ATASCADERO | SANTA MARGARITA | CRESTON | MORRO BAY | THE STORY OF US
Antique Equipment Show
Santa Margarita Ranch
Warbirds, Wings & Wheels 11
Memorial Day Events
BEST OF THE WEST ANTIQUE EQUIPMENT SHOW
PLANES, TRAINS, TRACTORS, AND OLD AUTOS — THE SHOW HAS SOMETHING FOR ALL AGES
JB DEWAR: TRACTOR RESTORATION PROJECT
STUDENTS EARN A LIFETIME OF EXPERIENCE RESTORING TRACTORS
SOMETHING WORTH READING
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.
CITY & CHAMBER REPORTS
35 Atascadero City Council Report
36 Emily Reneau Takes Helm at Chamber
TASTE OF COLONY
37 Tuesdays in the Park BBQs Scheduled
38 Dancing With Our Stars Winners
WARBIRDS, WINGS, & WHEELS
11TH ANNUAL KICKS OFF ON MAY 11
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
MODEL TRAINS & SHIPS
MIKE FITZGERALD GIVES A TOUR
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
ON THE COVER
Santa Margarita Ranch
Pacific Coast Railroad
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
Jan Lynch $35,191
Atascadero Printery Foundation
Karen McNamara $24,231
Friends of the Atascadero Library
El Camino Homeless Organization
Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation
Total Gross Funds Raised (before expenses) $211,000
Cheryl Strahl Photography
Interested in Applying
to Participate in
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
Julie C Fallon MD
John & Yvonne Webster
Emerald Sponsor $3,500
Howard Products, Inc.
Atascadero 76-Don Giessinger
Awakening Ways Spiritual Community
Gold+ Sponsors $2500
Gold Sponsors $2,000
Eric J. Gobler, Civil Engineering
Greg Malik Real Estate
Don & Helen Jernigan
Ron & Liz Helgerson
Bill Gaines Audio
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
DJ Joy Bonner
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
March 26, 27 & 28th!!
Something Worth Reading
ATASCADERO • SANTA MARGARITA
CRESTON • MORRO BAY
PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LEAD AD DESIGN
LAYOUT & DESIGN
EDITOR, LAYOUT & DESIGN
Dr. James Brescia, Ed.D.
Atascadero Historical Society
“Magazine Mama” Millie Drum
VOLUME I • NUMBER 11
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“You have to keep breaking your
heart until it opens.”
“Raise your words, not your
voice. It is rain that grows
flowers, not thunder.”
“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.
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
OPENS TO PUBLIC
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
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
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
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
A VIEW FROM
PARALLEL LINES OF PROGRESS
AND 130 YEARS
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
For more information, go to
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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We’re open Mon-Fri: 7:30 - 5:30 Saturdays: 8:00 - 5:00
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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
“We’re on our way to doing
bigger and better things,”
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
ATASCADERO PRINTERY FOUNDATION
HOSTS ITS ANNUAL FOUNDER’S RECEPTION
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
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
14 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019
Leo Tidwell Excavating Corporation
s o n & T e d
A program dedicated to overcoming addiction through
awareness, prevention, intervention, and education.
with you every step of the way
Fun Run & Family Day
June 1, 2019
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Vineyard & Winery
5036 S. El Pomar, Templeton
The 7th annual
Leo Tidwell Excavating Corporation
• Run or walk!
• Kids 1/2 mile & 100-yard dash
• Food, vendor fair & bounce house
• Register online: EventBrite.com
SCAN ME TO
The 7th annual
Fun Run & Family Day
June 1, 2019
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
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.
SCAN ME TO
s o n & T e d
with you every step of the way
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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,
“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,”
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
BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO
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
“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
In addition to the historical
and patriotic aspects,
this popular event is just
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
“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
“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.”
ANTIQUE EQUIPMENT SHOW
AT THE HISTORIC SANTA MARGARITA RANCH
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
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
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.
Any high schooler living
in San Luis Obispo or Santa
VIEW THE TRACTOR PROJECTS
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Monday, May 27 at noon
8951 Morro Road (Hwy. 41)
Atascadero, SLO County Faces of Freedom
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
28 | The Story of Us May 2019
Whoo Hoo - It’s Car Time!
Friday through Saturday May 24 & 25
GOLDEN STATE CLASSICS
Cruise and Car Show
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
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).
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,
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.
HIS HEALING HANDS
Salads & Soup
Fish & Seafood
Meat & Fowl
9 th Tri- Tip Dinner by Open Range Catering
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.firstname.lastname@example.org
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
1218 Pine Street
of two entrees,
Open Daily 5-9pm • Closed Wednesdays
May 2019 The Story of Us | 31
EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION’S
Offer FREE FLIGHT Program
By Mark Diaz
On Saturday, May 18,
2019, members of the
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,
IN SPORTS MEDICINE
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
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
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®
not only affordable—but accessible—for all.
It’s only $25. Invite your friends and family to
join us for this fun, meaningful event. Have a
question? We’d love to hear from you. Email us
at email@example.com. or call 805-
May 2019 The Story of Us | 33
North County Students at the PAC
James J. Brescia Ed.D.
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.”
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.
34 | The Story of Us May 2019
ATASCADERO CITY COUNCIL REPORT
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
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
“We are excited to have
Emily Reneau as our
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
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
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
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!”
ATASCADERO CHAMBER BUSINESS MIXER
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
firstname.lastname@example.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
JOIN THE ATASCADERO COMMUNITY BAND
5 to 7 p.m.
Concert by Atascadero Community Band
7 to 8 p.m.
June 11 Parents for Joy
June 18 St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
June 25 Atascadero Historical Society
and Atascadero Veterans’
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
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.
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
“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 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
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
40 | colonymagazine.com Colony Magazine, May 2019
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
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,’”
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
FREE LUNCH FOR NORTH
COUNTY CANCER SURVIVORS
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 email@example.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
SEEKS VOLUNTEER HOST FAMILIES
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.
DATES AND COUNTRIES
FOR THE 2019
NORTH COUNTY PROGRAM
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
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
HOST FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES
• 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
TIDES | MORRO BAY
Work Progressing on Waterfront Lease Sites
By Neil Farrell
ork is progressing on
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
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
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
TIDES | MORRO BAY
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
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
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
May 2019, Colony Magazine colonymagazine.com | 47
TIDES | MORRO BAY
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!
OPEN EVERY DAY!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BEAD
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
New Morro Bay Advertising!
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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
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
DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS
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
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