2019 May Colony Magazine


The Story of Us - The Wonderful Communities of Atascadero, Morro Bay, and Santa Margarita, delivered monthly.


MAY 2019


of the




Antique Equipment Show

Santa Margarita Ranch

Warbirds, Wings & Wheels 11

Memorial Day Events

Frank Sanchez

Emily Reneau




May 2019

22 19



24 26




16 29


06 Publisher’s Letter


08 Colony Buzz: Joy Park Opens, For All!

09 Colony District: The Renaissance Continues

12 Santa Margarita: 130 Years of History

13 Summer Fun with the Kids

14 Atascadero Printery: Performing Arts Future


16 Frank Sanchez' Fingerprints on Atascadero

18 Friends of the Lake Protecting Our Jewel


28 Memorial Day Events Around North County

29 Golden State Classics Car Show in Paso

30 37th annual Paso Robles Wine Festival

31 SLO Train Day

32 Experimental Aircraft

33 Hoofbeat & Calendar

34 SLO County Education

By Dr. James J. Brescia, Ed. D.


35 Atascadero City Council Report

36 Emily Reneau Takes Helm at Chamber


37 Tuesdays in the Park BBQs Scheduled

38 Dancing With Our Stars Winners




40 Business Spotlight: American West Tire Pros

41 Business Spotlight: North County Pilates


42 Atascadero Plans & Development, Pt. I

44 Relay for Life

45 Education First: Exchange Program




46 Embarcadero Improvements Continue

47 City Changes Spark Growth Concerns

48 Cruisin' Morro Bay Car Show this Weekend


50 CASA: Hope for the Future Fundraiser


Santa Margarita Ranch

Pacific Coast Railroad

Blowing Smoke

Photo by Nicholas Mattson

4 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

2019 DWOS Event Results!

Proceeds Raised by 7 Community Non-

2019 Grand Champions Tom Butler

& Pro Choreographer Kara Frenzel

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation Tom Butler $48,855

Atascadero Kiwanis

Jan Lynch $35,191

Atascadero Printery Foundation

Karen McNamara $24,231

Friends of the Atascadero Library

El Camino Homeless Organization

Atascadero AAUW

Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation

Terrie Banish

Heather Moreno

Steffi Ketzler

Susan Funk

Nancy Beckett





Total Gross Funds Raised (before expenses) $211,000

Cheryl Strahl Photography

Interested in Applying

to Participate in

2020 DWOS?

Eligibility: 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organizations in SLO North County

Application: Available online May 1st: FriendsoftheAtascaderoLibrary.org

Applications must be received no later than May 31st, 2019.

We Appreciate Directed our 2019 by Molly DWOS Comin EVENT SPONSORS!

Diamond Sponsor $10,000

Opolo Vineyards

Vicky Morse

Julie C Fallon MD

John & Yvonne Webster

Emerald Sponsor $3,500

Howard Products, Inc.

Donna O'Shaughnessy

Atascadero 76-Don Giessinger

Awakening Ways Spiritual Community

Gold+ Sponsors $2500

Colony Magazine

Gold Sponsors $2,000

Eric J. Gobler, Civil Engineering

Greg Malik Real Estate

Don & Helen Jernigan

Ron & Liz Helgerson

Atascadero News

Bill Gaines Audio

BHE Renewables


So Cal Gas

Silver Sponsors $1,000

Bill & Grenda Ernst

Grigger & Alice Jones

American Riviera Bank

Hope Chest Emporium

Leon & Sandy Fairbanks

K.Jons Diamonds & Gems

Cheryl Strahl Photography

Richard & Marguerite Pulley

David Burt & Virginia Severa

El Camino Veterinary Hospital

Rob Garcia Wealth Management

County Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Cheryl Strahl Photography

Silver Sponsors $1,000

Sue Hayes


Idler's Home

DJ Joy Bonner

Brian Reeves

Highlight Media

MGE Underground

The Real Estate Book

Bloom N’ Grow Florist

Central Coast Brewing

Mid Coast Geo Technical

Central Coast Tent & Party

2019 DWOS Champions

1st Place Tom Butler

2nd Place Jan Lynch

3rd Place Karen McNamara

Save the Dates for

DWOS 2020

March 26, 27 & 28th!!

Something Worth Reading




Nicholas Mattson


Hayley Mattson


Denise McLean


Travis Ruppe


Luke Phillips


Sue Dill


Meagan Friberg

Mark Diaz

Dr. James Brescia, Ed.D.

Simone Smith

Melissa Chavez

Neil Farrell

Heather Young

Sarah Pope

Bec Braitling

Chuck Desmond

Atascadero Historical Society


Magazine Mama” Millie Drum


Pam Osborn


Jamie Self


Karli Twisselman


Carmen Kessler


Dana McGraw





(805) 239-1533



MAIL: P.O. Box 3996

Paso Robles, CA 93447



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Colony Magazine ©2019

is a local business owned and published by

local people, Nicholas & Hayley Mattson

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“You have to keep breaking your

heart until it opens.”

— Rumi

“Raise your words, not your

voice. It is rain that grows

flowers, not thunder.”

— Rumi

“I've found in life the more you

practice, the better you get. If

you want something enough and

work hard to get it, your chances

of success are greater.”

— Ted Williams

Well, May is a big month

around here. And by

around here, I mean

around here but also personally.

I'll tell you why.

My wife and I met in high school. Actually, my friend Josh who had just

finished his freshman year at Templeton High School was explaining a bit

of what the school was like as I was transferring in from North County

Christian School as a sophomore. Hayley Hickox was on his list of girls

who dated guys out of our league.

For some reason, her name stuck out to me like a cosmic chime. Well, I

must have played my cards right in biology class with my pullover hoodie

and Shaquille O'Neal Orlando Magic jersey overtop — I think I wore that

outfit a couple times a week — because in my junior year, Hayley asked me

to the Sadie Hawkins dance and we dated for a few months. Sadly, I wasn't

ready for that level of commitment, so I had to call it off. I regretted that

for the next 13 years.

Fast-forward to May 2, 2009 when I picked Hayley up from her hotel

room in San Luis Obispo. She was visiting from Colorado for a job interview.

Her birthday was May 6. We got married May 5, 2012. And of course,

Mother's Day is May 12 this year. You can't forget May the 4th (be with

you) is international Star Wars day. The last Monday in May is Memorial

Day. May 11 is Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels 11 at Estrella Warbirds Museum.

May 24-26 is Best of the West show at Santa Margarita Ranch. Paso

Robles Wine Festival Weekend is May 16-19. May 5-11 is National Travel

and Tourism week. My sister's birthday is May 20. And there is much more.

So yeah, May is a big month around here ... like around here. So we hope

you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we enjoy putting it together.

Get outside, and enjoy the great people, places, playthings, and great natural

beauty that our home provides and the visitors that come to enjoy it with us.

Remember to slow down and smell the flowers, and don't get too bent

out of shape on the road. As traffic increases with new residents and visitors,

some of the first places we make an impression is on the roads, which can

be impersonal and sometimes a bit awkward.

The absolute best thing about about our community is the people, and

that is our body politic. Every one of us is an ambassador, and an advocate.

Each one of us has patience, kindness, goodwill, mercy, love, respect, and

gratitude of which we carry an endless supply. We do. Don't forget that.

Please enjoy this issue of Colony Magazine.

Nicholas Mattson



If thou wouldest win Immortality

of Name, either do things worth

the writing, or write things

worth the reading.

— Thomas Fuller, 1727

6 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

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May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 7



After nearly six years of work, Joy Park has opened

in Atascadero next to Colony Park Community Center.

The park is an inclusive park that has something

for those with all abilities. One feature is that the

entire playground is fenced in to give parents of

elopers peace of mind at the park.

Photos by Heather Young

Atascadero Planning Commission

Vice Chairman Mark Dariz enjoys

the treehouse at Joy Park.

All ages and abilities enjoy

the new playground near Colony

Park Community Center

The Hope Chest Emporium




Old Ranch and Antique to Just-Made Local Goods

We Carry a Unique Blend

8 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Atascadero Downtown


The Renaissance Continues...

More places to eat and drink make

downtown a walkable ecosystem

By Nicholas Mattson

In 2017, when it was announced that Mike Zappas

planned to develop the west side of El Camino Real

between West Mall and Traffic Way, I immediately

hit Facebook with a vote for him as the Citizen of the

Year in Atascadero.

Of all the fighting for Walmart, schemes to move dentists

away from Sunken Gardens, attempts to secure more downtown

parking, or bridges here and there — nothing can match

the real and positive impact that a useful, massive, thoughtful

development would have in the heart of the Colony District.

I didn’t know Mike Zappas well, but I knew enough to

know that he was capable of developing something truly beneficial

— and like a defibrillator that hit the chest of the city,

the pulse came back.

I spent the last two years connecting with downtown and

with the business community as a whole, and the buzz of the

Zappas’ La Plaza project was universal and palpable. I credit

their plans and efforts over the past years for the state of

Atascadero’s downtown now, and the growth we can expect

to see in the future.

Many of the business owners downtown raved about the

excitement the project brought and businesses over the past

year have sunk their teeth in downtown to move in, or stay,

with great expectations.

Directly across from the project, Entrada Avenue is seeing

a bloom of new business and has the makings of a special

atmosphere that makes it, arguably, the best street in the

Colony District.

With earthmovers now getting foundations ready, the vision

is coming together. Let’s go downtown to see what has

happened in the past year.

We ran an article in Paso Robles Magazine in March 2018,

when a feeling of “renaissance” was surging. It has certainly

grown since then, and nothing has matured as nicely as Entrada

Avenue, which is becoming an entity of its own. About a

year ago, it was a street with nothing to eat. Now, it is literally

its own ecosystem that can support life indefinitely.

Start at Dark Nectar, waking you up in the morning with

a fresh cuppa Joe, you can hit lunch at Phō 4 U. Top the afternoon

off with a brewski from Dead Oak, or stop by Fossil

Wine Bar for a variety of tastings — or if you are looking

for something that won’t raise your BAC, head back to Dark

Nectar for a pint of Whale’s Tale kombucha.

Within a few doors, there is shopping for almost the

whole family with Baby’s Babble serving the young’ns, Anna

& Mom hitting a variety of notes that really demands firsthand

experience, and Farron Elizabeth putting it down for the

ladies with custom threads for a bevy of occasions.

You could possibly stay on Entrada long enough to need a

haircut and Nate’s Barbershop is there to clean you up with a

fresh look in a classic barbershop in which you might expect

a quartet to serenade the snip.

That is just a taste of Entrada, and we’ll head back down

there for more in our Art issue in June.

Some of the new businesses we covered last year are maturing.

Mr. Putter’s Putt Putt had been recently installed as SLO

County’s only miniature golf. Pair that with Hop’s Bounce

House, and you have a nice set of family entertainments

where once was not.

Continued on page 41

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 9


Big Heart

By Simone Smith

Do you hear it? Off in the distance is

that unmistakable sound of a train

whistle before the increasing engine

rumble and clack screech of the metal wheels

following the track, finally bringing the familiar

sight of a train as it thunders through town.

On Saturday, April 20, 1889, it was the

arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad that

announced to the world the birth of the new

town of Santa Margarita. An arrangement had

been made between Patrick Murphy, the owner

of the Santa Margarita Ranch, and Southern

Pacific for the railroad to run through the ranch

on its way south and for the development of

a new town in which Murphy would receive

a share of the profits. An exciting day was

planned with a grand auction to sell off lots

in town. Special railroad excursion rides were

available and a “grand barbeque” was hosted

by Patrick Murphy, assisted by his “vaqueros.”

From that point on, the town of Santa Margarita

has had a view of progress as the rail

connection was made over the grade and people

and goods, including cattle and grain from local

“Santa Margarita has seen

history as vehicles parade

through town by rail and road”

ranches and farms were more easily transported

across the state. As time progressed, sights

and sounds changed. El Camino Real running

parallel to the rails was paved to better serve the

automobiles and trucks moving through town.

The view from Santa Margarita has seen

history as vehicles parade through town by







rail and road, with each new sound signaling

the arrival of something different and exciting.

Kids young and old perk up to watch the train

coming through, whether it’s passenger, freight

or something special. We’ve been privileged to

have had a front-row view when the Ringling

Bros. Circus train made its final trip, or when

American Orient Express, military or other

trains with private cars were added. Our short

section of El Camino Real has treated locals

to the viewing of everything from scooter and

antique motorcycle clubs to antique car tours

and luxury sports car rallies passing through on

their way north-south or east-west.

On Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26,

you will certainly hear that unmistakable

sound of a train whistle blowing, however, this

whistle will be that belonging to a steam train

offering rides on the historic Santa Margarita

Ranch as part of the festivities for the annual

Best of The West Antique Equipment Show.

The show is fun for all ages and includes earth

moving demonstrations, equipment displays,

food and drink, military and tractor parades

and more.


For more information, go to





Car Wash

Hwy 41 & 101 Exit 219 Atascadero, CA 93422

12 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Camps and Parks, from the North County to the Coast

By Sarah Pope

he tail end of our much-needed rain has

left the boys and I dreaming of summertime.

Enjoying the endless hours of splashing

around at the waterpark and eating ice cream

for dinner, living without a care in the world

but only to make sure we have on enough sunscreen.

Three entire months of NO homework,

NO early bedtime, just fun in the sun! I will not

miss having to pack the kids lunches in the early

morning or waking up the little one so we’re not

late to school. But, let’s be real, three months free

of structure and routine could possibly drive a

mama (and some kids) a bit cuckoo.

There are a few summer staples that get us

(me) through the break like Playtime Discoveries

summer camps for ages 4 to 11. They also

offer year-round programs. My 3-year-old and

I took advantage of the Mommy and Me classes

with program director Dorothy Nelson. It

was fun to meet new mommies while watching

my little guy interact with babies his age.

My boys and I look forward to the summer

Lego Construction Camp, Harry Potter, Mermaids,

Unicorns and Fairies, Oh My!, Creative

Campers, and a Mad Scientist Camp being

offered this summer. Check out playtimediscoveries.com

and get your mad scientist ready.

The Paso Robles Sports Club is where we

like to spend some of the hottest days. Most

times we arrive with our packed lunch and

swim noodles to a pool all to ourselves. It was

always a nice change of pace from the wet and

wild Ravine Water Park! The Sports Club also

offers a Summer Sports Program for kids. The

camp includes swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball,

FitKids and other fun activities.

One we personally haven't tried (but is definitely

on our 2019 summer bucket list) is the

Scoot & Skate Camp offered by The Templeton

Recreation Department. The Scoot Camp

starts in mid-June and Skate Camp in mid-July,

running for one week each. The cost includes

a snack, Templeton Skatepark T-shirt and a

group photo. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Del Mar Park in Morro Bay is on our weekly

itinerary. There is a magic spot on Highway 41

where the temperature drops from 100 degrees

to a refreshing 70 degrees. Del Mar Park is a

hidden gem, tucked away behind a lovely Morro

Bay neighborhood. Their amazing four-story

playground is surrounded by green grass and

hills and a running seasonal creek surrounded

by trees (aka “the forest”). We have yet to forget

our Nerf guns because Del Mar has been

named (by my boys) as one of the Top 5 parks

to have Nerf gun battles.

So, whether you are escaping the heat on the

coast or cooling off from the heat in one of the

pools at the Paso Robles Sports Club, enjoy

your summer and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 13

PRINTERY to be New Performing Arts Center

By Mark Diaz

The foundation created

to reclaim, rehabilitate

and repurpose the oldest

building in Atascadero's original

Civic Center, the Printery, continues

to make progress on the historic

project. Karen McNamara,

Atascadero Printery Foundation

President, founded the organization

to honor her late husband who

had worked on plans to restore the

building. McNamara’s work to return

the Printery to its former glory

encapsulates an Atascadero motto,

“Vision of one — work of many.”

Last year, the APF took possession

of the building’s deed and

partnered with the Atascadero Performing

Arts Center Committee.

The goal of the two organizations is

not simply to restore the dilapidated

structure but to establish it as a

community performing arts center.

“If you look at the studies, it’s

incredible what a performing arts

studio does for a community as far

as reducing drug use among the

kids,” McNamara said.

A 2012 report by the California

Cultural and Historical Endowment

researched 22 separate impact

studies to assess the benefits

of historic restoration. The report

states that studies are “overwhelmingly

consistent regarding the

beneficial impacts to a community’s

economy from rehabilitation

activities” and the “most common

and most significant benefits

involved job creation, property

value stabilization, growth and

cultural tourism.”

“We’re on our way to doing

bigger and better things,”

McNamara said.

For the past three and a half

years, the Atascadero Printery

Foundation has attained money

through the community’s generosity.

This type of 'bake sale' fundraising

encourages local awareness and

personal investment in the project



to appreciate the Founders and present up-to-date information about

the efforts and actions of the foundation. The reception is open to the

public, and anyone interested in more information can attend.

Saturday, May 11 • 6-10 p.m. • Springhill Suites Marriott

through the pride in contributing

to a worthy cause. One way the

APF offered the public to participate

is the Founder’s Club which

honors the first 100 people to donate

$1,000 or more to the project.

Approximately 60 people currently

claim the Founder title.

McNamara said that the nonprofit

is launching a capital campaign

with the goal of reaching $1

million. In the past two years, the

APF raised $150,000, a remarkable

achievement for a fledgling

organization and a small group of

very dedicated people. The amount

does not include the many hours

donated to the cause. Volunteer

hours for APF contain real sweat

in their sweat equity by putting

their time to not only raise money

for the Printery but also cleaning

the building and protecting it from

further harm.

The nonprofit is exploring

matching funds grants that help

capitalize on those volunteer hours.

In some instances, grants will award

a monetary value to in-kind services

and APF requests volunteers to log

their hours with this in mind. For

instance, McNamara mentioned

a lady who made a quilt to be offered

in a silent auction, her hours

spent in creation also can go toward

the matching monetary value

from a grant.

The foundation continues to

work with the City, meeting every

other month. With its capital

campaign, the APF plans to expand

its focus of fundraising to

include state and federal grants.

McNamara said that City Manager

Rachelle Rickard suggested

various state agencies to contact

in order to garner more funds

for the project.

Another boon for the APF is

the possibility of Atascadero entering

into the Certified Local

Government Program. The jointly

administered program of the National

Park Service and the State

Historic Preservation Offices gives

communities the opportunity to

receive federal funds for the preservation

of historical sites as well as

a dedicated federal staff that offers

training, general preservation aide

and other benefits.

Local communities work

through a certification process to

become recognized as a Certified

Local Government. Once certified

they become an active partner in

the Federal Historic Preservation

Program. McNamara pointed

out that the Printery falls under

federal protection being listed in

the National Register of Historic

Places. Therefore, the building's

federal status offers two choices

to the community, either make

it into something useful for the

public or let it remain a blight

on the City — tearing it down is

not an option.

All things being equal, if the

foundation’s estimation of $8 million

to rehabilitate the building

were met tomorrow, McNamara

said that the Printery could be

available for public use in a little

as one year’s time. She said that a

recent evaluation by a brick mason

working for the APF gave promising

results. McNamara stated that

the mason was amazed at how well

the structure had endured the test

of time and attested to the fact the

repairing the building was not what

he would call a “big job.”

“He was absolutely in awe at the

condition of the building and the

brick,” McNamara said.

Representing APF, McNamara

participated in Dancing with Our

Stars, a fundraiser established by the

Friends of Atascadero Library. APF

placed third in the fundraiser effort

hauling in approximately $25,000

for their mission. The DWOS was

first created to garner funds to in

order to provide the City with a

larger public library. With its goal

completed, DWOS continues on

by providing local nonprofits the

change to raise awareness and funds

for their causes as well as show off

their new dance moves.

Over the years, valuable things

have gone missing from the

building. One such item is part

of a mural that greeted visitors in

the main entrance. The painting

holds significance for the City

and the building. McNamara asks

for the one of a kind artwork to

please be returned.

For more information about the

organization, visit


14 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Presenting Sponsor:

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Lighthouse 5K

Fun Run & Family Day

June 1, 2019

8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pomar Junction

Vineyard & Winery

5036 S. El Pomar, Templeton

The 7th annual


Presenting Sponsor:

Leo Tidwell Excavating Corporation

• Run or walk!

• Kids 1/2 mile & 100-yard dash

• Food, vendor fair & bounce house

• Register online: EventBrite.com



The 7th annual

Lighthouse 5K

Fun Run & Family Day

June 1, 2019

8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pomar Junction

Vineyard & Winery

5036 S. El Pomar, Templeton

Run or walk!

• Kids 1/2 mile & 100-yard dash

• Food, vendor fair & bounce house

• Register online: EventBrite.com



A program dedicated to overcoming addiction through

awareness, prevention, intervention, and education.





P a

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Owns a Living Legacy of Local Artistry

Atascadero resident Frank Sanchez,

pictured above dancing with his sister

Lola, has built a legacy of artistic

contributions in the community

including designing the Colony Days

Parade float pictured at left.

By Melissa Chavez

When meeting Frank Sanchez, one

sees a genial man from a bygone

era. He was born Jose Francisco in

1928 in Los Angeles to Francisco and Escolastica

of Zacatecas, Mexico. Frank grew up in

Santa Paula where his family worked as migrant

laborers before moving to Sanger to manage

a 40-acre vineyard. The ninth of 11 children,

Frank was raised in a home filled with music.

“My older brothers were always singing and

there was always a guitar playing in the house,”

said Frank, who preferred the piano. “When I

was 10, I got into folkloric dancing. When I

was 15, a carload of siblings and cousins would

drive to Fresno for the weekly dances and the

tardeadas. I’ve been dancing ever since.”

In the army, Frank trained at Camp Roberts

and was assigned to the Presidio in San Francisco.

There, he continued his study in ballroom

dance as an instructor. It was on a weekend pass

to Fresno that Frank met Mary Louise Torrez

in 1951 and they married in 1956.

In 1959, Frank and Mary moved to Atascadero,

where he worked at Atascadero Guarantee

Savings and Loan and in real estate. But he impacted

his community most significantly through

his sense of creativity — designing parade floats

and construction projects, fundraising with the

Lions Club, and choreographing the Miss California

Organization. He even shared the screen

with Donald O’Connor in the film “Out to Sea.”

Frank Sanchez accepts the "King of Dance"

award during his 90 th birthday party.

A charter member of Pioneer Players community

theater, Frank performed as a singer,

dancer, choreographer and director. He also

painted sets and served as president in what was

the longest-running live performance organization

in the North County. For years, Frank

taught dance and performance etiquette to the

next generation at schools and studios throughout

the county, including with local icon, the

late Pat Jackson. At Jackson’s memorial service,

Frank and dancer Theresa Slobodnik performed

a Bolero in her honor.

To Frank’s many talents can be added sketch

artist. His large, hand-drawn image of wife Mary

hangs near his home’s front door and serves as an

early testament to the love of his life. In her 2011

obituary, Mary was recalled as “beautiful, feisty,

funny, and passionate.” It’s evident that his wife

is quietly but profoundly missed.

Together, Frank and Mary raised Doriana,

Dana, Mara and Steven, the eldest of whom

followed Frank into the performing arts. An

Emmy nominee, Doriana has for more than

30 years directed and choreographed tours for

Cher and worked extensively in the entertainment

industry. As a costumer, Dana worked in

film and television for a decade. And Mara’s

daughter, Mikaela, is a professional dancer

who has traveled the world.

In 2013, Frank joined the Friends of Atascadero

Library’s Dancing with Our Stars as a choreographer

and served as Artistic Director from

2015 through 2018 and created three dance

numbers for the 2019 show. Now the largest

annual event in Atascadero, DWOS grossed

$210,000 in 2019. Approximately $173,000 will

benefit local nonprofits including Atascadero

Library, Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation,

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, American

Association of University Women, ECHO

Homeless shelter, Atascadero Printery Foundation,

and the Humane Society Education Program,

sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Atascadero.

“Frank is the epitome of a classic gentleman

— perfectionism and kindness. It’s an honor

to know and love him,” said Jeannie Malik,

vice-president of Friends of the Library. An

early supporter of DWOS, Jeannie took on the

role of Event Coordinator in 2012. When she

approached Frank to serve as Artistic Director.

16 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Frank Sanchez poses for a publicity photo during his younger days.

All photos contributed by Frank Sanchez

“He raised the professionalism tenfold,”

Jeannie said. “‘Do it again’ is his favorite phrase.

Frank has this saying, ‘You have to plan your

entrance and exit and you strive to make a

show-stopper routine.’ And Frank does just

that. He’s a perfectionist!”

After a busy, four-year stint with DWOS,

Frank turned over the reins to Molly Comin,

a DWOS alumnus and Tap Director at Artistry

in Motion, who agrees with Jeannie about

Frank’s work ethic.

“Frank is a perfectionist and he likes to take

his time, much like a painter with an easel,”

Molly said. “He doesn’t have everything choreographed

in his head; he creates a masterpiece

on the spot. Even at 90 years old, he’s bank!”

The Mercer-Sanchez Scholarship Fund, a

nonprofit administrated by the North County

Dance and Performing Arts Foundation,

reflects Frank’s desire to support male dance

students who hope to perfect their crafts. Approved

scholarship recipients must prove their

eligibility by attending Class Act Dance and

Performing Studio classes in ballet, jazz, hip

hop and tap dance and take part in local performances.

The recipient for 2019 was local dancer

Oscar Gutierrez.

Since his youth, Frank has observed how

music has the capacity to unify people from all

walks of life, including his own family.

“I’ve learned that music goes ‘over the fence’

in our understanding of one another and crosses

all cultures,” Frank said. “For my children, I

want them to be happy and continue to be close

to each other.”

In addition to being crowned Colony Days

King in 2016, Frank was crowned the “King of

Dance” in a room of 180 people for his 90th

birthday at Atascadero Lake Pavilion in September

2018. Frank cheered on his son, Steven,

who surprised his father with a performance of

“Cuban Pete,” a lively Desi and Lucy Arnaz comedic

dance routine with Christina Troxel that

had Frank on his feet in applause.

A stroke several years ago sidelined Frank

for a time, and he now uses a cane to maintain

his balance. But when the music starts, physical

distractions fall by the wayside as sense memory,

rhythm and elegance take over.

“He’s earned respect his entire life,” Molly

said. “In North County, you’d be hard-pressed

to find someone who has earned more respect

in the ballroom dance community and

countywide. He’s a performer, he has a lot

of vision and he knows what he wants to do.

Don’t argue with him. He’s always right as

rain. That’s Frank!”

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 17

Friends of

Atascadero Lake

Nonprofit works to keep Atascadero waterway clean and healthy

by Mark Diaz

Despite the fact that Atascadero Lake falls

under the jurisdiction of the City Parks

and Recreation Department, a group of

dedicated citizens is responsible for accomplishing

leaps and bounds in the restoration and maintenance

of the lake. Friends of the Atascadero

Lake, a nonprofit dedicated to the wellbeing of

the body of water, has for years worked to restore,

protect and improve the lake.

Founded in 2013, FOAL maintains its staunch

advocacy of the lake and contributes to its wellbeing

on a daily basis. Though the organization strives

to maintain a cooperative approach with the City

instead of an adversarial one, it took years for the

City to take the group seriously. FOAL President

Bob Edmond said that it was only until the council

realized that the group was not going to give up lobbying

and that they had the best intentions in mind

for the lake that the City began to work with them.

“We’ve been recognized at this point,” Edmond

said, “and initially we were not.”

FOAL secretary Nancy Hair said that the City

offers fundraising opportunities for the organization.

She referred to the Tamale Festival where the

council allowed FOAL to host beer and wine sales

for the event and collect the proceeds, which earned

them approximately $14,000. That being said, both

FOAL and some private citizens have voiced how

they would like to see the council dedicate a certain

percentage of the city’s budget to the lake. The city

council works with several nonprofits to help them

raise money for their individual causes and must

make tough decisions between what they can do

and what they must do. Still, those in favor of the

lake contend that it is a public attraction and should

be maintained by the City.

FOAL spends $5,100

for electricity to pump

water into the lake six months out of the year.

The nonprofit would like to see the City take responsibility

for the general maintenance of the

lake so its members can focus on beautification

and enhancement. A portion of the check donated

by Quota International of Atascadero, a local

nonprofit, would go toward the lake’s electric bill.

FOAL has already provided three aeration devices

to improve the health of the body of water

and plans to add more when funds become available.

The organization also paid for the drilling

of a new well and the installation of pipes to help

provide water to the lake during the dry season.

The lake was originally fed by three wells but due

to lack of upkeep, they filled with silt and became

useless. Hair said they sent a letter to the City

requesting that it maintain the new year well provided

by FOAL, but have not received a response.

The nonprofit continues to work on the development

of high-quality trail placards that will be

placed along the 1.3-mile path around the lake.

FOAL volunteers work to keep the lake beautiful

in more ways than just acting as advocates.

Every day — sometimes two times a day —

volunteers clear the screen on the intake pump

located in Atascadero Creek. The screen is designed

to keep Steelhead trout, an endangered fish,

from getting killed by the pipe that feeds the lake

but easily becomes clogged with debris, making

it inefficient. Incidentally, steelhead and rainbow

trout are genetically identical. The only difference

between the two fish is that steelhead migrate from

the ocean and into freshwater streams for breeding

purposes from December to May while rainbow

trout spend the entirety of their lives in freshwater.

Quota presents Friends of the Lake with a $500 Check

Issues surrounding Atascadero Lake can be as

murky as the water can get and there is no easy

solution. Hair said that since the lake is publicly

owned, any changes or maintenance the City

wants to undertake must go through governmental

entities that snarl any process with red tape.

To further muddy the waters, the lake is designated

as part of a Blue Line Stream by the U.S. Department

of the Interior Geological Survey because

it shows a solid or broken blue line on 7.5 Minute

Series quadrangle maps which makes it subject to

federal environmental regulations. In short, numerous

studies and reports must be completed

before anything can be done to the lake. For example,

in order to curb the overgrowth of algae, a

consultant was hired to do a study on how to address

the issue. Once the protocol was devised it

had to go through multiple approvals before it could

be implemented. Furthermore, when the lake was

dredged, agricultural businesses wanted to purchase

the soil as fertilizer, however, the government would

not allow it to be sold due to contamination issues.

There are some benefits of having Department

of Fish and Wildlife oversight. Edmond said that

the department agreed to stock the lake with sterile

trout for fishing once the City builds a fish screen at

the spillway. Evidently, the lake does contain some

fish — at least enough to support the bald eagles

that have taken up residence at the park.

On May 18th the Friends of Atascadero Lake

will host its fourth annual LakeFest. The organization

also hosts cleanup days throughout the

year where the public is invited to help keep the

lake’s perimeter clear of overgrowth and trash to

help maintain its natural beauty.

For more information or to join FOAL,

visit their website at


18 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

MAY 11

By Meagan Friberg

Photo by Steven Lochen

11 th Annual Event Showcases

Military Vehicles, Planes, BMX Stunts,

Displays, Classic Cars, Kids’ Zone,

Swap Meet, Food, Drink, And More!

There truly is something for everyone at Warbirds, Wings,

and Wheels 11, taking place on Saturday, May 11 on the

grounds of the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles.

More than just an air or car show, this annual event with a

festival atmosphere is chock full of exciting activities and

plenty to do and see for the entire family.

“This event is for kids of all ages, from the little ones all

the way up to the grandparents,” said Carol Verstuyft,

WWW11 coordinator. “Youngsters will enjoy our Kids

Zone with bounce houses, face painting and, new this year,

the StuntMasters BMX with amazing stunts and jumps to

keep the crowd engaged. We will also have a swap meet,

vendor fair, live music, raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing, and

expanded food court. Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels is a

spectacular event with so much excitement going on!”

All museum buildings will be open throughout

the day. Families are encouraged to

browse through hundreds of displays, situated

inside and outside, with many in chronological

order thanks to Curator Jill Thayer.

“Recently, we installed a 27-foot digital

mural of C-47s with paratroopers landing in

Normandy to honor those who served, and

May 2019 The Story of Us | 19

Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, a WWII C-47 owned

by the Gooney Bird Group that is a featured display

at the museum,” Thayer said. “The aircraft is

participating in the 75th anniversary of D-Day

in Normandy this summer and will travel across

the U.S. and abroad in air shows and displays.”

See new aircraft onsite, dozens of military

planes and vehicles, vintage cars, tractors, and

more. The Woodland Auto Display recently expanded,

gaining an additional 3,700 square feet

for cars and memorabilia.

Fly an F/A-18 “Hornet” flight simulator, with

a 4K screen, or take photos of the kids on a tank,

a bumper car they can sit in, and a quarter-size

midget car inside Woodland Auto Display.

This year marks JB Dewar and The Tractor

Restoration Education Program’s first time

being part of Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity

to display our tractors and see all of

the amazing features that are displayed at the

event,” said Rachel Dewar, Tractor Restoration

Education Program Coordinator. “We will have

a handful of tractors from past and current contestants

as well as their record books to display

all the hard work that goes into their projects.

We hope you get the chance to stop by and honor

our contestants on a job well done.”

Paso Robles native John Parker and his fellow

riders will thrill the crowd with the Stunt

Masters BMX Impact Show during three

20-minute performances.

“Our show is fast, action-packed fun but we

definitely leave the kids with a positive message,”

Parker said. “They’re going to take something away

from the show and we want it to be a good vibe.

We also talk about safety because we don’t want

the kids to go out and try any of these crazy stunts;

we want them to have fun without getting silly.

It’s mostly about getting out, doing things kids like

to do, and being the best at it they can be.”

The StuntMasters shows are interactive with

the entire crowd involved in these world-class


“We want to hear everyone yell, scream, and

get behind us, but we also do fun trivia quizzes

and get volunteers to name tricks for us,”

Parker said. “Come on out and interact with the

StuntMasters at the Warbirds Museum!”

Be sure to bring your earplugs for Cacklefest!

Get up close and personal with historic vintage

dragsters — many front-end with drive shaft detached

— and thrill to the cackle of their engines!

“It really is quite a thrill for people to see these

nostalgic dragsters,” said John Husmann of the

Throttle Merchants Car Club. “The majority

were raced in the early to mid-1960s and were

used in a lot of movies during that era.”

Referring to their appeal as, “taking a step

back in time,” Husmann said the excitement

surrounding the machines is truly contagious.

“Us gear heads really enjoy all the excitement

and the running of the cars,” he said. “Really, everyone

loves these!”

Among the many cars on display inside the

Woodland Auto Display and on the grounds will

be Bill Maropulos’ 1923 Model T, this year’s poster

car. A highly-modified hotrod, the shiny burgundy-maroon

vintage replica is an attention-getter.

“I drive this car almost daily, so it didn’t start

out as a competition car,” Maropulos said. “But,

I have to tell you, it’s so much fun to bring it out

to shows.”

Maropulos enjoys talking with people about

how he built his unique car. One of the biggest

draws, he said, is the engine; it’s not built in the

traditional manner but with many handmade,

one-off parts.

“I’m excited about bringing this to Paso Robles

and talking with people who appreciate what

goes into building an engine and a replica car,”

he said. “Car shows are great; there is something

for the whole family. Different cars appeal to different

people, so it’s fun to see all of the cars and

the reactions from everyone.”

A raffle for a Tour for Two to Jay Leno’s Garage

and an overnight stay at a hotel in Burbank

will be drawn at the awards ceremony. Tickets

will be available all day during the car show.

On the aviation side, WWW11 will have

some extra airplanes on static display including

two large firefighting planes from Cal Fire. In

addition, several privately owned vintage warbirds

will be onsite.

The Estrella Warbird Museum Plane Captains

will be in and around the aircraft displays to assist

and answer questions. Brad Eaton, an F-18

simulator instructor, displays his antique aircraft,

a Stearman PT-17, at the museum. He is a volunteer

advisor to the Estrella Warbird Museum

High School Aviation Club, promoting interest in

aviation vocations and conducting lunch clubs at

Paso Robles School and Templeton High School.

“Both form the Estrella High School Aviation

Club, which promotes motivation through field

trips, guest speakers, and community service,”

Eaton said.

New aviation displays at the museum include

a P-2V aircraft, now on permanent display next

to the C-47. After serving as a U.S. Navy sub

hunter, it was converted to a contract fire bomber.

“We also just received a beautifully restored

1936 42hp J-2 Piper Cub, which is currently in

our main hangar and will eventually be hung for

permanent display,” Eaton said.

In addition, the restoration department just

completed renovation of the museum’s Huey

helicopter which is now sitting with two other

restored helicopters on display.

With expanded parking, there is plenty of space

for visitors. Keeping the costs family-friendly, the

entrance fee per person includes free parking!

Be sure to bring your appetite and some cash

as there will be plenty of vendor offerings in the

food court. The popular Firestone Walker Brewing

Company Beer Garden returns and craft

vendors will be situated nearby.

“We gear the entire Warbirds, Wings, and

Wheels show for families,” Verstuyft said. “And

we like to get the younger generation involved

in the military history so they understand how

our freedoms come with a price. There are a lot

of things that have changed and happened over

the past few years because we are always growing

and expanding! For those who think they’ve seen

everything we have, I would encourage them to

come out and take another look.”

Estrella Warbirds Museum Hangar One

May 10 • 6 to 10 p.m.

Enjoy dinner and dance to the foot-stomping

tunes of Central Coast icon Monte

Mills and his Lucky Horseshoe Band.


Limited to the first 250 ticket-buyers

8 and 10-person table discounts

Beer and wine available for purchase

RSVP to 805-286-5566 by midnight, May 7

or go to ewarbirds.org for more info

Monte will be back on Saturday to provide

live music during the car show!

Estrella Warbirds Museum

4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles

Saturday, May 11 • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*pre-registration required for swap

meet vendors; no drive-ups; no dogs

*museum buildings open at 10 a.m.

$5 suggested donation, free parking

and entrance to all museum displays

Kids 12-under & active duty military FREE

For more information, call 805-286-5566

or see ewarbirds.org

20 | The Story of Us May 2019

May 2019 The Story of Us | 21


By Meagan Friberg

ead on out to one of the most

family-friendly celebrations in

San Luis Obispo County this

Memorial Day weekend as

the Best of the West Antique

Equipment Show rolls into the Historic Santa

Margarita Ranch. Hosted by the Paso Robles

Pioneer Day Committee and Rossi Foundation,

this not-to-be-missed annual event happens Friday

through Sunday, May 24-26, and showcases

the heroes and history of America with parades,

activities, food, music, and more.

In addition to the historical and patriotic

aspects, this popular event is just plain fun! A

precursor to the now-annual show took place

in 2010, according to Founder Tom Madden.

It was so well-received by the community that

organizers decided to make Best of the West

happen yearly starting in 2015. Proceeds from

the event help fund the annual Paso Robles Pioneer

Day celebration.

“We have daily parades and a tremendous

children’s play area, food and drink vendors, and

much more,” Madden said. “This event is Americana

in every sense and we want the younger

generation to understand what Memorial Day

truly represents.”

In addition to the historical

and patriotic aspects,

this popular event is just

plain fun!

Held intentionally on Memorial Day Weekend,

Best of the West not only features antique

tractors and equipment, planes, trains, horses,

and automobiles, it is a patriotic event as well.

Fallen service members are honored each day

at noon with a flag salute, and there will also

be speakers, music, and flyovers from Estrella

Warbird pilots, present to pay tribute. Families

are encouraged to arrive earlier than noon to be in

place before the tributes begin.

Be sure to stop by the extensive display of

military vehicles. Gary Hanes organizes this

portion of Best of the West. He first became

involved when Madden saw his 1941 Dodge

Weapons Carrier.

“That really sparked his interest,” Hanes said.

“He asked if I would be interested in riding

herd on the military portion of the show and

the rest is history.”

The 2019 show will include plenty of Jeeps,

Weapon Carriers — all four-wheel drive, some

armed and some not — and more. Most of the

vehicles displayed are from the WWII era and

Korea, according to Hanes.

“So much was produced in the relatively short

duration between those two wars,” Hanes said.

“With Vietnam, we get mostly big trucks, but

a lot of the smaller stuff and armor was left in

the country for our allies. Two major problems

exist on getting military vehicles to a show. They

either have to be driven and they are not very

reliable for 300-400 mile trips, or they have to

be trailered and not everybody has the equipment

to haul 25 to 50 tons.”

Volunteer and Board Member Ashely Boneso

oversees the Kids’ Corral, ensuring there are

plenty of activities to keep the entire family entertained

and involved. Kids can try their hand

at roping, participate in pedal tractor races, bob

for apples, and enjoy cotton candy. They might

like the John Deere teeter-totter, and they can

get the wiggles out while playing in the giant

sand pile and tire-climbing gym or participating

in a scavenger hunt.

22 | The Story of Us May 2019

MAY 24-26

“You can quite literally spend the entire day

at Kids’ Corral,” Boneso said. “Bring your kids

out and let them be a cowboy or cowgirl for

the day; it’s like taking a step back in time. We

are located right next to the barbecue area, so

it’s convenient for families to have lunch nearby

and let their kids explore.”

Bring the youngsters to experience gold panning,

a Farmers’ Market stocked full of fresh,

local fruit and veggies, and self-paced stations

showcasing vintage water pumps, grain buckets,

butter making, and more. In addition, a local

train club sets up tables filled with model trains

and tracks — always fun for kids of all ages.

Displays and exhibits over the years have

included tractors, vintage farming equipment,

steam and gas engines, fire trucks, and

classic automobiles and motorcycles. In addition,

see antique trucks and trailers from the

farming, ranching, logging, and construction

industries. Always popular with the younger

crowd, the “original tractors” — horses and

mules — are often accompanied by wagons,

carts, and plows.

Find information about volunteering, forms

for exhibitors, vendors, RV & camping registration,

dinner tickets, golf cart rentals, and dog

rules at bestofthewestshow.com.

The steam-powered Pacific Coast Railroad is

another favorite at Best of the West. Following

a narrow-gauge loop around the Santa Margarita

Ranch headquarters, it allows for wideopen

views of the surrounding meadows and

mountains. There are three engines and four 5/8

scale passenger coaches from the Santa Fe and

Disneyland Railroad, dating back to the 1950s.

“We are really ramping up the blacksmith

display, grain threshing, hay booming, and

showcasing more of the old-time farming

techniques,” Madden said. “A big portion of

the show is the school field trips that happen

on Friday. We set up various stations and the

kids get to see history in the making. It allows

them to see just how the crops are grown and

harvested that later end up in stores as the foods

they eat. It’s fascinating for these kids and they

love bringing their parents back to the show on

Saturday and Sunday to experience it as well.”



MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND • MAY 24 – 26 • 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

General admission, day pass, $10 • Weekend pass, $25

FREE admittance for active duty military in uniform

FREE admittance for children ages 10 & under

Join together to celebrate the heroes and history of America

For information or to purchase tickets, see bestofthewestshow.com

May 2019 The Story of Us | 23

Tractor Restoration Program

By Mark Diaz

program coordinator, said that there the number of participants. reer as a diesel mechanic by attending

the Caterpillar Service School

Since 2001, the J.B. Dewar, Inc. are numerous local businesses who “We accept as many people who

Tractor Restoration Program lend their support to the participants.

want to restore a tractor,” Dewar and felt that the program was a

has helped promote ingenuity, hard

work and determination in Central

Coast youth. The program not only

encourages budding entrepreneurs

to learn the logistics of record keeping,

the importance of time management

The JB Dewar program directly

reflects the requirements of the

Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration

Competition, so if the student wishes

they can compete on a national level.

said. “We love it, the more people

the better.”

Kyle Sorrow, a senior who has

restored two tractors in two years

— a 1948 Farmall Super A and a

1958 Farmall 460 — said he first

good idea.

Casey Havemann, a sophomore

who worked on a 1951 Farmall Super

C, became interested through

his brother’s involvement when he

made the cut in the Chevron Delo

and the value of sweat A major difference from the Chev-

became interested in the program contest in 2017.

equity but also offers cash prizes up

to $4,000 and all participants retain

ron program is that it only accepts 12

entries whereas Dewar does not limit

from his friends’ participation.

He also plans on furthering his ca-

“It was more fun restoring a

tractor than playing sports for me,”

the rights to their tractors.

Havemann said.

Any high schooler living

in San Luis Obispo or Santa


Barbara Counties are welcomed

to participate in the

Tractors will be on display at the Warbirds Wings and Wheels

Car Show and Swap Meet happening Saturday, May 11 from

competition. For those who

7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Estrella Warbird Museum, located at

do not have access to a dilapidated

tractor, JB Dewar

4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles and the Best of the West

Antique Equipment Show Friday through Sunday, May 24

company will provide a tractor

free of charge as long as

– 26 at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. The tractors are

displayed at the Mid-State Fair each year. People can also

the participant signs a contract

promising to finish the

see them annually at the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade.

Casey Havemann with his 1951 Farmall Super C

restoration. Rachel Dewar,

24 | The Story of Us May 2019

Business owner and former

Cal Fire Captain Lisa Marrone

wants Paso Robles to

have a train museum and

a disaster preparedness

education center.

donates proceeds for disaster

preparedness. Marrone explained

that instead of saving one person

at a time she could create an educational

and entertaining experience

that could help people to be ready

when a natural disaster strikes.

By Mark Diaz

at 800 Pine Street. However,

both sides of the building were

rented out in March. Not to be

deterred, Marrone says she is looking

for another building close to

the train tracks to host a location

or even have them on the tracks

Marrone acknowledges

that her ideas tend to

fall on the side of being

a bit grandiose, but that does

not hinder her enthusiasm for the

project. Her goal is to produce

a ‘Smithsonian style’ attraction

that would provide a multi-sensory

adventure. Marrone imagines

people entering the complex and

seeing a 3D silhouette of a train,

feeling the rumbling of the floor,

walking into a cloud of steam and

being able to smell the creosote

from the railroad ties. People would

get a glimpse into the past as they

hear the conversations of passengers

from long ago discussing their plans

or what brought them to the area.

“I envision where you can experience

that feeling when a

stake drives in,” Marrone said,

describing her desire to make the

production and interactive experience

that would also have educational

information coordinated

with the patron’s participation.

As a former firefighter, safety

and preparedness have always

been at the forefront of Marrone’s

mind. In 2011, she began The

Mobile Oil Changers, which

Her goal is to produce a ‘Smithsonian style’ attraction

that would provide a multi-sensory adventure.

Along the same lines of the train

museum, Marrone also wants the

safety preparedness attraction to

expose people to what it feels like

to be in an emergency situation.

It’s one thing to know what to

do in an earthquake, being in one

(or even a simulated one) is a

completely different thing altogether.

An ideal location for both facilities

would have been the Paso

Robles Intermodal Station, located

themselves in a converted railcar

and have the ability to travel all

across America.

Marrone is actively seeking

people from the community

to help organize and

develop her dream.

For more information,

visit Facebook pages:

Paso Robles Railroad Museum

and Paso Robles Disaster

Prep Education Center.

May 2019 The Story of Us | 25

Trains, Planes and Battleships

Local veteran Mike Fitzgerald toys with trains in a big way

When retired Navy Captain Mike

Fitzgerald received his first model

train, the world around him was in

the throes of chaos. The year was 1941, the place

was Pearl Harbor.

Fitzgerald’s father, William, served as Operations

Officer and had the weekend staff duty

on the USS Maryland (BB-46) on the infamous

day. William survived the attack on Pearl Harbor

and earned the Navy Medal of Commendation

for valorous actions. William served in both of

the Great Wars and when he retired from his

military career he held the rank of Rear Admiral.

William was stationed aboard the Colorado-class

battleship Maryland which survived

the Pearl Harbor attack. The USS Oklahoma

that sat outboard (farther from the dock) beside

the Maryland, capsized from being his by several

torpedo bombs.

The 429 souls stationed on the USS Oklahoma

lost their lives in the assault but a brave few

survived by jumping into the fuel-burning waters

50 feet below or traversed mooring lines to the

Maryland. Mike said that despite being sunk, the

ship continued to protect the Maryland with its

ruined hull due to the shallowness of the bay.

In the wake of the attack, Mike’s mother

Marjorie relocated the family to the other side

of the island where it was “safer.” Part of the

logic of moving the family, Mike explained, involved

the fact that the Japanese had failed to

destroy key naval facilities and could possibly

return to finish the job.

By Mark Diaz

“The Japanese. when they attacked. did a very

efficient job on the naval forces that were there,”

Mike explained, “but they did not go after the fuel

dumps and they did not go after the shipyard repair

facilities, both of which played a major part

in the U.S. getting offensively involved in the war.”

Marjorie also made the executive decision to

move up Christmas to help keep the 4-and-ahalf-year-old

Mike distracted from the turmoil.

Mike Fitzgerald has created a vast rail

system that surrounds the engineer.

The train set was a gift from his uncle and had

to be assembled under the cloak of darkness, not

only for a holiday surprise but also because of

the established mandatory blackouts. Civilians

were ordered to eliminate all forms of light to

help remove reference points for enemy bombers.

Mike said that he recalled seeing pictures taken

with “Santa’s elves” hiding beneath a blanket and

assembling the train set by flashlight.

Like his father, Mike devoted thirty years of

his life to the Navy that included command of

ships in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic

Seas and the North Atlantic Ocean until finally

retiring in Paso Robles. With the nearly constant

relocating of the military life, Mike never

had the chance to put down roots and create the

elaborate train set he wanted. It took retirement

from the Navy to finally allow Mike the time

and space to create a dedicated train system. Residing

in Paso Robles, Mike began his teaching

career in San Luis Obispo’s Mission Preparatory

High School where he taught mathematics for

18 years. He dedicated a room roughly the size

of a two car garage by his estimates to construct

an intricate model train system.

“I couldn’t really make an elaborate layout like

I have here until I retired in ’89,” Mike said.

Mike named his railway the C, K and D after

his three sons — Chris, Kevin and David.

All three contributed to the development of the

system before leaving home. Kevin and Mike

created a model of the San Luis Obispo Mission

for a school project. They designed the building

to scale so they could put it in the train system.

As one can imagine there is a slew of ways and

methods of modeling. Scale/size typically range

from the smallest from Z (1:220/.25”) to the largest

G (1:25/1.75”) which comes with their own

standard of detail and emphases. Mike still works

in the scale he first received as a gift, O Gauge

(1:48/1.25) made popular by the manufacturer

Lionel. Originally Lionel trains were also foreshortened

to accommodate for the sharp turns

on their 3-rail track. Mike’s system is an O gauge

"High Rail” layout meaning that a true 1:48 scale

is always maintained. The differences between the

two systems are generally not noticeable until the

two styles are placed side-by-side.

Model train aficionados may like to know that

Mike is a High Railer and works on a 3-Track

system, but the casual observer is automatically

drawn to the vastness of Mike’s rail system. Instead

of the typical railway placed on plywood

that a person can walk around, Mike has created

a world that can surround the engineer. There are

buses, cars and boats all depicting their own era

and way of life as the toys trains move to each

destination, and yes, there is even a Starbucks.

He has also incorporated sound chips with his

system that helps with the immersion of the experience

and now with the digital age, he can run

the whole railway from his smartphone.

“It’s a hobby that’s never completed,” Mike

said. “There’s always something to do, more to

do and more fun to have.”

Sadly, Mike noted that playing with model

trains has fallen out of popularity. He says now

there are only a handful of stores in California

that are dedicated to model trains. Train shows

are still held, but Mike said that the majority of

attendees tend to be elderly. Even his boys, who

helped build the set with their father, have not

carried on with the tradition.

26 | The Story of Us May 2019

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May 2019 The Story of Us | 27

By Nicholas Mattson

emorial Day is set aside as an observation

of those who gave their lives in service

in the United States armed forces

— those who will never experience another day

of sweet freedom and the American lifestyle that

is so coveted around the world.

So often, it seems, we lose our perspective and

Memorial Day helps us regain a sense of gratitude

for what others have done for us through sacrifice.

We go about our daily lives, with opposing views,

financial and relationship stresses, comparing

ourselves to others who seem to have it a little

better or worse than we do, arguing over political,

religious, and cultural differences, and trying

to gain an edge against our neighbor so we don’t

lose our place in line… or in the pecking order.

We don’t all go to such extremes of course

but there can be no doubt the state and national

discourse, especially between major political

or religious factions, has reached a fervor that

has impacted even the most neutral parties —

almost as if the developing culture is demanding

people take sides.

The message today is quite distant from the

melodic chant of “one nation, indivisible” that

stitched two parts of the Pledge of Allegiance

together in 1892. The volume and demands of

partisanship seem to be elevating.

My great-grandfather immigrated to the

United States in 1856 from Sweden. A few years

later, the Civil War broke out — calling for even

the pacifist to choose a side. My family lived in

New York, and then Minnesota, so I’d guess we

were Union soldiers, but I have yet to discover

what extent my great-grandfather participated in

a war in his new country that broke out only five

years after his arrival to the New World.

The Civil War cost more U.S. lives than any

other war — 1.03 million died — and inspired

Decoration Day, which was renamed Memorial

Publisher’s Note: Traditions are

tricky. Like everything else, traditions

change over time — but over time

they come to appear as if they were

always celebrated in their current

iteration for their contemporary

reasons. While there is much to

be gained from this practice, it is

beneficial and edifying to recall

the origins of our traditions, lest we

forget why traditions came to pass.

Day in 1967. Decoration Day was named for the

strewing of flowers or other decoration of graves

of those who died to change this country.

So as we celebrate Memorial Day, the freedom

of our American lifestyle, our friendships

and brotherhoods, and the great country we all

love and cherish, let’s remember that we celebrate

Memorial Day because some things are worth

fighting for, and some things are worth dying for.

But let’s also recall that this day of remembrance

began because the nation of the United States of

America was divided and did not come to agreement

on issues of civil and human rights that all

people deserve — or as prescribed in the Declaration

of Independence, the inalienable rights of

“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

All those who died, who we honor in our solemnity

on Memorial Day, died for a promise to

protect the highest ideals of citizenship ever adopted

by any nation, but we continue to evolve our

understanding and application of those ideals. In

pursuit of ulterior ideals, we still impede life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness but we are getting

better in a relatively short period of time — 151

years since the first Decoration Day is a blink of an

eye, and the next 151 years will go by even faster.

Remember the fallen but remember why they

gave their lives and why we decorated the first

graves as a country and remember that some who

will give their lives have not yet been conceived.

Estrella Adobe Memorial Celebration

Friends of the Adobes, Inc., will host a nondenominational

service at the Estrella Adobe

Church on Airport Road, north of Paso Robles

Airport. Traditional hymns will be sung with

accompaniment at this annual event. Quester

members will provide refreshments. Enjoy

self-guided tours through the church grounds

and old cemetery. Call 805-467-3357 or

visit Rios-Caledonia Adobe on Facebook for

more information.

Paso Robles District Cemetery

Memorial Day Program

Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m.

Paso Robles District Cemetery,

45 Nacimiento Lake Drive, Paso Robles.

In cooperation with American Legion Post 50

and VFW Post 10965, the commemoration will

feature an 11 am military flyover in V-formation

by Estrella Warbird Museum’s Freedom Flight.

Guest speakers, patriotic songs, Pledge of Allegiance,

wreath laying, a closing prayer and Honor

Guard. Call Tom or Brian at 805-238-4544.

Templeton District Cemetery

and American Legion Post 220

Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m.

Ceremony at Templeton Cemetery,

100 Cemetery Road, Templeton.

American Legion Hall Post 220 will honor

local veterans in a Patriotic Ceremony at Templeton

Cemetery and Estrella Warbird flyover at

approximately 11:05 a.m. The commemoration

will be followed by a Legion Hall barbecue

(limited tickets available at the door) beginning

at noon at 801 South Main Street, Templeton.

For pre-event tickets please call Les Nye at

805-434-1402 for more information.

Atascadero Cemetery

Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m.

The cemetery will have a commemorative

Memorial Day flyover above the Atascadero

Cemetery to honor our departed veterans at

11:09 am. The flight, in V-formation, will be

performed by Estrella Warbird Museum pilots

of the Vietnam combat era.

Atascadero Faces of Freedom

Veteran’s Memorial

Monday, May 27 at noon

8951 Morro Road (Hwy. 41)

Atascadero, SLO County Faces of Freedom

Veterans Memorial

The impressive memorial sculpture onsite depicts

an American soldier in a pantheon of

other historic military heroes. Stretched across

an open courtyard are nine, seven-foot-tall

panels that form a 70-foot-long wall. Inscribed

in granite are over 231 names of soldiers from

SLO County who died while defending our

nation. Freedom Flight will soar overhead in

formation at 12:10 p.m. Call 805-462-1267 for

more information.

28 | The Story of Us May 2019

Whoo Hoo - It’s Car Time!

Friday through Saturday May 24 & 25


Cruise and Car Show

Downtown Paso

Memorial Day Weekend

By Chuck Desmond

o matter your pleasure, May has

something going on in Paso all

month long. There is sure to be an event

for you. And for sure, one of the funnest

things is the Classics Cruise and Car

Show. This is the show’s seventh consecutive


Friday night, May 24 and Saturday

the 25 th are the days for the seventh

annual Classics Cruise and Car Show

sponsored by the Golden State Classics

Car Club. Naturally, this is a family-oriented

two-day event for those of all

ages. But, before it officially begins, the

vehicles have to show up. Beginning

on Thursday and then all day long on

Friday, before the parade starts, vintage

vehicles start to roll into town. It’s just

fun to be on the sidewalks downtown

and watch them ease their way into

Paso. Here’s a secret: the best viewing

spots are around The Inn (across

from City Park) as that’s become the

de facto gathering place for the cars’

owners to get together and catch up

on their car tales while they dust the

metal to bring back the perfect shine.

Please drive extra carefully because

there are always groups of people

gathered around the parked cars and

folks sometimes spill into the street for

a better glimpse.

Later, on Friday afternoon, those

same sidewalks begin “sprouting fold-

ing chairs” to hold viewers’ spots before

the parade actually starts down Spring

Street at 6 p.m. And what a parade it

is! Just like Paso’s other parade on Pioneer

Day, this is a Paso event showing

off decades of beauty as the vehicles

“strut their stuff” while cruising. About

300 classic vehicles are going to be

in town over the weekend. The vehicles

cruise back and forth from 6 th to

23 rd streets so you can get a good look

from both sides and snap photos. Their

owners put on a great exhibition and it’s

often difficult to figure out who is having

a better time — the spectators or the

drivers. If you are into classic cars, and

even if you’re not, there are only a couple

words to use: Beautifully enticing!

Saturday, the Downtown City Park is

the place to be to see these wonderful

American memories because you can

get up close and personal to both the

vehicles and owners. Officially, from 9

a.m. to 4 p.m., there is a full cadre of

classics, custom rigs, woodies, street

rods, and VWs along with their owners

to tell you about them. Marvelous

paint jobs, massive grills, real leather for

upholstery, white-wall tires, stick shifts

and AM radios. If you’re old enough to

remember, it’ll take you back. If you aren’t

of “that certain age to recall these

beauties,” one often hears, “Why don’t

they make these today?” These classics

truly display the USA dominance of

automotive engineering from “those

by-gone days.” They make you drool

and all of a sudden, before you know

it, you’ve mentally added one to your

Christmas list! Wandering through the

cars in the park, there’ll be plenty

of vehicle-related vendors, food

booths and vehicles for sale. A DJ

plays the music that’s upbeat and surfin’

for cruisin’. You’ll be busy for a while.

An important part of

the weekend event is that all

the funds raised by the car

club during the weekend go

back to local organizations.

It was back in 1986 when Golden

State Classics Car Club was started to

simply keep the memories of antique

motor-vehicles alive. The founders

also wanted to bring awareness and

restoration-knowledge that provide a

pathway for folks to learn and become

involved while encouraging them in a

club setting. GSCCC is alive, strong and

vibrant. “The Cruise” that was begun by

Russ Johnson 7 years ago as a concept

is great to have here in town. Russ is being

honored this year for doing just that.

We thank him for persevering.

It’s no accident that the club instigated

another reason to bring residents

and visitors together in Paso. The

Central Coast had rain by the foot and

our picturesque country roads winding

through vineyards and ranches provides

the gorgeous locale for driving

the oldies around. As Paso’s recognition

and reputation grow, so does the

desire for car owners to simply drive to

our pueblo and enjoy the super country

scenery to leisurely cruise and hang out.

As a logical place to gather, we, the residents

are often rewarded throughout

the year when we see an ad-hoc group

of classic autos in the area. Don’t we

always slow down to stare and smile —

probably dream just a little bit too?

An important part of the weekend

event is that all the funds raised by the

car club during the weekend go back

to local organizations. As always, Paso

is a give-back community. Our residents

know and respect Golden State

Classic Car Club because it donates a

tall stack of dollars that allow for great

community work. With regards to that,

sponsors also donate T-shirts, awards

and posters to name a few items. Last

year, donations from GSCCC went to

at least a dozen worthy causes from

school groups to scouting, our local

museums and to outreach programs.

This club is truly involved and committed

to Paso.

Learn more at goldenstateclassics.org.

Shawn Van Horn (805-610-8400) is in

charge of this year’s event. The club

president is Ronnie Maxwell (805-

312-2583). Paulette Pahler is club VP

and is available with information about

virtually anything (805-459-6711).

Reliable Power.

Performance you can trust!

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

2018 Business of the Year

805-466-2218 • 5025 El Camino Real • www.glennsrepair.com

May 2019 The Story of Us | 29

37th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival

Where Small Town


Meets World Class


The 37th Annual Wine Festival brings yet another episode of

Paso Robles’ signature annual wine event. Under newly-minted

Executive Director, Joel Peterson, the wine festival is

scheduled to bring you all the things you love for the 2019 edition.

It all kicks-off Thursday, May 16 with two Winemaker Dinners at The

Hatch and Thomas Hill Organics restaurants. Tickets available now.

On Friday, May 17, select wineries feature their Library, Reserve,

White/Rosé, and Futures complemented by fresh and local gourmet

bites at the RESERVE Event.

Start your morning on Saturday, May 18 with a fun and educational

Winemaker Seminar. Listen and taste along as a panel of winemakers

share their stories, behind the label. Each will feature a wine that

complements the story and personality of the story teller. Sit back,

have a sip, and enjoy the show.

Following the seminar, more than 70 wineries come together in the

Paso Robles Downtown City Park to showcase their wines during

the Grand Tasting. Wineries at the Grand Tasting will be arranged by

“regions” for a seamless and focused tasting experience: Bordeaux-style,

Rhône-style, Zinfandel, Burgundian-style, Italian varieties, and Other

Wild Wines for your tasting pleasure.

On Sunday, May 18 and all weekend long travel beyond the Park to

enjoy wine tasting, seminars, mouthwatering BBQs, live music, winemaker

dinners, and more! Visit pasowine.com to see the more than

100 weekend events.

As a special gift from Paso Wine to Paso Robles Magazine,

readers are encouraged to use code:


to save $20 on a Saturday, General Admission ticket!

Buy tickets at pasowine.com/events/winefest.

30 | The Story of Us

celebrates the transcontinental railroad

The heritage of those that built the railroads will be honored

By Heather Young

The annual San Luis Obispo

Train Day, put on by the

SLO Railroad Museum,

will be held on Saturday,

May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Train Day celebrates the 150th

anniversary of the completion of

the transcontinental railroad at

Promontory Summit, Utah on

May 10, 1869, and when the railroad

arrived in SLO 125 years ago.

“Train Day is a commemorative

event,” SLO Railroad Museum

Board Vice-President Stephanie

Hovanitz said. “We focus on when

the railroad arrived in San Luis


Hovantiz’s husband and past

board member Karl Hovanitz said

the first train to San Luis Obispo

was southbound from San Francisco.

“This year, we’re putting a twist

on the event by celebrating the

heritage of those who built the

railroad,” Stephanie said.

Workers from Ireland and

China had a huge impact on the

railroad, so they will be honored

for making the railroad happen,

Stephanie said.

The event is a family-friendly

and open to all ages.

“I think it’s a great family

event,” Stephanie said. “Kids of

all ages love it. As adults we still

love trains. We’re all kids at heart.”

In addition to learning the history

of trains and the railroad in SLO

County, there will also be a chance

for attendees to become a member

of the museum.

“The youngest docent is 12 years

old,” Stephanie said. “He’s been a

train fan for as long as his mom can


The week before Train Day, a

presentation about Southern Pacific

arriving in San Luis Obispo in

1894 will be given on Saturday, May

4 at 11 a.m. This linked San Luis

Obispo and other coastal cities with

the railroad’s Coastline route to

Northern California. The PowerPoint

presentation will be given by Andrew

Merriam, railroad historian and SLO

Railroad Museum board member.

There will be no train rides during

the event, though Stephanie said

there will be a children’s area with toy

Model trains are on display in the

SLO Railroad Museum

trains. For those want to add a train

ride to their day, the Coast Starlight

departs the San Luis Obispo at 3:35

p.m. and arrives at the Paso Robles

train station at 4:37 p.m. There are

no trains going south after 4:37 p.m.,

though the RTA has buses running

between the Paso Robles Train Station

and SLO. To get the bus schedule

and fares, go to SLOrta.org. To

book a ticket and see fares for Amtrak,

go to amtrak.com.

Admission to the museum is $5

per visitor 16 and older, $3 for those

4 through 15 and free for museum

members and children 3 and younger.

For more information about

Train Day or the SLO Railroad

Museum, go to SLOrrm.com.

Sculpterra Winery




Salads & Soup

Fish & Seafood

Meat & Fowl


9 th Tri- Tip Dinner by Open Range Catering

Paso Robles



Farm Fresh Fare

June 22, 6 - 9:00 pm

Sculpterra Winery 5015 Linne Rd. Paso Robles

Special Guest Comedian Nazareth

Reservations 805-434-3653 or


Table for 8 - $450 Table for 10 - $500

Table sponsorship, contact Cheryl 760-774-4478 or Cheryl.voight@hotmail.com

Come celebrate our next trip

to the Philippines from May 24 to June 1.

Through Evangelistic Festivals, we’ll share the gospel with thousands including law

enforcement, soldiers, elected officials, medical professionals, students and the

local prison. Through our medical clinic, staff and volunteers give FREE medical

care and share the gospel with patients. A recent medical mission treated over

1,100 patients, 700 agreed to receive the gospel, 178 placed their

faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

All thanks to the partnership of His Healing Hands.

Sharing the Gospel of Christ through Short Term Medical Missions

Elegant Atmosphere Downtown Pine Street

Early Bird Dinners

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Sunday through


1218 Pine Street

Paso Robles,

CA 93446





with purchase

of two entrees,

excludes abalone

Open Daily 5-9pm • Closed Wednesdays

May 2019 The Story of Us | 31



Offer FREE FLIGHT Program

By Mark Diaz

On Saturday, May 18,

2019, members of the

Experimental Aircraft

Association Chapter 465 of Paso

Robles will offer free airplane

rides to youth from 9 a.m. to 3

p.m. (weather permitting) at the

Paso Robles Airport, located at

4912 Wing Way. The aeronautical

experience called the Young Eagles

Free Flight Program, created

by the national EAA, is open to

youths between the ages of 8 and

17. A parent or legal guardian will

be required to sign a permission

form prior to the flight.

Launched in 1992, the program

strives to show children and

young adults the wonders of flight.

According to EEA, more than 2

million have taken advantage of a

free airborne jaunt since its inception.

The program also introduces

fledgling aviators to the Young

Eagles program that encourages

youngsters not only to become

pilots but also open their eyes to

the possibility of a career in the

field of aviation whether it be as a

mechanic or air traffic controller or

any number of aviation based jobs.

Former Naval Aviator and retired

airline pilot Bill Siegel offers

free flights to those interested in

joining the Young Eagles program

year-round. He and several of his

fellow EAA pilots will facilitate

the free 20-minute long flights

and happily answer any questions

the young ones toss at them.

Participating in the program

automatically allows youths to

become EAA members free of

charge until they turn 19 and

gives them access to a free online

ground school and flight training

course. They will also receive a

voucher for their first flight lesson

and the opportunity to win scholarships

that start at $5,000 to help

pay for their flight education.

For more information on

the Young Eagles program,

visit eaa.org.







Joint Replacement, PRP Injections

Sports Medicine, Fractures, Arthroscopy

Joint Pain and General Orthopedics

32 | The Story of Us May 2019

By Bec Braitling

Equestrian enthusiasts on the Central

Coast have been lucky enough to experience

a picture perfect start to spring,

I for one am enjoying some warmer weather

after quite the winter! It’s time to work on those

biceps and grooming muscles as we finish extracting

those final layers of shedding hair off

our equine friends (which inevitably relocates

directly into my eyeballs for the rest of the day!)

There’s plenty of great local shows and events

coming up this month so be sure to check some

of them out. Now is a great time to head out

and hit your local trails, most of which are starting

to dry up a little so get out and enjoy the

beautiful spring bloom in your area.

Meet the Central Coast of

California Arabian Horse


The CCCAHA was formed by local Arabian

Horse owners to further the enjoyment

of the Arabian breed and increase the knowledge,

care, and safe use of the Arabian and

Half-Arabian Horse. The club is an avenue

for members to share their common interests

and celebrate diversity within the horse community.

The club (which is affiliated with the

national Arabian Horse Association of America)

is open to Arabian and Half-Arabian horse

owners, fans with horses of other breeds, and

people who don’t own horses. The horse world

is littered with people of many backgrounds:

the young and those with more years, the very

rich and those who save on other things to

support a horse, those with thousands of acres

and those with just one horse on an acre; together

we share the same love of the horse.

The CCCAHA invites all to join in the enjoyment

of life with horses. Many members take

advantage of the trails and beaches for pleasure

riding, either independently or throughout

the year at organized events. Trail riders

take part in competitive trail rides and even

endurance rides between 25 and 100 miles. For

many the motto is,”to finish is to win,” with

the goal to finish in better condition or in a

faster time than before. The CCCAHA provides

local Open All Breed Horse Show series

for exhibitors with a competitive spirit. These

shows have open, all breed classes for jumping,

hunter, western, halter, driving, handling, trail,

pony/very small equine, lead line, and Arabian

classes. Walk-trot classes are provided for all

ages. For more information on this fun group

and how to join visit www.cccaha.org or their

Facebook pageant catch up on all the upcoming

events including the May Trail Ride in

Santa Margarita.

Cal Poly Performance

Horse Sale and Preview

The upcoming Quarter Horse Enterprise

Project and Sale is managed entirely by Cal Poly

students. This year, 27 Cal Poly horses will be in

the sale with 25 students in the class heading up

the organisation of the sale in addition to presenting

and preparing the horses. Students have

on average spent the last 4-5 months training

them for the sale, some of which have been bred

by the program in addition to some donated

horses. The goal is to produce a versatile, quiet

and talented horse that can be used for a variety

of equine activities. The proceeds from this sale

will support the equine educational programs

at the school. This is a fantastic opportunity to

support our local students who strive to better

the lives of these horses whilst learning skills ‘on

the job’, ensuring these students graduate with

the best opportunity to succeed in the super

competitive horse industry.

Calling all local horse owners!

Can you give a horse in need a loving home? San Luis Obispo County Animal

Services recently seized 33 horses and 1 mule from a situation of cruelty and

neglect in Paso Robles. The horses were all malnourished, and some were in

desperate need of medical, dental and hoof care.

After several months of good care, including veterinary care, vaccinations,

deworming, and a consistent diet to help them regain body condition, the horses

are now ready to find their forever homes.

There are many wonderful horses with good dispositions in this group, with

different breeds, colors and ages to choose from. If you are looking for your next

horse, please consider adopting one of these rescues. Appointments to see the

horses can be made by contacting SLO County Animal Services: 805-781-4400.

M ay Calendar

May 5 Doreen and Kent Gilmore Memorial

Dressage Show, hosted by CDS San Luis Obispo

Chapter at Golden Hills Farm, Paso Robles.

Traditional and Western Dressage classes offered,

Judge Brent Hicks, 8- 5pm. Visit www.

equestrianentries.com for on-line entries and

www.slocds.org for the premium.

May 11 CCCAHA Spring Trail Ride, La Riata

Ranch, Pozo Rd, Santa Margarita. Event starts

at 9am contact Ashley Dillard at jadillard@live.

com for more information.

May 11- 12 Spring Fling Schooling Show at

the Paso Robles Horse Park. Great schooling

experience and look out for added new Thoroughbred

multi- show competitions. Visit

www.pasorobleshorsepark.com for more information.

May 16- 19 Rosé in May (B rated show) Paso

Robles Horse Park, enjoy watching Medal

Finals and other great jumper classes as this

B- Show series kicks off. Visit www.pasorobleshorsepark.com

for more information.

May 19 Twin Rivers Ranch One Day Horse

Trials, Combined Test and Schooling Rounds.

Visit www.twinrivershorsepark.com for more

information. 8715 N River Rd, Paso Robles.

May 24-26 Parkfield Rodeo, V6 Ranch Parkfield

again hosts this fun event including branding,

barrel racing, roping, steer stopping, team sorting

and saddle bronc riding. Visit the Parkfield Rodeo

Facebook page for more information.

May 31- June 1 Cal Poly Performance Horse

Sale and Preview. Cal Poly State University,

San Luis Obispo. Meet and greet Saturday,

Live auction Sunday. Visit their Facebook page

for more information on the event. Saturday

preview starts at 3.30pm with the Silent Auction

and riding demos/clinic at 4:00pm. Sale

Day is Sunday, Lunch 12:00pm, Preview 1:00-

2:00pm, Silent auction closes 2:00pm, Auction

Starts 2:30pm.

June 1, 10am-12pm Equus Coaching Demonstration

with Master Facilitators Kasia Roether

and Jutta Thoerner, in partnership with the

Koelle Institute for Equus Coaching®, in Paso

Robles, CA at the Nacimiento Ranch. No

previous horse experience (or riding) required.

Please wear closed toe shoes to the event. Each

Equus Demo Day event is designed to make

the transformative power of Equus Coaching®

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May 2019 The Story of Us | 33

North County Students at the PAC

James J. Brescia Ed.D.



of Schools

When I first entered

North County classrooms

as a teacher in

the late 1980s, I observed how the

arts are part of a well-rounded education.

Arts education refers to the

disciplines of music, dance, theatre,

and visual arts. Even the early writings

of Plato emphasized the important

role of the arts in education.

I believe the arts are part of what

makes us most human, or more

complete as people. Throughout

my career, I have read, participated

in, and conducted research that illustrates

some of the many reasons

why the arts can serve to improve

learning in all academic areas.

Brain research data indicates that

“ It is so important for people at a young age to be

invited to embrace classical music and opera.”

Luciano Pavarotti

neural systems that influence fine

motor skills, creativity, and even

emotional balance are developed

through the arts. Judith Burton of

Columbia University researched

the complex cognition and creative

capacities required in the subjects

of math, science, and language

arts. Her research linked academic

achievement and the arts (Burton,

Horowitz, & Ables, 1999).

“The arts enhance the process of

learning. The systems they nourish,

which include our integrated sensory,

attentional, cognitive, emotional, and

motor capacities, are, in fact, the driving

forces behind all other learning”

( Jensen, 2001).

My office is committed to promoting

the arts by facilitating professional

artists working alongside

local students in professional settings.

A few of the upcoming highlights


• A dedicated space for all North

County schools will be provided

at Studios on the Park to display

student art beginning this summer.

• The San Luis Obispo Museum

of Art is currently sponsoring

AWAKEN, a year-long program

celebrating art and community

expressed through the imaginative

creations of our county’s students.

• On Saturday, May 11 (Mother’s

Day weekend), Opera San

Luis Obispo will produce the first

Countywide Arts Extravaganza.

The Opera San Luis Obispo Gala

Extraordinaire will feature student

artists from throughout the county

working with Ballet Theatre

San Luis Obispo, Civic Ballet San

Luis Obispo, Opera SLO Resident

Artists Holly Banfield, Alba Franco

Cancel, and Amy Goymerac, in

addition to students from north

and south county who are involved

in school dance, choral, and instrumental

programs. The Gala is

another example of arts organizations

linking hands with education

to promote the arts. For ticket

information, visit www.pacslo.org

or call 805-756-4849.

I am proud to serve as your county

superintendent of schools and to

promote the arts.

Hands-on experience and

quality education. This is

career and technical education

at its finest.

Future Careers.

Locally Grown.

34 | The Story of Us May 2019


Downtown Vitality, the Establishment Clause, and Progress

on a North County Homeless Shelter

By Mark Diaz

In her monthly report, Atascadero City

Manager Rachelle Rickard informed

the council that downtown continues

to grow with new businesses. Locally grown

favorites such as Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream

Lab, Jamba Juice and SloDoCo doughnuts

are expected to go a long way in revitalizing

the historic downtown and possibly expanding

local waistlines. Malibu Brew Coffee

moved its location to a new spot on East

Mall across from the Sunken Garden and

Colony Market and Deli, located at the corner

of Traffic Way and El Camino, opened

at the end of March.


Community Liaison for Atheists United

San Luis Obispo, Dan Feldman, addressed

the council during the time set apart for

public comment. Reading from a prepared

statement, Feldman said that the organization

consists of more than 600 members and

advocates for the separation of church and



The City voted to postpone a request to

investigate changing the zoning of a property

located at 10080 Atascadero Avenue

in a three-to-one vote with councilmember

Funk opposed. The proposed “one-off ” zoning

exception would have begun the process

of subdividing the parcel into four separate

lots approximately 1.11 acres in size. Councilmembers

in favor of tabling the project

voiced their concerns that the City staff already

has enough work and does not have

time to dedicate to another project that

would “benefit almost exclusively for the

property owner.”


The council approved the adoption of a

draft resolution supporting the grant application

by the City of Paso Robles for San

Luis Obispo County Homeless Emergency

Aid Program (HEAP) funding. Paso Robles

City Council continues to move forward in

the creation of a new North County homeless


In November 2018, the City adopted a

resolution to declare a citywide homeless

shelter crisis in order to be eligible to receive

a portion of the $500 million in California

State Grant Block funds set aside to address

the homeless issue. Rickard said that San

Luis Obispo County is expected to receive

approximately $4.8 million from the grant


“It has been difficult for the available

resources that we have here in the North

County to meet the needs of the North

County homeless population,” Rickard said.

According to the 2018 U.S. Census, 19

percent of Californians live in poverty, which

ties with Florida and Louisiana for the highest

rate in the United States.

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 35

Emily Reneau named President/CEO of Atascadero Chamber

By Melissa Chavez

On April 18, Emily Reneau

greeted merchants at the

Atascadero Chamber of

Commerce Mixer. It was a

golden opportunity for business

owners and residents to

meet the new CEO/President

of the Atascadero Chamber

of Commerce.

“We are excited to have

Emily Reneau as our

incoming CEO,”

said Angela Cisneros, the 2019

chairperson of the Atascadero

Chamber Board of Directors.

“As a longtime resident of North

County, Emily has a passion for

the community, and she succeeds

wherever she directs her energy.”

Emily and her husband Scott

Reneau moved to north San Luis

Obispo County from Southern

California in 1996 with their then-

18-month-old baby girl to work

for Scott’s family dealership, Jerry

Reneau Chrysler Dodge. Emily, the

consummate volunteer leader, donated

her time for many local charities.

Once her children were in

school, Emily landed the role

of Parent Teacher Organization

president and auction chair at

Saint Rose Catholic School. As

non-traditional as she may seem,

Emily finds motherhood to be the

biggest accomplishment of her

life. Her daughter, Shelby, 24, is a

comedian in Los Angeles. James

Sloane, 20, is a musician who

attends Cuesta College. Carson,

15, is a high school student who is

active in drama and choir.

Emily’s relational approach

to community involvement has

extended to performing arts in

previous stage work with Pioneer

Players community theater and in

education as a board member of

the Paso Robles Library Foundation,

the Paso Robles Education

Alliance, and the REC Foundation

in Paso Robles.

As a longtime resident of North County,

Emily has a passion for the community, and

she succeeds wherever she directs her energy.

Emily reached a satisfying

milestone in 2007 as the project

manager for the $1.5 million

construction of Paso Robles

Children’s Museum. The 7,000

square-foot former city fire department

at 623 13th Street

received extensive renovation

to the ground-level space and

basement. Emily achieved the

$1.5 million dollar funding goal

through generous community

donors and memorial foundations,

sweat equity, and a

$135,875 Community Development

Block Grant.

When Paso Robles had fewer

than 30 active wineries, Emily

worked on the ground floor of

Paso Robles Vintners and Growers

Association. In her liaison

role as the Marketing and Events

Manager, Emily managed the Zinfandel

Festival, Paso Robles Wine

Festival, and Harvest Wine Affair.

Emily planned and organized

events at Cal Poly and managed

the students who host the Cal Poly

Wine Festival.

Over almost eight years at the

American Heart Association, Emily

worked as the Business Development

Director, initiating a new heart

walk and luncheon in the North

County and overseeing the existing

heart walk and luncheon in San Luis

Obispo and events in Santa Maria.

Most recently, Emily has worked as

the Business Development Associate

for H.M. Holloway, Inc., opening up

the company’s Paso Robles office

and leading the firm’s community

outreach on the Central Coast.

Emily’s hire at the Atascadero

Chamber of Commerce comes after

much hope and anticipation of

one day being the lead for a North

County community organization.

“Ever since working with Walt

Disney Company as the Community

Relations Coordinator for the

expansion of Disneyland Resort,

I’ve always wanted a position as a

chamber director,” Emily said. “For

the past few years, Atascadero has

made some fabulous strides. I’m

excited to be part of the development

going forward and helping to

position Atascadero as a catalyst in

tourism in North County.”

“I’m thrilled about the La Plaza

project to enhance Atascadero,”

Emily said. “BridgeWork is another

feather in the Chamber’s

cap. Creating a coworking space

for telecommuters and nonprofit

executives can only help the

economy in North County and

allow for double-income families

and young entrepreneurs to better

their businesses.”

The “Creekside Building” in

Colony Square at 6907 El Camino

Real, previously used for mixed retail

and City Hall offices, has been

repurposed courtesy of a $15,000

pledge and partnership with

Pacific Premier Bank. The

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

will oversee a new visitor’s

center and 3,200-square-foot public

office space will enable people

to work remotely from downtown

and even cross-pollinate skillsets

with other professionals.

“I am collaborative, yet competitive,”

laughed Emily. “I believe

in empowering people and using

their creative energy to generate

new ideas. It’s an exciting time

in Atascadero and I’m so glad to

take part in all of it!”


On May 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Chalk Mountain Golf

Course will host an Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Business

Mixer at Sunset Service Center, located at 8600 El Camino Real in

Atascadero. Enjoy complimentary food and drink while connecting

with fellow business professionals. The Business Mixer is a free

service of Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call the chamber at (805) 466-2044, email

info@atascaderochamber.org, or visit atascaderochamber.org.

36 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Tuesdays in the Park continue this summer

Barbecues to raise money

for local charities

By Heather Young

The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce,

Atascadero Elks Lodge and the

Atascadero Community Band will be back this

summer with its annual Tuesday in the Park

barbecues and concerts.

This year’s barbecues will span eight weeks

and the community band will perform on 11

Tuesdays between June 11 and August 20.

“I like it,” said Vicki Lee, interim CEO

of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s like a good ole Sunday picnic.”

The event starts at 5 p.m. with a barbecue

of tri-tip or chicken, beans, salad, garlic bread

and a drink. Desserts are sold for an extra cost

by the host organization. At 7 p.m., the event

migrates from the barbecue area near the zoo

to the bandstand by the lake.

“There’s that hometown feel,” Lee said.

“It’s a special thing.”

While the event will run as it has in the past,

there are a few changes. One is that the salad

will not be pre-dressed, there will be a couple of

salad dressings on the side. There will also be an

express pass, which is a season pass purchased

by June 11 for the entire summer of barbecues.

“The person will come in and buy tickets for

the whole summer and support all the nonprofits,”

Lee said. “They get to use the express

line and they get a free dessert.”

Presale tickets are $12 for seniors 60 years

old and older, $14 for those 11 to 59 and $9 for

children 10 and younger. Tickets purchased at

the event are $1 more each.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church members serve food.

Photo courtesy of Atascadero Chamber

This is the 24th consecutive year that the

barbecues have been happening. It all started,

Lee said, because the community band would

rehearse at the bandstand during the summer.

People gathered to listen to the band and started

to bring dinner to eat in the park while they

listened to the band.

It then became a fundraiser for community

nonprofits. Each week there is a different nonprofit

or two that hosts the event. The nonprofit

gets all the proceeds made from the event after

all expenses are paid.

Tickets can be purchased at the Atascadero

Chamber of Commerce or from any of the host





5 to 7 p.m.

Concert by Atascadero Community Band

7 to 8 p.m.

Weekly Hosts

June 11 Parents for Joy

June 18 St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

June 25 Atascadero Historical Society

and Atascadero Veterans’

Memorial Foundation

July 2 El Camino Homeless


July 9 Rotary Club of Atascadero

July 16 Kiwanis Club of Atascadero

July 23 Concert only, no barbecue

July 30 Philanthropic Educational

Organization & Creative

Alternative for Learning

and Living

Aug. 6 Quota International of

Atascadero and Community

Church of Atascadero United

Church of Christ

Aug. 13 Concert only, no barbecue

Aug. 20 Concert only, no barbecue

The band is currently recruiting musicians

who play woodwinds — flute, clarinet and

alto/tenor saxophone — percussion, trumpet

or coronet, trombone, euphonium and tuba.

The band rehearses every Tuesday during the

summer. The concerts are from 7 to 8 p.m. with

rehearsal from 8 to 9 p.m. Those who would

like to join the band and participate in the summer

concert series are required to attend all

regularly scheduled Tuesday evening rehearsals,

which start on May 14 and runs through June 4.

Auditions are not necessary; however, musicians

must provide their own instrument —

except for percussionists — and a music stand.

For more information on how to join the

band, go to AtascaderoBand.org.


(805) 466-7744

Home • Auto • Life • Bank • Financial Services

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 37

Photo by Luke Phillips

10th Annual Event Raises $170K for Local Nonprofits

By Mark Diaz

Dancing With Our Stars co-emcee Joel

Mason performs as Marty McFly from

"Back to the Future." Photo by Luke Phillips

This year marked the Friends of the

Atascadero Library’s tenth annual

Dancing with Our Stars celebration

and it’s come a long way baby.

DWOS coordinator Jeannie Malik said that

the event’s first year raised $25,000 to fund

the new library, a far cry from the $250,000

it garnered this year. Since its inception, the

production has raised a total of $989,000.

“Where we started in 2010,” Malik said,

“with no stage, it was dark. We had one

dancer that rode a bicycle up on [stage], that

was Keith Schmidt.”

This year, dancers sailed across a three-foot

raised custom made stage under professional

lighting to the beat of music from a hired DJ.

For 2019, the pageant looked back to the

80s, featuring music from Huey Lewis and

the News, ZZ Top and Madonna. Mayor

Steve Martin co-emceed the festivities with

professional performer Joel Mason, who took

time off his current rock/comedy production

”Tribute Schmibute.” Along the lines of the

80s theme, the two showmen dressed as Doc

and Marty from “Back to the Future.”

DWOS began in 2009 when FOAL decided

Atascadero needed a bigger library and

proposed to move the facility from its 7,000

square-foot location to a new 22,000 squarefoot

building. The move would cost approximately

$8 million. Fortunately, San Luis Obispo

County agreed to foot half the bill along

with maintaining and staffing the new location.

Even with the county’s help, raising millions

of dollars in a small town of 28,000 was

not an easy task, especially given the fact the

national economy was digging its way out of

the Great Recession.

Malik made clear that the fundraiser is not

all about money but it is a great opportunity

to bring people together as well as raise awareness

for nonprofits and their volunteers who

sacrifice their time and energy for the betterment

of the community. Now that the library

is in its new location, the event continues on to

help not-for-profit organizations in northern

SLO County.

“What keeps me going is the people,”

Malik said. “I love my people. I mean,

we’re just family.”

This year’s dancers, supporting their nonprofits,

were Susan Funk who danced with

Aaron Avila for American Association of

University Women, Tom Butler who demonstrated

his swing skills for Atascadero Greyhound

Foundation, Jan Lynch who spun an

east coast swing with Charlie Bradley for the

Atascadero Kiwanis Club, Steffi Ketzler who

sambaed with pro dancer Justin McMillan for

ECHO, and Karen McNamara who did her

two-step for the Atascadero Printery Foundation.

Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno

and Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish

also made the FOAL proud with their performances.

Each dancer raised money for the organization

they represented. Malik said that

FOAL’s dancers also raise money to help recoup

the cost for DWOS. She also wanted to

dispel idea that ticket sales cover the cost of

the production.

The winners of the event were the

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Kiwanis

Club and the Printery Foundation. Justin

McMillian received the coveted Good Sport

Award for answering the call at the last

38 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Photo by Luke Phillips

Photo by Nicholas Mattson

minute, learning a whole new dance routine

to fill in for an injured dancer. People’s

Choice awards were distributed each night.

Winners who took home a sparkling trophy

were Lynch, Banish and Butler, winner for

the last night.

Choreographer Frank Sanchez, who

worked as artistic director for the production

for many years decided to step down and

take it easier this time around, meaning he

only choreographed three numbers. Malik

said that time and again Sanchez has proven

himself an invaluable resource to the production.

For 2019, Moly Comin, who has been

involved with DWOS since its inception,

took the reins of the show, demonstrating her

boundless energy and passion for the event.

“She likes to have an upbeat, entertaining

show,” Malik said about Comin.

Comin and Malik each took about a week

or so off to enjoy the success of the show and

then could not wait to start working on next

year’s program. The working theme for the

2020 production is “TV Shows.”

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 39



Serving Atascadero

through the generations

By Mark Diaz

Around the time that Atascadero

was becoming an incorporated

city, the Glasmeiers were

getting into the tire business. Greg

and Cornia purchase Atascadero

Tire from her father and proceeded

to build a small town business on

the Central Coast. At the beginning

of 2019, their son Kyle and his wife

Bryttanie took the reins of the family

business now known as American

West Tire Pros.

“When we started the business

there were a lot of people

who were just having kids,” Greg

said. “We’re now dealing with

their kids’ kids.”

Being part of the community,

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the Glasmeiers used the success of

their business to give back to the

town. With children in the school

system, the business owners helped

and continue to help with supporting

booster clubs, sponsoring little

“When we started the business

there were a lot of people

who were just having kids. We’re

now dealing with their kids’ kids.”

league baseball and maintaining

the Atascadero High School band

trailer. AWTP also lends its assistance

to those who are experiencing

tough times by working on vehicles

brought to them through the women’s

shelter, churches and the El

Camino Homeless Organization.

Greg said that the business works

with all the churches in the area,

choosing not to focus on one particular


“We worked out a deal where

the people don’t come, the church

would bring us people that need

help,” Greg Glasmeier said.

Kyle said that he and Bryttanie

decided to buy his parents’ shares

of the company for one reason

— “family.” After working for the

AWTP for a few years, Kyle decided

to explore a career with PG&E.

Kyle and Bryttanie

Unfortunately, the job required him

to be away from his wife and children

for weeks at a time. He said

that another motivation was to keep

the store in the family and not see

it bought by some big corporation.

Greg and Cornia say they are

now happily retired except for their

Monday babysitting duties for their

two-year-old granddaughter Karson.

Cornia said that the two plan

on exploring Prague and Vienna in

celebration of their 40th wedding

anniversary, as well as visit another

Greg and Cornia

grandchild who lives in Texas. Allin-all,

they have four grandchildren

with one on the way later this month.

Much like their previous roles,

where Greg managed the shop and

Corina focused on accounting and

payroll, Kyle follows in his father’s

footsteps and Bryttanie (among the

many hats she wears) took over the

entire accounting department as well

as expanding AWTP’s digital marketing

footprint. Bryttanie said she

is exploring ways to reach a younger

crowd and is using social media outlets

to broaden their customer base.

Throughout the years of the

shop’s existence, its name has

evolved and its location has changed

but the quality of service remains a

family standard. After working with

Kyle for the past year, Greg said that

it is a great comfort to him that his

son will carry on the legacy of customer

satisfaction that he and Corina

worked so hard to establish.

“I am totally confident that he

will always do the right thing,”

Greg said. “That makes me

really happy.”

40 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

North County


Local business helps North County

residents find balance, achieve goals

By Melissa Chavez

In the past five years, the United States

Pilates industry has grown at an annual

rate of nine percent, and for good reason.

Pilates offers a low-impact, customizable and

long-term source of physical fitness.

Since 2006, North County Pilates, located

at 5815 Traffic Way in Atascadero, has provided

the North County with all the equipment

necessary to equip both new and experienced

clients to reach their fitness goals.

“My clients’ concerns are being able to be

active throughout their entire lives,” said owner

Melissa Barton. “About 70 percent who come

in have experienced an injury or have some sort

of pain, which knows no age. Every exercise we

do is modifiable. With individualized attention,

we can take someone exactly where they are

today and address any age, injury, or pain and

work with them.”

Among the early benefits of Pilates conditioning

is concentration, breathing and

self-awareness, of which are foundational for

continued progress. With regular participation,

clients begin noticing increased flexibility, control,

stability, precision, balance, and renewed

strength and stamina. Additional benefits are

improved blood flow (which oxygenates the

brain and body tissues), decreased stress and

improved mental fitness. The correct posture

used in Pilates also helps reduce muscle imbalance

and pain previously experienced in

everyday activities.

Three class options with a variety of pricing

are available for beginners and advanced

clients, including private/semi-private classes,

small group apparatus and drop-in classes, and

mat Pilates classes. Monthly memberships are

also now available with discounted group rates,

guest passes, and priority booking.

“Over the course of five private appointments,

we learn about their bodies and it gives

clients time to tune into their bodies and what

they’re feeling. We teach you how to be functional

and adjust to achieve the same tasks. I

love how Pilates makes one think about how

to carry their bodies,” Melissa said.

“Three years ago, one client had lower back

pain. When she returned today from vacation,

she said, ‘I did fine. I hiked over these big boulders

for miles and jumped off rocks. I feel safe

now that I can do it because my muscles are

supporting my bones. Activities are a joy!’’

What feedback does Melissa most often

hear from her clients?

“They tell me, ‘I’m not in pain anymore,’”

Melissa said.

For complete class information and pricing,

visit nc-pilates.com or call 805-466-9642.

Continued from page 09

Hope across ECR, and Hope Chest Emporium

has continued to expand its square footage

of old ranch and rustic furniture, housewares

and unique just-made items. Shop owner Karen

McNamara also recently took third place in

the Atascadero Dancing With Our Stars event,

raising almost $25,000 for the Atascadero

Printery Foundation — #uninhibited.

Running down El Camino, toward Traffic

Way, you find some empty spaces that would

once serve as fodder for criticism of Atascadero’s

abnormally high vacancy rate. But today,

there is more excitement than trepidation about

who will take residence in the old Scotty’s BBQ

space, and next to that a renovation is underway

with an opportunity to customize a great space

in a historic building that recently underwent

a facelift to recover the brick facade that lay

beneath years of caked-on exterior. Across the

street, a Dunbar Brewing banner hangs in the

former Camozzi’s window.

On the southwest corner of Traffic Way

and El Camino, Shane and Joanna Wemple

rolled up the doors of a garage conversion to

serve fresh and local grub from Colony Market

and Deli. The corner has been transformed

from a vacant parking lot to a picnic-tabled

patio to add yet another lunch option to

the Colony District.

Across the street, Nautical Cowboy opened

its doors in the Carlton Hotel a year ago and

continues to serve surf and turf, adding a solid

choice for dinner for families and dates. Chef

Kurtis comes on to take the lead in the kitchen,

with some signature dishes like Ora King Salmon

with wild mushroom-fennel risotto.

Traffic Way has seen a flurry of new businesses

take residence, like Traffic Records, Bland

Solar, Central Coast Cafe, She Shop Vintage,

among the longstanding Traffic Way usuals.

Also check out Malibu Brew’s new location

and patio facing Sunken Gardens on East Mall,

where you can pick up some coffee, lunch, or

Doc Bernstein’s ice cream.

All over the Colony District, it is happening,

new, growing and changing …

and worth a stroll.

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 41

The Atascadero Plan & Development Part I

By Members of the Atascadero Historical Society

Atascadero, since the inception of its

name, traversed by Franciscan friars

along the El Camino Real for nearly

a century, has long favored the adventurous

of heart. In the 1830s the mission lands

were confiscated by Mexico and secularized.

In 1845, the Estrada’s petition for land in the

rancho was granted by Governor Pico. Through

drought, hard times, gambling and alcohol they

lost their land to Bernard Murphy in 1861.

Murphy had traversed the Sierras in a covered

wagon from Iowa in 1844. He dispatched his

son Patrick, a general in the California National

Guard, to operate the rancho. One account

has Jason Henry, of San Jose, actually winning

the Atascadero Rancho away from Murphy in a

poker hand. This was not to be the last adventurer

with a keen interest in the rancho.

After a five-year battle with the post office,

surviving 14 indictments, E.G. Lewis had saved

his name. Congressional hearings followed and

after a year of hearings and 30,000 pages of testimony,

postal practices were forever changed.

Nevertheless, Mr. Lewis found himself penniless

and in bad health. With his second mayoral

term in University City coming to a close, he

chose not to seek a third term. His eyes and

dreams were already cast westward.

In November of 1912 he sent a letter to several

thousand friends throughout the country

stating his proposal to establish in California a

great colony along entirely new lines, carefully

thought out as a result of years of experience

developing University City and a wide observation

of conditions in both the crowded cities

and the rural districts. He solicited applications

of those who desired to secure tracts and homes

in the proposed colony, limiting the option to

10 acres for any one person.

On January 11, 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis

departed St. Louis with $2,000 borrowed

money. A month was spent investigating the

properties offered by various real estate agencies

or suggested by officials of the great railroad

systems, ranging from Los Angeles to the

middle Sacramento valley. More than 300,000

acres were personally inspected. The requirements

for the colony were exacting and great

difficulty was found in locating a property of

sufficient size, which could fully meet his 11

specific requirements.

Only the 23,770-acre Atascadero Rancho,

now owned by Jason Henry, met the requirements.

The geography and location were perfect.

Ideally located midway between two great

centers of commerce, San Francisco and Los

Angeles, on highway 101 and the Southern

Pacific rail line with access to Port San Luis.

In response to Mr. Henry’s asking price of

$1,000,000, Mr. Lewis offered a $500 option

with the $862,500 balance paid in installments.

The announcement and a call for funds

was made in Bulletin No. 1 with the motto

of Atascadero as “All the advantages of country

life with city conveniences.” Lewis raised

$250,000 in 19 days, paying off the balance in

four installments, ending on June 6. A month

later, on July 4, the Honorable J.H. Henry

ceremoniously transferred the title of the 40

square-mile property to Mrs. E.G. Lewis, representing

the Women’s Republic. Three thousand

people gathered for the festivities. They

arrived by train, automobile, buggy, wagon, tally-ho

and horseback. The transfer was signaled

by the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner,”

raising the flag high above a nearby hill, and by

a great aerial bomb. This was the birth of the

Atascadero Colony.

The mail campaign promoting the development

went all across America, Canada and

42 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

The design of Atascadero was master planned

in great detail. It was the first master-planned

community in California Specifically designed

to accommodate the automobile.

other English-speaking countries. Properties

were offered for sale, secured with a 10 percent

deposit. The response was outstanding. The

Santa Margarita Index (December 19, 1913)

reported “Telegrams came in by the hundreds,

reading ‘remitting $300, will take $3,000 worth

of lots,’ ‘pick for me $5,000 worth of lots, remitting

$500.’ At headquarters (a house located

where Vons stands today) it was estimated that

$400,000 worth of lots were ordered by telegraph

last week… This is nearly half a million

dollars of Civic Center construction money.”

Through the remainder of 1913, intensive

planning and survey work was completed. The

different phases of work were directed by experts

in their respective fields. All engineering

was under H.T. Cory, a nationally famed engineer

who had just previously mended the break

in the Colorado River that created the Salton

Sea. Professor E.J. Wickson, head of school

of agriculture of the University of California

directed Ag and horticulture surveys and soil

testing areas for orchard plantings. L.G. Sinnard,

an urban planner for Southern Pacific,

directed the allotment of land for industrial,

commercial, residential and civic purposes.

Bliss & Faville, architects of San Francisco

began the design of the Civic Center buildings.

John F. Sullivan was the general manager

of the entire project.

In early 1914, a construction headquarters

was completed. This included shops, warehouses,

equipment yards, dormitories and a

mess hall. Just south, along the rail line, a large

lumber and planing mill was built and also a

brick plant capable of producing 50,000 bricks

a day. More than 5,000,000 were used in the

construction of the Civic Center buildings.

These plants supplied most of the material

for the civic center buildings. One thousand

workmen were employed from camps in four

locations. Twenty-three miles of water mains

were laid. Water tanks were erected on Pine

Mountain and these were supplied from pumps

in the Salinas River. Three thousand acres of

orchards were planted, principally peaches,

pears and plums. Cornerstones were laid and

construction began on the major buildings in

the civic center. Some construction equipment

was used but mostly the work was the result

of the energy of men and hundreds of mules.

By April of 1914, the complete subdivision

of the 40 square-mile property, showing lots,

blocks and roads with exact dimensions, was

filed with the county board of supervisors and

the recorder. Almost one-fourth of the area was

reserved for parks and public open space. This

included a generous reserve along the bank of

all streams, one acre around each of the major

springs, 70 acres at Atascadero Lake, the Administration

and Civic Center Parks, Stadium

Park and others.

The design of Atascadero was master

planned in great detail. It was the first master-planned

community in California Specifically

designed to accommodate the automobile.

The Civic Center is one of the few extant

examples in the United States of an executed

original town plan that combined Beaux-Arts

and Olmsteadian design principles, otherwise

known as the Garden City Model. It included

a skeletal street network, associated landscape

features and buildings and structures of Italian

Renaissance design, chosen because it was

best adapted to the brilliant coloring of the native

flowers, shrubs and foliage, and the clear

southern sunlight.

As originally planned, the Civic Center (aka

Atascadero Estates Residential District Plan)

was of such size, scope and design that it was

determined eligible for inclusion in the National

Register of Historic Places through consensus

determination in 1987.

Next issue, Part II

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 43

North County Relay for Life Fundraiser set for June 15

12-hour American

Cancer Society will take

place in Sunken Gardens

By Heather Young

For the second year in a row, a

joint North County Relay For Life

event will take place in Sunken

Gardens in downtown Atascadero.

The Paso Robles and Atascadero

events merged last year in an effort

to save resources from having two

events, a trend that has been happening

throughout the country.

“We looked at some of our

smaller communities that had

smaller events [and combined

events],” American Cancer Society

Community Organizer Tony

Gonzales said.

The 2018 event, the first event

for the North County together,

had 15 teams with 70 participants.

All-in-all, Gonzales said, the event

raised $55,000 on and offline.

“[The funds raised is] definitely

up for each [event],” Gonzales

said, adding that costs of having

one combined event is half the

cost of having two separate ones.

He said that it is estimated that

this year’s event will raise about

$70,000. That amount is even

with the event going from a 24-

hour event to a 12-hour event.

The 24-hour event, Gonzales

said, takes up a whole weekend

with setup Friday night and clean

up on Sunday. This year’s event

will take place from 10 a.m. to

10 p.m. on June 15.

“There are no overnights this

year,” Gonzales said, “which is a

change from last year.”

Already the event has more teams

and participants than it did in 2018.

To get involved with the

North County Relay for Life,

go to RelayForLife.org

and search by zip code.

“The No. 1 way [to help] is to

be a participant on a team or start

[your] own team,” Gonzales said.

Teams have one to 20 people

and the goal is for each person to

raise $100. Each person who raises

$100 will get a T-shirt. Gonzales

said there are many ways people

can raise money. While some people

and teams are raising money

during the relay, most of the

fundraising is done in advance of

the event as the event is more of a

celebration of all the fundraising

that has been done.

“[It’s] great to have North

County communities reach for

the stars as we work together to

help raise awareness and necessary

funds to help more people

celebrate more birthdays,” North

County Relay for Life organizer

Dawn Daner said. “We are excited

about the new 12-hour format

and fun changes for this year. We

will still have free Kid Zone with

projects from Home Depot.”



Cali Grill will host a free lunch for

North County cancer survivors

and one caregiver on Saturday,

May 25 from noon to 2 p.m. at

the Paso Robles restaurant at 711

6 th St. To RSVP for the lunch, contact

David Farelas at 805-835-6021

or dfarelas@gmail.com. The luncheon

is to encourage local survivors

to celebrate the strides made

in fighting cancer and to raise

awareness within the community.

44 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019



North County will host 148 foreign students in July and August

Story and photos by Heather Young

One-hundred and forty-eight students

will descend onto the North County

this summer for two, three and four

weeks this July and August to improve their English

and learn about American culture through

Education First’s Educational Homestay Programs.

Students from China, France, Hong

Kong and Italy will arrive on July 18 and 25

with departures on August 6 and August 13.


FOR THE 2019


July 18 - August 6: France

July 18- August 13: France & Italy

July 25- August 6: China

July 25- August 13: China & Hong Kong

“The EF programs on our Central Coast give

such a unique view of life lived in California,”

North County International co-Site Director

Candice Hubbard said. “Students that join us

not only get to experience larger cities like Los

Angeles and San Francisco, they get to see

coastlines that are not littered with people and

trash, agriculture that helps feed our country

and a slower pace of life.”

Buses will transport students each weekday

from San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay,

Santa Margarita, Atascadero, San Miguel and

Paso Robles to the study center at Templeton

Middle School.

Host families are vital to the experiences the

students have while abroad. The host families

provide a safe and comfortable environment for

students and the students get the best experience

abroad as possible.

“It is so much fun teaching our students

about the culture of the Central Coast with

our good food, slower paced lifestyle, outdoor

living, and so much more,” Hubbard said.

Co-Site Directors Heather Young and Hubbard

will lead the program. Program leaders include

Cody Elmer, Whittney Jackson, Kristin

Thompson and Trudy Onings. The program still

needs one program leader to work various times

during the program. To find out more, email


“Not only do we get to share our Central

Coast lifestyle with them, they get to share

their home culture with us,” Hubbard said.

“It's like traveling without the cost of airfare.

What a fun way to connect with others

around the world.”

Host families come in all shapes and sizes

and we welcome such diverse families as single-parent

households, empty-nesters, and

families with small or grown children.

"It was a great experience for our family,”

Erica DeLaPaz said. “We met a wonderful

young lady who was full of life and loved learning.

She didn't hesitate to ask questions regarding

culture and our way of life. She also shared

with us about her country and customs. Information

we all shared is something you cannot

learn from a textbook.”

Students will get English and cultural lessons

with a full activities program that they will

take part in every day and some evenings, along

with optional excursions on the weekends.

Bertil Hult founded EF in 1965. Hult was

determined to develop a method of English

through action learning. He took a small group

Students from Finland, France, Italy and

Sweden spend the mornings in English

class during the program.

Mary Fiala and Ella Hodel say goodbye to

their student, Julie, from France in 2018.

of Swedish junior high students to the South

Coast of England to live the language — encouraging

them to use their classroom language

skills in real-life situations and acquire

authentic accents through contact with native

speakers their own age.

"Hosting an exchange student is such a

wonderful experience,” Linda Napoli said. “It's

difficult to describe since every time is different

but we get to meet such wonderful people

and learn about how people in other parts of

the world live."

Educational Homestay Programs is a nonprofit

program under the EF umbrella. The

families that host through this program volunteer

their time and homes to welcome students

from around the world to the area.

To learn more, contact Hubbard

at (805) 602-8153 or email



• A warm, friendly welcome

• A clean, comfortable well-lit

room, with sufficient heating,

a bed or air mattress, ventilation,

natural light, storage for clothes

and use of a table or desk

• Bed linen and towels which

should be cleaned by the host

family on a weekly basis

• Regular access to the bathroom

as per a member of the family

• Transportation to and from a local

bus stop in the area, where EF will

provide the student transportation

to and from the school

• Breakfast, a packed lunch, and dinner

• Access to laundry facilities at least

once per week

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 45




Work Progressing on Waterfront Lease Sites

By Neil Farrell

ork is progressing on

major construction

projects on the Morro Bay Embarcadero

with a small vacation

rental facility nearing completion

and the roofline of another new

building taking a somewhat Oriental


Bob Fowler is the master leaseholder

for Morro Bay Landing,

next door to the Harbor Hut. His

project is the current iteration of a

plan that was first approved about

15 years ago when Virg’s Landing

held the lease and operated a tackle

shop, sport fishing and whale

watching charter business.

Gene Doughty of Land-Sea

Interface was the architect for the

project and is also helping build it

along with Fowler, who is acting

as owner/builder. Doughty said

he designed it to cantilever over

the water, matching the way the

old building was built. The design

feels hefty with huge timbers and

Doughty said that's intentional.

"It's designed so when you're

walking in it, it feels like you're

under a pier or dock," Doughty

explained, taking a short timeout.

The concrete slab is hefty too.

It's up to 24-inches thick using a

"floating mat slab" design, Doughty

said. The roofline is special too.

Doughty said he wanted to pick

up the flow and movement of the

bay waters, and thus the sway of

the timbers. "Some people say it

looks Oriental," he said, smiling.

Fowler said Patriot Sportfishing

will reopen a tackle shop and Grassy

Bar Oyster Co. will set up a processing

and sales facility, too. There are a

couple of other spaces available (call

805-701-5702) and Fowler said he

was negotiating with someone for

the restaurant space.

The wet winter slowed the job

down but they expect work to

progress quickly, now.

"We're looking at July (to be

finished),” Fowler said. "We didn't

have a full, five day work week until

the middle of January."

Fowler said the new building

will cost some $1.6 million.

The Harbor Hut recently completed

rebuilding a floating dock

and connected it to the new docks

at Morro Bay Landing and with

Fowler's previous dock replacement.

What was mostly empty

water is now a very nice, modern

marina for large boats. Sport fishing

boats and cruise boats continue

to operate from the docks. Fishing

trips can be booked at a temporary

tackle shop in a trailer at the front

of the construction site.

Across the Embarcadero, in

the 1100 block of Front St., the

finishing touches were going into

a six-unit vacation rental/hotel

called "Salty Sister Suites at

Morro Rock."

Terri Hicks of Seven Sisters

Vacation Rentals is handling the

booking and her husband, Brett

Whitaker, built it.She said technically

they're a hotel but it was

"designed more like a home."

Each suite has a kitchen and other

amenities one expects in a vacation

home rental. And yet the interior

can be opened up and the whole

building becomes like one big

house. It'll sleep 24, she said, with

six master suites, six bathrooms,

multiple kitchens and game rooms,

a rooftop deck and more. Or it can

be closed off into individual suites

and rented separately.

"People want to be together,"

Hicks explained, "but they still

like their privacy." Two of the

suites are handicap accessible too.

Hicks said she's already booked

the whole facility for one large

family coming to town for Cal

Poly graduation in June. But it still

wasn't big enough, so she pointed

them toward the Bayfront Inn a

few doors down, and "We'll send

them to Frankie & Lola's for

breakfast," Hicks laughed. For information

on booking, call (805)


A third major construction

project involves The Boatyard

Center and Otter Rock Café lease

sites in the 800 block of Embarcadero.

The project is making repairs,

rebuilding a failed seawall

at The Boatyard and putting in

new floating docks and slips,

plus a tear-up/remodel of the

old Otter Rock.

The project has meant the temporary

closure of Rock Kayaks

and the dislocating of the Bay

Cruisers Electric Boat Rentals to

next door and moving the Lost

Isle Tiki Boat to a public dock

next to the Hofbrau. A small coffee

and sandwich shop and other

small retail shops have closed, too

during construction.

Lost Isle owner/Capt. Dane Jacobs,

said they continue to run the

Tiki Boat on Fridays, Saturdays

and Sundays. Call 805-771-1041,

otherwise, the boat with a full bar

leaves every hour.

Jacobs said, "We're hoping

they finish it up pretty quick."

He added that it's been a tough

go, as they also had to close their

retail Tiki Store because of the

construction. "But it's worked out

OK," he said, because of all the

bad weather this winter. He anticipates

when the work is done,

they'll go back to the operation

they had before with a Tiki Store

and cruise boat.

Jacobs is optimistic it will

all eventually "get back to

business as usual."

As for the new restaurant, according

to City reports, the leaseholder,

Cliff Branch, is planning

to lease the restaurant space to

Sunny Smith, who owns Willow

Market Restaurants in Nipomo

and Shell Beach.

46 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019


City of Morro Bay

land use changes spark concern

By Neil Farrell

Could Morro Bay’s new sewer system and

the land use changes it requires lead to a

major growth spurt as well?

That’s what a group of wary citizens wanted to

know at a March 27 meeting with a City official

and the executive director of the County agency

that deals with annexations, organized by a local

conservation group.

Morro Bay Open Space Alliance or MBOSA,

organized the public meeting to hear about the

annexation process, in particular how it pertains

to the so-called Tri-W property at the terminus

of South Bay Boulevard, where the City is planning

to build a new sewer treatment plant.

Former City Councilman Noah Smukler emceed

the event and explained that they were there

to discuss Tri-W corporation’s ranchland properties

that essentially “surround the east side of the City

of Morro Bay.” He noted that one of the three large

parcels — directly above the end of Morro Bay

Boulevard — was the subject of a voter initiative

in 1990 that sought to limit a major commercial

development that the property owners, the Williams

Family and now called Tri-W, had proposed.

Indeed, that issue was practically a political battle

royale in town and led to Measures H being passed.

Measure H changed the zoning on that land (it had

been commercial-visitor-serving) and limited the

size that could be developed to just 13 acres.

Another pertinent law, Measure F ( passed in

1980), requires the City to get a vote of the people

before it annexes any land into the city limits,

with some exceptions, such as for public facilities,

i.e. a sewer plant.

Community Development Director Scot Graham

said with the Tri-W property that includes

the sewer site (Tri-W2), the plan is to annex

30 acres needed for the plant and create a legal

parcel. But Tri-W also requested, as part of the

memorandum of understanding for the purchase,

that the City would seek to have the remaining

396 acres brought into the City’s “sphere of influence”

or SOI. That arrangement was put onto

paper and the City’s planning maps changed in

June 2018, he said.

So far as he knows, there is no guarantee that

request would be granted by the Local Agency Formation

Commission, or LAFCo., just that the City

agreed to make the request when the time comes.

Graham also said that Tri-W has not indicated

why they want the change made.

LAFCo., Executive Director, David Church,

explained that his agency’s focus is on good planning,

avoiding urban sprawl, making good use of

resources and protecting agriculture, among others.

LAFCo. oversees incorporations of cities, he

said, the formation of special districts, dissolution

of special districts, annexations by cities and

detachments, which he said is when a City takes

land out of its City Limits.

They also update the sphere of influence areas,

which he defined as lands adjacent to cities where

logical and planned expansion might take place.

The sphere of influence gets updated every 5-7

years, Church said, or as needed. That helps to determine

the “probable service area 20 years out,” he

explained, calling the SOI a “decision-making tool.”

“The sphere of influence doesn’t require annexation,”

Church said. “Annexation is a whole separate

process.” It’s also involved and requires public

meetings and several studies be done.

He said that back in 2007, LAFCo. stripped

just about all of Morro Bay’s sphere of influence,

which he said he regrets doing. That was done after

a required “municipal service review,” which is done

to judge a city’s ability to provide services such as

water and sewer, to the areas. At the time, Morro

Bay was seen as unable to do so.

“If you have a city with a tight water supply

[like Morro Bay],” he said, “that goes into the

mix and decision making on annexations.”

If a property was being annexed for agriculture

or open space, he said, LAFCo. would put a conservation

easement over it in perpetuity.

Former City Councilwoman Susan Mullen

recounted the wars that were fought over the

Tri-W property back in the 1980s and ‘90s,

saying that she and others were fighting to save

“Morro Bay’s small-town character.”

She said the property owners tried to get voters

to approve an 80-acre development but failed.

Then they succeeded in passing a 32-acre development

at the polls, which led to Measure H,

which cut the development envelop down to 13

acres, and also led to she and former Councilman

Ben Luna being sued. They won, and in 1999,

the Coastal Commission wiped out the map that

voters had approved too.

Mullen admitted to being “a little biased” over

the issue but cautioned residents.

“I think to put a 13-acre commercial development

within the sphere of influence is one thing,”

she said. “But more than 300 acres is scary. We have

to really scrutinize this project.”

Graham explained that the City “has no desire

to do anything.” He explained that the updated

land use map was finished more than a year ago

and “then this issue was brought back up. I was

unaware of it, and I guess that’s my fault.” He had

to go back and amend the land use maps being

included in the general plan update that’s winding

down and the Tri-W2 property was included

under an agriculture zoning. The other property,

above Morro Bay Boulevard, is mostly already

within the City Limits.

Church cautioned that being included within

the sphere of influence “doesn’t convey any extra

authority” to the City, and it “doesn’t convey any

rights” to property owners.

Graham said the annexation of the treatment

plant site’s 30 acres would be done at the same time

as the request to expand the SOI onto the rest of

the property.Should the City want to annex the

remainder of the property someday, it would have

to get permission from voters, he said..

“There is some question as to the legality of

the voter initiative [Measure H],” he said, “but

we still have an ordinance in place” which codified

the initiative.

However, “No one’s said they want to expand the

City out there except for the wastewater treatment

plant,” Graham said.

Also, the City’s new SOI maps also include hundreds

of acres of the Chevron property, which is

essentially the hillsides above the residential neighborhood

in North Morro Bay and extending north

along Highway 1 to the old Chevron Marine Terminal

Shore Plant at Toro Creek Road and Highway

1, and including the so-called “Dog Beach.”

Graham said there is a “big effort to conserve

those properties” involving numerous agencies including

the Trust for Public Land, Cayucos Land

Conservancy, MBOSA, SLO County, the City

and others. Last year the State Coastal Conservancy

granted $1 million toward the purchase of

the Toro Creek Ranch and Dog Beach, which has

a price tag of some $5 million.

Barry Branin, a vocal critic of the City’s sewer

project, said it looks like the City was opening the

door to litigation.

Mullen noted that in 2015, an economic development

initiative sought to get rid of Measure H,

which would open some 177 acres up to development,

and in turn potentially open the nearly 400

acres of the Tri-W2 parcel to development.

Graham said, “People can ask for whatever they

want but the City of Morro Bay is not required to

support it.”

May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 47


Cruisin’ Morro Bay Car Show

This Weekend • May 3-5

The 23rd Annual Cruisin’ Morro Bay Car Show, set for Friday-Sunday, May 3-5 in Downtown

Morro Bay will feature more than 500 classic and customized cars and trucks,and hot rods.

The Car Show starts Friday with the Annual

Cruise Night through the streets of Downtown

Morro Bay from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Bring a folding chair

and dress warmly as you watch millions of dollars of

automotive history parade the streets.

Saturday’s Show & Shine Car Show takes over

Downtown from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday’s show runs

from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with trophies being handed out

at 1 p.m. at Main and Morro Bay Boulevard.

The Morro Bay High Auto Shop will have an

open house Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Bear

Metal Customs, 1147 Scott St., has an open house

from 2 to 8 p.m.

The Old Soul Speed and Custom Shop, 339

Quintana Rd., will have an open house from noon to

2 p.m. Saturday. Old Soul is owned by Ben Bright,

who was on the TV show “Overhaulin’” with custom

car builder Chip Foose.

The show is a fundraiser for Police Explorers’ Post

No. 43; Rotary Club of Morro Bay; the Morro Bay

High School Athletics and Auto Shop Programs;

the SLO Noor Foundation; Community Foundation

of Estero Bay; and Womenade.

From humble beginnings in 1997 with just 125

cars, the Morro Bay Car Show has grown into one of

the biggest events and busiest weekends of the year

in Morro Bay.

All events at the car show are free to attend.



CA Lic. #01918524



815 Morro Bay Blvd • Morro Bay, CA 93442

The ONLY Bead & Garden Shop on the Central Coast!



as well as a huge selection of succulents, air

plants and miniature garden accessories

333 Morro Bay Blvd.

Morro Bay, CA



48 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

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CASA holds Hope for the Future fundraiser

North County Court Appointed Special Advocates continue ‘Giving Voice to the Children’

By Mark Diaz

On Saturday, May 4, the nonprofit organization

Court Appointed Special

Advocates (CASA) will host its third

annual Hope for the Future fundraiser from 5 to

9 p.m. at the Paso Robles Inn, located at 1103

Spring Street, Paso Robles. The event welcomes

people to dine in elegance and savor local wines

while offering bids on silent and live auctions and

features the return of its famous Cake Auction.

In San Luis Obispo County, more than 460

children are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile

court because they were abused, neglected, or

abandoned by their parents with approximately

40 percent of children in the foster care system

being placed in the North County. Hope for

the Future was launched in 2017 to gain more

financial support for CASA to serve the children

living in Paso Robles, Atascadero, Templeton and

the outlying towns in the area.

Many of these children live in foster homes,

moving from one residence to another with appalling

frequency. CASA’s trained volunteers

provide a consistent source of support to these

children, advocating for needed services and appropriate

placement until a permanent home is

found. Funds raised at Hope for the Future are

used for recruiting, screening, training and supervising

volunteer advocates.

As the only nonprofit organization working

for the juvenile court, CASA is in a unique position

to help children who’ve experienced the

trauma of abuse and neglect. After completing a

training program provided by the nonprofit, volunteer

advocates are assigned a child or sibling

group and these volunteers become a consistent

adult figure in the lives of children during a very

uncertain and stressful time.

CASA of SLO County, in collaboration with

must! Charities, has significantly increased its

presence in the area, recruiting more volunteers

and serving more of the children living there. At

the end of 2018, a total of 67 volunteers were

assigned to 89 children in the North County,

increasing the number of children served in the

area from 33 percent to more than 54 percent in

the past three years.

Since 2017, North County Program Manager

Melanie Barket regularly staffs the new CASA

office in Atascadero, allowing volunteers to meet

with supervisors in the North County office instead

of being forced to travel over the grade to

meet in SLO.

“Spending time with the children, whether

reading to them, going to the park or visiting the

library, allows the volunteer to learn about the

child’s or children’s needs and desires, all of which

are considered when making recommendations

in the child’s best interest to the juvenile dependency

court,” said CASA SLO Executive Director

Teresa Tardiff. “Many CASA volunteers find

the experience of advocating for their child more

rewarding than anything they have ever done.”

For more information on the CASA or to volunteer,

visit slocasa.org or call 805-541-6542.

Photos by Tina Clark

76 Gas Station.................................. 12

777 Motorsports.............................. 48

777 Tractor Sales.............................. 35

A Beautiful Face................................ 27

American West Tire Pros................... 13

Arlyne’s Flowers................................ 08

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation.15

Atascadero Hay & Feed.................... 07

Atascadero Pet Hospital................... 07

Atown Family Med........................... 07

Avila Traffic Safety............................. 21

Awakening Ways.............................. 32

Beads by the Bay.............................. 48

Black Cat Bistro................................. 31

Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 40

County Clerk-Recorder Notice.......... 36


Thank you for choosing Colony Magazine

Dancing With Our Stars................... 05

Dutch Maytag................................... 21

Equine Experience........................... 27

Estrella Warbirds.............................. 02

Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 35

Glenns Rental and Repair................ 29

Grace Yoga Central Coast................. 07

Greg Malik RE Group..................10-11

Hearing Aid Specialists.................... 03

His Healing Hands........................... 31

Hope Chest Emporium.................... 08

John Donovan State Farm............... 37

Las Tablas Animal Hospital............... 32

Lube N Go......................................... 27

Mid Coast Mower............................. 24

North County Pilates........................ 12

Nautical Cowboy.............................. 27

Odyssey World Cafe......................... 30

Pioneer Day - Best of the West......... 52

Robert Fry, M.D................................. 32

SLO County Office of Education....... 34

Solarponics....................................... 21

Stove & Spa....................................... 25

Sue Hubbard Farmers Insurance.... 40

Tari Haberfield - Keller Williams...... 48

The Laundromat by Swish & Swirl... 27

Wyatt Wicks Finish Carpentry.......... 27

50 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019

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