SLO LIFE Apr/May 2017

slolife

LIFE

SLOmagazine

BEHIND THE

SCENES

MODERN

FARMHOUS

BY THE

NUMBER

BUSINESS

INSIG

LO

ON THE

RISE

NOW

HEAR

THIS

WINE

NOTES

TASTE

ND

DS

slolifemagazine.com

APR/MAY 2017

MEET

SARA PETERSON

PURSUING A VISION

& BREWING SUCCESS

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3


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H O W D O I

PREPARE

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• It is important to be prepared for any type of emergency

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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.

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SLO LIFE

magazine

CONTENTS

Volume

8

Number 2

Apr/May 2017

40

SARA PETERSON

We met up with the award-winning

barista to discuss family, passion,

and of course, hard work.

14

16

18

20

Publisher’s Message

Info

On the Cover

In Box

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

32

34

Timeline

We look back at the most recent newsworthy events from

around the Central Coast over the past two months.

View

Local photographer ASHALA TYLOR captured the magic

of our landscape in full bloom.


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


| CONTENTS

36

38

54

56

Q&A

The newest member of the San Luis Obispo

Board of Supervisors, JOHN PESCHONG,

stops in for a visit.

Music

With a solo album already under her belt,

songwriter REESE GALIDO talks about

what influenced her unique brand of music.

On the Rise

San Luis Obispo High School senior

KANNAN FREYALDENHOVEN performs in

the classroom, on the court, and in concert.

Dwelling

Four couples unite to breathe new life and

purpose into this ranch-style home.

72

78

80

82

Health

Always on the trail of what’s hot and what’s not, we’ve

chased down the latest and greatest in health trends.

Storytellers’ Corner

New York Times bestselling author FRANZ WISNER

explores the magic behind a successful business.

Insight

After analyzing the numbers behind Cal Poly’s demand

for San Luis Obispo’s off-campus rentals, many

readers were left wondering: What about Cuesta?

Taste

Resident foodie JAIME LEWIS discovers the many

diverse and delicious ways to prepare and devour the

most unassuming veggie—cauliflower.

62

66

70

Architecture

In partnership with the American Institute

of Architects, we present two top-ranking

projects along the Central Coast designed

by local architects.

Real Estate

We share the year-to-date statistics of

home sales for both the city and the county

of San Luis Obispo.

Explore

Out and about, PADEN HUGHES enjoys a

taste of local flavor.

90

92

94

96

Kitchen

Spring is in the air and nothing says Easter like deviled

eggs. CHEF JESSIE RIVAS turns tradition on its head

with his fresh, unique recipes.

Wine Notes

With our local vineyards recently flooded by rainstorms,

JEANETTE TROMPETER wonders how the wine grapes

are faring. Check out this new feature for the scoop.

Brew

Beer enthusiast BRANT MYERS tours the newly

expanded SLO Brew facilities and shares his thoughts.

Happenings

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

Check out the calendar to discover the best events

around the Central Coast in April and May.

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Ammu

Recently, I was asked to give the toast at my grandmother’s 95th birthday party. It was an honor, but, to be

honest, also quite humbling.

My mind wandered. What was I going to say? My grandma—my cousins and I call her Ammu—has

achieved rock star status in our family, so the pressure was on. I started off by Googling her birthday: March

10, 1922. Wow, I thought to myself, it was the day Mahatma Gandhi was thrown into prison for sedition.

That’s heavy stuff. But not as heavy as all the other stuff she lived through, and personally experienced. The

family farm went bust during The Great Depression. She lost her little brother during World War II. Yet,

despite the setbacks, and there were many, she always kept moving forward. As part of my preparation, I

talked to family members who have known her the longest. Even though I had heard all of the stories before,

for some reason I thought about them differently this time, especially when viewed through the period of

history that I have lived so far.

To contrast with Ammu, who is part of The Greatest Generation—a remarkable group of Americans who

selflessly banded together to save the world from tyranny—I am from Generation X, also known as the

“slacker/loser” generation. And, I am a card-carrying member. Right now, as I ponder my thoughts and type

this letter, I’ve got a Nirvana album playing in the background, and Kurt Cobain is singing “Dumb”: I’m not like them, but I can pretend/The day is done

and I’m having fun/I think I’m dumb/Maybe just happy. Like my taste in music, my sense of style veers toward the early 90’s, too. “Grunge” is my preferred

look; give me a flannel, some ratty jeans, a pair of Sambas, and I’m good. And similar to many of my fellow Gen Xers, I’m pretty much skeptical of

everything and reluctant to join anything.

It has been said that people are shaped by the times in which they have lived. Ammu grew up with her family huddled around the radio listening

to F.D.R. talk about “fear itself,” sometimes wondering when the next meal would come. My friends and I, on the other hand, were sprawled on the

couch watching “Thriller” on M.T.V. Ammu could tell you all about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and where she was when it happened. I can tell you

about Darth Vader walking down the hallway of a rebel ship in the opening scene of Star Wars. The list goes on and on. There is just no comparing The

Greatest Generation to Generation X, or Baby Boomers, for that matter. Millennials? Please.

For as long as I can remember, Ammu had this little placard on her desk inscribed with these words: “Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down

or polishes you up, depends on what you are made of.” And, I think that’s just it. Our trials, our setbacks—the grindstone—make us who we eventually

become. For Ammu, she spent a lot of time with that grindstone, which is why her light shines so bright now. For me, and my generation, not so much.

Maybe we’ve had it too easy. Most of our wounds, it seems to me, have been self-inflicted. We have not had to endure a worldwide calamity, didn’t face

any real challenges to our liberty or to our existence as a people. Of course, many of us, individually, face untold hardship on a daily basis, but that is not

what I am talking about here. I’m talking about the type of adversity that defines a period of history. Wars, famine, plagues—not Apple eliminating the

headphone jack on the iPhone 7, although that did suck.

At the end of my toast, I thanked Ammu for her example and for showing us the way. And, I meant it. So many of us have lost our way, I believe, and

have forgotten what matters. Especially in this day and age where being a Republican or being a Democrat has somehow become more important than

being an American. Maybe it has been too long since we have had to slog through tough times together. My grandma’s legacy is that example, and it’s a

gift to all of us, a reminder of what is best about our country and its people, especially when we are tested. Even though I’m just a lowly Gen Xer, I know

that I can rise to the occasion, and I have faith that my brothers and sisters from sea to shining sea can, too.

Speaking of “seas,” I spent the week at the Catalina Island Marine Institute a month or so ago with my son Donovan and his sixth grade class as

a chaperone. It was a fascinating experience, not because of the curriculum—the only thing I remember from the oceanography program is that a

Garibaldi is orange, oh yeah, and it’s our state fish—but the fascination came from watching the kids interact with one another. The boys were hilarious,

just like I remember being when I was with my buddies at that age, and all the fart jokes are just as funny to me now as they were back then. But, what

is different, I think, is how naturally they come together to collaborate on just about everything, working out problems as a team. I don’t know if that is

something that is learned, or innate. Nature or nurture? Or, maybe this stuff can skip a few generations. Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, I’m

feeling optimistic about this group of kids and whatever they decide to call themselves—except slacker/loser, that’s already taken.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all,

to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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(805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax

PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Sheryl Disher

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Paden Hughes

Dawn Janke

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers

Jessie Rivas

Jeanette Trompeter

Franz Wisner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Blake Andrews

Becky Clair

Vanessa Plakias

Ashala Tylor

CONTRIBUTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be

edited for clarity and space limitations.

ADVERTISING

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

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

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media kit with loads of testimonials from happy advertisers.

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NOTE

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

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

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

CIRCULATION, COVERAGE AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage and advertising rates,

space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective

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

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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


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| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

BEHIND the scenes

WITH SARA PETERSON

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

I asked Sara to meet me at the Foothill Scout location, the only

thing is that it was open for business. When I arrived it was

completely packed, line out the door. Every seat was filled. I

thought, “Wow, this is going to be a really interesting shoot—

we’ve got to figure out a way to work around this.” So we had to

do our thing while everyone was there drinking coffee, which was

actually a lot of fun.

There’s a big sign inside,

it’s hand-painted and it

says, “Drink it in.” There’s

a story behind that. When

she was a little girl, Sara’s

dad was all about road

trips to museums or going

to see the Liberty Bell.

Anyway, Sara said that she

would be beyond bored

in the car and her dad

would say, “Look out the

window and drink it in.”

You know, take it in, take

in your views, take in your

experiences. I thought

it was so cool, such an

important part of life.

Especially now, with all of

our electronic devices, it’s a

good reminder.

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

Sara and her husband Jon were very

sweet. They’ve known each other forever.

You could see that they were definitely

best friends, very comfortable, and also a

true, solid team. They’re also, and I found

this so interesting because I feel it makes

for a great leader, they’re so down-toearth

and inviting and welcoming, but

professional and rigid enough where you

knew there were certain lines they would

never cross, certain rules you always

follow, and a certain way to behave. We

were at the counter and I said just for

Sara said her favorite plant is a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus,

fun, “Why don’t you give each other a

which is really on trend. I’ve noticed more people using it

kiss.” They sort of giggled and said, “We for decorating. She says she always carries little pruning

don’t allow our employees to do that.” I shears in her purse, which I thought was so cute, and if

said, “Aw, come on.” And they decided to she’s walking around town with her girls and sees some

bend the rules a bit and sneak in a quick, Silver Dollar Eucalyptus, she clips some pieces and puts

little smooch. It was so adorable. them in the shop. SLO LIFE


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| IN BOX

You said it...

SLOm a g a z i n e

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMB

BEHIND

THE SCENES-

NOW

HEAR

THIS

slolifemagazine.com

FEB/MAR 2 017

CENTRAL

COAST

EVENTS

LIFE

CONNECTING

WITH STORY

HEATING UP

KITCHEN

LOCAL

TASTE

ON THE

RISE

2017

HEALTH

TRENDS

MEET

LESLIE O’CONNOR

LEADING THE FUTURE

& INSPIRING SUCCESS

Many thanks for your continued attention to

the factors affecting our quality of life in SLO

in your article CAP AND GOWN. As long-time

residents of the city, we are among those

who sadly left our wonderful home near

campus. We agree it’s time for city leaders

to forcefully address with Cal Poly the issue

of increasing admissions without adequate

student housing on campus.

— ELLEN HARPER AND MARTIN LUSCHEI

You captured the heart and soul of Leslie O’Connor in the

well-written article MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR. Being Irish, I have

toured the country, with the exception of Northern Ireland. This

interview really enlightened me to the realities of living there at

that specific time.

— PATRICK MCCANN

In the article CAP AND GOWN, you said it, and based upon

the numbers that neighborhood activists have been collecting

and citing to the city council, you got it right. Another factor to

consider: the parents of Cal Poly students are the wealthiest in the

CSU system and they can afford to buy up the supply of single

family homes for their student and four or more friends to live

close to campus. The trend started years ago, before Cal Poly

made any commitments to building on-campus housing or capping

enrollment, but now it is part of a “tradition” to live off-campus

if you are a sophomore or higher. What student in her right mind

wouldn’t prefer to live off campus? More freedom.

We have a great town. Cal Poly is a great university. I belong to

both; both are an important part of my life. I love the fact that I

can lobby the city with my issues, including occasionally giving

the city a “way to go!” Ditto for our staff, and ditto for Cal Poly

administration. But, as your article points out, we have our craggy

edges. Our new mayor recognizes it, too, as do the other council

members. So, we all just need to keep working at this Town

and Gown matter so we who live here, whether permanently or

temporarily, can continue to value what we bring to the whole.

— SHARON WHITNEY

Thank you so much for keeping a light on our major

problem in SLO: the lack of housing due to the pressure

of a student population that has become too large for our

small city. In the article CAP AND GOWN, your numbers

are correct, but reality is even bleaker when you add

7,000 students from Cuesta College to the 13,000 Cal

Poly students who live in the city, plus the 800 Cal Poly

graduate students not listed in the general enrollment.

Furthermore, students who vote in SLO are included in the

census, thus inflating the general population of the city.

Consequently, we can safely conclude that almost as many

students as permanent residents live in the city. We have

become the old woman in the shoe, with so many children

we don’t know what to do, but if we try to do something,

we are soon branded as “anti-student.”

This may be why, for decades, various city councils did

nothing to solve this problem. And now the new “build

baby build” policy is worsening the crisis because the

city is building dorms in the north part of the city instead

of housing for families. Places like ICON on Taft rent for

$1,000 a month per bed. The city also wants to build

similar dorms in the middle of a family neighborhood on

Palomar, and at the unsafe corner of Foothill and Chorro,

a commercial area, and the city council has the arrogance

to call these dorms “workforce housing” or “affordable

housing.” Obviously, Cal Poly will not build student

housing on their land if the city does it for them, nor will

they consider capping the number of students. We need

a forceful council that listens to the residents and acts

with them, not against them. Next time you vote, instead

of following the Tribune’s choice or listening to the usual

promises of the candidates, please go online, look at the

candidates’ past actions, and ask yourself: Who has done

the most for the residents? Who has spoken time and

again on their behalf? Presently, we are pretty much on

our own, and it is up to each one of you to decide whether

you want to join the growing list of residents who have

decided to fight back.

— ODILE AYRAL

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


| INSIGHT

CAP

AND

GOWN

BY TOM FRANCISKOVICH

Elder Placements realizes the

IMPORTANCE of listening to the

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Let their experienced Certified Senior

more housing has, in itself, a significant effect on visitor boards spend their days looking at ways to bring even more people into the city. Most

demand. Imagine for a moment whole that cycle we snap repeats our itself at the of those end of visitors, Advisors the summer of course, take will you 14,000 not on require students a tour permanent in to its find residential housing, the neighborhoods. but some small percentage—

For a town the size of San Luis Obispo, at

fingers and thousands of homes when magically a entirely appear new crop of commonly students arrives the wealthy in the ones of 45,000 retirement or so, age—will that is equal decide to a to whopping relocate to 33% San of Luis the Obispo. permanent population. Did you catch

Retirement Home or Community that

along with thousands of new residents, neighborhood. and every The one thing that does work is that? Cal Poly’s off-campus population is one-third the size of the city itself. Some of the

having someone from SLOPD Another show mechanism up fits to write your a in demand

loved ones students, creation

Medical, of is course, budding

Financial live outside technology of town, industry. but the Businesses vast majority such

person who wants a home in San Luis Obispo gets

live in apartments and singlefamily

fast as homes the people near campus. they can Let’s hire. And imagine those for people a moment, need just a place

big, fat ticket. And double fines as MindBody are doubly can effective. only grow as

one. What would happen then? Naturally, traffic

as we did with our supply-side

Counterintuitively, this approach to live. also Additionally, has and the Social effect if you of needs, dig discussion, still at a little NO that deeper, Cost we to snapped you you. find our that fingers demand and also every exists single a one multigenerational

the neighborhood way: permanent residents campus instead. with children Go ahead, who close go off your to college eyes next and and picture few return years, all to 14,000 and plant despite trying to soften the declaration at times, has never really made his

would increase. There would be less open space.

of those students was housed on

maintaining relationships within Water would become more scarce. And the squishy,

of those students suddenly

roots; or, those permanent residents who have parents from out of the area intentions who move clear. to the So, taking his word at face value we’re talking 25,000, which is 3,700 more

Recently, the City of San hard-to-quantify Luis Obispo uniqueness invited that lands its San residents Luis to comment on the proposed Avila

city to be closer to their grandchildren. Since the population has remained students relatively than stable are enrolled over now. Let’s look forward in time from there, and understand that if

Ranch development, a Obispo 720-home on all of those neighborhood “best of ” lists would that certainly would the be years, built it would on the seem south this phenomenon end of does town. not move The demand in any the significant university way, continues but it

decline. As a result, fewer people

with the same annual 4 to 5% growth rate that it has had in recent

Any would want attempt to

Planning Commission to solve it by increasing supply will be an exercise in futility until there is

live was here interested because, well, it’s in just hearing like any other from city. the In community is another factor on which matters should be such taken as into traffic account. flow

years, it would take just another two or three years to then have arrive at 6,100 additional

and water supply and other quality words, of while life—but the idea of are “build a cap those more on houses” the Cal right Poly’s

students, which would mean that we are right back to exactly where we started in terms of

Neighborhood questions? enrollment wellness, also that known is as quality coupled of life, is with another a factor mandate of demand, for although on-campus housing

will offer an increased supply at a reduced price, over

available housing, and people who need somewhere to live.

it is rarely considered as such. While city has been cracking down on aberrant behavior in

the long term it will also decrease ratios. demand as To the attempt recent a years, solution the new council any has other already significantly way is, at softened best, its approach. intellectually So, In how a recent can we city expect dishonest. to make any meaningful plans going forward if we do not know what

character and the charm of the city erodes under the council meeting, SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell asked the councilmembers to expect to extend in terms the of demand from Cal Poly? The answer is that we can’t. And we won’t until

Local policymakers weight of its are increased population First supply, and because, overburdened frankly, it’s easier period to of tackle. double The fines City early of San into Luis March. Obispo She has cited longembraced

much a policy better than of slow attempting growth. under Over to manage the many weight years the of city Cal leaders Poly students hanging have remained during out, tossing vigilant a drunken Frisbees early in morning front of one party expressed

among her reasons the a roof cap coupled that collapsed with an on-campus housing mandate is instituted. The university has recently

constant infrastructure. hand-wringing

of on the March many

a desire

brand 7th, to house

new village-style

65% of its students

communities

on campus. But, what does that mean? Is that

mode over what they in their situation protection individually, and preservation because two of the years open dispatch ago. space, After calls which rebuffing has come across the at chief the Cal ’s expense Poly’s request, sprawling of the council campus. then Now, adopted imagine

a firm a new commitment?

all “party of those empty

And,

houses

how soon?

left behind

Are we

in

talking 10 years from now? 20 years? 30 years?

lament

Now,

as a “lack

what are

of

the other

development.

inputs are for anonymous the

As

demand

a result, and side

the no one housing registration gets singled stock—or program” out. supply—has The whereby remained your those neighborhood, wishing relatively to constant. host some a party of them within blighted a neighborhood from lack of upkeep and repair. Okay, keep your

And, equally can important: notify What will be the size of the student body? Will it be 25,000? 30,000?

affordable

of our

housing.”

equation?

The

When Oprah

Fundamentally, city’s decreed decision from

there to her

is essentially one way, and the endorse city one of way neighborhood their only, intentions to affect the and, eyes supply thereby, closed, curve: sidestep and build think the more fines about that all the commonly people you know: your mail carrier who lives in Grover

35,000? go along 40,000? with It is time to stop looking through this issue in terms of good or bad. At the

problem,

couch

however,

back in

is

2011

that

that

houses.

San Luis parties Within

Obispo will the certainly was

category

the have of “build a disrupting detrimental more houses,” the effect peace on there and are quiet. several Beach It is different not because a leap approaches: she to realize can’t find that a rental the very for existence her family in San Luis Obispo, your kids’ teacher who

heart of of it, a “party most residents understand that Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo are inextricably

no one

“Happiest

has taken

City

a hard,

in America,”

massive,

it neighborhood did

sprawling

to the city

suburban wellness, what

neighborhoods as Chief registry” Cantrell, is tantamount such who as Avila has to Ranch inviting lives and students in the Atascadero 500-home to have and San parties. hates Imagine the commute, this conversation the police officer who moved to A.G. because he’s

linked—our success between

she does to every product she raves is their success, and vice versa. It is time to set aside our emotions for a

sober, emotionless look Luis Ranch quickly about:

development developed it sold a out.

proposed reputation two for for college the her old communityminded

downtown

kids: Dalidio “Hey, Property; dude, did tired or, you you of know dealing can that go for with you density can parties sign by up when with he’s the off city duty. Now, picture all of those people moving into

From a purely economical standpoint, moment to have a and party abandon now— our vision for how things should be, or used to be, or could have been, in

at the numbers in the encouraging

the approach demand to high-rise policing, and construction; understands. they won’t or, ticket And, you you can anymore?... change those the Whoa, suddenly zoning seriously, Nicole within vacated Pazdan, we’ve existing homes. never CSA, How had a would party your neighborhood be different? How would your

curve shot through the roof. And, favor before of because a dispassionate we look at the math—because numbers don’t lie.

same way a cold-blooded neighborhoods over putting time, to the a allow spotlight deterioration for detached totally of the granny didn’t quality flats; want of or, life to ordinances pay that stupid city could be fine. be different? Now put in we’re place gonna to sign up for sure and have one here, too!”

on the city had a ripple effect, within and soon our every neighborhoods other

CEO studies a balance sheet. In will erode demand for our

There is no denying that San Luis Obispo has been an exceptional host to Cal Poly—there’s

media

the middle

outlet was

of permit residents to put “tiny homes” in their backyards. Within the city limits, those are the

publishing headlines Clearly, the numbers tell us that the San Luis Obispo housing crisis is due to demand, not

product, with the City articles of San Luis My Obispo, family has itself. lived At least, in a neighborhood on the north end of town, two-and-a-half a reason that miles

the histrionics is a simple supply-demand high school seniors are not clamoring to get into CSU Dominguez Hills—and

that read, “Must

curve. options. They are the only options.

visit…” or “Top supply. Any attempt to solve it by increasing supply will be an exercise in futility until there is a

on place the north to live…” end of The town. from Cal Poly, going on nine years now. I can tell you, unequivocally, that the there city is has one gained thing,

The inputs that drive both the supply side and the

so much from the university. But, like any good relationship, there has to

secret of San Luis Obispo’s charm had been leaking and only one thing, that deters cap this on sort Cal of Poly’s behavior enrollment from our that students. is coupled Fines. with a mandate for on-campus housing ratios. To

be an We equitable have tried

demand side are not difficult to grasp. Let’s have a So that covers supply. But, before we can move on to demand, we have to revisit supply for a

give and take. Sometimes things get out of balance. Right now things are out

out for years, of course, but Oprah Let’s threw return gasoline to the numbers. everything: The single bringing greatest them cookies attempt when a solution they move any in, other stopping way is, by at with best, intellectually dishonest. Still doubt the numbers?

of an balance. occasional And box we of

look at each of them.

moment to consider an interesting phenomenon that may not be quite so obvious. Building >>

are all paying for it in the form of a citywide housing crisis. It is well past

on the fire. With demand already driving high force and with of housing a demand donuts, in attending San Luis block parties, Let’s exchanging do some phone simple numbers back-of-the-envelope (including those calculations together. Assume for a moment that

time of for their Cal parents), Poly to do its part to both rein in the demand curve and allow our policymakers

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR fantastic 2017 product to sell, local organizations Obispo—second such place as is not talking even close—comes with them when from there both is a problem, Avila Ranch even and having San a Luis few of Ranch them are over built. That would result in somewhere around 1,220

Cal Poly students living off-campus. Currently, the new homes. Assume again that every remaining

to create for dinner.

family

meaningful None

on the north

plans

end

for

of

its

town

permanent

packed

residents.

up

It is well past time—either voluntarily

the Chamber of Commerce and various tourism and

it works. On those rare occasions when it does, it’s a momentary reprieve,

university enrolls about 21,300 students and houses, and moved into one of those new homes, freeing

through

and then

up

collaboration

the >>

an equal number

in the

of

form

rental

of

homes

some type

that

of “housing summit,” or involuntarily through

give or take, around 7,300 of them on campus.

litigation, or perhaps both—for Cal Poly to cap its enrollment and establish on-campus

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2017

Contact This us today for will FREE house placement five students assistance. each. Five times 1,220 is 6,100. Anyone paying attention knows that

means that the city is burdened with housing some Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong has an

housing

intention

mandates,

to grow

so

enrollment

that San Luis

to 25,000

Obispo

over

does

the

not

>>

become a city consisting solely of Cal

Poly students and wealthy retirees who like to watch Oprah. SLO LIFE

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2017

(805) 546-8777

elderplacementprofessionals.com

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2017

Want to share your Thoughts? Email us at:

info@slolifemagazine.com

FEB/MAR 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 76

FEB/MAR 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 78

FEB/MAR 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 80

FEB/MAR 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 82

Tom Franciskovich’s article, CAP AND GOWN, raises absolutely the right

questions about the SLO housing “crisis.” To discover what will happen to SLO,

should we agree to Avila Ranch or San Luis Ranch or similar developments? All

that is necessary is to travel south to the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County, or

other areas of southern California to see startlingly congested areas. In just the

last 30 years, thousands of new apartments and townhouses have been built in

those formerly uncluttered areas. With an average of two cars per apartment

(in some cases, maybe three) there are essentially no parking spaces left on

many residential streets, very little in the business districts, and the traffic

on the major freeways (de facto “parking lots”) even in off hours, is worse

than burdensome. Parking is already problematic in downtown SLO with the

downtown parking structures often posted “Full” during working hours. More

housing will only exacerbate the problem. Is it too much to ask that we do not

destroy our city and continue to maintain SLO as the delightful town that it is?

Tom’s suggestions about a cap on Cal Poly enrollment and additional campus

housing is the only thing that makes any sense if we wish to keep some of

the charm that makes SLO an excellent place to live and continue to be an

attractive place for visitors.

— D.D. TRENT

Thank you for the well-written article titled CAP AND GOWN in the last issue of

SLO Life Magazine. A cold look at the numbers is sobering and I couldn’t agree

more that it is now time for Cal Poly to make tough choices and hold up its

end of the housing bargain. However, I fear there is a big gap in the numbers

presented in the article due to the omission of Cuesta students. In times past,

the community college was just that—a junior college that was attended by

local residents. Many lived with their parents while preparing to enter a CSU

or UC system school. I suspect, but do not have any hard data, that this is

no longer the case. It is well known that out of area students move to SLO

to attend Cuesta because it is perceived as a feeder school for admission to

Cal Poly. According to an online source enrollment at Cuesta in about 11,000

students (with about 5,000 at full-time). With this sizable population and the

stark reality that Cuesta provides no on-campus housing it is possible that

Tom Franciskovich’s “back of the envelope calculation” has the potential to

significantly underestimate the overall demand for off-campus housing.

— J.F. MARLIER

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| IN BOX

We hear you...

I have lived here in San Luis Obispo since 1982. I

was very impressed with the thoughts and logical

presentation of Mr. Franciskovich regarding the

lack of affordable housing in this city. I agree with

his summary of the supply side of the housing

argument in the article CAP AND GOWN. There

are no other supply side options besides those

he brought forth—either sprawling developments

with housing that is priced for the current median

housing needs or the high density housing

alternate for in-town apartments, which will not

be very suitable for families. The option to change

the zoning within the city to allow for detached

dwellings would not solve the crisis either as

this would not provide the number of units of

housing needed. As Mr. Franciskovich points out

the higher demand for housing is the revolving

number of students attending Cal Poly and some

from Cuesta College. There are geographic

confining parameters that need to be factored

into the expectation of Cal Poly President Jeffery

Armstrong to increase enrollment from 21,300

to over 25,000 in the next few years. There is

simply not much in the way of land available for

city housing in the vicinity of the university. The

hills have been a confining physical barrier over

the years hindering the development of the city.

Without the university planning for a significant

increase in on-campus housing there will be even

more of a student demand for in-city or nearby

housing. The approach our neighborhood (near

Laguna Lake) has taken over the years is one of

inclusion of any students who may move into our

area. This has maintained a good neighborhood

relationship. It is with some concern that I read

about the new party registration program with its

“if you register we won’t ticket you,” mentality.

I believe, along with Mr. Franciskovich, that in

order to maintain the order and attractiveness of

this city to ALL visitors we need to appropriately

control the overt expressions of loud gatherings

in our neighborhoods. I also agree with his

summary suggesting the need for a “housing

summit” to mutually factor in the needs of the

city and those of the university with regards

to housing and population for planning for the

future well-being of both the city residents and

the Cal Poly students.

— PETER RYNNING

Nice article, CAP AND GOWN, from the last issue. I thought it was

a cogent presentation of the factors driving all these projects.

My sister and I, along with several neighbors living on Davenport,

Buckley, Hidden Springs, and Evans roads attended a meeting

downtown recently to protest the size of the developments and

the environmental impacts they seem destined to ignore. Some of

these are in violation of state pollution and land use rules. We don’t

think this is going to be affordable housing, but that it will be sold

to the highest bidder. We also do not believe there is any way to

prevent it from becoming another neighborhood where eventually

it will not be families, but large numbers of college students.

The traffic infrastructure will not change in any appreciable way,

ludicrous descriptions of “turn pockets” and a couple of bike lane

changes on two very dangerous streets for cyclists; Buckley and

Tank Farm roads. No widening of Tank Farm or Buckley. Although

they say it will add 6,500 more car trips a day on Buckley alone, I

don’t think that even comes close. Already the traffic gridlock in

Edna Valley is evident on 227, Buckley, South Higuera, and Tank

Farm, to say nothing about LOVR. All of these roads now have

about three or more rush hours a day. It’s not just 4 p.m. And that’s

right now, without all this build-out.

I do believe if you follow the money, getting the green light on

these projects has a lot more to do with funding city pension

coffers than pressure from the state to grow our city to the point it

will lose the charm that brought us all here. It’s already happening.

Also, I agree that Cal Poly is the boon and bane of SLO’s existence,

and they have not done enough to provide on-campus housing

including attractive accommodations for older students who want

to live outside the dorms.

Thanks for illuminating the issues further and breaking them down

into cause and effect using real math. Before anything gets built I

think the developers and the city/county should have to provide

the traffic infrastructure to handle the huge increase in traffic and

pollution that these projects will cause. There are few of us who

actually believe residents of these developments are going to walk

to work, take buses, or all ride bikes.

— DR. KAREN J. KRAHL, D.C.

Editor’s note: We received a lot of feedback from readers on

the “Cap and Gown” feature including, regretfully, more letters

than we had the space to publish. Many of you also expressed

concern that data regarding Cuesta College students should have

been included in order for the article to be a truly comprehensive

analysis. We take a deep dive into this subject in this issue. Please

turn to page 80 “The Cuesta Question” for more.

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

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

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

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

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

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


“You need an

IT partner who

understands the

relationship between

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Practice Director

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| IN BOX

Take us with you!

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

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

TULUM, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO

EASTER ISLAND

At the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

SLO LIFE, don’t leave home without it...

— STEVE PRATT

TASMANIA

Definitely a trip of a lifetime to Easter Island! Even

the rain could not drench our enthusiasm for the

Moai statues and SLO Life Magazine.

— CAROL MEES AND DIANE CLAUSEN

KA’ANAPALI, MAUI

Here I am on my yearly trip to see my family of

Tasmanian Devils with my great nephews at “Edge

of the World” in Western Tasmania.

— LUCINDA BORCHARD, PELLE & MAX EASTMAN

NICOLAS AND SOFIA

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| IN BOX

ANTARCTICA

STANISLAUS NATIONAL FOREST

My granddaughter Meryl and I went on the

Quixote Expedition to Antarctica. Amazing

scenery… icebergs, ice floes, snow covered

mountains, volcano, penguins, seals, whales,

and much more. There was a scientist on board

studying whales... can they smell?

— DONNA MEHLSCHAU

We’re enjoying SLO Life Magazine while riding the

chair lift to the summit at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort

in Stanislaus National Forest. Retirement from

public office has allowed me time to enjoy my

favorite winter sport of snow skiing.

— DAN CARPENTER

SITKA, ALASKA

HONOLULU, HAWAII

MARIA SOLES

Here we are on an extended celebration of our 60th

Anniversary, at the fascinating Sitka Sound Science

Center, in charming little Sitka, Alaska.

— CHUCK AND LIZ CLARKE

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| IN BOX

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

NEW ZEALAND

Here we are with our SLO Life Magazine on a bike

trip in New Zealand!

— ROAR BERG-JOHANSEN AND BONNIE BRUERD

Next to SLO... one of our favorite places in the world

... “Ocho Cascadas” in Puerto Vallarta!

— BRAD AND GRETCHEN WILDE

ROME, ITALY

BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA

We love the SLO Life!

— ED AND BARBARA DAWSON

Coastal Christian High School European Trip.

Enjoying the Colosseum.

— CARLEE SANTANA, DANIELLE SHOCK,

ELEANOR AYERVES, BRENNAN AND

LINDSAY BUTIER

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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We roll up our sleeves for our communities.

Stop by one of our 37 branches in the Tri-Counties ready to serve you.

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Learn more about us: www.RabobankAmerica.com/WeAreRabobank

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| IN BOX

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AVILA BEACH

Here’s a photo of

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30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

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

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

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

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

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


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


| TIMELINE

Around the County

FEBRUARY ‘17

2/10

In a surprise move, Walmart announced that it had cancelled its plan to

build a store in Atascadero, which derailed a decade of planning and debate

within the community. In the wake of the news, city officials scrambled to

find a replacement for the long-awaited 123,000-square-foot project that was

expected to generate approximately $580,000 per year in sales tax revenue.

Although Mayor Tom O’Malley initially expressed disappointment, he later

showed optimism for an alternative plan. “This property is already assembled,

the plans are approved, the zoning is right,” he said. “It’s a lot of potential and

there’s a lot of folks looking [at it].”

2/7

After more than four hours of deliberation, the SLO

County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to send a formal

statement to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration) in opposition to the creation of the proposed

Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, which would

have effectively banned offshore oil drilling on the Central

Coast. After hearing comments from some 100 attendees

at the meeting who spoke in favor of the sanctuary by a 2-1

margin, the board split along ideological lines: conservatives

Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton, and John Peschong opposed

the sanctuary, while progressives Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson

supported it.

2/13

At least two personnel complaints were filed with the City of SLO after a

six-minute video aired at the SLO Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner. The

video, produced by Fire Chief Garret Olson, who emceed the event, shows various

chamber employees, volunteers, and City Manager Katie Lichtig playing roles in

the short film, which the firefighters’ union characterized as “a highly offensive

sexual objectification video of city firefighters.” In response, the city authorized

$50,000 for a Santa Ana law firm to investigate the matter, which alleged 11

violations of city workforce-related policy against Olson and Lichtig, including

sexual harassment and conduct unbecoming of city officials. As of this writing,

the investigation remains ongoing, but city staff has requested another $20,000

allocation from city council after already using the initially allocated $50,000.

2/17

SLO City Council voted unanimously to suspend the

controversial Rental Inspection Program as it moves toward a

full repeal. The program, which was adopted in 2015, sought to

inspect rental properties for health and safety code violations

had so far reviewed 915 homes finding 763 needed remediation;

422 of those had been corrected with 341 outstanding and 116

requiring significant repairs. Some permanent residents at the

meeting called on councilmembers to ask Cal Poly to foot the

bill for the eventual replacement program, reasoning that most

of the city’s renters are students. Councilman Dan Rivoire

demurred, “That’s not to say we shouldn’t reach out, but Cal

Poly wouldn’t bear the entire cost burden.”

2/21

The ongoing division within the SLO County Board of Supervisors was

exposed again during a debate over parks in Nipomo. In an impassioned appeal,

South County 4th District Supervisor and Nipomo resident Lynn Compton

proposed priority funding for Jim O. Miller Memorial Park, Jack Ready

Imagination Park, an expansion of Nipomo Community Park, and new facilities

at the historic Dana Adobe. At the heart of the debate was a discussion as

to whether or not fees generated in a specific geographic area should also be

spent in the same place. After a heated discussion over countywide spending

priorities, the board eventually voted unanimously to add the four Nipomo

parks’ construction projects to a five-year plan for capital improvements.

32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


MARCH ‘17

3/7

In a move that many described as “stealthy” and “underhanded” and which some

legal experts suggest was a violation of the Brown Act, the SLO County Board

of Supervisors made major policy changes without properly notifying the public.

By a 3-2 vote, with the conservative bloc comprised of John Peschong, Debbie

Arnold, and Lynn Compton in favor, and progressives Adam Hill and Bruce

Gibson against, a multi-million dollar revision to county policy was made to the

meeting’s inconspicuous agenda item: “Receive an update on the implementation

of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Strategy. All

Districts.” Arnold began the discussion offering that she had “just a couple of

changes.” She then presented a pre-prepared revision of the current policy, which

would shift the burden for payment for studies of overdrafted groundwater

basins from the private landowners, including corporate-owned wineries, to

the county, which was estimated to cost $2.2 million per year. The Brown Act

mandates transparency by requiring all major expenditures be announced to the

public and fully disclosed so that taxpayers can weigh in on the matter before

any legislative action can be taken.

3/14

Following a two-day hearing where approximately 200

citizens expressed their opposition, the SLO County Board

of Supervisors denied the Phillips 66 proposal to build a

rail spur for its Nipomo Mesa refinery, effectively ending

the oil conglomerate’s appeal of the planning department’s

permit denial. With John Peschong recusing himself from

the vote—his consulting firm had worked with the company

in the past—the lone dissenting vote came from Debbie

Arnold, who expressed concerns about the potential for gas

prices rising if crude oil was not allowed to travel through

the county by rail to the refinery. Although the action settles

the matter for now, Phillips 66 could still appeal to the

12-member Coastal Commission as well as continue to fight

the county’s decision in court.

3/21

Thirty-year-old Matthew Frank, who was better known

3/16

as the “SLO Stringer,” was killed in a single car accident

The current and former co-owners of the local news blog, Cal Coast News,

when his vehicle left the road on Highway 101 North

Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn respectively were ordered to pay $1.1 million

near the Santa Margarita exit. Frank was reportedly on

in damages after a jury found the pair guilty of libel. Arroyo Grande-based

his way to Atascadero at around 3:50 a.m. to cover a

businessman Charles Tenborg had filed charges against the pair after the website house fire for his blog. Frank’s alias was derived from a

alleged incorrectly that he had received a no-bid contract with the Integrated

newspaper term—a stringer is a correspondent, usually

Waste Management Authority (IWMA), was fired from his previous position, a freelance reporter, who is not a permanent staff

and was encouraging his clients to break state law. Testimony at the trial from

member. He was noted for often being the first on the

the website’s current editor, Bill Loving, a Cal Poly journalism professor, was

scene to provide raw, unedited information to the public

countered by a journalism professor at San Francisco State University, Venise

ranging from updates concerning the Chimney Fire to

Wagner, who found that the blog had relied on “hearsay” from a group of

drunk driving arrests, and did so on a purely volunteer,

anonymous sources and characterized the article as “all innuendo.” community service basis. SLO LIFE

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


| VIEW

MOUNTAIN

OF GOLD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ASHALA TYLOR

When she was six, or maybe seven years old, Ashala Tylor fumbled

around with an old Kodak Brownie camera, slowly rolling it back

and forth in her hands, then peering through the viewfinder. The

cheap, not-much-more-than-a-cardboard-box was interesting and

oddly familiar, comforting. It was not long after that she began

capturing images, mostly landscapes and nature scenes. The camera

allowed her to see the world differently.

Originally from the Bay Area, life led her to Hawaii where she

raised her family as the years ticked by. There was so much to

shoot on the islands, which fed her passion that by then had

transformed into art. The mainland beckoned in the mid-80’s

and she found the Central Coast, a place she calls “a true

photographer’s paradise.” Now settled in Paso Robles, Tylor

supplements her photography work as a freelance court reporter.

Because she is able to pick and choose her hours, she can plan

extended excursions with her camera. Recently, she returned

from Spain where she hiked the Camino de Santiago. Before

that it was China. All the way along pointing and clicking.

“Photography is best when it is combined with travel,” she

reasons. “But, when I’m home, my favorite spot is Montaña

de Oro.” It was a spring day a few years back when she was

walking the ocean bluff, hand-in-hand with her favorite

hiking partner: a Canon 5D Mark II. The sun was dropping

quickly, taking its warm embrace along with it for the night,

but she was in the perfect spot. Before her unfurled a carpet of

wildflowers marching like lemmings off the cliff into the ocean

below. The name, Montaña de Oro, was given to the 8,000

acres south of Los Osos that is now a State Park, by visiting

Spaniards who, after spying the same hillside from their ship

bobbing offshore, declared that they had discovered

a “mountain of gold.” SLO LIFE

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


| Q&A

Tie Breaker

Newly elected to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors but no stranger

to Central Coast politics, JOHN PESCHONG, of Templeton, is widely expected

to push the county in a more conservative direction as he breaks an increasingly

contentious ideological impasse formed between the progressive faction, made

up of Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, and conservatives Debbie Arnold and Lynn

Compton. We spent some time getting to know him…

Tell us about yourself, John. I’m from Los

Angeles originally; third generation Californian.

Born in Santa Monica. My dad is from the

Palisades. I actually grew up in Tarzana over

in the San Fernando Valley. I went to Loyola

Marymount University. My dad and mom moved

up here, retired up here in the late 80’s. My wife

and I moved here with our two kids. We’re in

Templeton. Been here nearly 20 years now. I own

a small business that I’ve owned since about 2005,

or maybe 2004. I have two partners in Sacramento,

but I have my office in Templeton. I told them

I wasn’t leaving. If we were going to set up a

company together I had to stay here. My daughter

is a freshman at Templeton High School. My son

is a fifth grader at Vineyard Elementary School.

He plays baseball, she plays softball. She’s in 4H.

It’s a great life. It’s a wonderful place.

And what is the status of your business now? I still

own it. It’s called Meridian Pacific. I don’t do work

in San Luis Obispo County anymore. For example,

I’ve recused myself from the Phillips 66 vote because

we have done some work for them over the years.

The company specializes in public affairs work, a lot

of public relations work for different corporations

and candidates, conservative causes. It’s not a secret

that local campaigns such as Lynn Compton’s

and Debbie Arnold’s, Meridian-Pacific ran those

campaigns. The same with Dan Dow, and so on.

Why did you run for office? You know, I ran on

a platform of smaller, more efficient government,

lower taxes, and more personal freedom. But, I got

into the race in the first place because my nephew

was a Cuesta College student. Good kid. Went to a

Christian high school. He got addicted to opiates,

got addicted to heroin. Died of a heroin overdose at

the age of 21. We have a problem in our community.

We’ve got an opiate epidemic. And when opiates are

hard to find, people move on to things like heroin.

So, how do we deal with that? There has to be, I

believe, two ways to deal with it. There has to be the

enforcement side, which means getting the sheriff

additional resources for the drug task force. But, also

getting more access for people to get into programs

so they can kick the drug habit. You know, rehab

is expensive, but rehab works. I know a number of

people who have quit using pretty heavy narcotics,

but they’ve only done it because they’ve worked a

rehab program that they actually bought into. So,

I started talking about this issue on the campaign

trail and I was amazed at the stories I heard from

people who were also affected by drugs in their

family. If none of the families in our county have

to go through what our family went through

when my nephew died then I will be very happy

about that, because it is devastating. And there

are repercussions that go on forever.

Why conservatism? A lot of the political

discussions around the dinner table when you

grow up depend on the direction that your

family took. You would pick these things up,

listen to and talk about them. My family is

conservative. Members of my family voted

for John C. Fremont in 1856. He was the

first Republican nominee for president and a

Californian. I picked a lot of it up from my

family and ran with it. I will tell you that in

my formative years I volunteered for the Reagan

campaign in ’80 and worked in the White House

after I graduated in ’84. Just listening to President

Reagan talk, the way he dealt with problems, the

way he understood people, it really solidified things

for me. I will tell you that the conservatism that

I have, I believe, is very empathetic toward what

people go through on a daily basis.

Elaborate on that idea, if you would. A lot of

times, from an empathy standpoint, government

doesn’t feel the same way that you and I would

feel about somebody’s plight. So, we need to find a

way to make things better for people. That is what

drove me toward it, because I think there is a way

to do it, also, where it costs the taxpayer a lot less.

So, the official conservative elements are there,

but I want to be able to say that after four or eight

years as a supervisor that we made a difference in

peoples’ lives. That empathy toward individuals

in our community is what drives me toward

conservatism. I’ve been accused many times of not

having a heart, or having a really small heart, but in

reality I do and it’s through the shared experiences

with my community, my family. I live in what would

be considered a workforce housing neighborhood.

Next door to me, the gentleman there is a prison

guard. There’s another neighbor, a gentleman who is

a police officer here in San Luis Obispo. Across the

street is a fireman. There are CHP officers. Nurses.

These are people who work for a living. I came here

to represent those people, so that I can help improve

their lives and the lives of their families. To me,

that’s what it’s all about. SLO LIFE

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


| NOW HEAR THIS

PLAYING WITH INTENTION

Before local singer songwriter REESE GALIDO could speak English, she learned

phonetically how to sing songs. “Filipino culture is full of songs. At every holiday, you eat

and sing and eat and sing some more. And I have an aunt and uncle who were on the

Hollywood jazz circuit, so I learned jazz standards at a young age.”

BY DAWN JANKE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BECKY CLAIR

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


UPCOMING SHOWS

April 19 . The Kicks . Sandbar Santa Barbara

May 19 . The Kicks . Frog and Peach Pub

June 15 . The Tipsy Gypsies . Live Oak Music Festival

June 23 . The Tipsy Gypsies . Concerts in the Plaza

July 14 . The Kicks . Concerts in the Plaza

August 24 . The Reese Galido Trio . Robins Cambria

alido’s 2015 solo album,

“Unraveled,” is filled with

love songs that echo jazz

classics, and she is planning

another project with jazz

favorites in dedication to her

Gmom, who recently passed

away. She explains, “I want to sing what I know; I want to

get back to my jazz roots.”

Like other female vocalists who can “sing beautifully and rip

at the same time,” as she puts it, Galido has modeled her voice

after Sarah Vaughan. She says, “Technically, I am an alto, so I

love the basement notes that Vaughan can kick the crap out of;

I listen to her a lot.” Galido also listens to Nina Simone and

loves more contemporary artists like Melody Gardot “with her

super low voice and amazing chord progressions and Becca

Stevens—a mandolin virtuoso with a great voice.”

Growing up among accomplished musicians, Galido’s youth

was also filled with sports. A master tennis player, she came

to San Luis Obispo in 1999 to attend Cal Poly on an athletic

scholarship and led the team to a Big West Conference

Tournament win in 2003 during her final season. “As soon as

I graduated, I chucked my racket,” she says. “I started a reggae

band and never looked back.”

Galido has served as the front woman for reggae band The

Kicks for the past 13 years. “The band has been a great gift

because it gave me some of my best friends,” she says. The Kicks

pay homage to old rock steady and roots reggae bands and

try to keep it fresh by injecting jazz and blues into the music.

Reggae is a genre that has always spoken to Galido. “The way

the beats are organized,” she says, “I just love it.”

Coming off of The Kicks’ first full-length album in 2011,

which was produced with every single drumbeat scrutinized

by Jim Fox, Galido’s 2015 solo album was an entirely different

experience. Local guitarist Charles Duncan took Galido under

his wing and produced the album. “I hadn’t even been thinking

about doing an album at that time, but Charles is awesome and

has a good feel for the music. He and I did this thing where I

just performed and he recorded,” explains Galido.

As Galido describes it, her solo work is a passion project.

“Everything that I took from my aunt and uncle since I was six,

all the jazz standards, and all the Elvis I listened to with my dad, all the musicals I

know by heart, all the love songs and angsty acoustic Lilith Fair lady rock I raged

to—that is my solo project.”

Galido also performs as a backup vocalist with local jazz quintet The Tipsy Gypsies.

“Their music is so good, and I’m really fortunate because [lead singer] Hilary

[Langdon] and I are such close friends and we have a very compatible singing

style.” The Tipsy Gypsies are currently recording an album at Laurel Lane studio

with local musician Damon Castillo.

Galido met Castillo and his band back in 1999. “At that time, I felt so lucky to be

their friend,” she says, and recalls watching them play to thousands of people at

Concerts in the Plaza. Both The Tipsy Gypsies and The Kicks will perform in the

plaza this summer, and Galido couldn’t be more excited. “Concerts in the Plaza is

so quintessentially San Luis Obispo, playing in front of the Mission, in front of the

whole town. I feel honored.”

Galido is also grateful for the queer activist work she performs with her wife. The

two are part of SLO Progressives, the local chapter of NAACP, and Queer Crowd,

whose mission is to “encourage a more consistently confident, colorful, egalitarian

and engaged community.” She reflects, “one of the reasons I like San Luis Obispo is

because it’s a network of support—we’re all very close and help each other out.”

United We Rise: A Concert for Change, which followed the Women’s March

earlier this year, is a particular event that fed into Galido’s commitment to activism.

“It was such a labor of love in one of the most truly collaborative environments I’ve

ever worked,” she recalls. For the unique event, concert co-organizer Shawna Marie

assigned each artist to perform with others with whom they don’t regularly play.

Galido’s group included Erin Inglish, Inga Swearingen, Hilary Langdon, and Talia

Phillips-Ortega.

In just two weeks, group members presented their

songs, split up and learned the parts, had three

practices, and performed live. “Each of us brought such

different flavors to the group, so the songs we wrote,

and expected to hear in a certain way, got something

entirely new,” says Galido, which sounds like a nice

message on the value of diversity and inclusion.

The United We Rise collaborative experience is akin

to what Galido loves most about San Luis Obispo.

She shares, “What I especially liked about the show

was that it inspired in each of us an affinity for one

another.” She continues, “In everything there’s a level

of intentionality we’re called upon to subscribe to, and

right now that intentionality is most important.”

SLO LIFE

DAWN JANKE, Director,

University Writing & Rhetoric

Center Cal Poly, keeps her

pulse on the Central Coast

music scene.

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


RISE & SHINE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

A little more than three years ago, SARA PETERSON and her husband, along with their

one-year-old daughter, rolled into town on a stormy San Luis Obispo night. The baby was

crying, everyone was hungry and tired from the long drive. Getting out of the car halfway

through the trip would be good, they reasoned. It was an open parking spot on Garden Street

that changed everything. Recently, the couple unveiled the second location of their popular

coffee shop known as Scout Coffee Co. on Foothill Boulevard. We sat down for a wide-ranging

conversation with Sara about everything from California dreaming to motherhood to

entrepreneurship to interior design, and just about everything in between. Here is her story…

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


Alright, Sara, let’s take it from the top. Where

are you from? Well, I was born in Grand Rapids,

Michigan; and then my family moved to Ohio for

my high school years, so I was around 13. I had a

fine childhood, but I just remember being so bored

in my backyard. I would pretend that I was in “Little House on the Prairie.” I had

three brothers, so nobody would play with me. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d take

my little red fire wagon and flip it over. I remember picking really tall stalks of grass

then running them through the wheels like I was milling flour, so that I could make

bread. I created this whole little pioneer life that I lived in my backyard. I’d pick all

the moss off the tree and make a carpet and decorate my little pretend house that I

lived in by myself.

So, how’d you end up on the West Coast? I left Ohio when I was 18, and I

remember all of my friends saying, “Wow, California.” And, I’d tell them, “Anybody

can go. They’re letting people in. You can go, too.” I come from a really conservative

background and my parents told me that they would help pay for school if I went

to a Christian college. I had a scholarship in track, I ran the 400, to go to Azusa

Pacific, but I visited Los Angeles and it just wasn’t for me. I made a last-minute

decision to go to a small Christian college called Simpson University in Redding.

It’s funny that I ended up in Redding; it’s way up north by the Oregon border. It

wasn’t exactly what I had pictured when I dreamed of moving to California during

my teenage years, but it was a start. During the first day of freshman orientation I

met my husband, Jon.

Tell us about that. We were good friends. He actually dated my

roommate. We were just good buddies for a long time. Then,

at some point, we dated. It was sort of on and off, and then we

went our separate ways. I moved to the East Coast after college.

I worked at a coffee shop all day long then at Applebee’s until 2

a.m. It paid $2.13 per hour, which is the minimum wage there if

you get tips. It wasn’t for me, so I set my mind to save for a car. It

took me something like four or five months. As soon as I got it I

drove straight to California. It took me only three days because

I hardly stopped along the way. I went to San Diego where Jon

was at the time. We got engaged, got married; I think we were

about 24. We moved to the Central Valley, which is where he is

from, and started working at a camp for obese adolescents. Jon

was a fitness guy back in the day, and was hired on to do the

physical education program there. I taught nutrition and did

student activities to make it fun for the kids. We were there for a

year or so when we could see that it was time to move on.

What happened next? So, we got this book that was about all

of the campgrounds in California. We drove around the state

and we would camp in different places to try to find our place

in the world, and try to figure out what to do next. We would

fly fish, we would camp, we would swim; we’d just kind of figure

out jobs for ourselves. We ended up in Santa Cruz because Jon

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


had worked at a camp there when he was in high school. We connected

with one of his old friends who was the H.R. director at Mount

Hermon, and we both ended up applying for jobs there because you get

free housing. We were like, “Hell yeah! We can work at camp; we love

camp!” I grew up going to camp in Michigan and loved it, so I was like,

“We can do camp life—that sounds great!”

How long did that go on? We did that for a couple of years, but burned

out pretty quickly. We said, “Man, it’s time to get off the mountain.” I

started working with this coffee shop in Santa Cruz that was actually

in a church, of all places, and they wanted to open up to the public. I

had worked at Starbucks in college and at an independent shop in New

Jersey, and I had all of this experience in food service at the camp, so I

said, “Why not?” It was this super weird, funky church coffee shop with

all kinds of creative people hanging around; they did concerts there, art

shows. I told myself I’d do it just for a little while. There was this woman

at the church, Marilyn. She was very French, very fancy; she was a

pastry chef and made her own chocolates. She was so cool. One day she

gave me a whole bunch of back issues of Barista Magazine. I had never

heard of the magazine. I spent that entire weekend reading them; it was

like a whole new world opened up to me. I read about these companies

like Stumptown in Portland, and Blue Bottle, and Intelligentsia, and

the other pioneers of the third wave coffee movement. I was just blown

away that all this existed. I saw an ad in one of the issues for a barista

competition in Berkeley, so I drove myself there to check it out. There

were all of these people there going crazy for a team from Barefoot

Coffee Roasters.

Were they the hometown favorite, or something? Actually, no, I found

out they were based in San Jose, so Jon and I went over to check them

out. At the time we were roasting our own coffee at home with a little

popcorn popperette in our kitchen. It was just a hobby of ours, but I was

thinking more and more about making coffee my path. So, we asked

the barista there what we should order—this was like 10 or 12 years

ago—and she said, “Cappuccinos.” Everyone has their life-changing

coffee experience, and that was ours. We were like, “Man, I didn’t know

that coffee could be this good.” It was just so sweet all on its own. We

were pretty broke at that point, but we’d buy one bag at a time, take it

home and portion it out to make it last. It was a big treat for us. Around

that time, actually, Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz opened their

first shop on 41st Avenue. We went there to have a look and there were

no customers. The owners there were so nice. About a week later I called

them and said, “I met you guys last week. I’m actually helping a church

open a coffee shop here in town. Do you guys sell coffee?”

So, they were wholesalers, too? Well, I didn’t find out until later that

they didn’t sell coffee wholesale, but they very confidently said, “Yes,

we do!” when I asked. It was a great lesson. We were their very first

wholesale customer. So, we got the Abbey—the church coffee shop was

called the Abbey Coffee, Art & Music Lounge—set up to sell Verve

Coffee. It was bonkers; just a crazy experience working with the church.

It wasn’t the best fit for me. So, just about every week I would talk to

one of the owners at Verve, just to pick his brain and ask questions. One

day we went out to lunch and he offered me a job, but I didn’t know it

at the time. He said it in a really weird sort of way, something about the

universe this or that. I told Jon about the conversation later and he said,

“He just offered you a job!” I ended up going over to manage his store,

which wasn’t doing very well at the time. I had to fire some people and

some others quit, and we sort of started over. Then, two years later, this

was 2009, Jon got laid off and we lost our housing and had to move. We

found this tiny, little granny unit. We were still on our savings plan. We

shopped at Goodwill; we’d split a burrito. I kept working at Verve and

Jon started getting really depressed because this was the middle of the

recession and no one was hiring. No one was even interviewing. >>

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


So, what did he do? The guys at Verve asked him if he would be interested

in driving the delivery van. He said, “Yes, absolutely!” It was like $8 an

hour, but it gave him so much opportunity. There’s this quote that we both

like, it’s by Thomas Edison, I think. It goes something like, “Opportunity

is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like

work.” Anyway, he would rotate the coffee bags at Whole Foods, and

change out the coffee at New Leaf, and build relationships with vendors.

After a while, stuff at Verve kept popping up and Jon would figure out

how to help. They’d say, “Hey, can you do this? Can you do that?” And, Jon

would always say, “Yes,” even if he didn’t know how to do it yet. One day

they asked him if he could build their online store, and it now brings in all

kinds of sales for them. Eventually, he became the marketing director and

I was the retail director. Then, I found out I was pregnant. I kept working,

and we now had three cafés. After a couple of months off with our new

baby, I was back at work. And Jon’s schedule didn’t have any flexibility, so

we were paying for childcare and just trying to navigate being new parents.

We thought, “Well, this is dumb.” We started talking about opening our

own shop. We sort of figured that it was now or never. Sunday afternoons

were our only time together, so we’d drive around different Bay Area

towns to see if there was a good spot for a new shop. We’d walk around

and get a feel for it, and ask ourselves if we would want to live there.

Could we raise a family there? We looked into a few locations, but then

things would always seem to fall through.

Tell us then, how did you find San Luis? So, our daughter, Lilly, turned

one and Jon’s parents wanted to take her to Disneyland. We were like,

“Okay, we’ll drive down to Disneyland for the day.” It was a long trip,

and as we drove back home, we needed a break. We saw a sign for San

Luis Obispo, so we pulled off the highway. It was like seven o’clock

at night, the witching hour; Lilly is screaming. It’s raining and we’re

looking all over for parking. So, we turn down this little side street,

Garden, and find a place to park there. We get out of the car and right

in front of us is this huge “For Lease” sign. I said, “Wow, that building

is cute.” We’re both leaning against the glass looking into the space and

I said, “Oh my gosh, Jon, this is it! I found it. Done. This is our store.”

We talked about it the rest of the way home and called the landlord

the next morning. He told us he could meet us there in 10 minutes

and since we were 2 hours and 40 minutes away, Jon said, “How about

three hours?” On our way to see the space Jon said, “Just be casual, play

it cool.” I said, “Okay, got it. Play it cool.” After walking around I told

Alex, the landlord, “Please don’t lease this space to anyone else!” And,

Jon shoots me this look, like, “Calm down!” Alex said, “Don’t worry, >>

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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nobody’s interested. It’s been empty for four years.”

Wow, so what came next? We went back to Santa Cruz, back to our fulltime

jobs at Verve. Now we’re working on our business plan and trying to

get financing. It was just getting rejection after rejection, one bank after

another. We’d tell them, “It’s going to be clean; it’s going to be different;

it’s going to be really good coffee!” We’d have our baby with us and they’d

just kind of look at you, and then look down at your application and say,

“Uh, huh.” After, I think it was the tenth rejection, we finally got a “Yes.”

It was a small business loan that required us to put all of our money into

the build-out before they would fund the loan. We took our entire life

savings and got to work on building out the store. As crazy as it was, I

just felt so at peace with everything. It took a lot of creativity since we

did not have a lot of money to work with, but we traded with an architect

in Santa Cruz. Jon designed some brochures for him and updated his

website in exchange for the building plans. And, Alex, our landlord, had

a friend named Roger, who was this old school San Luis good ol’ boy,

a hunter/fisherman sort of guy. He was this surly old guy when we first

met him. We were all enthusiastic and we’d tell him, “We’re going to do

this! We’re going to do that!” He’d just stand back, kind of looking at you

sideways, and almost under his breath, he’d say, “Right.” Okay, I get that

you’re grumpy, but we’re going to do it. So, Jon would have Roger show

him how to do stuff and the next morning he’d come back and all of the

plumbing would be laid out how he demonstrated. I just remember feeling

so helpless because I had a one-year-old and it wasn’t a kid-friendly zone,

but I’d make sandwiches and do Home Depot runs. And I’d walk in and

say, “No, this is a half-inch off here. This is all wrong. And this needs to be

moved over there.”

Crazy… This went on for about six months, and we were out of money.

We almost went out of business before we opened our doors. I was

looking into waitressing jobs. It’s very humbling when you are in your

thirties and your mother-in-law is putting gas in your car and groceries

in the fridge. We just had to get some income going, so we opened for

business in January. It was just Jon and I behind the counter. That first day

was really busy; so exciting. Then, the next day was totally quiet and we

were freaking out thinking we were going out of business. We kept at it

and things started to pick up, and we hired some help. But, it took Jon and

I a long time, at least a month after bringing them on, before we would

let them make coffee. We didn’t want people to come in and have just

an okay latte. I don’t know how we made it through those first couple of

months, the first year. It’s all a blur, really. I was pregnant during that time

and I would sometimes throw up in the parking lot at five o’clock in the

morning and then go do the bake shift. I was trying to hold it all together,

but it was a relief to finally acknowledge that there were days when I

would have rather been eaten alive than go back into work again.>>

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


How did you make it through? I’d just put on the concealer, the bronzer,

and be like, “Good morning!” It was funny, or maybe sad, because it got

to the point where customers would ask, “What are you doing today?”

And, I’d always just say, “Working.” They’d be off to hike Bishop Peak, or

paddleboard, or something cool. I still haven’t hiked Bishop. You know, I

feel like I haven’t really gotten to live the SLO Life yet. After a while, I

started to feel so lame for always working that I’d just make stuff up. I heard

things about Terrace Hill, so I’d say, “Terrace Hill. Picnic.” It was around

this time, I learned later, that Jon had been approached about building a

second location at the new shopping center on Foothill. He kept putting off

the developer, who kept asking about it. Finally, one day he brought up the

idea with me. I said, “What?! Are you crazy?! We’ve got a newborn! A new

business! No! No! No!” At some point we were in the car together and we

drove past the location and all I could see was the Domino’s Pizza sign. I

was like, “No way. Never. It’s a strip mall. It’s got no soul.”

Well, something must have changed your mind. Jon kept getting calls

and kept putting them off. He told them the timing was terrible, and it

just wasn’t in the cards. Somewhere along the line they convinced us to

take a look at the space, just walk around. I don’t know why, but we did. I

had a crying baby, this time it was Everly, and it’s raining again; water is

literally pouring through the ceiling. There’s dirt and rubble everywhere,

so ugly inside; fluorescent green walls. But, for some reason, I don’t know

why, it felt so peaceful. Out of nowhere I said, “Okay, this could be cute.

This could work.” We could start to see a vision for the place, but then

we went home and came to our senses. We said, “No” again and probably

another six times after that. Life was just too crazy. I couldn’t even make

dinner. We’d been eating quesadillas for like a year now, and I would cry

in the kitchen because I couldn’t figure out how to get to the grocery

store. I’m very focused on the present and really can’t think beyond what’s

for dinner, and Jon is very big picture always thinking about where we’re

going, where we’re headed, what we’re doing. Sometimes we have a hard

time meeting in the middle. I’m always like, “Welcome to the present,”

and he’s like, “Welcome to the future.” Over time, the deal started getting

better and making more sense until we finally decided to do it.

How long did this one take? It was another six-month build-out, actually,

and we did all of the designs ourselves again. It needed a lot of work; it

needed soul. The space on Garden already had that with the brick from

1911, but this was a fresh slate, and it was really big. It was a challenge,

but that was when I realized that we were on the right track. The first

time we did this downtown we put signs up in the windows saying, “Scout

Coffee—coming soon.” I remember being in the building late at night

doing grout work and hearing random pedestrians walk by and say stuff

like, “Geez, another coffee shop? We don’t need another coffee shop.” I’d

be traumatized by that. This time around I couldn’t take it, so we didn’t

put up any signage, but when we were inside working we’d hear people

walk by and say stuff like, “Somebody told me Scout Coffee was going in

here—I can’t wait!” Now, and I know this may sound weird, but sometimes

I have these moments, almost like an out-of-body experience. I’ll be

behind the counter and then all of a sudden, the doors are rolled open and

the sun is shining in, and the music’s playing, and there’s a line out the

door, and all the tables are full, and I just want to cry. I’m like, “They’re

here! Thank you!” It’s fun, it really is. I honestly don’t know if you told me

three years ago how hard this would have been if I would have done it—

but now I’m so glad we did. SLO LIFE

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Kannan Freyaldenhoven

After much success at San Luis Obispo

High School, this eighteen-year-old senior is

readying himself for college.

What sort of extracurricular activities are you involved in? I’m involved with

Youth and Government (a model legislature and Court Program) as the

delegation president, the Associated Student Body at SLOHS as executive

council secretary, National Honor Society as secretary, as well as volunteering at

Marian Hospital. I also enjoy playing Varsity Tennis here at SLO High School

where I’m the Varsity co-captain.

What recognition have you received? At San Luis Obispo High School I have

been in the Top Ten since freshman year. I was also selected to be the California

Boys State Delegate. I earned the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, was first

place in the Lions Club Speech Contest for San Luis Obispo, and I am an AP

Scholar with Distinction. Additionally, I earned second place in the Paderewski

Youth Piano Competition, Senior Division, and was selected for the Piano

Exchange Program to Poland.

What is going on with you now? I have finished applying for colleges and

scholarships and am enjoying my last trimester of high school. Tennis has recently

started up, and that has been keeping me pretty busy. I’m making the most of my

last couple months here in town by doing the things I love to do with those that

matter to me most.

What is important to you outside of high school? Playing the piano is something

very important to me. I have been playing since I was six years old and now I’m

proud to say that music has become a passion of mine, as I enter competitions and

perform in concerts throughout the year. The Youth and Government Program

is another thing that means a lot to me, as it has made me a more educated and

confident individual while allowing me to make lifelong bonds with delegates from

around California.

Who has influenced you the most? I have been most influenced by my father.

From my basic values and determination to achieve, to my dry sense of humor, my

dad has helped create a large part of my character. I admire his work ethic as well as

his ability to help others as a doctor, and I hope to one day become a man like him.

What do you want people to know about you? I want people to know that I think

kindness is one of the most important traits in a person. I strive to be kind and

helpful and aspire to impact people’s lives.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself either in a medical career

or training for one. I hope to be continuing with the pursuit of my passions and

interests while helping others along the way.

What schools are you considering for college? I am considering the University of

Chicago, Columbia, Williams College, and Harvard—among others. Now it’s just

a matter of waiting and hoping for the best! SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


| DWELLING

SECOND ACT

Fifty years ago, Led Fortini popped the question at the Madonna Inn. Having grown

up in Paso Robles, it was a blonde bombshell from Los Angeles that caught his eye

one day on campus at Cal Poly. It was not long before the pair were busy raising

their two young children, remodeling homes, and running a business. Always

together, working toward shaping a better space, a better environment, whatever

form that took at the time. As life unpredictably unfolds, sometimes hindsight

reveals a series of sequential chapters, each one making the next one possible.

For the Fortinis, the page opened to a new scene in a most unexpected way.

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


new clients were a perfect fit. For Anne Fortini, an interior designer,

the assignment was right in her wheelhouse. A beautiful new home was

being designed for the Las Ventanas neighborhood in Arroyo Grande,

and Mark and Patty Woolpert needed someone who could guide them

through the process from the very beginning. Over the three years that

spanned conception to move-in, the professional engagement morphed

into a friendship. When putting the finishing touches on the home, which

Anne determined needed rugs, she suggested a trip to San Francisco where

every possible style was available. “I told Led,” Anne shares, “you have

to come with me to keep Mark company because he’s going to get really

bored, really fast.” Over the weekend, small talk became bigger talk, when

someone wondered aloud, “Led, what are you going to do when you retire

after your business is sold?”

It was a question Led had been pondering, as well. His Paso Robles-based

company was on the market, so it was only a matter of time. “There’s this

little vineyard off Broad Street that’s for sale,” he revealed. Coming from

a family of winemakers, it felt like a natural second act. Mark replied

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017The


excitedly that he knew exactly what vineyard he was referring to, and that

he drove past it every day. Led then talked about his love for bocce, how

it connects people, and how he saw it as an integral part of the winery he

imagined at the corner of Broad and Biddle Ranch at the edge of Edna

Valley just south of San Luis Obispo. The more Led shared his vision, the

more Mark leaned in to listen. Rugs began losing their appeal, and the

trip was rerouted to a bocce club in Los Gatos. After playing a round, the

couples settled in for lunch. Mark picked up the phone, called his realtor,

and made arrangements to visit the vineyard on the way back home.

The property needed TLC. You could tell that it had been loved, but the

owners were ready to move on. For a long time it sat on the market—they

were asking for the moon, yet property values were just beginning to

recover from the Great Recession. Though many had inquired, the firm

asking price scared them away. Things were different now. The owners had

bought another place and the listing went from being a “want to sell” to a

“need to sell” and three days later Team Fortini-Woolpert was in contract

on the 23 acres. “Oh my gosh, it all happened so fast,” Anne recalls in

astonishment. “We needed investors, though. We couldn’t do this on our

own.” With heads still spinning the two couples came up with a plan: each

one of them was to bring in one of their friends, another couple, so the

deal could be split four ways. Those numbers would work. So, Anne made

a call: “Linda, do you want to own a winery?” After going over the details,

it made sense. Linda and Roy Rawlings were in. The Woolperts brought in

John and Tracy Ronca. The four couples, now equal partners, all bringing

complementary skills to the table, were set. And Bocce Court Cellars LLC

was formed.

The first order of business: what to do about the old ranch house that

looked as if it had been swallowed by a thicket of overgrown, yet diseased

plants off in the corner. Originally, built in the late 40’s or early 50’s, near

downtown San Luis Obispo, the house was then lifted off its foundation

in the early 70’s, moved a few miles south, and set down where it rests

today. Over the years, as the family that occupied the home grew, so too

did the floor plan, which added more square footage (currently around

3,500 square feet ), but also a meandering Winchester Mystery House->>

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


type vibe. For many years, a hair salon had been operated out of one

of the rooms, as well. With all the changes over time, the wiring and

plumbing were no longer up to code. So, the new owners got to work on

what was to become a year-long remodel. Each did what they do best.

Anne began sketching plans for the interiors, her son Ryan, owner of

Fortini Landscapes, went to town on the vegetation around the building,

tearing out the old stuff and planting fresh olive and fig trees, citrus,

and rosemary. Mark, owner of Compass Health, which also operates a

handful of Central Coast restaurants, started reimagining the space. John,

a lawyer, drafted the documents and crossed the “t’s” and dotted the “i’s”

so that the property could one day become a VRBO. Linda prepared the

space for events. Everyone had a hand in the project, one way or another,

whether wielding a paint brush, or a pen, or a phone. It was a group

effort, and by all accounts, “So much fun.”

Opening walls is always an adventure, and this case was no different.

Surprises were found around every corner, but along the way things

were corrected. Leaky pipes repaired, wayward wiring secured,

insulation updated, windows replaced, floors ripped up. Once empty,

the team redesigned the flow to modernize the house. The big score

came when they sourced a treasure trove of reclaimed wood from

Alex Trebek’s ranch in Creston. The host of Jeopardy, as it turns out,

had a whole lot of horse fencing left over after updating it. Now, the

old horse-gnawed trim adorns just about every corner of the home,

as well as encasing all of the windows and doors. Wide plank rough

sawn European white oak makes up the floors, giving it a unique

unfinished feel under bare feet. The kitchen was brought into the

twenty-first century and the bathrooms, particularly the master,

Linda and Roy Rawlings, John and Tracy Ronca, Mark and Patty Woolpert, Led and Anne Fortini

received extra attention with extensive tile work. The only thing

remaining from the old house was a piece of art that Anne bought

from the seller’s yard sale they had prior to moving out.

The VRBO at Bocce Court Cellars, now called Biddle Ranch Vineyard,

opened for business a little more than two years ago. Of all people, the

owner of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team was the first customer.

He and his wife, he said, had thrown a dart on a map to decide where to

go on vacation and it landed slightly below San Luis Obispo. They spent

a long weekend and reported that it was one of their favorite vacations

they had ever taken. And others, including weddings attended by 200

or more guests in the side yard, have also created memories in the new

space, as have the non-profits who hosted fundraising events under the

pergola built from discarded scaffolding platforms. But, there was one

guest that stood out from the rest. As part of the property purchase, the

new owners agreed to host the family that had lived in the old ranch

house, and loved it and cared for it as their home for forty years. The

beauty salon had long since closed, and the kids have all grown up and

moved away, but dad was turning 75 and they all returned to stay for

the weekend in the restyled country home, and to toast to the times that

were, and to the times that will be. SLO LIFE

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


| ARCHITECTURE

DESIGN

+

BUILD

In this ongoing feature, SLO LIFE Magazine is proud to partner with the American

Institute of Architects California Central Coast to unveil its current project winners and highlight

our local design and engineering talent. Each month, the organization reviews submissions

and selects the top Central Coast projects. Below are two recent installments to this series.

April Project Recognition

Indio Drive Beach House, Shell Beach

Architect Studio 2G Architects

Landscape Architect Jeffrey Gordon Smith

Structural Engineer Smith Structural Group

Contractor Mountain Pacific Builders

The small neighborhood on Indio Drive in Shell Beach

is home to a recent remodel that transitions an existing

tract home spec design into a bohemian Californian beach

house. The new design, better suited for this Shell Beach

neighborhood, was completed by the design team at Studio

2G Architect. Previously, the interior led you through a

series of rooms that had no flow and little daylight. The

remodel opened up the floor plan inviting natural light in

while also giving the interior spaces more volume.

Walking through the remodeled interior feels as if you were

in a completely different house. For example, the upper

floor master suite was completely revamped. The existing

ceiling was opened up to expose the pre-fab trusses, which

were sand-blasted and stained, giving volume to the space.

The staircase to the master bedroom was moved, allowing

dramatic changes to the second floor by leading guests to a

new roof deck, and a newly installed barn door allows the

master suite privacy.

The first floor also feels more inviting with larger open

spaces that dialogue between each other through the new

use of daylight and rich, natural materials. The upper

floor balcony, as well as the first floor, also engage the

landscape beyond. Jeffrey Gordon Smith added to the team

of designers by completing a wonderful Mediterranean

landscape that could be seen and interacted with through

the new open floor plan.

62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


CONNECT WITH YOUR LOCAL

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


May Project Recognition

Airstream, San Luis Obispo

Architect garcia architecture + design

When a newly launched catering company needed a unique marketing

and branding strategy, the client turned to their architect for advice and

direction. Given the client’s multi-user programmatic needs for this

project, coupled with specific aesthetic and functional requirements, the

architect looked at an unconventional design approach to accommodate

the request for a multi-functional space that would also be portable and

mobile at a moment’s notice.

Unfazed by this challenge, the design team took an unorthodox approach

to develop a truly unique solution. Leveraging the client’s penchant for

classic-vintage design, the concept of a “resto-mod-ular” began to emerge.

The architect pitched the idea of locating, repurposing, and renovating a

vintage mid-century travel-trailer. This portable solution could not only

be easily relocated by the client as needed, but would provide additional

marketing opportunities for his expanding business model.

With the full support of the client, the architect was able to locate and

purchase a suitable, era-appropriate candidate for this unconventional

rehabilitation and renovation project. The salvaged 1964 Airstream

GlobeTrotter trailer would not only serve the client’s personal needs, but

would also be called upon to serve duty as a hospitality center, sales office,

beverage cart, and even itinerant commissary and kitchen uses.

While great care was taken to respect and repair the exterior of the

vintage trailer to its original authentic condition, the interior finishes,

materials, colors, fixtures, and appliances reflect a more modern

sensibility. Book matched walnut cabinets live harmoniously with

Marmoleum flooring, and high-tech LED lighting is complemented with

vintage reading fixtures and classic tartan upholstery.

What started as a cost-effective design solution has evolved into a

108-square-foot renovation project that has become an integral part of

the catering company’s marketing strategy and brand offering, as well as

an occasional personal weekend retreat.

About the AIA CCC

The American Institute

of Architects has been

the leading professional

membership association

for licensed architects,

emerging professionals,

and allied partners since

1957. The local California

Central Coast division

works in collaboration

with SLO LIFE Magazine

to showcase its monthly

award-winning projects

demonstrating notable

concepts that have

been constructed after

being designed by local

architects. SLO LIFE

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017



We met Monica King at an open house when we started our search, and she worked

tirelessly with us for four years, until she found us the perfect place. Her honesty,

enthusiasm, and professionalism are impressive, and working with her was actually

fun. The team at San Luis is top notch.

Dr. Robert Brenman and Lina Kho RN


The team at SAN LUIS OBISPO REALTY makes dreams come true!

SAN LUIS OBISPO REALTY

805-544-9161

WWW.SANLUISOBISPO-HOMES.COM

441 MARSH STREET, SAN LUIS OBISPO

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2016

7

710,257

694,429

97.77

37

2016

7

635,788

642,796

101.10

60

2016

Total Homes Sold

2

Average Asking Price

699,500

Average Selling Price

677,500

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 96.85

Average # of Days on the Market 52

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

2016

3

1,100,600

1,049,677

95.24

132

2016

10

735,390

721,775

98.15

37

2016

Total Homes Sold

4

Average Asking Price

748,000

Average Selling Price

709,750

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 94.89

Average # of Days on the Market 87

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2016

8

718,619

698,156

97.15

105

2017

10

588,290

582,010

98.93

23

2017

2

774,450

767,500

99.10

36

2017

3

722,333

693,333

95.99

103

2017

3

956,333

932,817

97.54

83

2017

13

785,292

770,057

98.06

68

2017

8

871,475

846,188

97.10

53

2017

13

719,146

712,452

99.07

54

+/-

42.86%

-17.17%

-16.19%

1.16%

-37.84%

+/-

-71.43%

21.81%

19.40%

-2.00%

-40.00%

+/-

50.00%

3.26%

2.34%

-0.86%

98.08%

+/-

0.00%

-13.11%

-11.13%

2.30%

-37.12%

+/-

30.00%

6.79%

6.69%

-0.09%

83.78%

+/-

100.00%

16.51%

19.22%

2.21%

-39.08%

+/-

62.50%

0.07%

2.05%

1.92%

-48.57%

*Comparing 01/01/16 - 03/16/16 to 01/01/17 - 03/16/17

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


More than

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Donna Lewis

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NMLS #245945

805.235.0463

donnalewis@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/dlewis

Dylan Morrow

Loan Advisor

NMLS #1461481

805.550.9742

dmorrow@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/dmorrow

Brandi Warren

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NMLS# 290534

661.332.2074

bwarren@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/bwarren

Kim Gabriele

Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS# 263247

805.471.6186

kgabriele@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/kgabriele

Ken Neate

Loan Advisor

NMLS# 373607

925.963.1015

kneate@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/kneate

Lou Escoto

Loan Advisor

NMLS# 274721

805.904.7724

lescoto@rpm-mtg.com

www.rpm-mtg.com/lescoto

755 Santa Rosa Street, Suite 300, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

1022 Mill Street, Suite D, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

RPM Mortgage, Inc. – NMLS#9472 – Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the Residential Mortgage Lending Act | 5936 |

Equal Housing Opportunity.

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


We helped more

people purchase

a home in 2015

than any other

lender in San Luis

Obispo County.

THANK YOU!

| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE

REGION

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2016

2017

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2016

2017

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2016

2017

Arroyo Grande

49

70

52

70

617,680

787,636

Atascadero

44

71

54

75

496,941

614,189

Avila Beach

4

2

115

10

950,750

977,500

Cambria/San Simeon

22

21

161

79

662,000

633,952

Cayucos

7

6

151

74

1,362,071

1,110,500

Help when you make the most important

financial decisions of your life.

Creston

Grover Beach

0

18

4

29

0

37

73

54

0

468,453

645,750

514,424

Los Osos

38

22

73

42

632,659

608,118

Morro Bay

19

25

105

53

722,159

669,096

Nipomo

33

40

48

68

602,006

538,285

Oceano

9

7

46

97

447,700

410,188

Pismo Beach

21

21

69

41

1,038,104

1,201,303

Paso (Inside City Limits)

69

79

66

59

427,168

450,248

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

2

10

80

62

353,500

463,135

Ben Lerner

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS 395723

805.441.9486

blerner@opesadvisors.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita

19

9

58

13

27

10

59

5

147

81

60

50

123

117

51

62

582,283

600,711

688,374

350,077

441,287

1,041,310

716,832

469,092

opesadvisors.com

Opes Advisors is licensed by the CA Department of Business Oversight under the California

Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License #4150089, CA Bureau of Real Estate 01458652,

loans will be made pursuant to the Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO Registration Regulated

by the Division of Real Estate, Idaho MBL8530, Montana Mortgage Lender License

#235584, Oregon ML4902, Washington CL1178435, Wyoming #2667 and NMLS 235584.

Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. Opes Advisors is a registered investment advisor with

the Securities 68 and | Exchange SLO LIFE Commission MAGAZINE (SEC). © 2016 Opes | Advisors, APR/MAY Inc. All rights 2017 reserved.

Templeton

Countywide

17

431

20

507

*Comparing 01/01/16 - 03/16/16 to 01/01/17 - 03/16/17

61 85 734,543 704,420

69 67 606,006 624,899

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


| EXPLORE

TASTING THE DIFFERENCE

“I’m tasting distinctly grassy notes...” Most of us associate tasting with wine or beer,

but olive oil is considered liquid gold by foodie aficionados. Add balsamic vinegar

into the mix and you’re destined for a unique palette pleaser.

BY PADEN HUGHES

Mixology

GRILLED PLUOT COCKTAIL

2 oz vodka

1/4 oz aged balsamic

1/4 oz Meyer lemon juice

1/2 oz honey syrup (2 : 1, honey to water)

2 oz sparkling water

2 small grilled pluots, skin on

fresh slices of pluot for garnish

extra honey syrup for grilling

Slice pluots in half and remove the pit. Brush with honey

syrup and place flesh-side-down on the grill over a medium

flame. Cook until pluots soften and start to caramelize

(5 minutes). Flip to skin-side-down and cook for another 3

minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool.

To assemble the cocktail, place two grilled pluots (four

grilled pluot halves) into the bottom of a mixing glass. Add

the honey syrup and muddle, breaking apart the grilled

pluots. Add the Meyer lemon juice, aged balsamic, vodka,

and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain over new ice into a

highball glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a

few fresh slices of pluot and serve.

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


FOOD, DRINKS, AND THE

BEST DEALS ON ECO-

FRIENDLY PRODUCTS

Admittedly, I know relatively little about olive oil. In fact, prior to this

olive oil tasting, my only real experience with it was looking at a shelf

in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and making my selection based solely

on label aesthetics. I have been clueless about olive oil for years, but that

was about to change.

Along with my husband, I began my olive oil education in downtown San Luis Obispo at

We Olive, a charming store that showcases local olive oils complemented by an assortment of

balsamic vinegars.

Olive oil is comparable to wine in that its flavor profile is determined by the varietal of olive

trees, as well as the agricultural elements during its growing season. Different from wine, olive

oil does not need to age, however, it does have a shelf life of around 18 to 22 months.

We learned there are four major flavor profiles with olive oil: buttery, fruity, peppery, and

grassy. After tasting different types of pure olive oil matching the four flavor profiles, we

moved on to taste the flavored olive oil.

Flavors range from spicy to savory to fruity and are cold-pressed into the oil during the

pressing process. The flavored olive oils were truly impressive to us, unlocking the creativity

in the cooking process. The many uses for these oils actually made me want to cook, which is

a rare occasion. We tried the following flavors: Meyer lemon, blood orange, garlic, basil, and

jalapeño. Hands down, the Meyer lemon olive oil was our favorite—and the lemon gelato that

incorporated this oil was to die for.

At this point, we decided we couldn’t leave without trying some of the balsamic vinegars

and combinations of oil and vinegar. This was where the magic happened as we broke into

uncharted flavor territories.

Like the difference between Champagne and brut, to certify vinegar as balsamic, it must come

from the Modena region in Italy and be aged at least twelve years in a “batteria” of five or

more successively smaller aging barrels. Like wine, the type of barrel the vinegar is stored in

adds complexity to its flavor and color. The vinegar gets thicker and more concentrated as it

ages, sweetening the end product.

Our first sample was an eighteen-year balsamic vinegar that instantly redefined for me what

balsamic vinegar should be. Incidentally, it’s also the most popular product in the entire

store, and like so many others, we took home a bottle of our own. We also ventured into the

flavored balsamic vinegars, including: mission fig, blackberry, winter white fruit, pineapple

white, peach white, and d’anjou pear white. These ranged from tart to candy-like sweetness

and could instantly take a simple dish, dessert, or salad and enhance it effortlessly. Mixologists

even replace cocktail syrups with these flavored vinegars to improve on mimosas and other

signature cocktails.

To cap off our tasting, we combined flavored olive oil with flavored balsamic vinegars for a

truly sensory experience. Never underestimate the satisfaction a blend of buttery oil with

the sweet zing of tartness can provide. Topping the list was a Tahitian lime olive oil with

pineapple balsamic vinegar. It was refreshing, sweet, and makes the perfect two-ingredient

salad dressing. And, the distinctly different runner-up combined the

spicy blend of jalapeño olive oil with Ole’ Mole Balsamic.

The potential for these individual olive oils and balsamic vinegars

is one thing, but the power of the combinations takes the tasting

experience to the next level. We Olive showcases many local olive

oils and vinegars and serves to provide an informative and fun

introduction to unlocking their potential.

Disclaimer: a tasting experience may forever change your view of

olive oil and balsamic vinegar. After our tasting, my husband turned

to me and said, “I don’t think I can ever look at olive oil the same

way. I had no idea how complex and artful it can be.” I can promise

one thing, we’ll be leaving our Trader Joe’s bottles behind and will

instead opt for something closer to home. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


| HEALTH

New + Now

health trends worth trying

The word “trendy” often refers to a fad that has little lasting value, so it can be a turn-off, especially when applied

to health practices. But trends can also have enduring health benefits—for example, the trend toward making public

places smoke-free (fun fact: the first place to do that was San Luis Obispo) or adding calorie counts to fast-food

menus. Take a minute to review the following trends—we promise it will be time well spent.

No. 1

MINDFULNESS

In concept, mindfulness is simple—concentrating on the present

moment and processing it nonjudgmentally. By focusing on the here

and now, many people find that they are less likely to get caught up

in worries about the future or regrets from the past, and are better

able to form deep connections with others.

Mindfulness techniques have been shown to help relieve stress,

anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. “They may

also be helpful in treating chronic pain, improving sleep, and lowering

blood pressure,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine

at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

No. 2

ACTIVITY TRACKERS

Exercise is as close to a “magic bullet” as anything medicine has to offer. Physical

activity has been linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, many cancers,

osteoporosis, and dementia. “If a pill could have such diverse benefits, everyone would

be clamoring for it,” says Dr. Manson. “Most of us are well aware that we need the

equivalent of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days, but many of us

lack the motivation to get moving.”

Activity trackers have been marketed as a solution to inertia, and in this case, the

marketers may be right. A steady stream of research shows that the small devices—

worn on the wrist or clipped to clothing—actually encourage people to become more

active. In study after study, people who were given activity trackers to wear not only

significantly increased the number of steps they took daily and the minutes they spent

in moderate to vigorous activity, but also expressed an interest in using the trackers

and increasing their goals after the studies ended. To tap into this trend, expect to pay

about $100 for a device that logs steps, miles, active minutes, and sleep time.

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


No. 4

TURMERIC

Currently one of the most scientifically studied superfoods,

turmeric tops the list for daily diet intake recommendations.

Not only has it been proven to help with joint pain and

even arthritis, it’s been linked to a delayed onset of type

two diabetes, and may even be helpful in the fight against

Alzheimer’s. Whether you’re an athlete, an active person with

a busy schedule, or are just simply looking for a way to lower

inflammation in your body, turmeric is definitely our pick for

the most helpful superfood out there.

No. 3

FARMERS’ MARKETS

If you’d like a quick and easy way to incorporate turmeric into

your diet, we suggest trying it in a smoothie. The immune

boosting power of this superfood is exponentially increased by

adding orange (one whole, peeled), yellow squash (chopped),

pineapple (about 4 ounces), and walnuts (3 Tbsp) to the turmeric

(1 tsp) along with one cup of water and one cup of ice. Blend,

enjoy, and start your morning off on the right foot.

While shopping at farmers’ markets has been part of the Central Coast

lifestyle for as long as most people can remember, it hasn’t always been so. In

the last 30 years, farmers’ markets have moved from the sides of rural roads to

the centers of major cities and everywhere in between. And, it seems people’s

healthy eating habits have improved as a result. In one recent study conducted

by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, when people

began to shop at inner-city farmers’ markets, they also consumed less sugary

soda and more vegetables than they had previously.

No. 5

KOMBUCHA

Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the

Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous

health benefits. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible

for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being

fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins,

enzymes, probiotics, and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and

lactic), which have been linked with the following benefits: improved digestion,

weight loss, increased energy, immune support, and reduced inflammation. The

sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as a

“SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made

with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green tea, too. You can make

kombucha yourself or try locally brewed Whalebird Kombucha.

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


No. 6

AVOCADO OIL

Rich in oleic acid and vitamin E (it is one of the top five foods highest in vitamin E),

avocado oil helps speed cell regeneration, lowers the risk of heart disease, and is a great

antioxidant that not only nourishes your skin, but slows its aging process. Loaded with

chlorophyll, it is a great, natural way to detox your body of harmful toxins. Because of its

multiple benefits, it can be used in multiple ways. Use it in your skincare (it is especially

nourishing for dry skin), as a hair mask (it speeds hair growth, strengthens your follicles

and leaves your hair remarkably shiny), or incorporate it into your cooking (its high

smoke point makes it a good substitute for olive oil when cooking at high temperatures).

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76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

No. 7

AMARANTH

The tiny seeds of the amaranth plant that was once an Aztec staple is justifiably the

new supergrain trend. Boasting a significantly higher nutritional content than most of

its grain counterparts, it has six times the dietary fiber of long-grain rice, ten times its

iron levels, and twice its protein content. Unlike most grains such as wheat, it contains

all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is also gluten-free and

a source of key vitamins like calcium and potassium. One of its proven health benefits is

its ability to lower cholesterol levels. A great breakfast option, we definitely see this grain

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


| STORYTELLERS’ CORNER

THE BUSINESS

OF STORYTELLING

In this ongoing feature, New York Times Best Selling author

FRANZ WISNER teams up with SLO LIFE Magazine to explore

the magic of an age-old tradition: storytelling.

BY FRANZ WISNER

It’s as if we speak two different languages.

At home, we laugh and joke. Sometimes we struggle and sometimes we cry. We try to speak

from the heart. We get called out when we don’t. We use our emotions to communicate,

attempting to reach our loved ones on a deeper, more meaningful level.

But the second we step into our places of work, we often turn off our emotions and start

reciting lines from an outdated marketing playbook. My mailbox fills daily with “exclusive,

one-time” offers that are neither exclusive nor one-time. That tri-tip sandwich I ordered for

lunch was good, but “hand-curated?” “World famous?” C’mon, now.

“All Natural.” “Game Changing.” “No Obligation.” We consumers see so much of this

marketing gobbledegook we don’t see it at all. We become anesthetized. None of it registers

or rings true.

I’ve never understood this approach. We know we are moved far more by story than by data

or hyperbole. Just think of all the big decisions you’ve made in your life based largely on a

gut feeling—choosing a life partner or buying a house, for example.

So why don’t brands ease up on the ballyhoo and just tell us their story? Thankfully, more are.

High school dropout Blake Mycoskie was backpacking in Argentina when he met a woman

who was giving out shoes to the poor. He saw the huge difference a pair of shoes could

make in the life of a less fortunate child. The encounter inspired him to create TOMS, a

new type of business, a for-profit company that would give away a pair of shoes for every

one it sold. My wife heard the story years ago and decided to give the shoes a try. Today our

closet is full of them, proof of what can happen when a quality

product and a compelling story come together.

FRANZ WISNER is the

founder of The Bestsellers

Group, which provides

brands and individuals with

storytelling assistance from

bestselling authors.

Michael Dubin saw his Dollar Shave Club as a corporate

David itching to fight the industry Goliath, Gillette. For

$4,500, he made a video and posted it on YouTube. “Do

you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a

backscratcher, and ten blades?” Dubin deadpans in the video.

“Your handsome ass grandfather had one blade… and polio.”

The story struck a chord. Sales soared. Last year Unilever

purchased Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. Not bad for David.

The best brand storytellers embrace challenges, needs, emotion,

and vulnerability. At its core, storytelling is connection. It’s

embracing those universal themes we share as humans.

I remember seeing the Meathead Movers trucks when I first

moved to town. I loved the name. I have a longtime

affinity with companies that don’t take themselves too

seriously. Then I heard the story of how Meathead

Movers began to offer free moving services to any

woman fleeing domestic violence. They didn’t do it

to boost sales. They experienced a community need,

firsthand, and decided to help.

I also love Chas Smit’s story. He’s the owner of

Dutch Window Cleaning Artist. Smit grew up in

The Netherlands, which is “obsessive about cleaning,”

he explains in a short video on his website. “My

mom was on my neck about cleaning!” She taught

him how to clean windows the “Dutch way,” which

includes cleaning the eaves and walls around the

windows as well. As a result, Smit isn’t just selling a

window cleaning service, he’s sharing a story about

his upbringing and offering clients a different cultural

approach to a common chore. Proost to that.

If you have a good story behind your brand, share it

with us. Most businesses and nonprofits start with a

dream. Tell us yours. Why did you get into business in

the first place? What are your current challenges and

goals? Remember, nobody roots for a brand. We root

for the people and stories behind the brand.

Interested in brand storytelling, but don’t know where

to start? Spend an afternoon swapping anecdotes with

your colleagues. Talk about your struggles as well as

your breakthroughs, the humorous moments and the

times you felt you were making a difference.

Write down the anecdotes and see what takes shape.

Stories often have a life of their own. Perhaps you have

a compelling history to share. Maybe it’s a rags-toriches

tale, a quest for change, or a greater good story.

Is your story inspiring, funny, touching, unique? It can

be any of the above, it just can’t be boring.

Next, write the stories into a narrative and test it out

with a small group. See what elements resonate the

most, then edit and refine.

Once you have your story down, you should use it to

help shape all aspects of your operations, everything

from websites and social media, to customer service

and hiring, to sales and community relations. Stories

can help your brand stand apart from the crowd and

make your employees feel they are on a mission.

Best of all, stories allow us to cut the b.s. (business

speak) and get back to being real. SLO LIFE

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


| INSIGHT

THE CUESTA QUESTION

BY TOM FRANCISKOVICH

Following a mathematical analysis of supply and demand in last issue’s “Cap and Gown” article, which

concluded that the solutions for San Luis Obispo’s housing crisis can arise only after Cal Poly’s enrollment is

capped and on-campus housing ratios mandated, many readers were left wondering: What about Cuesta?

The Dow Jones seemed to

be shedding 500 points

each day. Unemployment

was skyrocketing. And

business was booming at

Cuesta College. The school

was beyond 100% capacity

and applicants were being

turned away. During a

recession, as a rule of

thumb, attendance at community colleges increases

as those newly out-of-work look to retool in order to

find new jobs. And 2009 was no ordinary recession.

So, it is natural that it marked the high-water point

for Cuesta College enrollment: 13,217.

As “green shoots” began appearing in the recovering

economy, and students traded backpacks and

binders for briefcases and tool belts, enrollment,

as expected, dropped. And, the decline has been

dramatic for a number of reasons, not all of

them obvious. At first glance, we find that total

enrollment went from 13,217 in 2009 to 10,860 in

2016. But to understand the whole story, you have

to dig deeper. A couple of years ago, legislation was

passed making a program called “dual enrollment”

possible. This is where local high school students are

able to take classes at community colleges to get a

jumpstart on their college career. Those classes take

place mostly on high school campuses around the

county, for example Paso Robles High School has

465 kids currently enrolled in the program. In all,

there are now 2,011 San Luis Obispo County high

school students participating in dual enrollment at

Cuesta College. So, in order to scrutinize the data,

we have to back those numbers out. When we do,

we actually have 8,849 students in 2016 and 12,590

in 2009 (this program did not exist in 2009, but

there were 627 high school students attending for

various reasons at that time, so we’ll back them out,

too). And, this program is expected to grow as more

high schools are added, such as Mission Prep in San

Luis Obispo, which will come on-line next year.

So, in real terms, we have gone from 12,590 to 8,849, which amounts to a 30% decrease

in seven years. But, again, you have to drill down deeper still to understand the forces at

play. Cuesta College is a community college with a mandate to serve residents in its local

area. Most of its students do not look like typical four-year college students, because they

are not. In addition to dual enrollment, Cuesta also educates inmates at the California

Men’s Colony, provides learning and enrichment for local senior citizens through its

“Emeritus College” program, and also offers online courses. Those programs respectively

add up to around 3,000 students, all of which count toward the 8,849 headcount covering

all three of its campuses in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Arroyo Grande plus the

dual enrolled high school students.

It used to be that Cuesta College offered a “back door” of sorts to Cal Poly. That is no

longer the case, as transfers to the university have tightened substantially and, despite the

lip service paid by Cal Poly’s President Jeff Armstrong concerning increasing acceptances

from Cuesta College when he took over in 2011, the number has remained mostly flat.

Last year, 230 Cuesta College transfers were admitted to Cal Poly. Ten years ago, it was

different. If you lived out of the area and your grades were not sufficient to get into Cal

Poly, you could simply put your shoulder to the plow over at Cuesta for a couple of years,

improve your G.P.A, knock out your prerequisites, then transfer to Cal Poly as a junior.

To understand how Cuesta College has impacted the San Luis Obispo housing market,

those are the numbers we have to get our heads around.

In 2009 there were 640 first-time, freshman, out-of-area students attending Cuesta.

That number, too, has dropped. Last year, there were 488—a 24% decline. Not quite

as dramatic as the overall enrollment reduction at 30%, but close. Keep in mind

that students generally do not go to Cuesta for just one year. The data show that

approximately two-thirds, let’s call it 70%, stay for Year 2. And of those that make it

to Year 2, another 70% usually go on to Year 3. Rarely is there a Year 4; by then they

typically have transferred, burned out, or moved on to a full-time job. So, 488 times 70%

is 324; and 324 times 70% is 239—are you still with me?—which means that if we add

488 to 324 and then to 239, right now there around 1,051 out-of-area students attending

Cuesta College. In other words, the net total for rental housing demand in San Luis

Obispo coming from Cuesta College is, give or take, around 1,000 students.

Compare that figure now to Cal Poly’s off-campus rental housing demand at around

14,000. Expressed together, the total college student demand for San Luis Obispo’s

housing stock is 15,000 students—7% are from Cuesta College, 93% are from Cal Poly. If

you consider the fact that Cuesta’s demand is shrinking by 24% per year and Cal Poly’s is

growing by 4-5% per year, it does not require complicated math to see that in five years’

time the ratio will probably look more like this: 255 for Cuesta and 17,868 for Cal Poly

totaling 18,123 students—1% for Cuesta and 99% for Cal Poly. Those are the numbers.

And the nice thing about numbers is—if you study them without bias—they tell you the

story without saying a word. SLO LIFE

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


| TASTE

Cauliflower:

Thanks to deft seasoning and inventive preparations, we’re more open than ever to vegetables’ charms,

but one veg in particular has chefs bowing down to its chameleon-like versatility. Forget frozen florets:

this is the cauliflower you never knew.

BY JAIME LEWIS

Veg of the

Moment

I am a sucker for food trends. Take kale: I did my foodie duty—I grew it,

roasted it into chips, massaged its leathery leaves—until someone informed

me that kale is often used as horse food. Ever since then? I don’t throw my

back out for kale.

I bought a spiralizer, telling my kids their zucchini

coils would be “just like pasta.” (Lies.) I roasted

Brussels sprouts, too, a couple times, but never put

them into heavy rotation.

One vegetable, however, delivers on hype, in my

opinion. With its mildly sweet, nutty flavor and

willingness to play well with other ingredients,

the humble cauliflower is the rare trending veg

that continues to surprise and delight. It’s not

just me: I recently took to the streets of San Luis

Obispo to taste the many ways this cruciferous

hero is winning the hearts of local chefs.

JAIME LEWIS is a world

traveler, and food writer, who

lives in San Luis Obispo.

The Traditional Hit

Given the fact that Asia accounts for 75 percent of the world’s cauliflower

production, it’s no wonder that dishes like aloo gobi (curried cauliflower and

potatoes) and gobi pakora (spiced and fried cauliflower) dominate Indian

restaurant menus.

“Aloo gobi is very basic,” says Hina Batool, who owns Shalimar Restaurant

with her husband, Aasim Sajjad. It doesn’t seem basic at all to me, though,

as she sets a plate of turmeric-yellow aloo gobi on the table and I take a bite;

flavors of cardamom, cumin, ginger, and garlic are as bright and bold as a

bridal sari.

“Gobi pakora needs a little more attention,” she says, sharing that raw

cauliflower is battered in a blend of lentil flour and spices before being deep

fried. I’m relishing the crunch of battered and fried cauliflower. I’m tempted

to wrap several florets up in a blanket of fluffy naan bread, grab a bottle of

Cobra and call it a day. >>

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


1010 Murray Avenue, San Luis Obispo

SierraVistaRegional.com

APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


The Vegan Wonder

When I visit Kreuzberg Coffee Co. on a cold

afternoon, Executive Chef James Voisinet leads me

from the café’s eclectic DIY front room—with raw

plywood surfaces, Edison bulbs, and thrifted sofas—

to the kitchen, where he demonstrates what goes

into making his so-called vegan hot “wings” (aka

deliciously fried spicy cauliflower) with vegan blue

cheese dipping sauce.

“Are you vegan?” I ask, as he flips and tosses fried

cauliflower bits onto a plate for me. He laughs. “No.

I lean vegetarian, but as a chef, I’m what you’d call an

occupational carnivore.” Voisinet tells me he’s been

with Kreuzberg several years, but his background

includes the California Culinary Academy in San

Francisco and significant time working in New York

City kitchens.

He parks a small jar of the “blue cheese” sauce beside

the florets and hands the plate over. I take one crispy,

savory bite and swoon: the florets are silky inside,

kicky with just the right amount of heat while the

dip complements with tang.

“It’s healthy, right?” I say to Voisinet, my mouth full.

“It’s cauliflower,” he says, “but it’s fried. I wouldn’t

exactly call it good-for-you.” >>

84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85


The Market Maverick

“This is a dish I tried out for [a job at] the restaurant

with,” says Chef Elijah Blackburn of the new Thomas

Hill Organic Kitchen, where nearly everything gleams,

from the clean white countertops and mirrors behind

the bar to the chandeliers overhead. He grins and

points to the plate of six roasted cauliflower and truffle

tater tots before me, floating on a little river of lemonherb

aioli.

After pushing a tot through the creamy, chive-y aioli, I

pop it into my mouth; I’m transported to the tater tots

of my hot lunch days, only these tots are tender and,

of course, more complex. I especially like the aioli and

dusting of salt crystals on top.

I ask Blackburn why cauliflower takes such prominence

on the Thomas Hill Organics Kitchen menu. (Another

dish, the woodfired cauliflower, sings with Spanish-

Moorish flavors of romanesco, golden raisins, capers

and almonds.) “Well, we try to stay local and seasonal,”

he says. “Eighty-five percent of our produce comes

from three local farmers’ markets. The menu just

reflects what we find there.” >>

86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87


The Showstopper

The Show Stopper

I’m seated at a high table inside Foremost Wine Company across from

Chef Julie Simon, who sips tea from a mason jar. The decor around us is

just as assertive, hand-wrought, and plant-centric as many of the dishes

that emerge from the Foremost kitchen.

Though she was born in France, Simon’s cuisine can’t be pigeon-holed

as French or American; it would appear, rather, to originate from the far

corners of the world, melded into a new vibrant style all its own. And

cauliflower is just the sort of offbeat, malleable ingredient that lets her

style shine.

“We’ve used cauliflower in many different ways,” Simon says, “but the

roasted cauliflower on the menu now is a regular dish we offer with

different preparations as the seasons change. Right now, it’s very Indian.”

Billed as an appetizer, the dish Simon places before me demands the

presence of an entree: a large half-head of roasted, almond-crusted

cauliflower sits atop pools of raita (Indian yogurt) and sweet mint

chutney. Flecked with pomegranate seeds, it looks like a big, beautiful,

bejeweled brain.

“Here’s a steak knife,” Simon says. I saw off a bite of tender cauliflower

and crisp almond crust, dipped in raita and chutney. A world of vibrant,

confident flavors rush at me: fenugreek, roasted garlic, mint. Can this

really be the same vegetable found in freezer bags with broccoli and

crinkle-cut carrots? SLO LIFE

88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 89


| KITCHEN

DEVILED EGGS

like you’ve never seen them before

BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLAKE ANDREWS

90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


DEVILED EGG FILLING yields 24 halves

15 hard boiled eggs

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1 Tbs yellow mustard

1 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs diced pickle

2 Tbs minced green onion

¼ tsp pepper and pinch of salt

Boil 15 eggs starting from cold water. Bring to a boil and immediately turn off heat

and cover for 10 minutes. Cool under cold running water. Peel immediately.

Cut eggs in half lengthwise and separate yolks into a mixing bowl. Place egg whites

on a sheet pan and set aside.

Add all ingredients for deviled egg filling to yolks in mixing bowl. Mash yolks and

mix well until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the yolk mixture into three separate bowls.

CLASSIC DEVILED EGG yields 8 halves

1/3 recipe of deviled egg filling

1 tsp paprika for garnish

a few sprigs of chives for garnish

½ wedge avocado (optional)

Place 1/3 of the deviled egg filling in a piping bag and fill the egg whites

with the filling. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and chives. Add slice of

avocado if desired.

BACON AND CHEDDAR yields 8 halves

1/3 recipe of deviled egg filling

2 Tbs minced and cooled bacon

1 strip of bacon cooled and chopped for garnish

2 Tbs sharp cheddar finely grated

Using 1/3 of the deviled egg filling, add 2 Tbs minced bacon, and 2 Tbs finely

grated cheddar. Mix together and use piping bag to

fill eggs. Garnish with cooked bacon crumbles.

JESSIE RIVAS is the owner

and chef of The Pairing Knife

food truck which serves the

Central Coast.

SMOKED FISH yields 8 halves

1/3 recipe of deviled egg filling

1Tbs diced parsley

1 oz or 3 Tbs smoked albacore tuna

2 Tbs capers

Fry 1 Tbs capers in a fry pan over hot heat with a little

oil for just a few seconds, set aside. Add parsley, 1 Tbs

minced capers, and 2 Tbs of the fish, minced, to 1/3

of the deviled egg filling. Use piping bag to fill eggs.

Garnish with remaining fish and fried capers. SLO LIFE

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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91


| WINE NOTES

WINTER IMPACT

BY JEANETTE TROMPETER

Iwas on the back roads of Paso

Robles recently on a day that

could only be described as

epic. The sun shone brightly

as I cruised with the top

down on my old convertible.

The hills were green, the

cherry and almond blossoms

dotting them with vibrant bursts of pink

and white. This has been the first spring

in several years that did not come with a

sense of dread. This winter was different,

a rainy season delivered, and as a result it

created this perfect spring day. I savored

every moment.

It took some discipline to not stop at

every winery along Highway 46 West

just to blow off the rest of the day and

hang out for the afternoon, and it got

me to thinking about our local vintners

and what this rainy season meant to

them. We asked for the rain, and we got

it. So what now? Were our winter rains

strong enough for our local vintners to

make up for the lack of foot traffic in

their tasting rooms during those cold

and blustery days? Was it too much too

fast? Certainly, that proved to be the case

for some of our coastal hillsides and our

beloved Highway One through Big Sur.

We feel for our neighbors to the north

who will be working through storm

damage for months to come. Overall,

though, it seems the consistent rains of

late are giving our local agriculturalists

just what they needed for a fresh start to

some great crops come this fall.

Like any crop, grape vines depend a lot

on the soil in which they are planted to

determine how well they produce. And

while the terrain along our stretch of the

state is inherently good for growing wine

grapes, too many dry years can take its

toll, not just on underground aquifers,

but on the quality of the soil itself. Every

plant begins to fight for nourishment,

and some do better than others.

“It is too early to tell what the vintage of

2017 will look like, but we definitely got

a good start with all the rain we saw over

the winter months,” says Daniel Daou, co-owner and

winemaker for Daou Vineyards on Paso Robles’ west

side. “It creates a bigger, healthier crop, with a bigger

canopy, which is great.” He says the heavy rains also

washed a lot of the toxins and salt deposits out of the

soil and has recharged their underground water source.

“We had some erosion, but that we can fix. Usually we

would dry-farm about 80% of the vines, but this year

we’ll dry farm 100%.”

Paul Hoover, owner and winemaker at Still Waters

Vineyards on the east side of Paso Robles, says the

rains allow vintners to take a breath, and regroup, but

reckons that California has likely not endured its last

drought. “Mother Nature helped us this year, and with

replenished aquifers, we won’t have to turn on the

pumps. That’s great, but it’s not a magic fix. We still

need to figure out long-term solutions,” he observes.

Hoover agrees, though, that all crops will do so much

better getting the pH levels down. “You have to have

enough rain to leach salt. When pH levels are higher,

salts are higher and can affect wine quality. So it’s a

great thing to see the rain levels we did this year.”

It’s not just the rains of this past winter that have been

helpful to growers. The temperatures were beneficial

from Paso Robles to the Santa Maria Valley. Jason Haas

is the winemaker at Tablas Creek Vineyards and says

this winter provided a perfect pairing for vines.

“We got the cold in December to get everything

dormant, then it was wet in January and February, and

then cold in March to keep things from sprouting.

We’re getting some bud-break now that it’s warming up;

but so far, so good.” He also reports that the ground has

remained soaked, so it has been difficult for crews to get

out and prune prior to budbreak,

but the sunshine over

the last couple of weeks has

mostly solved that problem.

So as the warmer weather

arrives this spring, we can

all soak it up. We got what

we wished for this winter,

and barring early freezes,

it appears the factors are in

place for 2017 to be a very

good year indeed for Central

Coast wines. So don’t wait. JEANETTE TROMPETER is

a San Luis Obispo native

Clear the calendar and enjoy

and owner of Ruby Shoes

the beauty of the Central Wine Club.

Coast wine country. SLO LIFE

92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93


| BREW

GRAND

TOUR

BY BRANT MYERS

Before there were dozens of local options, and

surely before there were beer tours, there was

one lone brewery in the county, SLO Brewing

Company. Following their move from the

two-story brick building on Garden into a

bespoke three-story edifice on Higuera, they

began constructing The Rock, their new brewing

facility, beer garden, and brewpub adjacent to the airport. Their name is a

clever double-entendre denoting the monolithic rocks on the property, as

well as their roots as a concert venue.

Having attended the groundbreaking ceremony in early 2016, it has been

fun to watch the dirt lot grow into a brewing and entertainment complex.

I was shown around by John Nguyen, whose excitement was palpable,

and got to sample their fresh Wave Wrangler session IPA directly from

the bright tank. For you wine drinkers, this is akin to having a nail pulled

from the barrel or watching a winemaker dip a pipette into the bung and

pull up liquid that has never seen the light of day. Great tropical fruit

bouquet and clean, crisp mouthfeel. I’m looking forward to cracking the

seal of their blue cans on upcoming sunny days.

Fresh beer in hand, I’m led around the rest of the facility including the

impressive walls of empty cans in four distinct colors waiting to be filled

and consumed. The unseen back half of their tasting room and restaurant

is full of shiny stainless steel tanks, sloped floors, and a very sexy Criveller

canning line. Tucked away in corners you can spot some artifacts of

brewing past, such as a wooden sign sporting the original primarycolored

logo, something every hipster or beer aficionado would die to

have hanging in their home, and a mash paddle that is so worn it looks

like it came off the fireplace mantle of a lake home in Maine. We wind

through the lab where long-time brewer Steve Courier, who has seen

SLO Brewing Company move and evolve since 1998, is running quality

control to ensure classic beer recipes get their unique West Coast twist

(hint: dank, resinous hops). More stainless steel greets us in the kitchen

where the air is rife with smoked barbecue aromas emanating from their

local red oak and apple wood pit smoker, while cooks in white uniforms

are busily rushing around arranging offerings on a slab of hardwood to be

served to a lucky customer—me, but more on that later.

Nguyen sweeps his hand across the outside patio beckoning me to

imagine the vision they have for an open-air experience for their guests.

Chairs, tables, fire pits, and yard games will be strategically placed once

the landscaping goes in over the next week or two. Always a sign of the

project coming to a close and the enjoyment of hard work beginning.

We dip into an empty building off the main restaurant and dreams of

watching a SLO Brew concert begin to twirl in my head. 270-degree windows

and roll-up doors will be quite a contrast to the first story of the old brick

building, but with an open floor plan and double the size, it’s easy to imagine

where they’re going to put the stage.

Grand tour complete, and many handshakes later, I’m sat down at their center

table, a long expanse of live-edge center-cut wood, and handed a variety of

beers. In addition to the eight more taps that they share with the downtown

location, The Rock will always have the four portfolio brews you’ll find canned

and distributed. But, the best part about visiting a brewery is that there is

always an offering you can’t get anywhere else. I’m looking at a rainbow of

liquid starting with their unfiltered Mosaic IPA. A single hop varietal that

practically oozes papaya and lemon aromas with a slight haze; it’s a great

refreshing beer that I hope will stick around the lineup as we get into spring.

Next up is a classic that always paired well with live music, their Reggae Red.

A red wheat ale brewed with the sticky, viscous, and downright hard-to-workwith

hemp seeds. It has a solid malt body and the seeds provide just a touch of

nuttiness making it almost like a blend of an amber ale and brown ale with the

mouthfeel of a hefeweizen. A true classic.

While admiring the setting sun coming through the windows illuminating

the line-up of beers, I’m roused from my photography by an array of smoking

barbecue on a plank of wood reminding me that I’m also in a gastropub. Half

of a maple glazed chicken, which has a skin like candy, and Carolina-style

pulled pork with that sweet tang so well known to the region, sit surrounded

by sides of Aussie baked beans, sweet potato, and poblano succotash. The plates

are adorned with house-made pickles —a beer drinkers side salad—holding just

enough acidic bite to cut through the hoppy beers, Texas toast to sop up the

juices as the meat cools, and onions to add crunch to

your tender meats. I made sure they were going to be

open for at least another three hours as I dug in.

BRANT MYERS is owner

of Hop On Beer Tours, a

concierge service for craft

beer enthusiasts along the

Central Coast.

Meal complete and to-go boxes exciting me for

the leftovers to come, I sip on my final beer. A

Scout Stout, served on nitro for that creamy head,

it truly is a digestif and great closer to the meal.

Collaborated with SLO’s own Scout Coffee Co.,

this stout has just enough sweetness to act as

dessert, roastiness to complement the smoked

meats, and that melt-in-your-mouth foamy head

to make you feel like you’re having a cappuccino

to finish your evening. If this is how they operate

during a soft-opening, we can expect great things to

come from SLO Brew in the future. SLO LIFE

94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


Rockin' Good Beers & Top Notch Food

736 Higuera Street 738 Higuera Street 855 Aerovista Place

(805) 543-1843 Learn more at SLOBREW.com Follow Us APR/MAY at #SLOBREW 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95


MAR 31

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USE

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| HAPPENINGS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

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21

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EROICA CALIFORNIA

Eroica California offers a most memorable cycling

experience—a weekend of cycling entertainment,

an ocean view ride with various route lengths, and

a Concourse d’Elegance for vintage bikes. Join

this two-day festival and experience the ride of

your life.

April 8 – 9 // eroicacalifornia.com

APRIL

FROZEN

Angry, humane, and compassionate, Frozen

is an extraordinary play that entwines the

lives of a murderer, the mother of one of

his victims, and his psychologist to explore

our capacity for forgiveness, remorse, and

change after an act that would seem to rule

them out entirely.

April 21 -22 // slolittletheatre.org

SHEN YUN

There was a time when the world

was full of magic and splendor, and

all on earth existed in harmony

with heaven. You could see it in the

arts, feel it in the air, and hear it in

the beat of a drum. This was a land

of heroes and sages, dragons and

phoenixes, emperors and immortals.

April 11 – 12 // pacslo.org

MORRO BAY KITE FESTIVAL

The Morro Bay Kite Festival is a free

annual event for kite enthusiasts and

families. Enjoy a fun family event

and some of the best kite-flying wind

in the world.

April 29 – 30 // morrobaykitefestival.org

6-part workshop led by

Franz Wisner starting April 11 th

REGISTER AT

Collaboration-LLC.com/events

(805) 541-9040

96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

DIRTY CELLO

From China to Italy, and all over

the U.S., Dirty Cello brings the

world a high energy and unique

spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by

vivacious cross-over cellist, Rebecca

Roudman, Dirty Cello is cello like

you’ve never heard before.

April 22 // sloma.org


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APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97


| HAPPENINGS

1

2

3

4

5

6

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8

9

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WINE RAIL EXCURSION

Take a round trip to Pomar Junction

Winery in Paso Robles on Amtrak’s

Coast Starlight. Enjoy the entertainment

and wine-tasting included in your fare,

and buy dinner or bring your own picnic.

May 5 // slorrm.com

MAY

ANTIQUE STREET FAIR

Downtown Cayucos becomes a pedestrian

zone while browsers and shoppers can check

out the many goods being offered by local

and visiting vendors.

May 7 // cayucoschamber.com

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

FLAVOR OF SLO

Enjoy an afternoon at the beautiful

and historic Jack House and Gardens

in downtown San Luis Obispo while

sampling some of the best food, wine,

and beer the Central Coast has to offer.

Each year this event raises thousands

of dollars to benefit United Way of San

Luis Obispo County.

May 6 // flavorofslo.com

OUR TOWN

Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for

Drama, Our Town follows the small

town of Grover’s Corners. Narrated

by a stage manager and performed

with minimal props and sets, this is

the “must-see” play in the canon of

American theatre. Don’t miss this

classic American drama.

May 12 – 28 // slolittletheatre.org

MIRACLE MILES FOR KIDS

Run a 10K from Morro Rock to the

Cayucos Pier and make a difference in

the community. The funds earned through

registration and pledging help to meet

critical needs of the over 1,400 children,

youth, and families annually.

May 13 // mm4k.com

98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017


APR/MAY 2017 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99


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100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2017

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