SAN LUIS OBISPO
& LOCAL IMPACT
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1
We’re more than
just ink on paper.
2226 Beebee St, San Luis Obispo, CA 805.543.6844 prpco.com
2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Print Mail Apparel Design Web
M O D E R N • C L A S S I C • J E W E L R Y
1 1 2 8 G A R D E N S T R E E T S A N L U I S O B I S P O
W W W . B A X T E R M O E R M A N . C O M
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3
Cal Poly Art and Design Department | Art Director: Shaina Kim, Designer: Briana Jackson | Photographers: Ally Evans, Noelle Merrihew, Ysabel Sullivan
SLO Transit let
1 Find your route 2 Enjoy the ride 3 Reach your destination
4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS . LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS
805.704.7559 License 731695
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 5
181 TANK FARM ROAD . SUITE 140 . SAN LUIS OBISPO . CA . 805-543-7600
6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
a historic Pozo
life-long SLO county
resident, Danielle Morgan
is enthusiastic about
her new role as
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949 Higuera Street (at Morro Street)
Court Street • Monterey Street • Downtown Centre
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7
NOW HEAR THIS
On the Rise
8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Love your legs again!
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11
| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE
My growing up years were spent two hours to the east. We called it the San Joaquin Valley. Back then, it was
covered by row after row of cotton fields. Many mornings, it felt as if those cotton bolls had awakened before
the rest of us to swarm the skies above. This phenomenon had a name: Tule fog.
It was this time of the year, late winter, early spring when the Tule fog was at its best. And, I use the
qualification, “best,” for a specific reason that was of critical importance to my younger self. When the cotton
levitated overhead, you could not see the other side of the street. And, when you could not see the other side
of the street, they canceled school.
The Visalia Unified School District was never bold enough to outright cancel it. That is why I lobbied my
parents to move to a more forward-thinking area, such as Earlimart or Waukena, where they did not hesitate
to shut it down. Instead, the best that my two younger sisters and I could hope for was a Plan C, which is
why we woke up early most mornings to glue ourselves to Channel 18.
It was a knob that thumped and clunked when it turned. The picture was fuzzy until the fine tuner was finessed, the rabbit ears twisted. We did not
care about the picture. We only wanted to read the words scrolling across the bottom of the screen: “THE FOLLOWING IS AN UPDATE FOR
TODAY’S FOGGY DAY SCHEDULE...” That’s when we would find out, again, that the kids in Earlimart had it made. It was so unfair. We then
prayed for a consolation prize. We prayed for Plan C.
At some point, the powers-that-be from schools all around the Valley came together to develop the Foggy Day Schedule system. Plan A was the worst.
It meant, “Nothing’s changed. Go to school, as usual.” Plan B was the second-worst because it only canceled the bus service. Although we never once
gave up hope for a straight-up cancellation, the best outcome was the declaration of Plan C because it meant that school started two hours later than
usual. Two hours! At least I did not grow up in current times—Valley kids now don’t even have a Plan C, the best they can hope for is a Plan B, which
today comes with only a ninety-minute delay.
One by one, tiny Valley towns which were defined by two numbers, more than any particular landmark—Ivanhoe, for example, was better known as
Avenue 328 and Road 156—became famous for their Foggy Day designations. Many of those places should not be called towns at all. They were more
like outposts in the unending flatness, which is why so many of them formed “joint” school districts. “Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District—Plan
C… Monson-Sultana Joint Union Elementary School District—SCHOOL IS CANCELED.” Wherever Monson or Sultana happened to be, the
Creator was looking out for them when He shaped the surrounding foothills. They were always receiving the nurturing embrace of Tule fog.
Sometimes, people passing through the Valley on Highway 99 would turn on their radio to find out why the clouds had fallen to the ground. More than
once, the DJ would say “patchy morning fog,” while the driver heard “Apache morning fog.” Tule fog and Apache morning fog are two very different
things. First off, there is no such thing as Apache fog because there were no Apaches in the San Joaquin Valley—it’s Yokut country. And, second, anyone
who knows anything about Foggy Day Schedule cringes when they hear the word “patchy.” You did not want patchy morning fog because patchy
morning fog was a one-way ticket to Plan A. You wanted the soupy stuff. Complete white-out. Zero visibility.
By the time I got to high school, Plan C had become a social phenomenon—similar to Snapchat now. Instead of remaining safe at home, everyone
navigated their cars by sonar to the donut shops and convenience markets with their friends. As we waited for the fog to burn off, we never lost our
faith in the belief that one day school would be canceled. The guy mixing the dough or the lady handing out the mojos and chicken fingers would grow
tired of our question, but we continued to ask it anyway: “Is it still just a Plan C?” The answer always came back, “Yes.” We remained grateful for the
windfall—two full hours—but we knew that Captain Ahab’s elusive whale was out there somewhere, hiding in the sea of cotton.
For as many times as I have explained the Foggy Day Schedule concept to my kids, they cannot seem to understand it. There is no equivalent here on
the Central Coast. And, I have tried to come up with something: You-Have-To-Wear-Something-Warmer-Than-A-Hoodie-Sweatshirt Day Schedule,
or Good Surf Day Schedule. It just does not translate. There is no Plan C because there are no cotton fields, and no fog—at least not of the Tule or
Apache variety. There are only sunny days and beaches and mountains called sisters. Not a bad trade.
I want 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!
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.
True Community Banking
“We’ve known Jay with American Riviera Bank for over five years.
You can trace all the growth we’ve had at Scout back to that relationship.”
— Sara Peterson, Scout Coffee owner
Jay Beck, American Riviera Bank Senior Vice President, with Scout Coffee owners Sara and Jon Peterson, at their Foothill Boulevard location
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 15
| ON THE COVER
A SNEAK PEEK
behind the scenes
WITH ERIC VEIUM
BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
I noticed right away that Eric had a coffee mug with
Kahil Gibran on it. He’s a famous poet and author.
Eric told me that he loved his poetry and shared a
favorite passage. It’s amazing. I really like this one:
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let
it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your
soul. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.”
The panels look like an ocean of solar, so I asked
him to jump as if he was jumping into a solar sea.
You see all those pictures on Instagram where
people are going off the end of a pier into the
water. And I thought, “Let’s replicate that the best
we can.” He was totally into it, so we had fun.
I took a picture of the inverter, which sends the energy to
the transformer over to that electric plant and then back
through those power lines. And that picture I took of him
by his car, you’ll see the power lines that go from the solar
farm behind him.
16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
One of his goals—he’s got a lot —he’d like
to see more people commute on bikes, as
much as possible. He’s trying to make riding
your bike or using an electric bike the norm.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17
| 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 email@example.com
KENNY and DIANE LEWIS at the Téatro Greco.
SLO LIFE Magazine soaked up a little aloha at Oahu’s
fabled North Shore with STEVE and JENNIFER DINIELLI.
ASHFORD CASTLE, IRELAND
MIKE and MARGARET BURCHIERE and crew sailing the
Mediterranean off the coast of Stromboli in search of marble.
JOHN and FREDENE MAULHARDT at the setting for the
Quiet Man movie.
18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
BIG FORK, MONTANA
KEN and COURTNEY KIENOW
CAPE REINGA, NEW ZEALAND
SEA OF GALILEE, ISRAEL
RUBY SOLOMON, TINA RADOVICH,
SCOTT RADOVICH, and LAUREN HUTKIN
INDI THE DOG
MATT and KIM WORMLEY
Cycling through SLOvenia: VAL SEYMOUR, JILL BOLSTER-
WHITE, JAMES WHITE, JEFF STEIN, JEFF RADDING, JOEL
DIRINGER, CHIP BARCLAY, LYNN MANZELLA, KAREN
WORCESTER, and, not pictured, CHRISTINE HOFFMAN.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19
| IN BOX
SLO LIFE travels!
BANFF, ALBERTA, CANADA
THE FIERCE FLAMINGOS
PALACE OF VERSAILLES, FRANCE
LINDA and BOB COLLINS
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HAWAII
EDINBURGH CASTLE, SCOTLAND
LAURA and MARK RUFFING
CHARLES WALDROP and CHRISTIE RAMSEY
20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21
| IN BOX
Trekking with you!
JIM, SALLY, PAM, AL, JOYCE and RITA
at Pickleball Nationals.
ADRIAN and ROSEMARIE LEROY at Hustai National Park
in the Gobi Desert.
INLE LAKE, MYANMAR
KIM MARTIN and DAVID NORTON in front of the
“parking lot” at the market in Nam Pan Village.
DELVIS and NORINE FERNANDEZ
22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Please send your photos and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
LEARN BY DOING
WAS BORN HERE
CAL POLY AND LEARN BY DOING
HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS OF
THE CENTRAL COAST
PHOTOGRAPH BY CAL POLY ALUMNA MAYA VAVRA (Biological Sciences, ’18)
Cal Poly students teamed with community
members to conduct field surveys in
Pismo Beach and throughout the state as
part of donor-funded research to determine
the status of the once-abundant Pismo
clam populations and to evaluate factors
that may help lead to their recovery.
See more Learn by Doing stories at
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23
Roughly the number of people the County
of San Luis Obispo employs to work at
the polls each election day. The temporary
poll-workers, who can make between $68
and $182 for the day, must be at least
eighteen years old and a registered voter in
California or a lawful permanent resident
of the U.S.
Atascadero resident David Black, a
veteran who received several pints of lifesaving
blood while serving in Vietnam,
recently donated his 740th pint of blood
at Central Coast Vitalant, who labeled
Black “one of our community blood
supply’s greatest assets.”
seems to fit
Mustang director of athletics Don
Oberhelman announcing in December
the appointment of Beau Baldwin
as the University’s seventeenth head
football coach. Baldwin has a track
record of winning Big Sky Conference
and national championships, recruiting
top-notch student-athletes, and creating
NFL opportunities for his students.
“We all believe
Devine, speaking during the fourth
annual Women’s March in downtown San
Luis Obispo on January 18, which drew
thousands of people who rallied in support
of human rights and social justice.
A new 24-hour news line launched by the
City of SLO Fire Department to provide
brief, pre-recorded messages about major
incidents and emergencies occurring in
the area. It’s designed to offer critical
information about ongoing situations as
well as other announcements, and may
prove especially useful if evacuation orders
are issued during a fast-moving wildfire.
“We didn’t get
the lead gifts that
Executive director and curator Ruta Saliklis
announcing in January the suspension of the
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s plans for
construction of a new building at its current
site in downtown SLO. The organization
will re-group after failing to meet its $12
Want to make a difference in your
community in 2020? Visit the County’s
number one source for volunteer
opportunities—more than 1,000 options
are listed with hundreds of local nonprofit
agencies. What are you waiting for?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis
Obispo began 2020 by celebrating a
quarter-century of helping more than
3,000 children in the community reach
their full potential. There’s still work to be
done, however, as more than 100 children
are still waiting for a match with a special
one-to-one volunteer mentor.
The California Strategic Growth Council
granted the funds to the City of San Luis
Obispo in December to help acquire a
1,000-acre conservation easement for the
Miossi Brothers La Cuesta Ranch just
northwest of the city. The easement will
ensure that the ranch remains as agriculture
and open space while protecting natural
resources and wildlife habitat.
The number of newly-installed electric
vehicle charging stations on Cuesta College’s
San Luis Obispo campus, paid for through
a grant from the Air Pollution Control
District and the college’s participation in
PG&E’s EV Charge Network. SLO LIFE
24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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Stunning single level 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,648 sq
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blends the peace and serenity of country living
with the convenience of nearby hiking, shopping,
dining, beaches and freeway access.
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Exquisite 3 bedroom, formal office, 3 bath home
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441 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
805 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25
Around the County
The first legal adult-use cannabis delivery business in the City of San Luis Obispo
opens with plans to fill orders anywhere within the County. Headquartered in
Santa Barbara, Coastal Delivery SLO plans to employ ten workers in San Luis
Obispo including dispatchers, drivers, and inventory employees. Four additional
cannabis businesses in San Luis Obispo have been granted operator permits with
aspirations to open within the coming year.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation begins fencing off forty-eight
acres around a popular camping area commonly referred to as the “foredune” at
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area to reduce dust and improve air
quality conditions for nearby communities. The closure, which does not impact the
off-highway vehicle riding area, riles the Friends of Oceano Dunes, whose president
immediately penned a letter to the Coastal Commission asking State Parks to “stand
down.” The closure was initiated to meet an end-of-the-year deadline set by the San
Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District. The fenced-off area will no longer
be available for camping or vehicle activity.
The City of San Luis Obispo completes the
replacement of the El Capitan Pedestrian
Bridge, restoring public access to trails
within the Poinsettia Street neighborhood.
The new thirty-three-foot-long bridge is
made of steel with wood decking and cost
$90,000. The original structure, made of
wood and put into service in the late nineties,
was destroyed during a storm in 2015.
RaceSLO, organizers of the SLO Marathon & Half,
announce that the weekend-long event will go on hiatus
for 2020 while they search for a new venue. The event’s
long-term location, the Madonna Inn, decided not to
renew its contract. The City of San Luis Obispo has
hosted the largest running and fitness festival in the
County since 2011, and city officials offered a different
venue in the short term, but RaceSLO Founder and
CEO Samantha Pruitt said without a long-term
commitment, they will look for another community to
host the event.
The California Supreme Court unanimously rejects an
automatic appeal by Rex Allan Krebs to avoid execution,
two decades after the bodies of his two college-aged
victims were found buried in shallow graves in rural
SLO County. The action exhausts the convicted serial
killer’s legal options and upholds his convictions on
first-degree murder, kidnapping, forcible rape, sodomy,
and burglary. Krebs, 53, has been on death row in San
Quentin State Prison since 2001, but it will likely
be years before his sentence is carried out, if at all,
following Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement
in 2019 that no condemned inmates will be executed
during his tenure in office.
26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
PG&E announces a compromise settlement with consumer advocacy
groups on a shutdown budget for Diablo Canyon, California’s last
remaining nuclear power plant. The settlement will cost PG&E ratepayers
$112.5 million a year through 2027, and the money will cover (among other
expenses) the cost of spent nuclear fuel disposal and site clean-up. The
utility originally sought $4.8 billion to close the plant, due to be shuttered
in 2025. If the settlement is approved by the Public Utilities Commission,
electric bills will increase about 59 cents a month per customer. The
settlement also calls for PG&E to seek ways to transfer spent fuel to dry
storage within four years of the shut-off, instead of waiting seven years as
The animated, fifty-foot-long float designed and built by
teams of students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal
Poly Pomona wins the prestigious Director Award for most
outstanding artistic design and use of floral and non-floral
materials at the 131st Rose Parade. Featuring a submarine
exploring a sunken shipwreck that is home to a colorful array of
marine wildlife, the playful “Aquatic Aspirations” was adorned
with 23,000 blooms ranging from blue irises to pink Gerbera
daisies to purple roses and multi-colored protea flowers. Since
1948, Cal Poly entries have earned fifty-seven awards.
Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) becomes the new primary
electricity provider for the cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay,
partnering with PG&E to deliver affordable electricity service. Customers
in these communities will continue to receive only one electric bill from
PG&E, but it will include both MBCP charges for electric generation and
PG&E charges for transmission and distribution. In 2021, the not-forprofit
MBCP also will begin service to the cities of Arroyo Grande, Grover
Beach, Paso Robles, and Pismo Beach.
County Supervisors renew the San Luis Obispo County
Tourism Marketing District, managed by the nonprofit
organization Visit SLO CAL, for a ten-year period through
June 2030. The SLOCTMD, established in 2015 for a
five-year period originally set to expire in June 2020, is a
per-night assessment on all lodging in the county, including
the seven incorporated cities. It generates funds to create a
unified tourism marketing approach and to promote a greater
awareness of the county to potential visitors. Visit SLO CAL
recently conducted a return on investment study that showed
that for every $1 spent in marketing by the organization, an
average of $40 in economic impact is created in the county.
Promoting the theme “The Time Is Now,” the fourth annual Women’s March
in San Luis Obispo draws an estimated 6,000 participants urging voters to
go to the polls in 2020 and show their support for women’s rights, social and
environmental justice, Black Lives Matter, and LGBTQIA rights. Organizers
say they hope to inspire young people to take action and know they can make
change happen in the United States and around the world. SLO LIFE
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27
28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
BY JOE PAYNE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY JOSEPH
Growing up in the Arroyo Grande area
exposed local photographer Amy Joseph to the
joys of riding horses and biking with friends to
the dunes. They took in pastel sunsets over the
Pacific from the mesa. Though she has always
loved her home on the Central Coast, Joseph was
not always found outside with a camera in hand.
After some health concerns led to an abrupt
career change, Joseph began putting her lifelong
computer skills to work at a web design company.
To promote her local clients, she started
photographing landmarks and vistas around San
Luis Obispo County. She soon began her own
business selling these images, called Central Coast
Pictures, which she manages today online. Joseph
reveals, “I wasn’t what I would call a professional
photographer when I started my website. I simply
had thousands of photos of the place I lived and
grew up in and wanted to share them.”
Local photo excursions are a must for Joseph,
everywhere from the rolling hills of wine country
to the beaches of San Simeon. She captures the
images you would expect, of course, of the Central
Coast sites that everyone knows, but she also has
an eye for the unexpected. Take this image you
see here, where Joseph turned her back on Morro
Bay’s massive geological namesake, and instead
trained her lens on the shore of the town and its
colorful rows of boxy homes. Far behind looms
Hollister Peak as an equally imposing plume of
cumulonimbus overtakes the skyline.
Hollister, along with the rest of the Seven Sisters,
is often the subject of amateur and professional
photographers alike. Joseph expresses, “If they can
be in a photo I’m taking, I try to focus on them.
In this image, the color of the town, houses, and
the boats were really standing out to me.”
The image also captures something quintessentially
San Luis Obispo: the juxtaposition of our cities
and towns wreathed in the natural beauty of
the Central Coast.
That’s something that
Joseph has always
up here, she explained,
and why taking
some quiet time for
herself outside with
her camera scarcely
feels like work. She
explains, “The Central
Coast is, to me, the
most beautiful place to
photograph. There’s so
much to see, from the
beach to landmarks
like the Seven Sisters,
countryside, Big Sur—
it’s so diverse.”
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
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29
PROCESS OF DISCOVERY
Fifteen years ago, SUSIE THEULE had an idea. Today, that idea has a name:
SLO Classical Academy. The private school, known to many as SLOCA, is a
uniquely California entrepreneur-in-a-garage start up story that now enrolls
412 students. Its director stopped by our office the other day to talk about the
challenges that come with balancing the management of a growing program,
which employees a staff of eighty, as well as remaining present for her
husband and four children. Here is some of what she had to say…
Okay, Susie, let’s talk about where you are from.
I grew up outside Chicago in a Northwest suburb
called Arlington Heights. I lived in only two
different houses there before going away to school.
For college, I decided that I wanted to get out
either to the beach or to the mountains, so I ended
up going down to San Diego. After graduation, I
ended up moving up to LA to get my doctorate
in clinical psychology. And, during that time, I
met my husband and got married. We lived in San
Clemente, which is an amazing little beach town,
but it’s still in Orange County. His brother had
gone to Cal Poly, so we had visited and knew that
we loved it here and knew we wanted to raise a
family here. So, when he had a job opportunity that
felt right, we moved.
And, how was the transition? As soon as we
arrived, I said to my husband, “How about we
start a school?” And the poor man had just been
through my doctorate, my dissertation, and my
psychology licensing, and we moved, and we had
just had our third child. He said, “Please, can
you please wait just a year?” So, a year later I was
looking for a book, and I met someone who was an
educator. She had always wanted to start a school
here and, so, we put our heads together and did a
bunch of work and ended up opening SLOCA in
2005. We started at four homes around the city,
including our own. We whitewashed our garage
and added a window. We had eleven first graders in
there and total enrollment was thirty-seven by the
first half of the year. I was pretty sure it wasn’t legal
for us to be doing this in our home.
You just jumped in with both feet. Yes, exactly. I
really had no idea what I was doing, literally. I just
knew what I wanted for my kids. I would do many
things differently had I known what I know now.
So, we really needed to clean that up, but we also
knew that the school would not be sustainable if
people are driving all over the city to four different
houses. And, I knew that if we were in a setting that
was an actual school site that more people would
be attracted to it and have a higher level of trust.
Fortunately, that proved to be true. We just kind
of grew and grew and grew for years, by leaps and
bounds. We rent the old Teach Elementary School
campus from San Luis Coastal Unified and we’ve
had a great relationship with the district, but we
are outgrowing it. It’s across the street from Cal
Poly and we also rent houses across the street to
house our high school. We’ve completely gutted
and remodeled five homes over there, but we’re
outgrowing them, as well.
Let’s switch gears for a moment and talk about
your background in psychology. Sure, okay, I’m
a depth psychologist by training, so there are lots
of deep thoughts going on with me, and emotions,
and thinking about life. I have a rich internal life,
always thinking. My mind is running all of the
time. But, I really have a lot on my plate in terms of
just completing tasks and trying to remain present.
Every day, I’m aware of my weaknesses and how
I screw up with my parenting and my leadership.
People say to me, “I don’t know how you do what
you do.” And, I do it the same way everybody else
does it. I get up every day and put my clothes on,
take a shower, and just put one foot in front of the
other. But, yeah, I don’t know. I’m a bundle of other
things going on, I think, underneath this leadership
tag that I have somehow found myself in—I’m
a very reluctant leader. I really did this because I
wanted something special for my kids and then saw
that so many other people wanted that same thing
for their kids, as well.
That must be difficult to balance. You know, I really
am sort of a troubled soul. I’m very contemplative,
probably to a fault. So, everything that happens to
me goes through a process of discovery, wondering
what it’s about. I’m also a really deep feeler. I feel
a great, heavy responsibility, and so I carry that,
and I think about it a lot. I’m just contemplative
and thoughtful and can sort of get stuck in
that sometimes. And then I think what makes
it difficult is I really believe in living in the
moment. I really want to look in my kids’ eyes
and know what they’re thinking and feeling
that day. I also want to really know the people
I work with; and I’ve got a list of tasks that’s just
insane at work and at home. I have four kids. I think
that’s why going for a paddle on Lopez Lake works
so well for me. It gives me time to just sort of be
quiet. I don’t listen to anything out on the lake. I
just paddle and sort of pray and think. I try to tend
to myself a little bit. SLO LIFE
30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
He must not
have heard me!
I told him it
was leap year
Helping You Hear The Things You Love
Call us today
for your consultation
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31
| NOW HEAR THIS
AND THE DERLS
BY SHAWN STRONG
The Urban Dictionary defines the word “derl” as “someone that often exaggerates
their skills and abilities. Claims that the ability to learn is the proof of the
existence of skill.” In the case of the six-piece, psychedelic orchestra Matt Nice
and the Derls, however, it comes to mean something different.
32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
This eclectic group of artists collectively
shares decades of musical knowledge
and experience, led by the accomplished
composer Matt Nice. Other band
members include Paul Dutton, who lends his
expertise on the skins, Chris Cunningham, who
puts his musical training to use on the guitar, Tyler
Rowland adds violin, Liam Bronker slaps the bass,
and Kaya Moody rounds out the group with vocals.
piece band made up of Nice, Adam Vanweerdenpoelman, and Robby
Porovich, The Earthtones saw the beginning of Nice’s multifaceted style
writ large. Over a period of months, the group would continue to make
regular releases showcasing increased intricacy and mastery within their
compositions. At the time, Nice was doing most of the songwriting
and recording alone. While this had worked for the artist since the
beginning, he began looking for new ways to add depth and variation
to his recordings, and to his live performances. With this in mind, the
Derls started to take shape.
The Derls songwriter and leader, Matt Nice, comes
from a rich musical tradition. His lineage includes
a varied group of bluegrass players from Wisconsin:
a grandfather who was a well-known crooner in
Canada, and a father who played guitar throughout
Nice’s youth. It could be said that all these complex
and unique sounds have made their way into the
Derls repertoire because of the young musician’s
upbringing. Born in Livermore, California, Nice
would go on to live in three different states, including
Massachusetts and Illinois. His family was always on
the move, an aspect of his life that eventually led him
to music. As change was such a continual presence in
his life, making music was a much-needed constant
throughout all the new schools, new living situations,
and new social groups.
Nice officially formed the group two years ago, looking to move from
the one-man-band concept to a more collaborative effort. He describes
his process now as one of discovery more than of songwriting. With the
five other band members now contributing ideas and their creativity,
Nice is able to get out of the studio and expand his own capabilities and
art. Nice made it clear that one of his primary goals with the Derls is to
create an experience for the people on stage that matches the experience
the audience is having. The sheer amount of improvisation and quick
thinking on the part of all six members creates a truly unique experience
where the audience knows just as much as the band does, and everybody
is kept unaware until the last minute. It’s a risky tactic, but with great
risk comes an incredibly lively and exciting
experience that cannot be reproduced.
The Derls is an incredibly talented and
innovative group of musicians, and what live
performances they’ve done so far have been
received positively. Having recently locked
down a solid line up, the Derls are focused on
building and creating and practicing. However,
in the next few months, the Derls are planning
on hitting the stage throughout the Central
Coast and hopefully beyond. Keep an eye
out for Matt Nice and the Derls, and if you
have the opportunity to see this whirlwind of
potential, make it a priority.
After having visited San Luis Obispo as a child, Nice
chose to move here permanently twelve years ago.
Initially, Nice would take the train up from southern
California to visit friends who were attending Cal
Poly at the time. On one such visit, after graduating
college, he threw away his return ticket and never
looked back. His first group, a rock band called The
Earthtones, offered a glimpse at the remarkable talent
and diverse skill set of the budding artist. A three- 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.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33
Are You Up for the
Tri Tip Challenge?
BY PADEN HUGHES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAY C. WINTER
It all started with a family
hike up “High School
Hill”—you know, the steep
hill off Lizzie Street above
San Luis Obispo High
School. There is a proud,
sometimes painted red,
tower on top of that hill, and it affords
incredible views of our beautiful city.
In fact, the first time I did this hike,
I remember not looking back at the
city below until I had reached the top.
Turning around to soak in the view
took my breath away.
We have made the pilgrimage many
times since, but once we paused at the
top to look at the writing on the tower,
we quickly picked up on a theme.
Many of the messages etched into the
structure mentioned something about
a Tri Tip challenge. Weird, right?
Probably some Week of Welcome
ritual, we thought at the time. We
didn’t learn anything more about it.
The next time we hiked to the top,
however, our curiosity was piqued
when we discovered that more people
had written something about the Tri
Tip Challenge and this time they
included Bishop, Madonna, and High
School Hill—we finally had the details
next at 1,293 feet. And, finally, High School Hill at
1,135 feet. Altogether we’re talking about an assent
of 3,974 feet! That’s 22% of the way up Basecamp at
Everest or almost halfway up Half Dome in Yosemite.
It definitely gets you bragging rights in our town, and
here’s how I recommend tackling the trails:
8 am: Start at High School Hill. Why? Because despite
being the shortest of the three peaks, it’s the steepest
incline and most likely to be your mental challenge, so I
recommend getting it out of the way.
9:15 am: Head over to Bishop Peak via the Patricia
trailhead and from there, hike Summit #2.
11:30 am: Make your way over to the Cerro San Luis
trailhead near the on ramp to 101 South and hike
If you are a strong hiker, you’ll blow past these times
I’ve outlined above. But if you’ve got kids in tow or a
large group, like we prefer, then these timelines will
The single best way to culminate this epic Saturday
morning hiking event is, of course, to enjoy tri-tip from
my personal favorite, Old
San Luis BBQ. And don’t
forget, a frothy, ice-cold
local beer to celebrate the
The Tri Tip Challenge is a local claim
to fame where you hike three of the
biggest hills in the area—Bishop Peak,
Madonna (Cerro San Luis) and High
School Hill (Bowden Ranch Trail)—
all in the same day. It’s a big feat if you
can do it.
Bishop Peak is the tallest, looming at
1,546 feet. Cerro San Luis Obispo is
In my opinion, the best
time to do this challenge
is right now, early spring.
It’s green, it’s beautiful,
and if you happen to hit
it on a sunny day, it can
be incredibly refreshing.
#tritipchallenge SLO LIFE
PADEN HUGHES is
co-owner of Gymnazo
and enjoys exploring
the Central Coast.
34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35
| ON THE RISE
As an active volunteer with SLO Food Bank
and Big Brothers Big Sisters, this artistic
eighteen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School
senior is painting a bright future.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I have been doing aerial silks
for about eight years now and I am a silks instructor at Performance Athletics.
Beside that, I take technical art lessons and tutor my peers after school.
What do you like to do for fun? I enjoy going to the lake and going skiing with
my family. On the weekends, I love spending my time with friends at places like
the drive-in, downtown, and the beach. Year round, I enjoy painting landscapes. I
mostly use acrylic paints but just recently started using watercolors.
What’s something not many people know about you? I designed the Pacheco
Elementary School t-shirts and painted the Laguna Middle School sports murals
in the gym. Because of that, I have made it a goal to leave a mark on every school
I attend. I currently decorate my high school in vibrant posters through the
Associated Student Body.
What is important to you outside of high school? Just appreciating what I have:
a great family, a safe community, awesome friends, and lots of interests to keep me
busy. My parents are very supportive of me and I have a very adventurous brother,
who keeps me on my toes to say the least. I am thankful for having a solid support
system behind me so that I can branch out and explore new things.
What is your favorite memory of all time? I went on a school-sponsored trip
to Spain my junior year of high school. On the last day of the trip, a group of us
woke up at five in the morning while it was still dark outside, sprinted through the
streets of Barcelona for about two miles to the Mediterranean Sea, and watched the
sunrise. The placidity of the beach was unreal. Fun fact: that was the only day I can
say I was awake for thirty-eight hours straight.
If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? I just finished
the autobiography of Jean Jennings Bartik, who was one of the key programmers of
the first computer, ENIAC. During WWII, she was in the background pioneering
a new field of study. She was a mind blowingly intelligent mathematician. It would
have been an honor to meet her.
What do you want people to know about you? I am very easygoing. I have
never lost my temper or had conflicts with anyone. I move through life with an
underlying patience, which is why I think I am great with children. Also, I have
been told that I am a very thoughtful gift-giver. I am able to really listen to people
and understand their interests.
What schools are you considering for college? Hopefully, I will attend UCLA,
which has an outstanding math program. My other top choices are Cal Poly, UC
Irvine, and UCSD. Eventually, after completing my undergraduate degree, I would
like to attend Cal Tech or another research-driven school. But, I can honestly say
that I don’t mind where I end up because I believe, as long as I take advantage of
opportunities, I can be successful no matter the school I attend. SLO LIFE
Know a student On the Rise?
Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share
36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Sleep Under the Stars, Connect with Nature, Be Creative
swimming . hiking . arts & crafts . outdoor cooking . tomahawks . backpacking . nature exploration
drama . archery . skits . songs . games . nightly campfire . team building . leadership development
Boys & Girls 1st - 11th grades
360 acres near Paso Robles
Family Camp June 19-21
Session #1 June 21 - 27
Session #2 June 28 - July 4
Session #3 July 5 - July 11
Session #4 July 12 - July 18
Session #5 July 19 - July 25
Session #6 July 26 - August 1
Session #7 August 2 - August 8
www.campnatoma.org | 805-709-2569 | email@example.com
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37
| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
There is not much that ERIC VEIUM would not do for alternative
energy, including donating one of his kidneys. It was not a direct
this for that, or quid pro quo, but it might as well have been after he
“put it up to the universe” on election night, which would determine
the fate of Proposition 16, a California state initiative dubbed
“Community Choice.” Through a combination of serendipity and
passion, a lucky recipient was given a new lease on life, while the
rest of us finally have a choice on our utility bill each month: stick
with PG&E or go with the upstart, Monterey Bay Community Power,
which offers carbon-free electricity. The San Luis Obispo resident
then went on to spearhead the creation of the Cal Poly Solar Farm,
a 4.5-Megawatt operation that supplies the university with twenty
percent of its power requirements. Here is his story…
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39
40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Alright, Eric, let’s talk about where you
grew up. So, I’m a Wisco kid. I grew up
in Wisconsin, a small town in Southern
Wisconsin. It was a pretty middleclass
upbringing. My dad was a carpenter, my
mom was a counselor. I was a middle
child, so I have an older brother and a
younger sister. It was idyllic growing
up there. We were actually the only
Jewish family in town. It’s changed a little bit over the years since I was
there. So, that added some interesting dynamics to growing up, for my
brother especially, but a bit for me, as well. It was maybe 12,000 people.
The University of Wisconsin Whitewater was based there, so it felt a
little bit like San Luis Obispo. Our whole community was surrounded by
agriculture, and farm fields, mostly corn fields. I spent lots of time in my
youth shoveling stalls. It was great. I have fond memories of riding my
bike to school in the morning. This was the 90s, so it was all about Weezer
and JNCO Jeans and chain wallets and hacky sacks.
What were you like as a child? I was a nerdy kid. I was a totally nerdy
kid. I loved playing with computers, working with computers. That’s
where I got my start, fixing computers. I was always a smart kid, did well
in school, loved being in school, and just loved hanging out. Since it was
a college town, there was a lot of opportunity to hang out with college
students. I took a number of college courses when I was in high school at
the university, which was always such an attraction. Again, it was super
nerdy. Then, I went to Madison Area Technical College to study computer
relational database design and some other computer stuff. But, in life, you
get signals from different people letting you know whether you’re moving
in a good direction. So, when I was at Madison Area Technical College,
my economics professor there was a graduate of Cal Poly. I was curious
about it and did some research and found out that it had just an amazing
computer engineering school.
So, that’s how you ended up here? Yes, that’ right. When I was eighteen, I
came out on a road trip. It was my first solo road trip. I have family down
in LA. I stayed with them and I took the Greyhound up to SLO. After a
few days here, I was completely in love with this place. It wasn’t even the
campus; it was just the whole community. I was totally in love. After my
visit, I went back to Wisconsin and moved out to LA a year or so later
so that I could get California residency. Then, after I did that, I moved to
San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly was the only university I applied for, and I was
accepted in computer engineering. I started in the fall of 2002. I realized,
very quickly, that I really didn’t care about computer engineering. What
I discovered was that it wasn’t really the designing of circuits and things
that I was interested in at all. It was people and people’s interactions with
both human and natural systems. So, I switched to industrial engineering.
What exactly is industrial engineering? So, industrial engineering is
a really powerful discipline and set of tools around thinking in systems,
and being able to see how factors influence each other, and looking at
complex situations to come up with creative problem solving. In particular,
industrial engineering helped me to both understand the current industrial
economy and how people think or how that structure drives behavior.
Also, from the frame of sustainability, like tools and systems thinking to
be able to have insight into how to create the economy that we need as
a humanity and as a planet. It’s a really powerful tool, a discipline and a
toolkit to understand the existing industrial economy and the paradigm,
and to see pathways out of that. So, it was really there that I became
passionate about sustainability—within that context.
Was there something in particular that sent you down this path?
It was really when I lived in Germany for a year during college, in
Munich. It was transformative for me. I was an exchange student for
a year when I was at Cal Poly. Germany was leading the world in
terms of renewable energy at the time. And they’re known for their
engineering. So, there was the whole engineering piece of it for me,
the culture; I was super excited to soak it in and to go and explore
that culture and much of Europe. I was there for a full year and I had
classes on Tuesday. So, I just had unbelievable opportunities to travel.
I also had some great courses, but I also hitchhiked all over Europe
and couch surfed. That summer, I got an internship with Deloitte
Consulting, which, for an industrial engineering student, it’s the one
you wanted to get. Ultimately, they made me a job offer, which I
accepted. I immediately spent the signing bonus. But, I realized that
I didn’t want to leave SLO, so I wrote them a letter saying, “Thank
you, but no thank you—here’s your signing bonus back.” I scavenged
the Mustang Jobs website every day and took everything I could
find from landscaping and painting to helping an elderly lady with
her errands. I was making like eight or nine bucks an hour and just
working around the clock. But, I was meeting a lot of people in the
community, including some local environmental leaders. They paid me
more than I was worth to do odd jobs around their house.
And, somewhere along the line you got married and had kids?
That’s right. I have a beautiful wife, Alicia. We met eight years ago.
I was participating in something called The Landmark Forum. It’s
transformative education. It’s all about seeing the experiences that
happened in your past and how they are now influencing you without
your knowledge, really influencing how you’re showing up in the
present and future. I’ve been active in Landmark work for eight
years and it’s been a source of great personal peace and leadership
and creativity and everything that I’m up to in the world. It’s been
a structure to support me in that. Alicia and I did not know one
another, but we were both participating in The Landmark Forum at
that time. It’s a three-day event. This one was held in San Francisco
over a long weekend. I sat down in the crowd next to her. Afterward,
I was staying in the East Bay and got off on the 16th Street bus stop.
I started walking, and I looked to my right and there she is walking
with her bike. I said, “Hi,” and she told me she was heading to work at
a restaurant called Cafe Gratitude. She invited me to lunch. Later that
day, I needed to do some work, so I found a coffee shop. I was typing
away on my computer when I see her walking in with a friend. We had
this little exchange, and I just kind of blurted out, “Would you date
me?” She said, “Yeah, I’d date you if you lived closer.”
So, tell us, what happened next? This was all happening right before
the holidays, and we were both raised Jewish, so we didn’t have any
Christmas obligation. So, I went back to SLO and we continued
to talk. Two days later, I went back to the Bay Area and we spent
Christmas together. We went to Chinatown and had Chinese food
like Jews do, and took in a circus performance at the Mission District.
It was amazing. She moved to SLO a month later to be with me,
and the rest is history. I was living in a garage on Buchon Street at
the time that we called “The Garage Mahal.” Great memories. I
think that because we were both doing The Landmark Forum, which
again, clears out a lot of the stuff from the past that oftentimes gets
in the way being present with people in the future, we both had that
common experience and a common language around what was really
just excellent communication, which has allowed our relationship to
this day to be super successful.>>
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41
What about the wedding? Okay, let me tell the story. We actually had
three weddings. It had always been a dream of mine, and I don’t know the
source of it, but it was always a dream to be married in Machu Picchu. So,
I proposed to her, and we created this possibility around being married in
Machu Picchu and having all of our friends with us. We ended up having
an amazing trip, a story in itself, where we had I think like twelve or
fourteen of our friends on Huayna Picchu, which is the spiritual mountain
overlooking Machu Picchu. Then, our second wedding was, as soon as we
got back to the States, at the courthouse just to make it official. The third
was a beautiful wedding in the Edna Valley with friends and family. It was
an amazing potluck. At our third wedding, we realized that Alicia was
pregnant. Soon after that, we found out that we were pregnant with twins.
Nine months later, Walden and Hans were born. They’ll be turning four
And, what are you doing for work these days? I manage energy,
utilities, and sustainability for Cal Poly. So, you may have seen the
solar farm on the way to Morro Bay near the Men’s Colony, so I
was the source of that project. My directions were to figure out how
to develop renewable energy for the university. So, I scavenged the
landscape of policies to understand how we could make a large project
like that happen, and I discovered a relatively obscure program, called
RESBCT. And, no, it’s not the Aretha Franklin song. [laughter]
Without getting into all of the technical details, this program allowed
us to build a renewable energy asset like a solar farm or wind farm—in
this case, a solar farm—up to five megawatts. Essentially, we generate
electricity and receive the renewable and financial benefits. So, right
now, it provides about twenty percent of our overall campus electricity,
and it saves us about a million bucks a year.
And, you have continued your advocacy work, as well? Yes, along the
way, I became part of a team that wrote a grant. I helped co-author a grant
to the California Energy Commission called SLORESCO, or San Luis
Obispo Renewable Energy Secure Communities. The purpose of the grant
was to quantify the renewable energy resource potential for the county
and to look at commercialization pathways. We were asking the question,
“How do we actually bring these resources to reality?” Community Choice
was one of the key commercialization pathways that we were studying. I
was a junior engineer at the time being mentored by some of the leading
thinkers and doers in California energy. That’s where I really cut my teeth
and gained an understanding and eventually mastery around Community
Choice and understanding how powerful of a tool it is for communities >>
42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
One new name.
network of care.
A COMMUNITY BUILT ON CARE
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital are becoming Tenet Health
Central Coast. We’re building a robust network of care facilities located across our community’s region
to meet all of your healthcare needs. So from urgent care centers, primary and specialty care clinics, and
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compassionate care for your whole family.
To learn more or to find a physician,
call 833-300-8749 or visit TenetHealthCentralCoast.com
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43
to have local control over their energy. The grant was always a part-time
engagement. I still had to pay the bills, so I started a handyman service
called Greenhand Handyman.
And, you have quite a story connected to the Community Choice
initiative… That’s true. My mother actually passed away in 2012. She was
the best and I was super lucky to have her. She had the utmost love and
care. I also sort of adopted a second mother out here in SLO. Since we
don’t have any immediate family here, we just adopt aunties and uncles
and moms. So, I met Linda through the work I was doing around town
at the time. Later, her son was diagnosed with some crazy autoimmune
disease, and both of his kidneys were failing. He was on dialysis
constantly, and everybody in his family went in to find out if they could
be donors. None of them came back positive. It wasn’t going to work out.
So, one day, Linda sent out a mass email saying something like, “Nothing
is working, somebody please help.” I sat on that email for some time. It
was when Proposition 16 was on the ballot, which was the Community
Choice initiative. PG&E funded like $50 million to stop the effort. Our
group, which was pushing for it, raised only about $50,000. The way the
proposition was written meant that if it failed, Community Choice would
go forward. So, I put it up to the universe. On election night, I said, “Hey,
if you let this thing fail, I will immediately go and check to see if I’m a
candidate for a kidney donation.”
You made a deal with the universe to trade one of your kidneys for
Community Choice? I guess you could say that; yes, I made that deal.
So, that night was the most amazing election night. We were continually
down two or three points, and then slowly through the night the votes
kept coming in. We finally pulled ahead and ultimately won. The next day
I called the clinic. It was Cedar Sinai down in LA. I went down there and
I didn’t tell Linda about any of this, but I went, and I got myself checked.
It turned out that both Linda’s son and are about the same age, and we’re
both of Jewish descent—Ashkenazi Jews. I think it has to do with coming
from a certain part of Europe. Honestly, I don’t have all the details of
it. But, I received a letter telling me that I was a perfect match for him.
The following day, I was riding my bike and I see this bumper sticker on
the car in front of me promoting organ donation. It said, “Give Life,” or
something like that. Then, I see Linda on the sidewalk. So, I rode up to
her and shared the news. She just broke into tears.
Wow, that’s incredible. Now, can you back up for a minute and explain
exactly what Community Choice is? Sure. So, Community Choice
44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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
smart, eclectic, art to live on
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
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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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(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados)
Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm
Graham was introduced to us by a local real estate lender. Following Graham’s advice, we successfully closed
the sale of our home in Pismo Beach for nearly $20,000 more than the appraised value 30 days prior. Graham
hand-carried the process through some challenges including repairs, changing lenders mid-stream, and
documentation from multiple locations. We give Graham our highest recommendation.
– Michael & Irene Mullen, Paso Robles, CA
graham @ ccreslo.com
805.459.1865 | Lic. #01873454
3196 South Higuera Suite D, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45
enables local communities to take control of their energy supply. They
work in partnership with PG&E, which delivers the power over their
existing infrastructure. It’s a super powerful tool available to local
communities, which can then create resources to support all those
goals: de-carbonization, economic development and resilience, and
infrastructure, and environmental justice. Here in SLO, we are now part of
a five county Central Coast Community Choice energy program, service
just started in January. At first, it will be called Monterey Bay Community
Group, but it will rebrand with a Central Coast-specific name in this
next year. I spent ten years working on this and it is so amazing to see it
become a reality. Essentially, it’s a business that buys power and resells it
to us. It’s an alternative to PG&E. That power is carbon-free. For a lot
of people, Community Choice is a new concept. But, it’s important for
everyone to know that we’re going to help guide and support and hold the
program accountable to deliver the benefits to our region that should be
even better than promised.
And, what’s the downside? Downside? No, there is no downside. I mean,
it’s cleaner power that costs less. It offers choice and local control. The
savings gained are on the order of millions of dollars that are available
to invest in local resiliency and economic development. For years,
we’ve passed our responsibility to PG&E and onto the State Energy
Commission and the Public Utilities Commission. Now we’re responsible.
For years, the utilities and the public utilities commission have just been
throwing ratepayers under the bus. Now, we’ve got communities and
elected officials and people throughout our community and state that
are engaged, actively engaged in an energy conversation around decarbonization.
The law was written to create a locally accountable entity.
Without it, PG&E has so much existing market domination that there
would be no way that this could ever be possible without this type of
structure. It is so exciting to see it finally happening here. I mean, I’m
committed to creating a planet that works for all people, and this is a great
first step that we are taking together as a community. SLO LIFE
46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
HEATED NECK WRAP.
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every six days...
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Text: (805) 440-9945
2304 Broad Street
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. parking in back .
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47
BY JEFF AL-MASHAT
hen you first see Vincent Bernardy’s work, it is
hard not to be drawn in by his playful brushstrokes and
the jagged lines of cut metal and wood in his sculptural
pieces. As you spend more time with the work you
start to notice that, despite the colorful and sometimes
childlike imagery, there is a heaviness in his character’s
Bernardy, a self-taught painter, sculptor, a Central
Coast resident, and in another life, a musician, echoes
visual art greats like Robert Rauschenberg and Ed
Kienholz with his assemblage style of metal, real tree
branches, old tools, and odds and ends such as drawer
pulls, light bulbs, and torn fabric. He works back into
the pieces, going over and painting out some of his
found objects, and incorporating imagery like dinner
tables, people playing games, lollipop-style trees, and
work machines like typewriters. He references some
of the work of the folk artists of the deep south, with
a hint of Jean Dubuffet in his paint application that
seems more coincidental than forced.
While not formally trained beyond high school art,
Bernardy has been producing throughout his life and
has even done faux finishing in homes, which again, he
taught himself how to do.
“I don’t like to tell people what my work is about,”
says Bernardy. “I want to connect and communicate
with people through art in a way that words can’t. My
greatest inspiration comes from talking with other
artists and hearing kids talk
about what they see in my
work. That inspires me to
put these things together.”
The objects in his work
are things that speak to
him when he comes across
them. “I will pick up a
particular tree branch or a
piece of metal and know
that it has potential. In
some cases, I have held on
to an item for five or ten
years before knowing how
it is going to be used in a
piece of my art.” SLO LIFE
JEFF AL-MASHAT is a
writer and visual artist with
an MFA in painting from
Georgia State University. He
lives in Grover Beach.
48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Creators of bench
built lighting fixtures
by local artisans.
The jewelry for
2976 INDUSTRIAL PARKWAY . SANTA MARIA
805-570-0019 . HANSDUUS@GMAIL.COM
Join SLO Life food columnist
Jaime Lewis for candid
conversations about life
and flavor with area eaters,
drinkers and makers.
i T U N E S
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49
| CANDIDATE FORUM
Presidential Primary Election 2020
The Other Races
It was Tip O’Neil, the former Speaker of the House, who is credited
with the quote: “All politics is local.” Aside from the questionable
grammar—we would argue that he should have said, “All politics are
local,”—he was absolutely correct. While the Internet makes it easy
to become drawn into every stanza of unending drama, which unfolds
daily on the national scene, the fact is that it’s the decisions that are
made right here, right now, locally, which affect our lives most.
This year, the State of California moved its Presidential Primary
Election up to March, which means that all of the down ballet local
races that go along with it will take place a few months earlier than
they normally do. Now is the time to dig in, learn the issues, learn
the candidates, and what they believe.
In San Luis Obispo County, all eyes are on the Board of Supervisors
contests shaping up in Districts 1, 3, and 5. With just five seats on
the board, any change will significantly alter the composition and,
therefore, the policy direction of the body. The supervisors control a
budget standing now at about a half-billion dollars annually, so the
stakes are high. And, unlike the other races in this election, these
three are final. Unless someone fails to garner more than 50% of the
vote, these seats will be decided in March.
We gave both the incumbents and their challengers the opportunity
to make their case to our readers in 425 words or less in the pages
that follow. Be sure to review what they had to say and then get out
there and vote.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 35
This one may be more of a formality, at least for now, as the incumbent,
Jordan Cunningham, a Republican, and the challenger, Dawn Addis,
a Democrat, will automatically advance on to the general election in
November unless a last-minute write-in candidate appears.
CALIFORNIA SENATE, DISTRICT 17
The incumbent, a Democrat from Carmel, Bill Monning, has termed-out,
which means this seat is now up for grabs. Four people have tossed their
hats into the ring, and the two with the most votes will continue on to the
November general election to decide the new state senator. The candidates
are as follows: John Laird, Democrat, and former state Natural Resources
Secretary; Maria Cardenas, Democrat, and executive director of a Santa
Cruz-based non-profit; John Nevill, Republican rancher and respiratory
therapist; and Republican Vicki Nohrden, a businesswoman from Carmel.
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 24
The top two vote-getters in this three-person race will meet again in
November to decide the winner. Former Santa Barbara County supervisor
Salud Carbajal, a Democrat and two-term incumbent, will be facing
challenges from Andy Caldwell and Kenneth Young. Caldwell is a
Republican and the founder of COLAB (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture,
and Business) as well as a conservative radio talk show host. Young is
running as an Independent. He is a Santa Barbara-based civil engineer.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
District 1 Incumbent
When you elected me four years ago, I promised to be someone who
would work for you. Since then, I have worked to improve the quality of
life in San Luis Obispo County by working for smaller, more efficient
government, lower taxes, and more personal freedom.
During my thirty years in North County, I have seen just how good our
quality of life is and have been fortunate to get to know my neighbors
through community involvement. Whether it was the time spent with
children in 4-H, my role as former President of the California Mid-State
Fair Board of Directors, and President of the Central Coast Taxpayer
Association, I have seen the importance of a strong local community,
which is why I have fought to preserve that way of life in North County.
As a County Supervisor, I served two years as Chairman of the Board
in 2017 and 2018. Currently, I serve as an appointee to the Rural
County Representatives of California (RCRC), the Golden State
Finance Authority, and Cal-ID Board. I’m also serving as the Vice
Chair of the Air Pollution Control District (APCD), Vice President of
the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), and I sit
on the board of the Consolidated Oversight Board, and the Integrated
Waste Management Authority (IWMA). I previously served on the
California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the Latino Outreach
Council, the Homeless Services Oversight Council, and the Economic
I have worked to ensure our first responders receive the resources they
need. These men and women risk their lives, and that is why I am proud
that we have added more Sheriff ’s deputies and strengthened county
I understand the importance of groundwater to the agricultural character
of our county, which is why I helped pass the Paso Robles groundwater
plan to ensure that North County’s groundwater stays under local control.
We have worked to expand resources to combat drug addiction, improved
housing programs for those experiencing homelessness, and improved
mental health access to help those with psychiatric emergencies. We are
not finished, but we have already seen real improvement from the small
steps. I would be honored to have your support.
District 1 Challenger
I am a local farmer with a degree in Hydrology, and owner of a small
vineyard in Paso Robles. My career as a scientist began at the United
States Geological Survey, where I researched how nuclear contamination
moves through soil and groundwater, and I’m a recognized expert in the
reuse of contaminated property. I have served on numerous state and local
commissions helping communities and affordable housing developers
cleanup and safely reuse contaminated properties.
I am running for Supervisor because I believe that government
operates best when it operates in the open. Our Supervisors have been
making backroom deals on water and industrial cannabis—putting
our neighborhoods and local economy in peril. My candidacy is about
stopping the hidden deals, and I have a plan to establish a program of full
I was born into a large family in Missouri. The eighth of ten children,
I was the only child in my family to attend college, working my way
through by waitressing and cobbling together scholarships and loans.
I understand hard work and the value of a dollar. I studied geology
at the University of Illinois in Champaign with an emphasis in
Paleontology, and then earned a master’s degree in Hydrology from
San Jose State University.
I worked as a research hydrologist at the United States Geological Survey
from 1991-1997, and then served as a technical analyst for the California
State Legislature, providing analysis of environmental regulation and
legislative reports on topical issues including the environmental and
economic challenges local governments and the private sector faced when
they attempted to reuse contaminated lands.
Then in 2000, I combined my technical expertise and my policy skills to
start a nonprofit focused on helping local governments and community
developers redevelop or reuse polluted lands. The Center for Creative
Land Recycling is a nationally recognized nonprofit.
In 2017, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a vineyard when I
purchased a Zinfandel vineyard in west Paso Robles, planted by Richard
Sauret in the 1970s. The old vines had been neglected during the last
drought, and I’ve been busy restoring the vineyard while studying
viticulture part-time at Cuesta College’s new viticulture program. I live in
Paso Robles with my rescue cat, Apple.
I hope you will consider giving me your vote because so much is at
stake. I will honor your trust by supporting policies that are transparent,
responsive to community needs, and fiscally prudent.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51
| CANDIDATE FORUM
District 3 Incumbent
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as County Supervisor
At this moment, there are so many critical challenges in front of us that
will determine how we best protect our beautiful county, while better
managing the growth we have seen in our cities.
I am proud of the work I have done to prioritize funding to address
traffic congestion on Highways 227 and 101, and I am proud of the work
we are doing to manage our precious groundwater. Healthcare in our
jails has greatly improved, and I have been able to help us stand up for
more services across our county to better address the interrelated issues of
homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse.
We also face the looming closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, and
more than ever, we need an experienced leader with a deep understanding
of policy and regulatory issues, as well as the relationships with state and
That is why I am running again and asking for your vote.
The March 3rd election is the most important local election we have had
in a long time.
We simply cannot afford to elect a novice who offers empty promises and
no acquaintance with the issues or even an understanding for how local
We need a full grasp of our issues and practical leadership, and the
balance I bring to our decision-making.
Who else has the support of local business leaders and our labor unions
and our firefighters and the Sierra Club?
Who else has the support of Planned Parenthood, and over twenty local
elected officials including the entire city council of San Luis Obispo?
And, I hope to have your support too, on or before March 3rd.
District 3 Challenger
Integrity. Positive Leadership. Community.
These are the three guiding principles I have lived by my entire
professional life. I decided to run for County Supervisor because I
recognized that our current representative, Adam Hill, was not serving
our community with those same values. Like many residents of San Luis
Obispo County, I am tired of watching career politicians like Supervisor
Hill bickering, name calling, and bullying their way into getting what
they want instead of serving the people they were elected to represent.
If you are like me, you have had enough. You want thoughtfulness, not
fighting. You want results, not reckless personal attacks. I decided that it
was time for action, and I threw my name into the ring to represent you
with integrity and honesty on the Board of Supervisors.
Working with tenacity and diligence, my business has served the local
community for thirty years. I built my insurance agency from scratch
and it is now one of the top 1% of Farmers Insurance agencies across the
country—earning the trust and confidence of thousands of residents who
value honesty, integrity, and the highest levels of service.
I have volunteered for numerous charities and community organizations,
serving as the President of the local Boys and Girls Club and Chair
of the South County Chamber of Commerce, giving me a unique
perspective. This insight will allow me to pursue solutions, which will
serve our community.
I will bring the same approach to public office, serving with the highestlevel
of integrity and civility.
Our county is facing some tough challenges. We saw homelessness rise
32% between 2018 and 2019. We have failed to adequately respond to
our neighbors’ concerns on cannabis cultivation. We face a huge economic
loss with the decommissioning of Diablo Canyon’s power plant.
And where is our supervisor in all of this? He is using scare tactics and
intimidation to try to secure his reelection instead of focusing on the
issues that impact our community.
This job should not be a partisan one. This job should be about
serving the needs of our community. As your supervisor, I will work
to ensure that funding earmarked for treating mental illness actually
reaches those in need. I will encourage incentives for developers to
build more affordable housing instead of raising taxes and fees on San
Luis Obispo residents. I will work to promote economically viable
and environmentally responsible projects at Diablo Canyon. Most
importantly, I will serve this office with respect, honesty, and integrity.
52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
District 5 Incumbent
When I moved here in 1973 to attend Cal Poly, I fell in love with both
my husband Steve, and the farming and ranching values that had been
a part of the Arnold family way of life for more than five generations. I
bring to this job my passion for this county, as well as my personal and
While raising two children, I owned and operated Small Wonders
Preschool in Atascadero. Over those seventeen years I got to know
countless local families and watch as many of my former students grew
up and started families and businesses of their own.
I later had the privilege of advocating for these local families as I worked
as a Legislative Assistant at the County Supervisor’s office and later as
a District Representative for the State Assembly and the State Senate.
During these years, I worked with a broad range of community groups
and interests, bringing people together to solve problems. I have always
believed that there is nothing more powerful than an informed public,
and toward that end I have worked hard to promote better public access
to information about proposed policies that will impact local residents.
That is why our friends and neighbors, as well as many trusted
local leaders like San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson,
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, Atascadero Mayor Heather
Moreno, and County Assessor Tom Bordonaro are supporting my
campaign for supervisor.
As your supervisor, it has been my honor to serve our community and
deliver on the promises that I have made. I have held my colleagues
accountable while supporting policies to create jobs, keep our
neighborhoods safe, and protect our way of life.
I am a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother, a family rancher, and
proud small business owner. I will never back down when it comes to the
safety and success of our region’s hard-working families.
I will continue to be our champion on the issues that matter most. I will
fight to keep San Luis Obispo County an affordable place to live, work to
combat homelessness, protect our water supply, and ensure tax dollars are
being used efficiently.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving our community as
District 5 Challenger
My name is Ellen Beraud (pronounced bay-ROW). As a longtime
resident of Atascadero, I care deeply about the San Luis Obispo County
community. Since moving here twenty years ago, I have raised a family,
founded and operated a small business, and served as an Atascadero
City Councilmember and Mayor. I love this community—from the
rural pastures and oak trees, to the family-run businesses and small town
charm—San Luis Obispo County is truly a special place to call home.
We are facing some of our biggest challenges ever—threats to our
economy, our environment, and our way of life. I want to see San Luis
Obispo County address these challenges and be a leader in our state once
again, but we need bold leadership to get us there.
Our county is currently one of the least affordable places to live in the
nation. Housing is unattainable for our young families (including my
own children, who have been forced out of the area), and it is even
impacting our local business community. We need leaders who will not
only prioritize addressing our housing affordability crisis, but will partner
with the community to make childcare and other key services for families
With homelessness on the rise, our county needs to take real action
on this issue. The new center at 40 Prado is only the beginning, as we
still have hundreds of unhoused people sleeping on our streets every
night. Programs like 50 Now could be significantly expanded, but
only if we prioritized more funding for them, which I will advocate
for as supervisor.
With Diablo Canyon closing soon, our county must begin preparing for
our economic future. In addition to advocating for our region’s interests
throughout the decommissioning and PG&E’s bankruptcy process, we
should be exploring local renewable energy projects to help offset the
loss of head of household jobs. At the same time, we must protect our
vital agrotourism economy by smartly managing our water supply and
safeguarding our coastline from risky offshore oil projects. Our Board of
Supervisors should be our number one advocate on these issues, but that
is currently not the case.
I am running for 5th District County Supervisor because I have a passion
for public service and giving back to my community. We need to bring
smart, honest leadership back to our county government, and restore the
priorities of the people of this community. I hope you will join me in this
effort, and I invite you to learn more about our campaign. SLO LIFE
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53
54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
BY ZARA KHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55
fter graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in
Architecture and a minor in German, local architect
Jim Edmondson moved to Germany for his first job
and lived there for five years before returning to
the United States. During his time abroad, he was
surrounded by innovative
architects and adopted many
European design philosophies
that he continues to
incorporate in his designs
today. Many of his projects
showcase crisp lines, simple
color palettes, and celebrate
natural materials (wood,
metal, glass, and steel).
Alvar Aalto has always been
one of Edmondson’s favorite
architects. Though most >>
In addition to being an
interior designer, ZARA KHAN
is also a shoe aficionado and
horror movie enthusiast.
56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
a place for modern living.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57
of his work can be found in Finland, Aalto was an
international architect who designed buildings all
over the world, including the United States and
Germany. Aalto is regarded as one of the first and
most influential architects of Nordic Modernism.
With his passion for modern styling, Edmondson
knew he wanted to design a home with clean lines
and warmth from natural materials. And, that is
where his father came in.
When Edmondson’s father decided it was time to
downsize, his only requests were to include high
ceilings and a drawer dishwasher in the kitchen.
With the large lot size and desire for a smaller home,
Edmondson was able to add a studio apartment
upstairs to provide flexibility in the use of the home
and maximize the efficiency of the space. With a
smaller footprint, they were able to upgrade the >>
58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59
finishes and opt for more efficient fixtures and
When Edmondson submitted his plans to the city, he
was pleasantly surprised by how receptive everyone
was to the modern design. At the time, not many
buildings in San Luis Obispo had such clean, simple
lines, and Edmondson embraced both the productive
comments he received and the forward-thinking
nature of the Planning Department.
Despite the design freedom, the lot had a couple of
interesting parameters to work around in addition to
his father’s requests. First, the street ran parallel to
the highway with only nature as a barrier in between.
Second, a good portion of the back of the lot was
protected land that did not allow for construction.
Edmondson considered these restrictions and
decided to use continuous insulation for sound >>
60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61
dampening and chose to build up—vertically—since
he had limitations laterally. Gardens by Gabriel was
brought on to collaborate on the landscape design
and worked their magic.
The landscaping goal was to soften the geometry of
the modern exterior, while adding an overall organic
aesthetic to the property. The metal plant trellises
Edmondson added to the exterior pay tribute to the
climbing wall vines at his parents’ previous home.
On the inside, Edmondson opted for large windows
where he could embrace the natural exterior. His
philosophy for the interior was to keep the finish
construction materials as natural as possible and
to layer in texture and personality through the
furnishings and decor. To achieve this, he selected
black slate floor tiles, natural maple wood cabinetry,
and simple quartz countertops (also used as the >>
62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63
acksplash). And, to highlight the tall ceilings and
carry the organic materials throughout, long narrow
wood planks were installed in the ceilings at key
locations. Task lighting that “disappears” in the
design can be found throughout most of the home with
decorative lights placed strategically in certain areas.
In the bathrooms, Edmondson continued his
selection of simple, natural materials. He decided to
keep the materials consistent throughout the home
to instill a sense of cohesiveness and used the same
wood as the kitchen cabinetry on the bathroom
vanities. The concept of simple design does not apply
only to the aesthetics; it carries into the function.
Solid surface countertops eliminate grout and
provide an easy to clean surface.
Two of the most exciting design elements can be
found in the center of the home. The first is seen
in a large, linear fireplace in the living room (with a >>
64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
To all the Clients, Consultants, Contractors
and Agencies we have had the pleasure to work
with over the years, we are extremely grateful
for your support and encouragement. While
we are very proud of our completed projects,
we consider our true legacy to be the lasting
relationships we have developed with you all.
Thanks for helping us make it to our 5-year
anniversary and for being a key part of our
TEN OVER family.
The TEN OVER family at our anniversary celebration.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65
smaller, similarly designed fireplace in the studio above).
The quartz fireplace surround is thoughtfully placed and
encased in natural wood with a large, exposed brushed
stainless steel flue above. Behind the fireplace is a floating
staircase that adds contrast and showcases how well the
wood and steel play off one another.
While tackling a project of this
scale was daunting, Edmondson
had an advantage with his
background in architecture,
and believes that the key to a
successful project lies in the
team behind it. His advice for
anyone starting a larger project
is to always plan thoroughly on
paper first and to utilize material
boards to get a sense of how the
materials will interact and the
overall emotion the space will
evoke. SLO LIFE
DAVID LALUSH is an
here in San Luis Obispo.
66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67
| SLO CITY
BY THE NUMBERS
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
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 98.18%
Average # of Days on the Market 45
*Comparing 01/01/18 - 12/31/18 to 01/01/19 - 12/31/19
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®
68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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There’s a Yoga
Pose for That
BY ERIKA FITZGERALD
The sun shines through the ceiling-high
studio windows and rebounds off the
natural wood floors. A gentle breeze
brushes through wind chimes outside,
mingling harmoniously with the music
flowing through the speakers inside.
One-by-one, students quietly shuffle in,
leaving their shoes at the door. Here, in
yoga class, every detail is thoughtfully
curated to wash away worries and give
people a space to breathe.
For some, rolling out their yoga mat is
a sort of ritual experience. For others,
it’s a 60- to 90-minute escape from
overflowing inboxes and to-do lists. Or,
hey, it might just be an excuse to spend
more time in stretchy pants. There’s
no wrong reason to practice yoga. In
fact, practicing yoga poses—in or out
of class—can relieve the side effects of
stressful days, restless nights, and other
aches and pains of life. >>
ERIKA FITZGERALD is a
writer and traveler with
a healthy addiction to
kombucha and kale.
72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73
A BREATH AWAY
For the unfamiliar, yoga is derived from the Sanskrit “yuji,” which means
union. In common practice, yoga unites mind and body. Movement and
breath. Anyone who’s been to a yoga class knows that breathing exercises
are common at the beginning and end.
These intentional breathing techniques help calm the mind and bring
focus to the present. So much so, even mental health professionals
recommend breathing techniques for patients recovering from anxiety,
PTSD, depression, and other traumas.
The best part? Breathing is free and doesn’t have any side-effects. You can
practice simple breathwork techniques anytime, anywhere. Next time you
feel uneasy, try exhaling all the air from your lungs. Then, inhale slowly to
the count of four. Hold your breath for one count at the top. Exhale slowly
to the same count of four and hold for one count at the bottom. Repeat
this rhythm for several minutes to re-calibrate your calm. Ahhh.
PHYSICAL RELEASE FOR
The notion that yoga can treat lower back pain is nothing new. Multiple
studies have proven that a downward dog a day can keep the physical
therapist away. However, yoga has often been lumped in with lessreputable
alternative therapeutics. Until now.
A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine declared
yoga equally as effective as physical therapy in reducing pain, improving
function, and eliminating the need for pain meds. When practiced
regularly using proper form, poses like downward dog, forward fold,
and child’s pose elongate the spine and release tension from the lower
back. While you’ll find at least one of these poses in nearly every yoga
class, you can also add these easy-to-learn poses to your at-home
SLEEP TIGHT AND
WAKE UP BRIGHT
Restless nights got you feeling groggy and depleted? Yoga can help
with that, too. If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia, you know that a
streak of sleepless nights can really slow your roll—from glossy-eyed
space-out spells during work hours to mindlessly calling in a take-out
pizza (again) because you’re just too darned tired to cook.
Good news: practicing gentle yoga before bed preps your body
and mind for a good night of zzz’s. Gentle yoga incorporates deep
breathing, slow movements, long pose holds, and meditation—which
cues the brain into a state of calm. And because the brain and body are
inextricably connected, restless bodies will follow suit.
Similarly, a powerful vinyasa practice in the morning can add an
extra jolt of natural energy to your day by increasing blood flow and
circulation throughout the body. >>
74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
Sat. March 21st, 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75
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Gentle and intentional breathing, as practiced in alignment with yoga postures, helps
balance the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) with the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”)
parts of your nervous system. The vagal nerves serve as a sort of liaison between the brain
and body, telling organs when to perform important functions—like breathing, beating,
digesting. The brain is well-known for sending messages to the body, but, in fact, the body
sends even more messages to the brain. This means physical movements that affect the
body also affect the brain.
If you suffer from chronic gut discomfort, bloating, or other unpleasantries associated with
digestion, try incorporating more deep breathing, abdominal stretches, and twists that
massage intestinal organs. Likewise, practicing these things before indulging in a big meal
can prep your digestive system for the extra work.
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76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
SO MUCH AS
As with anything, too much yoga can be a bad thing. Benoy Matthews, a UK-based
physiotherapist, told BBC News that he’s seeing more and more yoga teachers with serious hip
problems because they’re pushing their bodies too hard for the sake of achieving “prescribed”
positions. The truth is, not every body is cut out for the fullest expression of every yoga pose.
“What’s achievable for one might not be achievable for others,” Matthews tells BBC.
THE KEY TO A HEALTHY AND BENEFICIAL YOGA PRACTICE?
Focus on what’s achievable for you—and you alone. Listen to your body. Stop
and modify any pose that causes pinching, blocking, or pain. And never let that
one person doing a single-armed handstand with lotus legs in the front row
pressure you into pushing past your own limits. There’s no shame in child’s pose
(that’s the one that looks like a dead bug facedown on the floor). SLO LIFE
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77
Remember when brunch only happened on holidays or for the occasional
family get-together? Not anymore. Welcome to Brunch’s Gilded Age.
BY JAIME LEWIS
Brunch used to be such a basic and
only-sometimes affair. You got your
bloody mary, a cup of coffee, two
eggs, and maybe some french toast.
Brunch was a noun then.
But if you were born sometime
between 1981 and 1996, it’s very
possible that brunch is a verb to you. After all, “brunching”
is now a lifestyle.
The concept of brunch originated in 1895 when
Englishman Guy Beringer wrote an essay for Hunter’s
Weekly titled “Brunch: A Plea.” In it, he made the case for a
Sunday morning meal that prolonged the fun, frivolity, and
78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
buzz of Saturday night. That idea caught, but brunch
didn’t become a national obsession, particularly among
young adults, until within the last ten years. Some social
scientists point to its rising popularity as evidence of
declining church attendance; others cite increasing
acceptance of daily alcohol consumption.
If you ask me, there’s no reason church-goers and
teetotallers can’t hang with brunch, especially here in
San Luis Obispo County, where the brunching is so
good. I visited three local spots that give brunch pride
of place on their menus. So, roll out of bed, don your
yoga pants and “Resting Brunch Face” tee, twist your
hair into the perfect messy bun, and head out for a
#sundayfunday to remember. >>
JAIME LEWIS writes about
food, drink, and the good
life from her home in San
Luis Obispo. Find her on
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79
On a warm morning, I meet up with my friend
Bettina Swigger for brunch at Novo Restaurant
& Lounge in San Luis Obispo. We sit outside on
the patio overlooking SLO Creek, catching up and
enjoying the golden light filtering through the trees.
“Every Sunday, we treat brunch like a special event,”
says owner Robin Covey, and indeed, Swigger and I
dig into the three-course brunch package like it’s our
birthday. I go for the meze starter, an abundant platter
of Mediterranean lavash and hummus, dukkah, and
olives. I also order the Capocollo Benedict, decadent
with Capocollo salume, poached eggs, and housemade
hollandaise on English muffins—paired with
a mimosa, naturally. Swigger tackles the avocadoshrimp
spring rolls, Wagyu Top Sirloin Tartine, and
chocolate torte. All is fresh, expertly cooked, and
gorgeous to look at, though the Capocollo Benedict
takes our prize for favorite dish. Apparently, we’re not
alone: Covey tells me it’s the restaurant’s best-selling
brunch item. >>
80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81
I walk into The Spoon Trade, the cheery modern eatery in
Grover Beach, and am greeted by owners Brooke Town
and Chef Jacob Town. The Towns boast major pedigree
in the hospitality industry, having worked front- and
back-of-house in San Francisco’s Nopa, RN74, and Spruce
restaurants. Their brunch menu reflects their fine dining
values as applied to American comfort food.
“Brunch is our most consistent clientele,” says Jacob,
pushing a plate of The Spoon Trade’s Eggs Benedict in
front of me. “It’s recovery mode for Monday; brunch is like
I taste the Eggs Benedict and dissolve into oohs and ahhs.
Perfectly poached eggs sit atop toast from Grover Beach
Sourdough (their bakery across the street), smothered in
béarnaise. This is The Spoon Trade’s pièce de résistance, but
my heart belongs to the potatoes served on the side. I’ve
never tasted anything so craggy, crispy, and soft, all at once.
The Towns scratch-make nearly everything on their à la
carte brunch menu, from the American cheese, bologna,
pickles, and bun for their House Bologna Sandwich, to hot
sauce and biscuits —even kimchi. >>
82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83
A TASTE FOR SAVORY
At Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, I walk to the
restaurant’s quiet central patio for brunch with my kids, who
take breakfast very seriously. Perhaps intuiting this, Chef Libry
Darusman immediately brings out the brunch menu. Darusman
just joined the THO team four months ago after ten years in
Beverly Hills fine dining. The brunch menu is brand new and
reflects his taste, which skews savory over sweet, and light over
heavy. “I like eating like this,” he says. “It’s fun and light.”
The menu is indeed playful. Darusman brings us hazelnut
granola on a pool of mint yogurt, with caramelized bananas,
persimmons, and smoked maple syrup. He also shares a
sourdough pancake with bacon, cacao nibs, crème fraîche, and
chili-spiced nuts. Everything we taste nudges more toward salt
than sugar, an impulse I appreciate. Our favorite dish is the
Pumpkin and Pork Belly Hash, whose tender meat falls apart at
a glance, with charred scallion vinaigrette, a tangy counterpoint.
At one point, my daughter noshes a house-made biscuit and
declares its texture reminiscent of cheesecake. I taste it and agree.
Pillowy biscuits would make a brunching convert out of anyone,
I think. Even a curmudgeonly Gen Xer like me. SLO LIFE
84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85
and Swiss on Rye
Nothing says comfort food on a chilly day like soup served with a grilled sandwich. Chef
Jessie Rivas pulls out all the stops with this piping hot, creamy tomato soup paired with
swiss cheese and caramelized onions on rye crisped to perfection and made for dipping.
BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS
SWISS ON RYE
½ yellow onion roughly chopped
2 large cloves of garlic
4 cups chopped canned tomatoes
¼ cup heavy cream
1 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper
In a stockpot, add oil, onion and garlic;
sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes
on low heat. Purée soup with hand mixer
or use a stand mixer until smooth. Return
soup to stove on low heat and season with
salt and pepper and stir in the cream.
Serve when soup is warmed through.
1 TBS butter or olive oil
½ large red onion sliced thinly
1 tsp light brown sugar
pinch of salt
½ TBS balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper
Caramelized onions directions:
Add butter or oil to a hot, 9-inch
sauté pan. Add the onions and cook
over medium heat for 5 minutes or
until onions are translucent. Add
sugar, salt, balsamic vinegar, and fresh
ground pepper. Simmer on low heat
for 2 minutes and set aside.
2 thick slices of rye bread
1 TBS soft spreadable butter
2 oz grated swiss cheese
½ cooked caramelized onion
Butter 2 slices of bread just on one
side, these will be the outer side
of the sandwich. Add the cooked
onions and spread evenly on the
inside of both pieces of bread. Top
the onions with grated swiss cheese
and put together. Cook sandwich
over medium heat in a sauté pan until
bread is lightly browned on both
sides and cheese is melted. SLO LIFE
JESSIE RIVAS is the owner
and chef of The Pairing Knife
food truck which serves the
86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
This is one of our family’s favorites.
The sandwich is also great made with
!prosciutto or pastrami.
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87
| WINE NOTES
BY ANDRIA MCGHEE
et’s talk yeast! What do you think about sourdough
starters? Isn’t it odd that you leave dough on a
windowsill, and it just collects yeast from our
environment? You can also purchase yeast to
make bread. Wine is no different. Here are some
winemakers that are going rogue and trying some
throwback methods of using yeast for fermentation to
make some top-notch wines. LMost of us have a general understanding of the age-old process known as
fermentation. It turns sugar into alcohol. It preserves foods. It occurs in beer,
bread, wine, kimchi, and more. If you really want to get frisky with fermentation,
check out Sandor Katz’s book The Art of Fermentation. I am hooked. To make
wine, all we need is sugar and yeast. One comes from juice, and the other is
floating in the air.
One popular yeast for
winemaking is called
Stay with me here. Choosing
yeast is like selecting a
favorite tea. Maybe you like
that it brews fast and has a
nice flavor. Most wineries
use this yeast because it does
not die until alcohol reaches
fifteen percent (as we all
would). If fermenting stopped
before that, you would be left
with a low alcohol and high
ANDRIA MCGHEE received
her advanced degree in
wines and spirits from
WSET in London and enjoys
travel, food, wine, and
exercise as a means to enjoy
those around her.
88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 89
Newlyweds Tyler and Rachel Eck are the type of people who not only
appreciate nature but listen to it. They ride a wave or harvest a grape that
they think will be able to show itself in its best way. This duo makes up
Dunites Wine Company. Their goal is to let the wine run its course with
very little intervention. One of the first steps to doing that is to ferment wine
with wild, or native, yeast. This is a yeast that is on the grape naturally from
the vineyard or just floating around our environment.
This is a crowd-pleaser yeast (along with the wild yeasts that die out at much
lower alcohol levels), which is naturally present on grape skins when they
are picked and brought to the winery. The Ecks chose to use only these wild
yeasts to ferment their wine. They continue to check the wines carefully
and systematically to make sure everything is going well. This approach to
winemaking requires vigilant monitoring.
Alternatively, a winemaker can add yeast to wine to speed up the fermentation
process, which is less risky. Dunites sticks with wild yeast for interesting layers
in flavor. Tasting the 2017 SLO Coast Syrah/Grenache has me wrapped around
its finger with rich blackberry and cherry flavors, yet it is super subtle and
velvety in the mouth. It’s impressive. Find the restaurants Novo, Spoon Trade,
or Farmhouse pouring their wines or get it by the bottle at Wine Sneak (SLO)
or Taste of the Valley (Pismo Beach).
Also on board with this method is Desparada, a small production winery
located in Templeton’s Tin City. Vailia Esh, the winemaker, chooses grapes
from her favorite locations, usually organic and biodynamic. Then she brings
the grapes in and starts experimenting. She may, for
instance, take a Sauvignon Blanc and put it in three
different types of vessels. Though I was there for the
whites, I left in love with the reds. Sackcloth & Ashes
and I locked eyes and left the party together. This
Cabernet blend brought the complexity that the natural
yeasts help create. Make an appointment and try them.
It’s an intimate experience that will leave you with a
good grasp of their wine.
The last winery on my wild journey led me to Center of
Effort. Here, they are firm believers in the idea that the
yeast strains that come from their vineyards are what
makes the wine special—a taste that you will only get
from that little section of the world. It has a complexity
that so many people—expert or not—can appreciate and
let linger on the palate. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but
their Effort Chardonnay is minerally with orange peel
and Bosc pear, and it is a steal for the quality. On the
other end of the spectrum, the Pinot Noir is worth the
reservation in order to have a taste—and the little bitty
snacks offered-up pair perfectly.
All of these winemakers are brave enough to go off-piste
and try less popular techniques for making wine. So get out
your wine map and take a walk on the wild side. SLO LIFE
90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo
805 549 0100
FEB 22 & 23
10AM - 4PM
of Paso Robles
AT THE PASO ROBLES
$5 WINE TASTING
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91
BY BRANT MYERS
2019 was a year of shakeups for the local brewing scene—
construction projects, changes of ownership, relocations, and,
naturally, a shifting of staff between breweries. With a market that
saw double-digit growth for many years, it was inevitable that there
would be a period of readjustment for the industry once it settled
into a long-term strategy. Change is good; it signals evolution.
Luckily, no breweries have officially closed, they’ve just changed
hands and reinvented themselves along the way. Such is the case
with the story of Liquid Gravity Brewing Company, a shiny new
brewery in an old and familiar location.
Husband and wife team Brendan and Celeste Gough are the
driving force behind the new venture. Both quit their jobs to focus
full-time on renovating and revamping a familiar location that
began life ten years ago. It is housed at the former Tap It Brewing
(and, later, Santa Maria Brewing Company) location on Clarion
Court near the San Luis Obispo Airport. The previous identities of
a garage-themed tasting room resplendent with charming orange
and diamond plate steel have now been transformed into a homey
gathering spot with plush nooks, a fireplace, custom artwork, and
small touches, such as a full moon overhead light and throw pillows. Step into
the bathroom, and you get a blitz of flamingo wallpaper and a gilded mirror
covering the entire wall. They’ve worked hard for months and enlisted every
friend they could to help in everything from stripping paint to hanging said
wallpaper. When asked about their style choices, Celeste waxed on about how
their desire for a comfortable vibe, a living room away from home. And the best
part? You don’t have to vacuum after the party.
Brendan was hard at work in the back doing what he does best. Coming in with
prestigious local brewing history, he is no slouch and hits bangers right away
with an initial offering of five different beers of wildly differing styles. Starting
as a Shift Brewer for three years at Firestone Walker Brewing Company,
Brendan moved to the position as Head Brewer at Central Coast Brewing. He
subsequently won five medals at the Great American Beer Festival, along with a
Gold Medal for his IPA at the World Beer Cup in 2016. You can expect to see
his trademark West Coast IPAs come in strong at the brewery, but by no means
will that be the only offering to be had.
I got the grand tour. And by that, I mean, not only did I get to see the stainless
steel tanks, but I also tasted what secrets they were hiding inside. We started >>
92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93
with a go-to session beer, but naturally, Brendan is putting his years of skills to
the test by making a low-carb craft pilsner. Tasting somewhere between a lager
and a session IPA, their LG Zero utilizes a method commonly used in Brut IPAs
by adding an enzyme along with Saffir hops to create an incredibly flavorful
beer that punches around the 100 calorie mark. I offer advice to sell these to me
by the case because one or two is not enough. Another quaffable offering is his
Atomic Guava imperial kettle sour with guava and a late addition of citrus zest.
It’s a glassful of sunshine, and I can’t wait to imbibe many of these as well, but
preferably in the real sunshine of their patio coming this spring. Although at a
hefty 8% ABV, this may go down too easily, and I might miss the sunset.
We move down a row of fermenters and land in front of the flagship, Liquid
Gravity IPA. Throwing back to his roots as a brewer of some of the best hoppy
beers coming out of the Central Coast, Brendan has no qualms about making
a clean and clear bitter choice for discerning clients. This beer was still in the
process of becoming what we’ll be experiencing in the tasting room, as was
Miami Heist a Hazy DIPA (double IPA), but getting a sample of them, I was
able to pick up on some very familiar flavors and can’t wait to see the final
products pouring from a tap. Also, the label artwork is worthy of framing.
The final stop was a real treat. Twist and Stout, named by Celeste, is an imperial
stout with vanilla beans, lactose (milk sugar), and cacao. The end result is what I
like to call a “fireplace beer,” a big-hitting, high ABV beer that sips like a bourbon
and can be enjoyed throughout the night. Brendan emphasized his desire to
rotate the flavor profiles quarterly, resulting in a base beer that customers know,
but with a new twist every time. The sours will get different fruit, and the stout
will see different adjuncts. I’m a huge fan of Mexican hot chocolate varieties with
the addition of cinnamon and chilies, but, hey, it’s not my brewery. This twenty
barrel system can pump out ten to fourteen thousand kegs a year,
so keep an eye out for local tap handles and, once they survive the
grand openings and exciting rush of the first few months, they
have plans to distribute cans and bottles throughout the Central
Coast and Ventura County.
It takes a lot of work to start a brewery, and even one that was
already up and running takes efforts to make it their own. The
Goughs aren’t alone. During my visit, Brendan’s mother was
planting flowers next to their stage for an intimate live music
venue, while manager Monica Duggan coordinated food trucks
for their grand opening weekend.
Friends were popping in and out to
offer construction services, as my
own Facebook feed shows my circle
of friends announcing their new
positions at Liquid Gravity. It truly is
a family-owned, local operation, and
that love comes through in everything
they do. I can’t wait to experience
the new brewery in its full glory, so,
hopefully, I’ll see you there, and we
can raise a pint to the newest addition
to the Central Coast brewing scene.
Also, can I get a ride home? I had far
too many Atomic Guavas, and these
flamingos in the bathroom are looking
at me funny. SLO LIFE
BRANT MYERS is a 14-year
veteran of the Central Coast
craft beer industry who
enjoys sharing his passion
with anyone who doesn’t
put an orange in their
94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
LOCAL EXPRESSIONS OF BLACK EMPOWERMENT AND POSSIBILITY
Photo: Renoda Campbell Photography
A multimedia, multi-location experience February 2020
R. A.C. E. MATTERS
RESPONSIBILITY | ACTION | COMPASSION | EDUCATION racemattersslo.org
R.A.C.E. Matters is a community-based organization that amplifies the voices of Black
and other People of Color; in an effort to build an actively anti-racist Central Coast.
Check racemattersslo.org for event updates.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit
partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.
Dr. Joye Carter - Forensic Pathologist, Author, Lecturer
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FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95
PHOTOJOURNALISM AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Join SLO Classical Academy at the Performing Arts Center for a night of
multiple film screenings, music, and conversation. Local singer/songwriter
Inga Swearingen opens the evening with her full band, followed by an
exclusive viewing of Chris Burkard’s documentary, “Under an Arctic Sky.”
An audience discussion with the filmmaker about his off-the-beaten-path
lifestyle and a special screening of one of Burkard’s as-yet-unreleased films
rounds out the evening.
February 21 // sloclassical.org
BIG 40TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
Internationally-acclaimed blues band Rick
Estrin & The Nightcats headlines the SLO
Blues Society’s anniversary show at the
Vet’s Hall in San Luis Obispo. Opening
this “eminently danceable high-powered
celebration” is Back Bay Betty, a Los Ososbased
five-piece dance band known for creative
original music and covers of classic and
contemporary rock, blues, soul, and jazz artists.
February 29 // sloblues.org
ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE
A delightful musical about friendship, country
music, and a brilliant artist who left us all
too soon. This tribute to the legendary singer
is based on the true story of Patsy Cline’s
friendship with a fan from Texas. Through
down-home country humor, poignant tales
of life on the road, and even some audience
participation, this musical play features
twenty-seven unforgettable songs.
February 7 - March 8 // slorep.org
SLO CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
Celebrate the brewers of craft beer. Raise
a toast to unique and wonderful creations
from some of the best breweries in the
country during an event specially crafted
for both novice and expert craft beer
drinkers. Includes educational seminars,
music, food and beer pairings, as well as
February 21-22 // slocraftbeer.com
FINE ARTS AWARDS COMPETITION
San Luis Obispo junior and senior
high school students compete for cash
prizes in a live, three-hour competition
recognizing excellence in classical music,
jazz, and visual art. Judges will announce
the winners at the conclusion of the
free event, sponsored by The Monday
Clubhouse Conservancy and held at The
Monday Club in San Luis Obispo.
February 23 // themondayclubslo.org
SLO CAL OPEN MORRO BAY
Watch up and coming surfers from
around the world compete in a World
Surf League QS1000 right here on the
Central Coast at Morro Strand State
Beach. Hosted by Surfers Of Tomorrow,
the four-day competition encourages
young California athletes to compete at
important and recognizable events in their
sport without having to leave the state or
travel great distances.
February 27-March 1 // surfersoftomorrow.org
96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
THE SCARLET IBIS
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97
Dr. Arnie Horwitz
Are you feeling overwhelmed
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Cal Poly Arts presents New York Gilbert &
Sullivan Players’ all-new production of this
fantastic voyage to Titipu, a land where a timeless
libretto, beautiful music, and favorite characters
await, including three little maids from school, a
wandering minstrel, a hilariously corrupt public
official, and, of course, the Lord High Executioner.
The production in Harold Miossi Hall features a
special treat: a pre-show lecture by Cal Poly music
history professor Alyson McLamore.
March 3 // calpolyarts.org
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98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020
ULTRA, BEAST AND SUPER
If you’re looking to unleash your
inner Spartan and go to places
you never imagined, hundreds of
sprawling acres await you at the Santa
Margarita Ranch. You’ll dash past
vineyards and epic open landscapes,
all while surrounded by the towering
San Pedro National Forest. Whether
you run an Ultra, Beast, or Super
course, you are in for an unforgettable
March 14-15 // slocal.com
SLO FILM FEST
Founded in 1993 by a group of movie lovers, the San Luis Obispo International Film
Festival is celebrating more than a quarter-century of bringing exciting, independent
cinema to SLO. The festival continues to grow and thrive as an oasis for independent
filmmakers to screen their films, and to have face-to-face contact with enthusiastic
local audiences in talk-back sessions and workshops.
March 17-22 // slofilmfest.org
FEB/MAR 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99
100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | FEB/MAR 2020