SLO LIFE Dec/Jan 2017

slolife

SLO LIFE

magazine

HIP LOCAL TASTE

CENTRAL COAS

STORYTELLER

WALK THE LINE

REAL ESTAT

BY THE NUM

EMBRACING

THE VO

SLEEP

SOU

BREW

HAV

slolifemagazine.com

DEC/JAN 2017

MEET

TAYLOR GILKEY

PRESERVING HERITAGE

& DESIGNING SUCCESS

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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 3


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SLO LIFE

magazine

CONTENTS

Volume

7

Number 6

Dec/Jan 2017

32

TAYLOR GILKEY

We caught up with this young

entrepreneur to get her take on

everything from farming to fashion.

12

14

16

18

Publisher’s Message

Info

On the Cover

Inbox

8 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

24

28

Timeline

We look back at the most recent newsworthy events from

in and around the Central Coast over the past two months.

View

More like a painting than a photograph, MIMI DITCHIE

captured a magical sunset at Piedras Blancas.


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 9


| CONTENTS

30

Q&A

With over 27 years of medical practice

under his belt, DR. VAN SCOY shares how

doing good and being kind guide his life.

64

Health

Getting a good night’s sleep can often feel like a

fleeting attempt. Here we take a look at a few tips,

based on the latest research, to maximize shut-eye.

42

44

46

Music

With a sound inpired by folk, country, and

90’s alternative music, THE CRESTON LINE

is slated to release a full-length album in

spring of 2017.

On the Rise

San Luis Obispo High School senior

JIBREEL CADER melds his love for the

outdoors with academic excellence.

Dwelling

Inspired by the natural beauty of the

Central Coast, CHUCK and NINA EBNER

open the door to their hillside retreat.

70

78

86

90

Storytellers’ Corner

In his first installment, New York Times bestselling author

FRANZ WISNER reveals the inspiration for his writing.

Opinion

With ample open space and plenty of spectacular views,

JOHN ASHBAUGH ponders the possibility of Diablo

Canyon preservation.

Travel

After discovering a new path for adventure from Chamonix,

France to Zermatt, Switzerland, KIMBERLY WALKER

explores the 120-mile trek known as the Haute Route.

Business

When three generations of family work together

through all the ups and downs over 40 years, a

successful legacy is built.

92

Taste

Buttery, flaky, and feather-light, the perfect croissants

can be found baked right here on the Central Coast.

Lucky for us, JAIME LEWIS has sniffed them out.

54

58

62

Architecture

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.

Explore

After hearing that float tanks bring peace

and soothe physical ailments, PADEN HUGHES

steps in to give it a try.

100

102

104

Kitchen

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of steamy tomato soup

to warm up a cold winter day. CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

creates the perfect combination when he pairs his

favorite recipe with cheesy toast points.

Brew

With this season’s apple harvest in mind, local expert

BRANT MYERS reveals his favorite Central Coast

hard ciders.

Happenings

Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered.

Check out the calendar to discover the best events

around the Central Coast in December and January.

10 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

party line

I’ve heard it said that “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” but I haven’t really understood it

until just recently.

The other night, I was sitting on the couch lost in a book when a cell phone across the room pinged,

registering that a text message had arrived. I looked up briefly, figured I’d check it later, and returned to my

book. Moments later it chimed again, then again, again, and again. Annoyed that I was taken away from

the flow of the story, I got up and grabbed the phone when I realized it was my 13-year-old daughter’s.

“Geneva!” I called out down the hallway, “Your friends are blowing up your phone and messing up my vibe!”

She emerged from her bedroom, giggling at my choice of words, scooped up her phone and with her thumbs

dancing across the screen offered, “Sorry, Dad.”

Hi-tech when I was my daughter’s age meant you had a push button phone. But, we were late adopters and were stuck with a rotary dial phone at

our house—with a very long 30-foot cord for privacy (basically, you went into the garage and shut the door). We also had a second phone in my

parents’ bedroom, but since they shared the same line, this did more harm than good because you never knew when someone was listening in on your

conversation. With two little sisters, there was a pretty good chance that one or both of them was wiretapping at any given time. You could usually figure

it out when there was a lull in the conversation and could hear someone breathing. Or, if something funny was said you could sometimes catch a muted

snort from the eavesdropper in a failed attempt to hold in the laughter. Invariably, in the middle of just about any conversation, I would a have to yell,

“Emily, get off the phone!” Or, “I know that’s you, Katie—hang up!”

All of that aside, technology has made it much easier for today’s youth because they don’t have to deal with parents. Back in the day, you actually had to

talk to adults to get anything done. I remember having a crush on a girl in the seventh grade, and I would have to listen to the theme song from “Rocky”

three times in a row before I had enough courage to call her because her dad always answered the phone—and dads are scary. Also, it made it very

difficult to orchestrate clandestine operations with your buddies when one of the parents would answer. “Oh, hi, Mrs. Feller… Where are we going?...

Um… Does my mom know about this?... Uh… What time are we going to be home?… Huh… Who’s going to be there?... Gulp…”

Advances in communication, however, were inversely related to my level of maturity. I remember the day my friend’s parents installed two different

phones with two different numbers at his house. It was life-changing; not because we could both talk, but because we could both listen. Somehow,

since both phones had a 3-way calling feature, also known back then as a “party line,” we figured out that we could each call two different people and

somehow connect them, all without anyone knowing. The timing had to be perfect, but it was pure magic when it worked. And, I’ll never forget how

hard we would laugh after listening in on two sworn enemies from our high school suddenly calling each other. “Hello?”… “Who’s this?”… “What

the…?!”… “What do you want?!”… “No, you called me! What do you want!?” We pored over the phone book, scanning for teachers’ phone numbers;

sometimes, when the stars aligned, we’d get them on the phone with a failing student. The best ones happened when we’d call a recently broken up

boyfriend and girlfriend, except when they would decide to get back together—then it was just annoying.

The next big advance, answering machines, was a game changer. Those little cassette tapes meant that you could actually leave the house when you were

expecting a big phone call. And there is something about phone messages, or voicemail, that can feel almost like a time capsule. I love it when my kids

call me; and I often upload and save those messages on my computer. Every once in a while I’ll have a listen and it reminds me that—whether it be a

smartphone or a rotary phone—it really doesn’t matter. And, if I ever find myself doubting that, I’ll queue up a message from my 7-year-old son: “Hi,

Dad, it’s me, Harrison. I was wondering if we could play catch when you get home? Bye, Dad, I love you.”

I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who 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. And, to you and your family, my best wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy

and prosperous 2017.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

12 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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Treat Yourself for 2017!

SLO LIFE

magazine

4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

info@slolifemagazine.com

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PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Sheryl Disher

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

John Ashbaugh

Paden Hughes

Dawn Janke

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers

Jessie Rivas

Kimberly Walker

Franz Wisner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Mimi Ditchie

Lance Kinney

Mary Maclane

Vanessa Plakias

Trevor Povah

Jay Winter

CONTRIBUTIONS

Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here?

Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should

know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes and announcements

by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and click “Share Your Story” or

email us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name and

city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be

edited for clarity and space limitations.

ADVERTISING

If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone

at (805) 543-8600 or by email at tom@slolifemagazine.com or visit us

online at slolifemagazine.com/advertise and we will send you a complete

media kit with loads of testimonials from happy advertisers.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

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forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the

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NOTE

The opinions expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect those of

SLO LIFE Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole

or in part without the expressed written permission of the publisher.

CIRCULATION, COVERAGE AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage and advertising rates,

space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective

advertisers. Please call or email for a media kit. Closing date is 30 days

before date of issue.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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14 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

111 South St. SLO 805 543 9900

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


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| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

BEHIND the scenes

WITH TAYLOR GILKEY

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

I met Taylor at her house, which was decorated so beautifully. It

reminded me of something you would see in Taos, New Mexico. Her

fiancé, Matt, was there with a friend. And, I was introduced to her two

dogs: Juno and Nala.

Right away she reminded me of Sunnie Brook Jones, who is

now a famous hair stylist; she was from Pismo and this was back

when she was working at Fantastic Sams, she must have been 19.

Immediately, when I started talking with Taylor, that’s who she

reminded me of, she had a very similar vibe.

We hung out [laughter]. We got along great! I just loved

looking at her handbags and taking a look at all of the things

she said inspire her. Lots of books, magazines, and some really

cool, eclectic decorations and furniture.

I always ask about music

during these shoots. Taylor

said her favorite song was

“Box #10” by Jim Croce.

He’s the same guy that

sang “Bad, Bad Leroy

Brown” and “Time in a

Bottle.” Her fiancé chimed

in and mentioned that

she also likes JJ Grey &

Mofro. I’ve noticed that a

lot of twenty-somethings

like that band. They’re

cool, bluesy, I guess you

would say modern blues.

I listened to them while I

edited her shoot. SLO LIFE

16 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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| INBOX

Take us with you!

Hey, SLO LIFE readers: Send us your photos the next time you’re relaxing in town or traveling far and

away with your copy of the magazine. Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com

LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA, CANADA

HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND

Bob Pittman

My husband and I returned home to Scotland for a visit.

Here I am with SLO LIFE Magazine at the highest point

on the Bealach na Bà road to Applecross with the Cuillin

mountain range with the Isle of Skye in the background.

— Lisa Pollock

KOTOR, MONTENGRO

MONET’S GARDEN IN GIVERNY, FRANCE

Wayne and Linda Lewis

Carol Mees and Marlene Fissell

18 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


CRANS-PRÈS-CÉLIGNY, SWITZERLAND

Betty Johnson

LAUGARVATNSHELLAR, ICELAND

These caves were originally used for protecting sheep for the winter, but

in 1910 a newlywed couple made it into their home. A stunning 2 week

Iceland trip took us only 1/3 around the island. We must return!

— Carol and Richard Mortensen

TOUR DU MONT BLANC

We did three countries and 170 kilometers with SLO LIFE on the Tour du

Mont Blanc (TMB). From the Grand Col Ferret viewing Mont Dolent where

the boarders of Italy, Switzerland and France meet.

— Stephanie and Gary Ruggerone

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 19


| INBOX

You showed us...

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

FREIBURG, GERMANY

Dean Estin and Virginia Estin Rohde

UKRAINE

Joel and Kerry Sheets

CÁDIZ, SPAIN

We were visiting friends and working at summer

camps for kids.

— Jim and Ruth Overton

Hans Eggers

20 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


PLACE DES VOSGES, PARIS, FRANCE

The Mannings on a superb bike tour. Thinking of Wally’s amazing story.

— Emily, Cathy, Atalie, and Chris Manning

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAI`I

This photo was taken right after Christine Bare (on the left) completed

the Hawaii Ironman World Championships. Amy Olin (part of her support

crew) is on the right.

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 21


| INBOX

RAVELLO, AMALFI COAST, ITALY

HAVANA, CUBA

Peter and Yvonne Jurgens

MUNICH, GERMANY

Jeff and Cindy Wolcott

BORA BORA

Ian and Taylor Starkie

Amy and Brett Garrett

22 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


NANTUCKET ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS

Enjoying the SLO LIFE at sunset on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. We

went from generations of Vermont Life to continue generations of SLO LIFE.

- Laura Heiden

ROVINJ, CROATIA

I just took a trip to Rovinj, Croatia and of course brought my SLO LIFE Magazine

along. As I was hiking along the coastal path viewing the many islands off of

the coast of Croatia, I took a break to read my SLO LIFE Magazine. It is such a

peaceful town on the Adriatic Sea; the perfect place for a good read. Thanks

for the wonderful magazine!

— Kelsey Tigh

live the

SLO LIFE!

Please send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com

Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit facebook.com/slolifemagazine

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

Letters may be edited for content and clarity. To be considered for publication, your letter should

include your name, city, state, phone number or email address (for authentication purposes).

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

slolifemagazine.com

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 23


| TIMELINE

Around the County

OCTOBER ‘16

10/1

Preliminary findings from

the testing conducted by the

Central Coast Regional Water

Quality Control Board failed to

find trichloroethylene (TCE),

a toxic solvent that had been

found in 13 nearby wells, at the

SLO County Regional Airport.

Fifty residents, who live near

Buckley Road adjacent to the

airport, had filed claims with

the county charging that TCE

showed up in their drinking

water as a result of the solvents

used in aircraft maintenance.

The investigation into the

source of the chemical remains

ongoing.

10/5

Amid raucous cheers, the County Planning Commission announced its

3-2 vote in opposition to the Phillips 66 oil-by-train plan. Two weeks

later the energy conglomerate filed paperwork to appeal the decision

to the Board of Supervisors. The final ruling is expected early next

year; however, with the addition of the new District 1 Supervisor, John

Peschong, who has pledged to recuse himself from the vote since his

company, a conservative lobbying firm, received payments from Phillips

66, the outcome will likely be a 2-2 deadlock, effectively upholding the

Planning Commission’s denial.

10/11

Cal Poly began selling beer for the first time at the Student Union,

reversing its status as a “dry campus.” Although the university had

served alcohol at the on-campus Sage Restaurant and at the Performing

Arts Center, administrators began debating the issue over the summer

and many permanent residents have suggested that allowing alcohol on

campus would go a long way toward easing town-gown tensions over

rowdy partying in nearby residential neighborhoods.

10/19

By a 4-1 vote, with John Ashbaugh against, the SLO City Council

approved a four-story, 27-apartment development at the intersection

of Chorro Street and Foothill Boulevard near Cal Poly’s campus. The

project ignited debate locally where critics claimed that while it had

been promoted as affordable housing, it was likely to become just

another opportunity to house college students off-campus in a city

neighborhood. The project, known as 22 Chorro, is being developed

by El Segundo-based attorney, Loren Riehl, who is also proposing the

development of 34 apartments at nearby 71 Palomar.

10/25

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

announced that it would continue to

open the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

National Wildlife Refuge to visitors over

the next 15 years; however, it would be

limiting public access to just six months

each year. The 2,553-acre area is home to

the county’s highest concentration of rare

plant and animal species—estimated at

120—and sits south of the nearby Oceano

Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

24 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


NOVEMBER ‘16

11/2

Ground was broken at 40 Prado Road when a handful of locals

dug their golden shovels into the site where a $5.4 million,

20,000-square-foot homeless services center and overnight

shelter is expected to open sometime next fall. The facility will

offer drug, alcohol, and mental health therapy; feature after

school programs for children; medical services; a commercial

kitchen; laundry room; showers; lockers; pet kennels; a

community garden; and computers.

11/8

Election returns showed that John Peschong had bested Paso Robles mayor

Steve Martin for the District 1 seat vacated by Frank Mechum on the

County Board of Supervisors, while Adam Hill survived a challenge by Dan

Carpenter to retain his District 3 seat. The City of San Luis Obispo elected

a new mayor, Heidi Harmon, who upset the incumbent, Jan Marx, by 47

votes, and newcomers Andy Pease and Aaron Gomez were elected to city

council. Caren Ray returned to Arroyo Grande’s city council, and California

Coastal Commissioner Erik Howell, retained his seat on the Pismo Beach

City Council. Republican Jordan Cunningham topped his opponent, Dawn

Ortiz-Legg, a Democrat, for the 35th District of California’s Assembly,

while Democrat Salud Carbajal will head to Washington to represent the

24th Congressional District. Meanwhile, Measure J, which would have

raised sales taxes to generate $25 million per year for nine years to fund

local transportation projects, narrowly failed passage.

11/15

11/22

The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to grant a

A sharply divided Board of Supervisors passed a series of ordinances

permit to the Japanese company Hitachi Zosen Inova so that it

designed to give developers incentives to build affordable workforce

could build a green waste and food processing facility, which will housing in the county. The two supervisors who voted against the pilot

generate electricity from the food scraps gathered in the 51,000

program, Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill, argued that the legislation,

compost pails its garbage company partner, Waste Connections, which caps prices on the sale of the house initially, does nothing to

delivered to county residents earlier this year. The cutting edge

prevent an investor from buying the home and then “flipping” it and

plant, which is called a “digester,” is expected to employ 120

pocketing the difference between the mandated lower value and current

people, dramatically reduce the amount of waste going into

market value. Gibson claimed that without deed restrictions, which

the Cold Canyon Landfill, and generate renewable energy for

prohibit that sort of profiteering, the effort does nothing to create truly

approximately 650 local homes. affordable housing. SLO LIFE

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 25


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26 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 27


| VIEW

ALL AROUND

BEAUTY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIMI DITCHIE

About five miles northwest of San Simeon, Piedras

Blancas has stirred the imaginations of locals and

visitors alike. Revered by Native Americans for

thousands of years for its consistently abundant

and diverse sea life harvest, it played a crucial role

for our earliest locals. The site received its name,

which translates to “white rocks,” from early Spanish

explorers, who deemed the miniature peninsula

with topography that was easily identified through

the spyglass of a passing ship, an ideal navigational

landmark. In 1875, the United States, with its

bustling maritime commerce, built a lighthouse

on the site. Recently, busloads of area politicians

and Central Coast residents staged a rally at the

site imploring the federal government to add the

ecologically and historically significant 19 acres to the

California Coastal National Monument.

It was around this time of year, back in 2013, when

Mimi Ditchie was standing near the lighthouse,

scanning the horizon seaward just after the sun had

dipped into the water for the night. To her right

and to her left, members of the San Luis Obispo

Camera Club were furiously clicking their shutters

in an attempt to capture the last bit of oceanscape

while the ambient light lingered. As she scanned the

scene before her, she thought, “Maybe I ought to

look behind me.” Ditchie then wheeled around 180

degrees to find The Fog Building perfectly placed

in the foreground against something that appeared

to have been painted by a Nineteenth Century

Frenchman. The moment was fleeting, but by the

time the image passed through the aperture of her

Canon 5D Mark III, Ditchie was able to capture this

photograph, which she shared of her experience at the

site, “Beauty can be found all around.” SLO LIFE

28 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 29


| Q&A

On Call

It has been a milestone year for San Luis Obispo resident DR. STEVEN VAN SCOY,

as it marks his 20-year anniversary as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Medical Director for Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center at the same time the

hospital celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the formation of its NICU. We

caught up with the sleep-deprived doctor one recent morning, following a longer

than expected night shift…

Tell us, Dr. Van Scoy, was medicine

something you always wanted to do?

Not exactly, no. My first experience as a

kid was not a good one. I actually broke

my doctor’s glasses when he gave me an

immunization. I punched him. He hurt me,

and I wanted to hurt him. He didn’t realize

when he gave me the shot in my right arm

that I was left-handed. He wasn’t ready for

the roundhouse. I refused to go see him after

that. I didn’t start off with a friendly view

of the medical community. It’s ironic now

that I wake up, honestly, at least once a week

and think to myself, “I just love what I do; I

love being a doctor.” And I’ve been doing it

since 1989, when I graduated from medical

school. The fact that I’m not burned out and

still feel lucky to be doing what I’m doing is

pretty cool.

Do you have to close yourself off emotionally

when you work? No, it’s never been that

way for me. And, I’ve got to say that I

really struggled with the decision to do

neonatology when I started because it’s a

whole different world. There were a lot of

kids coming out who didn’t do very well.

They were very sick during their stay in the

hospital; a lot of deaths. I was talking with

my wife one day as I was struggling with

the decision about whether or not to go into

neonatology. I told her, “I just don’t know if

I want to make these little kids who go out

as damaged kids and have to live this life

that’s difficult for everybody.” She said, “Go

into it and make fewer of those kids.” I just

said, “Wow, okay. I’ll do that.” And, that’s

been the way I’ve gone about it.

And, you stay in touch with many of your

“neonates”… That’s right. We do a reunion.

We have it at Santa Rosa Park, every year in

the fall. When I first started we had maybe

20 people come; now we have well over 600.

Everybody has a great time. We take over

the whole park. It’s just a crazy scene. It’s my

favorite day of the year. I just walk around

and think to myself, “This is awesome.” It’s

so cool to see the kids grow up. We have a

great time catching up. And, even for the

kids that can’t make it we’ll sometimes get

letters saying, “Geez, sorry we can’t make it

this year. Our 19-year-old is in Las Vegas

playing a gig.” So, he’s a guitar player for a

rock band now? Cool! And there will be kids

that have gone off to college on the East

Coast somewhere and can’t be there. That, to

me is the best, too. It makes all those nights

of 2am wake-up calls well worth it.

Let’s talk about your career path. Sure, I’m

the first doctor in the family. My mom was

a teacher. My dad worked for Standard Oil

forever, Chevron. I did a program in marine

biology and found that I loved scuba diving.

I went on and did some shipboard research.

I taught at a junior college. Waited tables.

Bartended. Worked construction. I was

sitting with my mom one night visiting

with her at home and she asked me what

I was going to do with my life and I said,

“I’m not sure.” She said, “Sometimes I feel

that you are trying to find your vocation by

process of elimination.” I said, “Yeah, but

I’ve found important negatives with each

one, so I never have to try them again.”

She said, “You like people, right? You like

science, right? Have you thought about

medicine?” I looked at her and said, “No,

but that’s a good one.” That’s all it took,

thirty seconds from my mom to put me in

medicine. And, later it took thirty seconds

from my wife to put in me in neonatology.

So, listen to the women in your life!

[laughter] That’s the lesson.

What about when you’re not making

rounds at the hospital? There are so many

things I like to do. I ride bikes, play tennis,

play guitar, ride motorcycles, I used to race

cars. I like backpacking, rock climbing,

photography, scuba diving. I have so many

interests and cannot imagine ever being

bored. I love teaching my son, who is

autistic, how to do things. We live on an

acre, so there’s a fair amount of work that

has to be done. He’s out there helping me all

the time. I love working on different skills

with him. He’s 19. And hanging out with

my wife; and supporting my 17-year-old

daughter and telling her how proud I am of

her. I think that no matter where you are or

what you do, if you leave a trail of good, and

of kindness, then you are a success. That’s

what it really boils down to for me, and

that’s what I try to do. SLO LIFE

30 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 31


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

VALLEY GIRL

Inspiration struck San Luis Obispo resident TAYLOR GILKEY as she sat at

her kitchen table, sketching her vision for the perfect handbag. As she honed

the design, she decided to take a leap and turn it into a business she calls Gilkey.

By working two jobs and saving every penny along the way, she slowly brought

one product at a time to market. In a nod to her San Joaquin Valley upbringing,

where her family has farmed cotton for four generations, her brand is rooted in the

longtime California agriculture tradition. Here is her story…

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

32 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 33


Taylor, tell us about where you are from originally. I grew up in

Corcoran, which is in the Central Valley. I was actually born in Hanford.

No one wants to be born in Corcoran; it’s okay to die there, but when

you live in Corcoran, you drive to Hanford to have your baby. My greatgrandfather

started Gilkey Farms—technically I’m fourth-generation—

and he got involved with some sort of program to buy the land at a

discount. I mean, it’s Tulare Lake and it’s not the best farmland; that’s

why we can farm cotton. He was an immigrant from Scotland and

Canada and he bought a plot of land when he came here; it was some

sort of special tax write-off or something. And so, of all the places, he

picked Corcoran. We’ve always said, “Why the heck didn’t he pick a

place like Napa or something?” [laughter]

34 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

How was it growing up? It was a pretty

awesome childhood. My family still farms, and

farming was up and down, so we didn’t have a

ton of money, but we always had a good time.

I was a super active dancer. My mom drove

my cousin and I to Hanford five days a week.

I love dancing, but I was also a really good

swimmer. As a kid, the neighbor boys and I

rode our bikes every day to the YMCA and

we would swim for hours. During the summer

we would come over to the coast just about

every weekend to Pismo. Boogie boarding


all day long, no wetsuit, sand in every possible crevice. I was always

pretty happy-go-lucky. And, I was definitely a tomboy. If a boy was ever

missing on the boy’s swim team, I would jump in and swim in his place.

You know, we found joy out of playing roller hockey in the street and we

would catch snakes and stupid stuff like that. We built forts every single

day. After high school it was like, “Oh crap, what am I going to do?”

I wanted to leave the valley, so I went to Cuesta and then to Cal Poly

where I was a dairy science major.

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Sounds like you must have shifted gears at some point. Yeah. It

was, I believe it was, a career day on campus or something. And

don’t get me wrong, I love to get dirty. I love to put shit kickers on, I

mean I was born and raised in the Central Valley, my family farmed.

All my best friends had cow dairies. And I thought, “Okay, I can be

a vet, which I would love to be a veterinarian—a large animal vet.”

But then, you know, you have at least four more years of school. That

was daunting and every other job, I mean there’s not a lot of activity

unless you own a dairy. There just wasn’t a lot of opportunity and none

of it inspired me. Up until that point, I don’t think that I had really

ever thought about making money. I’d been working at Coverings

downtown and at Firestone. I was really into fashion and design and

art, but there was nothing at Cal Poly that really fit. So, I started

looking around and found FIDM [Fashion Institute of Design &

Merchandising] in Los Angeles.

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So, what happened? I had a “come to Jesus” moment. I was sitting in a

7-Eleven parking lot one day and my brother called me and said, “Tay,

you just need to be happy. If you want to go to FIDM, tell Dad.” Now,

my dad is a pretty conservative dude and something like FIDM was

completely out of his realm of thinking, but he has always been so proud

of me. So, I called him. I talked to him and he knew my mind was made

up; I didn’t want to go back home and work on a dairy. He supported

my decision, and it has been such a blessing. It was an awesome

experience. I met such incredibly interesting people there. But, I was so

nervous and felt really out of place at first. I just think you have to go

with your gut. The people and the professors I met there have helped me

so much, and continue to help me to this day.

What came next for you? I moved back to SLO and started designing

ski apparel for Hot Chillys, which is a technical base layer company. I

would source fabric from Vietnam or China or Japan and then build a

garment, and it was awesome, but there’s no upward mobility in design,

I realized, unless you move to L.A. or New York. So, my friend was

working for an aerospace engineering firm in Silicon Valley and they

were looking for a position in business management, so I moved there to

see what that was all about. It was a start-up. I was working long hours

and after a while I said to myself, “What am I doing here?” I decided

that I wanted to move back to SLO and would do whatever it took, so I

found a job opening in the wine industry. It was for an account manager

with a company called Wine Direct. It was great because I wanted more

business experience, and it was kind of like a start-up itself, so I was able

to wear a lot of different hats and learn so many things. I was happy

there, but I was still missing the design aspect of the person that I am.

So, I made a bag and got so many compliments on it, so I said, “Shoot,

I’m going to start a brand.” And so I did—it’s my last name, Gilkey, and

I began by having the bags made here in San Luis Obispo.

Are they still made here? The gentleman I had making the bags did a

great job, but just couldn’t keep up with demand. So, I’ve since moved

production to downtown L.A. and so many opportunities have come up.

They’re just really unique bags that sell themselves. I wanted to make

a brand that was timeless and that I could grow, not something super

trendy, and kind of capture “farm-to-closet,” if you will. There’s a lot of,

you know, food farm-to-table that’s going around right now and, yeah,

people sometimes give me grief about using cowhides. But, hopefully, I

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understand, because people don’t understand it. They don’t understand

that California is a giant agriculture state, and I would love to do my

family some justice by talking about that. I think I’m kind of unique in

the sense that I’ve worked in the tech world and worked in wine, and

now I’m making these bags and presenting them countrywide. I want

the brand to be timeless and about family and really have a meaning

behind it, versus just making a product and having it be pretty. I really

want it to be about family and history and working hard and keeping an

important tradition alive.

Okay, did you go out and get a loan? Line up an investor? No, I just

decided that I was going to make this bag business work myself. I picked

up another job working at Firestone at night. That’s where I worked

during college, so I went back just to make extra tip money to go towards

the bags. And I did that for a while. I saved up a good chunk of money

and started off with just a single basic tote. I worked with a pattern maker

that I had worked with at Hot Chillys to make the pattern. I would do

it on my lunch break. I’d zoom over to Edna Valley and meet with the

pattern maker; we’d sketch things out. After the tote we made a side

satchel and then we made a clutch. And it’s kind of just evolved into many

more products. They’re all handmade from Brazilian cowhides, and are

very high quality. They’re not cheap, I mean, a basic tote is $375. People

love them. They’re beautiful. I’ve been doing all the marketing through

Pinterest, Instagram, things like that. It’s been difficult to decide whether

or not to sell them in retail locations, but I think that selling direct to the

consumer through the website is best because I am getting a full profit.

This is something I have been able to learn from my job at Wine Direct

because I see all these wineries doing so much better by selling their wines

directly to the end user, the customer, rather than going through a retailer.

It’s the way of the future, and so much more profitable.

As a 28-year-old Millennial, your approach to business seems a little

old school. Maybe so, I mean, you’ve got these kids, and they’re smart,

forward thinking, but a lot of them think they can just build an app. >>

36 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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And, there are a lot of investors who will drop some dough on an idea.

I don’t want to be that Millennial. I think that you have to put in your

time, that’s where you learn. You know, our elders are modest about what

they’ve done. They’ve gone through good times and bad. So, I try to set

myself apart from that kind of mindset. But, I will say that I actually

I read the article probably three times that night and then sent him an

email asking if he would meet me for coffee. I’ve learned so much from

him; he’s one of my mentors. I think it is important to reach out because

people do want to help. But, you’ve still got to do the hard work, bust your

butt, and put in the time.

I think you have to put in your time, that’s where you learn.

think that the internet, and particularly social media, is making all of us

a little more anxious because we are comparing our lives to others. I just

think that we all need to put our time in and learn from people who have

already done it. Great example, a few years back, there was actually an

article in SLO LIFE about Enrique Sanchez-Rivera, a swimsuit designer.

He owns a company called La Isla and had just relocated to San Luis.

Okay, Taylor, what do you do for fun? I’ve turned into such a SLO

junkie and try to take advantage of everything there is to do here.

I ride my bike everywhere. I go to the swap meet every Sunday

at the Sunset Drive-In; it’s amazing. They have everything from

tube socks to tamales there, and you have people selling stuff like

Sorel boots that are used, but who cares? I bought a lot of my >>

38 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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furniture there. I love quirky, different pieces. I think there’s a lot

of inspiration in San Luis, too, and I think that’s when I’m most

happy. I can just absorb it all and apply it to my home and to my

bags. It’s a lot of inspiration for the brand that I’m building, as

funny as that sounds. Yes, this is an expensive place to live and as

much as I would love to own a home instead of renting, I do think

that you get what you pay for. I mean, literally, behind my house

is the Irish Hills. I can run my dogs every day. I can take them

to the dog park there. I don’t have to worry about anything. The

Central Valley is a hundred and ten degrees, and my dogs would fry.

The cost of living is very high, but you’re paying for an awesome

lifestyle here. The beach is right around the corner. But, the flip

side is that most of the jobs here do not pay well. That’s why I

moved into sales. I had to. I would have gotten a little salary raise,

you know, every two years or whatever, but being on commission

allows me to put more money into my bags.

What does the future hold? It would be my dream to have a ranch in

Edna Valley, but how much is that going to cost me? And it’s a bummer

that money gets in the way, but, you know, you’ve just got to keep busting

your butt and figure out where it’s going to take you. I would love to be

out there driving around on a quad with six dogs running behind me. And

it would be awesome to have a crop where I could actually feed my family,

but also big enough to make a profit. Yeah, there’s a side of me that likes

the more quiet, tranquil life that’s about the simple things. My grandma,

growing up, she always said, “A simple life is a good life.” And now that

I’m older, I have an appreciation for dirt, and being able to grow your own

product, and that simple life my grandma always talks about. She’s been a

huge role model for me, always reminding me, “You’re not responsible for

anyone’s happiness except your own.” I try to take that to heart, and try to

be the most successful version of myself every single day, which is a good

thing because it pushes me to want to learn and grow. And if you can get

to that spot in life, I really do think that’s where magic happens. SLO LIFE

40 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 41


| NOW HEAR THIS

THE CRESTON LINE

With his new band, The Creston Line, singer-songwriter Jon Bartel pays tribute to the oak-filled agricultural

preserve lands of Creston, where he grew up “wandering past windmills, walking all day, and finding nothing.”

BY DAWN JANKE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARY MACLANE

42 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


ormed in 2014, The

Creston Line is relatively

new to the local music

scene, but its imprint has

already extended beyond

SLO County. Earlier this

year, in fact, Bartel was

contacted by the digital

music service Spotify about

the licensing of the band’s

Fsingle “Great Depression,”

which will be featured in the second season of its

online short series “Trading Playlists.” Bartel says,

“While the licensing of songs isn’t foremost among

my songwriting goals, it was nice to learn that the

ostensible tastemakers think that The Creston Line will

appeal to a broader audience.”

And appeal to an audience, they do: The Creston Line

released its debut EP, “Great Depression,” through

local label Twang N Bang Records in August 2016 to

a packed crowd at Dunbar Brewing Public House in

Santa Margarita, and the title track went on to place

in the Reader’s Choice category of the New Times

Music Awards. The song was drawn thematically from

the human toll of the Civil War and the economic

tragedies of the Dust Bowl years, a connection Bartel

conceived over two days as he battled a fever and

watched Ken Burns’ documentaries.

Bartel and pedal steel player Brenneth Stevens loosely

began the band a few years ago as a duo called The

Shots. Stevens, a Stanford University graduate student

who is also a member of the Shawn Clark Family Band

and a local session player, helped Bartel morph The

Shots into The Creston Line’s five-piece ensemble with

Bartel on guitar and vocals, Stevens on lead guitar and

pedal steel, Adam Nash on lead guitar, Kirk MacLane

on bass and vocals, and Taylor Belmore on drums. For

all intents and purposes, Bartel says, “I would have had

a hard time doing any of this without Bren.”

Stevens is not the only member of The Creston Line

who is involved in a variety of local music projects.

Bartel has played lead guitar for American Dirt since

2011; Belmore plays viola da gamba for Mothra; and

Nash is a touring musician who currently travels up

and down the coast playing gigs with several bands,

including San Francisco-based Blind Willies. Bartel

says, “I want everyone in this band to be open to other projects,” and the

group members’ support for one another is evident on and off the stage. Nash

describes his bandmates in The Creston Line as a group of “musicians of the

same caliber and genuine goodness where it feels like we’re just hanging out

with close friends.”

Bartel, in particular, cannot speak highly enough about this ensemble of

talented performers. Of Nash and Stevens, Bartel says, “They are the two bestsuited

guitar players for what this band intends to do. They play different styles

and they play off each other so well; their sound comes across as passionate

chaos.” He says of the drummer, “Belmore plays drums like a songwriter

thinks about drums: she’s really open and lays stuff down in a way that feels

good. And she has a killer voice, which we at some point intend to employ on

the new album.” Finally, in praise of MacLane, Bartel simply states, “Kirk has

been doing this for so long—music is just intuitive for him.”

Great Depression was co-produced by Bartel and MacLane and recorded

and mixed at Bartel’s home studio, Northwall Studio, where he also recorded

much of Shawn Clark’s most recent album as well as some other local music

projects. About the studio name, Bartel explains, “We had a canyon due

north from our house in Creston—I guess the north has always been my

direction of exploration.”

Wherever he and the band travels, The Creston Line continues to hone its

sound, which Bartel sees as “a mixture of the Lemonheads, Soul Asylum,

Uncle Tupelo, and Whiskeytown,” a blend of the 90’s alternative scene during

which he came of age. The band’s material skirts the edges of folk, old country,

and Americana, as well.

Next, The Creston Line is preparing for the recording of its full-length album,

slated for release in spring of 2017. The LP will feature ten songs that are more

mid- to up-tempo than those on the EP and will include some that the band

has been performing live for a while now, as well as others that are new to all

of them. Bartel, who played classical piano from the ages of six to sixteen, says

he especially wants to spend time with the rhythm

tracking on the upcoming album and may add piano

to the mix. In sum, he states, “I feel like the album

will reflect the best songs I’ve written.”

As The Creston Line moves forward with more live

shows and studio rehearsals, Bartel aims to have a

well-practiced band that can adapt to any audience,

or as MacLane puts it, “bring some moodiness

into the music.” “The bottom line is, our music

doesn’t have to be pedal to the floor all the time,”

Bartel says. “We will play however it feels right—

sometimes loud and driving and sometimes quiet

and swampy.” He adds, “However we do it, The

Creston Line is not going to rush the process.” SLO LIFE

DAWN JANKE, Director,

University Writing & Rhetoric

Center Cal Poly, keeps her

pulse on the Central Coast

music scene.

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 43


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Jibreel Cader

The future is bright for this San Luis Obispo

High School senior, who employs his passion for

helping others to guide his future.

What sort of extracurricular activities are you involved in? I’m lucky to be a part of

San Luis Obispo High School’s Harvard Model Congress this year.

What are your hobbies? I love to do almost anything that gets me outdoors: surfing,

mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding.

What recognition have you received? Honor Roll and Academic Excellence every

trimester of my high school career.

What is going on with you now? A big part of my family is dedicating ourselves to

helping others. Aside from college apps and grinding through senior year, I assist

my dad when he teaches Tactical Medicine to Law Enforcement. Our whole family

works hard to make each and every training a success.

What is your favorite memory? When I was in fourth grade my family went to

India. One night my dad took me and my brother out into the surrounding city of

where we were staying. We went out and bought some food supplies and created

fifteen care packages, which we gave out to impoverished families living out of tents

on the street. It took a little effort on our part but we were able to sustain those

families for a month.

What career do you see yourself in someday? I’d like to go into emergency

medicine. I see it as a career where I’d have a unique skill that can really be applied

to help people.

Who has influenced you the most? My mom, for sure. She is a constant model of

forbearance and limitless compassion.

What do you want people to know about you? Nothing in particular. I’m just a

Muslim American born here in SLO and I feel blessed to call this my home.

If you won $1 million, what would you do with it? I would invest $400,000.

Donate $200,000 to charity. Keep $300,000 aside to pay for my brother and sister’s

education. Then just hold onto $100,000 and see what happens next.

What do you dislike the most? Malicious people. I have yet to see a malicious person

bring any benefit to humanity.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? Martin

Luther King Jr. would be interesting. I feel like he’d be very insightful in how to

face grave adversity.

What is something that no one knows about you? I got circled by a Great White

one time when I was surfing under Pismo Pier.

What schools are you considering for college? Just UC’s. Berkeley, Santa Barbara,

and San Diego. SLO LIFE

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44 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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| DWELLING

FULL CIRCLE

Last year, CHUCK and NINA EBNER finished building the home of their

dreams. Nestled on four acres overlooking an Atascadero valley, the couple

has set themselves up for the long haul and no detail has been spared.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TREVOR POVAH

46 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 47


ROOM WITH A VIEW The sliding door in the living room disappears into the wall maximizing the space and giving the

feeling of an indoor-outdoor room with a nearly 180-degree perspective of the surrounding hillside landscape. Steel wire

railings are a cost-effective way to add modern styling, while also expanding the view. And a generous overhang provides

protection from the elements and refuge from the sun, which makes the deck an extension of comfortable living space.

48 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


Chuck Ebner first put his boots on the ground of the Central Coast

when he was stationed at Camp Roberts and later at Fort Hunter

Liggett as he served in the U.S. Army in the mid 80’s. “I loved

the area, the landscape, the wine,” he states in a no-nonsense,

straightforward manner revealing his military background. The young

Ebner, who went to “the other” Cal Poly in Pomona, made his way

into a long, twenty-year career as the Community Development

Director for the City of Lakewood, a municipality of about 80,000

people in Los Angeles County. Later, he found himself back at Fort

Hunter Liggett, this time in the Army Reserves, when he rekindled

his love for the Central Coast. >>

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 49


STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Many exposed

engineered wood beams add structural

strength, while also contributing to the

styling of the modern hillside home. Since the

supports are manufactured, unusual bends

and curves were designed into the beams.

Before long, the couple found themselves huddled with San Luis

Obispo-based architect Bill Isaman trying to figure out how to design

the home they had envisioned: all one level with a common living

area flanked by a master suite and a guest area, complete with an

underground garage. As the plan evolved to reflect the realities of the

terrain and the construction budget, an elevated structure manifested,

which was designed to follow the slope of the hillside as well as

blend into the surrounding landscape. By February 2014, the general

contractor, also of San Luis Obispo, Stalwork, Inc., broke ground on

the four-acre property. Chuck confesses that the project would have

gone a lot faster had he “not made so many changes along the way.” >>

50 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 51


BACKBONE An oversized

center supporting wall

running through the middle

of the home, known as

a “spine wall,” serves as

the center of the building

making it attractive and

intriguing as a design

element, while also providing

load-bearing strength as a

structural component.

In the end, Nina, who relishes the thrill of the chase involved in decorating

the home and confesses to spending much of her time at thrift shops,

consignment stores, and on Craigslist, counts the view and the quiet as her

favorite aspects of the home. “It’s the landscape, and the beauty, and the

tranquility of the area that we love the most.” While the home is certainly

quiet, it is seldom without company. Although their 24-year-old son rarely

is able to break away from his work to come out for a visit, the couple

hosts a steady stream of friends and family. And, sometimes when Chuck

is enjoying one his favorite glasses of wine out on the deck, he thinks back

to his days as a young G.I. when he gazed out at the bucolic Central Coast

landscape and wondered if he might be lucky enough to find himself here

again one day. SLO LIFE

TREVOR POVAH is an

architectural photographer

here on the Central Coast.

52 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017



Our REALTOR Sarah Weber did an

amazing job helping us find two

exceptional properties and we are now

in the process of building our dream

home in San Luis Obispo. We are

thankful for her hard work, dedication

and professionalism. She was so fun to

work with and we would recommend her

to anyone.


Billy and Laura Reeves

San Luis Obispo Realty is proud of our

outstanding, dedicated real estate agents.

San Luis Obispo Realty is committed and proud to help buyers and sellers, of all kinds, make their dreams come true!

SAN LUIS OBISPO REALTY

805-544-9161

WWW.SANLUISOBISPO-HOMES.COM

441 MARSH STREET, SAN LUIS OBISPO

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 53


| ARCHITECTURE

DESIGN

+

BUILD

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 recent installments in this series.

December Project Recognition

The Butler Hotel, San Luis Obispo

Architect garcia architecture + design

Interiors garcia architecture + design

Structural Engineer Ashley & Vance Structural Engineers

Mechanical Engineer BMA Mechanical

Electrical GECE Electrical

Contractor Pacific Builders

Photography Studio 101 West, garcia architecture + design

After sitting vacant for years, local

architect George Garcia saw the potential

that lay hidden within the shell of an

abandoned, ivy-covered metal and steel

building. Looking for an alternative hotel

experience to offer his out-of-town clients

and colleagues, he envisioned a one-ofa-kind

hospitality experience that lay at

the intersection of technology, design, and

luxury. By repurposing yet respecting the

existing industrial structure, this new hotel

offering creates a unique visitor experience

unlike any other.

The heavily patinated concrete floors

and rusting steel panels of this existing

building yield no clues as to what lies

inside. As guests enter through the

historic 1950’s façade, they immediately

find themselves in an eclectic haven

infused with industrial yet modern design.

Once inside, this boutique hotel’s rough

exterior gives way to an unexpected array

of sophisticated modern details. A striking

monochromatic color scheme contrasts

with the faded yet authentic character of

this former auto repair garage.

Secret passcodes and live video check-in

work in harmony with historically

significant artwork and repurposed

elements, a concept the design team

coins “Retro-Tech.” The styling

continues in each of the meticulously

appointed guest rooms, featuring classic

mid-century furnishings alongside

bespoke wood cabinetry that celebrate

modern design. Guests are free to relax

in the intimate library lounge, spin

some vinyl on the vintage phonograph,

or enjoy an afternoon sitting on the

sun-drenched outdoor patio.

Each luxurious guest room features lush

carpeting, custom lighting fixtures, and

individually curated artwork. The elegantly

finished bathrooms include floor-toceiling

porcelain tile and custom marble

and walnut counters, along with modern

yet eco-friendly lighting and plumbing

fixtures. From the custom hand-crafted

casegoods designed and built in-house,

to the individually carved “Do-Not-

Disturb” walnut and maple placards, no

detail was overlooked. The design team

even hand-picked the linens, duvets, and

pillows, as well as all bath amenities, in

a deliberate effort to promote a unified

design consciousness, while providing

a memorable and lasting hospitality

experience here in San Luis Obispo.

54 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 55


January Project Recognition

Chris Anholm House, San Luis Obispo

Architect Greg Wynn, AIA

Interiors Vickie Knemeyer, Sea Country Interiors

Landscape Gardens by Gabriel

Contractor Ryk Kluver Construction

In 2009, the Chris Anholm House went through a major renovation

to restore the neglected structure and site. The home was reconstructed

to the original sense of time and place through extensive research

and archived photographs while meeting the owner’s programmatic

requirements of today. With exterior porches for every time of day, a

central clerestory volume above, and landscaped vistas to distant framed

views, the open floor plan and clear circulation define California living.

Because much of the building and infrastructure was beyond repair,

builder Ryk Kluver de-constructed the home and salvaged usable siding,

windows, and framing lumber for later re-use in the project. Artifacts

found that maintain the historical integrity of the house include original

siding boards bearing Chris Anholm’s signature, which were verified

through building permit records and are on display in the entry foyer.

Passive ventilation at the clerestory, radiant floor heat, extra insulation,

and quality wood-frame windows provide efficient thermal comfort,

while rainwater catchment and a premier succulent landscape foster

sustainable and beautiful outdoor areas. These areas feature entertainment

zones with a pizza oven and fireplace, an intimate writer’s studio and

creekside deck.

With city council approval of Master List Historic status and a Mills

Act conservation contract, the Chris Anholm house is recognized as

the finest home in the Anholm Tract, as it was in 1925. Architect Greg

Wynn noted, “I like to think that if Mr. Anholm were with us today, he

would instantly recognize his family home and appreciate the work done

to restore it.”

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. SLO LIFE

56 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 57


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2015

62

691,440

673,980

97.47

73

2015

30

748,326

733,260

97.99

65

2015

21

769,333

734,019

95.41

58

2015

Total Homes Sold

14

Average Asking Price

1,126,786

Average Selling Price

1,074,814

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 95.39

Average # of Days on the Market 51

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2015

39

693,067

589,067

85.03

46

2015

40

734,738

723,987

98.54

28

2015

53

760,619

738,865

97.14

39

2016

44

702,545

694,981

98.92

46

2016

32

847,128

821,839

97.01

44

2016

28

768,346

757,727

98.62

25

2016

20

1,298,350

1,244,900

95.88

80

2016

59

688,951

683,149

99.16

30

2016

38

818,905

802,039

97.94

45

2016

52

818,874

801,020

97.82

65

+/-

-29.03%

1.61%

3.12%

1.45%

-36.99%

+/-

6.67%

13.20%

12.08%

-0.98%

-32.31%

+/-

33.33%

-0.13%

3.23%

3.21%

-56.90%

+/-

42.86%

15.23%

15.82%

0.49%

56.86%

+/-

51.28%

-0.59%

15.97%

14.13%

-34.78%

+/-

-5.00%

11.46%

10.78%

-0.60%

60.71%

+/-

-1.89%

7.66%

8.41%

0.68%

66.67%

*Comparing 1/1/15 - 11/20/15 to 1/1/16 - 11/20/16

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

58 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 59


| SLO COUNTY

CRUSHED GRAPE

Est. 1986

We Ship NationWide | 805.544.4449

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REAL ESTATE

REGION

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2015

2016

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2015

2016

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2015

2016

Arroyo Grande

275

283

76

60

661,000

635,000

Atascadero

348

294

64

59

486,958

471,500

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Avila Beach

Cambria/San Simeon

16

132

17

150

91

108

170

104

912,150

582,500

915,000

564,500

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Cayucos

Creston

Grover Beach

44

10

76

30

7

105

104

132

55

116

162

41

815,000

480,000

461,500

806,250

566,000

505,000

Los Osos

164

139

52

66

453,500

535,000

Morro Bay

137

137

81

61

575,000

599,000

Nipomo

228

228

71

62

539,500

577,450

Oceano

50

43

51

56

394,950

422,000

Pismo Beach

100

93

63

90

795,000

809,592

Paso (Inside City Limits)

459

429

68

57

415,000

445,000

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

40

34

85

59

390,000

412,500

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

89

87

116

123

445,000

515,000

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60 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita

Templeton

Countywide

59

328

17

100

2,823

46

331

20

98

2,727

*Comparing 1/1/15 - 11/2015 to 1/1/16 - 11/20/16

103 95 450,000 494,250

53 52 666,000 710,000

124 48 423,500 378,000

92 108 582,500 577,071

75 69 515,000 549,000

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


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805.295.9347

robert.sotello@bankerslife.com

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 61


| EXPLORE

TAKING RELAXATION

TO THE EXTREME

Sensory Deprivation Floating

BY PADEN HUGHES

62 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


The word deprivation doesn’t usually come to mind when we think about

experiences that will enhance our lives. But what if acquiring a unique

experience meant you had to deprive yourself of your senses of sight, sound

and touch? If that piques your interest, I highly recommend floating.

Without too much convincing, I talked my husband into joining me to try something

new. We pulled up to a beautifully landscaped home and met Barbara Combs, a passionate

nutritionist and wellness enthusiast who runs the Living Well Gallery & Spa. Using a float

tent, Combs provides sensory deprivation floats out of her home in Atascadero.

Flotation chambers, also known as isolation tanks and sensory deprivation tanks, were

first developed by John C. Lilly in 1954. In the 1970’s the practice also became known as

REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. The Zen flotation chamber used

by Combs is a rectangular tent about the size of a twin bed. It is pitch black inside and has

about 12 inches of water that is heated to 95 degrees and infused with Epsom salt. I have

experienced the buoyancy of highly concentrated salt water when I floated in the Dead

Sea in Israel, with 33.7% salinity, but to put this experience in perspective, the Living Well

Gallery & Spa’s float tent is set at 80% salinity.

“People describe floating as a womb experience. It’s incredibly freeing of your mind to

strip away the distractions our senses can provide us. Floating can feel so timeless you

almost slip into a trance. I’m passionate about floating because of how many psychological

breakthroughs and health benefits this spa treatment can give people. It’s especially effective

for people recovering from trauma,” explained Combs.

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According to Combs, floating, originally popular in the 70’s, is making a big comeback

because it provides: relaxation—it slips you into a meditative state removing the external

stimuli that distracts our minds from the purity of our thoughts; absorption of magnesium—

most Americans are deficient in the mineral, which is detoxifying, helps keep blood

pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady; psychological and emotional

breakthroughs—floating leads even the most inspiring executives to make mental and

emotional connections to problems they have been too distracted to solve.

So how does it work? Before floating you cover any cuts with Vaseline—open skin doesn’t

feel good when it comes in contact with the Epsom salt—put in earplugs, and wear an eye

mask. Entering into the chamber, the water temperature is designed to match your body

temperature, so it feels neither hot nor cold. Laying back, you instantly feel weightless,

hearing only your breathing.

I started off with some breathing exercises I remembered from my

yoga days, sinking into relaxation with each exhale. It felt like I

was slowly orbiting in circles in complete darkness. I lost a sense

of time, sight, and sound. I can only explain it as feeling peacefully

detached from reality.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

Being seven months pregnant I did not totally lose my sense of

touch as my growing baby girl decided it was time to wake up and

start moving. So, I placed my hands on my stomach and was able

to use the time to connect with my emotions about motherhood

and enjoy feeling the baby shift around. The hour flew by. My

husband let me know the hour was up, and I took a hot shower to

rinse off all the salt. Floating was a surreal experience for me. I felt

incredibly light, euphoric and had the kind of “post massage buzz”

that has yet to go away. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

(805) 546-8777

elderplacementprofessionals.com

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 63


| HEALTH

Better Sleep

a key to good health

It appears that the author, Shawn

Stevenson, is on to something.

Check out our seven favorite tips.

Who doesn’t crave to wake up

renewed and refreshed? We recently

stumbled upon a book titled “Sleep

Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies

to Sleep Your Way to a Better

Body, Better Health, and Bigger

Success.” Inspired to get a good

night’s sleep, we adopted some of

its recommended practices and the

results couldn’t have been better.

No. 1

GET A LITTLE SUNLIGHT

This may sound counterintuitive, but the facts are hard to

deny. Like almost everything else we humans do, hormones

are making it happen. And, sleep is no different. Through

a finely choreographed series of hormonal release we make

our way through the day. One of the key hormones for

sleep is serotonin, which our bodies release when exposed to

sunlight. And our circadian rhythms suggest that our body’s

receptors—our skin and our eyes—are most responsive to

the sun’s ultraviolet rays early in the morning, from sunrise

to 8:30am or so. Lucky for us living on the Central Coast,

sunshine is common at those hours. Try getting a little sun

first thing in the morning—yes, without sunglasses and

sunscreen—and see for yourself if it makes a difference for

your sleep quality.

64 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 65


No. 2

No. 3

TRY MIGHTY MAGNESIUM

It turns out that an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient

of this mineral, which is sometimes referred to as the “antistress

mineral.” A study published in the Journal of Intensive

Care Medicine showed that people deficient in magnesium were

twice as likely to die early. And, Mark Hyman, MD, director

of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine states,

“This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme

reactions and is found in all of your tissues—but mainly in your

bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make

energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize

membranes, and to help muscles relax.” We bought ourselves some

of this stuff in a spray form as the book recommended and, while

it could have been a placebo effect, each of us reported having

excellent, deep sleep that night.

FIX YOUR GUT

This one, too, was a surprise. It seems that everyone these days is talking

about gut health. It all started to make sense when we learned that

approximately 95% of the body’s serotonin is located in the gastrointestinal

tract. There is far too much to cover here, but if you are serious about

optimizing your sleep this is a great place to focus. Entire books are written

about gut health, but Stevenson shares some of the major causes that have

been clinically proven to damage or disorient gut microbiome: agricultural

chemicals, processed foods, repeated antibiotic use, food additives and

preservatives, and chlorinated water. Getting your gut right, it appears, may

take you a long way toward a better night’s sleep.

No. 4

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Stevenson describes how in less than one hundred

years—a very short time when measured against

human evolution—we have disconnected ourselves

from the diurnal rhythms of the earth… yes, we know

that sounds like “trippy hippy” talk, but it does make

sense if you think about it. All through our evolution

we went to sleep when it became dark and rose with

the sun. Therefore, and research proves this, our most

restful sleeping hours are from 10pm to 2am. Instead

of allowing our bodies to repair themselves, many

Americans are watching Netflix. Our hormones do

weird things when we are awake past 10pm, it turns out,

as there is a “second wind” phenomenon, which is the

release of a series of stress hormones that kick in that

provides a boost of energy if we miss this window. This,

of course, makes it harder to settle in for a deep sleep

allowing our bodies to repair and rejuvenate. Repetitively

missing this cycle can spell trouble, as the International

Agency for Research on Cancer now classifies overnight

shift work as a Group 2A carcinogen.

No. 5 BLACK IT OUT

Make your room as dark as possible, pitch black if you can. And, research

shows that an eye mask alone won’t do it because your skin can actually

“see.” That’s right, according to a Brown University study, our skin is full

of photoreceptors (the same ones that react to sunlight in our first tip)

that respond to light. A follow-up study at Cornell University tested these

findings by shining a quarter-sized light on the backside of their subjects’

knees. Results showed that this consistently resulted in much lower quality

sleep. Consider putting in some room-darkening drapes and ditch the alarm

clock (blue and white digital clocks are the worst offenders, red is better), or

do as the book recommends: cover it with a sweatshirt or something while

you sleep and lift it up to peek at the time only if you have to.

66 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 67


No. 6 BE COOL

This one seems obvious, as so many of us here on the Central Coast do not have airconditioned

homes and have experienced a night of tossing and turning that accompanies

a hot spell. As it turns out, body temperature has a lot to do with sleep. According to a

study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, researchers fitted

insomniacs with “cooling caps.” The results were astonishing: when the subjects wore the

caps, they fell asleep faster (about 13 minutes compared to 16 minutes for the healthy

control group), and remained asleep 89% of the time they were in bed, the same as the

non-insomniacs.

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68 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

No. 7

KICK YOUR “FRIENDS” OUT

Remove all electronic devices from your bedroom, which Stevenson refers to as your “sleep

sanctuary.” That means no cell phones, televisions, desktops, laptops, iPads, Kindles, tablets, etc.

Research is fast catching up in this area, but all of it—including those studies coming from

the mobile companies themselves—is not good. In one trial conducted at the Loughborough

University Sleep Research Centre in England, it was found that brain wave patterns were altered

so significantly by cell phone usage prior to bedtime that it took one full hour on average to

return to normal patterns after the phone was turned off, which significantly disrupted sleep.

Same goes for watching TV in bed. Instead, try shutting it off an hour or two before sleep and

reading a book (a real, printed one) under a dimmed incandescent light (not LED). And, if you

must use electronics, consider wearing some of those funky, space-aged amber hued glasses,

which filter out much of the sleep depriving blue light that is emitted from electronic screens. SLO LIFE


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| STORYTELLERS’ CORNER

BEGIN AGAIN

In this ongoing feature, New York Times Best Selling author

FRANZ WISNER teams up with SLO LIFE Magazine to explore

the magic of an age-old tradition: storytelling.

BY FRANZ WISNER

Only in America can a guy can get dumped at the altar and turn it into a

career. I am exhibit A, Franz Wisner, professional dumpee/storyteller.

My story began when my fiancée called off our Sea Ranch, California wedding just a few

days before our planned vows. With guests (and wine) en-route, I decided to go ahead and

join the weekend festivities, attempting to smile during the golf tournament and rehearsal

dinner. “Well, you’ve already paid for it,” I told myself. “Might as well try to enjoy it.”

Of the 150 people invited to the wedding, 75 showed up—my side of the aisle. They gave

me hugs and made me feel a little better about my situation, at least until I returned to my

corporate communications job the next week and learned I had been demoted.

Dumbfounded and depressed, I did something rash. I grabbed my recently divorced brother,

Kurt, and took him on my prepaid honeymoon to Costa Rica. Just a quick trip to shake

things up a little, I told him. That turned out to be a bit of an understatement.

At the end of two weeks, I convinced Kurt to continue the honeymoon… for two years

and 53 countries. We quit our jobs, sold our homes, unplugged our lives, and continued

exploring this big ole planet of ours.

We chased wildlife in Botswana and nightlife in Rio de Janeiro, feasted on pho soups

at sidewalk cafes in Vietnam and got sick after devouring a Subway sandwich in Peru,

slept on couches, negotiated every purchase, dumped the guidebooks, and relied solely on

recommendations from locals. Midway through our travels, I realized I had a new best

friend, a guy who just happened to be my brother.

FRANZ WISNER is a New

York Times bestselling

author and the founder of

The Bestsellers Group, a

storytelling agency.

I also found love. No, not a future bride. I discovered a passion

for writing and storytelling. Up until that point, I’d spent my

career writing for others, penning speeches for politicians and

CEOs, and crafting press releases that relied heavily on words

like “synergy” and “stakeholders.”

Out on the road, with some time on my hands, I began to

write for me. My writing took the form of essays at first,

quirky stories about intrepid backpackers or awful taxi drivers.

For the first time in my life, I wrote from the heart. It felt

liberating and exciting, like somebody handing me a giant box

of Crayolas after I’d spent my life coloring in gray.

At the end of the honeymoon, I received a couple offers to

go back to the corporate world. But my world had changed.

The heart is a powerful thing. Once you write from it, all

other types of writing ring hollow. I didn’t want to go back

to “synergy.”

I decided to write a book titled, you guessed it,

“Honeymoon with My Brother.” From day one, the

book took on a life of its own. We launched on The

Today Show and told our story on Oprah. Book clubs

embraced it, sending us photos of wedding cakes with

miniature grooms on top and brides fleeing off the

side. “Honeymoon with My Brother” made the New

York Times Best Sellers list.

My publisher, St. Martin’s Press, wanted a follow-up

book. “Oh no,” I said. “I’m not getting dumped again.”

They assured me I could write about anything I wished,

and I hit the road anew with Kurt to pen a book called

“How the World Makes Love,” a lighthearted look

at dating and marriage around the globe. At the end

of that process, I met a woman in California, fell in

love, and proposed. She said, “Yes.” Better, she actually

showed up to the wedding, a first for me.

Around this time, I started teaching and helping

individuals and companies with their storytelling

efforts. I got a huge charge out of seeing their stories

come to life. I realized how essential storytelling is

to our time here on earth. It’s how we see everything

around us. It’s how we relate to others. Data and

superlatives go in one ear and out the other. Stories

resonate, inspire, and remain inside us.

At the same time, I feel storytelling is neglected in our

society. We charge on with our hectic lives and our

businesses, too often bogged down by minutia, rarely

taking the time to think, “What’s my story?” When

we do carve out a little time for some storytelling, we

struggle with how to do it.

That’s why I was thrilled when Tom Franciskovich

approached me about writing for SLO LIFE. I loved

the idea of a regular column devoted to storytelling.

Our lives and businesses are stories, essential ones,

with new chapters being written every day. Time to

give that storytelling a little TLC.

In the coming months I plan to write about the art

and craft of storytelling, offer some literary techniques

to help with your stories, and explore the stories that

move us. I’m calling this column The Storytellers’

Corner (plural possessive) because I see it as an

interactive effort. I want to hear your stories and

answer your questions about storytelling.

The best stories are ones that use shared experiences

and emotions to connect. That’s exactly what I hope to

do with this column.

So our story begins. SLO LIFE

70 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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| OPINION

PECHO COAST

NATIONAL SEASHORE

Outgoing San Luis Obispo City Councilman JOHN ASHBAUGH shares his innovative

idea for the future of Diablo Canyon after its nuclear facility is decommissioned in 2025:

turn it into a National Park.

BY JOHN ASHBAUGH

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LANCE KINNEY

78 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 79


Like most Americans, I am utterly

enthralled with our National Parks.

Much of my childhood was lived in

Lassen Volcanic National Park near our

home in Redding, and we car-camped in

many of the western National Parks. My

family has continued that tradition from

San Luis Obispo.

This year, the National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its Centennial

at all of its 412 units, covering 84 million acres of spectacular landscapes,

beaches, deserts, forests, and waters. Californians are blessed with nine

National Parks, eleven National Monuments, and a variety of National

Recreation Areas, Preserves, Trails, and a National Seashore (Point Reyes

in Marin County).

For me, the National Parks are a place of respite, inspiration, and

connection to the magic of the natural world. They also serve to remind

all Americans of our history, and the even longer “pre-history” of the

many cultures and communities of Native Americans who once inhabited

these lands.

I was reminded of this connection many times over this summer

of the NPS Centennial—and it got me to thinking: Why don’t

we have a National Park here in San Luis Obispo County? In my

considered opinion, we should—and there’s a great candidate right

in our own backyard.

Recent events suggest an opportunity for this community to take

the initiative to propose a new National Park here: The Pecho Coast

National Seashore.

Last June, PG&E announced that the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power

Plant (DCNPP) would begin the long process of decommissioning

in 2025. This facility is the last operating nuclear power plant in

California, and with its closure, our region will see a net economic loss

of about $1 billion annually.

The County, school districts, and nearby cities are reeling in the face of

this announcement. Over the last few months, a coalition of cities have

urged PG&E to negotiate strategies to mitigate the economic impacts

that we will feel in this region.

Even before the planned closure was announced, I had been urging

local leaders to launch “post-Diablo” planning so that we can transition

smoothly into a future without Diablo Canyon. For over a half-century,

we have benefitted from economic stimulus from the power plant, but

that will end soon. For Diablo Canyon to continue as an operating >>

80 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


&

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 81


nuclear power plant, PG&E would have to invest billions to upgrade the

facility. They have other priorities now, and have committed to exceed new

state requirements to derive 50% of their electrical power from renewable,

sustainable sources by 2030—they are going for 55%.

The closure of Diablo Canyon will require careful deliberation and

intelligent leadership for at least the next decade. With such guidance, we

can seize a unique opportunity that presents itself due to the fact that this

energy company has exercised such careful stewardship over the 12,800

acres of pristine coastal lands surrounding the nuclear power plant.

Why not take advantage of that vast protected area and combine PG&E’s

holdings with the 8,000-acre Montaña de Oro State Park nearby, to

assemble a continuous coastal area that qualifies as a unit of the National

Park Service? Let’s think even bigger by adding the 5,500 acres of the

Hibbert Preserve and Wild Cherry Canyon, which is owned by PG&E

but subject to a long-term lease controlled by a developer.

Let’s also consider adding the historic 1892 Point San Luis Lighthouse,

owned by the Port San Luis Harbor District, at its southern end. Together,

about 25,000 acres could easily qualify as a unit of our famed National

Park system, right in our backyard.

What is required to create such a magnificent park? The most

important ingredient is the land itself—and anyone who has

experienced this area knows that it is worthy of National Park status

on the basis of its raw beauty alone—not to mention its unique flora

and fauna, geology, and history.

Beyond that, we will need strong cooperation with the landowners,

both public and private, enthusiastic support within the surrounding

communities, and unified local political leadership. Only Congress

can declare a National Park. For example, Pinnacles National Park is

credited to Monterey Congressman Sam Farr, who retires at the end

of this year. A National Monument like the Carrizo Plains requires

only an executive order by the President under the Antiquities Act

of 1906. President Bill Clinton created the Carrizo Plains National

Monument on January 17, 2001, just three days before leaving

office. Many National Parks were first designated by the President

as National Monuments. In another instance, Theodore Roosevelt

declared Pinnacles a National Monument in 1908. In that same year,

he also proclaimed the Grand Canyon as a National Monument, but

Congress made it a National Park just after Roosevelt’s death in 1919.

Creating a Pecho Coast National Seashore will provoke controversy, >>

82 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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without a doubt since National Park designation requires an Act of

Congress, in this case the State Legislature would be asked to transfer the

State Park to the NPS. Federal control might be a hard pill to swallow,

but federal support would be enormously helpful in securing the funding

needed to buy out the interests of PG&E and its partner in Wild Cherry

Canyon, HomeFed Corporation of Carlsbad.

A few hundred acres in and around the power plant would need to be

carved out of the National Park boundaries for DCNPP decommissioning,

and for safe storage of spent fuel—at least until the Nuclear Regulatory

Commission can find some other place for it to go. In my view, the

federal government is already a major stakeholder in our post-Diablo

future. A National Park would come with federal dollars to secure the

conservation values of this outstanding area, while also securing the

radioactive waste.

The communities of Los Osos, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, San Luis

Obispo, and the Five Cities would need to get on board. So, what’s in

it for them?

National Parks typically bring in substantial non-local visitors with dollars.

A recent study by the NPS showed that Point Reyes National Seashore,

for example, yielded these numbers: the park attracted 2.5 million visitors

in 2015, who spent over $100 million in Marin County. This spending

in turn generated 1,400 jobs that provided $58 million in labor income

(earnings) in that year.

Support from many local interest groups would be key to the grassroots

campaign to create a National Park. We would need backing from

the Land Conservancy, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, California

Native Plants Society, Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers, Morro Bay

Natural History Association, Surfrider Foundation, and the many land

preservation organizations now working in this community. Historical and

archaeological preservation advocates as well as local Chumash leaders

would play an integral role in helping us learn how best to protect historic

and pre-historic sites.

A National Park or Seashore would be perfectly

compatible with the proposed Chumash

National Marine Sanctuary, stretching from

Estero Bay to Point Concepcion. That area,

once accepted by the National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration, would focus on

marine resources and sustainable fisheries.

We are very privileged on the Central Coast

to have the opportunity to hold out to the

nation, and to the world, an outstanding

JOHN ASHBAUGH founded

complex of coastal headlands and seascapes

the Land Conservancy in

that offers so much to so many. It is time to 1984, and served eight years

on the San Luis Obispo City

begin a conversation here, in Sacramento, and

Council. He teaches U.S.

in Washington about what we can do together History and Global Studies

at Hancock College.

to create the Pecho Coast National Seashore—

right here in our own backyard. SLO LIFE

84 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 85


| TRAVEL

UNPLUG

“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. Life takes on a neat

simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. It’s quite wonderful, really.”

— Bill Bryson, author of “A Walk in the Woods”

BY KIMBERLY WALKER

86 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


“T

he Average American Spends Over 10 Hours a Day

Staring at Screens” said the CNN headline I read on my

iPhone while waiting in line at Scout Coffee. Up to that

moment it had not occurred to me to classify the phone,

computer, TV, and iPad into one category: “Screen.” I wanted

to burn my precious devices in protest and head for the hills. Instead, I

sat down with my cappuccino, opened my laptop, and started Googling

“remote adventures; long walks through the wilderness; and hikes through

the mountains.” After hours of online research, I settled on hiking the

Haute Route, a 120-mile trek between Chamonix, France and Zermatt,

Switzerland. National Geographic ranks it as one of the 20 best hikes in

the world. The route is safe, entirely non-technical, requires no ropes or

crampons, and while challenging because of its daily elevation gains and

distances, it is achievable by any hiker in reasonably good shape.

One month later, my fellow screen addict and I were starting our first day

of hiking the Haute Route, beginning in Zermatt on our way through the

greatest concentration of 4,000-meter peaks in the Alps.

I must first point out, the Alps are not like our California mountains. They

come at you from all sides and angles; they loom over you, and make you

feel like a small, powerless being. They are diverse, both in weather and

landscape. Staring up at them, knowing that we would be delving into them

over the next eight days was a humbling and profound experience.

Twenty miles into the first day, I started questioning my belief that weekly

hikes up San Luis Mountain were proper training for hiking the Alps with

a 35-pound pack strapped to my back. We had passed through spacious

woodlands, bustling streams, high pastures, and delved into a stony

wilderness, all in just the first day. As we slowly shuffled up the last ascent

of the day, I clung desperately to the tiny religious shrines that sporadically

lined the single-track path up the mountain, as if they were strategically

placed at the top of each very steep pitch.

The sun was setting just as we reached the small village at the top of

the trail. We quickly discovered a large pond and grassy knoll to set up

camp beside. As achy and tired as we were, we were even more desperate

for some Swiss wine to pair with our feast of dehydrated chicken curry,

turkey jerky, and chocolate peanut butter Clif bars. We discovered a tiny

hamlet, flush with Swiss wine and German beer. Prost! We ate and drank

like kings at our camp, retelling stories of our adventurous day, and then

retiring early to our tent. Sleep came quickly after ten hours of hiking.

Sunrise came even faster.

And so began the morning ritual of hoisting my 35-pound backpack. The

pack is always heaviest in the morning, because it’s full of a day’s supply of

water. As our journey progressed, we passed many hikers from all over the

world, each time making eye contact and greeting us with, “Bonjour, Buenos

Días, Guten Tag, Salaam, Ciao, Good Morning.” My mind wandered

back to all the people I pass on a daily basis walking down Higuera, staring

down at our iPhones as we walk from place to

place. Aside from that, why did all of these hikers

have much smaller packs than ours? At first, I

thought they were day hiking a different route, as

Switzerland boasts over 37,000 miles of official

hiking trails throughout the country, many of

which are in the Alps. But on the eighth hour into

what the Swiss hiking signs indicated to be a sixhour

day, I started scheming about how to lighten

my pack.

KIMBERLY WALKER is

a writer, traveler, and

entrepreneur who lives in

San Luis Obispo.

Weight of the pack aside, the Swiss are world

famous for being fit and healthy; many of the

Swiss hikers we met on the trail were over 70 years

old. Hiking is as much their culture as Swiss >>

dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 87


chocolates and cheese. Have screens become America’s

culture?

The next day included bouldering over our third 9,000-

foot pass. My knees and spirit were exhausted, and I found

myself singing an odd rendition of “Edelweiss” to keep

my mind off the terrain in front of me. I misjudged one

of the rocks, lost my balance, and was thrown backwards

by the weight of my heavy pack. Although it cushioned

what could have been a painful fall, my pack became firmly

wedged between two small boulders. There I was, stuck

in the middle of a massive rock pile, with my legs, arms,

and hiking sticks flailing in the air, like a turtle turned on

its shell. No matter how much I wriggled and jerked, I

could not set myself free. A group of French hikers finally

noticed my distress and as they were rushing to assist, I

broke free of the rocks and hobbled my way back to my

feet. Angry with both my headphone clad hiking partner

for not hearing my squeals for help and myself for having

a ridiculously heavy pack, we decided to ditch the camping

theme of the trip and opt for the comforts of the Cabane.

Cabanes are the Swiss word for hostel or dormitory. Most

have large sleeping rooms that house 20-30 guests. Each

guests is provided with a sleeping pad, small pillow and wool

blanket. Guests pay between $60-150 per person per night

including dinner and breakfast. Communal bathrooms and

showers are standard, as are family-style dinners. Having

stayed in plenty of hostels, I found them quite comforting,

like going home for Thanksgiving, but my hiking partner,

having never slept in a communal room, found the whole

experience a bit disturbing, at the very least, undesirable.

Some Cabanes were settled in small towns, others were

perched on a hillside, or nestled in a valley at the bottom of

a steep descent. Although unique in structure and landscape,

each was filled with a similar cast of characters from all over

the world: hikers wearing zip-away pants, hikers reading

guide books, hikers clinging to their Nalgenes, hikers sharing

stories of adventures in different languages. Despite all the

different religions, philosophies, and beliefs, gathered around

the table each night, we were all united in our common

mission to walk the Alps. Our complicated lives had become

simple. When the sun rises, we wake up, eat breakfast, and

begin to walk. When it sets, we shower (if lucky), eat dinner,

and go to sleep. And, in between, is the sole task of putting

one foot in front of the other. There are no task lists, or calls

to make. No cell service or Wi-Fi. Our only connections are

the people around us.

The farther into the Alps we delved, the landscape changed

from pastures and boulders to snow and shale. Each day

offered a different shade of nature. As if all of its various

facets were laid out for us to explore: lakes, rocks, woods,

snow, rain, sunshine, wind. The Alps served up a kaleidoscope

of natural beauty that leaves its visitors in awe.

By the end of our adventure, I not only had a much lower

bar for enjoyment: Nescafé became invigorating, a ham and

cheese sandwich was divine, sleeping on a floor pad felt like

heaven, and a $10 bottle of red wine was a treat. I also felt

inspired to trade two of the ten hours a day I normally

spend on my screen, to just being outdoors. San Luis

Obispo County, with its vast open spaces, captivating

peaks, and miles of hiking trails should easily trump

staring at a screen. So let’s put down our devices, and head

for our hills. SLO LIFE

88 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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HOW WILL I BE

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• A key step in preparing for emergencies is knowing the

ways in which you may be notified. In San Luis Obispo

County, officials will utilize different public alert and

notification systems based on the type and severity of the

emergency. Some of the options available include the Early

Warning System sirens, the Emergency Alert System (EAS),

and Reverse 911. • Should an emergency occur at Diablo

Canyon Power Plant that requires the public to take action,

the sirens and EAS would be the primary method of public

alert and notification. These systems provide rapid and

consistent information throughout the Emergency Planning

Zone. • During an emergency, it is important to stay tuned

to local radio and TV stations to receive current information

and any actions you may need to take.

• For more information on how you can be kept informed

of local emergencies, please visit:

www.slocounty.ca.gov/oes or call (805)781-5011.

OUR ALERT & NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS MAY BE USED FOR ANY LOCAL EMERGENCY

OUR ALERT AND NOTIFICATION

SYSTEMS MAY BE USED FOR

ANY LOCAL EMERGENCY

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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 89


| BUSINESS

FAMILY TIES

Three Generations of the Rizzoli Family Celebrate 40 Years in Business

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAY WINTER

The ’69 Chevy, a white Camaro, shook the ground as it inched up to the

starting line. Things had fallen into place on this day, and five rounds

later, the dragster from San Luis Obispo, of all places, most improbably

remained undefeated. But, the stakes were higher now; this was the final round and a

national television audience was tuning in. The winner of this race would be crowned

champion of the annual NHRA Toyota Nationals. Whoever made it to the end of the

quarter-mile track first was the champ, pure and simple—winner takes all.

A green light flashed and the driver tromped on the gas pedal, launching his car forward.

Tires gripped the track as the vehicle stayed true and straight, and after a few moments of

ear-splitting fury Kyle Rizzoli had bested 70 of the country’s top Super Stock racers. The

crowd erupted at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the Rizzoli family jumped up and

down, embracing and laughing. Grandma Mary, who following the race back in San Luis

Obispo, called to share in the excitement. And, once again, three generations of Rizzolis

were together, as one.

After 24 years working as an auto mechanic for another shop in town, Mario Rizzoli was

ready to go out on his own. He had been planning and saving for the right opportunity,

so when he found a corner lot with a dilapidated old, falling-down house just off Broad

Street in an area of town then known as Little Italy, he knew it would be perfect. And, he

took comfort in the fact that the new shop would be located just down the street from the

garbage company that his father, Augusto, had founded with a partner. That much could be

considered a good luck omen, but when he learned that he had actually lived in the house

briefly as a baby, he knew he was definitely on the right path. The structure was razed and a

shiny, new auto shop rose up in its place, the same shop that has continuously operated, in

good times and in bad, for forty years in San Luis Obispo.

When Mario’s son, Jim, was just nineteen years old, he joined his father as he opened

the doors to the start-up business, and the father-and-son team began welcoming their

first customers to the town’s newest auto repair

shop. The two worked together over the years,

cautiously expanding the shop during that time.

Then, Jim and his wife Kay brought their own

children into the world, the third generation of

Rizzolis, first Kyle and then Karen. Both of them

went on to Cal Poly, Kyle graduating in mechanical

engineering, and Karen with a degree in business.

“I’ve seen my dad work very, very hard. It’s not the

easiest, or most glamorous industry,” Kyle reflects.

“Growing up, I didn’t want to get into the business.

I told my parents, ‘I’ll give you five years, and then

I’m out,’” he laughs. “That was almost ten years ago;

and I wouldn’t change one moment.”

Recently, Karen joined the family business and the

brother-sister duo are preparing to fully take the

reigns of the operation from their parents. “It feels like

something that is bigger than yourself,” Kyle shares.

“We have customers that were my grandpa’s customers.

Some of them have been with us for forty years.

They’ve had a relationship with my grandpa, my dad,

and now me. That’s pretty powerful, and that’s what

has kept me going. It’s very fulfilling to maintain those

bonds with people in the community.” Continuing

her grandson’s thought, Mary reveals, “I think that it’s

wonderful, and I only wish that Mario was here to see

it because he would think so also. Never did I dream

that this would happen, but it couldn’t be better.” SLO LIFE

90 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 91


| TASTE

CROISSANTS

Ubiquitous, Yet Miraculous

BY JAIME LEWIS

crois·sant

a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie-pastry named for its well-known crescent shape; croissants and other

viennoiseries are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough; the dough is layered with butter, rolled

and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating; the

process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry;

JAIME LEWIS is a world

traveler, and food writer, who

lives in San Luis Obispo.

92 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 93


“I’ve been baking croissants for five years and still, every day, we ask, ‘Did the croissants

turn out okay?’ They’re way more of a miracle than people realize.”

I’m sitting at a sidewalk table with Dan Berkeland outside his Back Porch Bakery in

Atascadero, talking croissants on a Tuesday morning in the pretty October sunshine.

Inside, customers gather at tables beneath the bakery’s Old World exposed brick, wood

and brass.

Known for his croissants, Berkeland produces approximately 20,000 per month for local

restaurants and cafes, in addition to his own. He recalls what got him into croissants in

the first place. “I was a bread guy, but I read that croissants are just laminated bread. So I

used my bread recipe and laminated it. It was a game-changer.”

The concept of lamination is key to understanding croissants (and croissant people—

more on that in a bit). Essentially, a croissant is multiple alternating layers of thin dough

and butter, rolled into a shape and baked. Sound easy? It’s not; making croissants takes

three days, two fermentations (risings), and, Berkeland adds, knowledge, craft, muscle,

and intellect. “A croissant is far more than the sum of its individual parts,” he says.

The origins of the modern croissant are hazy, but many believe it to be the love child of

an Austrian crescent-shaped biscuit and France’s leavened puff pastry (pâte feuilletée,

literally “leafy dough”). The first documented croissant appears in a French recipe

written in 1915, smack dab in the middle of World War I—an interesting fact given the

scarcity of baking ingredients at the time.

Which leads me to ask Berkeland, “Are croissants the product of necessity, like so many

other dishes, traditions, and foodways?” He laughs, and points to my croissant. “There is

nothing necessary about that. That’s all about gluttony and luxury.”

Tucking into the Back Porch Bakery croissant before me, I have to agree. The skin,

burnished from the caramelization of natural sugars, snaps like a tree branch as I pull

apart the croissant’s coiling layers. The flavors are salty and sweet, with just a hint of

sourdough-like tang. >>

94 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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Berkeland is warm, exacting, opinionated, and tenacious, a

personality blend I also find in Mark Evans, the baker and

owner of Breaking Bread Bakery in SLO. Evans and his wife,

Glenna, opened their bustling bakery inside the County building

on Higuera Street a few years ago and have quickly earned a

following for croissants made by in-house croissant baker, Lane

Hughes. The keys, according to Evans? A light touch, experience,

and really good butter.

“We use eighty-three percent butterfat, unsalted, European-style

butter,” he says, explaining that the high fat-to-milk-solids ratio

keeps the butter from “shattering,” or “breaking,” when rolled

very thin. These details, numbers and ratios are the norm when

talking about croissant-baking; every baker I interviewed referred

to many pages of notes or complicated matrices that documented

their hard-earned pastry wisdom.

Whereas Evans is passionate and methodical, baker Lane Hughes

is quiet and more laissez-faire. I watch as he measures and cuts

squares of dough for ham and cheese croissants. (Breaking Bread

Bakery makes multiple varieties of croissants, including almond,

chocolate, jalapeño-cheddar, and a riff on traditional stollen bread

with rum-soaked raisins, candied fruit, and almonds.) “You have

to take your time and be gentle,” Hughes says, patting a croissant

as it proofs. “The layers come out better that way.”

Layers are a big deal to croissant people. As Evans slices into a plain

croissant and separates the two halves for a closer look, I’m reminded

of buttresses supporting a cathedral wall; the interior’s lacy honeycomb

appearance is a product of cold butter melting as layers of yeasted

dough rise and bake. When I taste this croissant, I’m struck by its

creamy sweetness and the crispy bite of browned skin. >>

96 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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Those who bake real croissants deserve all the pride they have in their

work, nobody more so than Marcus Marren, the pastry chef and manager

of Pagnol Boulanger in Los Osos-Baywood Park. The newest bakery of

the bunch, Pagnol opened in August as a second location for L.A.-based

award-winning bread baker Mark Stambler. While Stambler commutes

weekly to Baywood from L.A. and is definitely “a bread guy,” Marren

resides here full-time and produces all of the bakery’s pastries.

While the croissants at Back Porch Bakery and Breaking Bread Bakery

differ in nuanced ways, those from Pagnol differ significantly and on

many levels. First, for lack of space, Marren rolls his dough and butter by

hand—they’re not fed through a sheeter like at the others—a punishing

task only for the most committed baker. Second, Marren’s croissants

are composed, in part, of whole grain Sonora white winter wheat from

Kandarian Farms in Los Osos, a big deal because whole wheat flour is

usually considered too heavy, dense or tough for a croissant’s delicate

structure. Lastly, Marren’s croissants are leavened 100% naturally, without

any commercial yeast, like a true sourdough. “You know, for being so

delicious,” he says, “these croissants really are the healthiest version of

themselves.”

Marren’s different methods definitely show up in the final pastry, the

most notable being a sourdough tanginess. That acidity plays nicely across

the interior’s sweet softness and the exterior’s crisp flakiness. Sharing a

Pagnol croissant with my friend Jen on the bakery’s front patio, we feel

the fortune of our find—Marren only bakes croissants twice per month

and they usually sell out in just two hours—and indulge in uncoiling the

buttery, beautiful dough, layer after layer. SLO LIFE

98 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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| KITCHEN

WARM WINTER FAVORITE

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WITH CHEESY TOAST POINTS

There is nothing quite as comforting as tomato soup on a cold day and Chef Jessie Rivas

creates a rich, creamy bowl bursting with bright flavors. And one dip with his perfectly toasted

rustic baguette topped with cheese and you will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

100 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


JESSIE’S TIP:

To create another layer of flavor, add

an herb oil drizzle to the bowl just

before serving. To make herb oil:

mix 1 cup minced basil, 1 cup minced

!arugula, 1/4 olive oil, salt and pepper.

OVEN ROASTED CREAM OF TOMATO

SOUP WITH CHEESY TOAST POINTS

4 lbs Roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise

¼ cup olive and canola oil blend

2 medium yellow onions roughly chopped

4-6 cloves garlic roughly chopped

4 Tbs butter

½ tsp Allepo chili flakes or a few dashes of

Tabasco sauce

1 16 oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbs thyme

1 bunch fresh basil

2 bay leaves

1 qt vegetable or chicken stock

½ cup heavy whipping cream

Kosher salt and black pepper

Rustic baguette

Grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

Soup:

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In a non-reactive stockpot, sauté onions and garlic

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bay leaves, basil, thyme, and stock. Simmer for 30

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Remove bay leaves. In a blender purée soup in

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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 101


| BREW

FRESH

HARVEST

BY BRANT MYERS

Coming fresh off the heels of SLO Beer Week,

I desperately needed a break from my daily

bread—ales and lagers. Luckily, grapes and

grains aren’t the only fermentables on the

Central Coast. Let’s talk about another local

crop being grown right in our own backyard,

or maybe even your front yard—apples.

Some people eat them raw or bake them, but my favorite way to

consume apples is to drink them. Hard cider, as opposed to apple

cider, the non-fermented, non-filtered juice of pressed apples, has the

addition of yeast making it alcoholic and... amazing. Not to be confused

with the mass-marketed swill that’s been on our grocery store shelves

for decades, this local stuff is true to the educated consumers’ demand

for elevated products and thoughtful craftsmanship. Look no further

than five cideries right here in our county to see the resurgence this

crisp and flavorful beverage has made in recent years.

We’ve had our fair share of tour stops heading toward North

County breweries with a refreshing break at Bristols Cider House in

Atascadero. Their focus on dry ciders is changing the perception of beer

drinkers and wine drinkers alike, turning them into true fans of the

craft. It’s not just the drying champagne yeast that makes them stand

out, it’s the boundary-breaking techniques being employed. Raise a

glass of bright pink Mangelwurtzel to the light and see for yourself.

This unique brew has fifty pounds of Bull’s Blood beets added per ton

of apples to give it an earthy flavor that compliments the acidity of the

apples. Another brew that’s sure to convert even the most diehard beer

drinkers into the world of apples, and one we love to highlight, is the

dry-hopped Rackham. Utilizing classic citrus-forward flavors of West

Coast hops, this cider stands out as the bridge to gap both worlds.

Travel further up Highway 101 and you’ll visit the newest cider house

to hit the Central Coast, Tin City Cider Company. You can enjoy

their creations around the city of SLO both finding their tap handles

around local watering holes and their cans in grocery stores or your

favorite sandwich shops. Their Original Cider uses nine apple varieties,

six yeasts, three fermentation vessels, and two hops to make one batch. Not

bad for the daily drinker. Want to get funky? Sharing a wall with Barrelhouse

Brewing’s sour facility it’s no wonder they borrowed some blonde wheat wort

and added Brett and Lacto, barrel-aged, dry-hopped and bottle-conditioned

with Brux to make their Sour Blonde cider.

Avila’s See Canyon is renowned as our local apple producing region with its

perfect blend of hot sunshine and moist ocean air. When headed south we

love to dip into the winding tree-lined roads of Avila and explore two cider

makers with tasting rooms in the heart of their orchards. Kelsey See Canyon

makes not only beautiful wines and labels, but tasty beverages as well. Grab a

bottle of Red Delicious, a blend of rosé wine and cider, and head straight to

the Sycamore Mineral Springs with this bottle of “Hot Tub Wine.” Visit the

namesake See Canyon Ciders as they poise to reopen their tasting room with

ciders made right there on-premise and be the hit of your dinner party with

a bottle of Premium Dry, bottle conditioned for two years and cellared for an

additional four years. It is a great alternative to champagne.

Go further down the coast and you might bump into the very new Meraki

Cider. Run by husband-and-wife team Travis and Quincy Storm, they use

apples from their family farm to make the crisp and clean flagship Totem.

Catch them at cider events around the county to

sample seasonal variants like their persimmon and

coriander versions, or wait until spring for bright

additions of lemon, ginger, and tart cherries.

Lucky for you they deliver growlers to your door

and we will start seeing Totem bottles hitting

shelves in Pismo and beyond.

BRANT MYERS is owner

of Hop On Beer Tours, a

concierge service for craft

beer enthusiasts along the

Central Coast.

So, whether you’re into the rich complexities

of wine or the refreshing drinkability of beer,

cider has a place in your fridge. Start to keep

an eye out for our neighborhood brands

popping up, give them a shot, or better yet visit

the source, and take part in the revolution as

local artisans fight to take back the great name

of hard ciders. SLO LIFE

102 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 103


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| HAPPENINGS

CHRISTMAS AT THE CASTLE

Take in the impressive sight of

Hearst Castle decked out for

Christmas circa the 1920’s creating

an impressive spectacle and a special

atmosphere that is sure to make the

season bright.

December 1 - 31 // hearstcastle.org

architectural

photography

trevorpovahphotography

architects | interior designers | engineers

contractors | landscape architects | & more

www.trevorpovahphotography.com

DECEMBER

THE SANTALAND DIARIES

Out of work, this slacker decides to

become a Macy’s elf during the holiday

crunch. Witness this battle-weary and

bitter elf transform into our hero with

uncharacteristic moments of goodwill

just before his employment runs out.

December 5 - 21 // slolittletheatre.org

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Enjoy the full-length holiday classic “A

Christmas Carol” presented by Ballet

Theatre San Luis Obispo with Principal

Ballerina Theresa Slobodnik.

December 16 -18 // pacslo.org

Join us on HIGUERA STREET

(BETWEEN OSOS & NIPOMO STREETS)

EVERY THURSDAY 6-9PM

DOWNTOWNSLO.COM

104 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

THE NUTCRACKER

It’s Christmas Eve and Clara is about to have

the night of her dreams. Marvel at the magic

and wonder of this spectacular, professional

production brought to you by the Civic Ballet

and accompanied by the Opera San Luis

Obispo orchestra and the SLO High Choir.

December 10 - 11 // pacslo.org


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 105


| HAPPENINGS

PRESENTING THE BEST

VARIETY OF PROFESSIONAL

ENTERTAINMENT

AT THE PAC !

CALPOLYARTS.ORG

POLAR BEAR DIP

Kick off the New Year by

jumping into the cold waters of

the Pacific Ocean off Cayucos

as part of the 36th Annual

Carlin Soulé Memorial Polar

Bear Dip. Most participants

wear swimming suits or come

in costume, but be warned,

wetsuits are frowned upon. The

festivities begin at 9:30am, with

the Polar Bear Dip at noon.

January 1 // cayucoschamber.com

JANUARY

RESTAURANT MONTH

Visitors and locals alike can experience the region’s

locally-inspired cuisine throughout January as

participating restaurants offer various special menus

and promotions, most featuring a three-course

prix fixe menu. Reservations recommended. Prices

and offers vary by restaurant. Dine out during this

delicious month celebrating some of the finest

cuisine on the Central Coast.

January 2 - 31 // visitsanluisobispocounty.com

SENIOR DISCOUNT . Mon & Tues 10 to 2 . $15

LA CUESTA RANCH TRAIL RUN

The race will take place at the gorgeous La Cuesta

Ranch, just outside of San Luis Obispo on Loomis

Road backing up to Poly Canyon and West Cuesta

Ridge. The start/finish area will be staged at the

historic ranch barn. This event features dirt trails

and ranch roads with fantastic views of the West

Cuesta Ridge.

January 7 // ultrasignup.com

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106 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

RENT

A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème,

Rent follows an unforgettable year in the

lives of seven artists struggling to follow their

dreams without selling out. With its inspiring

message of joy and hope in the face of fear,

this timeless celebration of friendship and

creativity reminds us to measure our lives

with the only thing that truly matters—love.

January 17 // pacslo.org


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dec/jan 2017 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 107


We’re proud to announce that HAVEN PROPERTIES has affiliated with Better Homes and

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108 | SLO LIFE Magazine | Dec/jan 2017

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