BY THE NU
& FINDING PURPOSE
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 1
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Ride SLO Transit
Rideshare Week 2016
October 3 - 7 | Monday - Friday
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BIKE// WALK// BUS
RIDESHARE WEEK ‘16
Pledge to make a
difference and make a
smart commute choice at
It’s not a mode. It’s a movement.
A PROGRAM OF:
A program of SLOCOG
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 7
We spent an afternoon in Morro
Bay to find out what makes this
guerrilla gardener tick.
On the Cover
8 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
We look back at the most recent newsworthy events from
in and around the Central Coast over the past two months.
A warm afternoon in Pismo Beach led surf photographer
CHRIS BURKARD into the water to capture a perfect sunset.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 9
With five books to his name, a fulfilling
career in psychoanalysis, and an opera in
the works, DR. JOSEPH ABRAHAMS shares
his secret to a successful 100 years.
Self-desciped as “sweet and sour” local
band HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS is set
to release their debut full length album.
On the Rise
San Luis Obispo High School student
ARIANA KING combines athleticism with
academic achievement to create success.
After taking an outdoor space from boring
and outdated to modern and inviting, VIC
and CAROL ASCRIZZI reveal their Varian
With the drought in mind, we turn to our local landscape
experts who offer guidance and tips.
Looking for a perfect picnic spot, PADEN HUGHES
stops by the botanical gardens.
Wanting to improve efficiency and maximize gains, we
searched far and wide for the best workout tips and tricks.
With voting just around the corner, we asked our Central
Coast candidates why they deserve our support.
We wrap up this year-long series exploring the 25-year-old
San Luis Obispo County institution known as
LEADERSHIP SLO, by getting to know a few of its
graduates from classes twenty one through twenty five.
We all find ourselves on the hunt for that quick, fresh
takeout from time-to-time. Join JAIME LEWIS as she
searches out the best local rotisserie chicken dinner.
In partnership with the American Institute
of Architects, we present two top
ranking projects along the Central Coast
designed by local architects.
We share the year-to-date statistics of
home sales for both the city and the county
of San Luis Obispo.
Stuffed peppers are about to become a family tradition
when CHEF JESSIE RIVAS shares his recipe for this
In season and on trend, local expert, BRANT MYERS
explores autumn’s best brews and ciders.
Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered.
Check out the calendar to discover the best events
around the Central Coast in October and November.
10 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 11
| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE
The other day, I was sitting in my truck anxiously waiting for the light to turn green.
Running late, as usual, I was four or five cars back sitting adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial in front of Fire
Station No. 1, just off Broad Street in San Luis Obispo. What happened next is likely to stay with me for a
An older woman, after cautiously looking both ways, started walking her bike across the street when a gust of
wind came out of nowhere, blowing her wide-brimmed sun hat into the busy intersection. A young man, I’d
guess around thirty, sitting in his car at the other side of the intersection, about fifty yards away, watched as
the hat bounced like a tumbleweed in the breeze. Without hesitation, he clicked on his hazard lights, hopped
out of his car, and stretched his arms out like a drum major to the approaching vehicles, which crawled to a
stop. Then, he gingerly tiptoed his way to the far lane and snagged the hat. Continuing to hold up his right
hand as if he were a crossing guard escorting a flock of second graders, he strode up to the now beaming
woman and returned what she had lost.
One by one, the procession of cars turned left in front of the man, each one slowing down to offer him a comment, flash a “thumbs up,” or honk a
friendly “beep-beep.” When my turn came, I craned my head out of the window and shouted, “Have a great day, buddy!” But it was my day that turned
out to be great, as I found it impossible to shake the buoyant mood that stuck with me until at least the next morning. During that time my entire
worldview was seen through the prism of that experience.
I’m a big fan of the journalist Sebastian Junger (he’s the guy who wrote The Perfect Storm), so when his new book, Tribe, was published, I was all over
it. In the first few pages, Junger shares a letter penned by Benjamin Franklin, who in 1753 was lamenting the loss of colonial Americans who were
leaving behind the comfort of their homes in town, opting instead to live with the neighboring “savages.” Franklin observed of colonists who sampled
native living, “… there is no persuading him to ever return.” The story continues its documentation of this phenomenon—which I did not learn about
in elementary school, presumably because, as the saying goes, “The winners write the history books”—and finally offers a theory. Counterintuitively, it
would seem, the Native Americans did not leave their primitive encampments in search of the greater conveniences enjoyed by the colonists. And when
they did give modernity a try, they did not stick around for long. Franklin and his contemporaries found the whole thing inconceivable.
For many millennia, we Homo sapiens have been a highly communal bunch, Junger reasons. It is only recently, relative to our existence on earth, that
we began living separate, compartmentalized lives. It started with agriculture some 10,000 years ago, accelerated during the Industrial Age, and is going
full steam ahead today. It is now possible to live an entire lifetime with almost no human interaction at all. While we once relied upon a joint effort with
our neighbors for daily survival and sustenance, our wealth has enabled us to vastly reduce the messy interactions within our communities. As a result,
rates of depression and other emotional and behavioral disorders, such as anxiety and ADHD, have skyrocketed. Yet, as Junger reveals further along in
the book, these maladies practically disappear during periods of war or natural disaster that instantly obliterate class distinctions and societal separation
and stratification. As London was being bombed into the Stone Age by the Germans during World War II, studies show that as they huddled together
in underground bunkers, their rates of depression and suicide vanished. Paradoxically, many of the survivors who were interviewed admitted sheepishly
to longing for the days of the bombardment, when all Londoners, bankers and shoe shiners alike, worked shoulder-to-shoulder in horrible, jam-packed
quarters to muddle through the Nazi blitzkrieg.
The central theme to Junger’s argument is that, even if we do not know it, we yearn for human contact and are hardwired to contribute to a cause
outside of ourselves, because that is what ultimately makes us happy and fulfilled. I think that the thirty-something-hat-rescuer guy knows this, at least
intuitively, which is why he did what he did the other day. And, as communities such as ours are starting to rediscover these ancient truths, and as they
are realizing that a real “thumbs up” earned by doing real things alongside real people is much more fulfilling and meaningful than passively clicking a
virtual “thumbs up” in solitude could ever be, I am becoming more hopeful for the future of humankind—our tribe—than I have ever been.
I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all,
to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you.
Live the SLO Life!
12 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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14 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
CIRCULATION, COVERAGE AND ADVERTISING RATES
Complete details regarding circulation, coverage and advertising rates,
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.
Where old world charm
meets new world style.
5,000 square foot showroom. Specializing in furniture,
antiques, collectibles, art, lighting, rugs, home decor & more.
(805) 202-4447 • 4554 Broad Street, SLO
HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm
We are across from SLO Airport.
Andrea, Phil, Linda & Nick
look forward to meeting you!
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 15
| ON THE COVER
A SNEAK PEEK
BEHIND the scenes
WITH TAYLOR NEWTON
BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
I showed up to our shoot and found a quirky, funky little thrift shop
right there on Main Street in Morro Bay. They had a huge Guerilla
Gardening Club logo on the wall and we started off by talking about the
various philosophies that go into it.
They share the space behind the building with a Mandarin family
that owns a foot massage salon. There was a lady out back picking
from her garden. It was sweet because Taylor had put boxes of
palms and plants around to protect her garden from everything
they had going on out back.
The thrift shop reminded me of a sitcom. The vibe was super
friendly, very welcoming. There was a steady stream of friends
stopping by with fun, interesting personalities. A woman who
was there buying a tea kettle got caught up in the silliness of it
all and let me take some shots when she was checking out.
We talked about my band,
and the fact that I love to
perform; it’s all for fun, of
course, but it makes me
happy and I think that it
makes other people happy,
too. He said something that
I always used to tell my kids
when I was a teacher, he
said, “You’ve got to shine
your light.” He went on to
explain how he tells the
kids in his club that he is
shining his light for them,
so that they can go out into
the world and do the same
for others. SLO LIFE
16 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
1188 LOS OSOS VALLEY ROAD • LOS OSOS
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 17
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS
ISLA DE ELBA, ITALY
Jackie, Ryan & Mike Duffy
Lucy, Ella & Coco Fortini
Our wonderful hosts in Adare, Ireland, Rainey and
Chad Noland. They loved having a little bit of home
brought to them from SLO LIFE Magazine.
— Teri and Ron Andrs
Cathy Short, Ann Flores, Paula Gingrich
Stacey Azcona, Penny Blackledge, Lexenn Latasa
18 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
MUSÉE DES CONFLUENCES, LYON, FRANCE
We helped more
a home in 2015
than any other
lender in San Luis
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HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Help when you make the most important
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VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
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You showed us...
Riesen, Coen, & Carissa Carlberg
Our magazine travelled 3,400 miles through France,
Germany, Poland and Czech Republic with us!!
— Sharynn Chirpich
FETHIYE BAY, TURKEY
Jacki Williams & Paul Ellars
I just returned from a hiking trip in the Eastern Sierra.
This is Piute Pass, up above Bishop, CA. Altitude: 11,423
feet. I would like to thank the doctors and nurses of
Sierra Vista Hospital, especially my surgeon, Dr. Edwin
Hayashi, for making this possible. I almost died two
months before this picture was taken!
— Nancy Moore
20 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
TAORMINA, SICILY, ITALY
Katie Lichtig & Mark Loranger
CRATER LAKE, OREGON
Maddie, Lilly, and Nicole
My fourth trip to the top of Mt. Whitney. Fortunately, SLO Life didn’t add
much weight to my backpack.
— Ken Riener
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 21
IL MULINELLO MONZONE, ITALY
BARRIERE, BRITISH COLUMBIA
We enjoyed fishing for trout at Caverhill Lodge.
— Kingston Leong, Jim & Marge Harris, Carol Leong,
Paul Neel, Pam & Dick Zweifel, Allan & Richard Cooper
Lily & Sammy Daane
I’m in Nashville for the coolest concert ever,
honoring Guy Clark!
— Kara Woodruff
22 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
SAO MIGUEL, AZORES, PORTUGAL
We love SLO LIFE Magazine. Read it cover to cover. Here we are on the
Island of Sao Miguel (Saint Michael) in the archipelago of the Azores.
Nine Islands in the middle of the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal.
Behind us you see the Portas da Cidade (Doors of the City) in the
center of the capital city of Ponta Delgada (Narrow Point). Azores are
an autonomous region of Portugal.
- Joseph, Rosa and Ethan Santos
The Ross kids took their SLO LIFE mag with them on their summer vacation
to Lake Tahoe. They clicked a pic of it with them on their pontoon boat ride as
they crossed state line CA/NV in the middle of the huge blue lake.
— Grace, George, and Julia Ross
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 23
Catching up on the hometown news in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Missing SLO but having a great time.
— Karen Petersen & Lisa Simon
MOUNT ROBSON, BC, CANADA
Gabrielle & Taylor
Please send your photos and comments to email@example.com
Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit facebook.com/slolifemagazine
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Letters may be edited for content and clarity. To be considered for publication your letter should
include your name, city, state, phone number or email address (for authentication purposes).
24 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 25
Around the County
The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN), a non-profit
watchdog group based in Santa Barbara, sued San Luis Obispo County,
Justin Vineyards and Winery, Vina Robles, and Bakersfield-based Lapis
Land Company over their recently approved well permits. In the suit,
C-WIN argues that deep wells dug by corporate entities are harming
nearby residents and small ranchers by taking a disproportionate share
of water and they should therefore receive more scrutiny and be subject
to the requirements of the more stringent California Water Quality Act.
State Parks published a draft environmental impact report (EIR)
concerning dust control activities at the Oceano Dunes, which proposed
a five-year program for a variety of additional mitigation measures, such
as more so-called wind fences and additional tree plantings. Last year,
a less windy year than usual, particulate matter on the Nipomo Mesa,
which is downwind from the off-road recreation area, reported 62 days
that exceeded state health standards. In 2011, the San Luis Obispo
County Air Pollution Control District issued Rule 1001 requiring State
Parks to reduce the dust levels. Rule 1001 has since triggered three
lawsuits from the off-road advocacy group Friends of Oceano Dunes.
Food waste containers were delivered to 51,000 local homes by Waste
Connections, the private garbage disposal company that services the
county. In an effort to keep organic waste out of the landfill—the state
has a mandate for diverting 75% by 2020—food scraps are now taken
to an outdoor composting facility in Santa Maria. Waste Connections
has also submitted plans to build an indoor anaerobic digestion
plant in conjunction with Japanese-based Hitachi Zosen Inova, a
36,000-square-foot facility near the San Luis Obispo Airport, which
would capture the methane gas produced as part of the decomposition
process and use it to power up to 650 local homes.
A fire broke out in the area of Chimney Rock Road near Lake Nacimiento forcing hundreds
of evacuations. The blaze, which became known as the Chimney Fire, quickly grew in size
and intensity and went on for nearly a month as it burned 46,433 acres, including 49 homes
and 21 other structures. Thousands of firefighters from around the state took up residence at
the fairgrounds in Paso Robles, which served as a makeshift basecamp for the operation. Dry
vegetation resulting from a protracted drought and hot summer weather combined to create the
perfect conditions for the blaze, which had at times threatened nearby Hearst Castle. The cause
of the fire has been under investigation and remains unknown.
The San Luis Obispo County Board of
Supervisors voted unanimously to extend the
temporary oak tree protection ordinance, as
well as an ordinance governing ag ponds and
reservoirs, until April and May respectively. The
urgency ordinances were originally enacted in
July after it was discovered that Justin Vineyards
and Winery, which is wholly owned by The
Wonderful Co. of Beverly Hills, had recently
clear-cut thousands of oak trees at one of its
vineyards. Amid public outcry, which included
boycotts of The Wonderful Co. brands such as
Fiji Water and POM Wonderful pomegranate
juice, the company’s owners, Stewart and Lynda
Resnick issued an apology claiming, “We fell
asleep at the wheel.” About a week later, news
surfaced that Justin Vineyards and Winery had
clear-cut 17,000 trees, including 15,000 mature
oaks, at another North County vineyard in 2011.
26 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Flanked by FBI agents near the top of Cal Poly’s campus, Sheriff Ian
Parkinson announced in a press conference that excavation near the
“P” on the hillside above the university would begin after a lead was
developed by a sheriff ’s detective that had been working a twenty-yearold
cold case full time for two years. Kristin Smart, a Cal Poly freshman,
vanished during Memorial Day weekend in 1996 and was last seen by
fellow student Paul Flores, who remains a person of interest. Over five
days digging at three locations, some “items of interest” as well as a
few bones were discovered. According to one person not authorized to
discuss the case, it appears that they were animal bones, yet as of this
writing no official declaration has been made as to whether or not they
were human remains.
News of a new plan to rehabilitate Pirate’s Cove in Shell Beach
emerged two years after the county’s effort at a $1.5 million overhaul,
which had required a decade of planning, was nixed by the Coastal
Commission, including opposition by Commissioner and Pismo
Beach City Councilmember Erik Howell. The 55-acre park, which
offers a spectacular ocean view, has become blighted over the years
with graffiti and litter and is well known to local law enforcement as
a trouble spot that attracts illegal nighttime activities. Although half
of the $1.5 million funds had been in the form of two grants that
have since been rescinded following the Coastal Commission’s denial
in 2014, the beginnings of a new effort from the county continue to
stress the importance of safety and the environment, and identify a
need for bathrooms, parking, signage, and trash cans.
A coalition of six cities within San Luis Obispo County formed to
contest Diablo Canyon’s closure plan. The cities, which include San
Heavy equipment descended upon the south side of Tank Farm Road in Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Paso Robles,
San Luis Obispo where a massive remediation project began. The owner and Pismo Beach, filed a request with the California Public Utilities
of the 332-acre parcel, Chevron Corporation, expects the clean up to
Commission asking that they formally hear their concerns regarding
take three months. The effort is the first step in what is expected to be the economic impact caused by the nuclear facility’s closure. PG&E
a decades-long effort to develop the corridor, which includes widening announced in June that it would shutter the county’s largest private
the lanes, constructing commercial facilities, and building a park. Tank employer, Diablo Canyon, by 2025, which is expected to have a $1 billion
Farm, as its name implies, was once a sprawling series of tanks and
impact annually on the local economy. The coalition of six cities claim
ponds designed to store oil reserves. In 1926, the site was host to one
that they are not opposed to the closure, but they are frustrated with
of the county’s most devastating environmental disasters when lighting PG&E’s lack of communication concerning how the move, which
ignited an oil reservoir spawning a massive fire, which sent burning oil according to one study will result in the loss of 3,286 local jobs, will
flowing down San Luis Creek. impact the economy. SLO LIFE
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 27
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS BURKARD
It is no secret to those living on the Central Coast that summer
often comes late. It can be cold and foggy during the period that
the calendar identifies as summertime, with “June Gloom” sticking
around long after the kids are out of school. Equally perplexing is the
phenomenon known as the “Indian Summer,” those warm summerlike
days that appear during the fall. While it remains unclear just
how the term came to be—it has been surmised that the weather
pattern was originally observed by settlers in an area inhabited by
Native Americans—the fact is that summer here on the Central
Coast comes and goes on its own terms.
Although he is known for chasing waves in far off corners of the globe,
it was an unseasonably warm afternoon when Chris Burkard found
himself relaxing on the sand at his favorite hometown spot in Pismo
Beach, surrounded by his family and friends. He hadn’t planned on
making pictures that day, but grabbed his camera anyway for a few
candid shots with his buddies. They cooled off by paddling out into
the surf, then found a good spot to watch the sunset. As the sun began
dropping down over a mirror of glassy water, he could not resist the
opportunity to capture a few frames. In discussing the photo you see
here, Burkard offers, “I always try to look for the quiet moments; the
ones that pass us by.”
After first picking up a camera at 19 years old, Burkard credits an
internship he landed at Transworld Surf Magazine as the pivotal
experience on his path to making his living capturing images.
His passion for conservation led him to adventure and landscape
photography, and through trial and error he developed his own style to
help people see the beauty around them through the eye of his lens.
Today, with half a dozen photography books and thousands of
magazine appearances to his credit, a TED talk presentation under his
belt, and too many Fortune 500 clients to list, Burkard finds himself
with a jam-packed travel schedule. Yet it’s days like these, at home with
his wife and two young boys during the endless summer, that make
it all worthwhile. “This image encompasses what I love about where I
live and why I live here,” reflects Burkard. “I think that the more that I
travel, the more I understand that.” SLO LIFE
I always try to look for the quiet, moments;
the ones that pass us by.
28 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 29
On the eve of his 100th birthday, DR. JOSEPH ABRAHAMS visited with us over a plate of his
favorite cookies, chocolate macaroons. During his long career in the field of psychoanalysis,
the San Luis Obispo resident pioneered a breakthrough method of group therapy and went
on to write five books on the subject. Today, as he continues to put in a full day at the office,
he is also writing an opera about the life of Virginia Woolf, the British novelist.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Joe! Please tell us
about yourself. My family came here from
Lithuania, which was still under Russian
influence in those days. And I can still
speak some Russian [he speaks a couple of
sentences in Russian]. They immigrated to
New York. I have always loved to swim, and
my first swimming was in the Long Island
Sound when I was a little boy. I don’t know
why I insisted on going there and doing it
on my own. I always wanted to do it on my
own. I said, “I’m going to do it my way!”
just like Frank Sinatra. Later we moved to
the Lower East Side. That’s when I started
swimming in the East River. I swam at the
Y up until about two years ago.
And so you remained in New York,
correct? Yes, that’s right. After medical
school at Emory University in the
South, I returned to New York City to
do my internship. I wanted to become a
neurologist, so I became the neurologist for
the City Hospital in New York, which was
the hospital that covered the emergency
needs for Manhattan. I started there by
doing what they called “riding ambulance.”
The ambulance in those days didn’t have a
siren, just a bell. I’d pull the bell—clang!,
clang!, clang!—and then I’d jump out and
take care of the person; stitch them up, or
something like that, and take them back
to the hospital. During that time I also
delivered 54 babies.
When was it that you got into group
therapy? When I was in the Army, during
the war [World War II], I was put in charge
of a treatment program for delinquent
soldiers. They got into trouble for being
drunk or assaulting their officers or going
AWOL, stuff like that. I didn’t know what
to do, but I got up in front of these people
and they took to me. They liked me. I tried
to figure out why. I had a love of horses.
I knew how to handle a horse. I think
they sensed that I was in mastery of the
situation, like I was with a horse. Does that
make sense? I was very fortunate to have a
commanding officer, Colonel Miller, who
had confidence in me. This business of
whether or not someone has confidence in
you is the whole thing. In medical school,
when the professor gave me a hard time I
became dumb as hell. So, I was successful
with these bad kids and they graduated
from my program to go on and become
So how is it that you ended up here?
After the war, I was asked to go to
Washington, D.C. to teach other people
how to conduct this group therapy I
had developed. There I continued my
training as a psychoanalyst because I
wanted to help heal people’s minds.
And I realized that I needed to get
all of this down on paper; I needed
to write a book. So afterward, I
came out to California to write.
That’s how I ended up in La Jolla.
I was there for twenty years when
I started thinking about what was
good about what I was doing and
what was bad. So, I moved to San
Luis Obispo so that I could try
my stuff out at Atascadero State
Hospital. I started a therapy program
there, built it from the bottom-up,
and I also continued to write books.
I had always planned on returning to
La Jolla after this period, but my wife,
Elisabeth, fell in love with this town
and I couldn’t pry her away.
Describe a typical day, if you would. I get
up and go to work. I write every day. It
consists of meeting with two assistants
at my computer; they are young students,
a man and a woman. I can’t read because
I’m effectively blind. Right now you look
like a shadow to me. I have to have people
read for me, then I process it in my head,
and then I dictate back. Additionally, I
still do have one patient that I treat three
days a week. I also keep up with the news.
The news is a big deal to me. The problem,
as I see it, is that the rich are getting
richer and the poor are getting poorer.
The challenge is that each of us needs
to do something about it. The question
becomes, how can somebody working have
as much power as the person who employs
him? What are the ways of going about
changing? I have some ideas about that if
you have the time. [laughter] SLO LIFE
30 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 31
| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
Six years ago, TAYLOR NEWTON combined his passions for cultivation and
mentorship when he formed a non-profit service organization he calls the Guerilla
Gardening Club. Since that time the program has helped hundreds of at-risk youth
and homeless individuals countywide through an unconventional approach, which
relies heavily on unvarnished self-evaluation and tough love, as its members work
side-by-side completing projects ranging from municipal revitalization to zero waste
education and outreach. According to Newton, who lives in Morro Bay with his wife
and daughter, along with two stepdaughters, and brother, the most effective thing that
can be done for a troubled soul is to return to the land, where the best therapy is found
by tilling the soil in an effort to help others. Here is his story…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
32 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 33
We like to start from the beginning, Taylor.
Where are you from? I’m from Sacramento.
I’m actually from a small town called Loomis.
It’s on the I-80 going up towards Tahoe on
the old mining trail. Donner Pass is about an
hour from where I grew up. We lived on a farm
next door to a Methodist church. I spent all my
free time there when I wasn’t working with my
dad on our farm, or doing school, or sports, or
service; I would just play at the church grounds
because the church had massive acreage and
all these gardens. My mom made us go to church, but my dad was the one who would volunteer for
all of the service projects. He loves to do things for others. And so we would build houses for Native
American reservations, and we would go volunteer with the homeless. My parents were hippies.
And they were growing their own weed, and raising chickens; we slaughtered a cow every year. I
remember my first show-and-tell in kindergarten. I brought a jar with the two eyeballs from the cow
we had just slaughtered. I thought that was normal.
How did your parents start down this path? They had a dream of buying a piece of property and
living off the land. That was beautiful, but by the time my third sister was born, we were almost
bankrupt and it forced my dad to get a job as a teacher. Growing up, I was required to do sports,
service, school, and work. I had my first gardening route when I was 13. My parents did a really good
job of making me be perfect for 22 years. I
was very fortunate, and I was the perfect kid.
Didn’t go to parties. I was class valedictorian,
senior class president, varsity swimming since
my freshman year, never missed a day of high
school, had a full ride scholarship to Cal Poly
where I had a 4.0 GPA. I was on the swim
team, did triathlons, all this stuff. I worked for
the navy. I travelled the world. I got a job at
UC Davis. By the time I was 25, I had multiple
careers, traveled and seen all kinds of things
and realized that sharing those opportunities
with young people would make them want to
be better people. And in a matter of five years,
after an equal number of good and bad choices
on my part, I found myself starting an urban
farm in Morro Bay.
Okay, hold on. It seems like you just skipped
over a bunch of stuff... Yes, you’re right. I
did. I got, well, at 22, I had some medical
problems that are part of my mom’s genetics
34 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
that I was dealing with. I was having a really hard time living inside
my body. It was depression. I tried medication and it didn’t work. I
tried a lot of different drugs, and talking to people, and all that stuff.
None of it worked. I was just super depressed. It was like I was sick in
the house. Outwardly, it looked like I was doing great, doing perfect. I
was working for Head Start as a pre-school special instructor where I
did science lessons and stuff for the kids. I was in Atascadero, so I was
mostly working with low-income white families where you would see
a lot of methamphetamine use with the parents. Then I decided to go
to San Luis to work in restaurants. After that I was a tow truck driver.
The whole time I spent my nights just being awful, running the streets
basically. I’ve always had great stamina and work ethic, and I never
missed any work, but I was doing the minimum hours between shutting
it off and going to work so that I would not be drunk when I showed
up in the morning. I saw a lot of bad things during those years, but
looking back it was very educational and it gave me a wealth of relatable
experience to draw from now.
the Central Coast Lifestyle:
Okay, now we’re back to the urban farm. Yes. This is when things
started clicking and it was going well. I actually had people starting to
stop by to ask me about how to grow marijuana. It kept happening, over
and over. And each time I would ask them, “Do you know how to grow
any other stuff?” And usually they’d say, “No, I don’t grow anything.”
Then I’d ask, “Why are you starting with marijuana?” You know what
I mean? Marijuana is a flower. Flowers are hard to grow. Look at your
yards; flowers are the most difficult thing to make happen, especially
if it’s something you’re going to inhale. I mean, come on, man. After a
while, after so many of these conversations, the idea came to me to start
the Guerilla Gardening Club.
What type of person normally joins the club? I used to think that
there’s a certain type of person that was coming to me that wanted to
be in the Guerilla Gardening Club. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I
think it’s all people. All people. I just think all people are the same. And,
we’re all dealing with the same issues. Some of us like to paint, some
express ourselves through music, some of us want to be doctors, some
of us want to be lawyers. There are so many different pathways. The
Guerilla Gardening Club is a service program that I think applies to a
lot of people. For the most part, though, I do think that we’re mostly
semi non-conformist. If it bugs you to be told what to do, you’d probably
fit in with us.
So, what exactly does the club do? We have a very dynamic gardening
program that deals with homelessness and facilities and grounds
maintenance. We work for the City of Morro Bay; we have all kinds
of projects with them. We work with private companies and families
with large ranches all over the county. We also do a lot of teaching.
We’re doing a zero waste recycling program, teaching composting. We
travel quite a bit, too. We’ve taken trips down to Skid Row in L.A. We
started another club down there, and we are working on opening one
in Oakland. We’re going to Italy to garden with a group there. We have
an annual winter field trip. We’ve come up with a new field trip for
the spring when the wildflowers bloom in the desert, which will be a
backpacking trip and survival training. All sorts of things. But, mostly,
we create a garden as a way for people to help themselves and help
others. And in our program we have ways for them to get food and help
them get shelter, help them to get into school, clothing, jobs, money, all
the things that they need to take care of themselves and, in doing that,
we’re creating a tribe, a family, an army.
And, what is it about gardening that resonates with people? Growing
things is intrinsic to humanity on earth. It is also how we created our
problems. Without it, cities wouldn’t be cities. All these things wouldn’t
have started without agriculture. Agriculture made us live in groups,
which is why we have everything that we do, good and bad. Do you
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What it means is that agriculture is part of something we’re supposed to
do every day. It is frightening that people don’t know how to work in the
soil. It is frightening that people don’t know how a plant grows off dead
stuff—compost. The answer to life is compost. When you die, you become
compost. I mean compost is so important because it completes the cycle
and returns everything to the earth. So agriculture is a no-brainer and
that moment that any human being puts their hands into the soil, they’re
minutes. And they’re like, “I don’t like gardening. I don’t like this, I don’t
like that.” But, you just revealed your problem. You can’t sit still for half
an hour. Why can’t you sit still for half an hour? That’s the question. Deal
with that question right now.
So, it’s therapy… Exactly. And, that’s an interesting way to put it, an
interesting way to think about it. Really, if we took each human being
The answer to life is compost. When you die, you become compost.
focused outside of themselves and using their hands to go back to the
beginning. Cultivating is a huge part of who we are, and anybody that
goes out into the garden is tapping into the core part of what made us
modern humans. It’s a no-brainer. It’s such a no-brainer, in fact, that it’s
hard to explain to people why gardening is so important. And a lot of
times I try to get them to just experience it. Most of the time it works.
A lot of times, if you can’t garden it shines a light on what you have as a
problem. For example, I have people that cannot sit still for over thirty
and forced them to garden every day for an hour, what would come out of
that? I think, I really do think, it would reveal what is going on with your
mind. And if everybody had a garden, I think that would make the world
better. By going out and giving time and energy to an action to something
that is outside yourself, you are making the community a better place and
yourself a better person. When you think about that, how many people
every day do something for somebody or something else? You know what
I mean? And at the same time, gardening is all about putting a whole
36 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 37
unch of time into very little product. The reality is that you aren’t getting
a lot of physical reward out of it. There’s a reason people don’t garden.
Elaborate on that idea, if you would. Most of what we can do is going to
be destroyed by animals, or other people, or the environment. Nature is all
about destroying what we grow. And there’s a lesson there. And by doing
that action, that selfless action just because it feels good to help something
grow, that feeling, that thing you find by working with your hands in the
garden shows you everything in the world. And I do think that if you can
get people to garden, it can help them find humility. People that doubt
anything besides themselves, people that are like constantly, “I don’t see
how anybody can be right except for me,” I don’t know how I can help
you. If you can’t think that you’re wrong, you don’t have humility, then
there’s no growth for you. You’re done. I’ll see you in the next lifetime.
Can you give us an example? Sure. My friend Mike—I call him my
brother because he’s been a close friend of mine for twenty years, eleven of
those years he was in prison—works with the Guerilla Gardening Club.
He’s been one of my main instructors with me for the club. He’s really
tough. And you would have these kids in the club who were complaining
about these everyday life things that, to somebody who has his experience,
who’s put himself through a lot, he didn’t have any sympathy. They’d tell
him their sob story and he would say, “Oh, man, you should kill yourself.
Just get it over already. No, no, I’m serious. You should go kill yourself
right now.” And I’m always like, “Mike, Mike, you can’t say that!” And
Mike’s intimidating; he’s this huge 350-pound black man. And he would
be so serious. He would be out weeding in the garden and a kid would say,
“My girlfriend slept with my best friend, and I’m failing all my classes, and
I can’t stop doing cocaine.” And with a straight face, Mike would respond,
“Man, that sounds terrible. You should kill yourself.” And they’re like,
“How can you say that to me?” And he’d say, “Because you just sound like
a waste of life. You should just get it over with and make room for other
people. There are so many other people that would love to take your place
Wow, that is hardcore! Did that approach work? At first I was like,
“Mike, seriously, how is that helpful?” But, oftentimes that slap in the face
would just instantly demolish their ego; and it was immediate humility
because no one was going to ever take on Mike. Usually, they would walk
over to me to tell me what happened with Mike and I’d say, “Yeah, that
sucks, but you’ve got to remember where he came from and what he’s
been through, and, unfortunately, he just doesn’t have my patience for your
whininess. You’re welcome to talk to me about it, and I’ll tell you nice
things and suggest smart ways for you to get on with your life. But Mike’s >>
38 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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not wrong. If you want to spend your whole life being this whiny, crappy
human being, maybe you really should make room for somebody else.
I mean, in no way do I want you to commit suicide, but there’s a lot of
people out there that need what we are doing here; so if you aren’t going
to step it up and get in line, then maybe you should move on.”
Hey, what is that in your mouth? Do you have a tongue ring? Yep, sure
do. It’s gold. I always loved tongue rings. I think it’s such an interesting
piercing. It’s visual but not visual; you can hide it. It’s a very painful and
uncomfortable piercing, just the idea of having somebody shove it into
your tongue. I also have a problem talking too much, and too fast, so I got
the tongue ring to remind me to slow down. It reminds me to watch my
words. You know words are very strong, especially in this role that I am in
now, and the tongue ring’s a constant reminder of that. It’s almost like a
weight, like a leash for my words.
Getting back to the club, it really does seem like you are on to
something… I do think that we really nailed it for right now. I like
that the way that we’re doing it; the equation applies to now. Maybe
this equation will change and it won’t apply later, I don’t know.
Maybe we’ll have massive nuclear war and everybody will become
a conformist because we have to in order to survive. In that case, I
would have to rethink the model. In this lifetime I’ll probably change
the model because it’s my job to figure this out, over and over again.
And I have no problem with that. I go to sleep every night praying
for the well-being of my daughter first, then my immediate family,
then all of the rest of my family, all my friends, the whole world; and
I thank God for giving me this opportunity to do what I’m doing, and
I pray I am able to do it over and over again. There’s nothing I would
love more than to continue to do what I’m doing, die, and do it again.
That sounds awesome. SLO LIFE
40 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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| NOW HEAR THIS
HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS
As the guitarist and frontwoman of local band Hayley and the Crushers, Hayley “Crusher” Cain has
been likened to “a demonic Go-Go,” and she couldn’t be happier with the reference. “Rarely are
women allowed to be both sweet and self-empowered on stage,” she says. “I want to crush that idea.”
BY DAWN JANKE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK PATTON
42 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Album Release | SLO Brew, San Luis Obispo | October 9
ain’s earliest musical memory is of
putting on her mom’s copy of The
Go-Go’s “Beauty and the Beat” at
eight years old and bopping around
their Hermosa Beach apartment like a
crazy person. Cain says with her music
she wants to spread that subversive
energy: “I want people to sweat and
dance and meet each other and start
things together. I want to see people
Ccollide—that is where the magic is.”
Hayley Cain credits her husband, Reid “Dr. Crusher” Cain, owner
of Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games in downtown San Luis Obispo,
with encouraging her to create her own magic. Upon his urging,
in 2012 she started Swap! Zine, a local, do-it-yourself magazine, to
which she invited contributors to swap stories, songs, poems, and
pictures about the SLO scene. “From that moment, my entire life
changed,” she says.
Since then, the Cains have collaborated on a number of projects
and have shared the stage under many names, including Magazine
Dirty and Tarweed Two and the Two-Time Boys. Hayley Cain says
that music is the lifeblood of their relationship. “I want to follow in
the footsteps of bands like X and The Cramps, who use that energy,
that tension, that passion, to create weird art.”
Hayley Cain’s current art is in part influenced by her late teen
years in L.A., which she describes as dark and destructive, a selfprofessed
“wild time” dotted by an obsession with Betty Friedan’s
“The Feminine Mystique.” When she relocated back to the Central
Coast in 2009, Cain says she found a safe space where she could
tackle her struggles, which included depression and anxiety. She
explains, “When I was surrounded by chaos and my life was chaos,
I couldn’t step away from it enough to understand. SLO was a safe
harbor where I could weave troubles into creativity.”
One listen to Hayley and the Crushers reveals that she indeed has
woven a creative web together with her husband on bass and local
drummer Gabriel “Crusher” Olivarria keeping the beat. The band is
a “melding of sweet and sour,” explains Hayley Cain, “bolstered by
the bold, metal influence of Olivarria.”
The Cains first saw Olivarria perform with the band Wolfcross, and
they loved the fact that he was theatrical and really had fun with
drumming. Reid Cain is proud to state that he recruited Olivarria
for the band. According to Hayley Cain, the band’s sound is what
it is because of Olivarria’s technical skills: “He’s able to create a
rock-solid rhythm, but he also coaxes out a swing to the music
that’s super danceable.”
The Ramones, The Runaways, pop music of the 1960’s, and wild surf punk
of the 1980’s like Agent Orange influence the band’s sound. Reid Cain says,
“We have a unique combination of a metal dude, a punk girl, and a country
guy. Put it all together, and it is not just one thing.” Hayley Cain adds, “We
have respect for the melody and the classic hooks, but we’re putting them in a
blender with studs and leather.”
The frontwoman describes their debut full-length album, “Jewel Case”, as
“part punk rock empowerment anthem; part insecure, tear-streaked teenage
diary entry; and part jangly, garage rock party.” Patrick Hayes at Cock’s Lodge
Studio in San Luis Obispo played a role in the initial recording process, and
Randall Sena at Certain Sparks Studio in Lompoc recorded and mixed the
album. Sena has worked with local bands like Pancho and the Wizards and
Magazine Dirty, and Reid Cain points out, “A large part of our sound comes
from Sena’s finesse.”
The band first worked with Sena and Certain Sparks in 2015 when they
recorded their EP “Gidget’s Revenge” with Max Triplett from local band King
Walrus, who stepped in to help with drums. Released in March of 2016, the
EP is a nod to Hayley Cain’s love of the 1960’s TV icon Gidget. She explains,
“I felt like Gidget deserved a bit of redemption. She’s always falling on her
face or wiping out on her surfboard.” She continues, “The EP was recorded
with a more or less ‘live’ setup, which gave it a gritty urgency.” For Jewel
Case, the band wanted to go a tad more polished pop. “We incorporated
Glockenspiel, chimes, and mesmerizing backing vocals into the new album.
It’s punk rock with a bow on top,” says Hayley Cain.
“Jewel Case” is being released on Portland label Lost State Records, which was
born in SLO and is still committed to showcasing up-and-coming bands from
the Central Coast. Founder Trey Hanawalt does so mainly on cassette tape,
which is by all accounts de rigueur. Olivarria, who works at Boo Boo Records,
agrees: “There’s definitely a resurgence in cassette tapes. It’s a really inexpensive
way for small bands to get their music out.” In addition to being released
on cassette, “Jewel Case” will be available on CD, handmade “8-tracks,” and
digitally on October 8th, in line with worldwide
Cassette Store Day. An all-ages show at SLO Brew
will follow on Sunday, October 9th, with other local
acts sharing in the celebration.
Hayley and the Crushers’ cover of the Go-Go’s
song “This Town” on “Jewel Case” reflect the trio’s
embrace of San Luis Obispo: “This town is our
town,” the demonic Go-Go sings. The band plays
for everybody, but especially “for the wallflower,
the awkward teenager, the weirdo,” explains Hayley
Cain. She continues, “We say, ‘You don’t need
to wait for someone to turn on the spotlight.’”
Olivarria adds, “You’ve got to bring your own
lightbulb to the party.”
DAWN JANKE, Director,
University Writing & Rhetoric
Center Cal Poly, keeps her
pulse on the Central Coast
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 43
| ON THE RISE
Fifteen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School
sophomore tennis phenom, ARIANA KING
takes a break from practice to talk about
what she’s been up to lately...
What sort of extra-curricular activities are you involved in? I am in the SLO Youth
Symphony Concert Orchestra, am involved in Parliamentary Procedure through FFA,
and play on SLO High’s varsity tennis team.
What recognition have you received? This past spring, our Parliamentary Procedure
team won at State Finals, and in October we are going to Nationals. The last two
years I have received the mayor’s award for performing community service. Two
summers ago, I won first place at the Mid-State Fair Talent Show. I received the
Golden Knight award for math. I have done well in local tennis tournaments and this
summer received the Matt Will Grinder Award at Brady Tennis Camp.
What have you been up to lately? Right now, I’m working hard at school, and tennis,
and our Parlimentary Procedure team is prepping for Nationals.
What is important to you outside of high school? Music, my family and friends, and
staying healthy and happy. Also, trying to be positive and nice is important to me.
What annoys you the most? I dislike when people exclude others. There’s no reason
to, and it’s a lot easier just to be nice.
If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be ? I would want to
meet Queen Elizabeth because she was a great leader and we are learning about her
right now in AP Euro.
What career do you see yourself in someday? I see myself teaching math to high
school or college students because math is my favorite subject, and I enjoy helping
others and interacting with people.
What is your favorite memory of all time? Traveling with my family, my favorite
trip was a couple of summers ago when we cruised around the Caribbean for my
grandparents’ 50th anniversary.
Who has influenced you the most? My parents have influenced me the most on my
life, because they are patient, kind, hardworking, and fun.
If you won $1 million, what would you do with it? I would donate $100,000 to
charity; $50,000 to the Women’s shelter of SLO and the other half to the Prado
Day Center. I would save some for college, and then the rest I would share with my
parents, because they have more use for it than I do at this point.
What is something that not many or that no one knows about you? I love to cook
with my family, and I play the ukulele in my spare time.
What schools are you considering for college? I don’t know where I want to go to
college yet, maybe somewhere on the East Coast. UCLA looks fun, too. SLO LIFE
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With pathways that felt difficult to maneuver and exterior details out
of scale, Vic and Carol Ascrizzi had their work cut out for them when it
came time to update their outdoor living.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TREVOR POVAH
At first the birds were cute.
The woodpeckers had burrowed nests into the
Styrofoam elements abutting the eves over the
misshapen entryway framed by pink stucco. But,
picking up their daily mess started to get old
after a while, and somewhere along the way the
winged guests lost their charm.
As Vic and Carol Ascrizzi began looked into
relocating the aviary overhead, they came to
realize that the front of their home was just not
very welcoming, to people anyway. According to
Carol, “There were these two pillars that were
just way out of scale, too big. They said, ‘keep
out,’ rather than ‘come in.’” After living there
for while the couple noticed other problems,
such as the spa in the backyard which featured
a skinny foot-and-a-half walkway leaving a
perilous “walk the plank” experience when
traversing the yard.
The couple made a list of all the little things that were not quite right about the home, and it turned out that
they were all part of the home’s exterior, and most of those things had to do either with texture or proportion.
With sweeping views of the Edna Valley, the property had a lot to gain by maximizing the outdoor space. As
part of the Varian Ranch neighborhood on the Arroyo Grande-San Luis Obispo border, the Ascrizzi home
is one of 45 nestled atop one of the rolling hills within the 3,500-acre gated community. Over the years, it
had become a family headquarters of sorts, and a popular destination for their three adult children, and more
recently, their children’s children. With a clear vision for the project, the Ascrizzis brought on San Luis
Obispo-based general contractor, Robbins Reed to orchestrate the nine-month transformation.
Come on in To create a more welcoming entryway, the awkward, oversized, boxy pillars were
replaced with stone platforms and half walls, which added both dimension and style.
46 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 47
48 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Making a statement By replacing the
outdated white pillars and overhang the
backyard space is brought up to date.
Adding an outdoor bar, dining area, and
extra seating makes entertaining a breeze.
Top it all off with amenities like the pergola
outfitted with heat lamps and lighting as
well as the built in fireplace along the wall,
and you have luxury living at its finest. >>
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 49
Design in mind With a landscape
and hardscape plan in hand, stucco
walls gain style and color. Plants
were chosen for size, shape, and
drought tolerant qualities. >>
50 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
M M ha ha y y wn wn f f y y h! h!
Service & Installation
Save up to 40% off
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PASO ROBLES SAN LUIS OBISPO SLO SLEEP & COMFORT STUDIO SANTA MARIA APPLIANCE CENTER
2361 THEATRE DR. 805-238-6020 122 CROSS ST. 805-543-6600 189 CROSS ST. 805-269-6600 1158 W. BETTERAVIA RD. 805-348-1000
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 51
Room with a view By replacing the outdated awnings and building out a bar top
while incorporating stone and rustic wood, the overall design is tied together,
creating a livable outdoor space, complete with sweeping views. SLO LIFE
TREVOR POVAH is an
here on the Central Coast.
52 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
We were newly married and expecting
our first baby, it was our dream to buy a
home on the Central Coast. Holly Rodgers
and the team at San Luis Obispo Realty
provided the utmost professionalism,
guidance, and commitment to turning our
dream into reality!
Mason, Megan and Leila Schroder
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
441 MARSH STREET, SAN LUIS OBISPO
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 53
In this ongoing feature, SLO LIFE Magazine is proud to partner with the American
Institute of Architects California Central Coast to unveil its current project winners and highlight
our local design and engineering talent. Each month, the organization reviews submissions
and selects the top Central Coast projects. Below are two installments in this series.
October Project Recognition
INhouse – Solar Decathlon House
Sandy Stannard, AIA, Architect, Professor, LEED AP
Dr. Kim Shollenberger, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Richard Beller, Architect, Lecturer
Dr. John Clements, Professor, Computer Science
Dr. Dale Dolan, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
[with special consultation from Architecture Professors
Dale Clifford and Jeff Ponitz]
Student Co-Project Managers
Lisa-Marie Mueller, Alyssa Parr
Client College of Architecture and Environmental Design
[CAED], Dean Christine Theodoropoulos
Lead Contractor Maino Construction
The INhouse is a residence which was
designed at the College of Architecture
and Environmental Design of Cal
Poly by a team lead by architect/
professor Sandy Stannard for the Solar
Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is a
biennial competition in which teams
of faculty and students work to design,
build, and compete with solar powered
residences. The team from Cal Poly,
called “Solar Cal Poly,” included faculty
and students predominantly from
architecture and engineering but also
included members from four colleges
and over ten disciplines involving over
100 students over the two-year-project.
The hands-on nature of this design/
build/operate competition offers faculty
an opportunity to work in tandem with
students in an attempt to put their
ecological ideals into action.
The design of INhouse is driven by
climate and place. INhouse is a net zero
energy house intelligently designed
to respond to the climate of coastal
California, with the majority of its
needs for heating, cooling and lighting
addressed architecturally. The public
and private wings are serviced by an
active core that contains the home’s
mechanical, electrical, plumbing,
and monitoring systems. The private
wing includes a master bedroom and
a flexible space which may serve as a
library, office, or secondary bedroom
space. The public wing incorporates
entertainment and dining spaces with
thoughtful linkages to the exterior
spaces and the views beyond.
The fundamental design drivers in the
simplest of terms included: organize;
insulate; shade; stabilize; and collect.
The goal of the project was to present
a new standard of “in” by creating
a notion of ecological living that
is enticing as well as achievable.
INhouse is an approach to living well
while still living within our ecological
means. For more information visit:
54 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
ENGAGE. COLLABORATE. INNOVATE.
AIA CALIFORNIA CENTRAL COAST.
For more information about the American Institute of Architects - California Central Coast Chapter,
or to find an Architect, visit www.aiacentralcoast.org.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 55
November Project Recognition
Architect, Landscape, Planning RRM Design Group
Electric Thoma Electric, Inc
Sturctural Engineering Taylor & Syfan
Green Consulting In Balance Green Consulting
Mechanical/Plumbing Brummel, Myrick and
Builder JW Design
Developer NKT Commercial
Mindbody software connects 50,000 businesses around the
world in the wellness industry. A company of that stature
needed new corporate headquarters suited to its position as
a world leader in this sector. NKT Commercial developed
the shell, site and parking structure while Mindbody
developed the tenant improvements. The 64,000 square
foot, two-story building wraps around a large plaza that
shelters outdoor events and is the heart of the Mindbody
campus. A two-story atrium and butterfly roof create a
focal point at the building entry. Designing a distinctive
structure close to the airport posed a challenge with
restrictions on building heights and exterior cladding.
The sweeping butterfly roof gracefully keeps most of the
buildings low with clean simple lines. Mindbody and other
tenants in the adjacent business park remained in full
operation during construction, but now enjoy a revitalized
“campus.” Low impact development methods, cool roof
and paving materials help mitigate the impact of the new
facility. Exterior sun controls, daylight harvesting, high
efficiency lighting and low VOC products ensure occupant
comfort and reduce energy costs. On-site childcare and
food service help reduce vehicle trips as does a prime
location along public transit lines.
About the AIA CCC
The American Institute
of Architects has been
the leading professional
for licensed architects,
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
concepts that have
been constructed after
being designed by local
architects. SLO LIFE
56 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 57
| SLO CITY
BY THE NUMBERS
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
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 74.05
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
*Comparing 1/1/15 - 9/14/15 to 1/1/16 - 9/14/16
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®
58 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Relax. Let us do the work.
“Bruce Freeberg was a difference
maker in many ways in the sale
of our home. His professionalism
and incredible people skills made
an emotional time a positive
experience. He managed the
presentation of our home in a
beautiful way and walked us
through the entire process with
great skill. We felt lucky to have
him represent us.”
- Jennifer and Mike Krukow
For the best Real Estate
Search Site look here.
Bruce Freeberg • Broker Associate # 01771947
www.BruceFreeberg.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert “Gilbert” Sotello
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 59
H&S WELL DRILLING
and Pump Co. Inc.
| SLO COUNTY
BY THE NUMBERS
Serving San Luis Obispo County
150 FOOT WELL
IS JUST $7,999
License # 1008252
Originally part of See Canyon Fruit
Ranch, this 10-acre parcel surrounded
by majestic mountains and stately oaks
is private, has wonderful sunlight, and
beautiful oak trees. It is located off of
See Canyon Road in San Luis Obispo
County, just 9 miles from downtown
SLO and 4 miles from Avila Beach.
Secluded country living doesn’t get any
better than this. Make an appointment
to see this exceptional lot.
Paso (Inside City Limits)
Paso (North 46 - East 101)
Paso (North 46 - West 101)
Paso (South 46 - East 101)
San Luis Obispo
60 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
*Comparing 1/1/15 - 9/14/15 to 1/1/16 - 9/14/16
93 110 518,000 575,000
75 69 510,000 546,000
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®
INVESTMENTS | INSURANCE | FINANCIAL PLANNING | RETIREMENT PLAN CONSULTING
Please join us at our Arroyo Grande office for our
Thursday . October 13 . 5pm-7pm
Erika D. Bylund, CRPS® | Vice President
Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment
advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Point
Sur Wealth Management, Inc. is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. CA Insurance License 0I12781.
524 EAST BRANCH STREET, ARROYO GRANDE
(805) 574-1620 | ERIKA@POINTSURWEALTH.COM
CalBRE # 01497156
CalBRE # 01408502
Rock View Realty® . 146 North Ocean Avenue . Cayucos
H O W D O I
FOR AN EMERGENCY?
• It is important to be prepared for any type of emergency
that could impact San Luis Obispo County. In the unlikely
event of an emergency at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, it’s
important to know if your home, workplace, or children’s
schools are within the Emergency Planning Zone as well as
any actions you may be directed to take. Your plan should
include any assistance needed by elderly family members,
those with medical needs, as well as your family pets.
• In an emergency, officials may direct protective actions
to protect public health and safety. It is important to stay
tuned to local radio and TV stations throughout the
emergency to receive current information
and actions you may need to take.
• For more information on how to prepare, visit:
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
TSUNAMI FLOOD NUCLEAR FIRE HAZMAT
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 61
Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery
Favorite drought-tolerant plant Hummingbird Sage (Salvia
spathacea) because it thrives in dry shade environments under
Coast Live Oaks. I named my landscape company “Sage” after
this plant. I still love Hummingbird Sage today just as much,
since shade tolerant sages are virtually non-existent
Tip The best advice I have for dealing with the drought in our
landscapes is to get rid of all water thirsty plants and convert to
water wise, drought-tolerant plants. Planting in fall and winter
is the best time to catch anticipated rains to help your new
plantings get a jump-start on establishment. Also, mulch, mulch,
mulch! Use bark chips or weed fabric with gravel to mulch over
all planting areas to prevent evaporation, water loss, and retain
soil moisture for your plants.
Amid a seemingly
drought that has
daunting when water
priority. We rounded up
to ask them about
share a tip for
the dry spell.
Gardens by Gabriel
Favorite drought-tolerant plant Colorful, bold foliage and
stunning blooms make the Aloe tribe a fantastic group of
succulent plants to feature in any garden. Their lean reliance on
water and maintenance makes them drought-proof. Versatile
shapes from tree forms to ground covers allow them to be userfriendly
in many zones throughout the garden.
Tip Utilize grey water from your washing machine and other
fixtures, if possible. Laundry-to-landscape is a year-round
resource almost everyone can use to irrigate their gardens. Also,
if you can, I recommend attaching downspouts to French drains
and directing them toward planted areas. Your plants will root
down deeper to utilize this water as surface layers dry out in
the summer, which increases their longevity and hardiness.
62 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Favorite drought-tolerant plant I like Agave “Blue Glow” for
its handsome, small, compact size; its stiff leaves which are
roughly 1-2” wide have a blue-green body with red margins, and
is impressive when backlit. The Agave “Blue Glow” is drought
tolerant, deer resistant, and easy to maintain because of its size.
It is quite the universal plant for a variety of planting schemes.
Tip Install a smart irrigation controller with a rain sensor and
moisture probes—it will help to really track and measure what
is going on in a landscape environment. In the end, it will help
regulate the amount of water that is necessary for your garden
to flourish, instead of just programing a clock, forgetting about
it and not adjusting what is actually needed based on the everchanging
gardening can become
conservation is the
some top local experts
plant, as well as to
Ecotones Landscape Design and Installation
Favorite drought-tolerant plant Ribes Sanguineum
Glutinosum “Claremont,” pink-flowering currant is a
deciduous shrub to small tree featuring clusters of pink flowers
that attract hummingbirds. Given space to grow they achieve
a balanced, vase shaped form that can act as a great focal point
in the garden.
Tip A shift in perception of what a garden should be is helpful.
Put aside those visions of lush East Coast landscapes with
an acre of lawn and Hydrangeas the size of cars. Opt for a
garden with a sense of place, a garden that reflects the realities
we find ourselves in right here on the Central Coast. Be open
and excited to create a succulent garden or a bird garden with
California native plants.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 63
Of twenty three hundred realtors surveyed by NAR, over 71% who Represent the Seller believe a
staged home generates an Increase from 1% to 20% of the dollar value, and 81% of buyer’s Realtors
believe staging made it easier to visualize the property as a future home.
Shea Lockhart of Sheadesigns.com, growing up in a family of Real
Estate Brokers, states, “selling homes isn’t the same process it
use to be. Now most customers will view homes online, and select
the homes that appeal to them. A seller wants their home to stand
out above the competition; staging will show your home at its best,
and significantly improve online photo presentation. Stats show this
translates into much shorter market periods, more net proceeds,
including savings on mortgage payments due to the accelerated
Shea, a local Cal Poly alumni whose studies emphasized
Architectural Design and Art, with a background in Model Home
Staging says, “I love taking both vacant homes, and well lived
in homes to a higher visual level using the psychology of color,
and the flow of arrangement to excite prospective buyers. It is
about lifestyle, and creating desire to live here in this house now;
revealing the best of every property we stage.”
64 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
“Staging was a key part of our marketing program, on new and resale
homes. Shea Lockhart is a creative phenomenon. I recommend using
her talent to sell your home like a pro!”
David H. Wind
former President of Building Industry Assoc. Kings – Tulare County.
“Home Staging Deeply Affects Buyer’s Perspective.
When Buyers Can Visualize the Product As Their Home,
An Offer is Made.”
Setting the mood with evocative local art.
Featured artist Debra Sievers
Shea Designs Staging . (805) 305-0080 . email@example.com
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 65
PICNIC AT THE
On the hunt for al fresco dining at its finest we headed down
Highway 1 to Rancho El Chorro Regional Park.
BY PADEN HUGHES
Officially called the Friends of San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens, a
passionate group of locals have secured 150 acres and a 99-year lease
with the intention of vastly expanding the six-acre garden. Initially
started in 1989, the garden’s mission is to honor and preserve our
connection with nature. It’s exciting to see the vision for future
expansion, and I was impressed to learn that there is a master plan
that includes 50 miles of paved trails, restaurants, and cafés dedicated
to serving Mediterranean cuisine.
The plants featured thoughout the garden are indigenous to the world’s five Mediterranean
climates: California, the Mediterranean Basin, the central coastal of Chile, the
Western Cape province of South Africa, and southwestern Australia. Educational signs
posted along the trail indicate both the plants’ function and its native region.
With an obsession for solar and electric energy used to power everything from Teslas to
commercial buildings, a favorite feature of the garden for my husband, Michael, was the
solar-powered water pump.
In light of all the fires our region has been battling this season, I particularly liked the
Fireseafe Demonstration Landscape. With information about each plant, this landscaped
section is entirely devoted to showcasing types of plants that
actually are fire resistant and could be helpful in protecting
residential properties from wildfire.
My final favorite, at the top of the bird watching hike, there is a
massive human sundial, a legacy project created by Leadership
SLO’s Class 20. If you stand on the name of the current month,
the shadow the sun casts will tell you the time. This was definitely
fun to try and the views were beautiful.
While there are no designated picnic areas within the garden
itself, opposite the entrance there are picnic tables and a small
playground which made a lovely backdrop for enjoying our
Lincoln Street Deli sandwiches. SLO LIFE
PADEN HUGHES is
co-owner of Gymnazo
and enjoys exploring
the Central Coast.
DIRECTIONS: The Garden is located in El Chorro Regional Park, halfway
between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay on Highway 1. Coming from San
Luis Obispo, turn right at the light across from Camp San Luis, just before
PRICE: Admission is free, but the regional park does charge for parking.
HOURS: The garden is open from sunrise to sunset daily (specific hours of
operation for Eve’s Garden Shop, Library and Pavilion are more limited).
66 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 67
reworking your workout
No one expects perfection from every workout, and we all know that there
are endless benefits to just getting moving—but if you’re waking up extra
early to hit the gym or are skipping happy hour to make a spin class, you
want to make the most of it. Which is why it helps to think about efficiency.
Here, experts reveal how to make every second—and rep—count.
“Especially in the morning, when you go from 0 (sleeping) to 50
(sweating), you sort of shock the heart,” Edward Jackowski, Ph.D.,
founder of EXUDE Fitness training programs and author of Escape
Your Weight explains. People who do intense anaerobic exercise in the
morning without a warm-up tend to be more tired throughout the day. A
10-minute morning warm-up can take the edge off so you’re more active
after the gym, which will increase your overall calorie burn.
PERFECT YOUR FORM
Sit-ups generally get a bad rap, and that’s primarily because it’s hard to do
them right, explains celebrity trainer David Kirsch. “It’s easy to do the exercise
incorrectly and end up targeting your arms and neck instead of engaging your
core,” he says, suggesting planks instead.
Even push-ups—one of the most basic, time-tested, effective exercises—can be
useless if you’re not strong enough to do them correctly, he says. Feeling it more in
your lower back and neck instead of chest, triceps, and core? That’s a sign that you
might not be getting as much out of the move as you’d like.
“Pay attention to the areas that the exercise is meant to target,” Kirsch advises. “If
you’re doing an exercise incorrectly, it’s a complete waste of time and could end up
hurting other areas of the body that are not meant to be affected by the workout.”
68 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
DETOX SUPPORT RECOVERY
Addiction Physician Directs All Patient Care
Individual and Group Counseling
12 step and non 12 step programs
Diplomate of the American Board of
Alcohol, Opiate, Heroin & Pain Killer Addiction
107 Nelson Street
Arroyo Grande CA 93420
(805) 242-1360 | kenstarrmd.com
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 69
DO A HIIT WORKOUT
ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK
A HIIT session (or high-intensity interval training) can boost
your resting metabolic rate for up to eight days. (Yes, you read that
right.) If you do it every day, it’s a total waste because your muscles
won’t have time to recover, explains Franci Cohen, an exercise
physiologist and certified nutritionist. But a proper HIIT session
(like a class, where an instructor can help you perfect the technique
and practice it safely) a couple times a week could really make a
difference, Cohen says.
CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE
If you hit your favorite indoor cycling studio or hop on a treadmill five
days a week, every week, your heart will stay happy and endorphins will be
flowing. But if you want to see results (say, in terms of fat burning), your
body will generally hit a plateau after three weeks, says Nedra Lopez, trainer
and owner of The P.E. Club.
“A waste of time would be doing the same thing every time and never
increasing your weight, volume, or reps,” she says. “You need to consistently
be increasing intensity—and keep your body guessing. Don’t just stick to
things you’re good at.”
Also known as cross-training, this technique helps you sustain
a higher level of intensity for longer than you would if you’d
simply stuck with working one area. So move onto overhead
presses as soon as your legs are spent from doing lunges. Once
your legs recover, you can pick up where you left off with a set
of squats, box jumps, or another form of lower body toning.
70 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
ALTERNATE INDOOR AND
Training in an air-conditioned space, and training outdoors in the heat
or on real terrain are two very different things. When you change your
environment, you throw your body off, which means you’re burning more
calories. So, switch it up.
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 71
ENGAGE YOUR CORE
Most exercises involve your core in some capacity—and even more so if you remember
to squeeze it. You burn more calories when you work larger muscle groups (your abs and
back) than smaller muscles (like biceps). To max out, engage all these groups at once—and
try some moves that involve rotation, such as plank twists (they’re the human version of
wringing out a towel—just imagine squeezing out the fat for a narrower, tauter waistline).
And, note this bonus: People with stronger cores tend to get full faster because the abs
stop the stomach from expanding indefinitely when you eat, explains Cohen, who likens
strengthening the core to a nonsurgical gastric bypass.
JOIN OUR CLASSES TODAY
ALL FITNESS LEVELS WELCOME
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE A CHANGE
755 Alphonso Street . SLO
[off Broad Street]
8420 El Camino Real . Atascadero
72 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
STOP THE MARATHON WORKOUTS
You might feel like a rock star when you double up on fitness classes or outlast the girl on the
next elliptical. But unless you’re a pro athlete or you’re training for a competition, “No one needs
to work out for more than an hour and fifteen minutes—more is not better,” says Dr. Jackowski.
Overdo it, and you’ll set yourself up for stress fractures, insomnia, and exhaustion, all of which
could put an end to your exercise routine and stand in the way of your fitness goals. SLO LIFE
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 73
interested to hear what our local
candidates have to say, we asked just one
question: Why are you running for office?
39 years old
Small Business Owner,
School Board Trustee
Assembly District 35
It’s no secret that Sacramento can do better. I am a policy-oriented
small businessman, a school trustee, and a former prosecutor. I am
running to bring common sense back to our state government and
make it work better for families on the Central Coast.
Each year, businesses leave California for more business-friendly
states, taking good jobs with them. It’s time to turn the tide. The
California Small Business Association supports my vision for a
growing economy. They know that I will use my experience as past
President of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association to fight the tax
increases and regulatory burdens that are costing us jobs.
Failed policies from Sacramento have endangered our neighborhoods.
As a former prosecutor, I know what we need to make our community
safer. District Attorney Dan Dow and Sheriff Ian Parkinson have
endorsed me because of my dedication to public safety.
57 years old
Small Business Owner
Assembly District 35
In a world undergoing tremendous transformation without
easy answers for the issues we face, collaboration is critical. My
experience working as a small business owner has taught me how
to work with diverse interests to create common sense solutions for
As a 24-year resident of the Central Coast, I understand our
distinctive community. I know the problem of living in an area with
a high-cost-of-living, where it is difficult to find good paying jobs.
I am the candidate who has actually created jobs in this community.
Working for First Solar, I set up job fairs throughout the area to
find qualified workers for one of the biggest solar projects in the
world—Topaz Solar Farm. This project created over 400 jobs in the
region—jobs that helped launch careers. It generated more than
$400 million in positive economic impacts to this area and 550
megawatts of energy that can power 180,000 homes.
California’s future workforce is a direct product of our education
system. We must do everything we can to support our schools, and
to make our public colleges affordable for working families. I have
worked with students, parents, and teachers as a school trustee. This
election cycle I am one of the only candidates in the state endorsed
by both the California Teachers Association and the California
Charter School Association because of my pragmatic vision for
improving our schools.
I will be accountable to you, providing common-sense leadership and
a voice for the Central Coast and our values. I hope to earn your vote.
I have a Master in International Public Policy and together with
my real world experience, I am uniquely qualified to be ready on
day one to represent the 35th. I am committed to working across
the aisle as a voice for Central Coast families, agriculturists,
business owners, students and retirees. I will listen, learn and then
take action. The best solutions result when you understand all
This is what I offer you as your Assemblywoman. I respectfully ask
for your vote.
74 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
62 years old
Councilman, Vice Mayor,
City of San Luis Obispo
I learned early on in life by my parents’ example how important it
is to give back to your community. Many generations of ancestors
built a path of service in our county for me to follow.
My involvement in public service began many years ago on city
advisory bodies and culminates this year with the end of my second
term as an elected city council member.
I’m running for 3rd District Supervisor to bring back respectful
leadership. It’s time for a change! On day one, my presence on the
Board of Supervisors will remove the appearance of impropriety
that has existed with our current supervisor. My leadership style is
one that listens to all people and responsibly embraces a pragmatic
process for appropriating public funds. My history of transparency
while avoiding special interest influence brings me great pride and
will continue when elected supervisor.
My many years of leadership in scouting, service clubs, and
nonprofits have taught me the value of respect and integrity. As an
elected official, I remain humbled by the power given to me by the
residents I serve. I have a moral obligation to uphold the highest
standard of character to genuinely fulfill this special calling in the
most unselfish way. I’d be honored to have your vote on or before
November 8th to continue my public service in our community.
50 years old
3rd District (incumbent)
In these times when political opportunists look to exploit anxiety and
sow division, I want to underscore our challenges and do so boldly
knowing we can meet them with continued good governance and
We have to better manage our water, not only according to recent state
guidelines, but also to stop waste by recycling and reclaiming all used
water. Once is simply not enough for anything anymore. Upgrading all
our systems is a must, and this should include incentive upgrades for
existing homes and buildings.
Traffic congestion has become an increasing concern and we have been
proactive in programming new infrastructure, but the state is no longer
providing us with funds (as it did to help LOVR and other previous
problem spots). We have to help ourselves to provide match funding for
I’m proud to have led the effort conserving the 900 coastal acres
known as Pismo Preserve. There are other opportunities, from Avila
to the outskirts of SLO. Trails for hikers and bicyclists have become
increasingly popular for residents and visitors alike.
Finally, as we transition to a post-Diablo economy, there’s much to
build upon thanks to efforts I am especially proud to have led, such
as the EVC/County economic development project and the County
partnership with the Poly HotHouse. We have a growing technology
sector providing key jobs for young families. This has to continue as a
primary focus and you can count on my experience to keep our local
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 75
interested to hear what our local
candidates have to say, we asked just one
question: Why are you running for office?
46 years old
71 years old
City of San Luis Obispo
Having been an advocate for positive solutions in San Luis Obispo
for the past 30 years, I have watched our city change and grow.
SLO is at a crossroads and we must decide what kind of city
we want to become. We need strong proactive leadership that is
responsive and supportive of the needs of our community. I am
running for Mayor to bring fresh ideas to our local government,
and to proactively work towards the solutions we need to support
your vision for our city.
I am committed to policies and practices that keep our downtown
and local economy supportive of local business creation and
growth. We will work together to enhance community resilience
by actively working toward 80% renewable energy by 2030. I
will implement creative housing solutions for families, young
professionals, and retirees to build the type of neighborhoods we
want to come home to. The Rental Housing Inspection Program
is not working effectively; instead we will focus on solutions to
support renters, landlords to create an environment that offers
more diverse and accessible housing. We must work with Cal Poly
to share the burden of our housing challenge.
This is a pivotal time for the future of our families and community.
It is my promise to honor the collective voice of our citizens and
champion the solutions that you seek for our city. Let’s build a
government that works for all of us. Please join me, as we move San
Luis Obispo forward together.
I am running for a fourth term as Mayor because I am passionate
about serving San Luis Obispo. My experience, effectiveness
and vision make me the best qualified candidate. Under my
proven, proactive leadership, we’ve been universally recognized
as an outstanding place to live, work and play. I am committed to
preservation of our unique natural, historical and cultural resources.
I’ve responded decisively and creatively to budget challenges,
successfully guided us through the Recession, practiced fiscal
responsibility, paid down pensions, and invested in infrastructure.
On SLOCOG, I’ve facilitated funding for bike paths, transit,
and roads, including the LOVR interchange and the property for
homeless services center at 40 Prado Road.
I’m proud of past accomplishments, but there is still much more to
do to sustain our City’s upward economic, social and environmental
trajectory. During my next term, I will: implement the new Land
Use and Circulation Element, bringing in new smart growth
neighborhoods; step up implementation of the Climate Action
Plan; increase City use of renewable energy; augment water
security by further purifying recycled water; increase infrastructure
investment, including parks and bicycle paths; strengthen
neighborhood wellness and safety; facilitate new affordable and
workforce housing; evaluate the rental housing safety program;
protect more open space land; and promote diversification of our
local economy, economic vitality and head of household jobs as we
face Diablo closure. I will continue to urge greater transparency in
government and better communication with City residents.
For a thriving, sustainable San Luis Obispo, re-elect Jan Marx.
76 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
STOP DAN CARPENTER
GO ADAM HILL
Dan is the only elected official who voted
against the Pismo Preserve. He also voted
against the LOVR bike path.
Dan campaigned against the Cuesta and San
Luis Coastal bond measures, and wanted to
sue Cal Poly over on-campus housing.
Dan resisted all community efforts to create
good-paying jobs on the Central Coast,
and has opposed many efforts that would
safeguard existing jobs
Dan takes hot-issue investor money: owner of
proposed Santa Margarita gravel mine, designer
of Laetitia Ag Cluster, and Texas businessman
who fenced off the hiking trail above Avila.
Ruled by COLAB, Dan publicly supported
reform, but then voted against it.
Dan took a year off from most SLO City Council
duties in 2014. Dan Carpenter won’t play if he
can’t get his way – sometimes he doesn’t even
Adam’s hands-on leadership was key to creating
the Pismo Preserve, as well as the Bob Jones
Trail expansion project.
Adam worked for the Cuesta and San Luis Coastal
bond measures, and is a trusted partner with Cal
Adam was co-chair of County/EVC economic
development project, created the Cal Poly
HotHouse partnership, and constantly meets with
local entrepreneurs to better understand their
Adam accepts contributions from a diverse group
of supporters: local businesses, labor, teachers,
working residents and retirees. He has a strong
pro-environment voting record, and supports
campaign finance reform.
Adam is a strong advocate for the poor,
the mentally ill, and those who’ve been
marginalized by discrimination. Adam Hill has
shown time and again that he works with people
from all sides of an issue to find common ground
and get the job done.
COMPARE, THEN VOTE.
Paid for by Friends of Adam Hill, County Supervisor 2016. FPPC# 1294032
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 77
interested to hear what our local
candidates have to say, we asked just one
question: Why are you running for office?
71 years old
37 years old
22 years old
Over the years my family has enjoyed the
wonderful quality of life our city leaders
historically took great pride in preserving. I am
running for office to correct recent changes in
the city’s direction that threaten our small town
quality of life.
Residents’ influence and interests are receiving
reduced attention as Cal Poly, development, and
the tourist industry have moved to the forefront.
I have watched residents go to Council
meetings, explain their neighborhood’s problem,
ask for the issue to be agendized and then be
rebuffed. This should not happen.
As Cal Poly adds students without sufficient
on-campus housing, students are forced to
seek housing in residential neighborhoods.
This in turn consumes what other cities would
commonly term workforce housing. The city
then gets caught in a seemingly endless loop
of encouraging the construction of additional
workforce housing—much of which becomes
The quality of life in our residential neighborhoods
becomes an afterthought in too many instances.
I will encourage residents to become just as
actively engaged in what is and will be happening
to their town as are other groups. Together, we can
correct the balance back in favor of residents to
ensure the safety, security and quality of life in our
residential neighborhoods, protect our city from
massive development that overwhelms its limited
resources, preserve San Luis Obispo’s historic
small-town character and charm, and maintain our
cherished views and surrounding open space.
Residents elect us to office. Their voices and
votes should matter.
78 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, I
am a second generation Downtown business
owner, and I plan to live out my days here. I
sit on two boards and four committees. I am
also in the current SLO Leadership class.
I participate in all of the above mentioned
because of my love for this city. It is my belief
that the only way we can make this world a
better place is through participation. Our city
is a reflection of healthy participation.
What makes SLO so amazing is not just the
spectacular open space or the rich history,
but it is the people. People are what make
our community what it is. As we continue
to evolve we need to also continue to foster
diversity. A diverse economy, a diverse
ecosystem, and diverse perspectives. That
is the key to any thriving organism. But it
is very difficult to maintain or create any
sort of diversity when we are the sixth least
affordable city in America. It is time that we
bring some balance back to that metric.
In order to do that we need leaders that
are willing to make tough decisions for the
greater good of our community. Decisions
based on public input, rational thinking, and
expert advice. I am at a time in my life that
I can be that decision maker. Helping one
another be better people is more important to
me than pushing a single agenda.
This community will be my home for many
years to come and I hope that I can play
a small part in building a better San Luis
Obispo. Today we have the chance to face the
challenges ahead as one.
We are all familiar with what those
challenges are: lack of affordable housing,
fear over a secure long-term water supply,
strained town-gown relations, the effects
of a post-Diablo Canyon, or the obstacles
with preserving a strong local economy. The
election this year will decide the path for
what our community will become in the next
ten to twenty years.
That is why this year’s election is a very
important one. What we need is leadership
that is prepared to tackle these challenges
and understands the importance of working
with community members to create solutions.
We need leadership that is willing to engage
in discussion, dialogue, listen to new ideas,
and compromise. It won’t be easy and we
won’t agree on everything. The ability to
listen is what I believe sets me apart from
other candidates. I understand that there is
never a definitive right or wrong solution,
but rather we must embrace a combination of
ideas that work together to move us forward.
I hope to raise my family in this community
and hope that they can experience everything
that’s wonderful about this city, as I have. It
is up to us to take the community we have
inherited and make a better place for future
MILA VUJOVICH-LA BARRE
FOR SLO CITY COUNCIL 2016
“When you vote for me on November 8, 2016, you will elect a listener,
a leader, and a long-term planner that will best serve you and the
residents of San Luis Obispo!”
805.441.5818 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Mila Vujovich-La Barre for SLO City Council
• environment •
My vision for San Luis Obispo is one of balance:
A healthy economy, where businesses succeed &
employees thrive; environmental stewardship, to
protect our beautiful surroundings and resources;
and livable community, making sure a great quality
of life is available to everyone.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 79
interested to hear what our local
candidates have to say, we asked just one
question: Why are you running for office?
50 years old
30 years old
60 years old
I’m running for City Council because I
love this city! I believe local government
is the way for residents to truly influence
decision-making and outcomes. At the local
level, government can be creative, agile and
responsive, and good solutions can ripple to
other communities and beyond.
My husband, Frank Basich, and I moved here
almost 20 years ago and feel so fortunate
to live here, work here, and raise our two
daughters here. I am a green building architect
and co-owner of a small business in town. I
have served in many organizations, including
as a founding Board member of SLO Green
Build, co-chair for Yes on Measure G, and
currently serving on the Central Coast
Green Building Council and the Chamber of
Commerce boards. I will bring this experience
and perspective to the Council.
“Balance” is a core value for me. As we envision
our future, I believe we can have a balance of
healthy economy, environmental stewardship,
and livable community. We do have challenges
ahead and I believe we can address those
challenges together. I will prioritize policies
and programs to improve housing options
and affordability, promote a sustainable water
supply, encourage head-of-household jobs, and
implement climate action.
Our community is strengthened by different
backgrounds and opinions, where all voices
are heard. We can make choices that respect
our past, while planning courageously for
the future. I am excited about that future
and would be honored to serve as a City
80 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
As a 24 year resident of SLO County, I have
thoroughly enjoyed our beautiful open spaces,
the vibrant downtown area, and wonderful
people. I have decided to enter public service
because of my love for this community. San
Luis Obispo has given me so much, and I
would like to give back.
The people of SLO deserve to be served
by a Council which possesses a diversity
of opinion reflective of the community;
including the voices of working professionals,
tenants, and residents under the age of 40.
Residents deserve a pragmatic approach to
solve the severe housing and rental market
issues. That means adopting positive housing
solutions and repealing the Rental Inspection
Ordinance, which the community as a whole
The residents deserve to be served by a
Council that is fiscally responsible and will
prioritize paying the City’s pension liabilities
that are in excess of $120 million.
SLO residents deserve a Council that is
proactive in managing and exploring options
to expand our water supply.
I understand every issue that comes before
the Council has the potential to impact all
residents, the weight of that responsibility is
not lost on me. I’m running for City Council
because I love SLO and our residents
deserve leadership that is representative of
our community. I am ready to listen and
prepared to act, on behalf of this amazing
City and its residents.
Having explored many parts of our country and
the world, I believe that San Luis Obispo is one
of the best places on earth!
I have raised a family and thrived here for
25 years. Now, after years of community
involvement as a bilingual teacher, 24 Hour
Relay organizer, civic volunteer, and leader, I am
prepared to serve on City Council.
Currently, San Luis Obispo faces challenges
that my determination, skills, and experience
will help to address.
These involve planning for more frequent
and extended droughts, finding solutions for
traffic congestion and parking, protecting
the functionality and growth of the San
Luis Obispo County Airport, advocating for
workforce housing, caring for our homeless
population, dredging Laguna Lake, beautifying
recreational areas, building Class 1 bike paths,
finding solutions for rising crime, supporting
campaign finance reform, assuring responsible
fiscal and environmental processes, and
preserving beloved viewsheds and open space.
I look forward to strengthening all of our
neighborhoods by working with neighborhood
groups, city advisory bodies, students, and other
community organizations. I will do everything
within my power to protect our small town
quality of life while enhancing and safeguarding
our City’s economic, social and environmental
health and vitality.
I am a good listener, leader and long-term
planner who will strive to make San Luis
Obispo an even better place to work, learn
and live! I will be honored to serve you on the
Vote Dan Carpenter
PROVEN LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS
City Councilman . Business Owner
Cal Poly Graduate . 5th Generation Native
Paid for by the Committee To Elect Dan Carpenter Supervisor 2016 ID # 1376621
If you want a City Council Member who will:
• Listen to and be a voice for residents and their concerns
• Respect and value our many unique residential neighborhoods and work to preserve and protect them
• Be mindful of our water resources
• Be financially responsible with taxpayer money
• Work to protect and maintain the beautiful open space that surrounds us
• Be mindful of our existing small businesses and not add barriers to their success
• Work to add on-campus housing at Cal Poly—in appropriate locations
• Work to keep our downtown family-friendly
Paid for by Clark for SLO Council 2016 Committee, FPPC ID #1384708
Then you should support and Vote for Mike Clark for City Council.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 81
| SPECIAL FEATURE
BY PADEN HUGHES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENODA CAMPBELL
As part of our ongoing series examining the popular San Luis
Obispo County institution known as Leadership SLO, our own
Paden Hughes profiles a few members from Classes 21 to 25.
After 25 years in operation, the program, which features
an active 900 member alumni network, continues to touch
many lives, as well as play an integral role in strengthening
communities throughout the Central Coast. >>
82 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 83
Hailing from the “Forever 21” class of Leadership SLO, ALEXANDRA SUTTON
fell in love with San Luis Obispo while visiting a friend who was attending Cuesta
College and living in Morro Bay. The draw to the Central Coast was strong and just
three weeks later, she packed up her life in Redlands and moved, determined to make
it work. Today she is the Spa Director for the Madonna Inn.
Sutton first heard about Leadership SLO through a social mixer being held. Told
that the event was only for Leadership SLO graduates, she decided to apply to the
program. The deadline was the following day, so she quickly finished her application,
got permission from her supervisors and submitted her reference letters. A few weeks
later she was accepted into Class 21.
NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
Since her 2012 Leadership SLO graduation
AMANDA COLLINS DIEFENDERFER went on
to found a thriving consultancy called Big Red
Marketing and has published her first book
“Listening to Millennials: 56 Priceless Tips for
Website consultant, DAVE KASTNER has
donated countless hours to Leadership SLO as
its Facebook page manager. His breezy updates
are eagerly anticipated by alumni who appreciate
the opportunity to stay in touch with the program
and share photos with one another.
KSBY-TV’s Marketing Director, BRANDON DOWNING,
along with his wife, Shannon, who is an
executive with Sierra Vista Hospital and a
graduate of Class 19, have gone on to new
career heights and they continue to donate
countless hours in support of the Women’s
Shelter as they star in the Madonna Inn Fashion
show, alongside their 5-year-old son Carter.
“Leadership SLO is a tribe that is dedicated to adding more to its numbers,” Sutton
shares. “It helped to boost my confidence as a leader. It helped me be more fearless
in voicing my questions and concerns. I now feel that my voice counts. I also feel I’ve
come away recognizing how important each individual’s actions are at the local level.
Volunteerism and the spirit to help and giving back are so vibrant here and I’m always
happy to be a part of it.”
Each month Leadership SLO’s class of 36 leaders takes a full day to dive into
understanding a key industry sector in the county. The experience that stood out
to Sutton was the tour at county jail for Justice Day. Clearing security, meeting
guards, and walking through the county jail, and observing inmates on the other
side of the glass was an intense experience. Sutton is a self-proclaimed optimist
and she remembers how thankful she was to see the state of the jail first-hand. It
was bleak, emotionally heavy, but it explored a side of society that is hard to face
and harder to fix. It made her want to learn more about what is being done to
improve our justice system and support programs seeking to reintegrate inmates
productively back into society.
Sutton currently enjoys volunteering with the Women’s Shelter, surfing and hiking
with her husband, reading good books, and exploring her fascination with foreign
languages. Raised in Japan, Sutton is fluent in English and Japanese. She also
enjoys studying Spanish and French, and equates this effort with trying to solve a
Mike Anderson, Rachel Carscaden, John Cascamo, Skye Christakos,
Michael Codron, Mandi Collins, Grace Crittenden, Brandon Downing,
Jaime Dwight, Brian Engleton, Tom Franciscovich, Craig Hill, Floyd
Hitchcock, Sasha Irving, Dave Kastner, Kaitlin King, Betsy Kinsley,
Melody Klemin, Steve Kragenbrink, Aaron Lambert, Wendy Lucas,
Ben Marquart, Josh Martin, Chase Martin, Danielle Marinez, Heather
McMillan, Steffanie Medina, Linda Parker Sanpei, Liz Ruth, Terri
Sablan, Keith Storton, Alexandra Sutton, Bettina Swigger,
Julie van Hoff, Kacy Vradenburg, Aimee Wyatt
84 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 85
First visiting SLO County in 1979 on a family road trip, STEVE KNUCKLES and
his parents were just exploring the area when they fell head-over-heels in love with
it. That same day they went to a realtor to check out the housing market and liked
the first house they saw so much they bought it and moved the family from Orange
County to Paso Robles. Knuckles recalls how lucky he felt to grow up in a small town
and how moving to the Central Coast helped him find his career in the fire service.
All it took was watching his friend, a high schooler in the fire reserve, put out a
barn fire, to spark his interest. That same day Knuckles joined the fire reserve, and
a week later helped on his first fire. Since then he pursued an EMT certification
while continuing to work part-time with the fire service, then eventually accepted
a full-time position in Atascadero. Today, Knuckles is the Fire Chief for the Morro
Bay Fire Department.
NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
Talley Farms Fresh Harvest manager
ANDREA SHAPIRO CHAVEZ continues to
connect farmers and neighbors through her
popular Community Supported Agriculture
program. And, she also donates her time
now to Leadership SLO’s Tour Day, as she
introduces new classes to farmers who are
growing everything from ancient grains to
small-scale blackberry patches.
Since her Leadership year JESSICA STEELY
has added President/CEO to her general
contractor title at Semmes & Co. Builders.
She has also served as President of SLO
Green Build and is with the Economic
Vitality Corporation’s Building Design and
DOMINIC TARTAGLIA, whose family has
longtime roots in the community, is now
sharing his love of all things San Luis Obispo
as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo
Downtown Association. He is also a member
of the Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team and an
Knuckles first heard about Leadership SLO through an ad in a local magazine stating
that the program was focused on leadership and networking. He was immediately
interested and applied. During his time in Leadership, Knuckles recalls becoming
exposed to a cross section of people from wildly different backgrounds, all committed
to making the county a better place to live.
“Each month I was able to witness the individual passions of each member of my
class come out, from Adam Stowe and his passion for Blues Baseball, to Herb Stroh
and his passion for justice, to Andrea Chavez and her passion for Talley Farm’s local
produce,” Knuckles continues. “As a fireman you can believe your passion to keep
the public safe is the most important. Leadership SLO showed me the broader
eco-system and how different passions and purposes work together to make our
community so vibrant.”
The highlight for Knuckles was Media Day where he learned how to handle a difficult
interview with aplomb. At the time, his fire department did not have meaningful
relationships with local media. Learning to deal effectively with this sector proved to
be critical to his career. After Media Day, Knuckles, joined by the Morro Bay Police
Chief, initiated a meeting with KSBY-TV’s news team to learn about how they could
more effectively communicate with each other. This meeting was a success and it led
to similar meetings with other media outlets, which has led to a much-improved
connection between the fire department and the community it serves.
When he is not putting out fires or working to improve the City of Morro Bay,
Knuckles enjoys coaching his son’s basketball and football teams. He also continues
to be involved in the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, where he helps run camps
across the state for burn victims.
Jennifer Alton, Lauren Bell, Mark Bieraugel, Susan Branche Poteet,
Patty Carpenter, Andrea Chavez, Colby Courter, Juliette Duke,
Maureen Forsberg, Daniel Glimpse, April Hoey, Paden Hughes,
Kristin Inman, Emily Jackson, Trevor Keith, Steve Knuckles, Mike
Konjoyan, Robyn Kontra, Denise Leader Stoeber, Sandy Lee, Loren
Leidinger Avila, Deepa Mallareddy, Jeff Minnery, Kerry Morris,
Sunni Mullinax, Pamela Ralston, Megan Rivoire, Sue Roberts, Kelli
Schonher, Ray Spellerberg, Jessica Steely, Adam Stowe, Herb Stroh,
Dom Tartaglia, Melinda Thomas, Janet Wallace
86 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
2 0 1 6 · 2 0 1 7 S E A S O N
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1 Singular Transformative Season
SATURDAY EVENINGS AT 8 PM IN THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
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Andrew Sewell I Conductor
Giora Schmidt I Violin
Rossini / Overture to The Barber of Seville
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Beethoven / Symphony No. 5 in C minor
SPONSORED BY JIM & BEVERLY SMITH
ANONYMOUS: HONORING THE CULTURAL LEGACY OF THE SLO SYMPHONY
november 12, 2016
I classics 2
José-Luis Novo I Conductor
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G.W. Chadwick / Jubilee from Symphonic Sketches
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J. Sibelius / Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
SPONSORED BY PATRICIA McNAMARA · ROGER & JANICE VERITY
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ARTISTS & PROGRAMS
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
吀 栀 椀 爀 搀 最 攀 渀 攀 爀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 愀 氀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 攀 爀 猀
漀 昀 昀 攀 爀 椀 渀 最 礀 漀 甀
䌀 甀 猀 琀 漀 洀 Ⰰ 一 攀 眀 Ⰰ ☀ 䔀 猀 琀 愀 琀 攀 䨀 攀 眀 攀 氀 爀 礀
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㐀 ☀ 㠀 䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 ⸀ 䐀 漀 眀 渀 琀 漀 眀 渀 匀 䰀 伀
㠀 㔀 ⸀ 㔀 㐀 アパート⸀ 㠀 㠀 㘀
䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 爀 攀 攀 琀 䜀 漀 氀 搀 猀 洀 椀 琀 栀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 87
After six months studying abroad on the Gold Coast of Australia, with two weeks left
on his visa, MICHAEL HUGHES remembers asking a friend where he should go
next in life. Knowing he still had a couple of classes to complete for pre-requisites for
Physical Therapy grad school, he just couldn’t bear going back to Fresno to finish it.
Australia had been life-changing, and he wanted to go somewhere equally inspiring.
His friend suggested San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly. So he went back home, packed
up and moved to SLO to finish his remaining classes and find work.
NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
The ever-creative BRANDEN WELSHONS
leant his good business sense and
sophisticated palette to co-founding Jean
Marie Cidery. His craft hard cider, which
was named by taking the middle names of
his mother and his business partner’s and
combining them, has been earning critical
Since her Leadership days, HEIDI HARMON
has jumped into the political process with
both feet, first running unsuccessfully for
State Assembly in 2014 and now in a hotly
contested race for Mayor of San Luis Obispo.
During the past 15 years, she has led Music
Time for pre-schoolers at Boo Boo Records.
Now San Luis Obispo is his home, the place he started his business, Gymnazo, and
where his family is being raised. He had been growing his fitness business in the
community for several years before he heard about Leadership SLO through a friend.
“I saw Leadership SLO as giving me a backstage pass to the county,” Hughes recalls.
“I care deeply about this community, where it is headed, and how it is going to get
there. Leadership SLO was a great opportunity to help me network, get the inside
scoop on the inner workings of the county and help grow my ability to be a better
His favorite experience was attending Economic Development and Business Day
because he heard from successful business owners, who have large businesses here
that are thriving, yet out of the limelight. To hear the stories about how these
leaders grew their businesses was personally encouraging to Hughes, who strives
to do the same with his own company, although he is candid in relating his own
experience when he shares, “San Luis Obispo is a funny place, because it can seem
like no one really builds careers here; they just have money and live here. But to
know there are ways to stay here and grow here is very encouraging to me. It made
me want to do the same thing.”
When not correcting movement dysfunction or coaching small group classes at his
gym, Hughes is an avid boater and lives for weekends at Lake Nacimiento where he
grew up wakeboarding with his four brothers. He also enjoys playing golf with his
wife, traveling to new countries and is excited to welcome his first child, a girl, into
the world sometime in January.
Devoted family man and Morro Bay Police
Sergeant JODY COX, along with two of his
colleagues, was recognized earlier this year
for his work in solving commercial burglaries
that had plagued the seaside town. The trio
was awarded Investigation of the Year.
Stacy Axan, Gina Axsom, Jesse Bilstein, Aram Casparian, Rachel
Cementina, Craig Christakos, Heather Cochrane, Jody Cox, Steve Davis,
Kelly Donohue, Rachel Fernflores, Kristin Flynn, Rusty Hall, Heidi Harmon,
Adrienne Harris, Erin Hoffman, Michael Hughes, Marty Imes, Cindy Jacinth,
Melissa Jenna Godsey, Amanda Leath, Courtney Meznarich, Carrie Miller,
Rachell Newburn, Garett Olson, Nohemy Ornelas, Joy Pederson Harkins,
Adam Peterson, Katie Reginato Cascamo, Missy Reitner Cameron, Deanna
Richards, Jeff Smith, Mike Sparrow, Branden Welshons, Greg Whitener,
88 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 89
San Luis Obispo County native, BRYAN IDLER was eager to strike out on his
own and find his path in life. His journey took him to San Diego State and then
on to the East Coast. Working for Robert Kennedy’s son and then spending some
time working on boats, Idler embraced the East Coast lifestyle. It wasn’t until he
received a phone call from his father letting him know the family business could use
someone like him, that Idler returned to the Central Coast. After starting in the
warehouse and working his way up to sales manager, Bryan enjoys working for the
family business, Idler’s Home, which has been operating since 1954.
NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
Since graduating, English native GARETH
KELLY married, moved to Florida and
moved back to the Central Coast in short
order. As an advocate for immigration
reform and a budding journalist, he briefly
received national attention last year when he
publically revealed that he, too, was in the
United States illegally.
Verdin operations manager MICHELLE
STARNES became a partner in the firm midway
through her Leadership SLO year, and
is an enthusiastic proponent of its “24-Hour
Give,” which selects a local non-profit to
receive a full day, all through the night, probono
makeover of its brand image.
Crossfit aficionado, SHANNON LARRABEE
is the Director of Government and Industry
Relations at Central Coast Distributing where
she has become the go-to expert on the craft
beers that are distributed by the familyowned
About four years after his return to the Central Coast, Bryan was transitioning
from sales in the company’s San Luis Obispo location to sales manager for all three
locations, when an enthusiastic Rotarian told him about Leadership SLO. After
receiving encouragement to apply, Idler considered that the program may be a
valuable way to learn more about the community, as well as a way to build upon his
professional network in the area.
“I thought this program would be a little more formal in its leadership training with
an emphasis on public speaking skills, but I couldn’t have been further off,” Idler
intimates. “The program is far more focused on giving you the opportunity to tune
into your community at a whole new level and meet the experts who help shape our
community. I loved it.”
Idler recalls that after the initial retreat at Wonder Valley, the first meeting he
attended started off with being taught a Polish dance with his classmates. He
remembers circling up with his newly acquainted classmates and dancing and
jumping around for twenty minutes, trying desperately to make the dance moves
look authentic. It was the perfect way to break the ice as the group started Arts
and Education Day. Later that same day he recalls listening to leaders in local Arts
organizations explain the plight of arts in San Luis Obispo. Idler recalls that Arts
wasn’t something he had thought about much, but after learning about what goes
on behind the scenes as these organizations struggle to support their operations in
the community, it opened his eyes to see how important it is for locals to support
their efforts. “Perhaps the single biggest takeaway for me was that Leadership SLO
showed me that I could still be more involved than I was at the time,” Idler pauses
to collect his thoughts. “Regardless of how little time I have, I can still impact
change in our deserving community.”
When Idler is not working or volunteering his time, he enjoys boating and spending
time at the family cabin in Lake Nacimiento. He also enjoys hiking, surfing, and
little by little, improving his own home.
Amy Bisely, Autumn Clark, Loch Dreizler, Amanda Dunton, Katie
Ferber, Rebecca Gershow, Monica Grant, Andy Greensfelder, Ray
Hais, Sabrina Harper, Steve Hilstein, Shonna Howenstine, Bryan
Idler, Derek Johnson, Burke Kascha-Hare, Gareth Kelly, Molly Kern,
Will Landreth, Shannon Larrabee, Jenna Miller, Nicole Moore,
Kendra Paulding, Andy Pease, Gene Richardson, Randy Russom,
Jenna Smith, Maryann Stansfield, Michelle Starnes, Susan Stenovec,
Heather Tarango, Lynn Tillman, Cheryl Wakefield, Brian Weiss,
Jason Wells, Dave Wilson
90 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
smart, eclectic, art to live on
1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com
(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados)
Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 91
Growing up in Davis, California, KYLE AHLGREN knew that as soon as he was
ready to raise his own family he would like to return to the charms of a small town.
After marrying an Orcutt native, Ahlgren frequented the Central Coast for holidays
and family events. Almost five years ago, Ahlgren and his wife decided it was time to
relocate from Santa Monica to San Luis Obispo to raise their family.
NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
Executive Director of Granite Ridge
Camp in Creston, SHAY STEWARD,
who is married to Class 15 alum, Erica
Stewart, hosted a Leadership fundraiser
at his facility called “The Hunger Games”
where participants competed in archery,
tomahawk throwing, and skeet shooting
which culminated in a wild game lunch.
ELLEN DREWS, who is the mother of two
and an attorney at San Luis Obispo-based
firm Sinsheimer Juhnke McIvor & Stroh
found the time and motivation to train and
compete in the Boston Marathon last spring,
finishing with a personal best time.
Event planner, DANA MATTESON, who also
works at Cal Poly’s Office of the President,
played a major role in bringing the
Leadership SLO 25 Year Anniversary party
to life, as she prepares the San Luis Obispo
Veteran’s Hall for an estimated 300 alumni
Ahlgren first heard about Leadership SLO while he volunteered with the Chamber
of Commerce as part of their Ambassador Committee. Later, it came up again when
his employer, Missy Reitner-Cameron, a graduate of Class 23, talked about her
experience. Since he knew that he wanted to stay involved in the community to better
understand the issues of his adopted home, he submitted his application. “From my
experience with this program, Leadership SLO prepares you to be a leader, but not
in the formal sense,” Algren reveals. “It enables you to know the issues, the players,
the interdependencies, and, ultimately, that education makes you a better local leader.
Knowledge and understanding creates empowered citizens who will one day take
charge of the direction of our community. I look forward to being a part of that.”
For Ahlgren, the program highlighted the concept that all it takes is someone
with a strong desire to get something meaningful accomplished in a small town.
He describes meeting people in the program who have impacted the community
in many different ways, from launching a non-profit, to building new trails, to
starting a business.
One of the experiences that most stood out to Ahlgren was an exercise on watching
how public opinion shifts: two experts with opposing views on how to develop San
Luis Obispo’s downtown were asked to debate one another in front of Class 25.
As they did, the class had to shift their physical location in the room to the side of
the room with the speaker that was most compelling to them. For Ahlgren it was
fascinating to visually see how opinion shifts and evolves as arguments unfold.
As Class 25 comes to an end, Ahlgren feels he is one step closer to finding where his
role will be in paving the future for San Luis Obispo. There are so many opportunities
he has identified where he can contribute to making an enduring impact. While he
admits to not knowing exactly what the future looks like, he shares that he is now
feeling far more prepared and confident to jump in and participate.
When not at work, Ahlgren enjoys spending time with his family and raising his
two daughters. He also loves to garden, go backpacking in Big Sur and the Sierras,
skateboard, and mountain bike.
Kyle Ahlgren, John Bledsoe, Ron Brown, Dan DeGroot, Ellen Drews,
Jim Duffy, Erica Fryburger, Lisa Funk, Aaron Gomez, Victoria Hanna,
Brent Hansen, Josh Haring, Stacey Hunt, Paul Irving, Tim Kensigner,
Joshua Kimball. Jill LeMieux, Katie Lichtig, Dana Matteson, Michelle
McCovey-Good, Nicole Morris. Melissa Mudgett, Lynne Oliverius,
Rosey Parks, Jennifer Porter, Gabe Quiroz, Susan Richardson, Ben
Ruttenberg, Jonah Stepro, Shay Stewart, Amber Stone, Angela
Tahiti, Graham Updegrove, Valerie Vaz SLO LIFE
92 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
French Hospital Medical Center’s
Perinatal Center — Now Open!
San Luis Obispo Perinatal Center’s
highly experienced OB/GYN physicians
are dedicated to providing quality
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San Luis Obispo County.
Maternal Fetal Medicine services
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ALEJANDRO ECHEVERRY, D D S
1551 Bishop Street
San Luis Obispo
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 93
TAK EAWAY CHICKEN DINNER
The Busy Person’s Best Friend
BY JAIME LEWIS
have a complicated relationship with rotisserie chicken meal deals. Walking into the grocery store
on a Wednesday afternoon with two cranky kids and $12 in my wallet, I’ve been known to succumb
to the aroma of lemon-pepper chickens under a heat lamp, purchasing a bird, two sides and a bag of
Hawaiian rolls with the hope that the weave of my life would loosen up as a result. But the payoff never
meets my expectations: the meat is inevitably dry, the sides unconscionably goopy, and after reading the
nutritional information on the bag of Hawaiian rolls, I swear I’ll never let one pass my lips again.
Fortunately, rotisserie is experiencing something of a renaissance, and many chicken dinners are being
made with straightforward, whole ingredients and the gourmand in mind. (According to Google
Trends, searches for “rotisserie chicken” have tripled in California since 2006.) What better time to
explore local takeaway rotisserie dinner deals than in the fall, when schedules suddenly explode and
work loads hit the breaking point?
JAIME LEWIS is a sommelier,
world traveler, and food writer,
who lives n San Luis Obispo.
94 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Life Made Deliciously Easy #1:
De Palo & Sons, Shell Beach
Owner Andrea Williams meets me and my kids at the front
counter of her family’s venerated delicatessen and grocery. Her
first order of business is getting in tight with my little people.
“Can they have a cookie?” she says, motioning to a glass case full
of gorgeous confections. I say, “Yes, thank you,” and the die is cast:
she is their new favorite person.
Williams shares how she and her husband, Scott, bought Spyglass
Deli in 1984, converting it to an Italian grocery and wine shop
and expanding into the adjacent suite in 1998 with a long deli
case and rotisserie. She packs a chicken up for me, describing how
each bird is stuffed with rosemary and whole garlic cloves, then
rubbed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a proprietary seasoning
before turning on the rotisserie. She also packs some favorite
sides: a sweet broccoli salad, tortellini with feta, olives and
sundried tomatoes, a rotelli salad with peppers and scallions, and a
wheel of herbed focaccia.
At home, we dig into our chicken dinner on the patio, light fading
on the mountains. The chicken falls off the bone, with plenty of
savory seasoning trapped in the crispy, almost candy-ish skin. The
kids love the focaccia; my husband and I especially appreciate the
wine, a bottle of Albariño from the Williams’ Mattina Fiore label.
All is flavorful and light, with a slight Italian accent.
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 95
Life Made Deliciously Easy #2:
The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar, Paso Robles
For all its of-the-moment ingredients and gourmet approach,
The Hatch still feels a lot like your favorite greasy spoon, only
cleaner in every respect. Opened in 2015 by Maggie Cameron
and Eric Connolly, The Hatch’s comfort-heavy menu includes
dishes Cameron remembers from spending childhood summers
in the South.
Though takeaway is a popular option, my husband and I decide to
dine in for the full experience. Our server, J.P., pummels us with
starters: roasted shishito peppers, fried green tomatoes, Hen Of
Woods mushrooms in sweet soy glaze, and pork belly with mostarda
and hoppin’ john. Then comes the chicken, brined twelve hours and
fired over oak in the rotisserie, served with half a grilled onion and
little cups of buttermilk sauce and house-made “rooster sauce.”
“You don’t want to mess around with the rooster sauce,” says J.P.,
explaining that it’s made with habanero and ghost chilies. I blend
a little with the buttermilk sauce, dip and bite. Spicy, yes, but also
transcendent. And then there are the grits.
Here on the Central Coast, most of us have never had grits, and,
therefore, have no idea what we’re missing. J.P. pushes a platter of
white, South Carolina stone-ground grits in front of us and calls
the gooey mound “a cloud of heaven.” I take a bite and start to
understand: they are pure decadence with white cheddar, butter
and cream, the perfect exclamation point on a spectacularly
96 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
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Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 97
Life Made Deliciously Easy #3:
SLO Provisions, San Luis Obispo
Full Disclosure: I already loved SLO Provisions before
writing this story; the crisp white-and-red motif of
the interior, the emphasis on pure ingredients, and the
owners, Steve Bland and Dwyne Willis.
I also happen to love the Family Chicken Dinner,
which includes a whole rotisserie chicken, a side salad,
roasted red potatoes and dessert for either two or four
people. I walk into SLO Pro on a Tuesday afternoon
when the chickens come off the fancy French Rotisol
rotisserie. Willis explains that they’ve been herb-brined
for 24 hours and then air-dried for another 24 hours
for moist meat and golden skin. The shop is bustling so
I move aside as he packs a carton of potatoes, kale, and
cauliflower salad, and an assortment of desserts—pecan
bars, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies —with my
Once again, our family dines beautifully that evening.
Herbal and savory, the chicken is expertly cooked—
with not a wisp of dryness—as are the rosemaryflecked
potatoes. The kale and cauliflower salad, already
a favorite in our house, is tender with grainy mustard,
lemon, and Parmigiano. “Look at what I did!” my son
exclaims not long after we sit down. He raises his plate
to show that he has eaten the entire dinner: chicken,
potatoes, kale, cauliflower and all. Win-win. SLO LIFE
98 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Serving the Central Coast for over 15 years as
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Full service automotive repair • Fast, reliable, same day service • Smog while you wait
Conveniently located downtown SLO • Free shuttle service
426 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 99
With a nontraditional twist, Chef Jessie Rivas takes stuffed peppers from blah to boastful.
BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLAKE ANDREWS
100 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco
is easy to find in your local
grocery store and is a great
alternative sauce for the
CENTRAL COAST FRESH HARVEST BOXES
DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS
Fresh Picked & Locally Grown
Pesticide Free Produce
Weekly or Bi-weekly Delivery
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Fresh caught local fish also available
8 large poblano or pasilla chilies
4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup BarrelHouse Rye IPA
2 Tbs canola oil
1 cup diced yellow onions
2 cloves garlic
2 cup quinoa
¾ cup cooked corn kernels
¾ cup butternut squash, finely diced
1 cup kale, leaves only
½ cup Monterey cheese
½ tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste
½ cup sour cream
juice from ½ lime
½ tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled queso fresco
cilantro for garnish
On a gas stovetop place peppers on flame and char skin until it blisters. Put
blistered peppers in a glass or stainless steel bowl and cover to sweat peppers,
until they cool. Peel skins and cut a slit on one side. De-seed the peppers but
leave stem attached and set aside.
Steam quinoa in vegetable stock and beer until just
cooked. Drain any excess liquid.
JESSIE RIVAS is the owner
and chef of The Pairing Knife
food truck which serves the
In an 10 inch sauté pan add oil and heat until just
smoking. Add butternut squash and stir often for
five minutes. Add onion, corn kernels, garlic and
stir together. Cook another five minutes. Let cool
for five minutes and add Monterey cheese, kale, salt,
and pepper. Cool to room temperature
Stuff peppers will filling and set in a well oiled 9x13
casserole dish. Cook in oven for 15 minutes at 350°.
Add queso fresco over peppers and keep in oven
until just melted. Pull from oven and serve with
cumin cream and garnish with cilantro. SLO LIFE
San Luis Obispo | Avila | Los Osos
Morro Bay | AG | Cayucos
Five Cities | Nipomo
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 101
With crisp autumn nights upon us, fall brews from
Märzen to cider are ripe and ready to be enjoyed.
BY BRANT MYERS
As the skies grow darker and the night
creeps into our day, so goes the beer.
Before the ease of refrigeration and
climate control, we drank what could
be brewed in ambient temperature,
which paired perfectly with the
seasonal foods being grown locally as we got ready to embrace the
coming cooler climate. Beer, much like our changing weather and
the color of leaves, is seasonal. Nowadays we can make any type of
brew year-round, but there is nothing quite as special as drinking a
centuries-old recipe that pairs perfectly with the season.
A prime example of this would be a Märzen bier, more widely
known as an Oktoberfest beer. Historically brewed in spring and
kept in cold storage until fall to prevent infection, this style is
still celebrated after what we can assume was a hot and terrible
three months without sudsy refreshment. Our favorite right now
is the Oaktoberfest from Firestone, which is richly complex in
its malt profile, balancing a sweetness that tastes like autumn
itself with Noble hops adding an almost imperceptible spice.
This brew pours an amber hue with hints of copper, like wearing
UGG Boots while carving a pumpkin and watching a sunset. It
tastes like it, too.
Yes, you will see pumpkin beers hit the shelves and spice beers
with orange labels being sold next to plastic black cauldrons, but
it’s not all gimmicks and holidays. There are some fantastic beers
that scream autumn without the hype and trends. Pop into Bang
the Drum before it’s too late and grab their Heaven Hill Bourbon
barrel-aged Maple Brown Ale. Russet in color, a hue associated
with seriousness, this beer is nothing to scoff at. Don’t let the dark
color fool you; this beer looks like winter but tastes like a brisk
sunrise. The first-use bourbon barrels imparts traditional flavors
of maple syrup and oaky tannins while the base beer does its job
of melding with the devil’s cut to create a warming brew that can be
enjoyed both during the day and around a fire pit at night.
Don’t panic, we’re not into stout and porter season yet so those of you that
decree the evils of dark beer are safe. Most color has been imparted from the
roast levels of the grains being used and can range in flavor from honey to
coffee. Remember, you can’t taste color so enjoy these darker beers with an
open mind and you’ll soon find that they can open up like a fine red wine.
Fall beers are an under-represented style and should be drank while you can,
yet we would be remiss if we ignored the apple harvest and the great joys
it brings. Apples may keep doctors away, but once pressed and fermented
you’ll have cozy gatherings around a fireplace with friends. Tucked away in
a cul-de-sac off of El Camino Real in Atascadero, discover Bristol’s Cider
House and the magic that’s being made in their cidery. A far cry from the
mass-produced syrupy sweet ciders, Neil and his team bring his hometown
cider styles of Bristol, England to the Central Coast with their dry finish
and locally sourced apple varieties. Weather heats up? Grab a pint of their
hopped Barti Du for a clean and crisp libation
with just a touch of English hops for pungent
aroma. Getting cooler or heading to a soiree? A
bottle of Anne Bonny will be a sure hit with her
tart apple base and Kentucky whiskey barrel-aged
flavors, it will take you on a journey of sweetness,
tartness, and just enough booze to warm you up.
BRANT MYERS is owner
of Hop On Beer Tours, a
concierge service for craft
beer enthusiasts along the
Whatever the occasion, be sure to celebrate
harvest season and transition into cooler
weather and shorter days with the right brew.
So go explore our local breweries to see their
interpretations of fall and lift a glass to the
summer of the past and the bright future ahead.
And, remember, the best beer is always the one
right in front of you. SLO LIFE
102 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
770 Capitolio Way . San Luis Obispo
805 549 0100
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New Location – 736 Higuera Street, Downtown SLO (805) 543-1843 Learn more at SLOBREW.com
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 103
“The BEST new
play of the year!”
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(805)783-2887 . clippersbarber.com
PRESENTING THE BEST
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104 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
Enjoy a fun and relaxing getaway
on the California coast in October.
Hundreds of whimsical scarecrows
are on display throughout the seaside
villages of Cambria and San Simeon.
October 1 – 31 // cambriascarecrows.com
CITY TO THE SEA
The City to the Sea half marathon course is a
point-to-point race that starts in downtown
San Luis Obispo. The course winds through
the city, takes runners along scenic backroads,
and ends alongside the Pacific Ocean in the
coastal community of Pismo Beach.
October 9 // citytothesea.org
SURFBOARD ART FESTIVAL
Renowned artists and community
groups will have their surfboard
art creations displayed publicly
throughout the City of Morro Bay.
And, join the fun on November 29th
at Fish Bonez for the Surfboard Art
Festival Gala Auction.
October 1 – December 3
OPEN STUDIOS ART TOUR
Nearly 200 San Luis Obispo County
artists open their studios. The art
is for sale, but the fun comes from
interacting with the artists, getting a
peek into their studios, and learning
about their creative process.
October 8, 9, 15 & 16 // artsobispo.org
Set to lush, irresistible music,
Giacomo Puccini’s timeless
masterpiece never fails to move
audiences to both laughter and
tears. The story of six young
friends in Paris living on laughter
October 15 – 16 // pacslo.org
SLO BEER WEEK
Meet and hang with the innovative brewers
of the Central Coast, throw back the best
beer being made today—all the while
indulging in SLO’s culinary wonders and
soaking in its coastal sea air and warm
sunshine. When the discussion and tastings
end, there’s plenty of time for exploring the
beauty of the region, farm-to-table cuisine,
music and art scene, the coastline, and more.
October 16 – 22 // slobeerweek.com
RACE OF THE GENTLEMEN
Enjoy the rich heritage of American innovation
and speed celebrating America’s racing and hot
rodding heritage. Nonstop racing, live music, kids
area, food, and beer vendors.
October 15 -16 // theraceofgentlemen.com
WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING
In an intricate, multi-layered story that spans
four generations and two continents, When
the Rain Stops Falling explores patterns
of betrayal, abandonment, destruction,
forgiveness and love. This powerful drama
unfolds with humanity, surprising humor, and
hope, as the past plays out into the future.
October 28 - November 13 // slolittletheatre.org
Dr. Arnie Horwitz
Are you feeling overwhelmed
and confused? I can help.
- Relationship Conflicts - Parenting & Self-Esteem
- Separation and Divorce - Personal Life Planning
- Grief and Loss - Career Uncertainty
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HARVEST ON THE COAST
Enjoy the transcendent sights, scents, and
flavors of this signature season through a
rambunctious extravaganza of local food and
wine. The weekend includes a winemaker’s
dinner, the Grand Tasting and Wine
Auction, and winery open houses.
November 4 – 6 // slowine.com
A BRUSH WITH THE BUTTERFLIES
A fine art, photography, and craft outdoor
event to celebrate the return of the Monarch
butterflies to Pismo Beach.
November 1 // ccspa.info
Join us on HIGUERA STREET
(BETWEEN OSOS & NIPOMO STREETS)
EVERY THURSDAY 6-9PM
Oct/nov 2016 | SLO LIFE Magazine | 105
MORRO BAY TRIATHLON
Swim the bay, ride historic Highway 1,
and run on the hard-packed sand on
the beach, boardwalk, dirt roads, and
paved roads. Come out and enjoy some
of the finest multi-sport terrain on the
November 5 -6 // morrobaytri.com
LIZT ALFONSO DANCE CUBA
Direct from Havana, seventeen fiery
dancers, six musicians, and a smoky
bandstand vocalist will take you to the
heart of Cuba, celebrating the music and
dances from the ‘50’s through today’s
November 15 // pacslo.org
CAL POLY BANDFEST
Experience something that is uniquely
American as the powerful Pride of the
Pacific Mustang Marching Band fills
the hall with dazzling arrangements.
November 13 // pacslo.org
Sit back, relax, and drink-in the stories of
the famed humorist Garrison Keillor who
has maintained a steadfast presence in our
homes over the past 40 years.
November 16 // sloclassical.org
present concerts in spectacular venues
on the Central Coast. Baroque,
romantic, contemporary— this
program explores the full range of
tone and color in chamber music,
performed with style.
November 17 - 19 // festivalmozaic.com
106 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
“I Look Amazing!”
– Teresa Werts
Support your lips with proper dental implant and esthetic reconstruction.
Whatever your lifestyle, we can help you achieve
the self-confidence you deserve.
3046 S. Higuera Street, Suite C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Make a complimentary consult appointment
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HISTORIC KAETZEL HOUSE
MAIN OFFICE: 1212 MARSH ST, STE 1
GALLERY: 1039 CHORRO STREET
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA., 93401
108 | SLO LIFE Magazine | oct/nov 2016
1039 CHORRO ST | 3211 BROAD ST, STE 105
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA, 805.592.2050