SLO LIFE Magazine Oct/Nov 2019

slolife

LIFE

SLOmagazine

CENTRAL COAST

REAL ESTATE

FAMILY

OUTING

TAKING IN

THE VIEW

ADVENTURE

GET

REA

UPCOMING

HAPPENINGS

FALL

FLAVOR

BEHIND THE

SCENES

ON THE

RISE

OCT/NOV 2019

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

MEET

MICHAEL BOYER

CARVING A PATH &

STAKING OUT THE FUTURE

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


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SLO LIFE

magazine

CONTENTS

Volume

10

Number 5

Oct/Nov 2019

38

Family

14

PUBLISHER’S

MESSAGE

16

18

20

26

Info

Sneak Peek

In Box

Briefs

32

VIEW

34

Q&A

40

On the Rise

42

MICHAEL BOYER

28

Timeline

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

36

Now Hear This


HIGHEST HOSPITAL SAFETY RATING.

7 YEARS IN A ROW.

Just five hospitals in the state of California have the honor of this distinction.

Thank you to our nurses, doctors, staff and volunteers for helping Sierra Vista and Twin Cities Hospitals

achieve recognition as two of the safest hospitals in America, every year since 2012.

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


| CONTENTS

78

Taste

86

Kitchen

88

WINE NOTES

54

INSIGHT

58

68

72

Dwelling

Real Estate

Health

92

BREW

96 Happenings

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


DESIGN. BUILD. MAINTAIN.

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Recently, our daughter, Geneva, turned sixteen, and the State of California deemed her worthy of receiving

a driver’s license. Leading up to that fateful day, there was much deliberation and speculation about what we

would do for her first set of wheels.

Initially, we came up with the concept of a matching-funds program where we would match her dollar-fordollar

on the purchase of a used car. In other words, if she were to save $1,500, we would then kick in another

$1,500 for a $3,000 car. The only problem with that plan is between her jampacked schedule—school and

dance—there is very little time left over for babysitting gigs. So, I came up with an alternative.

As we settled in for dinner one night, I announced my solution: “Geneva, since you’ve only got $196 in

savings, we really don’t want you driving a $392 car. Instead, I’ve got a proposal.” She lowered her fork and

leaned in, listening intently, as her social life hanged in the balance.

Point by point, I broke it down. She was to keep her savings, and Mom and Dad would be buying the car. But, and this was a very big “but,” we would

have the ability to choose whatever vehicle we felt was best. And, as I reasoned that night, “Since you are a perfect combination of Mommy and me, we

thought it only made sense that your first car also be a perfect combination of our first cars.” I continued, “Geneva, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and

what we are going to do is find you a hybrid—and I don’t mean a Prius.”

The rosiness drained from my daughter’s face as I reminded her that my first car was a 1964 El Camino, which my grandpa used to drive around the

ranch inspecting his cotton for boll weevil infestations. As for my wife, she drove a 1988 Yugo, which she inherited second-hand from her big brother.

So, what do you get when an El Camino and a Yugo fall in love and have kids? None other than an El Yugomino.

She sunk deep into her chair, calculating how far away she could park from campus and still make it to her first-period class, while my wife and I

wandered down memory lane. I talked about the hours I spent restoring the El Camino, which had been sitting on blocks in our driveway for years.

Everything from overhauling the engine to re-upholstering the interior to an entirely new paint job. Nearly all the money I made working as the fullserve

gas jockey down at the Union 76 station went into that car. If I instead invested it in an S&P 500 Index Fund, after thirty years, I would be, well,

that’s depressing—I don’t want to talk about it.

Next, my wife, Sheryl, talked about her car, a Yugo, which she noted, was the souped-up sport model, meaning it came with racing stripes. The

aftermarket stereo system her brother had installed far exceeded the value of the car itself. Eventually, third gear wore down and did not work. As she

was shifting, she would have to get going fast enough in second gear to skip third and go straight to fourth. The gas gauge didn’t work either, so refueling

was a game of chance. Ironically, given its diminutive stature, parking was quite problematic, not just because reverse only worked properly with “driver’s

assist,” which meant opening the door and pushing down Fred Flintstone-like to start the car backward, but also because of the varsity football team.

They thought it was hilarious when the offensive line would pick up the class president’s tiny Yugoslavian car, walk it across the lot, and set it in the

planter bed framing the main entrance.

By now, Geneva had both elbows on the table, hands cradling her forehead, looking down in obvious distress. “Don’t worry, kid,” I said, “our cars never

let us down—except that time Mommy’s driveshaft snapped in half—and that’s the whole point here, to go safely from Point A to Point B. Your El

Yugomino will do just that, we promise.” My wife then concluded her story, telling our daughter that she kept her car running with duct tape and divine

intervention and Hubba Bubba until she went off to college, where she traded it to her landlord for two months of rent.

It turns out that Craigslist did not have any El Yugominos for sale, so we had to settle on the next best thing: a 2008 Volkswagen Beatle. But, there was

a catch. It had a manual transmission. Hour upon hour was spent on seldom-traveled dirt roads teaching her the art of “driving stick.” Whenever she

became frustrated by her lack of progress and grumbled something along the lines of, “Why didn’t you just get an automatic? It would have been so

much easier.” We would respond, “That’s exactly the point—we don’t care about it being easy, we want you to learn—and, at least, you’ve got third gear.”

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

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

Live the SLO Life!

El Yugomino

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

Get the story within the story by going to GrowWithTom.com and

subscribing to Tom’s Bombs to receive the next installment.

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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SLO LIFE

magazine

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

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PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Charlotte Alexander

Sam Blakeslee

Erika Fitzgerald

Paden Hughes

Jaime Lewis

Andria McGhee

Brant Myers

Jessie Rivas

Shawn Strong

Kara Woodruff

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

David Lalush

Mark Nakamura

Vanessa Plakias

Sofia Rivas

CONTRIBUTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may

be edited for clarity and space limitations.

ADVERTISING

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

media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

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

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

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

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CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising

rates, space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective

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

before date of issue.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

info@slolifemagazine.com

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17


| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

BEHIND the scenes

WITH MICHAEL BOYER

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

I asked him about what drew him to this line of

work. He talked about how great it was to have a

place for kids and families to share an experience

together, a little moment of joy. He talked about

how ice cream always brings smiles.

This little girl walked in with her mom, she had just

gotten out of school. It was her treat day. I asked the

mom if I could take a picture of her little girl, her

name is Audrey, and she’s five. She got an ice cream

and Michael got the same one and then they sat in

a booth together. It was adorable.

While I was there, I was mesmerized by a model train that

circles around the space. I wanted to get a shot with it stopped

overhead, so they stopped it for me when it was in the perfect

spot. You’ve got to have perfect timing in photography, but

sometimes perfect timing comes with a little help.

Michael said he

had just returned

from Alaska to visit

his parents. He

took his son along

and they went

camping with no

electricity, no cell

service. He talked

about how much

he likes being off

the grid in the

wild. He said they

counted over a

thousand caribou.

SLO LIFE

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| IN BOX

Take us with you!

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

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

GLENEAGLES, SCOTLAND

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

TONI and CRAIG KINCAID

UGANDA

SARA, ARIC, BEN, and JONAH SHAFRAN

GALWAY, IRELAND

TERRI MONELL and EILEEN AMARAL

SUZANNE and GLEN

Sisters traveled to Ireland for Terri’s 60th Birthday.

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


NA PALI COAST, KAUAI

ROUTE 66

JUDE BASILE

FOREST GROVE, OREGON

JACOB, MARVIN and JOE DISHER

SLO LIFE Magazine traveled over 2,500 miles by

motorcycle along Route 66 with three generations

from Chicago to Santa Monica.

PALENQUE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO

LOUIE and ORIETTA VASQUEZ

Celebrating our 32nd Wedding Anniversary at

Appolloni Vineyards. Cheers!

THE ARIAS MCGRATH AND LANDEROS

GARCIA FAMILIES

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| IN BOX

SLO LIFE travels!

LANA’I CITY, HAWAII

VIETNAM

ASHLEY and AMANDA SIROIS visiting over 600 rescue cats

at the Lana’i Cat Sanctuary.

PONT DU GARD, FRANCE

JESSICA DARIN AND BRADLEY KYKER took

SLO Life Magazine on the Mekong River Delta, as we led a

team of Cal Poly students on an Alternative Breaks Global

Service trip to Vietnam.

PISA, ITALY

STEVE MATHIS, JENNY MATHIS,

PEGGY MYRICK, and LARRY MYRICK

GEYSIR HOT SPRING, ICELAND

JOHN and FREDENE MAULHARDT

ERIN and FRANK AVILA,

KELLI THORNTON and CHARLIE RICHARDSON

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

LIMEKILN BEACH, BIG SUR

LISA SCHOTT and dog PENNI

KEY WEST, FLORIDA

SARAH and BEN HAWKINS in front of the 849-year-old

gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame.

KAUAI

DIANE, NICK, STELLA and LENA WETTLAUFER

LAKE TAHOE

ANGELENA and NICHOLAS AGALOS at the

Ernest Hemingway House and Museum.

CABO SAN LUCAS

The SLO Tsunamis after completing a 12-mile swim

across Lake Tahoe in the annual Trans Tahoe Relay.

BRIAN and DIANE

DZUKOLA

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


You showed us!

SAINT ALBANS, VERMONT

PISA, ITALY

Enjoying SLO LIFE Magazine at the 97th annual

HAWKINS FAMILY reunion.

AMSTERDAM

NINA HANSEN escaping the crowds with

SLO LIFE Magazine at the Torre Pendente in Pisa.

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

JANA WALKER

Found this cow in our Amsterdam hotel.

Made me think of SLO!

TRACI FERNANDES,

KELTON, and KYLER

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

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

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

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

Letters may be edited for content and clarity.

To be considered for publication your letter should include your name, address, phone number, or email address (for authentication purposes).


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| BRIEFS

40

Four decades ago Gary Eberle released

his first Eberle wine, a 1979 Cabernet

Sauvignon bearing the iconic boar logo

(Eberle means “small boar” in German).

Since then, he has earned recognition

for many firsts, including the first to use

the Paso Robles appellation on his wine

label, and the first to produce a 100%

Syrah commercially. This year, Eberle

celebrated forty years in the business by

earning the esteemed Robert Mondavi

Hospitality Award.

7,650

The total number of students that San

Luis Coastal Unified School District

enrolled in the current school year at the

district’s ten elementary schools, two

middle schools, three high schools, and

two adult schools.

$7.2 million

The cost of converting the Octagon Barn,

a San Luis Obispo landmark built in 1906

and located just south of the city on Higuera

Street, into a community center. A grand

opening was held in September, with plans

to open the gates to the public daily starting

the first part of 2020. Government grants, as

well as private donations raised by the Land

Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County

paid for the renovation, which took twenty

years to complete.

Philanthropist

of the Year

Joan Gellert-Sargen was recently was named

the SLO County Philanthropist of the Year

by the local chapter of the Association of

Fundraising Professionals for her “generous,

widespread and contagious” philanthropy.

$22,498.75

The August selling price of RR Auction’s

Item #9517: a total of thrity original

“never-before-seen” glossy photos

that according to the auction house

“vividly document the fatal car crash

site of Hollywood actor James Dean,”

including “terrifying aftermath photos”

of Dean’s Porsche 550 and his No. 130

racing number. The crash site, a popular

pilgrimage spot for movie buffs, is near

the intersection of Highways 46 and 41

outside Paso Robles. The buyer has not

been identified.

ReadySLO.org

A new one-stop resource for public

information and help before, during, and

after a local emergency, brought to you by

the San Luis Obispo County Office of

Emergency Services. The cloud-hosted,

easy-to-remember website is designed to

load quickly and continue to work during

large-scale emergencies when potentially

thousands of people could be accessing the

site at the same time.

TOP 10

Picking Daisies, a San Luis Obispo-based

small business, was named one of the

Top 10 quilt shops in the nation by Better

Homes and Garden Quilt Sampler Magazine.

The honor earned owners (and sisters) Kay

Porczak and Dede Bruington a five-page

feature in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue.

63.68 mph

A new American collegiate speed record

set in September at the 20th annual

World Human-Powered Speed Challenge

in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Cyclist Josh

Gieschen pedaled a human- powered,

front-wheel-drive bike named Ambition,

fabricated by a team of Cal Poly

engineering students out of carbon fiber

and Kevlar, to beat the previous men’s

record of 61.29 mph set by a team from

UC Berkeley in 1992.

“It’s a

pleasure to

have Coach

Cederquist

back with us.”

That’s San Luis Obispo Blues general

manager Adam Stowe announcing

the return of former Blues coach Clay

Cederquist as the new head coach for

the 2020 summer season. Cederquist left

SLO in 2016 to coach with the San Jose

State Spartans. He replaces head coach

Dan “Skip” Marple.

$566,574.78

The annual pay, including benefits,

of Cal Poly President Jeffrey D.

Armstrong, who began his tenure as

Cal Poly’s ninth permanent president

in 2011 at $333,662.25. That’s a 70%

increase in his eight years on the job.

Salaries and pension benefits of most

California public servants are available at

transparentcalifornia.com. SLO LIFE

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| TIMELINE

Around the County

AUGUST ’19

8/6

Cuesta College awards more scholarships and more money to more students than

ever before at its 30th annual scholarship reception. A record-breaking 282 students

received 510 scholarships totaling nearly $390,000. Scholarship recipients are current

students at the college, incoming transfers, and high school students attending the

fall semester. The numbers do not include the more than 900 Promise Scholarship

recipients, who, as San Luis Obispo County high school graduates, receive two years

of fee-free education at Cuesta.

8/29

The second riot in two days breaks out at the California

Men’s Colony in a medium-custody recreation yard at

the facility in San Luis Obispo. Correctional officers

immediately responded to the area where some fifty

inmates were fighting and gave multiple orders to stop.

Observation tower officers fired two warning shots, and

other emergency responders used diversionary devices

and non-lethal projectiles to quell the violence. Prison

officials believe the incident and the riot the day before

involving some forty inmates are related, and both

events are under investigation. A total of four inmates

were transported to hospitals for treatment of non-lifethreatening

injuries. No staff injuries were reported.

8/14

A new public beautification project is unveiled in downtown San Luis Obispo

designed to demonstrate the vibrancy of the community and convey a sense of

welcome, diversity, and inclusion to visitors and residents. The pedestrian light

pole banner art, installed throughout the downtown core, is the work of the City’s

Promotional Coordinating Committee (PCC) and presents bold interpretations

of iconic San Luis Obispo culture and locales, including the Fremont Theatre, Ah

Louis Store, and the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. PCC volunteers hope to

expand the project throughout the city in the coming months.

8/28

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduces a new plan to keep Diablo

Canyon Power Plant running and encourage bankrupt Pacific Gas and Electric

Co. to sell the facility. His proposal is in the form of a state constitutional

amendment designating nuclear power as a source of renewable energy.

Acknowledging it is a long shot, Cunningham says the amendment would open

the door for someone else to buy the plant and keep it running long past its

scheduled closure date in 2025. The plant, which could be worth as much as

$3.6 billion, currently provides about 9% of California’s electricity.

8/30

California State Parks introduces a new bilingual

safety campaign just in time for the busy Labor Day

weekend. The campaign reminds visitors to Oceano

Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area that “Safe

Dunes Start With You.” The effort encourages

people to be aware of their surroundings while they

enjoy the popular destination, and includes simple

tips distributed through social media, local radio

stations, and printed handouts. The tips include Take

It Slow, Scout Your Route, Know Your Limits, and

Tread Lightly. The campaign includes a billboard

with the “Dune Safety Starts With You” message on

southbound Highway 101 near San Luis Obispo.

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


SEPTEMBER ’19

9/3

The San Luis Obispo City Council joins more than fifty other California

communities currently considering ways to encourage cleaner buildings, moving

the city’s building code toward favoring all-electric structures beginning January 1,

2020. On a four-to-one vote (Erica Stewart dissenting), Council members approved

a Clean Energy Choice Program that will provide only limited options to builders

who want to develop new buildings with natural gas. New projects wishing to use

natural gas will be required to build more efficient and higher performing buildings

and offset gas use by performing retrofits on existing buildings or by paying an inlieu

fee that will be used for the same purpose.

9/11

It’s been eighteen years since terrorists hijacked four planes, killing roughly

3,000 people on American soil. Among those who died that day were 403

emergency workers who responded to the tragedy. The San Luis Obispo World

Trade Center Memorial at Fire Station 1, designed by Kathleen Caricof and

dedicated in 2015, includes a 1,500-pound steel beam from the World Trade

Center. It is the site of an annual Day of Remembrance hosted by the City,

American Legion Post 66 and SLO City Union 3523, and this year featured the

posting of colors, artwork created by San Luis Coastal Unified School District

students, bagpipes, and a bell ceremony.

9/20

More than 500 nurses working at Sierra Vista Regional

Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital go

on a twenty-four-hour strike in response to negotiations

underway for several months between the California

Nurses Association and Tenet Healthcare. The nurses

are looking for less overtime and fewer on-call periods,

along with staffing coverage for meals and breaks. Tenet

Healthcare brought in replacement registered nurses

and other caregivers during the action and both sides

confirmed negotiations continue in the hope of reaching

a resolution.

9/17

Sheriff Ian Parkinson introduces a new state-of-the-art crime-fighting tool to help

reduce agriculture thefts in the County. SmartWater CSI makes a liquid product

that you can’t see, feel, or smell, but once a special light shines on the product, it

emits a telltale yellow glow. The liquid has its own unique fingerprint or DNA

encryption that is registered to individual farmers or ranchers who take part in the

program. It lasts for years and can’t be scrubbed off. Signs and stickers are available

to designate equipment and property as being a part of the program. In the past

four years, deputies in the Sheriff ’s Office Rural Crimes Unit have responded to 77

burglaries, 146 thefts, 28 vandalism cases, and 14 stolen vehicles.

9/21

Nearly 2,000 volunteers spread out across more than

100 miles of some fifty Central Coast beaches, parks,

and lakes for the annual SLO County Creeks to Coast

Cleanup. Organized by ECOSLO and Central Coast

Partners for Water Quality, this year’s event collected

more than 11,500 pounds of trash and about 825

pounds of recyclables in just three hours. The most

common items found were cigarette butts, glass and

plastic bottles, trash bags, and food bags, although

volunteers also found whole bags of trash, old clothes,

and even fireworks. SLO LIFE

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


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private living, while only minutes to downtown San Luis Obispo and the Avila Beach. The large game room and appointed cook's kitchen - open to the family room,

yard & spa - make this home an entertainer's dream. Spacious master suite and adjoining terrace have views of the surrounding mountains and valley. Large

windows throughout invite coastal breezes, and showcase the breathtaking views this private Bassi estate has to offer.

KIRK GRAVES, REALTOR ® , LIC. #00890773 805.550.4835

TARRAH GRAVES, REALTOR ® , LIC. #01757338 805.748.2874

PISMO BEACH

Great views of the ocean and city comes with this

upgraded 2 bed/2 bath, 1,188 sqft home.

Upstairs boasts an open floor with natural light,

fireplace and an ocean view. After a long day,

step out onto the balcony to enjoy the sun setting

over the water and enjoy the ocean breeze.

Property Website: www.619VistaPacifica.com

KURTIS WURSTER

REALTOR®, LIC. #01931796

KIM WURSTER

REALTOR®, LIC. #01018125

805.441.1419

805.441.2112

ATASCADERO

Classic Crasftman style architecture emanates

from this exquisite build situated in the coveted

Colony Homes development in Atascadero. The

immaculately maintained property features 3

bed/2 bath, and an abundant 2000+ sqft located

on an oversized lot backing up to a beautiful park.

Property Website: www.5452ViaViento.com

MADISON WARD

REALTOR®, LIC. #01954514

LINDSEY WOODWARD

REALTOR®, LIC. #02056934

209.450.6112

805.835.7516

ARROYO GRANDE

Exquisite 3 bedroom, formal office, 3 bath home

with approx. 4,000 sqft of living space located in

the gated golf community of Cypress Ridge.

Gourmet kitchen including top-of-the-line

stainless steel appliances, granite countertops

and breakfast bar accented with pendant lighting.

Property Website: www.2289Brant.com

KURTIS WURSTER

REALTOR®, LIC. #01931796

KIM WURSTER

REALTOR®, LIC. #01018125

805.441.1419

805.441.2112

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Haven Properties

547 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442

1401 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

BHGREHAVEN.COM

805.592.2050


E X P EC T B E T T ER

COMING SOON: 3290 FLORA ST, SLO

FOR SALE: 10615 SAN MARCOS, ATASCADERO

FOR SALE: 630WESTORMONDE.com

560 W. ORMONDE ROAD

This stunning, single level home and guest house on a 20 acre parcel

exudes quality craftsmanship with grace and simplicity. Built in

2008, the 4,600 sq ft floor plan incorporates a spacious great room,

gourmet kitchen and dining areas. A beautifully appointed office

enclosed with a wall of glass is located near the entry way. The

master suite is complete with two walk-in closets, a spacious bath

with over sized shower, jetted soaking tub and several vanity areas.

A phenomenal guest wing features four additional bedrooms and

baths. Car enthusiasts will love the 4-car garage and multiple storage

rooms. The driveway meanders by the fruit orchard to the fully

contained 1-bedroom guest house and drive-thru workshop.

DENISE SILVA TOPHAM

805.801.7389

REALTOR® • LIC #01333775

DENISE@HAVENSLO.COM

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


| VIEW

FRIDAY

NIGHT

LIGHTS

BY JOE PAYNE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK NAKAMURA

Seasoned photographers such as Mark Nakamura can do it all:

weddings, portraits, sports, you name it. But for the retired

elementary school teacher who is now devoted to his passion fulltime,

landscape photography gets him up early for sunrises and keeps

him out late for sunsets. However, it was at a recent game between

San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande high schools’ football teams

that his passion for photography, his community, and the natural world came

together in one perfect frame.

“I was photographing the football game and there was a timeout on the field and I

was on the opposite side looking towards the sunset across the field and I noticed

how beautiful the sky was,” Nakamura said. “I thought it was the juxtapose of the

rough and tumble football game versus the serene sunset that made a good balance.”

Nakamura lives for a sunset or sunrise photo-op, literally getting up as early

as 3:00 a.m. and hoofing it up a mountainside in the dark to be ready to catch

a newly-illuminated vista. There are many favored spots around the city and

throughout its surroundings, from the peaks of the Seven Sisters to the beaches

of Montaña de Oro.

The football games at San Luis Obispo High School are a regular haunt for

Nakamura, as well. “About four or five of the kids on the senior high school varsity

football team for San Luis Obispo were in my kindergarten or fifth grade class over

at Sinsheimer [Elementary School], so it was nice to see them grown up and doing

well, performing and doing their best,” Nakamura said. “And, they won the game.”

For most of his sports shots, Nakamura relies on his telephoto lens, but he almost

always has two cameras at the ready, he explained. So during the timeout, when he

noticed the pastel sunset behind the glaring green of the gridiron, he grabbed his

backup camera outfitted with a 24-70mm zoom lens.

Beside a simple “spotlight” effect done in Lightroom to

brighten up Arroyo Grande’s huddled football team in

the foreground, Nakamura said that what you see is what

he shot. It was just the right moment to catch the sunset,

something he’s used to scaling mountains and waiting

patiently to capture. “This was kind of like the calm in the

storm with the timeout and the two teams battling it out

for supremacy, so I thought it was quite a serene place to

catch that moment.”

It’s moments like that, whether on the sidelines of a SLO

High game or up on Bishop Peak, that Nakamura sees an

endless fountain of inspiration in the town he calls home.

“I do love traveling, but some of the best vistas and the

best scenery is right here in the county,” he shares, “and

especially San Luis Obispo.” SLO LIFE

JOE PAYNE is a

journalist, as well as a

lifelong musician and

music teacher, who

loves writing about

the arts on the Central

Coast, especially music,

as well as science,

history, nature, and

social issues.

32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


| Q&A

NEW FRONTIER

For fifteen years, CHRISTINE ROBERTSON has worked behind the scenes to bring

about positive change to the Central Coast, first, as Senator Sam Blakeslee’s chief of

staff and then as the Associate Director at the Institute for Advanced Technology &

Public Policy at Cal Poly. Today, she is on the front lines in the race to innovate the

way our children learn in school as the Executive Director of the newly formed San

Luis Coastal Education Foundation. She stopped by the office for a visit recently.

Here is some of what she had to say…

Tell us a bit about yourself, Christine. Where

are you from? Sure. So, I was born and raised in a

small town called Antioch in the San Francisco east

bay. I had what I consider to be something of an

idyllic childhood. I’ve always joked that I was raised

by Ward and June Cleaver. We were a very close

Italian family, a lot of communication, long dinner

conversations. My dad owned his own business,

he was a landscape contractor, and my mom ran

the business with him; it was very much a family

operation. After school, we’d go pull weeds. I got to

know this area because my grandparents had a ranch

in Templeton and a home in Morro Bay that we

used to visit. I always saw Morro Bay as just kind of

this dreamy paradise when I was a kid. I could not

imagine who got to live in a place like this.

And, what were you like as a kid? I had a really

strong sense of right and wrong; I felt issues

very deeply. At ten years old, I was writing my

congressman about the things that I was seeing in

society. I was always very interested in issues and

wanting to make the world better, and found lots

of causes to get involved in, and felt a deep sense

in my bones that I needed to find ways to drive

change. And so, I would be researching and arguing

for certain social causes and trying to get involved

with groups. So, my high school was not spent

doing social things or partying. I was looking for a

demonstration I could go to, or some organization I

could volunteer with, or some research library where

I could find court cases that would help me frame

up arguments. I was not the coolest kid in high

school. My older brother and I both went to Cal

Poly, and we both ended up marrying people who

graduated from Morro Bay High.

What came next for you? I did my graduate

degree at the London School of Economics. I’m

very interested in big social movements, and I was

particularly fascinated by the rise of the religious

right in the ‘80s. I wanted to study these big

social, political, religious movements. And living

in London was life-changing. I had a real sense of

right and wrong, black and white. But, after living

there, the world became ridiculously complicated.

To interact with people from different countries,

different cultures that had a totally different

interpretation of international historical events, and

the role of the United States in those events, it just

softened me, because I saw that there were so many

different perspectives, and made me much quicker

to ask questions rather than assert my own

opinions or positions.

Can you give us the “why” behind the

Foundation? With the Diablo closure, it

created a kind of moment of... What would

be the word I would use? Because I don’t

want to say “urgency,” but you know, I would

say “opportunity.” I think it was a catalyzing

moment for people to realize that we cannot

just assume business as usual. If we care about

the future of our schools, then we have to lean in

and be part of this next phase of investment and

stewardship of our kids’ education. So, the closure

of Diablo created that moment where everybody

said, “We need new capacities, we need partnerships,

we need to think about innovations in the model

to draw in a larger collection of stakeholders and

partners to drive outcomes for kids.” And the

educators, boots on the ground, have this deep

expert knowledge for how to deploy money for

maximum impact. And so, that partnership is

right there at the heart of our structure, and not

even a full year into this enterprise, and we’re

already seeing the fruits of that model.

Before we wrap up, one last question just for

fun: If you had to live somewhere other than the

Central Coast, where would you go? I would go

live on a homestead; maybe Montana or Alaska.

I love the outdoors, backpacking. And, when

the season is ripe, as a good stress reliever, I love

to chop firewood. I do. On the weekend, you can

often find me with a weed-whacker and a shovel.

The smell of dirt is like nostalgic childhood for

me. I feel on the inside that my spirit was made

for manual labor, but my body was not. [laughter]

I love the idea of simplicity and reconnection with

nature. It puts so many of the dramas of this world

in perspective, because you realize the world is a

beautiful place. We get so focused on what we feel

are problems, and then you step out into a beautiful

world, and you remember how blessed we are, how

enduring these places are, and how fleeting our

dramas are. And, so, yeah, if I could do more of that,

and get back to a lifestyle that stayed in that head

space and freed up my mind to focus on the things

that are more permanent and beautiful, I would

certainly love to do that. But, in the meantime, it’s

politics, problem-solving, and kiddos. SLO LIFE

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


| NOW HEAR THIS

THE CRISPTONES

“Are you the police?” “No, ma’am. We’re Musicians.” —The Blues Brothers, 1980

BY SHAWN STRONG

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


Brothers Mark Crisp and Robin Crisp

are making noise—beautiful noise, it

should be noted—through their musical

collaboration under the name, The

Crisptones. Their extensive musical catalog contains brilliant

covers of well-known songs, as well as original pieces that cross

genre boundaries and exalt proof of unparalleled artistic vision.

Considering how long both brothers have pursued the craft, it’s

impossible to consider them as anything but virtuosos in their

own rights. Mark commands an effortless control over his guitar

and provides crucial insight as a co-songwriter for the Crisptones.

Robin also helps write the band’s music and contributes lap

steel, dobro, piano, as well as additional guitar work. While the

brothers originally hail from Visalia, they have quickly established

themselves on the Central Coast as a reliable and talented group.

The Crisptones can always be counted on to bring vigor and

endless enthusiasm to their shows, and in this manner, they have

made a name for themselves. Although both musicians are known

to perform individually, when they come together under The

Crisptones banner, they truly shine.

brother’s inability to pronounce the name “Tom Dooley,” from the

popular Kingston Trio song, as a young child. Since the inauspicious

beginning, Mark has gone on to make several notable achievements

in music. He was named Singer/Songwriter of 2007 by the Dallas

Songwriters Association and scored a spot as a finalist in the

Durango Songwriting Contest, as well as the 11th Annual Unisong

International Songwriting Competition in this same year. Mark

credits his big brother’s tutelage for breaking through with those

accomplishments. But, it’s when the two combine their talents that the

sounds they produce in tandem are worthy of any venue, and become

uniquely their own. This phenomenon was made apparent when,

together, The Crisptones were named Adult Contemporary Band of

2007 at the 17th annual Los Angeles Music Awards.

Siblings are notorious for being less-than, well, cooperative. And even

those siblings who do get along do not necessarily have the desire or the

chance to build something together. It’s no surprise, however, that these

two brothers, who are so accomplished on their own, have managed to

come together and create something special; something where one plus one

equals three.

The duo cites many marquee acts as their inspiration: Paul

McCartney, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills and

Nash, Alison Krauss, and Dwight Yokum top the list. You can

hear bits and pieces of all of these artists in their music, yet they

are careful to avoid being too derivative of any one artist. The

group describes their work as both familiar and contemporary,

maintaining a comfortable, easy-going sound while staying

relevant and exciting. Many of their original songs are imbued

with Mark’s indelible sense of humor. That isn’t to say that the

band is incapable of more intimate songs. From the bawdy, “I’m

Just Here to Make You Look Good,” to the more plaintive ballad,

“Mama’s Stew,” written about and dedicated to the bandmates’

late mother.

Mark names his older brother Robin as his primary influence.

Mark’s nickname, “Dugie,” is a direct result of his older

As for future plans, The Crisptones do not

appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The

duo plans to record an album. Additionally,

both brothers were recently signed to Nashvillebased

label Sharp Objects as songwriters. In

the meantime, Rob and Mark continue to play

locally on a seemingly non-stop schedule. In the

coming weeks, the band is slated to play Pismo

Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano, and Arroyo

Grande, including a gig at the Arroyo Grande

Beer Festival. The Crisp Brothers are equally

entertaining off the stage as they are on. So, if

you have the chance to see them play, don’t think

twice about saying, “Hello.” They’re sure to make

the exchange as memorable as their music.

SLO LIFE

Los Angeles born, SLO County

raised, SHAWN STRONG’s

passion for the local music

scene and artists that have

created it, fuels his writing and

drives his commitment to living

the SLO Life.

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


| FAMILY

BROOKSHIRE

FARMS

Kicking off the Holiday Season with a Pumpkin Patch

Experience for the Entire Family

BY PADEN HUGHES

It’s that time of year. That magical

two weeks when we locals finally

get to experience “fall weather.” We

can’t help ourselves. In response to

the crisp air and the desire to milk

the experience for all it’s worth, we

grab that calorie-rich Pumpkin Spice

Latte, don our pristine rain boots and that

snuggly hat and scarf combo we got at the

white elephant gift exchange last Christmas

and we head to the most autumn experience we

can think of... the pumpkin patch.

That’s right. Where all things are harvest

themed, orange and yellow, and we kick off the

holiday season once and for all.

For years, Avila Valley Barn was the sole place

we went during the annual pilgrimage to pick

our pumpkins, but this year we tried somewhere

new: Brookshire Farms. It was everything you

could want in a pumpkin patch experience

tailored for the entire family.

For me, it had a farm stand with freshly picked

seasonal fruits and vegetables (all naturally

grown without sprays). It also had mountains of

pumpkins organized by size, shape, and color.

And it had more than one obvious backdrop for

the obligatory family picture for which we had

clearly overdressed.

For my husband, it had games like whacka-mole,

corn hole, and a huge, incredibly

challenging corn maze towering over our heads.

He loved the challenge of trying to navigate

the intricate maze that grew in the shape of a

scarecrow’s face. He loves puzzles and while I

may have been more willing to bail out and walk

around the edge back to the entrance, he was

committed. They also offered corn cannons for

shooting corn at random targets.

Our daughter did go a little crazy for the

inflatable jungle designed to enchant high-

energy kids who need some adventure. From

inflatable obstacle courses to a huge jumping pad,

her love of bounce houses was born and going

nowhere. Her dad and I may have also unleashed

our inner kids and gotten just as much joy out of

the experience.

While the price of admission may seem high at first,

once inside, the activities are free. You still have to

pay for produce and pumpkins, which you’re happy to

do after maximizing all things fall in a couple hours.

It’s well worth your time and rumor has it for your

high school-aged kids, the maze re-opens at night for

a spooky Halloween themed corn maze challenge.

If you are like me and love this, join me in exploring

Brookshire Farm’s take on Christmas with their post-

Thanksgiving Christmas Tree “harvest.”

Location & Price

Located on La Familia Ranch at 4747 Los Osos

Valley Road on the left-hand side of the road as

you drive from San Luis Obispo to Los Osos, the

farmstand sits across the bridge from their parking

lot adjacent to the ticket booths. Fresh-picked

seasonal produce is available for sale there, and the

price of admission, which does not include the maze,

varies between $8 and $15.

Insider Tips

If you can, go during a

weekday as the ticket

prices are a bit lower and

the crowds smaller. Even

better yet, families can

stretch a buck by buying

a weekday pass for $48.

It’s good for up to six

admissions and can be

shared with others. Also,

the little ones, as long

as they are two years old

and younger, get in for

free. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Kawailani Kiaha

This seventeen-year-old San Luis Obispo High

School senior has a heart for helping others,

particularly children—something she hopes to

continue to do throughout her life.

What sort of extra-curricular activities are you involved in? I’m the region

president of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). It’s

a national student leadership organization that is family and consumer sciences

oriented. I have also danced hula since I was two years old.

What sort of recognition have you received? I won first place at the FCCLA

regional level three years in a row at various competitions. I also have won first

place at the state level for early childhood development. I have also earned my

FCCLA chapter degree and received a Golden Tiger award for developmental

psychology of children.

What career do you see yourself in someday? I want to be a teacher. All my

life, I’ve loved helping and teaching people. I’ve worked in the Tiny Tigers

preschool lab and am finishing the career pathway in child development. Right

now, I am enrolled in teaching careers where I shadow Ms. Washmuth and help

her teach her classes.

What do you want people to know about you? I have to stay busy—I can’t sit

around without doing anything for too long. If I have a lot of downtime, I’ll find

something to do, like reading or sewing or designing a font or making numerous

versions of the same list. I’m very much a list maker; I have so many Post-it

Notes and pens—I just love office supplies!

What is important to you outside of high school? Outside of high school, I

value my friends, my family, I’m involved in church, and hula is a big part of my

life and my Hawaiian culture.

What is it that you look forward to most? I’m looking forward to being more

independent when I’ll finally have time to pursue all of my hobbies. One of my

goals is to eventually make a Hawaiian quilt.

What do you dislike? I dislike it when there is toxicity between people. I can’t

stand it when people do things just to harm others. I want everyone to be happy

and nice to each other.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? I’d love

to meet Sojourner Truth. She endured so much in her life and never gave up

fighting for the rights of herself and so many people. Her speech “Ain’t I a

Woman?” is probably one of my favorites.

What schools are you considering for college? I would love to go to BYU Hawaii,

that’s sort of been my dream, but besides that probably some UCs or CSUs.

What else should we know? I absolutely love meeting new people. In elementary

school, my teachers always characterized me as a little chatty. Speaking of

elementary school, I attended Pacheco Elementary, where I learned Spanish,

which is a skill I’m so grateful to have. SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


Re-Imagine Retreat

www.GardensbyGabriel.com 805-215-0511 lic.# 887028

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

BEYOND

REPROACH

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

Last summer—the first week of July—an email landed in one of the millions of inboxes registered

to users of the genealogy website known as Ancestry.com. For MICHAEL BOYER, it was the

first time he had ever exchanged words with anyone from his biological family—a long-lost aunt.

As a young boy growing up, a misfit in a foreign land, he could not help but wonder about the

man and woman who handed him over for adoption. Now, for the first time in more than forty

years, he had a link, albeit a small one; a tiny window into a different life, a different path. He had

tried and tried over the years to track them down, but they did not want to be found. His mother,

as it turns out, lied on the birth certificate, providing false identification to the hospital. One

dead end led to another. And, while a reunion may never happen, if his biological parents could

see him now, they would undoubtedly marvel at how far he has come. Today, the Arroyo Grande

resident, who beat long odds to go on to become the Chief Executive Officer of Doc Burnstein’s

Ice Cream Lab, is guiding the company along an uncharted path toward a massive expansion—

one that puts the community ahead of its shareholders. Here is his story...

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


kay, Michael, let’s take it from the top.

Where are you from? I was born and

raised in Alaska. The elevation where

we were was about 4,000 feet above sea

level; a place called Sheep Mountain.

I grew up in a house without running

water or electricity until I was twelve

or thirteen years old. We hunted and

Ofished and farmed. We were 150 miles northeast of Anchorage on the

Alcan Highway, near milepost 114. I’m the only adopted child of a large

family. I have five older brothers and sisters. My parents thought they

were done having kids, but then they decided that they wanted one more.

Growing up in a big, white, Irish family on a small farm in the mountains

was interesting. Not only was I the only African American around, I

was the only minority around. Period. I went to a tiny school—a bush

school—fifty kids in all, K-12.

What was that like? My parents had to be really upfront about my

adoption from the beginning because I just didn’t look like my brothers

and sisters. They spent a lot of time trying to keep me safe from prejudice,

from violent situations outside of our family. But there’s a lot more

awareness today that that type of behavior isn’t acceptable. Back then,

that wasn’t the case. All those things were acceptable behaviors. I mean,

your buddy wouldn’t get on you if you were calling somebody who looks

like me bad names. Your buddy wouldn’t hold you back. Today, typically,

you’re a pretty rogue person, a uniquely rogue person to do something

like that without somebody stepping in to say, “Hey, what are you doing?”

There was a lot of racism growing up, but it took me a while to realize

it. I didn’t know what it was back then. I mean, I just thought that’s how

people treated people. It wasn’t until I started junior high that I began to

understand it. That’s when I met Todd Palin—he had just graduated from

high school.

You mean, as is in Sarah Palin’s husband? Yep, that’s the one. We moved

to a little town in Alaska called Wasilla. It was life-changing because it

was the first time I got to watch television and all that stuff. We had water

and electricity. Compared to where we were, it was a much larger place,

maybe about 4,000 people at the time. Wasilla, as you mentioned, was

made famous by one of my classmate’s big sisters, whose name is Sarah

Palin. When I knew her, she was Sarah Heath. Her dad, Chuck Heath,

was my US History teacher in junior high. And, I knew her boyfriend,

Todd, and his group of friends very well because they used to bully me. I

really stuck out because I was a big kid—about six-two in seventh grade—

and, of course, I’m black.

What did he do? I don’t want to get into it; we could write a whole

book on that part of my life. Actually, there was a book written by Joe

McGinniss, he won a Pulitzer Prize, called The Rouge about Sarah

Palin. He interviewed me for it and, although my name does not appear

in the book, when the stories about Todd came up, the Palins could

pick me out of a lineup pretty easily. It was during those years when

I began to understand the difference between macroaggressions and

microaggressions. An example of a microaggression, which were more

frequent, would be when someone would say something to me like, “Wow,

you’re very articulate for a black person.” Whereas, a macroaggression

would be when they would punch you in the face.

How did you navigate this part of your life? The thing that my parents

hammered into me was this idea that I had to be beyond reproach. It

becomes easy for people to make an example out of you when you stick

out like a sore thumb. So, I had to excel in everything I did. They taught

me how to play the game, how to fit in, how to be successful rather

than just be a kid. So, I was involved in all the clubs, all the athletics. I

got great grades. I played basketball. I ran track. I played football. I ran

cross country. I mean, I did everything. I was on the school board as the

student advisor to the school board. I did all of the student government

stuff. I was in the academic decathlon, all of those things. Looking back

on it now, it was an interesting scenario. I represented all of the students

in Alaska on the state board of education when I was a junior, and I was

chosen to spend a summer in Russia back when it was still the Soviet

Union for a student ambassadorship.

What came next? I went off to college, to the University of Oregon. Up to

that point, I had only encountered a few other black people in my entire

life. Now, all of a sudden, there are thousands of them. It was a completely

different world. I went there for track, the 400, but also played a little

football, defensive end. It was good, and it helped me get through college.

After I graduated, I started doing IT for a trust company before eventually

finding my way to a small software company in Portland, about twentyfive

employees. I became their chief operating officer and was doing a

lot of business travel. In 2000, I went to my brother’s wedding down in

Newport and hit it off with his wife’s best friend, who, as it turns out, was

from Pismo Beach. We spent the next six months flying back and forth

to see one another, and we got engaged a few months after that. Around

the same time, I started getting recruited by a company here called Web

Associates, which has since gone by Rosetta and several other names.

Did you stay here? Yes, we settled in Arroyo Grande, and I worked for

a few different tech companies before starting one of my own called

AdSmart, which did mobile advertising. In 2015, Digital West here in

San Luis Obispo bought my company, and I went to work for them as

their chief operating officer for the next three years, until I joined Doc

Burnstein’s as their CEO, because I was fascinated by their business

model—their community-based business model. I’m really interested in

the value that we bring to the communities and to our guests. It’s not

just about ice cream. I mean, we make really good ice cream, for sure, but

it’s also about giving back to our communities. Our whole idea is to say,

“Yes, we have a profitable business, but we have identified the endpoint

of that business as being able to provide community enrichment over

shareholder enrichment.”

How do you do that? So, we’ve been a B-corp since 2012, the year that

the designation first became available, and our founder Greg [Steinberger]

asked the question, “How do we create a community-owned, communityoperated,

community-based business?” And he was basing it off his

experience from when he lived in Wisconsin where he is a shareholder of

the Green Bay Packers. So he was, in his mind, trying to think, “Well, how

can we do that here with ice cream?” In 2013, we did our first public stock

offering and essentially said, “If you want to buy into Doc Burnstein’s, then

buy into this idea of community engagement, community enrichment.”

And, at $50 a share, we raised $400,000 with about 450 people. So, that’s

kind of how it turned out. That was the first offering. Now we have around

600 shareholders. In 2017, we raised a million dollars with more community

investors. Right now, we’re doing another stock offering, and we’re raising

eight million dollars, all from community investors.

What do you plan to do with all that money? We’re opening 100 parlors

here in California over the next five years. We have a plan to do it; now

we’re executing on it. We had three stores, but we’ll have six by the end of

this year. Basically, our count will double each year. It may seem like a lot, >>

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45


ut, remember, Starbucks had 137 in its first five years [of expansion].

But we don’t want to go into malls, and we don’t want to do this as a

franchise. We want to go into Main Street USA, like the store we are

opening in Chico next month. It’s on 2nd and Broadway, probably the

best corner in town. And, it’s made possible by community investors

there; people who will go to the shareholder meetings and have real

input and make real decisions and make a real impact. And, it’s not just

talk. One of our big tenants when it comes to community enrichment

is training kids who work at the stores how to have excellent customer

service skills. We have very specific programs to do that and, in addition,

we offer them college scholarships so they can grow along with the

company. Every year, we take one day of that year and allocate 100%

of the sales to our scholarship fund, so pretty much every one of our

employees who applies gets some money toward school.

Wow. We also want to make sure that we’re taking care of not just

our team, not just our shareholders, but also to the best of our ability,

our environment. That’s why we keep taking steps in that direction,

such as the reintroduction of glassware in our parlors. When you

order our ice cream, we serve you in glassware rather than plastic

and paper. Real metal spoons. Real glass. Because the environment is

important to us, and every little bit we can do helps. It’s those little

things, like switching our cream vendor because they are closer to us,

and it doesn’t have to be trucked so far. With a B-corp, shareholder

value doesn’t have to be your number one concern. Of course, it is a

concern with us, and it goes without saying; but, really, it’s about our

team, our environment, and our community. We see all of those things

as equal parts. We believe that if you offer health insurance, for example,

which we started doing last February for the first time in fifteen years,

then by focusing on taking care of our team we are also taking care of our

shareholders.

Let’s talk about that idea some more... The reason community is a huge

value for us, and such a focus, is because we believe if we authentically

engage our community, we will enrich the community. When we

authentically engage, what that means is asking the question: “How can

we help?” Our arms are open to helping our community. If we do that

in an authentic manner, we will enrich the community. If we are able to

enrich the community, we build brand loyalty. It’s very simple. We can

track those things with data like a net promoter score, and a community

impact index, and counting the number of hours we volunteer, and

totaling the number of dollars we give to all of these organizations. I

mean, we’ve given thousands to various organizations over the years

and tracking that information in every market gives us the capability

to understand how that affects our business over time. That’s a big deal

to us. A lot of companies, they make all this profit, and they give a

few pennies to charities, and they call that their giveback program, or

whatever. We lead with giving back. >>

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


Can you give me an example of what you mean by giving back? Sure,

let’s take our Thursday night fundraisers, for example. A youth-based

organization comes in and says, “We want to do a fundraiser.” And we say,

“Okay, you got it—Thursday night, three hours. You bring your ‘celebrity

scoopers,’ and we’re going to give you 15% of the sales, not just 15%

of the profit.” And it’s not only the people who show us a coupon, or a

flier—it’s anybody who comes in during those three hours and makes a

purchase. We tell them, “Go promote it, bring in as many people as you

can. Bring in your celebrity scoopers, and we’ll give you 15% right off the

top.” It’s really straight-forward. And, also, you don’t have to be an official

nonprofit. You don’t have to be organized as a 501(c)(3), because we know

there are many worthy groups and causes that can’t get the designation

because they may be too small, or they don’t have the start-up funds to do

it, or whatever the case.

Okay, but, what about the ice cream itself? What makes it different?

Well, first of all, we’re a premium grade ice cream. We’re a 16% butterfat

ice cream. Whereas, most of the others are in the 10 to 12% range. So,

they are a much lower grade product. The mouthfeel of ice cream is

critically important, and you’ve got to have an outstanding product for

customers to return; otherwise, it’s just a kid thing. By that, “a kid thing,”

I mean, take 31 Flavors, for example, they choose to go with a massproduced,

low butterfat, really high sugar content offering to appeal to

kids. Doc Burnstein’s, on the other hand, is small-batch, artisanal ice

cream. We have a product that appeals to the most discerning adults, as

well as to kids. We care about quality. Quality is a huge component of our

success. If somebody comes in and the ice cream isn’t of the quality that

they expect, they won’t come back. They just won’t. And, so, we have a high

standard when it comes to the quality of the product.

What do you do when you’re not working? We like to travel. We’re

going to Honduras next month. We’re also a very service-oriented family.

My wife is the chairman of the board for the Clarke Center in Arroyo

Grande. She’s also a San Luis Obispo housing authority commissioner.

I’m on the board of the YMCA and Stand Strong and the AG Hospital

>>

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


Foundation, as well as Big Brothers, Big Sisters. We try to stay involved in

the community. We try to show our son that it’s a good thing to do also.

This year was probably the first year that he got to do something like that.

He was a junior leader at YMCA camp. So, he’s a seventh-grader helping

out the first, second, and third graders.

Before we wrap up, can you tell us about your two pierced ears and

your thumb ring? [laughter] That’s funny. I don’t think anyone has ever

asked me that. Yeah, I got my ears pierced when I was seventeen. My

mom did it. Took an ice cube and a needle and poked it right through.

I was definitely kind of an outlier. I mean, having both my ears pierced,

that was very unusual back then. I think, just over the years, especially in

high school, I was always thinking about the idea of just fitting in and being

beyond reproach. This was the summer before my junior year, and I wanted

something to be a little bit different. The earrings were that for me. And, for

my first job in IT when I got out of college, we were required to wear a suit

and tie—and no jewelry for men, except for rings. So, I figured out that I

could have my own style by wearing a thumb ring. They couldn’t say anything

about that, right. So, it just stuck. I still do it. It wasn’t inappropriate, but it

was a little different; my own thing. That’s how it started. So, is it my own

small little way of rebelling? Yeah. Maybe a little bit. SLO LIFE

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


Presenting Sponsor BMW of San Luis Obispo

Sabrina Pratt & Adam Lesmeister

SLO Movement Arts Center

Jill Marshall

Foundation for the Performing Arts Center

Heart of the Arts Gala

& Sidecar Loading Dock After Party

Presented by BMW of San Luis Obispo

Hundreds of San Luis Obispo citizens gathered at the

Performing Arts Center on Saturday September 7 to support the

Foundation for the Performing Arts Center. Guests were treated

to an evening of delight and madness all in support of the local

performing arts. Proceeds from the event will help make the

performing arts accessible in San Luis Obispo County.

For more information, please visit fpacslo.org

Pat McAdams

Photo Credit: Heraldo Family Photo

52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

Courtney Meznarich & Kristin Hoover


Laura Kirven

Ben McAdams

Skye Christakos & Leann Standish

Heidi Harmon & Billy Breed

Trudie & Ty Safreno

Skylar Stuck

Joey Leslie

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


| INSIGHT

THE SUPES MUST SAVE

DIABLO

BY KARA WOODRUFF AND SAM BLAKESLEE

Some people like it, others do not. But the truth remains the same: Pacific Gas & Electric is

closing its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025. And, yes, this will significantly impact our

community. It also presents an unprecedented opportunity to conserve and make available for

public enjoyment the Diablo Canyon Lands, some 12,000 acres of unspoiled and scenic coastal

bluffs and rugged mountains surrounding the plant which are no longer needed by PG&E. And that

great opportunity lies in the hands of our very own San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors:

John Peschong, Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill, Lynn Compton, and Debbie Arnold.

At its August 20, 2019

meeting, the Supervisors

unanimously agreed to act

as the lead agency for the

California Environmental

Quality Act (CEQA)

process to decommission

Diablo Canyon. And, since

no other state or local

agency seems to want the

job, it’s likely a done deal. This means that the county

will do three things: prepare the Environmental

Impact Report (EIR) for all decommissioning

activities (including the removal of equipment,

structures, and facilities); issue permits to undertake

those activities; and, identify necessary mitigation

to offset the substantial impacts to the environment

and local communities that are the unavoidable

consequences of decommissioning.

It is the third item listed above—mitigation—where

history will ultimately judge whether our Supervisors

faced or failed an opportunity of a lifetime. If they face the opportunity, a world-class outdoor

public recreational area can be created, bringing tourism dollars to the region while protecting

scenic views, natural habitat, and wildlife. If the Supervisors fail to seize this opportunity,

however, they will fail their constituents, and these precious lands may go the way of Southern

California-style suburban development.

Diablo Canyon’s decommissioning will be the largest, most complex EIR ever undertaken by the

county. Likewise, the impacts created by the dismantling of all equipment, structure, and facilities

will be the largest, most complex and mitigation-worthy event in the county’s history. The cost

of the decommissioning (as estimated by PG&E and supported by the Board of Supervisors)

is $4.8 billion—it will be a herculean endeavor. And imagine the impacts that come along with

dismantling the massive industrial complex that is Diablo Canyon, as it creates decades of air

and water quality degradation, dust, noise, and tens of thousands of trucks lumbering down

Avila Beach Drive, as they haul away countless tons of heavy construction debris. This will be our

burden to bear as residents of the Central Coast along with, of course, the existence of over 2,500

metric-tons of radioactive spent nuclear fuel (the most toxic substance known to man) that will

likely remain in our backyard for decades or more to come.

So, it’s fair to ask: What is the appropriate mitigation for this jaw-dropping decommissioning

burden? At a very minimum, it is the conservation of the Diablo Canyon Lands. All 12,000

acres. The Supervisors need to require this outcome as a meaningful offset for what our

community will endure these next several decades. >>

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


䰀 漀 挀 愀 氀 䔀 琀 栀 椀 挀 愀 氀 䨀 攀 眀 攀 氀 爀 礀 匀 椀 渀 挀 攀 㤀 㜀 㐀

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 稀 椀 渀 最 䤀 渀

䌀 甀 猀 琀 漀 洀 䌀 爀 攀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 ☀ 䄀 渀 琀 椀 焀 甀 攀 刀 攀 猀 琀 漀 爀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀

㐀 ☀ 㠀 䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 ⸀ 䐀 漀 眀 渀 琀 漀 眀 渀 匀 䰀 伀

㠀 㔀 ⸀ 㔀 㐀 アパート⸀ 㠀 㠀 㘀 ⴀ 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 爀 攀 攀 琀 䜀 漀 氀 搀 猀 洀 椀 琀 栀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


Conserving the Diablo Canyon Lands—for hiking, biking,

horseback riding, camping, and natural resource protection—is

not a new notion. In 2000, the “Dream Initiative” was placed on

a countywide ballot and passed by 75% of the popular vote. As

an advisory measure, it urged the Board of Supervisors to enact

policies to conserve and make available for public access all of

the Diablo Canyon Lands after plant closure. The measure was

supported broadly by a unanimous vote of all five Supervisors; our

representatives in Congress, the State Senate, and the Assembly;

local governmental entities; chambers of commerce; environmental

organizations; and PG&E itself.

Additionally, in 2018, the future of the Diablo Canyon Lands was

considered by the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement

Panel, a group of local representatives tasked by PG&E and

the California Public Utilities Commission to solicit public

input concerning decommissioning. During an extensive civic

engagement process, the community provided input about what

they envisioned for the future of the lands. With near unanimity,

the public called for their conservation and public access. In

response to this input, the Panel’s recently released Strategic Vision

contains these recommendations:

• The 12,000 acres of Diablo Canyon Lands surrounding

the [Diablo Canyon Power Plant] are a precious

treasure and a spectacular natural resource that should

be preserved in perpetuity for the public and future

generations, in acknowledgement of its significant

resources values.

• The public should be ensured access to the Diablo

Canyon Lands to the greatest extent possible, while

protecting and preserving sensitive habitats, cultural

sites, and other resources.

Twenty years ago, our Supervisors recognized the momentous

opportunity to save the Diablo Canyon Lands once the plant was

decommissioned. Notwithstanding deep philosophical divisions,

they transcended politics to speak with one voice. We thank then-

Supervisors Harry Ovitt, Shirley Bianchi, Peg Pinard, Katcho

Achadjian, and Mike Ryan for their action and foresight. We now

call upon our current Supervisors to implement the express will

of the voters and to create a legacy for which they will always be

remembered. SLO LIFE

Kara Woodruff is an attorney/financial planner and American

Land Conservancy project director for the successful Hearst Ranch

conservation project of 2005. She serves on the Diablo Canyon

Decommissioning Engagement Panel, but writes as an individual

rather than as a Panel representative.

Sam Blakeslee is the President of Blakeslee & Blakeslee and former State

Senator and Assemblyman representing the Central Coast. He is the

author of the 2000 Dream Initiative.

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


| DWELLING

TREE

HOUSE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


E

arthquake fault lines are fascinating to think about,

mostly because of how little we contemplate them. They

hold it all together diligently and silently for years and

decades and centuries; everything is fine, until one day they

snap. For Bob and Sallie Weatherford, it wasn’t a fault line

that wreaked havoc upon their San Luis Obispo tri-level

home. It was something much less nefarious: a hairline

fracture on a toilet tank.

The insurance company’s claims adjuster, who came out to

study the brittle porcelain under a magnifying glass, said

it was an accident waiting to happen. One day, it could

not hold out any longer. While the couple was away for

the afternoon, it ruptured. Although it did not register on

the Richter scale or make the six o’clock news, the fracture

opened up in such a way that the valve was left on the

“open” position for one hour after the next. By the time

the Weatherfords had returned, the floors and walls and

cabinets were ruined, all of them—total devastation.

Everything had to be gutted; a complete remodel was in

order. It would not be the first time the couple set out

to alter the face of their hillside home, which a friend

affectionately refers to as a “tree house for grown-ups.” But,

previous efforts had always been modest, and mostly around >>

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


the margins. A little bit here, a little bit there. This project

was taking it to an entirely different level. They would

have to find an architect, a general contractor, a gaggle of

subcontractors, not to mention a new place to live for the

year-long venture.

It would be the first time The Weatherfords had settled

someplace other than in their tree house overlooking the

city since 1985. Their two daughters, who were raised in the

home, had grown up and relocated themselves on opposite

ends of the Pacific Coast—Seattle and San Diego. So, the

remodel would be an interesting project for the couple, they

decided, and an opportunity to mold it into exactly what

they always knew was possible. Plus, Bob would finally be

able to put all those architecture classes he sat through at

Cal Poly back in the day to good use. It wasn’t that he didn’t

like the subject, he did, but he found a stronger tug pulling

on him from the world of law. He went on to become an

attorney based in San Luis Obispo, where he enjoyed a long

and fulfilling career until he was able to retire. His wife,

Sallie, was a graphic designer, so between the two of them,

they felt up for the challenge presented in overhauling their

2,700 square-foot home. >>

62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


Sketches and magazines and product samples came next.

The concept came together quickly as the couple shared,

one starting the sentence and the other finishing: “We like

all the same things, so it was easy.” With the vision in-hand,

they set out to secure the building permits required from

the city. For that task, they enrolled the assistance of Micah

D. Smith, who quickly shepherded the project through

the bureaucratic maze. Then, it was on to selecting the

general contractor. The couple signed up with John Hunter

of J.A. Hunter Cabinetry, who also built the cabinets and

completed the finish work. A long list of local names

rounded out the team: Keith Evans Hardwood Flooring,

TileCo., Rod and Eli Gibson of Quality Tile in Arroyo

Grande, to name a few.

With all of the walls stripped bare, the old house became

an empty canvas. But two things remained unchanged:

arguably the best view in San Luis Obispo, spanning from

Cerro San Luis on one side to Bishop Peak on the other;

and all of the original redwood siding. Since the tree house

is tucked away, mostly invisible from the street, it has a

whimsical quality to it—an enchanted perch on which

to bid the sun farewell each evening. For everything that

changed, the best things remained the same. But there was

much work to be done. >>

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


C O M M E R C I A L & R E S I D E N T I A L

Montecito Blend Chip Seal

- Shep Hyken

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


The sheetrock went in first, followed by paint and floors—

North Carolina kiln-dried white oak—and trim and

molding. Mahogany cabinets and countertops were next,

including an exotic zebrawood slab for the downstairs

media room bar top. Extra attention was paid to the master

bath where Bob took particular interest in the procurement

and design of an unusual, asymmetrical soaker tub. And

the sleeping quarters were fitted with sliding barn doors.

The kitchen, always the most-used room of the house, came

away with both stylish and sensible upgrades, including

black granite countertops sourced at San Luis Marble.

While they were at it, for good measure, they went ahead

and replaced the aging roof, as well.

In the end, the home simply became a better version of

itself; a logical evolution tracing back to the first time

Bob laid eyes on it while his

Cal Poly classmates were busy

designing and constructing it

in 1978. Seven years later, in

1985, through a twist of fate, he

became the proud owner. And

now, thirty-four years after that,

he and Sallie marvel at how

much—and how little—their

old tree house has changed

over those years. All thanks to a

hairline fracture, which waited

patiently for its moment. SLO LIFE

DAVID LALUSH is an

architectural photographer

here in San Luis Obispo.

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2018

44

$840,277

$827,584

98.49%

35

2018

13

$850,677

$845,094

99.34%

31

2018

20

$1,022,280

$988,074

96.65%

22

2018

15

$1,214,458

$1,172,532

96.55%

68

2018

42

$914,545

$903,982

98.84%

58

2018

31

$905,787

$898,343

99.18%

28

2018

41

$891,415

$884,484

99.22%

36

2019

48

$773,694

$761,623

98.44%

31

2019

21

$811,549

$801,024

98.70%

29

2019

19

$1,065,383

$1,032,459

96.91%

31

2019

20

$1,502,550

$1,448,775

96.42%

82

2019

53

$818,634

$799,915

97.71%

43

2019

35

$959,586

$913,958

95.25%

33

2019

44

$834,552

$817,027

97.90%

33

+/-

9.09%

-7.92%

-7.97%

-0.05%

-11.43%

+/-

61.54%

-4.60%

-5.21%

99.10%

-6.45%

+/-

-5.00%

4.22%

4.49%

0.26%

40.91%

+/-

33.33%

23.72%

23.56%

-0.13%

20.59%

+/-

26.19%

-10.49%

-11.51%

-1.13%

-25.86%

+/-

12.90%

5.94%

1.74%

-3.93%

17.86%

+/-

7.32%

-6.38%

-7.63%

-1.32%

-8.33%

*Comparing 01/01/18 - 09/23/18 to 01/01/19 - 09/23/19

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


The leaves aren’t the only

thing falling this time of year.

Make sure you lock in a lower rate before it’s too late!

Work with a mortgage company that can offer low rates,

great service and a fast, transparent process:

• In-house underwriting and closing

• 24-hour underwriting turn times

• Jumbo financing experts

Don’t wait! Take advantage of this opportunity and reach out to us today to get started.

Donna Lewis

Branch Manager/

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8743

C: (805) 235-0463

donna.lewis@rate.com

Phyllis Wong

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8075

C: (805) 540-8457

phyllis.wong@rate.com

Dylan Morrow

Associate VP of

Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8738

C: (805) 550-9742

dylan.morrow@rate.com

Luana Gerardis

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (707) 227-9582

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Maggie Koepsell

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8742

C: (805) 674-6653

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

Joe Hutson

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (831) 205-1582

C: (831) 212-4138

joe.hutson@rate.com

Rate.com/offices/CASanLuisObispo1065 1065 Higuera Street, Suite 100 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed

Rate for current rates and for more information.

Donna Lewis NMLS ID: 245945, CA - CA-DOC245945 • Dylan Morrow NMLS ID: 1461481, CA - CA-DBO1461481 • Maggie Koepsell NMLS ID: 704130, CA - CA-DBO704130 • Phyllis Wong NMLS ID: 1400281, CA -

CA-DBO1400281 • Luana Gerardis NMLS ID: 1324563, CA - CA-DBO1324563 • NMLS ID #2611 (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) • CA - Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, Division of

Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act Lic #4130699 • Joe Hutson NMLS ID: 447536, CA - CA-DOC447536

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


| SLO COUNTY

Let me help

you purchase

or refinance

your home.

REAL ESTATE

REGION

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2018

2019

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2018

2019

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2018

2019

Contact me today to learn more.

Ben Lerner

(805) 441-9486

Arroyo Grande

Atascadero

Avila Beach

Cambria/San Simeon

241

272

9

127

237

262

19

108

51

44

56

73

52

40

96

68

$765,818 $822,000

$576,941 $583,428

$1,248,830 $1,453,496

$735,947 $961,409

Cayucos

39

39

91

114

$1,129,936 $1,170,889

Creston

10

7

153

93

$949,100

$935,357

Grover Beach

90

92

48

56

$531,744

$549,563

Los Osos

127

118

37

39

$645,825

$650,114

Morro Bay

107

99

58

67

$732,561

$750,272

Nipomo

230

209

51

58

$670,631

$648,042

Oceano

30

44

58

64

$500,233

$521,818

Pismo Beach

118

102

78

86

$967,680

$1,173,585

Paso (Inside City Limits)

299

287

34

47

$500,496

$527,636

*

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

43

43

50

66

$513,502

$575,216

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

87

94

82

68

$628,647

$658,973

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

44

45

57

64

$729,011

$596,731

Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS 395723

blerner@flagstarretail.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita

Templeton

248

15

94

283

21

85

40

95

80

43

104

69

$939,373

$424,600

$794,516

$909,767

$546,832

$773,656

* Top 1% Mortgage Originator | Mortgage Executive Magazine

© 2019 Flagstar Bank flagstarretail.com Est. 1987

Equal Housing Lender Member FDIC

Not a commitment to lend. Programs available only to qualifi ed borrowers.

Subject

70 |

to

SLO

credit approval

LIFE MAGAZINE

and underwriting

|

terms

OCT/NOV

and conditions.

2019

Programs subject to change without notice. Some restrictions may apply.

Countywide

2,115 2,101

*Comparing 01/01/18 - 09/23/18 to 01/01/19 - 09/23/19

53 56 $696,553 $718,634

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


| HEALTH

HEAVY

METALS

Hidden Health Hazard or Overhyped Concern?

BY ERIKA FITZGERALD

Dating back to the Roman empire,

metals have been a staple in

industrialization and everyday

life. Known for their ingenuity,

the ancient Romans constructed

an intricate system of aqueducts

to supply the city’s water.

Physicians were aware that lead

mining led to adverse health

effects and, for this reason, ceramic pipes were preferred.

Nonetheless, lead pipes prevailed in certain areas where

modern testing shows ancient Roman “tap water” contained

100 times more lead than local spring waters. Not ideal, but

not necessarily deadly.

Naturally, building and ruling an empire is hard work. To

blow off steam, Roman emperors and aristocrats frequently

indulged in the finer things—like sweet wines simmered

down using lead pots and kettles. When examined under a

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

modern lens, these recipes contained enough lead to

cause chronic and severe poisoning. Some researchers

even attribute the fall of Rome to lead poisoning,

pointing to the absent-minded and erratic Claudius

as an example. Whether this is true or not, one thing

we know for certain is that using lead for domestic

purposes and water distribution presents a major

health hazard.

Today, the dangers of lead poisoning are well-known

and documented—but the threat of lead and other

heavy metals in our environment remains far from

obsolete. In January, Consumer Reports released a study

documenting eyebrow-raising levels of inorganic

arsenic, lead, and cadmium in forty-five popular

fruit juices. In this specific case, Consumer Reports

recommends parents give kids less juice. But, the issue

extends far beyond skipping the OJ aisle. So, what’s

the real deal with heavy metals? >>

ERIKA FITZGERALD is a

writer and traveler with

a healthy addiction to

kombucha and kale.


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


#1

NOT ALL HEAVY METALS

SPELL DANGER

Heavy metals are naturally occurring chemical compounds that exist in

the environment. Some metals—such as zinc, iron, and magnesium—

are essential dietary nutrients. Other metals—such as mercury, arsenic,

lead, and cadmium—not so much. When these stealthy contaminants

accumulate in a person’s body, they pose health risks ranging from chronic

fatigue and digestive problems to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. In

more serious cases, heavy metals—particularly mercury and lead—can

interfere with neuron function and cause long-lasting, irreversible cellular

damage linked to autoimmunity and other chronic conditions.

According to the CDC, long-term exposure to heavy metals puts

people at risk for kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, learning

impairment, and certain types of cancer. Children are among the most

susceptible to these harmful effects, making the fruit juice findings

particularly concerning.

#2

LIVING WITH LEAD AND

OTHER METALS

From aluminum cookware to lingering lead-based paints and old water

pipes, metals permeate our modern environment—and human activity has

only increased its concentrations. Easy fix, right? Replace metal cookware,

hire a painter, and filter water. Well, not exactly. According to Anthony

William, author of the New York Times best-selling book Medical Medium:

Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, “heavy

metal toxicity—from metals such as mercury, aluminum, copper, cadmium,

nickel, arsenic, and lead—represents one of the greatest threats to our

health and well-being.” In the United States alone, lead currently affects

more than four million households across 3,000 communities. Making

wide-spread headlines, residents of Flint, Michigan suffered serious illness

after a negligent change in infrastructure infiltrated the water supply.

Other less-reported incidents include home renovations and deterioration

where old lead-based paint comes into play.

#3 CAUSE FOR CONSUMPTION CONCERN

Lead isn’t the only culprit when it comes to heavy metals. An ever-growing demand for seafood is pushing mercury deeper into our food supply chain,

as well. It’s no news that tuna, like most fish, contains heavy metal mercury—which is toxic when consumed in excess over extended periods of time.

This means the average person would need to eat at least three cans of tuna every day for six months before suffering serious symptoms.

So, how does mercury get into our food supply? Naturally, small and benign doses of mercury exist in seawater before getting absorbed by algae. Small

fish feed on the algae and larger fish feed on those fish, passing accumulated doses of mercury up the food chain. When people eat big fish—such as

tuna, sea bass, halibut, and swordfish—they consume larger amounts of mercury.

Furthermore, as demand increases and the oceans become increasingly depleted, suppliers are turning to factory-farmed fish. Despite being a promising

solution to overfishing, farmed fish present a whole new set of health problems. To satiate the massive number of farmed fish, farmers often use lowgrade

feed consisting of corn, wheat, soy, and vegetable oils that are often rife with chemicals, antibiotics, and—you guessed it—heavy metals.

In addition to fish, factory farming, industrial agriculture, and processing practices have turned up traces of heavy metals. Contaminants enter the food

production chain through soil, water, and production equipment. For example, pressure-treated lumber used to grow grapevines leaks arsenic into wine

and rice grown outside the United States absorbs arsenic directly from the groundwater. >>

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


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Most commonly, heavy metals enter the body through food and a host of household

items, including cookware, pesticides, plastics, and aluminum-based deodorants. While

few people will experience severe heavy metal poisoning as a result of their everyday

environment, taking steps to minimize exposure is a simple way to improve general wellbeing

and stave off long-term ailments.

To reduce exposure, look for all-natural alternatives to your favorite household products—

especially antiperspirant deodorants, which often contain aluminum. As you might guess,

rubbing microscopic particles of aluminum into a porous body surface is far from ideal.

When it comes to cooking, swap low-quality metal cookware for ceramic, glass, and cast

iron—as these materials are the least likely to add harmful toxins to the menu. Last, but

not least, buy organic produce whenever possible. Luckily, SLO County is home to well

over a dozen farmers’ markets stocked with local organic produce.

If you suspect lead or other toxins might be lingering in your home—especially if your

house was built before the ‘70s—consult with an expert to safely make necessary updates.

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76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

#5 DETOX IT OUT

Feeling a little sluggish? Chronic low-level metal toxicity is relatively common and widely

underdiagnosed. If you suspect heavy metals are weighing you down, a functional medicine

practitioner can test your levels and recommend a safe detox process. Different tests provide

different levels of information—but the most common include blood tests, hair testing,

chelation challenge testing, and bone testing.

Once heavy metal toxicity is confirmed, the first step is to remove their sources from your

environment. The next step is to introduce detoxifying foods that bind to and flush out

heavy metals. These include cilantro, garlic, wild blueberries, spirulina, chlorella, green tea,

cruciferous vegetables, and lemon water. On the flip side, high-fat foods can attract and store

metals—so a low-fat diet serves the body well during a heavy metal detox.

While a thirty-day detox might give your body the boost it needs to reset, the best medicine

is a healthy lifestyle. Seven to eight hours of sleep every night, whole plant-based foods, lots

of water, and a daily dose of stress-free Central Coast sunshine does the trick. SLO LIFE


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


| TASTE

MODERN

LATIN

CUSINE

Think outside the taco shop.

BY JAIME LEWIS

n this column, I’ve written about my quest for superb carnitas and juicy burritos. Of course, I’m not alone;

wherever two or more Californians are gathered, discussion about Mexican food will ensue.

The simple taco, wrapped in paper for take-out, will always have a cozy home in our hearts, but a handful

of restaurants in SLO County offer Latin cuisine for times when we have more than a few minutes to

eat—and more than a few dollars to spend. Each has its cultural roots somewhere in the Americas, and the

heartfelt pride of each proprietor shines through in every bite.

ISo, step away from the burrito wagon, if only this once. Dine deeper, both culinarily and geographically speaking. You

may find that your new favorite dish hails from somewhere between here and Cape Horn. >>

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


ACROSS THE AMERICAS

At La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant in Paso Robles, Latin

pop music bumps from speakers along the long brick walls.

Warm air breezes through the wide-open doors that face

onto City Park, the tall bar stools a perfect perch for a

sophisticated fall evening.

I meet owner Carole MacDonal to talk Latin cuisine,

and she brings me a long plate of three little dumplings

covered in shredded cabbage and tomato slices. They are

pastelitos catracho, traditional empanadas from Honduras,

the homeland of her husband and restaurant partner, Chef

Santos MacDonal.

“This is his family recipe,” she says, explaining that each of

the three little bundles before me contains beef, potatoes,

veggies, and mild spices. Diving into the pastelitos, I taste the

high note of cumin in every bite, as well as corn, peppers,

and onions.

Despite the provenance of this dish, La Cosecha (which is

Spanish for “homemade”) does not subscribe to the cuisine

of any one place; other dishes hail from Peru, Brazil, and

Spain. “We’re not confined to one country,” Carole says,

reminding me that their first restaurant is Il Cortile, a

high-end Italian restaurant up the street. “We have pizza on

this menu, which has nothing to do with Latin food. Chef

Santos just makes whatever he feels he’s good at.” >>

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


IN THE MIX

When I walk into Mestiza Bar y Cocina, the new Mexican

eatery above Williams-Sonoma on Monterey Street in San Luis

Obispo, the first thing I notice are the many cacti lining a beige

wall. Further down, globe light fixtures covered in woven fibers

blend traditional notes with modern design.

Mestiza’s Executive Chef, Ricardo Ortega, is an owner along

with Compass Health, which operates other Central Coast

restaurants, including the Old Custom House in Avila Beach

and Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach. But this restaurant is

personal for him, he says, as his own family’s roots are in

Michoacán. He shares that another chef in the kitchen,

Armando Melendez, comes from Mexico City.

Ortega brings me a plate of quesadillas de flor de calabaza—pretty

blue-ish quesadillas filled with Oaxacan cheese, epazote (an

herb native to southern Mexico), and squash blossoms. A little

pot of guacamole surprises me with pomegranates mixed in,

symbolizing the red and green of the Mexican flag. The flavors

are gentle, not overly spicy, and the squash blossoms lend an

unexpected pillowy texture to each bite.

The term mestiza, Ortega explains, refers to a blend of cultures.

“In some Mexican cities, in one city block you can see an ancient

pyramid, an old Spanish cathedral, and a skyscraper,” he says.

“It’s a blend of old and new, as well as the influences that made

Mexico what it is today.” >>

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


DESTINATION: PERU

Walking into San Luis Obispo’s Mistura, I’m struck by

the seamless combination of modern art and traditional

Incan patterns on the wall. Despite its sprawling size, the

restaurant feels intimate and warm, with bossa nova lilting

on the air.

Mistura’s Chef Nicola Allegretta is actually Italian, but

his wife Jackeline, who is Peruvian, encouraged him to

immerse in Peruvian cuisine. “She said ‘You need to be

educated in Peru, to really learn all the regions of Peru,’”

says Allegretta. “Mistura means a mix of cultures because

that’s what Peruvian food is, too.”

Allegretta became such an expert in the subject that,

today, Mistura represents the Trade Commission of Peru;

whenever Peru showcases its land, tourism, and industry in

the United States, Mistura is there to serve Peruvian food

as an example of the country’s bounty.

Allegretta seats me at the raw bar to watch the kitchen

staff prepare a dish called apasionada: meticulously sliced

scallops in a pool of spicy-citrusy leche de tigre and aji

limo. The word aji means pepper, and the Mistura menu is

riddled with it: aji verde, aji amarillo, aji huacatay.

Indeed, Allegretta tells me, Peruvian cuisine comprises

over twenty peppers. Fruity and nuanced, the flavors of

sauces made from these peppers provide the bassline of

nearly every Peruvian dish, including the apasionada before

me. It manages to be sweet, tart, savory, and luscious all at

once—a beautiful shape-shifter, much like the culture from

whence it came. SLO LIFE

84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85


!

| KITCHEN

APPLE GALETTE

A rustic free-form tart, apple galette is the laid-back

friend of apple pie, cooked on a baking sheet rather

than in a pie pan. Keep it local by shopping at

SLO Creek Farms or See Canyon Fruit Ranch—both

farms offer you-pick apples or sell them by the pound

and are open late August to mid October.

BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOFIA RIVAS

JESSIE’S TIP:

Treat Galette dough like pie dough. Handle

it as little as possible, work quickly, and keep

the dough cool. I like to chill the galettes after

assembly for a few minutes and then put them

!straight into the preheated oven.

86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


APPLE GALETTE

Dough Ingredients:

2 ½ cups flour

2 Tbs sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 cup butter, chilled

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup fine cornmeal

Filling Ingredients:

6-8 medium apples, cored, peeled,

and cut into ½” wedges

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 ½ Tbs cornstarch

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ t sp ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 ½ Tbs lemon juice

Glaze Ingredients:

1 egg beaten

2 Tbs apricot jam

1 Tbs water

2 Tbs crystallized or raw sugar

To make dough, in a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut cold butter into cubes and add one at a

time, just until combined. Add sour cream and stir well. Cover and chill in freezer until firm.

Next, prepare the filling. Put apple slices into a medium mixing bowl. Add sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg,

a pinch of salt, and lemon juice. Mix well by folding and let sit for a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, prepare glaze by mixing egg, apricot jam, and water.

Pull dough from the freezer and flatten on cutting board or counter top. Cut in half and form two equal size disks.

Roll out to pie dough thickness. Use fine ground corn meal to keep dough from sticking to counter or rolling pin.

On a ½ sheet pan lined with parchment paper, set both rolled out sheets of dough side by side. In the center of

both add equal amounts of filling. Fold dough over the side of the filling with the center of the filling exposed.

Paint all exposed dough thoroughly with the glaze and sprinkle with the crystallized or raw sugar. Bake in a 350

degree preheated oven for approximately 1 hr and 15 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Let rest at least 20

minutes before serving. SLO LIFE

JESSIE RIVAS is the owner

and chef of The Pairing Knife

food truck which serves the

Central Coast.

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87


| WINE NOTES

HAIR OF THE DOG

Why are dogs synonymous with wine culture? Maybe the answer lies in the way both

dogs and wine can cause even the most hardened among us to open up, to drop down

our guard and live a little. In the same way that wine is a social lubricant—a magical elixir

that allows us to meet in the middle—so too are our four-legged friends. They serve as

enthusiastic, yet often sleepy, mascots in wine tasting rooms, cheerleaders in the cellar,

and faithful friends in the vineyards. So, pack the picnic basket, grab a bottle of wine,

and explore some local canine-friendly wineries.

BY ANDRIA MCGHEE

Saucelito Canyon Winery // Gladys (Knight) the pug // Zinfandel

The tasting room was Gladys’s first home. This funny-faced furball was rescued by tasting room manager Katharyn.

Since then, Gladys has greeted visitors and basked under tables, especially those with the largest charcuterie plate.

While at Saucelito, enjoy their old-world style Zinfandel. These are much lighter and fruitier than a typical warmer

climate, “jammy” tasting Zinfandel. How do they get an old-world taste? The vines came from across the seas over

a century ago before they were abandoned during prohibition. A rare find by Bill Greenough (“Greeno”), who took

a gamble on them as Phylloxera, the wretched moth that killed most of France’s vines, killed many of the other Zin

vines planted around United States. Miraculously, his were spared. Compare their 2017 Young Vine Zinfandel, which

is bright and fruity with a bit of spice, to their old vines 2016 Estate Zinfandel, which has a bigger nose and a slight

cherry cola taste. You can tell these vines have a knowledge of the world that we can only begin to understand. >>

ANDRIA MCGHEE received

her advanced degree in

wines and spirits from WSET

in London and enjoys travel,

food, wine, and exercise.

88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


new year’s eve pops:

a night at the

oscars

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, SAN LUIS OBISPO

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 89


Kelsey See Canyon Winery // Zeus the red lab

Apple Rosé

Not only are peacocks welcome here, but as they won “SLO’s

best dog-friendly winery” this year, dogs are just as common.

Winemaker Jac Jacobs and his assistant, Joey Roedl, always have

their loyal pooches, Oden and Zeus, by their sides. Oden is a great

Pyrenees from a Paso sheepherding line. His big physique is less

intimidating because of his full body wag when he sees visitors.

Zeus is a red lab that is incredibly social, as well, but rarely leaves

Roedl’s side, except when walking himself on the beach. These two

are so endearing—I just want to hang there all day.

Dick and Dolores Kelsey, who once maintained tugboats in the

current wine barrel room, decided to retire and start a winery.

Instead of simply stomping grapes for wine, they tried their hand

with the apples that grew all around the canyon, as well. This

was the birth of Red Delicious Apple Rosé wine, which is quite

different than a cider. After nearby Sycamore Hot Springs began

selling the unique blend, it was renamed “Hot Tub Wine” by its

guests. Fermented from equal parts apple and grape juice, it offers

a taste that is difficult to describe.

It’s just something you have to try. A touch of sweetness helps

the fruit spring to life, while the grapes give it that smooth red

berry flavor. It strikes a nice balance and, more than anything else,

it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is just downright fun—like

Oden and Zeus.

Whalebone // Bentley // Cabernet Sauvignon

When walking up to Whalebone, it is not uncommon to be

greeted by Bentley, a three-year-old puppy—a lab in a bulldog’s

body. The loyal, if not obedient, sidekick to the one of the winery’s

owners, Janalyn Simpson, makes fast friends with visitors by

asking them to play fetch with a piece of limestone that he drops

at their feet. It is the same limestone that makes this area such a

coveted winegrowing region.

This winery is part of a 126-acre lot that Simpson and her

husband Bob purchased thirty-three years ago when they asked a

local winemaker for advice on growing grapes. The Simpsons loved

Cabernet Sauvignon, so that’s what they grew. After rave reviews

from friends, they decided to share this joy with everyone, and

that is how the tasting room was born. The 2016 Estate Cabernet

is delicious and features a great body. With a touch of Merlot,

the cab shines its dark berry and spice taste similar to a Bordeaux

blend. The Whalebone name is a fantastic reminder of the ancient

marine seabed soil from which the vines now grow and get their

fantastic flavor. SLO LIFE

BEFORE YOU GO

Want to bring your furry friend with you to a

winery? Take a couple steps before visiting to

ensure a great time. Call ahead to check their

policy. Wineries often have a garden or patio

space for guests with dogs. Always keep Fido on

a leash and keep some waste baggies on hand.

Bonus: be sure to bring along a bowl for water

while you are drinking wine, just in case the

winery doesn’t have one. Cheers!

90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


smart, eclectic, art to live on

1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com

(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados)

Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91


| BREW

SEASONAL

SUDS

BY BRANT MYERS

Even more derided than milkshake

IPAs with their liberal use of the

milk sugar, lactose, and revolting

glitter beers stuffed full of swirling

FDA-approved mica, are the dreaded

pumpkin beers released every Fall.

Each year, hundreds of breweries

jump on the seasonal wagon and

produce the autumnal equivalent

of the Peep. Widely hated, yet

secretly consumed. More accurately, I’m talking about pumpkin

spice beers that have been a thorn in the side of many a brew

aficionado and have seen a steady rise in popularity. Yet I have

never seen one being imbibed in the wild! So what are they, why

are they so hated and who is drinking these abominations?

My wife drinks them. I still love her, though a little less once

the cap comes off. It’s not her fault and she is far from your

basic girl, Instagramming a pile of fallen red leaves. She’s just

festive and starting to get excited about the upcoming holidays

and cooler weather. Like seeing bags of bite-sized Halloween

candy fill the store shelves that just recently held sunscreen and inflatable

pool toys, pumpkin beer signals the closing of the year and the beginning of

a new chapter in our weather.

Before we dive into the cultural rift that these seasonal brews create, let’s

distinguish that there are two types of pumpkin beer. The first is generally

better accepted due to the fact that it is more technically difficult to make—

an actual pumpkin beer. A perennial favorite has been El Gourdo, brewed

by Jim Crooks and his team at Firestone’s Barrelworks in Buellton. They

handpick and fire roast locally grown Cinderella pumpkins, adding walnuts

and bay laurel for an earthy and smoky wild wheat ale that evokes early

evenings spent cooking for family while catching whiffs of chimney smoke

from the neighborhood. Now that, is a pumpkin beer fit for Fall.

On the other hand are pumpkin spice beers. These are really what we think

of when we conjure hatred of anything malty and somehow slightly orange.

The recipe is simple: make a beer (or just use one you have already on the

brew schedule), then add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

Boom! Pumpkin spice beer! I want to expound on this concept, but it is so

simple that there’s not much more to say. I think this gets at the crux of why

they are so derided. On that note... >>

92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


Healing

Happens

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, SLO,

INVITES YOU TO JOIN OUR SERVICES.

At our Wednesday evening services, you will hear

testimonies of healing and ideas shared on how

Christian Science is applied to every challenge in the

daily lives of our members. The laws of harmony and

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Wednesday Testimony Meeting

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93


The backlash against pumpkin beer has been dying down over the years as we

begin to see some sharks being jumped, not only with the aforementioned

milkshake and glitter beers, but with the rise of flavored seltzers. Even

Anheuser-Busch’s Natural Light is now seen with pink flamingos on the can

and strawberry lemonade flavors added to make Naturdays (ideally

consumed through a plastic flamingo beer bong). After this abominable,

consumer-fueled phenomenon, how can we go back and tell brewers not to

use spice in their beer? After all, spiced beer has been around for hundreds

of years and dates back to many venerable Belgian breweries that are above

reproach. American brewers have a natural predilection for a heavier hand in

the addition of spices over the Belgians, but it still boils down to a gut feeling

we have as consumers that there is something amiss.

We have all experienced the dreaded “seasonal creep” as we’re simultaneously

shopping for Halloween costumes and listening to Christmas music over

the store speakers. This is no different in the beer world. We have one basic

problem with timing that is inevitable and twofold: How do you make a

quality pumpkin beer when the pumpkins are still growing? How do you

brew, bottle, ship, distribute, stock and sell a seasonal beer before the season

is over and before the beer loses its precious shelf life? Finding the balance is

difficult. No one wants to drink pumpkin in the Summer, and no one wants

to drink it after the turkey leftovers are gone. This is a small target to hit and

using spices instead of gourds helps alleviate the time crunch, but it sacrifices

quality. Consumers know this, even if only as a feeling.

Consumers are savvier than ever and are naturally wary of gimmicks and

heavy-handed attempts to garner sales from trends. So when

we see orange labels start to dominate the coolers, we take a

moment to lament the loss of the summer session IPA that

used to occupy the same space. What do we do about it?

Nothing. It doesn’t matter. The thing I love about beer is that

it is the most democratic purchase you can make. Vote with

your wallet and the breweries will listen. Only the strong

will survive and that’s okay too, because my next favorite

thing about beer is the sheer variety

of styles and that there truly is

something for every taste.

So, will I be drinking a pumpkin beer

this year? Of course, but it’s going

to be the best one I can find and

my wife and I will enjoy the subtle,

oak-aged nuances emanating from

the glass, wafting through the kitchen

and mingling with the natural buttery

scents of diacetyl from the pumpkin

being carved while seeds roast in the

oven. Because isn’t that what fall is

all about? So, shop wisely, consume

sparingly and remember that the best

thing about beer is sharing a moment

with those you love. SLO LIFE

BRANT MYERS is a craft

beer veteran and the

founder of BIIIG, supporting

local businesses in the

hospitality industry.

94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019


CONSUMED

A PODCAST

Join SLO Life food columnist

Jaime Lewis for candid

conversations about life

and flavor with area eaters,

drinkers and makers.

SPONSORED BY:

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SPOTIFY

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OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95


| HAPPENINGS

OCTOBER

CAMBRIA SCARECROW FESTIVAL

Whimsy runs rampant at the 11th annual

assembly of hand-crafted folk art that draws

thousands of visitors from across the country.

Don’t miss hundreds of scarecrows bowling,

bathing, painting, pedaling, fishing, and flying

through Cambria, San Simeon and Harmony

throughout the month of October.

October 1-31 // cambriascarecrows.com

96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

FALL AUDUBON BIRD WALK

All birding skill levels are welcome for

a walk through the San Luis Obispo

Botanical Garden and the surrounding

environs including El Chorro Regional

Park, Dairy Creek, the Bluebird Trail, and

grassy hillsides. See dozens of species in a

variety of habitats, with likely sightings of

White-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk,

California Quail, Western Scrub-jay,

Western Bluebird, and possible nesting

Black-headed Grosbeaks and orioles.

October 19 // slobg.org

EVENING IN GREECE

Bring your dancing shoes (dance lessons are one of the evening’s highlights) and enjoy the true meaning

of Greek culture and hospitality. An elegant, authentic Greek dinner awaits you at the SLO Vet’s Hall

along with appetizers, a full bar, a fantastic Greek band and a silent auction to support local community

programs. Don’t forget the baklava. OPA!

October 19 // greekfestivalslo.com

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BOO BASH

Meadow Park becomes a haunted

hangout for family-friendly games and

activities, edible goodies and a costume

party for the kids, thanks to the City of

SLO Parks and Rec Department. End

the evening with a movie under the

stars for a real Halloween treat.

October 25 // slocity.org

CITY TO THE SEA

The intersection of Higuera and Court

streets in downtown San Luis Obispo is

the starting point for this half marathon

race open to runners and walkers alike.

The USA Track & Field certified course

winds through the city, taking runners

along scenic backroads and ending

alongside the Pacific Ocean in beautiful

Pismo Beach.

October 13 // citytothesea.org


| HAPPENINGS

POP-UP ART SHOW

Help support the Monday Clubhouse Conservancy Fine Arts Awards Fund by fostering

the creativity of more than a score of Central Coast 2D and 3D artists, who “nourish the

expression of one soul talking to another.” It’s perfectly timed for holiday giving and sharing.

November 15-17 // themondayclubslo.org

DEATHTRAP

Gasp-inducing thrills! Spontaneous

laughter! Both are promised in SLO

Repertory Theatre’s production of this

ingeniously constructed “roller-coaster

comic thriller” of a play written by Ira

Levin and directed by Kevin Harris. A

delightfully clever tale sure to be welltold

by SLO REP’s creative crew.

November 1-17 // slorep.org

NOVEMBER

SAN LUIS OBISPO POETRY FESTIVAL

Three separate events make up the 36th annual local

celebration of words, and you can enjoy three of

San Luis Obispo County’s recent Poet Laureates—

Marguerite Costigan, Jeanie Greensfelder, and Ivan

Brownotter—as they give voices to their written

words in three different venues.

November 2, 10 & 17 // languageofthesoul.org

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

This festive, family-friendly, free community

event is back for a sixth grand celebration

in SLO’s downtown Mission Plaza, brought

to you by Wilshire Hospice, SLO Museum

of Art, Latino Outreach Council, and

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Enjoy

decorated altars, traditional dances, mariachi

music, poets, artists and sellers, art and

crafts activities, educational talks, costume

contests, Mexican food and beverages, sugar

skull decorating, and more.

November 1-2 // www.diadelosmuertosslo.org

CLASSICALLY SPEAKING

The San Luis Obispo Master Chorale

celebrates two giants of classical music with

the pairing of Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony

of Psalms” with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s

“Requiem” at the Cal Poly Performing Arts

Center. Guest performers include Alba Franco-

Cancél, Susan Azaret Davies, Paul Osborne,

and Gabriel Manro.

November 24 // slomasterchorale.org

OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97


RUSS LEVANWAY

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& OPPORTUNITY

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HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

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and confused? I can help.

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Therapy/Counseling/Coaching

Dr. Arnie Horwitz • 30 yrs. Experience

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BY IRA LEVIN

slorep.org

NOV

1-17

WED-SAT

7 PM

SAT-SUN

2 PM

“Two-thirds a thriller and one-third a

devilishly clever comedy. Scream a little.

It’s good for you.” – cue magazine

Give the gift of SLO LIFE!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

slolifemagazine.com

SLOm a

OCEAN LIFE

ABOUNDS

98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

DATE NIGHT

DINNER

BLACK

DIAMOND

SLEEP WELL

TONIGHT

BY THE

NUMBERS

LIFE

g a z i n e

INSPIRED

DESIGN

ON THE

RISE

BUSINESS

LOYALTY

SURF

SCENE

CREATIVE

SPACE

MEET

| HAPPENINGS

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AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS

One of America’s pre-eminent humorists, David Sedaris is a master of satire

and one of the most observant authors addressing the human condition today.

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, he presents an all-new evening

of irreverent musings, laugh-out-loud monologues, and readings from new and

unpublished works during this Cal Poly Arts presentation.

November 4 // morrobaytri.com

NOVEMBER

HARVEST ON THE COAST

A beachfront extravaganza of food and wine in Avila Beach kicks off on Friday

with a “Crafted on the Coast” collaborative winemaker dinner, followed on

Saturday by a beachside Grand Tasting and Live Auction featuring artisan foods,

live music and the opportunity to support local nonprofits. Then on “Surf ’s Up”

Sunday head out to SLO Coast wineries for all-day wine tasting, wine specials and

even more live music.

November 1-3 // visitavilabeach.com

SUSTAINABLE AG EXPO

For the very first time the International

Sustainable Winegrowing Summit will

be held in the United States, running

in conjunction with the Sustainable Ag

Expo at the Alex Madonna Expo Center

in San Luis Obispo. Bringing together

leading experts from around the globe,

the full-service tradeshow and equipment

showcase provides an opportunity for

farmers and ag pros to learn about the

latest in farming research, resource issues,

and business trends.

November 11-13 // vineyardteam.org


OCT/NOV 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99


Here

We

Grow

Again

WELCOMING OUR NEWEST OFFICE

LOCATION IN DOWNTOWN PASO ROBLES

100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2019

BHGREHAVEN.COM

SAN LUIS OBISPO • MORRO BAY • PASO ROBLES

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