fine red wine.

Fall beers are an under-represented style and should be drank while you can, yet we would be remiss if we ignored the apple harvest and the great joys it brings. Apples may keep doctors away, but once pressed and fermented you’ll have cozy gatherings around a fireplace with friends. Tucked away in a cul-de-sac off of El Camino Real in Atascadero, discover Bristol’s Cider House and the magic that’s being made in their cidery. A far cry from the mass-produced syrupy sweet ciders, Neil and his team bring his hometown cider styles of Bristol, England to the Central Coast with their dry finish and locally sourced apple varieties. Weather heats up? Grab a pint of their

hopped Barti Du for a clean and crisp libation with just a touch of English hops for pungent aroma. Getting cooler or heading to a soiree? A bottle of Anne Bonny will be a sure hit with her tart apple base and Kentucky whiskey barrel-aged flavors, it will take you on a journey of sweetness, tartness, and just enough booze to warm you up.

Whatever the occasion, be sure to celebrate harvest season and transition into cooler weather and shorter days with the right brew. So go explore our local breweries to see their interpretations of fall and lift a glass to the summer of the past and the bright future ahead. And, remember, the best beer is always the one right in front of you.

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BRANT MYERS is owner of Hop On Beer Tours, a concierge service for craft beer enthusiasts along the Central Coast.
Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 103 770 Capitolio Way . San Luis Obispo 805 549 0100 Rockin' Good Beers & Top Notch Food New Location – 736 Higuera Street, Downtown SLO (805) 543-1843 Learn more at



Renowned artists and community groups will have their surfboard art creations displayed publicly throughout the City of Morro Bay. And, join the fun on November 29th at Fish Bonez for the Surfboard Art Festival Gala Auction.

October 1 – December 3


Nearly 200 San Luis Obispo County artists open their studios. The art is for sale, but the fun comes from interacting with the artists, getting a peek into their studios, and learning about their creative process.

October 8, 9, 15 & 16 //



Set to lush, irresistible music, Giacomo Puccini’s timeless masterpiece never fails to move audiences to both laughter and tears. The story of six young friends in Paris living on laughter and love.

October 15 – 16 //


The City to the Sea half marathon course is a point-to-point race that starts in downtown San Luis Obispo. The course winds through the city, takes runners along scenic backroads, and ends alongside the Pacific Ocean in the coastal community of Pismo Beach.

October 9 //

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Enjoy a fun and relaxing getaway on the California coast in October. Hundreds of whimsical scarecrows are on display throughout the seaside villages of Cambria and San Simeon. October
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1 – 31 //
(805) 786-244 through NOV 13 OCT 28 “The BEST new play of the year!” time magazine 1351 Monterey Street . San Luis Obispo (805)783-2887 . PRESENTING THE BEST VARIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINMENT AT THE PAC ! CALPOLYARTS.ORG architecturalphotography architects | interior designers | engineers contractors | landscape architects | & more trevorpovah photography


Enjoy the rich heritage of American innovation and speed celebrating America’s racing and hot rodding heritage. Nonstop racing, live music, kids area, food, and beer vendors.

October 15 -16 //


Meet and hang with the innovative brewers of the Central Coast, throw back the best beer being made today—all the while indulging in SLO’s culinary wonders and soaking in its coastal sea air and warm sunshine. When the discussion and tastings end, there’s plenty of time for exploring the beauty of the region, farm-to-table cuisine, music and art scene, the coastline, and more.

October 16 – 22 //


In an intricate, multi-layered story that spans four generations and two continents, When the Rain Stops Falling explores patterns of betrayal, abandonment, destruction, forgiveness and love. This powerful drama unfolds with humanity, surprising humor, and hope, as the past plays out into the future.

October 28 - November 13 //



Enjoy the transcendent sights, scents, and flavors of this signature season through a rambunctious extravaganza of local food and wine. The weekend includes a winemaker’s dinner, the Grand Tasting and Wine Auction, and winery open houses.

November 4 – 6 //



November 1 //

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fine art, photography, and craft outdoor event to celebrate the return of the Monarch butterflies to Pismo Beach.
Dr. Arnie Horwitz HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS Are you feeling overwhelmed and confused? I can help.
Specializing in - Relationship Conflicts - Parenting & Self-Esteem - Separation and Divorce - Personal Life Planning - Grief and Loss - Career Uncertainty Therapy/Counseling/Coaching Dr. Arnie Horwitz • 30 yrs. Experience 805-541-2752


Swim the bay, ride historic Highway 1, and run on the hard-packed sand on the beach, boardwalk, dirt roads, and paved roads. Come out and enjoy some of the finest multi-sport terrain on the West Coast.

November 5 -6 //


Experience something that is uniquely American as the powerful Pride of the Pacific Mustang Marching Band fills the hall with dazzling arrangements.

November 13 //


Direct from Havana, seventeen fiery dancers, six musicians, and a smoky bandstand vocalist will take you to the heart of Cuba, celebrating the music and dances from the ‘50’s through today’s current scene.

November 15 //


Sit back, relax, and drink-in the stories of the famed humorist Garrison Keillor who has maintained a steadfast presence in our homes over the past 40 years.

November 16 //


Internationally-renowned artists present concerts in spectacular venues on the Central Coast. Baroque, romantic, contemporary— this program explores the full range of tone and color in chamber music, performed with style.

November 17 - 19 //

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Oct/n O v 2016 | SLO LIFE Magaz I n E | 107 Honored Fellow, American Academy of Implant Dentistry · Diplomate, American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry Carol L. Phillips, DDS SWISS DENTAL CENTER 3046 S. Higuera Street, Suite C San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805·541·1004 ask about Support your lips with proper dental implant and esthetic reconstruction. Whatever your lifestyle, we can help you achieve the self-confidence you deserve. Make a complimentary consult appointment Swiss 4Plus “Teeth-in-one-day” “I Look Amazing!” – Teresa Werts Teresa Werts Feels 39
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