SLO LIFE Magazine AugSep 2020

slolife

SLOmagazine

CENTRAL COAS

FOOD & WINE

TAKING IN

THE VIEW

SEASONAL

FAVORITES

BEHIND THE

SCENES

LOCAL TIMELINE

NOW HEAR THIS

ON THE RISE

SPANISH BEACH BUNGALOW

AUG/SEP 2020

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM MEET

SUPERFOODS INVESTIGATIO

MEET THE MAKERS

LIFE

READY, SET

SUMMER

HEALTH

TRENDS

NEWS

BRIEFS

FAMILY

SAN LUIS OBISPO

ART AND MUSIC

REWING

ERICA BALTODANO

CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY

& HAVING IT ALL

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


MORE THAN JUST

INK ON PAPER

Design | Print | Mail | Appare|

Web | Promo

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2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3


We’re here

for you

now

and

always.

We know how important essential travel is to our community. SLO Transit

has taken extra precautions in implementing enhanced cleaning methods

and maintaining a rigorous cleaning schedule to keep buses clean and

sanitized. We’re here for you now with essential travel and we’re here for

you as our community is supporting one another on the road to recovery.

For more information on individual routes and schedules, please visit our website at

slotransit.org, download the SLO Transit app, or call Transit Dispatch at (805) 541-2877.

4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS . LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 5


6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


Pictured left to right: Sarah Kelly, CNM; Eric Colton, MD; Angela Halusic, MD; Christine Lopopolo, MD, FACOG; Christina Pyo, MD;

Heidi Sungurlu, DO; Ginger Cochran, MS, RND, CPE, CDE; and Michelle Longa Karpin, CNM, NP

The time is always now

for women’s health

Our physicians and staff are dedicated to providing high standards of

comprehensive medical care for women. To meet the growing needs of

the Central Coast community, we expanded our OB/GYN team to include

a registered dietitian, certified midwife and nurse practitioner.

TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

With a telehealth appointment you can meet with one of

our trusted providers safely from the comfort of your home.

All you need is a phone, tablet or computer.

Telehealth appointments include:

• Birth control/medication followup

• Family planning consults

• Menopausal symptoms

• Gestational diabetes

• PCOS consults

• Mood changes/depression

35 Casa Street, Suite 220 | San Luis Obispo, CA

Call today to schedule an appointment 805-595-1808 or visit fcpp-slowomenshealth.com

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7


CONTENTS

Volume

22

24

26

11

Number 4

Aug/Sep 2020

30

Briefs

View

Q&A

MEET YOUR

NEIGHBOR

12

PUBLISHER’S

MESSAGE

14

16

18

20

Info

Sneak Peek

In Box

Timeline

8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

28

NOW HEAR THIS


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9


| CONTENTS

60

64

Real Estate

Health

70

TASTE

76 Wine Notes

40

ARTIST

42

44

46

Family

On the Rise

Dwelling

80

BREW

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


exceptional landscape

design + build contractors

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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Recently, my daughter, Geneva, turned seventeen. She also got her first real job bussing tables.

I was around Geneva’s age when someone other than a family member or neighbor employed me. The Union

76 gas station, which used to stand proud at the corner of Highway 198 and South County Center Drive in

Visalia, California, needed a gas jockey. They took one look at me and decided to roll the dice. For $4.25 per

hour, I was charged with pampering every vehicle that showed up at their full-service pumps. After a few

days on the job, I was like Pavlov’s salivating dogs. The distinctive ding-ding of the car rolling in would send

me running with a squeegee in one hand, a tire gauge in the other.

Once, after fussing with extra care over a car, I walked around the raised hood with a dipstick in-hand and

mentioned something to the driver about the oil being a little low. “And if you look closely,” I said while

leaning forward and twisting it in the sunlight, “it’s a bit darker and clumpier than it should be.” After

I topped off the small block V8 with 5W-30, the driver reached out through her window with two crisp

one-dollar bills.

Receiving my first tip changed everything. I realized my earnings that hour just increased by a whopping 50 percent. What if I got more tips? It became a

competition with myself. Every time I heard that ding-ding, I emerged from the garage with a smile so wide it illuminated the “Tom” patch emblazoned

on my grease-stained shirt. After a series of “yes, ma’ams”—it was the ma’ams who did the majority of the tipping—I pumped the gas, checked the tire

pressure, washed the windows, and polished the dust off the fenders. It was the oil check that brought in the big bucks. I practiced just how to hold my

face; my eyebrows raised with concern. “You see here, ma’am, it’s a bit darker and clumpier than it should be. For your safety and the longevity of your

beautiful car, I recommend adding a half-quart of our Union 76 Piston Protector.” Without fail, a pair of George Washingtons would appear.

When Geneva came home after her first shift, I quizzed her about the experience. “Dad,” she said as she reached into her pocket, “check this out—I got

a tip!” I heard the ding-ding of the full-service pumps ring in my ears. That five-dollar bill represented a world of possibility to a seventeen-year-old kid,

the same way it did to me back in the day. The road to freedom and self-determination, as it turns out, is paved with gratuities. She rolled her eyes as I

suggested how she hold her face for maximum profits.

Every day, I watch my daughter walk out to her little Volkswagen Beetle—I can see from here that the left-rear tire needs a little air—before her shift.

In each of those days, I have noticed her posture continually improve, one day after the next. Straight and tall and purposeful—the magic of a real job,

its powers compounded by the power of the tip.

But it’s not about the money. If we were living in some prehistoric period, landing the first real job is the evolutionary equivalent of felling a woolly

mammoth for the first time. It’s a big deal. A rite of passage. It was only yesterday that she was falling asleep next to me as I read Good Night Moon or

my personal favorite, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny. Now, here she is, off in the world by herself, just like P.J. Funnybunny.

My son, Donovan, now fifteen-and-a-half, has taken note. He has been begging my wife and me to work. We remind him that he already picks up

some odd jobs here and there with family and friends. “No,” he says, “I want a real job.” With his driver’s license hanging in the balance, just six months

away if he plays his cards right, we tell him that he can start pounding the pavement then. He is busy perfecting his resume now. I am listed as a work

reference next to “Publication Technician, SLO LIFE Magazine, 2010 to current.” The many hours of his childhood he has spent stuffing subscription

cards into magazines should count for something, right?

In my primal brain, I’m saying, “It’s too dangerous for him to go off and hunt alone.” The truth is more complicated: I can only handle one kid taking

flight at a time—it’s not easy being a bunny.

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!

Real Job

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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SLO LIFE

magazine

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

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

info@slolifemagazine.com

(805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax

PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

Elder Placements realizes the

IMPORTANCE of listening to the

client, in order to find the appropriate:

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Libbie Agran

Charlotte Alexander

Jeff Al-Mashat

Lauren Harvey

Paden Hughes

Zara Khan

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers

Joe Payne

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

George Cox

Alexandre Debieve

Georgia DeLotz

Elliot Johnson

Samuel Kriesel

Tawnya Malia

Mark Nakamura

Vanessa Plakias

Joaquin Romero

CONTRIBUTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may

be edited for clarity and space limitations.

ADVERTISING

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

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

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

media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Ready to live the SLO Life all year long? It’s quick and easy! Just log on to

slolifemagazine.com/subscribe. It’s just $24.95 for the year. And don’t

forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the

gift that keeps on giving!

NOTE

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

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

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

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

(805) 546-8777

elderplacementprofessionals.com

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising

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

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

before date of issue.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

info@slolifemagazine.com

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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


Moving Forward, Together.

“Instant action set American Riviera Bank apart! They were right on top of

all of the SBA requirements; I wouldn’t be getting through this without them.”

— Kellie Avila, Owner at Avila Traffic Safety

What does True Community Banking mean? It means working together

to find solutions under even the most trying of circumstances. It means we care about

your employees as if they were our own.

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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 15


| SNEAK PEEK

ON THE COVER

behind the scenes

WITH ERICA BALTODANO

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

We met at the gazebo in Mitchell Park. The spot is so

special to Erica, for many reasons. It’s where she delivered

the keynote address at the First Annual Women’s March.

And, she said, “Parks are democratic public spaces, serving

as places where anyone, regardless of income or position, can

meet, discuss, demonstrate, and publicize their causes.”

Her family met

us right after

we started. She

talked about how

she loves being

a mom. It’s an

important part of

who she is.

The necklace she’s wearing is the moon phase from the

day she was born, which she learned about on a trip she

had taken her kids to the Griffith Observatory.

She loves to read; at the time we met she was reading

Supreme Inequality. There are some really heavy days for

our community right now—books can be a good way to

decompress and gather more ideas moving forward.

SLO LIFE

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


Emergencies

can’t wait.

We’re ready for you with Tele-ER Visits,

Online Check-In or Walk-In options.

In an emergency, there’s no reason to delay your care. We go above

a variety of choices to make it convenient and comfortable for you:

Walk-ins welcome at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center

and Twin Cities Community Hospital

Check-in online at TenetHealthCentralCoast.com to reserve a

time that is convenient for you to come into the ER

Call 805-546-7990 to make a virtual ER appointment with a

local physician without leaving home

For more information, visit

TenetHealthCentralCoast.com

For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17


| IN BOX

Take us with you!

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18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

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

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).


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| TIMELINE

Around the County

6/1

Downtown SLO announces its 2020 Beautification Awards honoring

businesses making physical and/or aesthetic improvements. Top

honors include the Mayor’s Award, given this year to the Gateway

to Downtown—1085 Higuera Redevelopment project at the corner

of Santa Rosa and Higuera streets. From a record number of eligible

projects, made possible because of the uptick in new downtown

businesses in 2019, the organization’s Cultural Arts Committee also

singled out Hotel San Luis Obispo with the Chairperson’s Award,

and the City of SLO Promotional Coordinating Committee with

the CEO’s Surprise and Delight Award for its cultural icon flags and

parking kiosks.

6/10

A unique sailplane with ninety-three-foot wings designed by Cal Poly

aerospace engineering professor Paulo Iscold breaks three national

soaring records in Nevada. The glider, named Nixus (“pushing forward”

in Latin), soars without the benefit of engine power. It has attracted

considerable attention from aviation media because of its innovative

wings that are controlled through a fly-by-wire computer system.

What’s next? Iscold and his two pilots, with the support of his Cal Poly

students helping out on research, are eyeing the longest distance covered

by a sailplane. The record is 1,864 miles.

6/18

The City of San Luis Obispo kicks off its “Open SLO” program,

opening downtown streets and plazas for outdoor dining on specific

dates and at specific times in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designed to expand the use of city streets and other public spaces

to support physical distancing, it allows the temporary use of the

city right-of-way, including sidewalks, parking spaces, and streets

for expansion of outdoor dining, retail displays, and casual strolling.

Temporarily suspending enforcement of private parking requirements,

the city also allows businesses to expand their footprints, including table

service, within private parking lots. Updates and guidelines for public

health and safety are posted at OpenSLO.org.

6/30

The last day of the 2019 rain year makes it official: the most

recent rainfall season (which runs July 1 to June 30) produced

much less rain for San Luis Obispo than the previous year.

According to PG&E Meteorologist John Lindsey, the 2018

rainfall season that ended June 30, 2019, produced 29.48 inches

of rain in the City of San Luis Obispo, or 132 percent of normal.

In comparison, the 2019 season produced only 15.88 inches for

the city, coming in at just 71 percent of average. What will the

2020 rain year bring? Lindsey says many of the forecast models

are venturing into La Niña territory, which typically produces

lower-than-average winter rainfall.

7/8

The California Coastal Commission and officials with the California

Department of State Parks at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular

Recreation Area announce an agreement to keep the area closed to

vehicles and to camping through the end of September, in order to

protect western snowy plovers and California least terns. State Parks has

agreed to cease activities that could disrupt nesting as well. Nearly half

of the active snowy plover nests in the Oceano Dunes this spring were

outside of fenced protected areas.

7/9

For the first time ever, a Titan Arum, also known as a corpse flower

because it smells like rotting flesh, blooms at Cal Poly, attracting

hundreds of visitors over the two days the bloom lasts, as well as

thousands of viewers via livestream. The plant, which grows from a

large underground stem, sends up one leaf a year. After ten years or so,

instead of making a leaf, the plant sends up a huge maroon funnel with

tiny flowers on a large spike. Cal Poly students have been growing the

Amorphophallus titanium, nicknamed “Musty,” for several years, and this

is the plant’s first flower.

7/13

The nomination period for the November 3 General Election in San

Luis Obispo County opens for anyone interested in running for office.

Seats are open in all of the county’s school, community service, and

special districts, as well as all cities. A complete listing of the contests

on the ballot, as well as qualifications and important dates, can be found

at SLOVote.com.

7/16

San Luis Obispo Coastal Unified School District announces it will

begin the 2020-21 school year on August 24 in distance learning mode

through the winter break, with daily attendance online required for all

students Monday through Friday. The district plans to coordinate with

the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, as well as the YMCA and

other nonprofit organizations, to provide options for families and staff

who require childcare. Lucia Mar Unified School District had already

announced plans to require distance learning at the start of the school

year for all South County students.

7/25

A virtual workshop on the Community Plan for Avila, an integral part of

SLO County’s General Plan that will guide land use decisions in the region

for the next twenty years, provides residents an opportunity to comment

on the future of coastal resources and tourism in Avila. The workshop is

part of “Envision Avila,” a community engagement process. The plan, when

completed in 2021, will provide the basis for local government decision

making and ground rules to guide development. SLO LIFE

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


LEARN BY DOING

WAS BORN HERE

CAL POLY AND LEARN BY DOING

HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS OF

THE CENTRAL COAST

SINCE 1901.

Cal Poly engineering students work on a CubeSat in PolySat, the

student-run campus research lab. Pioneered at Cal Poly, this small satellite

technology has been used with a NASA project to Mars and The Planetary

Society’s LightSail 2, where Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo served as the

mission control site for the orbiter’s solar sail deployment. LightSail 2 is an

international endeavor with collaborators from over 20 countries and with

supporters from over 100 countries donating to the $7 million project.

AD DESIGN BY CAL POLY STUDENT LAUREN WENSTAD

(FOURTH-YEAR GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION MAJOR)

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRITTANY APP

See more Learn by Doing stories at

GIVING.CALPOLY.EDU

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| BRIEFS

REACH

2030

An action plan designed within ten years

to meet the economic needs of the Central

Coast with the proposed creation of

15,000 new jobs in aerospace, agritech,

technology, and renewable energy. With

more than 200 partners, the economic

impact organization REACH (formerly

the Hourglass Project) aims to create a

better landscape for future residents with

improved housing and job markets.

23

The number of polling locations in SLO

County for the 2020 Primary Election come

November, down sixty-nine percent from

the usual seventy-four locations, according

to County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong.

Only 400 poll workers will staff polling

centers that typically host up to 1,000. The

number of days polls will be open, however,

are increasing to four, beginning on Saturday

through Election Day Tuesday. More than

177,000 registered voters in the county will

receive mail-in ballots at least twenty-nine

days before November 3.

Stuff the Bus

It’s back-to-school time again, and due

to the pandemic and social distancing

guidelines, United Way of San Luis

Obispo’s twelfth annual school supply

drive has gone virtual. More than

ever, local students and teachers are

in need of supplies to begin the year

successfully. You can help by visiting

UnitedWaySLO.org/stuffthebus.

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

MC3

The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum

apprenticeship readiness program restarted

in July by the Tri-Counties Building &

Construction Trades Council. The eight-week

pre-apprenticeship, taught with a

combination of live online instruction and

hands-on training, helps SLO County

residents enter new career paths as

carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sheet

metal workers, and more, acting as an onramp

to head-of-household pay and benefits.

“Be bold.

Be you.”

The new tagline for the Gala Pride &

Diversity Center in San Luis Obispo, which

in turn is the new name of GALA, the Gay

and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast.

Since its founding in 1997, GALA has

shifted to become more inclusive, providing

resources to all within the LGBTQ+

community, and the rebranding better serves

its mission to provide a safe place promoting

wellbeing and resources.

$1.7 million

The cost of two electric transit buses to

replace two of the city’s oldest dieselpowered

buses that are at the end of

their useful life. The SLO City Council

unanimously approved the purchase, as

the transition to electric-powered buses

aligns with the city’s Climate Action

Goals and California’s Innovative Clean

Transit regulations mandating all public

transit systems be zero emission by 2040.

A majority of the cost will be paid by

grant funding. Electric buses have a lower

operational cost and do not produce

greenhouse gases that have a negative

impact on the environment.

“Live theatre’s

powerful

storytelling

connects people

in ways that

open the mind,

nourish the soul,

and illuminate our

shared humanity.”

SLO REP’s belief statement as articulated

by Managing Artistic Director Kevin

Harris in a recent edition of “The

Intermission Show,” a local twice-a-week

YouTube sensation connecting the SLO

REP audience even though the pandemic

has kept the physical curtain from going

up. Addressing the Black Lives Matter

movement and anti-racism in live theatre,

Harris and his board of directors recognize

they have a tremendous amount of work to

do to live up to this vision, but are inviting

the public to explore it with them.

34%

The number of local businesses that

have adopted alternative ways to sell

and deliver products since the pandemic

began, according to a regional impact

survey conducted by a Central Coast

Chamber of Commerce coalition in June

and July. Nearly 32 percent of businesses

responding have changed the products and

services they offer as well. It’s no surprise,

revenue/cashflow remains the number one

challenge documented in the survey by a

large margin. SLO LIFE


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| VIEW

Stacking

Up BY MARK NAKAMURA

I have always been a landscape photographer

at heart. Finding that unique view sometimes

means hiking to a destination or backpacking

to a secluded spot. My favorite times of day are

sunrises and sunsets, which means waking up

early—sometimes as early as three o’clock—or

staying late, even after the sun sets for the blue

hour, that special moment of twilight.

No matter where I travel, my favorite places are

right here on the Central Coast.

Only recently did I discover TV Tower Road,

located on the west side of Highway 101 at the top

of the Grade. As you travel from San Luis Obispo

north on Highway 101, turn left (west) at the apex

of the Grade. Drive on a paved road for a half-mile

before it turns into a dirt road, full of ruts and

potholes. Not to worry, you can navigate the rough

terrain without a four-wheel drive vehicle.

From this road, you pass several lookout points

where you can view back into San Luis Obispo

and into the valley which Highway 1 traverses.

On a clear day, you will be able to see Morro Rock

and the three smokestacks. From the highway it’s

only 1.3 miles to a parking area where you can

catch a view the valley below and the City of San

Luis Obispo.

This photograph was

taken at one of the

pullouts along TV Tower

Road, before you reach

the TV Towers, with one

of my favorite lenses, a

Sony 100-400mm zoom

lens. This allows me to

compress the scene and

make the mountains

look stacked one upon

the other. I shot this

photograph at f16,

which makes the sun

look like a star—called a

sunburst—about an hour

before sunset. Enjoy the

view. SLO LIFE

MARK NAKAMURA, retired

school teacher, continues

to pursue his passion in

landscape photography as

well as capturing the joys of

weddings, families, events,

and sports around the

Central Coast.

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| Q&A

BLUEGRASS

STATE OF MIND

We sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with BRENT BURCHETT,

Executive Director of the SLO County Farm Bureau, who, in addition to

providing a long list of recommended sipping bourbons, provided an

interesting perspective on the local ag scene. Here are some highlights…

Okay, Brent, let’s talk about where you got your start.

Well, if you can’t tell from my accent, I’m not a California

native. I moved here from Kentucky last year. Now, I

wouldn’t have come here without a good reason. I miss

Kentucky a lot, but my fiancé is from San Luis Obispo

County, the Carizzo Plains. Her family’s ranched there

for six or seven generations; they’ve been here a long

time. I was a farm kid too. We raised corn, soybeans,

and tobacco. There’s not any tobacco here, so my crop

knowledge has been pretty useless. Basically, there’s

nothing you can’t grow here. Let’s see, what else? I have

one older brother. He’s still in Kentucky. I played football

growing up. I did speech team. I was on the debate team.

Did storytelling; that was kind of my favorite thing to do.

We tell a lot of old-timey stories. It’s a Southern thing to

do, get out and tell tall tales and storytelling.

Let’s talk about stories. Yeah, so there were these

competitions. You basically get a script and memorize

it. I remember one that was an old Southern tale. It

was actually adapted from a play called “Wiley and

the Hairy Man” about these kids who caught catfish

using dynamite back in the World War II era. Those

explosions accidentally alerted the local militia, and all

these local rednecks came out and chased them down

the road. That was fun. But mostly we worked. I’d never

been to a beach until late in high school. I went with

some friends. It was really weird because when I came

here, I was like, “Oh, the beach is going to be awesome.”

I ran into the ocean and I didn’t realize that it was quite

a bit colder than it is in the Gulf of Mexico. But, like

I said, we mostly worked as kids. That’s what you’re

expected to do as a farm kid to help your family. We all

had little side businesses. I sold sweet corn; that was one

of the fun things we did in the summertime.

What do you miss about Kentucky?

Oh, for one, there’s this stuff that falls from the sky.

They call it rain. I miss hearing rainfall. The weather’s

awesome in SLO, but there’s something about having

four full seasons. I also miss Southern hospitality. I

miss fried chicken. Put that on the list. Ya’ll don’t have

any good fried chicken here in SLO County. I miss

horse racing, and basketball. Basketball’s not a big

thing here, but in Kentucky, whether you’re ten years

old or a hundred, you know exactly who’s playing for

the Kentucky Wildcats. And you know who’s being

recruited for next year. It’s kind of like a religion, almost.

I miss the Big Blue Nation, the UK basketball. They

had to cancel the season this year, which was just crazy.

I couldn’t believe that. They canceled the Derby too,

so I don’t know what the hell the people

doing this year. No basketball, no

bourbon tours, no Kentucky basketball,

no horse race. That’s just nuts

think about.

What did you know about the

Central Coast before moving here?

I had been to SLO County maybe

two or three times before we made

the move. There was an opening here

at the Farm Bureau. It’s a member

advocacy organization, so our members

are farmers and ranchers. We’re not

government entity. We are a private

nonprofit that advocates for farmers’ and

ranchers’ freedom to farm. That means, basically,

I’m going to County Board of Supervisors

meetings, to Planning Commission meetings,

to the Regional Water board, some other

state entities, and interacting with our

congressional delegation to make sure that our

elected officials know what’s going on here

in agriculture; that they appreciate that we’re

a big part of the economy. I’ve found that a

lot of people don’t realize that last year SLO

County agriculture exceeded $1 billion in crop

and livestock sales for the first time. It’s a huge

industry. To put it in context, the entire state of

Kentucky comes in at about $5 billion. So

just this one county is nearly a fifth of all of

Kentucky. That’s pretty awesome.

are

and

to

What does the future hold for farming

in our county? We have a Young Farmers & Ranchers

program that the Farm Bureau operates. It’s a mixture

of young professionals, but mostly it’s Cal Poly and

Cuesta kids. They’re just so fired up for agriculture.

It’s neat to see what the next generation is going to

do because there’s not many new farmers coming up

in the pipeline. It makes you wonder what American

agriculture will look like twenty years from now. It’s

kind of scary. I think some of them get frustrated. It’s

a little different here. In Kentucky, being a farmer is

like being a teacher or a doctor or a nurse—somebody

that’s really valued by the community. In California,

I think farmers are sometimes viewed with suspicion.

People wonder if they’re polluting or doing something

that’s not right. People in Kentucky think California is

another country, so when I told everybody I was dating

a California girl, they said, “What in the world?”

a

SLO LIFE

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| NOW HEAR THIS

ESSENTIAL

The soft rumble of the surf is audible along the Cambria neighborhood street,

punctuated by the high-flying melody line sung by an unmistakable violin string.

Brynn Albanese, who many locals will recognize from her group Cafe Musique and her

participation in the SLO Symphony, holds her bow high like a magic wand between

strokes. Sunlight sparkles off her electric violin, amped by a simple PA system, as she serenades the street

with tango, Scottish folk music, and of course, gypsy-jazz. Her audience lines the street, sitting in lawn

chairs at socially distanced intervals. The neighborhood is out to take in the show from their front yards,

including a few sipping drinks and enjoying the music from their balconies.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, local musicians of all stripes have taken a huge hit as venues

have closed indefinitely. Albanese was no different and decided to live stream videos via Facebook for

performances. But then she came upon a novel idea—outdoor neighborhood shows, dubbed “quarantine

concerts.” “It was basically out of fear,” she laughed. “My entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and I was like,

‘You know what? I can make people happy and make a little income by doing these concerts.’”

A San Luis Obispo local who calls Cambria her home as well, Albanese has performed outside of long-term

care facilities as well as in the front yards of locals. She plays by request and requires someone to host her and her

equipment, but only asks for donations. Whoever hosts is asked to spread the word around the neighborhood.

Megg Mcnamee booked her for a Monday mid-June concert on her driveway. She hadn’t heard of Albanese

until a few weeks prior, but posted fliers and emailed her neighbors to let them know of the show. “My

neighbors up the road had a concert about six weeks ago, and I was driving out and heard it, and thought,

‘Oh my God!’ So, I stopped and listened,” Mcnamee shares. “Very popular, very well-received. Good thing

to do, and what a great way to start the week.”

For the uninitiated, Albanese is a profoundly talented violinist with a commanding presence. Well-educated

and with a cosmopolitan vibe, she takes her audience on a veritable world tour

with her bow and some backing tracks funneled through the PA. One moment

you’re in a Venitian gondola, and the next, it’s an Appalachian hoedown.

When the crisis began, the fear and overwhelming nature of the prospects for

live music was daunting, Albanese said. After some creative brainstorming, she

invested in the necessary equipment. “Something like this is actually very easy.

It was socially distanced, there’s hand sanitizer, there’s everything that you need

to have the concert; you just have to find the right place for it,” she explains.

“I think that coming up with innovative ways to have musicians come to your

neighborhood or come to your house or something like that is the way to go.”

Albanese believes that musicians and those hoping to support them should

think creatively and try to organize their own concerts. She has several more

“quarantine concerts” planned, but she is also continuing her Cambria Concerts

Unplugged series, where she will live stream from the historic Old Santa

Rosa Chapel. Anyone interested can reach out to Albanese via her website,

brynnalbanese.com. SLO LIFE

JOE PAYNE is a journalist,

as well as a lifelong musician

and music teacher, who

loves writing about the

arts on the Central Coast,

especially music, as well as

science, history, nature, and

social issues.

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


SOUND

BY JOE PAYNE

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


GREATER

GOOD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

On the eve of her ten-year anniversary as a San Luis Obispo resident,

attorney ERICA BALTODANO has spent her entire adult life advocating

for the expansion of civil rights and social justice. In addition to leading

her employment law practice, she is the board president of the SLO Legal

Assistance Foundation, she sits on the San Luis Coastal Education Foundation,

teaches Constitutional Law at the San Luis Obispo College of Law, and serves

as the Civil Service Commissioner for District 3. On top of that long list, she is a

mother of two boys and the wife of a superior court judge. Here is her story…

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


et’s start from the beginning, Erica.

Where are you from? I was born in

Burbank, California, and I was raised in

the San Fernando Valley. I had a really

wonderful, unique upbringing. I’m the

oldest of three girls. My dad was born

in Nogales, Arizona, which is right

on the border of Arizona and Mexico.

His parents, my grandparents, were Lfrom Mexico, and when the border was initially erected in that area, the

residents of Nogales—at the time it was Nogales, Mexico—were asked,

“Do you want to be American citizens, or do you want to remain Mexican

citizens?” They elected to be American. And, so the border was literally

constructed right through the middle of town, and to this day, you have

a Nogales, Mexico and a Nogales, Arizona. My dad grew up in Nogales,

Arizona. He was one of ten children. He went to Tucson for high school

and to Los Angeles for college.

How did your parents meet? My mom was living in Los Angeles. She

was actually born in London, England. Her side of the family is Jewish.

When she was very young, her parents felt like London was so devastated

by the war and it was not a great place to raise their two children, so

they left. First, they went to Toronto, and then to Brooklyn before they

finally settled in the Los Angeles area. But she ended up meeting my

dad and they fell in love. So, I grew up in a very blended household,

which included both big and small family experiences. We had Mexican,

American, Catholic, and Jewish influences. It was a wonderful way to

grow up.

What were you like as a kid? I was really into the Girl Scouts. By the

time I was in high school, I was on the San Fernando Valley Girl Scout

Council. It was operated by a board of directors, and they always reserved

two seats for girl members. I was advised to join that board, and it was

my first introduction to the nonprofit sector from a behind the scenes

perspective. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I continued to do

that even in college. I went to UCLA and studied sociology with a minor

in public policy. I was always very interested in the intersection of race,

class, gender, and other social stratification systems. But also, policy and

the law. Through my time at UCLA, I was continuing to explore those

interests, and ultimately decided that I wanted to go to law school.

Tell us about that. I had a very dear roommate; we were randomly

assigned to each other and became great friends. We both had decided to

go to law school. During our junior year, she died very tragically of a brain

aneurism. That set me back. It was a lot to process. I ended up taking a

year off after graduation to work for a prestigious law firm that handles

appeals. I worked closely with an attorney who was blind. I was essentially

her assistant. Whenever she needed to conduct legal research, we would

walk down to the law library, she’d explain to me what she was looking

for, and I would find the books and read out loud to her. She would

record it and then draft her brief and prepare for oral arguments. It was

a tremendous education for me. Since it was appellate law, I was learning

the progression of the lawsuit.

And where did you go to law school? It was UC Berkeley. And it was

an interesting time to be there. It was certainly post-Prop 209, so the

demographics of the school were not incredibly diverse. There were only

a handful of students of color. And there was a sense that those of us

of color had to sort of work together to support each other; and to help

recruitment, and help with retention of other students in order to ensure

diversity in the law school, because it was so evident

to us, and it was certainly to me, that the benefit of

diversity expands the learning for everyone, right?

I was reluctant to get involved with the student

organizations because I was so focused on getting

my education. But there was another student there,

who is now my husband, who encouraged me to

become more engaged. So, I ended up becoming a

founding member of the Center for Social Justice,

which was a new organization that we started.

We put together an incredible judicial panel,

which included Justice Sotomayor, before she was

appointed to the Supreme Court.

So, what came next? I began an internship at one of

the country’s oldest public interest law firms called

The Center for Law in the Public Interest. I had the

opportunity to work on what went on to become a

couple of historic cases in California. One of them on

behalf of foster children who were not receiving the

health and mental health services they were entitled

to receive under state law. And the other, which really

changed the methodology of serving children in the

foster care system. During my time there, I learned

the impact of litigation as a mechanism for changing

society for the greater good. In those cases, it meant

changing the foster care system, and changing

the way that education resources are distributed

throughout the state of California for the benefit of

all school children.

What else did you work on there? We also started

developing innovative ways of looking at parks

and open space and other public resources like

that through the lens of civil rights and through

the lens of public health. It’s called the urban park

movement. And so, this was a new way of achieving

environmental justice. We sort of flipped it around.

Instead of looking at environmental justice in

terms of the communities of color and low-income

communities having more than their fair share of

environmental degradation, we were looking at

ensuring, or trying to figure out ways to ensure,

that they would have a fair share of environmental

benefits. It was a different way of looking at it.

And you took on another very important job:

becoming a mom. Yes, that’s right. It was around this

time that we had our first son. We had our second

son a few years later. I was fortunate to be working in

an environment where I was able to keep my foot in

the door and continue working on a project by project

basis so that I could be home almost full-time. It was

really important for me when my kids were young to

do that. To this day, when I speak with young women

or college students and they ask me, “Is it really

possible? Can you have it all? Can you be a lawyer

and be a mom?” I say, “Yes. It absolutely is possible to

have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time.”

And so, you do have to think about your priorities >>

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


and what do you want to prioritize at this time. And just because you’re

prioritizing something family at this time, doesn’t necessarily mean that

you can’t pick up your career and prioritize that at another time.

Okay, so how did you end up here? We had our eye on the Central

Coast for a while. We had spent wonderful weekends meeting up with

family and friends here. My husband’s family was all in the Bay Area,

and my family was in the Los Angeles area. So, it was always sort of a

nice middle ground meeting point for us. And, by then, we really were

looking for a smaller town. Our oldest was about to start kindergarten,

and it just seemed like the right time. We spent about a year doing our

due diligence and relocated here in January of 2011. We opened our law

practice, focusing on employment law on behalf of employees. The firm

grew quickly. It was something that worked well in terms of the needs of

our family. It was still very important for us to have one of us as involved

and available for them throughout the day if possible. My working hours

always revolved around their schedule, and of course, the older they got

and the more hours they spent in school, the more hours I was able to

work. It was a nice balance.

What do you like most about the work you do now? Education has

always been such a key component of the work that I’ve done. When

I was practicing in Los Angeles, one of my favorite things to do was

to speak with students; and I continued to do that once we got here,

especially sharing stories from the urban park movement in Los Angeles.

It’s something that most children can really relate to. And so, that was

something that I really enjoyed and prioritized. But, I was eager to get

back into my work with nonprofit organizations. My ability to serve as a

board member, or otherwise be helpful with local nonprofits here, was just

limited by the number of hours in the day and the fact that I had young

children. But as the kids got older, I did join the board of the San Luis

Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation and served on school-related boards

locally. It was nice to get back to my roots in legal services in the context

of being a board member.

When you look back on your career, what stands out? One of the

highlights of my professional and personal life was when I got a phone call

from one of the early organizers and founders of the Women’s March in

San Luis Obispo asking if I would consider delivering the keynote address

at the first march to take place in January 2017. At first, my reaction was,

“Why do you want me to do this?” But the more I thought about it, I

really felt like it made sense for me to do it. I had spent my career working

in the area of social justice, and I had been writing a series of essays called

“Mommy Esquire,” merging the law with lessons in parenting that had

been published in the local SLO Bar Association bulletin. And, so, I had

been exploring so many of the issues either personally or professionally

that really came to surface during this time.

Seems like the perfect fit. The organizer told me she expected around 300

people to show up, but, and as you know, there was a crowd of 10,000 >>

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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that first year. I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to express the

emotions and the fears and the frustration of all those women and their

allies standing in the audience. But I also felt the tremendous sense of

honor to be able to do it, to speak from the perspective of being a woman

of color who’s come from a Mexican American and immigrant Jewish

background, whose husband was an immigrant and was a refugee to this

country. Raising two boys, being a business owner, working for a decade

on civil rights and environmental justice issues, and then having a worker’s

rights focused social justice law firm. It all came together in that moment,

and it’s just a moment I’ll never forget.

And you’re balancing this with a spouse who also has a busy work life.

That’s right, and things changed significantly when my husband was

appointed by the governor in late 2017 as a superior court judge. At

that time, I recognized that it was time to slow down the law practice

and kind of made the firm smaller. I took over the firm as president, and

really allowed myself the flexibility to continue to work with individuals

in our community that have issues with their employer, whether it be

discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, to make sure that they

are getting the legal services that they need. I also became a member of

the board of directors of San Luis Coastal Education Foundation, as well

as taking on a role as faculty at San Luis Obispo College of Law teaching

constitutional law. So, I was adjusting to all these new roles as my husband

was adjusting to his. Just as we were starting to see the light at the end

of the tunnel with so much change, his election came up. He had been

appointed to fill a position of a judge who had been nearing the end of his

six-year term, so he had to be elected in order to keep his job. So, I spent

several months of that following year, 2018, running his judicial campaign,

which he won successfully and continues to serve.

Let’s switch gears and talk about the current Black Lives Matter

movement. What’s your take? Why do you think it finally got some

real traction? Social media and smartphones have changed the dynamics,

much the way that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed shortly after the

violence against protesters on the Selma March. Once those images made

their way to TV screens, public opinion started to change. Smartphones

have had a similar impact in terms of the experience of policing in the

United States from the perspective of systemic racism and anti-Blackness

that is just insidious in our culture and in our society. It has shone a light

on that. But I also think the pandemic has played a role. It has had a

disproportionate impact on people of color and low-income people. We

see the disparities in healthcare access; the disparities in work-related

issues and all of those sorts of things. And, so, I think that on one hand,

people have had the opportunity to maybe do a little bit more reflection

as they shelter at home. Maybe it’s given us a chance to recognize

how essential the workers of our society are, and how so much of it is

disproportionately shouldered by immigrants or people of color, lowincome

folks in our community, and how the disparities between those

who have the privilege of being able to work from home, and those who

didn’t have that privilege.

>>

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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So, maybe people are seeing things differently? I think there was a little

bit of an opportunity to recognize those disparities in ways that maybe

were not recognizable before. I also think the pandemic, although it’s had

a different impact on certain groups, it has impacted all of us to the degree

that all of our freedoms have been a little bit stifled. We can’t move around

and get around as freely as we want to in order to ensure the public health

of our communities. And so, we’ve all been forced to alter our lives and

be somewhat limited on our access right now. Those things came together

when we saw the video of Mr. Floyd’s murder by the police officer. I think

that there was a sense of understanding and compassion that maybe had

not been evident widely, and it’s causing folks who haven’t been living or

learning these issues for a lifetime to start thinking differently, and to start

recognizing the small and large ways that we have a long way to go to

ensure equal treatment and equality within this country.

Please expand on that, if you would. If you think of discrimination on

a spectrum, you have anti-Black racism on one end and white privilege

on the other with every other sort of variation in the middle: people of

color, indigenous people, different sexual preferences, you name it, all of

us are on that continuum somewhere. It is both important and necessary,

and a component of the bigger picture for us to recognize the Black

Lives Matter movement as a Black movement. It’s important because

we absolutely need to acknowledge anti-Black racism. But it’s also part

of a bigger movement in the sense that if you are classified somehow as

“other,” you are also going to fall on that spectrum. So, the movement can

incorporate all of that “otherness” because there’s a sense that there’s a

shared history there, and, although the individual experiences are different,

it’s very much the commonality of “otherness.” It may be an accumulation

of microaggressions, or a lack of total acceptance, or of being denied the

benefits or opportunity.

How does it feel to have this conversation? I’m actually a really

introverted, quiet, shy person, and so in spite of all of these roles that I’ve

taken on that have a very public space in the community, it’s not natural

for me. It’s something I have to work on, work towards, and I still work

on being comfortable with. It took me a while to overcome and to find

my voice. You can’t be an advocate for justice without sometimes having

to be vocal. I mean, to be honest, having this conversation with you also

feels very uncomfortable. But I’m glad we’re talking. Democracy is not a

spectator sport. It’s something that takes time, and effort, and engagement.

That’s got to be an important focus going into the coming election, and

I’m hoping the movement we’re seeing with people who may not have

been politically engaged ever before this moment, are starting to recognize

that it’s important to be engaged; it’s important sometimes to take to

the streets and let your voice be heard. It’s also important to know your

history, to educate yourself, and to vote. SLO LIFE

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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

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

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

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


| ARTIST

PROFILE

Glynis

Chaffin-Tinglof

BY JEFF AL-MASHAT

T

here is a maze-like quality in Glynis Chaffin-Tinglof ’s

paintings, one that draws the viewer in and makes them

want to follow the lines to see where they are going. The

work captures the eye and doesn’t easily let go. Once you

have entered these paintings, there is a chaotic feeling, but

also somewhat addictive. The chaos is balanced with enough

structure to entice you to remain and attempt to figure out

what kind of story is being told. The story is about her life

experiences and appreciation for the organized messiness of

the world around us. She says, “I am drawn to the process of

creating order out of chaos.”

Her current series, entitled 5 Lines, starts with five

distinctly placed marks on the canvas. “From there,” she

says, “everything I do is a direct reaction to what I see on

the surface.” The paintings read as a series of well-conceived

decisions that result from what occurred on the canvas

earlier in the process.

It is clear that a great deal of movement goes into making

these paintings. Calligraphic shapes, marks of overlapping

colors, and complex areas of negative space emerge during

her painting process that results in motion coming across to

be enjoyed in the final piece.

There is a resonance with the middle of Jackson Pollock’s

career after he moved away from his Thomas Hart

Benton western-styled pieces, but before he arrived at

the drip paintings for which he is best known. Some

of Pollock’s most interesting art came during the time

he was on his own exploratory journey, guided by the

teachings of thinkers like

Carl Jung. His incorporation

of calligraphy, numerals, and

mystical shapes created the

framework for his repetitive

gestures and the motion that

resulted on the canvas.

These qualities of motion

and cacophony tamed by

composition are consistent

themes that run through

Chaffin-Tinglof ’s prolific

body of work. Her paintings

can be seen locally at

downtown San Luis Obispo’s

EDNA Gallery. 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.

40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


Dr. Arnie Horwitz

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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


| FAMILY

Escape to

the Drive-In

BY PADEN HUGHES

If I could turn back time / If I could find a way…

I would take you to Sunset Drive-In. For a date night,

for a family outing, or for a gathering of friends. If we

didn’t drive a pick-up truck with its bed full of pillows

and sleeping bags, we’d settle for lawn chairs, blankets,

and hot drinks instead. But without a doubt, we’d have

to wait in line for the buttered popcorn.

For parents of toddlers, it almost doesn’t matter what’s

playing on the big screen, the experience is curated in a

way that the movie, at times, feels like the backdrop to

the evening. In fact, you might just want to sit back and

embrace the crazy side of parenthood and enjoy the

real “show” sitting right next to you with the endless

questions, laughter, and spills. Not to be out done, of

course, by the squirming around that happens in your

lap before the little one passes out and drools down

your arm. When it comes to young families visiting the

drive-in, the movie itself almost doesn’t matter. It’s just

a part of the experience.

I’ve lived in San Luis Obispo since 2004 when I first

came on the scene as a freshman at Cal Poly. In the

last sixteen years (man, that went fast), I’ve made some

amazing memories at Sunset Drive-In.

I remember a night I was on a date watching a movie

from the back of a pick-up truck with my then college

boyfriend. Kevin Costner was starring as the Coast

Guard’s top rescue swimmer in The Guardian, when

out of nowhere it started to rain—not a drizzle, but a

torrential downpour. And you know what? It just made

the experience so much more amazing. We got under

a tarp and watched the rest of the show fighting the

water, feeling aligned with the actors in the movie.

On my college graduation weekend, I took my parents

to the drive-in, and they were blown away by the

vintage ads, the concession stand offering classic

snacks, and the overall experience. It was so fun to see

things through their eyes and watch them relive their

childhood memories. Simply put, they were gleeful.

Then, there was the time we showed up to take in a

sci-fi movie starring Tom Cruise, was it Oblivion or

Edge of Tomorrow? Turns out, he’s made a lot of movies

cast alongside aliens. For some reason, the car didn’t

have a radio. We tried and failed to listen through our

cell phones and ended up instead attempting to read

lips, while stealthily inching our chairs closer and closer

to the car parked beside us, catching every third or so

word. I’ve never appreciated nonverbal communication

the same way, thanks to the drive-in.

Without a doubt, one of the most nostalgic and unique

experiences San Luis Obispo has to offer for after

dark is the Sunset Drive-In. For $10 per adult, you get

entry to both movies on the line up. With Hollywood

holding off on new releases for the foreseeable future,

one perk is that the drive-in is showing a lot of

classics—for me, that honestly takes it to the next level.

Local Tip:

To see the latest showings,

check out the Sunset Drive-In

Facebook page or Fandango.

Bring cash and extra blankets,

double check the start time

(it can change based on the

time of sunset), support the

concession stand—it’s how

they generate the bulk of the

necessary income to support

their operating costs—and

come regularly so we can

keep this local gem up and

running.

SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Quinn Brussel

This San Luis Obispo High School senior has received

recognition for his performance in Harvard Model Congress,

has been awarded a Golden Tiger, and holds

varsity letters in Cross Country.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I run cross country and track. I am the

President of the Young Democrats Club and an officer for Harvard Model Congress. I have

also spent some time lobbying the school board for climate action.

What do you like to do for fun? I spend a lot of time playing guitar. I have a new band

that plays the Grateful Dead and other jam music and jazz. I also love skiing, backpacking,

hiking, and running.

What is important to you outside of high school? The fixing of the American government,

politics, and the climate are very important to me.

What is going on with you now? I’m currently enjoying the endless expanse of time that

is quarantine. I’ve started building up for cross country, and I’ve been getting in a lot of

guitar practice.

What is your favorite memory of all time? My favorite memory is more a collection of

memories from my cross country team’s running camp over the years. Each summer we go to

Sequoia National Park for a week and do some running. I basically just get to spend a week

doing all of my favorite things with my friends.

If you won $1 million, what would you do with it? I’d give it to someone where they

actually need the money. I think that the main issue in this country is wealth inequality,

and that there isn’t enough effort by the well-off citizens to help those living in poverty.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? I don’t know if I’d want

to meet him, but I’d love to go back to 1989 to see Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead in

their best touring year (in my opinion).

What do you dislike the most? Injustice towards those who have less resources to help

themselves. This takes the form of systematic racism, wealth injustice, and many others.

What is something that not many know about you? A small percentage of the people I

know are aware than I am a violinist.

What do you look forward to? I am looking forward to what changes I will encounter in the

coming years. Looking back, I was a different person five years ago than I am now. I am excited

to know what another five can do.

What career do you see yourself in someday? Right now I think I’m going to go into

academia and becoming a professor. I like the idea of doing research and teaching for

a living.

What schools are you considering for college? I am applying to the UCs, Cal Poly,

Stanford, and a handful of schools in the east.

What else should we know? The running shorts are for comfort, not fashion.

SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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Affiliates LLC.

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45


| DWELLING

CONTINUITY

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


OF COMFORT

BY ZARA KHAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELLIOT JOHNSON

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

panish and Modern are two

concepts that are not typically

considered “sister styles.”

But, when Shell Beach

residents, Scott Newton and

his wife Jill, were entrusted

with building a home for his

parents, they knew it would

require some blending of old

Sand new. >>


LIFE IN THE SLO LANE

STARTS HERE

Ladera


Ladera at Righetti Now Selling!

Pricing starts from the low $1 millions.

The first release of spectacular homes at Ladera at Righetti offers three different home

layouts, each designed to take full advantage of the site’s gorgeous hillside topography.

Homes range from approximately 2,600 square feet to nearly 3,000 square feet, features three

and four bedrooms, and two and one-half to fourand one-half baths.

To visit, take Tank Farm Road in San Luis Obispo to Righetti Ranch Road and follow the signs. Or please

feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to schedule a personal appointment to discuss

San Luis Obispo’s most attractive new home neighborhood.

Information Center open Thursday through Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call for a personal appointment (highly recommended).

(805) 774-3038

www.righettiladera.com

All prices, plans, terms and offers are effective date of publication are subject to availability and may change without notice. Housing is

open to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Depictions of homes are artist

conceptions. Hardscape and landscape may vary and are not included in the purchase price. Square footage shown is only an estimate

and actual square footage may differ. Please consult our sales team for additional information. Sales by CADO Real Estate Group

DRE # 01525182 Construction by Ambient Management Service LP Lic. #1014645

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


Newton’s primary goal was to ensure his

parents would be comfortable in their new

home and, most importantly, it would feel like

home. He started to zero in on the details of

their current Spanish house they appreciated

most, so he could translate those elements

into a modern twist to achieve a sense of

familiarity. He planned to incorporate some

of the same characteristics they had grown

to love, such as a wood ceiling and wood

baseboards, but he used Cedar with a clear

coat rather than the traditional, dark Spanish

hue. He also replicated specific details such as

solid core doors throughout the home, so the

new space felt and functioned in a familiar

way. From his experience on previous projects,

Newton had a preference for using natural

materials. He believes they keep a space from >>

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


looking dated or trendy since those materials

always look as they should—natural.

With a background in construction, the

Newtons decided to approach the project as an

owner-builder. With the vision in place, they

needed to assemble a team to help execute it.

Newton worked closely with architect Loch

Soderquist of KOA Architects, a firm based

in Hawaii, which has completed projects on

the Central Coast, as well. Soderquist proved

invaluable when it came to the placement

and orientation of the house on the lot to

maximize views.

The Newtons then enlisted kitchen and bath

designer, Jan Kepler of Kepler Design Group

in San Luis Obispo, to design and oversee all >>

52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

the cabinetry in the home. Newton embraced

the idea of contemporary walnut cabinetry

in a dark stain that would contrast with the

lighter stone floor and cedar plank ceilings.

Kepler designed with Plato Woodwork custom

cabinetry, which she carries in her showroom.

The flat panel, grain, and color were used

throughout the kitchen, great room, linen, and

bathrooms to enhance the flow and continuity

of design from room to room. In the kitchen,

Kepler incorporated floating shelves to open

up the space and allow the glass tiles to

shine. The dark stained walnut is the perfect

foundation for the white quartz countertops

and waterfall counter on the island. Kepler

loved designing the focal point thirteen-feet

wide and nine-feet tall walnut entertainment

and display cabinetry and shelving that had to >>


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


fit seamlessly into a niche in the great room.

The base cabinets for the unit are done in

a wave motif called “surf ” in walnut to add

texture and dimension to such a large space.

Universal design was another driving force for

all decisions. Newton wanted his parents to be

able to enjoy the home and not have to worry.

All the showers are curbless or “barrier-free,” and

the flooring is slip-resistant. Charles Quinn

at Quinn Home and PJ Fitzgerald at Pacific

Coast Kitchen & Bath helped Newton select

fixtures and tile for each room to fit their

desired aesthetic as well as serve the function

they required. Throughout the home, they

placed Walker Zanger’s Pearl River Limestone

tile flooring with radiant heating below. Quinn

challenged Newton to consider tile options >>

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


ARCHITECTURE

LANDSCAPE

INTERIORS

MEDIA

WE BEFORE ME

Architect Aisling Burke enjoying a job well done with our clients

from Transitions-Mental Health Association and the Housing Authority

of San Luis Obispo.

Bishop Street Studios is a great example of the

whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

An amazing group of people came together on

this unique project to resurrect an architectural

landmark and provide much needed housing for

an underserved population in our community.

The team embraced our ‘we before me’ value,

fostering strong relationships while building a

legacy project for the community.

TENOVERSTUDIO.COM

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


they might not have before but would give

the interior the same remarkable detail as the

architecture and bones of the home.

Home automation continues to be a trend to

watch in the design world. Newton decided

to incorporate a few elements that would add

value and simplify his parents’ everyday life. All

the light fixtures in the

home are automated,

as are the window

coverings for ease of

control. The outdoor

infrared heaters are

placed on timers so

that no one will have

to think twice about

remembering to turn

them off, and they can

focus on enjoying the

company of their friends

and family. For many

years to come. SLO LIFE

In addition to being an

interior designer, ZARA KHAN

is also a shoe aficionado and

horror movie enthusiast.

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


STALWORK

INC

CONSTRUCTION + DESIGN

WWW.STALWORK.COM

LIC 948012 | PO BOX 391

SAN LUIS OBISPO CA 93406

805.542.0033

MAIL@STALWORK.COM

COMMERCIAL | RESIDENTIAL INTERIORS + ARCHITECTURE + LANDSCAPE

Custom lighting

fixtures proudly

made by hand

right here on the

Central Coast.

HANS

DUUS

BLACKSMITH INC

2976 INDUSTRIAL PARKWAY . SANTA MARIA . 805-570-0019

HANSDUUS@GMAIL.COM . HANSDUUSBLACKSMITH.COM

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2019

38

$782,534

$773,418

98.84%

24

2019

16

$793,790

$787,688

99.99%

20

2019

16

$1,054,806

$1,018,805

96.59%

32

2019

17

$1,547,429

$1,492,647

96.46%

104

2019

42

$794,205

$777,787

97.93%

42

2019

26

$927,750

$876,631

94.49%

34

2019

36

$818,986

$800,250

97.71%

27

2020

30

$782,523

$778,436

99.48%

45

2020

20

$790,045

$783,971

99.99%

47

2020

13

$1,276,902

$1,013,000

79.33%

13

2020

9

$1,132,222

$1,090,800

96.34%

33

2020

31

$952,581

$925,378

97.14%

31

2020

20

$844,670

$839,975

99.44%

45

2020

29

$1,029,910

$1,006,065

97.68%

49

+/-

-21.05%

0.00%

0.65%

0.64%

87.50%

+/-

25.00%

-0.47%

-0.47%

99.10%

135.00%

+/-

-18.75%

21.06%

-0.57%

-17.26%

-59.38%

+/-

-47.06%

-26.83%

-26.92%

-0.12%

-68.27%

+/-

-26.19%

19.94%

18.98%

-0.79%

-26.19%

+/-

-23.08%

-8.95%

-4.18%

4.95%

32.35%

+/-

-19.44%

25.75%

25.72%

-0.03%

81.48%

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 07/22/19 to 01/01/20 - 07/22/20

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


Fear of Missing Out on Your Dream Home

FOMO-OYDH [foh-moo-eed-hh] | noun, slang

I. A feeling of anxiety or insecurity over the possibility of missing out on your dream home

“If I don’t take advantage of the housing market and get pre-approved for a home today,

I’ll get a bad case of FOMOOYDH.”

No one wants their dream home to fall through their fingers. This summer, shop for your new home the smart way by

getting pre-approved with Guaranteed Rate.

By getting pre-approved you’ll gain the benefits of:

• Sellers knowing you’re ready to buy

• Knowing your budget from day one

• Having a head start in the mortgage process

Let’s keep the conversation going. Contact us today.

Donna Lewis

Branch Manager&

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8743

C: (805) 235-0463

donna.lewis@rate.com

Dylan Morrow

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8738

C: (805) 550-9742

dylan.morrow@rate.com

Joe Hutson

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (831) 205-1582

C: (831) 212-4138

joe.hutson@rate.com

Ken Neate

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8074

C: (925) 963-1015

ken.neate@rate.com

Luana Gerardis

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (707) 227-9582

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Maggie Koepsell

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8742

C: (805) 674-6653

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

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

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

Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information.

Guaranteed Rate is not affiliated with SLO Food Bank. Donations received are collected directly by SLO Food Bank and not GUARANTEED RATE.

Donna Lewis NMLS ID #245945; CA - CA-DOC245945 | Dylan Morrow NMLS ID #1461481; CA - CA-DBO1461481 | Maggie Koepsell NMLS ID #704130; CA - CA-DBO704130 | Luana Gerardis NMLS ID

#1324563; CA - CA-DBO1324563 | Joe Hutson NMLS ID #447536; CA - CA-DOC447536 | Ken Neate NMLS ID #373607; CA - CA-DBO373607 | GR NMLS ID #2611 (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System www.nmlsconsumeraccess.

org) • CA - Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, Division of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act Lic #4130699

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


| SLO COUNTY

We’d like to

thank eligible

First Responders*

by offering a $1,000

lender credit to

finance your home.

REAL ESTATE

REGION

Arroyo Grande

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2019

184

2020

155

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2019

50

2020

58

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2019

$818,863

2020

$819,221

Contact me today to learn more.

Atascadero

202

172

40

42

$580,406

$590,490

Ben Lerner

(805) 441-9486

Avila Beach

Cambria/San Simeon

Cayucos

15

79

24

15

79

27

37

66

114

103

66

138

$1,158,111

$810,324

$882,167

$1,459,006

$871,964

$1,223,900

Creston

5

3

91

191

$991,000

$1,047,000

Grover Beach

66

67

56

46

$542,289

$581,844

Los Osos

89

62

37

33

$629,770

$691,952

Morro Bay

77

64

79

81

$737,837

$690,021

Nipomo

165

108

62

49

$657,861

$700,593

Oceano

32

32

63

81

$531,484

$556,532

**

Pismo Beach

73

62

83

68

$1,160,376

$1,007,430

Paso (Inside City Limits)

226

174

48

41

$542,185

$535,139

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

30

27

71

51

$495,297

$667,596

Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS 395723

blerner@flagstarretail.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

** Top 200 Mortgage Originator | Mortgage Executive Magazine

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

San Luis Obispo

75

35

219

55

27

184

70

69

40

95

81

44

$644,898

$558,196

$899,313

$616,636

$661,130

$923,989

© 2020 Flagstar Bank

flagstarretail.com Est. 1987

Equal Housing Lender

Member FDIC

Santa Margarita

16

11

110

108

$548,156

$531,855

*First Responder occupations include police offi cers, EMTs, fi refi ghters

and rescuers—occupations that may require a responder to perform fi rst

aid, secure a crime scene or detain suspects. $1,000.00 closing cost

offer. The borrower is responsible for all other closing costs and prepaid

expenses. This offer is for qualifying loans only, cannot be used to reduce

any other fees, and cannot be combined with any other mortgage

fee reduction offer. Mortgage application date must be on or before

12/31/2020. Offer terms and conditions are subject to change without

notice. Offer is non-transferable. Programs subject to change without notice.

All borrowers are subject to credit approval, underwriting approval,

and lender 62 terms | SLO and LIFE conditions. MAGAZINE Some restrictions | AUG/SEP may apply. 2020

Templeton

Countywide

68

1,612

61

1,323

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 07/22/19 to 01/01/20 - 07/22/20

76 80 $775,512 $841,020

56 57 $706,271 $725,432

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


| HEALTH

super

foods

Debunking the saga of superfoods as a symbol of health.

BY LAUREN HARVEY

P

lastered across supplements, juice

blends, and health websites, superfood

appears to be the new standard of

healthy living. Its growing prominence,

and the near-superhuman capabilities

it claims to ensure, make a superfood

diet seem essential for anyone desiring

to live a more healthful life. Even

personally, I noticed an uncontrollable

draw to products boasting of superfood

capabilities, often choosing these

products over ones that lacked the

flashy labeling.

Superfood emerged as a ubiquitous term I have

seen applied to blueberries, salmon, and leafy

greens alike. As a result, unfamiliar foods like

moringa and reishi mushroom seem somehow

inherently familiar. In these instances, I found

myself, in some instinctual way, trusting

of the positive benefits of foods that were

otherwise a total mystery. With this paradox

in mind, I began an inquiry into the history

of superfoods, searching for a definition that

would illuminate the elusive exclusivity of the

term and perhaps, provide some insight into

the actual benefits behind its super claims. >>

LAUREN HARVEY is a

creative writer fueled by a

love of cooking, adventure,

and naps in the sun.

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


#1

SUPER

ORIGINS

The first recorded use of the term superfood was in association with,

of all foods, bananas. According to an article published by the Harvard

T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this first instance dated back to

“the early 20th century around World War I … [when] The United Fruit

Company initiated an enthusiastic advertising campaign to promote its

major import of bananas.” The initial marketing strategy focused on the

“practicality of bananas in a daily diet, being cheap [and] nutritious.”

However, the popularity of the term superfood grew only “after being

endorsed in medical journals.” Therefore, while research later backed

claims of nutritional value, marketing, not medicine, is credited with

creating the term “super.”

This marketing origin story foreshadows the fate of many superfoods

today. The term has gained traction and trust among consumers, while

the scientific studies backing the claims come almost as an afterthought.

Instead of presenting the marketed foods with proven claims at the

forefront, the term seems to be freely used in place of accredited research.

In this respect, the definition of a superfood becomes paramount,

inextricable from its assertion to be an essential aspect of healthy living.

#2

DEFINING

AMBIGUITY

Defining a superfood may be easier said than done. An article

published by the European Food Information Council (EUFIC)

states, “there is no official or legal definition of a superfood.” When

asked to put forth a medical definition of superfoods, MD Melissa

Stöppler writes, the term is, “non-medical … popularized in the

media to refer to foods that have health-promoting properties … [or

that] may have an unusually high content of antioxidants, vitamins,

or other nutrients.” As Dr. Stöppler emphasizes, “it is important to

note that there is no accepted medical definition of a superfood.” With

no guidelines in place, then, the label can be freely applied to product

packaging and used in marketing campaigns without the requirement

to prove that the food is, indeed, super.

Seeking a concise definition from a dictionary has its range of variances

as well. The Oxford English dictionary defines a superfood as “a

nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and

well-being.” Whereas the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “a

super nutrient-dense food, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and/

or phytonutrients.” The amalgamation of these definitions, as suggested

by the EUFIC article, is that superfoods are “foods—especially fruits

and vegetables—whose nutrient content confers a health benefit

above that of other foods.” This definition is broad, wide-ranging, and

undoubtedly inclusive to foods that don’t boast of super capabilities.

The term itself does not influence the nutritional aptitude of any food,

whether or not it carries the label.

A WORTHY

#3 CAUSE

If superfood is an unregulated marketing term used to play up the

nutritional value of certain foods, is it worth seeking them out? The

short answer is a resounding yes, with an important qualification. Best

summarized by a CNET Health and Wellness article, “[superfoods]

are not magic substances, but foods that are especially healthy for you,

and there are dozens of them.” A statement from the EUFIC supports

this sentiment, the distinction between the label and the science

behind the food, “indeed, the science in this area [of superfoods] has

demonstrated that certain components of food and drinks may be

particularly good for you.” The inference, therefore, is that while the

term superfood may be a generic indicator of health benefits, and the

foods promoted as such do often provide valuable nutrients, even if

not as “magical” as marketers claim. >>

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


outdoor spin

#4

CHOOSE

YOUR SUPER

When seeking out nutritionally beneficial foods, there may be certain components

that provide a guideline for quality. The Mayo Clinic suggests a list of four criteria for

healthy foods to meet, recommending the food meet at least three. The first two point

to nutritional benefits, “good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other

nutrients” and “high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds such as Vitamin A

and E and beta-carotene.” Both of these criteria harken back to the definitions explored

earlier and confirm the presumption that superfoods provide high-quality nutritional

value to consumers.

The third criterion in the Mayo Clinic checklist presents a commonly problematic area

for superfoods. It states the food should “help reduce the risk of heart disease and other

health conditions.” To be most accurate, such claims require meticulous research over a

period of time. Instead, superfood claims to reduce the risk of disease are often based on

an isolated component of the superfood previously linked to potential risk reduction or a

comparable health benefit.

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For example, almonds, typically considered a superfood, contain monounsaturated fat,

which, as the Mayo Clinic states, “[is] a healthier type of fat that may lower blood

cholesterol levels.” Since these nutritional components are present in a range of foods, this

should not be considered a true distinction between a superfood and another food with

similar benefits; unless linked explicitly with the superfood in question. Ultimately, it’s up

to consumers to decide whether to derive nutritional benefits from a certain superfood or

another dietary source.

The final criterion in the list is short and straightforward: “readily available.” In the

age of online shopping, this criterion becomes easily attainable for most, if not all,

superfoods. The Mayo Clinic’s criteria for healthy foods provide a blueprint for assessing

the beneficial quality of superfoods. And perhaps, in a more general sense, it encourages

consumers to make their own distinctions between foods possessing superior health

benefits, whether or not that food bears the illustrious superfood label.

#5

BEYOND

THE LABEL

In the wake of superfood dominance in the current health market, it’s vital to consider

other potentially undervalued foods. By doing so, we find that foods not labeled as ‘super’

also contain super nutrients. As noted by the EUFIC, “carrots, apples, and onions, for

example, are packed with health-promoting nutrients such as beta-carotene, fiber, and

the flavonoid quercetin.” Though notably less glamorous than superfoods such as açaí or

moringa, fruits and vegetables often considered humble kitchen staples provide their own

blend of nutritional compounds that help promote a healthy mind and body.

These foods easily meet the Mayo Clinic’s fourth health food criterion, “readily available,”

perhaps more so than lauded superfood heroes. Considering the other criteria put forth by

the Mayo Clinic, all three pass the health food test. At the end of the day, as it turns out,

a particular food does not have to be trending on social media in order to be a powerful

contributor to our overall health, instead, we can simply add more natural, unprocessed

foods to our diets.

FINAL WORD

Superfood is a non-medical, freely used label with origins in marketing. On

the whole, superfoods are simply foods with superb nutritional value. Consider

incorporating them into a whole food diet for potential health benefits. Consult

with a doctor or nutritionist before making major diet changes for a personalized

plan most effective for you. SLO LIFE


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


| TASTE

Waffles

A RECIPE FOR RESOLVE

BY JAIME LEWIS

Awaffle is one of the very rare foods whose name can be used

as a verb. “To waffle” is to fail to make up one’s mind. It is a

sin not of commission but of omission.

I recently suffered from a bout of waffling. The opportunity to raise my

voice stood before me, one of those uncomfortable grown-up moments

in which character and community hang in the balance. Incidentally, I ate

waffles for this column as I considered my options. I like to think those

tasty breakfasts gave me resolve.

We’ve all had the chance to take a stand lately. Will we or won’t we be

strong enough to admit our part in the problem? Will we or won’t we

commit to listening? Will we or won’t we be open to change?

For all my vacillating, I eventually chose to speak. When I did, the words

tasted sweet as maple syrup and melted butter on my tongue.

It’s precisely because waffles are so good that I am hereby redefining

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

the verb “to waffle.” No longer will

it represent a state of passivity or

weakness. From now on, it will signify

the determination to live differently.

From now on, when someone “waffles,”

it means they’re measuring their motives

and drinking deeply the nectar of divine

humility. Because the satisfaction of

eating a really good waffle only begins to

imitate the satisfaction of earning one’s

own self-respect.

I tasted three different waffles across

San Luis Obispo County, each of them

a delicious specimen of the dish. I hope

you’ll taste them for yourself. And, more

importantly, I hope you will waffle, early

and often. >>

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.


HIDDEN KITCHEN

CAYUCOS

This bright, beachy cafe recently opened in the space

previously occupied by Skipper’s. While waffles aren’t the

only dish on the menu, they’re certainly the highlight.

Hidden Kitchen serves sweet and savory options, all

of them sourced organic and gluten-free. The main

ingredient? Blue corn.

“I took a trip to Mexico and stayed in an AirBnB by the

Blue Corn Mama Cafe,” says Amanecer Eizner, who coowns

Hidden Kitchen with Amira Albonni. “I had a blue

corn waffle there, and got it into my mind to recreate it in

gluten-free form back home.” She tried fifteen different

recipe variations, and the winner is the waffle on Hidden

Kitchen’s menu today.

I tried one sweet and one savory. The aptly named

“Weirdos Waffle” is topped with fried banana, peanut

butter, maple syrup, and bacon ends. The “San Luis

Sunrise” has eggs, avocado, bacon ends, and HK sauce,

a creamy, savory alternative to syrup. Each is a wild and

wonderful flavor adventure, a pleasingly complex bomb of

textures and tastes. Just be sure to come hungry, as these

waffles are enormous and filling. >>

Tawnya Malia Photography

AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


FARMHOUSE CORNER MARKET

SAN LUIS OBISPO

As Chef Will Torres closes the steaming waffle maker, I smell

the tang of sourdough.

“I tried a lot of different recipes,” he says. “I really wanted

something specific, like the flavor and texture of a really good

piece of toast.” This led him to try a blend of rice and wheat

flours, as well as yeast, in a batter that ferments overnight.

“The rice flour makes it more crunchy,” he says. “When we

tried it, we knew this was the one.”

It’s the Farmhouse waffle’s crackling exterior that really sets it

apart from others. Loaded with peach preserves, red and white

raspberries, pecan granola, a massive ball of salted butter, and

bourbon-aged maple syrup, it’s more dessert than breakfast.

Eaten amid the colorful, buoyant decor of this new restaurant,

it appeals to all five senses.

Pro tip: if you like the Farmhouse waffle, pick up a bag of

Anson Mills rice flour in the Farmhouse Market, located

adjacent to the restaurant. Take it home and try your hand at

making this perfectly crispy waffle yourself. >>

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


LOUISA’S PLACE

SAN LUIS OBISPO

Anyone who’s lived in SLO but hasn’t visited Louisa’s

Place hasn’t fully integrated, in my opinion. This pint-sized

luncheonette has been serving diner dishes since 1976, and is

locally beloved for its authenticity.

“We make Belgian waffles,” says Aubrey Pyle, who purchased

Louisa’s from the previous owners after having worked there

for many years. She tells me that the thickness, size, and

leavening are what make them Belgian-style.

Pyle shares that her batter is made fresh daily, and guests can

choose between a classic waffle or one with either bacon or

pecans baked in. I opt for the pecan waffle (which tastes like

butter pecan ice cream), served with warm syrup, whipped

butter and a dusting of powdered sugar. Its lack of fussiness,

down to the speckled stoneware plate it’s served on, make

this the stuff of classic waffle legends. I eat half and pack the

remaining into a to-go box for my kids. After all, they need

an education in waffling too. SLO LIFE

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


| WINE NOTES

Historic

Pairings

BY LIBBIE AGRAN

he British Journal of Psychology recently reported on the

connection between wine and music. According to the

article, there is a link between what you hear and what

you taste. Listening to music may stimulate the part of

your brain where taste and aroma are processed. And

independent research in the wine industry indicates

that hearing music can influence your perception of

characteristics such as acidity, fruitiness, and astringency

of the wine you are drinking. TOn the Central Coast, there is another powerful connection between music and

wine, as many local musicians have become legendary winemakers during the

last two hundred years.

The music we celebrate in the Central Coast may be as old as the Mission grape

variety, Listan Prieto, planted by the Spanish Franciscans two centuries ago.

Catholics still sing hymns and prayers in the Spanish Chapels at local Missions

once surrounded by prolific vineyards in San Luis Obispo, the Edna Valley, and

San Miguel.

When Mexico revolted against the Spanish and won their independence in

1822, they acquired ranchos and vineyards. Famous for their fiestas and musical

celebrations, the Mexicans contributed the traditional folk

guitar to our musical genre on the Central Coast.

Various ethnic groups settled in SLO County after

California became a state

in 1850; they planted grape

varieties here that originated

in Croatia, France, Spain,

and Germany. They also

brought their pianos around

Cape Horn and a variety of

instruments to make music

after a hard day’s work.

These winemakers composed

music, and organized bands

to perform at local concerts,

picnics, and civic events.

William and Barbara Ernst, the

first of seven generations still

farming on Union Road in Paso

Robles, planted over twenty-five >>

LIBBIE AGRAN is the

Director of the Wine

History of San Luis Obispo,

dedicated to collecting,

preserving, and presenting

the intriguing local wine

history.

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


PEACE. COMFORT. HEALING.

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Sunday Services

Listen live on Sundays at 10 am or join audio

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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


Ignace Paderewski

Norm Goss with instructor

grape varieties in the 1880s making award-winning wines, including

Champagne and Sparkling Tokay. Their son, Will Ernst, loved music

so much he practiced his violin while he ran the plow team, standing

on the harrow with the horse’s reins around his shoulders. At age

twelve, he organized the Creston Band featuring a dozen brass

instruments. They played events all over the county. Ernst was later

appointed City Band Director in Paso Robles. He went on to become

a composer in New York City where he opened The Saxophone

Conservatory and trained hundreds of musicians and performed at

Carnegie Hall.

Famous Polish composer and pianist Ignace Paderewski came to

Paso Robles in 1914 for the healing waters of the local hot springs.

His doctor convinced him to purchase Rancho San Ignacio, where

he planted 35,000 Zinfandel cuttings in the 1920s. His grapes were

crushed and fermented at the famous York Brothers Winery in

Templeton. Paderewski’s wines were the first to win a gold medal

after Prohibition at the 1934 California State Fair.

The York family vineyards and winery, established in 1882, hold a

special place in local wine history as the oldest family-owned wine

business, operating for 88 years. The third-generation owner, Wilfrid

“Bill” York, was an accomplished winemaker and musician. After

graduating from UC Berkeley, York moved to San Francisco, joined

the Wells Fargo Orchestra as a violinist, and taught at the San

Francisco Conservatory. When his father’s health failed in the 1940s,

he returned to York Mountain but never abandoned his music. He

continued playing the piano and the violin as he made his awardwinning

Zinfandel.

When York decided to retire and sell the winery on the Central

Coast, he shared his plans with Max Goldman, renowned winemaker

and classical pianist. Goldman and his wife had just retired in Malibu

after almost forty years in the wine industry. York shared three

generations of his family’s history, including the relationship with

Paderewski and his 1934 Gold Medal Zinfandel. Goldman told Bill

that he played classical piano from childhood, and his signature piece

was Menuet a L’Antique by Ignacio J. Paderewski. It was fate—the

winery changed hands.

The entire Goldman family worked together to make York Mountain

Winery a resounding success. They restored the historic buildings

and replanted the vineyards with new varieties. Their tasting room

won the first awards in the county. The Goldman family combined

winemaking with musical philanthropy supporting KCBX, the

Mozart Festival, and The Paderewski Festival.

Stanley Hoffman, the first to plant Pinot Noir in the county and win

an International Gold Medal for his wines, is remembered for two

other historic events. He built the first modern winery (1972-1975) in

the Post Prohibition Era, and hosted the first philanthropic fundraiser

at a winery in support of the Mozart Festival (now Festival Mozaic),

currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Dave Caparone, a trombonist, and his son Marc, a trumpeter, are

well-known jazz musicians, often playing at the annual Jubilee by the

Sea Festival in Pismo Beach. Dave made wine history planting and

producing their noble Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and

Aglianico in the 1980s and was the first to produce all three varietals

successfully in the United States. Both father and son continue to

make music and wine at their winery in Paso Robles.

Niels Udsen decided to pair his Castoro Cellars wines with

music by hosting a monthly concert series at his Tasting Room

in Templeton. He started the tradition in 1995 with the help

of SLOFolks, a local folk music society. Twenty-five years later,

all genres of music are still enjoyed. County residents enjoy the

Lazy Local series, while other fans come from hundreds of miles

around to attend the annual Whale Rock Music and Arts Festival.

Bimmer Udsen plays the piano and son Luke sings while playing

guitar and harmonica.

Norman Goss was the first to plant vineyards in the Edna Valley. He

was a famed cellist, who played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He also became a restaurateur, providing gourmet food and wines at

The Stuffed Shirt in Orange County.

Winemaker duo Jean Pierre Wolff, a harmonicist, and son Clint

Wolff, a guitarist, have been making wine and music in the Edna

Valley for over four decades. Besides performing at the Wolff

Vineyards tasting room during event weekends, they have been

known to jam with a band of winemakers called The Crush Tones,

along with winemaker Steve Autry from Autry Cellars, whose bass

treble adorns the labels of his wines. You can catch Autry jamming

with his band, the Local Vocals.

So, this all begs the question: What music are you pairing with your

favorite wine tonight? SLO LIFE

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


| BREW

A REAL

HUMDINGER

BY BRANT MYERS

recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with

one of the founders and brewers at the newly opened

Humdinger Brewing, Lee Samways. Unfortunately,

he was distracted as he brewed beer while we spoke

by phone. It was very inconvenient for me. All that

background noise really disturbed the relaxing quietude

I was enjoying whilst lying prone in my recliner.

Luckily, I’ve known Samways for many years, and the

conversation came easy. After some idle chit-chat, we got

down to the nitty-gritty. IFirstly, when I say newly opened, their grand opening was postponed

this March, which makes it tricky to nail down their start date, kind

of like having an anniversary with someone you’re dating. However,

they have been in operation at their location in the Village of Arroyo

Grande since this spring and have been cranking out delicious beer

from day one. I’ll get to those in a bit. Still, it’s important to know

that Samways has been brewing for many years both as a homebrewer

and in collaboration with local breweries, most notably SLO’s Central

Coast Brewing, where you can occasionally find his Pro-Am offerings

on tap. The other half of the equation, co-owner and brewer, Justin

Amy was a fellow member of the South County Home Brewers

Club, where they both connected and began to dream. As a matter of fact,

it was Amy’s idle hands that started him brewing in the downtime afforded

to him while working the administrative side of a family business from the

convenience of home. Like many things in life, brewing is a hurry-up-andwait

proposition with furious work followed by the long wait for ingredients

to boil or yeast to propagate.

While talking to Samways, I wanted to ask the question burning a hole inside

me all year: “What’s with the name?” It turns out that it came naturally during

a breakout session between him and Amy. While brainstorming ideas, they

would create a list of possible names and start winnowing it down with yays

or nays, until the list got smaller. One such response to a name was that it was

“a real humdinger,” and inspiration hit. Digging deeper, Samways explained

the etymology of the word itself to me, which also answered the second

burning question I had about their logo—a battleship shooting beers out of

its cannons. Hummer, as in a powerful engine. And dinger, as in a powerful

hit. The boys hit it out of the park with bold beers and tasty offerings from

day one. Said battleship was nearly a challenge to their graphic designer, Scott

Greci of Guru Designs. He incorporated brewing equipment on the deck of

the ship after reviewing rough drafts sketches on bar napkins. I’m starting to

think the saying “get the creative juices flowing” is a direct nod to drinking

and thinking. I know it works for me.>>

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


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AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


Speaking of which, let’s talk about their beers. I was fortunate enough to try four

of their styles: two portfolio beers to showcase their daily offerings, one beer to

highlight their creative side, and one more because I really like the style and just

wanted to drink it. The foundational beers were their Fog Crusher NEIPA (hazy

IPA) and the pilsener Ships Ahoy, Krispy Boy. The New England-style IPA was

true to its roots and packed a fruity hop aroma balanced with a mild bitterness that

we expect. It’s easy to see why this is one of their most popular beers. It combines

the love Californians have for hop-forward beers with the drinkability of a softer

mouthfeel and tropical aroma of its East coast counterparts. The pilsener was crisp

with just a hint of malty backbone, which is what I want with my craft lager—a

little extra oomph to differentiate it from the more mass-produced macro brews of

the same style. The extraordinarily intricate and nuanced artwork of the can sealed

the deal. And, in the interest of education, a “crispy boy” is industry slang for a

highly quaffable brew.

I next tried the Piston Honda, a rice lager, straight from the 32-ounce crowler

can. I’ve had a few beers of this style before and appreciate the rice adjunct as a

way to give a dry and crisp finish to a beer that can often become cloyingly sweet.

Humdinger’s example was no exception, and I think it paired very well with the

warm sand under my towel and the sun’s rays on my face. A fantastic summer beer,

but it can be enjoyed just as readily on a ski slope as on a riding mower. There might

be plans to do a canning run on this one as well. I will throw money at it, so I sure

hope so. Speaking of summer, their seasonal offering of Blueberry Dinger-weisse

was a home run. It’s a kettle-soured (not to be confused with a wild ale containing

souring microbes) Berlinerweisse with a proprietary lactose blend, a milk sugar, that

has been infused with over one hundred pounds of fresh blueberries. I remarked

how fresh the blueberry flavors came through, as I’ve had my share of “flavored”

beer and knew it wasn’t scent in a bottle, and even had my reservations about it

coming from a more respectable purée. It turns out that Lee and Amy traveled

a few miles over the hill in Arroyo Grande to a blueberry farm where they spent

most of a day hand-picking all of the fruit themselves and then returned to their

restaurant kitchen where the chefs processed the fruit and readied it for the brew.

It was a harmony of sweet, lightly tart, and incredibly refreshing. If you don’t have

a chance to get your hands on one, they have plans to do raspberries in the late

summer and keep a rotation going on this farm-to-table brew year-round.

Naturally, Humdinger offers other beer styles. When asked what will be releasing

around the time of this hitting your mailboxes, Samways pointed to their exciting

collaboration with their roots at the South County Home Brewers Club. A mutually

brewed Kentucky Common will be hitting taps in August, which is an excellent time

of year for this type of beer reminiscent of the beginning of fall. This steam-style beer

can be closely described by comparing it to an original Anchor Steam with a light

flavor or summer mixed with a malt profile more related to autumnal offerings. They

are also offering another Hazy IPA Quality Time, an easy-drinking porter Browndo,

and their strawberry blonde Shevulf. Plenty of options for everyone.

I casually mentioned their kitchen somewhere back there, but according to some

locals, it’s the best food in The Village. Samways waxes poetically, yet humbly, about

their elevated pub fare. Sure they have the standard burgers and fries, but you might

also catch a compressed watermelon salad, or handmade

pasta, or even an authentic Bánh mì Vietnamese

sandwich. He touts his Head Chef Spencer Johnston

and Chef de Cuisine Nick DeShon as the masterminds

behind the kitchen. He affords them full reign over

the menu, allowing them the creativity to use seasonal

ingredients and cater to their customers’ tastes, much

as the brewhouse does the same for the drinkers. Food

and beers are available for dine-in or curbside pickup if

you are on the run. They also use Cafe Runner, another

local company, to deliver food directly to you, explaining

that their consistency and speed results in hot food fast.

Whether you get to enjoy this new establishment in

BRANT MYERS is a beer

industry veteran and

person or from the convenience of home, check out the

founder of SLO BIIIG, a

newest kid on the block and remember that drinking local hospitality consulting firm.

is supporting local so shove off from life and yell “Ships,

ahoy!” as you crack open that Krispy Boy. SLO LIFE

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020


AUG/SEP 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2020

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