SAND & SEA
& FORGING AHEAD
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1
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2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 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
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3
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 | OCT/NOV 2020
GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS . LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS
805.704.7559 License 731695
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 5
LEARN BY DOING WAS BORN HERE
CAL POLY AND LEARN BY DOING HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS OF THE CENTRAL COAST SINCE 1901.
Cal Poly students and faculty
are participating in a restoration
project at the Oceano Dunes
funded by a grant awarded to the
Horticulture and Crop Science
Department from California
Department of Parks and
Recreation. The habitat mitigation
effort aims to reduce particulate
emissions, improve air quality and
provide hands-on experiences for
students as they assist with the
seeding, growing and transplanting
of more than 200,000 native dune
PHOTOGRAPH BY CAL POLY FACULTY MEMBER MIKE BUSH
See more Learn by Doing stories at
6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
Picture from left to right: Damian Fernandez, MD; Rabab Hajar, MD; Neal Moller, MD; Daniel Zovich, MD
Don’t delay your colon
Don’t put off your colonoscopy.
A delay in diagnosis of
colorectal cancers could
decrease your chances of
survival. FCPP has expanded
its Gastroenterology practice
and offers near immediate
appointment availability in
Templeton and San Luis Obispo.
• Abdominal pain
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• Inflammatory bowel
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• Advanced endoscopic techniques
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Now accepting new patients. Make an appointment at:
Templeton: 805-434-4315 • San Luis Obispo: 805-541-1422
1220 Las Tablas Rd., Suite 1418 • Templeton, CA
35 Casa St., Suite 130 • San Luis Obispo, CA
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7
8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
NOW HEAR THIS
Love your legs again!
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9
On the Rise
10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
design + build contractors
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11
| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE
For many years, I’ve had two recurring dreams. Nightmares, really.
In the first, I’m late to a football game. The team is counting on me, and I’m sprinting to the locker room
with a massive duffle bag draped over my shoulder. No one is there because they’re already on the field. Over
the PA system, I hear the announcement: “Let’s stand for the kickoff!” I look across the plaza. It’s my high
school on a crisp Friday night. The lights are beaming down. I’m panicking as I rifle through my bag when
I realize my shoulder pads are missing. So is my helmet. The PA clicks on again to ask a question: “Where’s
Tom Franciskovich?” The crowd boos. I wake up in my bed, gasping for air in a cold sweat.
The second dream unfolds as follows: I sit down for an interview and click on my favorite, trusty voice
recorder. The tiny, red light glows indicating it’s on. For an hour, I dazzle the interviewee with incisive,
thought-provoking questions. Over and over again, I’m told, “I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but . . .”
I get one scoop after another, going deeper and deeper into the most incredible interview of my career.
Periodically, I glance at the red light to ensure the tape is still rolling. It is. I try not to smile as the interview
subject gushes on. Afterward, I head back to the office, plug the voice recorder into my computer and click “upload.” Then, nothing. The tape is blank. I
wake up in my bed, gasping for air in a cold sweat.
More than a decade ago, my wife, Sheryl, and I were struggling to launch the very first issue of SLO LIFE Magazine. I was working from a home office.
At the time, our youngest, Harrison, was only a year old. As much as I loved to have him curled up in my lap as I clanked on my keyboard, it was just
not working. He was far too interested in joining every conversation and typing along with me. At the time, it was a big leap for us, but it was clear we
needed a real, actual office.
I moved into a windowless space at the San Luis Business Center, the broom closet suite. Just down the hall from me was a fresh-faced kid who
had recently graduated from Cal Poly. Each day, when I’d go to the mailroom—praying for more checks than bills—I’d stop by to say “hello” to Jesse
Dundon. He was so happy to have moved out of his garage and into a real, actual office. When I asked him what exactly his company, Hathway Tech,
did, he explained it, but I didn’t really understand what he was talking about. Then, he would joke around and say the same thing he always did during
those quick exchanges: “Hey, you should put me on the cover!”
I would smile and dismiss him with a wave as I continued toward the mailroom, thinking to myself, “Yeah, yeah, kid, whatever.”
Fast-forward ten years. Jesse has grown Hathway into a booming technology operation with more than a hundred employees. Now, the shoe was on the
other foot, and I found myself trying to talk him into being on our cover. As a young CEO with a one-year-old son, it was much more difficult to track
him down than it had been when we first met. But I finally did. And, after much back-and-forth, we found a window of time to talk.
We sat down, and ninety minutes later, I knew I had it, a great Meet Your Neighbor story. I said “goodbye” and retreated to my office where I plugged
the recorder into my computer. The screen was blank. Nothing. Zilch. I felt a surge of electricity shoot through me. But I didn’t wake up—because I
It took a week before I could bring myself to send an email admitting what had happened. I started it like this: “Hey, Jesse, you’re not going to believe
this, but I have this recurring dream, and it finally came true.” Of all the people who could have made that dream a reality for me over the past ten years,
he was the perfect choice as he graciously sat for a second interview. And, as we talked, I fully expected to hear a booming voice announce, “Let’s stand
for the kickoff!”
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!
p.s. If you’d like to read more visit me at tomfranciskovich.com
12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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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
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If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone
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14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 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
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.
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 15
| SNEAK PEEK
ON THE COVER
behind the scenes
WITH JESSE DUNDON
BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
We met in Morro Bay, it was foggy and smoky
from all the fires. But the water was beautiful,
as always. I took a canoe out to capture Jesse’s
favorite hobby: stand-up paddle boarding. My
husband was my gondolier. We had a blast.
Jesse was great about going with the flow. I usually ask people
to do silly poses or actions, and end up loving the shot. He
was good with my jump and cheer request, in fact, I think he
would have done it on his own. He’s got a fun personality.
My boys came along with me and they were calling
out to me from the shore. They were ready to go.
Jesse was entertaining them from the dock by
holding up his board with one hand and saying,
“I’m the strongest man on the planet!” It was good
for a laugh. I like the colors hiding in this shot.
We saw lots of harbor seals. Then Jesse pointed out a
momma and baby otter, one of the cutest things in the
world. The baby made the most adorable sound when it
climbed onto its momma’s belly. It was awesome.
16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
care is just
a call away.
Tele-ER Visits with Local Doctors
Our emergency services team sees more than 57,000 patients a year. That
experience allows us to quickly evaluate patients and determine the best
treatment options. We’re here 24 hours a day to answer your call.
1. Call 805-546-7990. Talk
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2. Book your Tele-ER
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3. Get your smartphone,
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ready. That’s it! Don’t
delay your care.
For a Tele-ER visit, just
For life-threatening emergencies, go to the nearest hospital or call 911.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17
| IN BOX
Take us with you!
Hey, SLO LIFE readers: Send us your photos the next time you’re relaxing in town or traveling
far and away with your copy of the magazine. Email us at email@example.com
EMERALD BAY, LAKE TAHOE
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
BRYCE CANYON, UTAH
CHRIS, KAREN, ADDI,
and BECKETT WOODS
HAWKINS FAMILY REUNION
SLO Life Magazine appearing at the
98th Annual Hawkins Family Reunion Zoom-style.
18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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| IN BOX
SLO LIFE travels!
CRATER LAKE, OREGON
YELLOWSTONE RIVER, MONTANA
CORY and LAURA HEIDEN,
WARREN and KIM NEWHOUSE
HORSESHOE BEND, ARIZONA
TOM and CAMI RICHARDS,
BECKY and DAN KALLAL,
NATALIA and MIKE WELLMAN
ERICK and JENNIFER WAND below the Cháteau Batie
ruins in the Rhône Valley wine community.
20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
Please send your photos and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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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San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo’s City Council approves a proposal from Jamestown
Properties to build a mixed-use, six-story, seventy-five-foot tall building in
the heart of downtown, saying the project will create much-needed housing
and stimulate the local economy. The development at 1144 Chorro Street will
demolish the existing structure (home most recently to Sports Authority and
Copeland’s Sports) and replace it with 30,000 square feet of commercial/retail
space and fifty residential units. In comparison, the County Government
Center is sixty-five feet tall and the City’s parking garage at Palm and Morro
streets is eighty feet tall.
City staff will be using a new screening tool for analyzing investments after the
San Luis Obispo City Council votes unanimously to proceed with a plan they
say better reflects community goals about how it invests seventy-five to seventyeight
million dollars of the public’s money. The more socially responsible
investment approach adds weapons manufacturers to the list of industries in
which the city does not invest, which currently includes tobacco products and
the production of fossil fuels. City staff may take the policy a step further by
expanding into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies, a
far-reaching philosophy that not only looks at end products, but how products
come to be and how a company treats its workforce.
A fire starts near Dolan Canyon in Big Sur. Believed
to have been started by arson, the Dolan Fire keeps
growing into the Ventana Wilderness area, where
according to the U.S. Forest Service a California condor
research facility is destroyed. One month and 128,050
acres burned later, the fire has destroyed at least nineteen
structures and is only forty-six percent contained.
Highway One is closed between mile post twenty-five
and mile post ten. Nacimiento-Ferguson Road is closed
to all traffic from Highway One to the Fort Hunter
Liggett base boundary line. Smoke driven by offshore
winds causes the SLO Public Health Department to
issue air quality advisories for several weeks.
The SLO Arts Leadership Roundtable announces the
results of its audience perception survey concerning the
future of live performances in SLO County that was
distributed in mid-July. More than 3,400 SLO County
residents responded to the survey, the second in a series
that the Roundtable intends to repeat every two to
three months until performance venues can re-open in
the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents are
being asked their opinions on public safety and health
regulations, motivators for attending live events, and
their experience with virtual performances. Key findings:
thirty-nine percent say they will wait for a vaccine before
returning to live performances; seventy-eight percent say
placing limits on audience size is very important; fifty-five
percent have attended at least one performance streamed
online in the last month.
22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
News & Updates
Community leaders submit an application officially
making the case for why Vandenburg Air Force Base
should be home to the US Space Command. Provisionally
headquartered at Colorado Springs, the command in charge
of space warfare is looking for a new home that will house
1,500 military personnel, including a four-star general and
international liaisons. Vandenburg’s nomination is one of
several from more than two dozen states looking to house
the new headquarters. The Air Force plans to announce its
preferred location in January 2021.
Tianna Arata’s attorney announces to the San Luis Obispo Superior Court
his intention to file a demurrer for her case—a plea entry that does not
dispute the facts of the prosecution’s claims, but argues that the facts do
not justify legal action. Arata, a local activist and former Cuesta College
student, was charged with five felonies and three misdemeanors for events
that occurred at a Black Lives Matter protest she helped organize in San
Luis Obispo in July. Eventually the charges were lowered to thirteen
misdemeanors, and the court is scheduled to hear her plea on October 22.
The History Center of San Luis Obispo County announces
the creation of the Dallidet Adobe Endowment Fund to
support the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens. An initial $50,000
pledge has been made to maintain the adobe and its gardens
in perpetuity in memory of Peter R. and Carol F. Andre
by Jim Andre (their son) and Paul Kellogg. Attorney Peter
Andre was instrumental in the preservation of the Dallidet
Adobe, in which the Dallidet family lived from the 1850s
through the 1950s, and in the creation of the History Center
in 1953. Due to current restrictions, guests may only visit the
gardens at 1185 Pacific Street on Sundays, and virtual tours
of the adobe are conducted on Thursdays.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office
drops all charges against Francisco Orozco, a twenty-yearold
Oakland man accused of a mass shooting during a
concert in May 2019 at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular
Recreation Area that sent six people to the hospital.
Orozco, who could have been sentenced to prison for life
if convicted on all charges and enhancements, spent four
months in jail before being released on bail in August 2019.
The District Attorney’s Office said the dismissal was the
result of additional investigation, forensic testing, and an
Correctional Officer Ricardo Ancheta, a California Men’s Colony employee,
is among ninety-eight people honored during the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation’s thirty-fifth annual Medal of Valor ceremony.
For coming to the aid of a crash victim whose SUV was wedged under a
semitrailer truck, Ancheta received a Silver Star Medal, which honors “acts
of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances.” In a pre-recorded
ceremony, CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said Ancheta and the other honorees
“show that the bravery and professionalism of our staff extends beyond
institution walls and into the community.”
Hundreds of mourners gather in front of the SLO County Courthouse
to hold a vigil for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died
September 18 at the age of eighty-seven from complications of metastatic
pancreatic cancer. Local speakers from Women’s March SLO and Planned
Parenthood Central Coast encouraged attendees to vote in the November
election to honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. SLO LIFE
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23
The name recently selected from more
than 200 submissions for the street
connecting ACI Jet’s new headquarters
to the SLO County Regional Airport.
Spanish for “aviators,” the name honors
the region’s history.
The number of local, community-based
organizations dividing up more than
$1.6 million allocated by the County Board
of Supervisors in August from General
Fund Support and Tobacco Tax Settlement
funding to benefit the community’s health
For the twenty-eighth consecutive year, Cal
Poly was named the best public, master’slevel
university in the west by U.S. News
& World Report’s annual America’s Best
Colleges guidebook. It also puts Cal Poly
in the top “Best of the West” slot for most
24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
The number of brush fires reported at the
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation
Area in August, leading to speculation that
someone could be starting the fires. They
ranged in size from about three-quarters of
an acre to eleven acres and occurred between
August 13 and 29. The causes of the fires
remain under investigation.
A new San Luis Obispo full-service yard
sign rental company that is “spreading joy
one letter at a time” by offering birthday,
graduation, seasonal, and just about any
other wording you might want to see on
a front lawn to help families celebrate
The number of Cuesta College students
receiving some 454 scholarships during
the institution’s annual fall scholarship
reception in August to celebrate 2020-
2021 recipients and donors alike. What
the number doesn’t include is just as
impressive: 978 additional students received
Promise Scholarships, which offer two full
years of fee-free education to SLO County
high school graduates.
Monterey Bay Community Power’s
new name—short for Central Coast
Community Energy—and its new
strategy to achieve 100% renewable
energy by 2030, according to an
announcement in September that says
the agency wants to reflect its expanded
service area, up to twenty-nine cities and
four counties in California.
An initiative launched by the City of
San Luis Obispo to gather information
from those who live or work in the city, to
identify strategies for building community
resilience to the impacts of climate change.
The intent is to build a roadmap for the
opened up a
lot of career
That’s from Ariel Rasgado, a graduate of
the apprenticeship program that provides
students with base skills needed to go
straight into the workforce and fast-tracks
the on-the-job training process for local
employers. It’s sponsored by SLO Partners,
an initiative of the San Luis Obispo
County Office of Education to address
college and career readiness among the
county’s population. SLO LIFE
Leadership you can trust. Civility you can count on.
VOTE for the only NON-PARTISAN candidate for MAYOR.
“BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD”
I’m a downtown business owner, environmental
steward, interior designer, wife, and mom. My candidacy
for Mayor is inspired by the collective need to reinforce
San Luis Obispo’s foundation — building upon our core
values of solvency, safety, civility, transparency,
and accountability in our city government for the
community we serve. It is time we come together and
focus on serving our commUNITY first.
Bring Non-Partisan Leadership to City Hall
Restore Community Trust in Public Health & Safety
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Oppose Permanent 1% Local Sales Tax Increase
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Implement Balanced Environmental & Energy Policies
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Ad Paid for by Cherisse Sweeney for San Luis Obispo Mayor 2020 - FPPC ID #1429010
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25
The total amount of grant funding
The Community Foundation San Luis
Obispo allocated in 2019, according to
its recently published annual report. Of
that total, $945,243 supported health
and human services, $624,171 provided
community enhancement activities,
$549,984 was distributed for education
and scholarships, and the remaining
$373,316 went to the arts.
A new option for patients unsure about
whether to go to an emergency room.
Tenet Health Care Central Coast has
opened a phone line that allows you to
talk to a board-certified ER physician
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a
week, from the comfort of your home.
All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or
computer with a functioning camera.
is an exceptional
leader and an
expert in policing
“We have seen
our airport grow
from a modest
to a true gateway
to the world.”
County Administrative Officer Wade
Horton attributing the bright future of SLO
County’s Regional Airport (SBP) to the
work of Director of Airports Kevin Bumen,
who is leaving after seven years to become
San Francisco International Airport’s first
chief commercial officer. In 2018, SBP was
named the seventh fastest growing small
airport in North America.
A 404-unit “life plan community” of
independent and assisted senior housing
included in the Froom Ranch Specific
Plan approved by the SLO City Council in
September. The plan will guide development
on more than forty acres of the Froom
Ranch property located off Los Osos Valley
Road, south of The Home Depot.
26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
As the outlook for the resumption of
public gatherings remains poor, PCPA-
Pacific Conservatory Theatre has
delayed the opening of its fifty-seventh
season from December 2020 to Summer
2021, with plans to produce four live
performances, primarily at the Solvang
Festival Theater. Stay tuned by visiting
The newest K-9 to join the SLO Sheriff ’s
Office is a two-year-old Malinois being
trained in apprehension and bomb
detection with his handler, Deputy Mora.
Rogue joined the force in August.
City Manager Derek Johnson announcing
the departure of SLO Police Chief
Deanna Cantrell to become the City of
Fairfield’s police chief. He said the City
will begin a national search for a new
chief in the coming months, with input
from the community on the recruitment
and selection process.
CAL FIRE and SLO City firefighters
saved a rock climber who suffered severe
injuries after she fell thirty feet from
Bishop Peak on Labor Day morning.
A CHP H-70 helicopter crew helped
firefighters move the patient, who was
flown to Sierra Vista Regional Medical
Center for treatment. SLO LIFE
Vote for the only “SLO Grown” Nonpartisan choice for Council!
SLO CITY COUNCIL
San Luis Obispo needs a voice of reason.
As a small business consultant, former Sheriff’s
Correctional Deputy, former Division One scholarship
and all-American athlete, and mentor to the next
generation of SLO residents, I uniquely understand
the current issues facing our City. My priorities are
to facilitate a prosperous and sustainable future we
can all participate in by empowering residents and
enabling opportunities for growth.
I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo and want
what is best for our entire community:
• Economic Vitality
Minimize burdensome tax increases and regulations.
Make our streets clean and safe. Prioritize
• Public Safety
Support public safety with adequate training,
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Re-zone and adapt underutilized buildings
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Solutions based upon conversations with all
@ABForSLO | www.AbriannaTorres.com | Ab@AbriannaTorres.com
Ad Paid for by Abrianna Torres for San Luis Obispo City Council 2020 - FPPC ID #1429012
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27
28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29
BY MARK NAKAMURA
As we made our return and descended down from
Buckeye Campground to the Salmon Creek Ranger
Station, just north of the San Luis Obispo County
and Monterey County line along Highway 1, I saw
the layers of coastal mountains bathed in the golden
yellow afternoon light. I pulled out my Canon 5D IV
camera with the 70-200mm f2.8 lens and took a few
photos before packing up and catching up with my
friends, who are very understanding of my passion for
Buckeye Trail is located in the Silver Peak
Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, which
holds iconic views along the rugged Big Sur coastline,
especially at higher elevations. Just the first couple
of miles into the hike will give you exceptional vistas
of the coastline looking back into San Luis Obispo
County. The three-and-a-quarter-mile hike ascends
to the campgrounds. The higher you go, the better
the view, but you don’t have to make it to Buckeye
Campground to make your trip worthwhile.
Beginning around 8 am we arrived in Buckeye
Campground by 10 o’clock that morning, where we
relaxed. There is a spring at the campsite, but we
brought our own water to be safe. I brought a book
to read and a hammock. By mid-afternoon, after a
leisurely lunch, we headed back down the trail.
This photograph was
taken in the January
sun, around three o’clock
as we descended to the
trailhead, watching out for
the poison oak that lines
the trail and checking for
ticks along the way.
In my opinion, the
Buckeye Trail has
the best views of the
picturesque Big Sur
coastline and San Luis
Obispo County’s breathtaking
coastal range. Get
an early start to beat the
heat since much of the
trail is exposed to the
sunlight. 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
30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31
Newly installed as the Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo
Museum of Art, LEANN STANDISH checked in recently for a
wide-ranging conversation. Here is some of what she had to say…
Tell us, Leann, where are you from? Okay, sure. I’m
from the Midwest. I was born in Indianapolis and
grew up in that region. Most of my family still lives
back there. My folks are in Michigan and I visit there
several times a year. My father worked for Volkswagen
of America and Audi, so we moved around that area
a lot. I was a real troublemaker. My first car was a
Volkswagen Beetle, stick shift. I was the first of my
friends to get my license. So we’d pile into my Bug, way
too many of us, much more than was appropriate. It
was kind of like a clown car. We’d drive around in the
winter. If I lost control and slid over the ice, we’d all pile
out, pick it up, and put it back on the road.
What were you like as a kid? It was a very innocent
childhood. I was mostly always getting myself in trouble
for talking. And I was always up for something different
or a new experience. So I don’t know. I wasn’t really
a troublemaker. When I reflect on it, I realize, “Oh, I
wasn’t really in any kind of trouble.” But at the time I
was very disruptive. I was the oldest of four kids and I
required a lot of attention. I was terrible at sports. I was
on a softball team for a minute, and I remember sitting
on the bench and painting my teammates’ fingernails. I
was active in choir and in theater, I was an exceptional
shower and car singer, and occasionally I joined actual
What came next? I went to South Bend to Notre
Dame. I was a terrible student, so I ran away to
California before I finished. I had never traveled
anywhere ever and was sure that I was going to live
on the beach. I had no idea what Fresno was. Didn’t
realize there was no surfing there. I got a job in a lab
analyzing soil and stuff. I hated it, hated it, hated it,
and was miserable. And just on a whim, I took a job
as an assistant in a museum. It was the most perfect
career for me. It was a tiny, little museum. Everything
just clicked and I fell in love with it. I found my calling.
From there, I went to the Minneapolis Institute of
Art, then I moved to Portland to work at the Oregon
Museum of Science & History. But I was really missing
my family, so I took a job at Fredrick Meyer Gardens
and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which
is a pretty extraordinary place. It’s remarkable and
noteworthy because it’s a small community that has a
huge arts support system. Then, it was full circle, back to
the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
And then you made a stop in Miami, correct? Yes, that’s
right. It was a freezing cold day in February when I got a
call from Florida asking if I’d like to work at the
Miami Art Museum. I was like, “Yes! Get me
out of here! It’s so cold!” Anyway, as it turns
out, a small group of us built a brand-new
museum there. Still, to this day, it’s the
thing I’m very most proud of. And, while
I was there, I had this dream, a vision,
of advertising on all the taxi tops—this
was before Uber, gosh it sounds like I’m
so old, this was not that long ago—so
everyone coming out of the airport
would know about the new museum.
So, around this same time, I met this
guy at one of our fundraising events,
and I noticed he was liking everything
I’d post on social media. They call that
“deep liking,” by the way. So, one day,
he sent me a message and said, “Are you
interested in advertising on taxi tops?”
And I was like, “Yes, I love you! And, by
the way, who are you? And why are you on
my page?” [laughter] It was cute. Turns out,
he was in advertising, and he was from Fresno
originally, and he made the taxicab thing
actually happen. He had the goods. We’ve
been together ever since. He’s my person.
Okay, but why museums? I think that
museums have opened my mind. And I’ve
watched other people experience that same
sort of thing. A work of art can change you,
or speak to you deeply, or challenge you, or
make you angry, but it makes you feel. And it
makes your world bigger. So, when we moved
here, right away I thought to myself, “One day
I will run SLOMA. I really want to.” I did.
I think back now to when I was a young
person in the field. One of my mentors
talked about how museums so often
feel like a stuffy, formal existence. He
compared it to when your grandmother
had that living room furniture you weren’t actually
allowed to sit on. And you had to take your shoes
off to go into the formal living room and all of
that. He said he wanted his museum to be like the
rec room where you eat popcorn and crawled all
over the couches and stayed there for hours and
hours and were able to be yourself. I have always
dreamed of each museum that I worked with as
being the place where you just really relaxed into
yourself and discovered a bigger world. SLO LIFE
32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
Call us today
for your consultation
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33
| NOW HEAR THIS
34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
BY JOE PAYNE
IMAGES COURTESY OF NATALIE HASKINS
Born and raised in the Nipomo region of San Luis
Obispo County, Natalie Haskins has performed
her own music live across the Central Coast for
more than a decade. But not until now, after
several years of work in multiple studios with
a team of instrumental contributors, has Haskins reached a
serious benchmark for any singer/songwriter—her own full
Haskins honed her sixteen-track collection of original songs
since 2016, focusing on poetic settings of real-life feelings with
an Americana twang in her May-release titled Puhidua. The
album showcases her songwriting like no other project, with all
but two co-authored tracks featuring entirely her own lyrical
and compositional efforts. “I’ve been writing poetry since I was
a young girl, and I’ve always been interested in music as well.
Like in middle school I played flute—I was one of those kids.
In high school I was in band,” Haskins shares. “So I’ve always
been interested in the arts, and when I started learning guitar at
eighteen, that’s when my poetry started turning into songwriting.”
Growing up in a rural SLO County, Haskins’ family was
steeped in Americana and country music. Her dad, uncles, and
brothers were all into that kind music while she was growing
up, Haskins recalls, and even though genres like R&B held her
attention, her family’s influence shone through once she started
writing music. “As I got older and I started playing, I naturally
just came out sounding that way,” she explains. “I think it is
kind of in my blood as well because my grandfather was a
musician and he was an outlaw country guy. His sound was very
old school country.”
Haskins’ new album exemplifies the kind of Americana that has
risen in popularity during the last decade-and-a-half, which is
fused with country influences but doesn’t shy away from folk,
blues, and even some jazz forms. Pihidua isn’t a nitty gritty,
whiskey-obsessed album often heard from the more male side of
Americana songwriting, but a polished and artful interpretation
of real feelings like heartache and family dynamics.
Part of the success of the album goes to Haskins’ selection of
instrumentalists, who bring everything from ripping electric
guitar solos to haunting pedal steel to sensual saxophone breaks
to her songs. Locals may recognize some of the names on the
album jacket, with contributors like Jon Clarke, Joe Koenig,
and Terry Lawless. “I felt really lucky because I would kind of
hand them the idea, and whatever their skill was, they would
just elevate it to another level,” Haskins reveals. “That was fun
for me to watch, because having a song is kind of like having
a child, you’re really connected to it, you gave birth to it, but
you’re sending it out to the world and hoping someone loves it.
I just feel like the musicians collectively on the album made the
songs so much better than I ever could have envisioned from
The album includes tributes to her
own progenitors. First, the use of
an heirloom Martin guitar from
her grandfather, which was used to
record multiple tracks. The guitar is
also featured in some of the album
artwork, which Haskins said was an
important part of the project. As a
“90’s kid,” the physical product was
important to her, and connections to
her roots are seen throughout.
Also, the album title, Puhidia, comes
from the Native American language
of the Paiute Tribe, of which her
mother is a member. The word means
“wildflower,” and definitely illustrates
Haskins’ blossoming as a recording
artist and local performer. SLO LIFE
JOE PAYNE is a
journalist, as well as a
lifelong musician and
music teacher, who
writes about the arts on
the Central Coast.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35
| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR
36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS
A little more than ten years ago, JESSE DUNDON was living in a garden shed
on Hathway Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Each morning, he would make his
commute across the backyard to the garage where a handful of recent Cal
Poly graduates clanked away at computers in a mad scramble to launch a
new technology company. Today, he is the Co-Founder & CEO of a sprawling
enterprise that employs over a hundred people and counts some of the
country’s most respected and recognizable brands as clients. Together with
his wife and their fifteen-month-old son, he represents a new generation of
entrepreneurs who are reshaping the Central Coast economy. Here is his story…
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37
38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
kay, Jesse, let’s start from the
beginning. Where are you from? I
was born in San Luis Obispo at Sierra
Vista hospital in 1985 and then grew
up in SLO. I’m one of nine; it’s a
little bit of a Brady Bunch situation.
So, there was six original Dundons.
My mother passed away when I was a
young kid and my dad met a woman Owho had two kids already and then, together, they had one more. And
that makes nine, so I would be the eighth of nine. The oldest eight are
basically every two years over a fifteen-year span. So, there is a large
range in ages. It was competitive for scarce resources. Let’s put it that
way. Attention, rides, carpools, food, those sorts of things.
Tell us about your dad. My dad was a philosophy professor. He was
a big believer in dinner with the whole family every night. There was
always robust dialogue about various issues. As a result, a number of
my older siblings went on to become lawyers. I would say, to a fault,
we’re all very opinionated. My dad was a Cal Poly professor and then
moved us up to Davis when I was a kid. He then transferred to Sac
State, so I spent a lot of my childhood in Davis and Sacramento.
It was around that time I started mowing lawns and walking dogs,
those sorts of things. Davis is a big bike town, so I got my first job at
a bike shop the day I turned fourteen, which is the earliest you can
get a work permit. I worked there fixing bikes for the next three years
through high school.
What happened next? When I was seventeen, I came down to Cal
Poly to study Industrial Technology. I was in the Santa Lucia dorms.
On the first day, I met my business partner, Kevin Rice, there in the
dorms. We’ve been friends ever since. While we were in school, Kevin
ran the local branch of a residential house painting company. They’d
set up college students to do house painting jobs in their hometown.
He managed a crew here. I did a similar thing for a screen-printing
company. My job was to go out and drum up business from the
campus clubs, and fraternities and sororities, and sports teams, and
stuff like that for T-shirt orders and apparel orders. Also, I played
rugby in high school and in college and, at that time, they had a
five-year eligibility window for collegiate rugby. So, you could either
take five years to get your bachelors and play all five years, or you
could do a four plus one program and get your bachelor’s in four and
then as long as you got your master’s at the same school, they would
extend your eligibility. And, so, I was one of the few on the team that
decided to graduate in four and then stick around for a fifth year. And
I was on the fence actually, I almost left and didn’t do the master’s
program and almost took a job at Shopatron. Then, I just decided to
stick around and get my masters and play another year of rugby. So,
after I graduated with my bachelor’s, that summer we started a carpet
Interesting… We looked at the map and we said, “Hey, in San Luis
Obispo there’s 20,000 students or so. Let’s say four or five to a house,
which means there’s four or five thousand student houses in town,
or apartments, and they all need to get their carpets cleaned every
summer when they move out.” We said, “If we could get that, it’s
a market value of a hundred bucks or so per house, so if we could
get a certain percentage of this market it would
work.” And we’d basically do a similar model to
the house painting Kevin did, where we would
line up jobs all spring and then do carpet cleaning
all summer. Then we could test it out one year
in San Luis Obispo and then scale it out similar
to how the house painting thing worked, or how
my screen printing thing worked. So we started a
company called University Steam Cleaners. This
was 2007, so this was my fourth year, Kevin had
already graduated a little bit early and we did
all the marketing all spring, and then we did the
carpet cleaning all summer before we realized a
What did you realize? One of them was that
the sales and marketing piece was not the most
challenging part of it. Doing good work and
making your customers happy was quite a bit
different, especially when you didn’t invest in the
right level of equipment. We didn’t have a $50,000
truck-mounted steam cleaning machine, which
is what, as it turns out, any actual commercial
operation needs to use. We got the $3,000
machine and we didn’t really have any training. I
think we had a certain amount of hubris, I’d say,
going into it, and we learned a lot. We came out
of it with a great respect for people in the trades,
and doing proper training, and investing in the
right equipment to get the job done. But after one
summer of mostly doing the work ourselves and
employing some of our friends to help us with it,
we threw in the towel on that and then wanted to
get into something that was a little bit more based
in technology. Something that wasn’t hard physical
labor, so we moved on to start the next business.
What was the next venture? It was a company
called WiHire. We had lived in various houses on
Hathaway for most of college, not all of college,
but most of the time after college. It was the street
that taught us everything we knew at the time. It
was funny, actually. We started that business a few
months later. It was initially about, again, solving
another college problem right in front of us, which
was how to help college students get jobs and
internships, and how to help companies better
recruit for interns and entry-level employees.
The economy was going great, so we thought it
was going to be a great idea. We had some cool
features in our platform for things like video
resumes, and campus clubs, and interest groups
using this recruiting channel, and those sorts of
things. So, we did it, but we didn’t know anything
about technology. So once again, we chose to start
a business that we had no training in whatsoever
[laughter]. But, I will say, we had learned enough >>
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39
to know what we didn’t know. We ended up raising a little bit of
money to go out and get some help.
Where did you find it? As it turns out, what we were really good at
was finding people using Craigslist to do freelance web development
work using open source software. So, we built out our platform and
started getting some traction with it and blew through the small
amount of money that we had raised. It was just enough to initially
make ends meet. At the time, we were all packed into a house over by
Cal Poly. I think seven or eight people living in the house at the time,
and we were all working out at the garage. At one point, we converted
the garden shed. We put sheet rock on the walls and insulated it so
we could pack more people into the house and have our rent be as low
as possible. I actually lived in that garden shed as I was getting my
masters and playing my last year of rugby.
So, how was the business doing? We started getting some traction
with WiHire, but then 2008 hit and by 2009 there wasn’t a lot of
hiring or recruiting going on. It didn’t turn out to be the best timing
in terms of any employment-based business. But, at the same time,
we were doing more and more freelance web development work on
the side. There wasn’t some hard cutoff date that I could point to, but
it was sometime in mid-2009 that we realized we were earning good
money doing freelance work and just spending that money on this
other idea, which was going nowhere. So, we shut down WiHire and
focused all our effort on doing web development for people. At the
time, our company was called Hathaway Technology Group LLC,
which was never intended to be a brand name or anything, it was just
that we lived on Hathway Avenue. But whenever someone would
write us a check for the work we did for them, we’d say, “Oh, you can
just make it out to Hathway Tech.” It just sort of stuck. Somewhere
along the way, we dropped the “Tech.” Now we’re just Hathway.
How did you and Kevin split up the various responsibilities? As we
grew and started taking on more and more work, Kevin and I went
slightly different paths. He focused more on sales and marketing and
client services. I, from more of an engineering mindset, focused more
on how the technology works and was doing web development work.
I became a web developer and a system administrator and as we grew.
Naturally, I focused on the guts of the business, actually producing
the work and the financial administration, like management of the
business, and Kevin focused on sales, marketing, and client services
to bring in the business and to keep our clients happy. Fast forward
to now, and that’s more or less still our division of labor within the >>
40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
805-215-0511 lic.# 887028
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41
company. Kevin manages sales, marketing, and client services. And I
manage production and financial operations.
And what exactly does Hathway do? So, initially we started out just
doing web development work for small businesses at the depths of
the recession using open source software so that we could help them
get to market. We’d say, “Better, faster, and cheaper.” And it was really
just a hodgepodge of various businesses that we worked on, but we
specialize with these open source platforms for content management
and marketing sites. Over time, we have evolved to where we’re at
now, which is specializing in eCommerce and loyalty for a couple
of retail market segments, in particular large chain restaurants, and
coffee shops, and convenience stores, and other chain retail brands.
What about lately? How have things been? For us, we’ve always been a
company that thrives through remote relationships. When we were first
getting freelance clients, they would be from anywhere in the country.
And we’ve had a number of international clients as well, and they were
coming to us because of our expertise in particular software platforms.
So, we always had to figure out: How do we actually work with these
clients when we had never actually met most of them in person? And,
on the staffing side, we hired some folks in SLO and the core of our
operations for a long time has been local, but we were always using
contractors throughout the US and abroad for various things.
From your standpoint as a tech CEO, what’s it like to do business
here on the Central Coast? Our headquarters is still in SLO, and
it’s always going to be in SLO, but our clients and our teams are
distributed; we’re actually in a really, fortunate place when COVID
hit that we already had the equipment to go remote. We already had
the software systems and collaboration tools in place to be able to
work remotely, and our client relationships were almost completely
remote anyway, so we were able to shift to a fully remote work culture,
I would say, fairly seamlessly. There have definitely been some sticking
points that we’ve had to work through and there’s certainly pros and
cons to it, but we were pretty lucky for it to not be as big of a culture
shock to us as I’m sure it was for other companies. As we have grown,
we’ve recognized that most of our clients are not based here locally.
We’ve also recognized that while the talent market is great in SLO—
it’s picked up quite a bit over the years—it’s still very small. And, so,
we built out an office in Dallas and we have an off-shore operation in
Kiev [Ukraine]. And lately, since COVID, we’ve been really focused
on just hiring remote staff throughout the country. So the nature of
our employee base has shifted over the years. Most recently, over the
42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43
last few months, in particular, we now have a good portion of our staff
based outside of San Luis Obispo.
Let’s switch gears for a minute and talk about your family. I live
with my wife, Kayla, and our son Lucas, who’s fifteen months old.
I’ve got to say that my wife is a saint. She, unfortunately, hasn’t been
able to pursue her career as much lately. She’s a fitness instructor, and
pretty much all the gyms got shut down. So she’s been doing some
remote classes out of the house on Zoom, but she’s spent most of
the time watching Lucas and raising him, especially in this critical
time when I’ve been working remote out of the home office, which
has definitely been a challenge. But we’re very fortunate. I can only
imagine how tough it would be for a family with both parents trying
to work full time remotely out of the same house with dueling Zoom
calls and trying to balance raising a kid at the same time. I certainly
understand that not all family situations are created equal. It’s made
us understand that with our employees, too, that not everybody has
the same situation going on.
What do you do to unplug? When I’m not working or I’m not hanging
out with family most likely you can catch me out on the water. I started
paddle boarding about four or five years ago at this point. At first, what
hooked me on paddle boarding was just being a part of nature and being
able to see close up so many things this region has to offer. Then, I caught
my first wave. After I started surfing, it progressed to higher performance
paddle boards. It’s one of the few times I’m unplugged from technology.
The latest journey is SUP foiling, which is when you lift up out of the
water. I’m starting to really get the hang of it, but it’s definitely a humbling
experience. It’s almost like starting over because you’re basically flying an
airplane that’s hovering over the water and you’re still in the ocean dealing
with waves and the ground and potential hostile marine life.
Starting over. Sounds a lot like entrepreneurship. It’s a change up in
terms of a life because much of my day is based in technology. Actually
somebody asked me, “What is it about paddle boarding that is engaging?”
Maybe it’s because I played rugby for ten years, but I said something
like, “Oh, entertainment for me has got to include a little bit of physical
jeopardy, a little bit of risk associated with it.” And, actually, I have found
that I get really bored paddling on fresh water, paddling on lakes. It’s still
fun, but I can paddle out in the ocean for a couple hours and it’s much
more of a challenge with swell and the potential for sharks and everything
because, you know they’re out there. But, on a lake, there’s none of that, so,
for me, when you remove that piece of jeopardy, it’s a little bit less exciting,
less engaging. SLO LIFE
44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45
BY JEFF AL-MASHAT
ysterious, dramatic, dark, and edgy are all words that
artist David Limrite uses when talking about his own
drawings. “Inviting” is not likely the next natural word
one would expect after hearing the artist’s description.
But inviting is exactly what these gestural figures—made
with the most basic drawing tools, like charcoal and
graphite—are. They are invitations for us to not only
recognize our internal conflicts, but spend some time and
explore them a little.
The figures are drawn with volatile motion and vigorous
energy. At the same time, there is a constant tension, as
the figures seem trapped by other marks and lines on
the paper. The sense that the figures want to break free
suggests that Limrite is telling the viewer that it is okay
to have, and even enjoy, and maybe even show the world, a
darker side of ourselves.
“I am really interested in what I call the drama of
vulnerability,” says Limrite. “I am fascinated by this idea
that we are always at a crossroads, and one decision can
alter an entire life.”
Jim Dine, Edvard Munch, and Auguste Rodin are
influences of Limrite’s, all of which make perfect sense.
But the stark difference that Limrite brings with his
work is the ability to connect on a very basic level with
the viewer. He eliminates any question of distance and
instead asks the viewer to come along on the journey
The reckoning between the ghostly figures in his
drawings and Limrite’s ability to connect so easily with
his viewer is evident in the man himself. Limrite is quite
accomplished, with a rich
body of work as well as an
impressive resume. He is
disciplined in his craft, but he
is also an incredibly affable
fellow who loves to teach
and talk with anybody about
art. These days, without
the ability to connect with
students in the classroom, he
has taken to giving critiques
online and is in the process
JEFF AL-MASHAT is a
of writing a book about what writer and visual artist with
an MFA in painting from
he calls “mind management,” Georgia State University. He
which he defines as the ups and lives in Grover Beach.
downs of being a creator. SLO LIFE
46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
interior design . color consultation . remodels
(805) 234-7302 . www.aprilmarchdesign.com
Dr. Arnie Horwitz
Are you feeling overwhelmed
and confused? I can help.
- Relationship Conflicts - Parenting & Self-Esteem
- Separation and Divorce - Personal Life Planning
- Grief and Loss - Career Uncertainty
Dr. Arnie Horwitz • 30 yrs. Experience
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47
Sand & Sea
BY PADEN HUGHES
The Central Coast is one of the most beautiful
and varied landscapes which includes the Guadalupe-
Nipomo Dunes Complex, a system of dunes that covers an
eighteen-mile portion of the coastline from Pismo State
Beach to Point Sal, making it the largest remaining dune
system south of San Francisco and the second largest in
the state. Simply put, it’s huge. On top of its sheer land
mass, the Central Coast sand dunes boast of having the
highest sand-swept peak in the western coastline of the
United States. Mussel Rock Dune stands at 500 feet tall.
All that sand and space work together to create a unique
ecosystem, providing home to at least eighteen endangered
species of plants along with over 200 species of birds,
including the ground nesting California Least Turn and
Western Snowy Plover. Both species of these federally
threatened birds will begin wrapping up their breeding
seasons in October.
The unique landscape isn’t just for the birds. The early
Chumash people were the first to occupy this land, but they
weren’t the only ones. From the 1920s until the mid-1970s a
bohemian community of artists, writers, and poets known as
the Dunites called the sandy shores home.
The area has also served as the backdrop to films, music
videos, and commercials alike, including the 1923 Cecil B.
DeMille movie “The Ten Commandments.” The Egyptianthemed
sets from the film were dismantled and buried in
the dunes to prevent other filmmakers from using them—
often called The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille. If you’re
interested in learning more, some of the recovered artifacts
can be viewed at the Dunes Visitor Center.
In addition to its history and landscape, the dunes boast
an abundance of activities both in and out of the water,
including surfing, boogie boarding, kite and wind surfing,
paragliding, biplane flights, hiking, whale watching, and
cozying up around a bonfire. In fact, according to the
Whale Trail organization, Oceano is home to some of the
best whale watching on the West Coast. Gray whales can
be spotted between December and April and humpback
whales can be seen year-round.
We decided to load up our two little ones and soak in the
fun at the dunes with a family picnic. The selling point
that delivered instant enthusiasm was when my husband
dubbed the spot “the World’s Largest Sandbox” when
describing it to our kids.
With the riding area closed, the entire time we were there
we didn’t see a single other person. What we loved about
this was the sense of walking into a completely foreign
environment and experiencing all the novelty that goes
along with being somewhere so different. The sand is
surprisingly fine, soft, and clean-feeling underfoot. The
dunes were magical to explore. Even our fifteen-monthold
son was able to tackle the heights and had so much fun
sliding down the sandy hills. The highlight was watching
our three-year-old daughter run happily at full speed in
her Rapunzel dress shouting, “This is the best day ever!”
We could all use sweet escapes like this to step out of the
stresses of life and to experience something new. And if you
have managed to preserve your childlike exuberance, I can
promise you, it will feel like one of the “best days ever!”
There are a few different
access points. One is behind
the Pacific Dunes Ranch
RV Resort in Oceano. Be
careful to not park on private
property. A small trail can be
found behind the water tower
that winds its way through
beautiful bluffs. After a
fifteen-minute walk, you’ll find
yourself surrounded by sand.
You can also access the area
by taking the Oso Flaco Lake
Trail. The one-mile hike begins
from Oso Flaco Lake Day
Use Area in Arroyo Grande.
The beautifully landscaped
boardwalk studded with
picnic tables and benches
leads you on a picturesque
journey to the sand. SLO LIFE
PADEN HUGHES is
co-owner of Gymnazo
and enjoys exploring
the Central Coast.
48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49
| ON THE RISE
With several Mock Trial and Golden Tiger Awards under
her belt as well as a National Latin Exam Gold Medal,
this San Luis Obispo High School senior
is ready to step into a bright future.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I am involved in Mock Trial
and Harvard Model Congress. I also play on the tennis team and am the president
of my school’s National Honor Society. Outside of school, I am on the United Way
What do you like to do for fun? I love walking my dog, reading, and watching Avatar:
The Last Airbender!
What experience has influenced you the most? When I was in fifth grade, my parents
took a sabbatical from work and we moved to Australia and then New Zealand for six
months each. I met some amazing people and saw some incredible things while I was
there, and living in other countries has really helped contextualize my experiences in
America and solidified my beliefs and morals.
What is important to you outside of high school? Being involved in my community. I
think that there’s a lot of people and organizations who are underserved right in our own
backyard and I think that especially in our current political climate, it’s more important
than ever that we do our civic duty, and have empathy for others.
What is it that you look forward to next? I’m really looking forward to graduating
from college, to be honest. I think that having a solid secondary education will be the
springboard to achieving my personal and work goals and making some substantial
change in this world.
What is your favorite memory of all time? Probably going to a tennis tournament out of
town for a few days with the rest of the tennis team. We always have a really great time
together and it is a lot of fun.
If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? I think it would
be really cool to meet Julius Caesar. I’m taking Latin in school right now and we’re
reading some of his old writing. He sounds like a really interesting guy.
What career do you see yourself in someday? I would love to be a lawyer someday. My
interest in law started in middle school with Mock Trial, mainly because I liked the public
speaking element, but I’ve since come to appreciate the political and social implications
that law can have on public opinion and everyday life.
What schools are you considering for college? I’m applying to Stanford, a couple
Ivy League schools, and a few UCs, as well as some other great out-of-state private
universities like Barnard. SLO LIFE
Know a student On the Rise?
Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share
50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
A new view of God
AND ITS EFFECT ON
Divine Love erases suffering from
our lives as naturally as sunrise
For those ready for what's next
Only one real estate brand holds the keys to your most exceptional home and life. If
you're thinking of selling your property or looking to buy, don't hesitate to call or
text. Your best life begins with a home that inspires you.
A talk on Christian Science
Phillip Hockley, CS
Christian Science practitioner
Member of the Christian Science Board
Saturday, November 7
Attend online! Go to
3590 Broad St. #130
San Luis Obispo, CA
WilsonSIR.com | ID:
First Church of Christ, Scientist
San Luis Obispo, CA
805 543 5853
© MMXX Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates
LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office is
Independently Owned and Operated. Sotheby's International Realty and the Sotheby's International Realty logo are
registered (or unregistered) service marks licensed to Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51
52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
BY ZARA KHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53
54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
t was time to downsize. After a lengthy search, Monica
and Stu Soren found their home—and it checked most
of their boxes. It was in a welcoming location, had
great bones, and was a single
story. But it would require
a major renovation to really
feel like home. They decided
to approach their project in
phases. At first, they simply
updated a few things, so the
home felt more comfortable
and reflected the couple’s
The Sorens hired Anne Fortini
of Fortini Designs to help them
make a few strategic upgrades
so the home felt updated >>
In addition to being an
interior designer, ZARA KHAN
is also a shoe aficionado and
horror movie enthusiast.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55
and was cohesive with their personal style. Fortini
brings with her over forty years of design experience
and is known for creating functional spaces while
maintaining her clients’ individual style and personality.
After discussing their project, she recommended some
quick, simple fixes including a fresh coat of paint on
the walls and dated oak built-ins and removal of a
traditional mantel. Replacing it with large rectangle tiles
immediately updated the family room. The refresh was
coupled with a new kitchen island. These simple details
completely transformed the space.
As the Sorens continued to live in the house, they found
they thoroughly enjoyed the lifestyle at the country
club and gathering with their neighbors. During this
period the couple began to identify how the space
functioned for them and decided it was time to iron out
the wrinkles, so they invited Fortini back and assembled >>
56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57
a game plan and a team for the second phase. Some of
the home’s features left the Sorens feeling boxed in.
Their kitchen counters and cooktop hood were lower
than standard and needed to be adjusted. All of the
interior window and door headers were at six feet eight
inches and the couple hoped to open up the space and
allow in even more natural light by raising them to eight
feet. Their master suite was generous in size, but the
layout along with poor window and door placement and
height made it challenging to utilize the space the way
they wanted to. And the dated light soffits needed to be
removed in order to attain the updated look they were
hoping to achieve.
The Robertson brothers, co-owners of Green Goods,
Mikel and Brian, were added to the team and served as
General Contractor (Mikel) and Cabinet Maker (Brian).
The Green Goods team brought an easy-to-work-with >>
58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59
demeanor along with knowledge of construction and
design input, which ensured the project moved along
smoothly through each phase. It was refreshing for the
owners to see how their vision came together as the
designer and contractor collaborated and stayed on the
same page. The project was taken to another level.
One of the most challenging design elements was in the
master bathroom. There was a large space for separate
vanities, but the couple wanted to remove a dated
corner spa-tub, and really needed more closet space.
Unfortunately, the best location for the closet was also
where the windows were located above the removed
tub. After several different iterations of the layout,
Robertson thought it might work best to change out
the size of the window and break up the length of lower
cabinets with a full height closet and create a new focal
point. With some massaging from Fortini, they agreed >>
60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61
to the new design which increased the functional closet
space significantly, while giving the Sorens each their
Fortini always recommends identifying the overall
vision, she makes a space plan and works backwards
from there. This ensures that decisions aren’t made
during the construction phase that will later disrupt
the intention for the furniture, lighting, and spatial
planning. For example, as they performed the electrical
walk through with Jim Devor, owner of Green Wave
Electric, the team decided it would be advantageous to
place a floor outlet where the future sofa console would
be placed. This would prevent lamp wires from having
to be concealed and was an affordable addition since
they were already performing other electrical work.
And, as tempting as it was to explore widening all of the
windows and doors to their maximum potential, Fortini >>
62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63
kept the plan on track, taking into account the future
window coverings and wall space needed on both sides
for drapery returns.
Home improvement projects are on the rise and with
several remodels under their
belt the Sorens have some
wisdom to share: start by doing
some research and compile
examples or concepts of
your vision. Set clear budget
the most important advice—
assemble a collaborative team.
Find people who recognize the
overall goals, work creatively
to solve unforeseen obstacles
(because there will always
be a few), and choose those
you enjoy working with
who understand and can
communicate your vision. SLO LIFE
DAVID LALUSH is an
here in San Luis Obispo.
64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
LIFE IN THE SLO LANE
Ladera at Righetti
Models Now Open!
By Appointment Only. Pricing starts from the low $1 millions.
Ladera at Righetti offers five 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 and feature three and four bedrooms, and two and one-half to
four and one-half baths.
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.
Call or go online to book a personal appointment.
(805) 774-3038 www.righettiladera.com
Information Center open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65
| SLO CITY
BY THE NUMBERS
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price
Average # of Days on the Market
Total Homes Sold
Average Asking Price
Average Selling Price
Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 97.71%
Average # of Days on the Market 43
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
*Comparing 01/01/19 - 09/23/19 to 01/01/20 - 09/23/20
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®
66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
The leaves aren’t the only thing
falling this time of year.
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VP of Mortgage Lending
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C: (805) 674-6653
1065 Higuera St., 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.
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licensing information visit nmlsconsumeraccess.org. • CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67
Now is a great
time to take
advantage of low
rates to refinance
the home of
Contact me today to learn more.
| SLO COUNTY
BY THE NUMBERS
Senior Loan Advisor
1212 Marsh St., Suite 1
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Paso (Inside City Limits)
Paso (North 46 - East 101)
Paso (North 46 - West 101)
Paso (South 46 - East 101)
The The The power of of the of the the
Human Interest Rate.
San Luis Obispo
Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC
** Top 200 Mortgage Originator | Mortgage Executive Magazine
Not a commitment to lend. Programs available only
to qualifi ed borrowers. Subject to credit approval and
underwriting terms and conditions. Programs subject
68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
to change without notice. Some restrictions may apply.
*Comparing 01/01/19 - 09/23/19 to 01/01/20 - 09/23/20
69 71 $773,656 $836,068
56 54 $718,247 $738,487
SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69
| CANDIDATE FORUM
As we face the health and economic challenges of COIVD19, San
Luis Obispo needs proven leadership, creativity, and collaboration
to move us forward. Serving as your Mayor over the past four years,
I have a proven track record of significant progress on issues, values,
and priorities important to our community. I pledge to uphold this
commitment in my next term.
We have, and we will, continue to support the creation of more
housing affordability, expand access to open spaces, work with small
businesses and employees on challenges, build relationships with
regional partners to strengthen economic recovery, reinterpret the
unique culture of our downtown, prioritize fiscal responsibility,
spearhead sustainability policies that attract meaningful clean jobs,
and proactively refocus City staff to support our community in this
As Mayor, I will work to ensure San Luis Obispo is a dynamic, safe,
and resilient City of belonging with a solution-oriented mission
for the future, protecting the health of our residents, and providing
support for local businesses to thrive. As a Cal Poly graduate, former
business owner, and mother, I share your vision to evolve and adapt
our City during times of change while preserving what makes SLO
Let’s move San Luis Obispo forward together.
The biggest issue the city faces today is not in the city’s daily operating
activities, but the increasing changes trickling down from the levels of
government above our city. We have a renegade cadre of agents of the
international corporate elite that have their goal being the destruction of
this country and its democracy. We as a city need to resist this erosion of
our Constitution and our rights that is in process by the elite that want
to replace our country’s forefathers creation with a retouched version of
dictatorship. It is treason to favor these international based programs
such as identified in the UN’s Agenda 21 that express the goal of the
dismantling of our country’s industry and our rights. We need to have our
city government cease the rubber stamping of these subversive doctrines
that are coming down the line and come up with local solutions.
The first thing would be to appoint myself to the APCD and bring the
issue of the international fouling of our skies with the geo-engineering
that is genocide against the people of the world. Our protest of the
poisoning of our land, water, crops, and lungs with the patented processes
that the corporate elite are using to poison the land, water, crops, and the
air we breathe. We need to resist the lure of the grants that promote the
objectives of the UN’s Agenda 21 which are working their way down to
the cities. We need to speak out against such seditious programs and their
grants with strings attached that are designed to take away our citizen
rights. We as a city need to take back control of our governments and
get rid of the criminals that want to replace our democracy with the new
70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
Meet Sandra Marshall, Candidate for Mayor of San Luis Obispo.
Sandra moved to San Luis Obispo in 1974. With almost 50 years of
living in the small city she loves, she has seen the progress and change
San Luis Obispo has gone through. In 1991, concern for preserving the
environment inspired Sandra to found and publish Information Press, a
free local paper which remained in print until 2017. Sandra’s activism also
drove her to serve as the Director of Earth Day Alliance, through which
she has coordinated the annual San Luis Obispo Earth Day Fair since
1999 to the present.
Sandra is a homeowner, a business person, a mother and grandmother,
and the Director of a non-profit organization. She understands what is
important to the residents of San Luis Obispo:
• Saving San Luis Obispo’s historic Downtown
• Ending homelessness in our community
• Affordable housing
• Creating safer communities
• Preserving the environment and open spaces
Why Support Sandra Marshall for Mayor?
In her years of activism, Sandra has grown to believe every citizen’s voice
should be heard. Sandra will bring strong leadership, fairness, balance,
and honesty to municipal politics. For years, Sandra has expressed her
deepest personal belief with the saying “The good of the whole begins
with the individual.” The urgency of today’s challenges has inspired her to
amend that saying to “The good of the whole begins now.”
Preserve, Protect, Plan. That is Sandra’s three-pronged approach to
moving San Luis Obispo successfully through these challenging
times. Preserve our heritage—our charming Downtown, our thriving
businesses, our diversity of cultures and our historic architecture. Protect
our natural resources—our open spaces, our fragile environments, our
air and water. Plan responsibly—growth is inevitable, let’s plan together
how it can best happen.
To get involved with Sandra’s campaign or to offer financial support, visit
her website and follow her on social media.
I’m proud to be a Downtown business owner, land use consultant,
environmental steward, wife, and mom. Raising my family and pursuing
my career locally has allowed me the opportunity to have a first-hand
understanding that it is time for a new perspective in City leadership.
Partisan divisions have left our community vulnerable. My nonpartisan
candidacy for Mayor is inspired by the need to reinforce San Luis
Obispo’s foundation — building upon our core values of solvency, safety,
civility, transparency, and accountability. In the face of unprecedented
uncertainty, we are presented with an opportunity for mature, resolute
leadership. I look forward to stepping into the leadership role and
cultivating productive dialogue by lifting each other up and allowing all
voices to be heard.
One of my top priorities is to restore the City’s resilient economy by
upholding and enforcing transparency and accountability of citywide
financial resources. Promoting and sustaining economic stability equates
to balancing and lowering assessed property, sales, and business taxes — I
am not in support of the permanent 1% sales tax increase as it is currently
proposed. As a business owner, it is especially important for me to mend
relationships between the City and its business community. I am an
advocate for keeping goods and services local.
My goal is to restore community trust in public health and safety
by reprioritizing city spending and resources. Meeting the growing
homelessness needs with effective private/public partnerships and
resource development will accelerate results-driven solutions. I will assess
policy-driven issues through the lens of local relevance and economics.
I will support resources and practices that will result in a City where
everyone feels safe.
As an environmental steward, I have and will continue to implement
balanced environmental and energy policies. By supporting regulations
based on facts and data, collaborating on policies that promote
economically-sensible conservation and sustainability initiatives, we
can collectively protect the livability of our neighborhoods and the
preservation of our open green spaces.
I am committed to bringing nonpartisan leadership you can trust, and
civility you can count on. Working together, I see brighter days ahead.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71
| CANDIDATE FORUM
I am an antiracist, pro-housing candidate who believes environmental
justice and accessibility of government programs are inextricably
linked to achieving those first two goals.
I will work towards building Racial Justice, affordable housing, and
deeper accessibility to local government, for all residents. I will help
ensure we stay on track with the newly passed Climate Action Plan.
I will work on the intersection of support for unhomed residents and
downtown vitality, because they are one and the same, not opposing
I believe in finding the cross sections of what look like opposite
points and analyzing them for real, long-term solutions. I bring this
energy to stalled projects, invoking efficiency and soothing pain
I have taken action to the best of my ability as a community
organizer, helping set up SLO CORE, a Collective of Organizations
and Relief Efforts aimed originally around mutual aid and other
support needed during COVID-19. I have a history of building
coalitions, across political spectrums, to meet the challenges we face.
I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in political science,
and CSU Chico with a MA in political science. I have taught,
researched, analyzed, published and consulted extensively in the field
of political science.
Twenty-years ago when I moved to San Luis Obispo, I felt I had
arrived at one of the most beautiful small cities in California. In
many ways, I still feel this way. However, over the last few years, I feel
there are three issues of concern which merit additional attention;
homelessness, housing and downtown parking. While I realize much
has been done by various political bodies to address these issues, I am
proposing that we undertake a far more expansive process that would
allow for greater inclusiveness and the development of diverse ideas.
I am calling for three summits starting in Fall 2021 through Fall
2022. The reason for a delayed start to these summits is that we must
first continue to work as a community in containing the spread of
COVID-19, while a vaccine is developed. Details for these summits
are on the Issues page of my website.
I would be honored to have your vote.
I have interacted with Council, both in person and via emails, to
support policy changes and make asks. I have volunteered at shelters
and organized within nonprofits.
Privately, I began work at a family business event planning company
years ago and quickly realized my skills in management and the
marriage of idealistic visioning with reality and budget constraints.
Now I believe it’s time to take my skills to government.
72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
I am running for City Council at the urging of many residents who say the
City needs my help during this unprecedented time of COVID-19, economic
meltdown, climate change, wildfires, and civil unrest. How could I say no?
I love the City of San Luis Obispo and feel called to offer my services.
My first priority is serving present City residents. I am concerned
that the pandemic and economic collapse have placed residents under
tremendous stress. Our residents deserve City Council members who
listen to their concerns and take action to protect their quality of life.
Future planning is important, but serving those, who might someday live
here, must not overshadow Council’s duty to protect the health, safety,
and wellbeing of people who live here now.
I will provide public-spirited, effective, and experienced leadership.
Building on my proven track record—six years as Mayor and six on
Council—I will continue to help solve difficult problems and get good
things done for the community. I am committed to improving diversity,
inclusivity, and public safety with the creation of a new citizen Police
Accountability committee. I support all-age alternate transportation,
workforce and affordable housing and our Climate Action Plan. I will
continue to fight for preservation of our precious resources: natural,
fiscal, historical, and environmental, including open space.
I have what it takes to lead us through these challenging times, just
as I did through the 2008 Great Recession: 1) the experience, social
consciousness and collaborative skill to work with people from all
different backgrounds; 2) the business savvy to make sound decisions
based on prudent budgeting, efficiency and accountability; and 3)
integrity, civility and respect for everyone, without playing favorites.
The new Council’s first order of business should be curbing the virus to
get the economy back on track. I will advocate required mask wearing in
public and work with all sectors to update SLO’s Economic Development
Strategic Plan. I encourage local hiring, so salaries are spent locally. I
will advocate expansion of highspeed broadband, storage batteries and
microgrids to make us a more resilient entrepreneurial center. The City
must do all it can to protect residents against blackouts, given increasing
dependence on air conditioning and the internet.
To learn more about my take on the issues, past achievements, and vision
for the City’s future, please visit my website, janmarx.com or Facebook.
Working hard and working together, we can create a thriving, sustainable
and secure post pandemic future for our City! I would appreciate your vote.
Jan Marx for City Council 2020!
No sane person runs for office—unless you have a fire in your belly that the
cold shower of putting yourself in front of voters can’t quench. I happily
served on SLO’s Cultural Heritage Committee for five years, analyzing
a two-and-a-half-foot pile of development proposals and environmental
studies, but I decided to run for City Council a year ago when the Council
wanted to ban memorials to people because “people are flawed.”
The Council didn’t ask the CHC’s advice, because we would have said
it was a goofy idea. For thousands of years people have memorializing
people. People inspire us to be our best, however flawed: hence SLO’s
9/11 memorial, with 403 upstanding rods for the 403 emergency workers
who sacrificed their lives when their best demanded it of them. No
town’s ever suggested banning monuments to people; we would have
been a laughingstock. But the Council and senior staff were so intent on
“Council unity” they went charging ahead—until dozens of SLO citizens
This situation arises when elected representatives get out of touch with
the people they represent. There’s a structural reason. SLO has a “weak
mayor” system; the city manager is basically our CEO and the Council
the oversight board. Only a rare individual like Ken Schwartz—who had
eight years on Planning Commission, then 10 as mayor—can take the bit
in their teeth and bring substantial change.
Our council doesn’t have anyone with that experience, vision, and drive.
The city manager calls the shots and allows symbolic accomplishments;
in return, Council doesn’t ask awkward questions. Like why Monterey’s
city hall overhead is 10% of that city’s operating budget and San
Luis Obispo’s is 19%. Why SLO’s Police Department budget is,
proportionately, a fifth more than Monterey’s but our Parks Department
budget barely a third the size.
SLO’s budgets have gotten way out of whack with comparable cities. So
have our government values. Decades of Councils have condemned our
last working-class neighborhoods to be replaced by expensive condos.
That’s something our preservationists and affordable housing advocates
can have common cause on.
The Council recently declared a car-free, carbon-neutral future–then
approved a massive new parking garage. Since then, 5,500 square miles
of California have burned, and Cal Poly’s reached a Death Valley high of
120F. In these times, symbolism doesn’t cut it.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73
| CANDIDATE FORUM
ANDREA (ANDY) PEASE
It has been my honor to serve on the SLO City Council these past four
years and I’m excited to be running for re-election. Despite the challenges
of our time, I am confident in a bright future for our community. I have
a vision for San Luis Obispo that is sustainable, inclusive and thriving. I
have a balanced approach and listen to all perspectives. And, as a council
member and a business owner, I have the experience to be effective. We
have accomplished a lot over the past four years, and going forward, I will
build on that foundation.
Economic recovery: The pandemic has been devastating to so many
businesses, and we must focus on recovery. Starting in 2017, we gradually
tightened our city budget by almost $9 million and planned for longterm
fiscal health, putting us in a stronger position now. After COVID
restrictions were put in place, we launched OpenSLO with parklets,
streamlined permitting and small grants. I will continue this work to
retain local businesses, while supporting head-of-household jobs, helping
address child care for working families and maintaining essential services
for all our residents.
Housing: Our council embedded new projects with requirements for
affordability and giving priority to locals, so more people who work here
can afford to live here. Access to local housing supports business, reduces
carbon emissions and is a keystone of social equity, and I will continue to
promote housing options, walkable neighborhoods and great access for
transit and biking.
As a councilman, I will work to end the culture of waste, corruption
and bloated government oozing out of City Hall, as well as put a halt
to the division pulling apart our community at its seams. San Luis
Obispo needs council members who are accountable to the people,
not to buddies in big business and extremist street activism.
Our City Council ignores the public while bowing to city staff and
supporting large developers and a marijuana mogul. These special
interests build atrocities that block our scenic views and grease the
wheels to get projects approved. The council also backs a bike riding
coalition determined to force people out of cars and onto bicycles.
I plan to build a coalition on the council that will fire the city
manager and city attorney, slash city employee salaries and place
major pension reform on the ballot. We’ll also address the veterans
left to rot on the streets and make police hand over body-cam
footage when the public requests it.
I am running for city council because I care about our community,
our residents and justice. As a councilman, I promise to serve the will
of the people.
Homelessness: We strengthened partnerships with the county, non-profit
agencies and the community to the establish and maintain the 40 Prado
homeless services center, and we added social services in the field. We
must do more, and I support developing transitional housing, deploying
social workers to those in crisis and advocating for mental health services
for all who need it.
Climate action: We established the ambitious target of carbon neutral
by 2035. We led our region in adopting community choice energy, so
we are now receiving carbon-free electricity, supporting an equitable
green economy and saving our residents money. I’ll continue the
work of climate action through open space, urban forestry, sustainable
transportation and energy efficiency.
Diversity, equity and inclusion: Underpinning all this work is my
commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We must ensure all of our
residents have a voice and access to opportunity.
I ask for your vote this November. Thank you so much!
74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
| CANDIDATE FORUM
Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, I am a small business
consultant, former Sheriff ’s Correctional Deputy, former Division
One scholar and all-American athlete, and active mentor to the next
generation of SLO residents. My strong roots in our City allow me
to uniquely understand current issues at hand.
In recent months, we’ve seen the “happiest city in America” devolve
into a community divided. Our neighbors and friends have been
branded as racist, and our police department marginalized. To my
core, I stand against racism and bigotry; concurrently, I will not
support any group that calls for destruction within our streets. We are
in desperate need of diversity of thought; this should not be a “whose
side are we on” debate but rather a “how can we work together”
conversation. It is time to shine a light on what good law enforcement
and first responders do for our community. I will ensure that they have
the tools necessary to keep our citizens safe and to continue building
a unified culture of transparency and accountability.
We’ve also recently experienced how governmental mismanagement,
burdensome regulations, and excessive taxes cripple our hard working
community members and local businesses in the face of COVID-19.
I will prioritize boosting our economic vitality by minimizing these
tax increases and regulations. I will also work to ensure that our
streets are clean and safe and that homelessness is properly addressed
through impactful resource investment.
Growing up, our house was a safe haven for foster children. As a
longtime renter and newly minted, first-time homeowner in San
Luis Obispo, I’m acutely aware of the housing challenges that we
face. I plan on re-examining existing assumptions, regulations, and
fees to make sure that the City is working in the best interest of the
taxpayers. I also plan to rezone and adapt underutilized buildings to
accommodate mixed uses, including work-force housing.
My guiding goal is to facilitate a prosperous and sustainable future
that we can all participate in by empowering residents and enabling
opportunities for growth. As a nonpartisan candidate for SLO
City Council, I strive to develop forward-thinking, results-driven
strategies to unify our community. Our City needs voices of reason.
A SLO local born and raised, I grew up on the Central Coast.
This year, San Luis Obispo residents have many choices in their
candidates for SLO City Council. I am unique in my two-plus decades
working in restaurants, hospitality, and tourism. My time spent in our
public facing businesses offer a unique skill set and perspective into the
largest economic force in our area. One that provides a living for many
of our residents and is vital to our City. I have learned to listen and to
bridge divides between people to ensure everyone has a seat at the table.
Our community faces many challenges in 2020, and there is none
more timely and far reaching than the recovery and success of our local
economy and businesses. There is not a single member of our community
unaffected by this threat. We are a bustling tourist community and the
effects of Covid-19 have been nothing short of devastating, with many
of our long-standing businesses fighting to survive. I have been on the
ground since day one of the pandemic, adapting and pivoting entire
business models to fight for ownership and employees alike. We need
representation on City Council that is prepared to fight this battle with
creative problem solving and the insider knowledge of someone familiar
with the nuts and bolts of our service industries and the tough work
ahead. I am that candidate.
My priorities in office include: Economic Recovery and Vitality, Workers
and Jobs, Civil Rights, Health and Safety for All, Environmental
Stewardship, Affordable Housing and Renter’s Rights, and Transparency
and Accountability in Elected Officials and Law Enforcement.
I am dedicated to greater community engagement in local government,
especially our youth and traditionally underrepresented voices.
In this time, we need new and creative approaches to support local
businesses and workers facing an uncertain future. I am a worker. I am a
renter. I understand the struggle we undertake to make San Luis Obispo
our home. City Government should be transparent and inclusive and
serve the people always. I am fiercely committed to making sure each
community member is heard, valued, respected, and engaged.
Join me as we work together for a successful SLO for All!
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75
Does indulging in a holiday feast have a lasting impact on overall health?
BY LAUREN HARVEY
76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
oliday traditions vary from culture
to culture, family to family, but one
commonality seems to be universal
among them all—a celebration
centered around a feast: A meal shared
with friends and relatives, consisting
of a wide variety of appetizers, sides,
entrees, and of course, dessert.
For the health conscious, the prospect
of engaging in such a gluttonous
occasion may spark some concern. I
wondered how indulging in a holiday
actually affected a person’s weight, blood
sugar, and general health.
It’s no secret extravagant meals are often
advertised as the culprit for inevitable weight
gain. Although indulging in a feast carries this
undesirable connotation, this doesn’t mean it’s
a scientifically backed truth. With the hope
that my research findings may grant some
medically justifiable permission to feast, I set
out to answer this question: For the person in
average health, did eating a holiday feast really
incur a negative impact on general health? >>
LAUREN HARVEY is a
creative writer fueled by a
love of cooking, adventure,
and naps in the sun.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77
of older adults at risk for Type 2 diabetes. The study, co-authored by
Loretta DiPietro, a professor at George Washington University’s Milken
Institute School of Public Health, found that “short post-meal walks
were even more effective at lowering blood sugar after dinner than a
single 45-minute walk taken at mid-morning or late in the afternoon.”
As postdoctoral research fellow Andrew Reynolds explains, “The
muscles we use to walk use glucose as energy, drawing it out of
circulation and therefore reducing how much is floating around.” A
short walk can combat the effects of blood sugar spikes. For those with
diabetes or other medical conditions impacted by blood sugar, a walk is
not sufficient replacement for doctor-approved medical treatments.
In addition to balancing your blood sugar, walking after your feast
provides digestive benefits. Sheri Colberg-Ochs, a researcher at Old
Dominion University explains, “Exercise stimulates peristalsis, which
is the process of moving digested food through the GI tract.” A short
walk helps your feast move through your digestive system, which could
help relieve some bloating or the overfull feeling we experience after a
larger-than-life holiday meal. Hopefully, this provides peace of mind—
to enjoy the meal and focus more on what you can do after you put the
fork down, rather than scrutinizing everything that goes on your plate.
Dr. Stephen Juraschek, a primary care physician at Beth Israel Deaconness
Medical Center in Boston, breaks down the science behind what actually
happens to your body when you enjoy a big meal. One common shortterm
effect includes the overstuffed feeling caused by your stomach
physically expanding to accommodate large amounts of food.
Other short-term effects include spikes in blood sugar, blood pressure, and
cholesterol markers—the aftermath of eating starchy foods high in carbs
as they convert into glucose. However, these spikes are temporary and
“should come down, usually within a couple of hours,” says Dr. Juraschek.
While these processes happen after the consumption of any meal, the
effects are amplified the more we eat.
Dawn Jackson Blather, RD, provides some myth-busting insight on the
long-term effects of holiday feasting, “What you’re [eating] for a holiday
here and there is not going to have any lasting impact on health and
weight if you’re getting back to your normal healthy-ish eating afterward.”
And, as Dr. Juraschek adds, “It’s really more of a long-term pattern of
eating that we worry about.” It seems then, one feast will not make or
break your general health.
Instead, it’s the rest of the year, and all those days between holiday feasts
that truly impact our long-term health, despite what diet culture may
want you to believe.
While lounging on the couch after a Thanksgiving feast may seem
like the best way to recover, prefacing your relaxation with a ten- to
fifteen-minute walk can help your body recover even faster. A 2013
study published by The American Diabetes Association observed the
effects of a fifteen-minute treadmill walk on the blood sugar levels
Everyone has their own strategies leading up to the big feast. Some
people fast all day, in an effort to save room for the big meal, while
some boost their exercise in a preemptive strike against excessive
calories. Still others decide to fully embrace the feast, complete with
post-meal nap. So what’s the best strategy?
Registered dietitian Leslie Bonci says, “Fasting [before the feast]
is typically not a good idea.” Instead of starving your body in
anticipation, try to stick to your everyday meal schedule, “but stop
eating four to six hours before the main event.” Staying as consistent
as possible with your eating and exercise habits may be the key to
holiday feasting without feeling too full to move.
A small study, led by University of Michigan graduate student Alison
Ludzki, asked participants to consume thirty percent more calories
daily for seven days while maintaining their normal exercise routine.
The results of this early study aren’t enough for anything definite,
however, researchers found that “a week of gluttony did not affect
glucose tolerance” in participants who exercised regularly.
Additionally, the research showed that consuming excess calories “had
no effect on markers of inflammation in volunteers blood or tissue
samples…[and] no change in lipolysis, a chemical process by which
the body breaks down fats.” This study and its initial findings support
the notion promoted by many dietitians—consistency, more than
anything, is key.
According to McKenzie Flinchum, RD, LD/N, “There is no need to
add extra workouts to burn off calories or skip meals; just go back to
your [daily] healthy diet and workout regimen.” It seems then, that
consistent exercise promotes greater metabolism, enabling your body
to better handle gastronomic anomalies like a holiday feast.
If you are feeling sluggish, Flinchum suggests focusing “on consuming
a lot of veggies and lean protein the next day.” This acts to balance out
what is already being digested in your system. Here, steadiness, balance
and being kind to your body is paramount to feasting freely. >>
78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
The holiday season is just beginning, so let us not forget the reason for our feast-centered
gatherings. Raphael Konforti, Youfit Health Club’s national director of fitness, provides
us with an important reminder to put it all in perspective, “One salad doesn’t make you
healthy just like one delicious [holiday] dinner doesn’t make you unhealthy.” It’s with
this in mind that we arrive at the crux of our findings—enjoying a holiday feast is not
detrimental to overall health.
As Flinchum states, “Indulging on [a holiday feast] will absolutely not ruin your diet.”
Flinchum expresses the most important sentiment as such: “Enjoying the holiday events
and festivities is all part of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.” So next time you feel
a pang of guilt for loading your plate at a holiday dinner, or someone throws a critical
You’re-going-to-eat-all-that? comment your way, you can answer confidently, with a smile,
“Yes, yes I am.”
Stay present in the moment and enjoy the feast, however you choose to celebrate it. After
all, it’s occasions like this that we cherish as some of our fondest traditions, whether your
holiday feast is a buffet of secret family recipes, ordered prepared from a grocery store, or
picked up curbside as takeout. No matter how your holiday looks, enjoy it and remember
you have permission to feast freely!
Our daily diet and exercise routines affect our overall health more greatly than one
day of all-out feasting. Enjoy the moment, stay consistent in exercise, and embrace
the blessing of a holiday feast. As always, attend to individual health conditions as
directed by your doctor. Happy holidays! SLO LIFE
3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo
805 549 0100
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81
THE SWEETEST WAY TO GET TENDER AT THE BONE
BY JAIME LEWIS
As a treat to my husband last spring, I
indulged in a box of high-quality locallyraised
meat from Larder Meat Company.
The box arrived on my doorstep, beautifully curated with a seasoning
pouch, recipe card, and enough tasty cuts to keep my beloved wellfed
for a long time. I called Larder’s owner and local food champion
Jensen Lorenzen to ask how to cook the plate ribs in the shipment.
He patiently explained how to prepare them, and I followed his
instructions to the letter, filling the house with the aroma of garlic
and thyme. Then I dutifully brought them out to the grill to finish
with a gentle sear.
My mistake was small but fatal: I walked away from the ribs. Who
knows why? Maybe to start a load of laundry, check my email, or
prep some veggies; I don’t remember.
What I do remember is discovering an
angry column of smoke streaming from
the lid of the grill. My precious ribs had
caught fire and no one had been there to
save them. I lifted the lid and looked to
grab what remained with my tongs. The
smoldering nub I found after the smoke
cleared resembled a hockey puck.
Since then, I’ve decided to leave ribs to
the experts. I recently visited three local
establishments that specialize in ribs,
each in their own special way. >>
JAIME LEWIS writes about
food, drink, and the good
life from her home in San
Luis Obispo. Find her on
82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
STICK TO YOUR RIBLINE
I walk into the Ribline in Grover Beach with my kids
during a break in their homeschooling, and I try to turn
it into an educational experience. Owner Brian Appiano
makes the teachable moment extremely tasty for us.
Since Appiano purchased The Ribline in 2010, the hottest
menu items are ribs and tri-tip. (“Everybody wants tri-tip in
this town,” he says with a grin.) He explains the differences
between St. Louis Style ribs, baby back ribs, and spare ribs
on a pig, and plate ribs and short ribs on a cow. Two towers
of ribs arrive, rubbed with The Ribline’s universal seasoning
(which goes on their fries, chicken dishes, etc.) then cooked
low and slow before being sauced. The beef ribs are meatier,
with more umami saltiness, while the baby back ribs are
juicy, delicate, and sweet.
Appiano mentions that his ribs have gone undefeated in so
many Cal Poly rib cook-offs that none of the competition
even bothered to show up the last three years. I grab a
toothpick and tell him I’m not at all surprised.>>
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83
HEY BIG MAMA
When I meet manager Kelly Ahumada at G. Brothers
Smokehouse in SLO, she tells me her last name means
“smoked,” which is a happy coincidence at this wellknown
BBQ joint near Cal Poly. She introduces me to
the owner, Leo Garcia, who explains the different styles
they prepare, including Texas BBQ, Kansas City BBQ,
and others. As for ribs, he says they go through about 150
pounds of ribs each week.
“Have you met Big Mama yet?” Ahumada asks me, and
Garcia walks us over to a very serious looking smoker. I
peak inside Big Mama and find several racks of dryrubbed
ribs lounging there. Garcia tells me these ribs will
be smoked four hours before being served; they won’t
be sauced unless someone asks for it. I ask for it on my
spare ribs, and take an order home with me. Sticky, tender,
smoky, and sweet, the ribs go beautifully with two slices of
Texas toast and coleslaw for lunch. >>
84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85
HIGH ON THE HOG
Like G. Brothers, Oddette Augustus doesn’t sauce her ribs.
“The meat should stand on its own,” she says, and adds: “That
should tell you something because I’m the sauce lady and I’m
Indeed, Miss Oddette’s Creole Kitchen has been pumping out
BBQ sauce for seventeen years on the Central Coast. Based
out of Paso Robles, Augustus is a certified canner as well as
a caterer. Lately, she’s been preparing meal deals to feed four
people, and her ribs are famous, so I got in on that deal. I
pulled up at Haven Properties where she does a little pop-up
in the parking lot every other week to receive a hefty rack of
pork back ribs plus a container of killer creamy potato salad.
I also picked up a jar of her “Special Report” BBQ sauce. She
tells me she learned how to make it from her “Granga,” her
The ribs, she says, are seasoned very simply, then put in the
smoker for four hours. Then she cures each rack in foil before
selling to customers. At home, I unload the rack of ribs, the
potato salad, and the sauce (which I end up using on the ribs
because it’s so delicious) and then I dig in. The combination
is sweet and salty, the magic formula that makes ribs taste so
irresistibly good. SLO LIFE
86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87
| WINE NOTES
BY ANDRIA MCGHEE
When we are out wine tasting, we hear the
names Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio all the time.
I thought I would invite Lagrein, a red wine
grape variety, to the party and introduce you
to a new flavor palette. It’s similar to Petite
Sirah though it stands on its own with a
dark berry twist. See the potential in a new
friend and find out if it’s a match.
Originally, the thick-skinned grape was grown in the northern Italian region
called Alto Adige (high up). Known as the meeting point of the Alpine and
the Mediterranean and one of Italy’s smallest wine growing regions, it nuzzles
up to beautifully jagged peaks of the Dolomites on the Swiss and Austrian
border. The region is known for their aromatic whites, such as Riesling and
Pinot Grigio—Lagrein is similarly fragrant and won’t disappoint. The soil is
laced with limestone, similar
to the famous soil in Paso
Robles where we find Lagrein
locally grown in French Camp
Vineyards. Wines from Lagrein
grapes tend to be strong and
full-bodied with flavors of plum
and wild cherry. When made
well, Lagrein wines can offer an
alternative to more well-known
wines like those made from
Cabernet Sauvignon. Our
local winemakers have made
something truly lovely with
these bold, dark berry flavors. >>
ANDRIA MCGHEE received
her advanced degree in
wines and spirits from
WSET in London and enjoys
travel, food, wine, and
exercise as a means to enjoy
those around her.
88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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2018 Lagrein // $39
Silver SF Wine Competition
Are you still wondering about this elusive grape?
Stroll down First Street in Avila Beach and you’ll
find Alapay Cellars. Take a moment and taste their
2018 Legrein on the patio. Alapay, a Chumash
word for heavenly, captures the meaning with their
tasty wine and friendly tasting room staff—the
perfect fit for the flip flop culture of this tight-knit
Winemaker Scott Remmenga was printing so many
wine labels at his printing company, he decided
to learn winemaking from one of the best, Clay
Brock. His winemaking skills and wife Rebecca’s
marketing made a fantastic blend for this winery.
They started with dirt lots surrounding their
tasting room, waving people in, and continue to
have a loyal following.
2019 Lagrein Rosé // $26
Double Gold 95 points Rosé Experience 2020
In 1983, after successfully experimenting with winemaking at their Southern
California home in Westlake, retired aerospace engineer Romeo Zuech and
his wife Margaret decided to relocate to San Luis Obispo where they began
making wine in the smallest bonded winery in Edna Valley—Piedra Creek.
The move was largely in part due to a long-time friendship with Andy
MacGregor, a fellow aerospace engineer who had planted a vineyard in the
While the Zuechs decided to harvest and produce Chardonnay for their first
wine under the Piedra Creek label, in 1999 they purchased two acres in the
Twin Creeks area of Edna Valley and planted Lagrein, Syrah, Dornfelder,
Teraldego, and Pinot Noir vines.
After growing up on the scene with his grandparents and graduating from
the viticulture program at Cal Poly, T.J. de Jony began working alongside his
family, and in 2014 suggested making a 100% varietial Lagrein wine. By 2016,
de Jony’s grandmother, Margaret, successfully petitioned the FDA to approve
the Lagrein grape variety in the United States. In 2017, after his gradfather’s
passing, de Joney became owner of Piedra Creek Winery and in 2018 they
produced their first Rosé of Lagrein.
Romeo was knows for saying, “Good wine was meant to be red,” but this rosé
may have changed his mind. Its basket full of strawberry flavor bowls me over.
The thick Lagrein skins make a medium pink color and perfect body for the
kind of wine sipped on a porch or with barbecue. Want to raise a glass? Give
Margaret a call, she’ll take care of you.
The 2018 Lagrein brings me right back to Italy.
Its smell wraps me up in a velvety mulberry
blanket. It’s full-bodied, dark berried with a
typical blueberry homage. The earthy tones pair so
well with nice steaks and pasta. This is a smooth
operator with a body that will hold you close and
fruit to make it flirty, just like a good dance partner.
2015 Lagrein // $48
Speaking of good dance partners, everyone wants
to cut in when dancing with Tobin James. He has
been a part of the Central Coast lifestyle for years.
James worked in a small wine shop where he met
Gary Eberle, acting as his winery’s distributor.
James secured a spot in the harvest with Eberle
and moved to Paso a few years later. Eberle, well
known for lovely wines, took a chance on someone
passionate to learn the same trade. James won
awards his first year out and started as winemaker
at Peachy Canyon while dreaming up the Tobin
Along came Claire and Lance Silver to the team
and now they have a combo for some seriously
good wine. Their casual attitude along with the
old saloon feel of the winery make their wine
approachable. You can choose a range of wine
from easy-drinking to special occasions. The 2015
Lagrein, with an impressive five years of aging,
has supple tannins and blackberry flavor that glide
right over the tongue and enhance food. The flavors
of blueberry continue to linger, the same way we
linger with good company.
90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91
BY BRANT MYERS
eltzers have been slowly taking over the beer aisles
across our grocery and liquor stores, so when will
their reign of terror end? Not likely soon from the
look of things. As a matter of fact, it seems that
the industry is trending more and more towards
“lifestyle” beverages that represent a growing
consumer base of people who enjoy the social
aspect of drinking beer, but aren’t fully on board
with the flavor or alcohol within them. I’m not
judging, I also drink water sometimes when I Sdon’t feel like beer. But what happens when the beer industry makes
something that doesn’t look like beer, taste like beer, or have alcohol in
it? Let’s take some sips of the growing trend that is not-beers.
I’m a huge proponent of personal health and wellness, so there are
some conflicts of interest when I’m also a huge proponent of full-
fledged craft beer. That being said, why not have a “Sober October” or a
thirty-day cleanse after New Year’s Eve if it makes you feel better? Maybe
you just want to wake up tomorrow morning and go for a ride or jog instead
of craving a breakfast burrito and mimosa. There is a compromise available:
non-alcoholic (NA) beer. And if the predictors are correct, you’re going to
be seeing a lot of these in the future. Already, Heineken has their 0.0 beer
with a huge marketing budget pushing it across social media and traditional
platforms, taking the success of their rival’s Bud Light Ultra to the next
level by making an even healthier post-workout drink. Aside from them, the
big news in big brews is that Sam Adams posted record profits from selling
seltzers and hard kombucha last year and will be following up those successes
with a new NA Hazy IPA. Imagine that, a craft brewery making nonalcoholic
IPAs. I have a feeling this will trickle down fast through the smaller
breweries and we’ll be seeing them en masse soon enough.
Obviously, the global brewing conglomerates have the resources and >>
92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93
infrastructure to try new things and test them in the market, so it’s always a
foreshadowing of things to come when they toy with new trends and find profits in
their gambles. AB InBev has said that within five years their portfolio will be twenty
percent low- and non-alcohol beverages. Even Molson Coors, the fifth largest brewing
concern in the world, has taken this challenge head on, as evidenced by their name
change from Molson Coors Brewing Company to Molson Coors Beverage Company.
I mean, that’s actually a pretty huge shift to change your business model, let alone your
name. You’ll be seeing their flavored seltzer water with probiotics, and diet sodas with
ingredients like yuzu and bourbon vanilla. What is going on here?! Those are fruits
that go in my IPA and adjuncts for my Imperial Stouts. Has the world gone mad?
Although it does look like they made a Dr. Pepper knockoff called Surgeon General,
which is bold. I like to laugh; it keeps me from crying about the shelf space lost.
Speaking of shelf space, there’s some skinny buggers that have been squeaking onto the
shelves for the past year and knocking down everything in the way. Malt liquor. Well,
technically malt-based beverages, because it’s not brown and poured out of a
forty-ounce bottle but instead clear, in slim cans, and with hints of fruity essences.
Hard seltzers are squeezing the competition with their perception as a low calorie, low
ABV alternative to beer. And maybe, in this era of La Croix fandom and treat-yo-self
wellness routines, it hit the cultural timing perfectly to carve out a niche that sent the
large manufacturers scrambling for a piece of the pie. Just ask the maker of the second
best-selling seltzer brand Truly—Sam Adams Beer Company. Ole Sam’s at it again.
If you really want to get into the weeds with me, I think it has more to do with a tax
loophole allowing brewers to maximize their profits and reduce costs associated with
brewing or high-priced hops purchases, since both malt- and sugar-based hard seltzers
are considered “beer,” but only malt-based hard seltzers are also considered “malt
beverages.” This means that federal beer rules (27 CFR Part 25) apply to both malt-
and sugar-based hard seltzers, but federal malt beverage
labeling and advertising rules (27 CFR Part 7) apply only to
malt-based hard seltzers. Water plus malt or cane sugar plus
fruit flavor equal profits!
Whatever the trend may be, I guess being spoiled for choice
isn’t the worst thing in the world. The craft beer industry
had years of the fashion industry business model of having
new trends and fads for the season, with whatever was new
becoming the must-have of the time. Chasing those hype
beers and hopped freshies was
exhausting but also exhilarating.
I guess the beverage industry
wants to keep us running, and
maybe they just want us to be in
better shape and with good gut
health, but maybe they’re also
just giving the people what they
want. Whatever it may be I just
have one last gripe: stop making
the cans skinny. It doesn’t make
us skinny and they don’t fit our
koozies. Rant over. Whatever
flavor or ABV fluid you put in
your mouth, raise one up, and this
time we can say it with sincerity—
To your health! SLO LIFE
BRANT MYERS is a beer
industry veteran and
founder of SLO BIIIG, a
hospitality consulting firm.
94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
Join SLO Life food columnist
Jaime Lewis for candid
conversations about life
and flavor with area eaters,
drinkers, thinkers & makers.
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95
Culture & Events
CAMBRIA SCARECROW FESTIVAL
The eleventh annual community-wide array
of hundreds of eclectic scarecrows offers five
display areas and lots of fun for visitors and
Cambrians alike. All displays are positioned
and spaced in specific, well-defined areas
to make them easily viewed by parking
and walking. Scarecrow Walks in the East
Village, Mid-Village, West Village, the
Pinedorado Grounds, and San Simeon can
be easily enjoyed.
October 1-31 // cambriascarecrows.com
ACADEMY OF CREATIVE THEATRE
As school resumed in the fall, the folks at San
Luis Obispo Rep added more ACT classes
so as many students as possible could learn
about theatre, including daytime classes for
homeschool families and students with a flexible
school schedule. Spaces (and scholarships) are
available for twice-per-week Session II classes
beginning October 12 for between six and
eight students each. All theatre games, warmups,
exercises, rehearsals, and in-class activities
include exposure to other elements of theatre
such as scenic, costume, and prop design as well
as multi-media elements.
October 12 - November 5 // slorep.org
RAPTORS, RATS, AND YOU
Rodents can be a nuisance and a health
hazard if they take up residence in the
wrong places. And while poisoning
them may seem like a simple solution,
the repercussions are far different.
Poisons designed to kill rats also poison
wildlife, pets, and children. Join the
San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden
via Zoom to welcome Morro Coast
Audubon Society President Judy
Neuhauser and a special guest, a great
horned owl, to learn how beautiful
birds of prey are threatened by the
widespread use of rat poison, and
how you can promote natural raptor
predation of pests.
October 10 // slobg.org
WIGGLE WAGGLE WALK
A virtual fundraiser for Woods Humane Society isn’t just for walkers . . . you can run, kayak, bike,
stroll, meander—whatever! And anyone, anywhere can participate. Sign up as an individual or as part
of a team, then set your challenge. Enjoy weekly challenges, activity tracking, fun giveaways, and more.
Now until October 31 // woodshumanesociety.org
Every registered voter in San Luis
Obispo County will receive a 2020
Presidential Election ballot in the mail,
which can be returned to be counted in
one of the following ways: by mailing
via the United States Postal Service;
by hand-delivering your ballot to
one of nineteen secure Vote By Mail
ballot drop box locations; or by handdelivering
your ballot to one of twentythree
Voter Service Centers open during
the four days of voting, October 31 to
November 3. Go to the County Clerk-
Recorder’s website to look up your voter
registration status, to track your ballot,
or to find Vote By Mail ballot drop box
and Voter Service Center locations.
Now until November 3 // slocounty.ca.gov
96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
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OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97
Culture & Events
Theatre Classes for All Ages!
New socially-distant curriculum with
approved Covid-19 safety protocols
Sign up today at slorep.org
ART AT THE GARDEN SHOW & FUNDRAISER
The second annual fine art show and sale to benefit the
San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden opens with a wine,
appetizer, and chocolate reception on Friday, November 6.
The show continues through the weekend and features
twenty well-known local artists. The free event, held in
the Oak Glen Pavilion at the Garden, includes oneof-a-kind
jewelry, glass, paintings, wood, ceramics, and
November 6-8 // slobg.org
The City of San Luis Obispo is allowing businesses to expand their footprints into streets and
to use other strategies to improve safety and access for residents jogging, bicycling, and strolling
downtown. Temporary “parklets,” using water-filled barricades and other materials, have allowed
businesses to use parking lanes on a daily basis. The block of Monterey Street between Chorro
and Morro Streets is closed to eastbound car traffic, allowing for outdoor dining on half the street.
Ongoing // openslo.org
live the SLO LIFE!
m a g a z i n e
98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020
JUN/JUL 2014 & POLITICAL ACTION
Every Wednesday morning
EcoSlo volunteers go to work
from 8:45 to 10:15 am at Irish
Hills Natural Reserve, Prefumo
Canyon Road & Isabella Way,
in San Luis Obispo, building
new trails in city-owned open
space. Want to help? Meet in
the south corner of The Home
Depot parking lot to work on
trail maintenance and brushing.
Every Wednesday // ecoslo.org
PHOTO COURTESY OF SENSORIO
Looking for a romantic retreat, or just some family
fun? Bruce Munro: Field of Light at Sensorio in Paso
Robles is open for visits. The weekly schedule for the
event, singled out by The New York Times as one of
“Fifty Places To Go in 2020,”now includes Thursday
and Sunday evenings. Visitors can watch the sunset
and stroll through the fifteen-acre site as 58,000 solarpowered
lights appear across the landscape.
Now until January 3 // sensoriopaso.com
OCT/NOV 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99
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100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | OCT/NOV 2020