News Updates

ChrisTaranto has been Communications Director for Paso Wine Alliance since 2007. His main goal is to champion our region to keep getting better and get more people to write stories about the Paso wine region. The Alliance is marketing Paso as a real authentic, down home kind of area.

Chris has traveled all around the country and beyond, attending all kinds of wine events in order to create a presence. Paso Wine Country accounts for $1.9 billion revenue for the county so it is important to keep reminding consumers that Paso wines exist.

Paso Robles AVA is recognized and respected as one of the great wine regions of the world.

Mission Statement

Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is dedicated to the promotion and protection of Paso Robles Wine Country, and the continuous improvement of the quality of its wines, vineyards, and experiences.

Where Wine Takes You.

In this land known as “the pass of the oaks,” there are no limits. Possibilities are everywhere, and fun is the rule.
This is a wine country like no other. Distinct, different.
This is Paso Robles.

This is where wine takes you.

Julian Crocker introduced our speaker, Heidi McPherson. He told us the Community Foundation of SLO County was founded in 1998 and has given $40 million in local grants ,and in this year alone $290,000 in scholarships.

I was amazing to hear that, in a county of only 300,000 people, the Community Foundation SLO County has charitable assets of $66 million!

Heidi explained to us that, during a disaster, the Foundation seeks donations that will go directly into a disaster fund. All money raised will ONLY be used to assist in that disaster. Disaster funds

will only be distributed to a 501c3 nonprofit in San Luis Obispo County. The nonprofit must serve the most vulnerable populations with basic needs (food, shelter, transportation, etc.) and have a broad reach. They define vulnerable populations as homeless, food-insecure, low income, farm workers, senior citizens, disabled and household with prenatal to children up to 5 years old.

They are currently providing funding to : Atascadero Loaves & Fishes, CAPSLO, Center for Family Strengthening, The LINK, El Camino Homeless Organization, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, San Luis Obispo County YMCA, SLO Noor Foundation,

Transitions Mental Health Association and Wilshire Health and Community Services in order to get funding to the most vulnerable during this pandemic. The need is great, Heidi explained, as one of the grantees, SLO Food Bank, has seen a 200% increase in demand for food during the pandemic!

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Foundation has opened its Disaster Support Fund and will waive all administrative fees to provide urgent assistance to organizations working with our most vulnerable communities. Foundation grants will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are impacted by the Coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. To learn more about the Foundation’s support during this crisis, go to uploads/2020/03/Disaster-Support-Fund-Opened-for-COVID-19-Support-3-18-20.pdf

We thank Heidi for this very informative program about Community Foundation of SLO County.

The mission of Camp Ocean Pines is “to foster enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world among people of all ages through creative activities in a residential camp setting.” It was established in 1946 to serve the community as a non-profit camp and a conference center.

Andrew told us about some of the trial and tribulation facing camps all over the country in the face of COVID-19. In 2019, there were 37 Coastal Institute Schools serving 1,601 students and 181 adults. Being in nature is valuable to everyone so every effort is being made to ready Camp Ocean Pines for COVID-19 era summer camp.

Last summer, Camp Ocean Pines welcomed 513 campers from around the country. The kids get to participate in Target Sports such as Archery, Tomahawks and Slingshots; Arts & Crafts including tie-dye, friendship bracelets, ocean drawing, body art ; performance activities
ranging from improv, dancing 101 or guitar;
exploring nature and design experiments
with friends; field games and sports as well
as offsite adventures such as kayaking,
hanging at the beach or checking out the

elephant seals! . These activities may need to be done with small groups this summer in keeping with the State requirement of keeping groups to 10 or fewer people that we hope is in place by next month. Right now, each the cabins house 8 campers 2 counselors. Cleaning protocols will need to be reviewed and updated according to the State mandates.

In addition to summer camp, Camp Ocean Pines offers a number of outdoor education programs including a residential science camp program for 4th-12th grade students from public and private schools, adult professional development opportunities, and nature excursions for people of all ages. We are always looking for new and creative ways to connect people with nature through education, exploration, and FUN!

And, COP offers the UC California Naturalist Program which is designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities. The California Naturalist program uses a science curriculum, hands-on learning, problem-solving, citizen science, and community service to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources.

We are so lucky to have this amazing place right in our backyard and even more lucky to have Andrew as its Director. He along with up to 55 paid staffers offer much to our local students and adults. As with most non- profits, fundraising efforts have been curtailed due to COVID-19. So, if you can help Camp Ocean Pines, donations can be made on line at

A copy of Andrew’s presentation is attached to this email. Thank you, Andrew, for a wonderfully informative presentation.

Bob told us that CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) was started by Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 to educate volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

Cambria Emergency Response Team was started in 2001 and, to date, 297 residents have been trained. Today we have 146 com- munity members active. Another 40 members are maintaining their skills to help themselves and family members and neighbors. Paso Robles just started their CERT and our CERT is helping them.

After the horrific fires in Paradise and other areas of California, CERT has been actively involved in the creation of evacuation pre- planning and support so community members can escape in the event of a fire. They are also working on an early warning system

that should be an improvement over the current reverse 911 system. And, they have created the R-U-O-K pro- gram (see page 5 of this newsletter).

A copy of the Power Point Presentation that Bob showed is attached to the email sent with this news- letter.

Thank you Bob for updating us on this very important service in our community. We are so lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers working to keep us safe.

Donna Crocker introduced our speaker, SLO Coun- ty Superintendent of Schools and fellow Rotarian, Jim Brescia.

Jim began by telling us that the County Office of Education decided that it was in the best interest of students and the public to move to distance
learning as of March 16, 2020 due to COVID19. It took a lot of work on the part of teachers and administrators to make this transition so quickly.
Schools are required to provide meals to students during the school year so right now, 15,000 meals are being distributed throughout the county.
Schools were thrown into the deep end of the pool and they had to learn to sink or swim very quickly.

With on-line classes some students were empowered to teach their teachers since kids adapt to technology faster than adults in many cases. Luckily both Spectrum and Verizon are providing free services for students so on-line learning commenced immediately. But on-line learning has pointed out inequities too. There are students in rural areas of the county that have no connectivity. In the case of these students, lessons needed to be continued the old paper and pencil way. So teachers in these areas are actually teaching in two different ways. The students at Grizzly Youth Academy are also participating in distance learning since the Academy needed to close down due to the pandemic.

The other obstacle to overcome had to do with Special Education stu- dents, many of whom cannot use a computer and those who need the services of physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, etc.

Roadmap to re-open: After the stay-at-home is lifted, it will likely be 30 days before school can open. They are now looking at what the physical differences might look like. The Governor has suggested split sessions but it is likely that school will also be facing budget cuts that would make that next to impossible.

Jim explained that schools receive funding based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). During the shut down, districts have been given a pass on ADA requirements so funding is being based on the assumption that all students are in attendance. Come fall, however, there is a strong possibility that some parents will not feel comfortable hav- ing their students attend school if the virus is still an issue. If too many students do not attend, that will negatively impact school funding so the districts might need to be prepared to do both in school and at home classes.

Also, while kids are usually able to adapt, some adults find it more difficult. So there is a concern that older workers might not be willing or able to return to their jobs in this new era.

Thank you Dr. Brescia for educating us on the difficulties our schools are facing. This was a very interesting presentation.

Donna Crocker introduced our speaker, who happens to be her son-in-law. She told us that Garvin Thomas is a reporter, anchor, and host with NBC Bay Area in the San Francisco Bay Area. Garvin has worked in television news for more than 30 years, having spent time working in Boston, Berlin, Minneapolis, Boston (again), Los Angeles, and, for the past 15 years, the Bay Area. Since 2012, Garvin has been the reporter, photographer, and editor of the Bay Area Proud series for NBC Bay Area, highlighting stories of kindness, success, and inspiration. Garvin lives near Santa Cruz with his wife, Karen, and their three children.

Garvin told us that, over the past couple of months, every way they cover and present the news has had to change quickly. He has been doing a segment called Bay Area Proud for about 8 years, reporting on people doing positive things. This required him to get up close to people in order to fully portray the story he was trying to tell. He has had to put that on hold since COVID19.

He told us about one of his favorite segments which involved Julie, a San Jo- se Rotarian who had a granddaughter with severe physical limitations. The San Jose Rotary Club was preparing to celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary and wanted to take on a huge project. Julie told the abut her granddaughter and how there were no playgrounds for children in wheelchairs. The club set about to build a handicap accessible playground. The result was a 6 million dollar Rotary Play Garden. Julie’s granddaughter got to ride on a carousel for the first time. Garvin explained that if he had not taken the close-up shot that you see here, the effect would not have been the same. It is hard to tell a feel good story over Skype.

Regular news reporting has also changed. Reporters have had to get creative when inter- viewing while practicing social distancing. There is only one anchor in the studio and many of the reports are done from home. The station has established a back-up studio to use in the event any employees test positive for the virus. The back-up studio has been professionally cleaned and sanitized and absolutely nobody is allowed to enter it. If, at some point, an employee is diagnosed with COVID19, production would immediately move to the back-up studio and the original studio would be sanitized.

Garvin did tell us that Bay Area News has been doing stories about people who have been lost to the virus. He was thanked for that. He was also asked how employment in broadcasting has been affected. He told us that, so far, there has not been the impact that you see in newspapers. However, there is no telling what the future might bring.

This was a very interesting view of the world of broadcasting. Thank you Garvin and thank you Donna for arranging this program.

ppy Easter, Happy Passover... and happy one more day without killing your housemate or neighbor! I think if this goes on much longer rather than asking for a lifting of the social distancing requirement we’ll be asking to have it extended – to no closer than 100 ft!

I am doing very well – and I am grateful to the Dept. of State Hospitals for taking such good care of us so we can take care of others.

Aims of today’s program – Increase our resilience by strengthening our immune system holistically

Get us moving
Help us to relax
And To be inspired – I think we all need some of that right now.

1) Get us moving

During this time, we need to move! The circulatory system needs help getting rid of what needs to go! And we can help that by drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritious foods, taking supplements, and getting our heart pumping!

Heaven has a special place for nurses, teachers, and social workers... and so many others that take care of us. Re- member to say thank you... a box of donuts doesn’t hurt either!

2) Help us to Relax
The fight-flight-or freeze response redirects vital resources away from the immune system, as it should for

20-45 min., but not for weeks, months, or years. (see yoga nidra handout)

3) And to be inspired
We can be angry and disappointed and sad about things that aren’t happening – and that is okay. But we can

also be part of the solution by helping out and by letting others know they are not alone.

We can start replacing the time we spend listening to all the bad news, and instead start spreading the news that we are here to help.

We can wake up with a sense of purpose – to help.

We can do what needs to be done to help those in need get through this to see another day – and get back to dancing, laughing, and back to being all they can be.

We are all experiencing stress in some way from this experience. We can honor that reality, and be grateful for what we do have, and set our sadness aside to help others.

...and in so doing, we will start to see our little town blues begin to melt away.

With all that said, I want to finish with sharing the song that has lifted us up so many times, and one that reflects the strength of the human spirit, perhaps better than anything or anyone else, as evidenced by 9-11, and that is the strength, the intelligence, the endurance, the resilience of our brothers and sisters in the big apple. ...and right now, all the places that are being hardest hit by COVID-19. Let them be an inspiration of what we all can endure and how we can all come together to help one another, not as male, female, or transgender, not as black, white, brown or yellow, not as Christian, Jew, Muslim or Buddhist, not as Republican, Democrat, Inde- pendent, Communist, or Socialist, not as old, or young, healthy or infirmed; but as human beings helping one an- other to get through this. Be well.

President Elect Chuck Forester gave us a rundown on his President Elect Training Seminar (PETS). All PE’s are required to attend this training which is held every February in Los Angeles. Presidents Elect in Zone 26, which includes Central & Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada and Hawaii, all gather for 2 1/2 days of extensive training in a festive, upbeat, well-orchestrated atmosphere.

The Rotary International President for 2020-21 is Holger Knaack from Germany who an- nounced the theme for next year: ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES. He explained that there are endless opportunities to both members and those we help. The group was also introduced to Deb Linden, 2020-21 District Governor for our district, 5240 and Assistant District Governor for our Group 11, Jane Howard.

During the mandatory sessions Chuck attended, he learned that growing and sustaining Club Membership is of upmost importance. Without members, it becomes difficult to support the Avenues ofService. Chuck feels that, if everyone really knew what we do and the spirited fun in which we do it,
sustainable membership and project financial support would be lifted immeasurably. It is importantto establish an unmistakable public image of what Rotary is and what Rotary does. They were shown a video from a Chili Cookoff put on by a Rotary Club. Attendees were asked “What is Rotary”. Some of the answers included “Something to do with old people in the military”’ “I don’t know. Public stuff?”; ‘Business minded people get to- gether for mutual benefit and charity”; “Old guys that like to have fun”; “Have events and take care of the city”; “Non-profit for children”; “Don’t they have tri-tip?”.

We need to enhance our image by using wearing our pins, use the Rotary wheel, the 2020-21 logo and/or “Rotary—People of Action” in all our social media postings and other marketing tools.

Chuck’s View/Conclusion:

  • We are doing most of what RI & District 5240 state we should be doing.

  • This is a testament to all of our past Presidents and members.

  • We ARE the Best Rotary Club in the world!

  • We should not try to “fix” things that are working well (which includes most of what we do).

  • To keep what we have and remain as vigorous and impactful 5-10 years and beyond, we should:

    •   Grow membership in a sustainable way—PR/Branding image so people will be asking us to join.

    •   Establish continuity for each Avenue of Service and Board position (successors in training for each).

Last month, Bruce & Jane Howard and Christel Chesney spent a couple of weeks at the Piyali Learning Center in the rural village of Piyali Junction outside Kolkata. Jane told us that Deepa Biswas grew up in Calcutta in a fairly
affluent family. She would see children begging and asked why. She vowed, after college she would come back and help. When Bruce and Jane first met Deepa in 2004, she told them she was starting a school in Piyali for girls who
had no access to education. She partnered with the Rotary Club of Calcutta and started with just 20 girls.

In 2010, Deepa was able to secure a new property that was much larger but it was on a swamp. They brought in dirt to fill in the swamp and built a wall around the property to pro- tect the girls. The new school is a far cry from the original one and includes an organic garden, chicken coop, and a vo- cational training center for the mothers of the students. Our club helped build a sewer plant so the school has flush toi- lets and we currently support 6 girls. The cost of sponsoring a girl for an entire year is only $375. To sponsor a mother to attend vocational training, the cost for a year is $175. Checks can be mailed to PACE Universal                          1 North Calle Cesar Chavez, Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Jane was very proud to tell us that, after her father’s death, her mom donated money to the school and there is now a classroom named in his honor.  Christel told us that she had never seen such poverty and filth that she saw while traveling from the hotel to .              the school. They were only 40 miles away but it took
them 2 hours to travel the 40 miles. She said the first 3 days, her heart was broken. They were staying in a 5 star hotel sur- rounded by poverty. There were vegetable carts covered with flies, a pond filled with algae where women were washing clothes and doing dishes while a man was bathing and another urinating in the pond. They visited homes that were hovels with dirt floors, no electricity or plumbing. The school, in contrast, was an oasis. The girls in India have dreams and aspirations but, by the time they reach 4th grade, they are pulled out of school to help with chores. Every 9 minutes a child in India disappears.

Bruce told us about a visit to Mahavir Seva Sadan, a Vocational Training Center in Kolkata. They provide prosthetics for those who need them because of lost limbs or birth defects, eye care and support and training for Cerebral Palsy vic- tims. This is a project that the local Rotary Club supports.

You can learn more about the Piyali Learning Center at

Donna Crocker told us that for forty years Art Sherwyn has devoted himself to liberating the mind through the appreciation and practice of visual art. As a high-school teacher, Art has received numerous state and National awards, and was a finalist for the prestigious American Disney Teacher Award. Sherwyn has been invited to speak at local, state, and national conferences for arts, education and leadership and, in 2015, was a guest speaker at Harvard. His career as a motivational speaker, artist, author, and authority on artful liv- ing has helped motivate people to reach for their full potential, combining storytelling, artis- tic demonstration, and interactive activities. His audiences laugh, cry, and leave with a new set of skills and improvements as an artist, leader, and human being.

Art explained that he was thrown into art despite knowing little about it. After college, he accepted a job as a basketball coach. Once he accepted, he was told he would need to also teach art. He made up lessons and was really nice to the kids. He realized that “nice kicks butt on knowledge”. He always took time to compliment his students even if their art was not great.

Art told us that we are all a chemistry experiment. Over the years, the container changes but we all have the ability to change ourselves into the best piece of art.

There are two kinds of people, accord- ing to Art: technical on the right and creative on the left. The most technical person shows little emotion while the most creative person can’t stay on all over the place. Those who are just to the left of center usually have the ability to make others feel 10 feet tall.

Some of Art’s words of wisdom: Tact is the ability to tell someone off and they don’t know it. The greatest leaders take no victims. The greatest victories have no losers. The sciences make life possible. The arts make life enjoyable.

Art spoke on topics of leadership and artful living. He believes “everyone is an artist; some are just better than others.” As promised, he “defined the qualities of an artful lead- er and individual, taking us on a journey towards being your best self.”

Thank you Art for a fun and informative presentation.

Our presenters Gerry & Paula Porter, Joe Morrow and Otis Archie were joined by Sgt. At Arms Andrew to start the meeting off by singing Let There Be Peace on Earth.

Dr. Joe spoke of the issue of Human Trafficking and programs that address the effects of human trafficking. What can we do to recognize trauma? We need to make sure kids are aware of the dangers of human trafficking and know there are places to go to get help.

Otis asked, “What does peace really mean?” He emphasized the importance of being inclusive in order to put an end to bullying. It is also important to be self–
aware and to manage your stress. When you are stressed it can
prevent you from being understanding of others.

Paula told us that we need to believe in unconditional love. Glob- al change depends on personal change.

Gerry explained that the 4 presenters attended a program on peace that included 13 tracks and 11 breakout sessions over 2 days. He also spoke of a program at his former Rotary club called Choices. This program inspires teens to make positive choices.

He also told us about a speaker at the conference who was the father of a boy who was murdered. He eventually realized that, if he continued to hate the man who killed his son, he would never re- cover. He went to court to lobby for parole for the killer and gave him a job in the foundation he formed in honor of his son.

Julie Jenkins recommended reading Beyond Religion by Dalai Lama. In this book, he speaks of transcending the religion wars, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that makes a stirring appeal for a deep ap- preciation of our common humanity, offering us all a road map for improv- ing human life on individual, community, and global levels. Dennis White suggested getting to know people. Malou Hall told us she had hate in her heart while experiencing the reign of Hitler.

We learned from this presentation that peace starts with ourselves.

Thank you all for a wonderful presentation. Hopefully this is the beginning of many presentations on this important topic.

Marcelle Bakula, who has been volunteering since 2007, gave us a brief history of the or- ganization. Pacific Wildlife Care (PWC) was founded in 1986 in reaction to the Apex Hou- ston oil spill that brought a number of oiled pelicans to the beaches of San Luis Obispo County. Since that time we have grown from a small group of dedicated home rehabilita- tors into a successful non-profit organization with a well-equipped rehabilitation center, a full-time wildlife veterinarian, a small paid staff, and over 200 volunteers. In addition to the Rehabilitation Center, which is open every day of the year, we maintain a Hotline that the public can call to report distressed wildlife (injured, sick, orphaned) and to receive infor- mation about our local wildlife. PWC's mission is to support San Luis Obispo County wildlife through rehabilitation and educational outreach.

PWC has built onto their current location over the years but they have maxed out. So they recently purchased 10 acres of land where they hope to build a state of the art facility within the next 5-10 years to house the 2,000 to 3,000 animals they take in each year. They are currently looking for sources of funding to help reach that goal.

Kelly Vandenheuvel told us that 36 years ago she heard a call to help injured wildlife. She has been caring for injured and orphaned wildlife on her ranch as a volunteer for PWC ever since. Kelly introduced us to Alice, a grey horned owl that was injured as a baby.
Due to her injuries, she is unable to be returned to the wild so she lives on Kelly’s ranch and serves as a Wildlife Ambassador. While
Alice looks quite large, she actually only weighs 3 pounds due to the fact that her bones are hollow, allowing her to fly. One of the goals of the Wildlife Ambassador Program is to teach children that wild animals are not pets and should not be treated as such. She cautions against petting any wild animals. Alice did entertain us with a number of “Hoots” during the presentation. She was probably asking how she could become a Rotarian!

Miguel gave us an overview on the project the Community Service Committee has worked on

this year. So far, we have funded:

$1500 for Honor Flights ($750 District Grant and $750 club funds)

$400 for Sober Grad Night which this year will be unlike any previous years.

$300 for CUHS Future Farmers of America $150 to Cambria Youth Athletic Association

$800 to Got Your Back, an organization that provides low income students with backpacks full of healthy food on the weekends.

$500 for Briana Latham, a junior at Coast Union High School who participated in the AFS Student Exchange Program and spent her first semester in France.

$250 to Infant Essentials, an organization created to provide the homeless, low-income, and under-served infants in San Luis Obispo County essential comforts such as diapers.

$400 to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

$500 for the Kid’s Christmas Party in addition to the generous donations of gifts and time from our club members. Miguel’s wife, Judy Sandoval, has worked tirelessly all year to pull this party together and it was a rousing success. 21 families received $275 in gift cards each, household goods such as blankets, diapers, detergent, etc. thanks to the generosity of the San Simeon Chamber of Commerce, all of the businesses in San Simeon, Cambria Connection and Cookie Crock. The 56 children each received 3 gifts that were on their wish list, a brand new pair of shoes and sweaters. Cash donations of $4,260 enabled us to purchase food and drink for the party, treats for the kids and items the children asked for but were not donated. Miguel showed us photos and videos from the event so we were able to see how happy the children and parents were. Tom Tierney played the role of Santa beautifully, and Mrs. Claus (Donna Crocker) and the Elf (Sue Oberholtzer) added to the festivities. One little boy asked Santa for a $75 gift card to Target. When asked what he wanted the gift card for he responded that he would give it to his dad so he could buy groceries. There is $1,866 left over that will go towards next year’s event.

We all gave Judy and Miguel a standing ovation for the amazing job she did to pull this event together. Planning has already begun for next year’s event.

Gerry Porter, told us that Ken truly believes you must live a lie worth writing about. Before he became an educator and consultant for universities and school districts, he worked in the world of research and wild animal training in the motion picture industry for many years. He holds advanced degrees in anthropology, instructional technology

and education. He lives and writes in the San Bernardino mountains with his wife, Tammy. When not writing and lecturing, he loves to ride his BMW adventure motorcycle down the Baja peninsula to unnamed beaches and bays.

Ken began by telling us that he was the first in his family to
graduate from high school. He was expelled from 2 school districts
(for stunts like turning the sprinklers on during homecoming). He turned his life around thanks to an algebra teacher, Rotarian Mr. Kazmerski, who took him on.

For awhile, he worked as a stunt man before going into education working with gang intervention and later as school principal. He learned American Sign Language (ASL) and was hired to work with chimps by using ASL. He told of one chimp who came up to him and asked, in ASL, if he wanted to play hide and seek. The chimp told him that he would hide and Ken needed to find him. Ken has worked with lions, tigers, elephants as well as chimps. Once, while working with a full grown chimp who was causing trouble. After a bit, she signed that she would be good but went on to bite Ken in the knee.

Ken once got a call from Clint Eastwood asking if he could train an orangutan for a movie he was doing called Any Which Way But Loose.

He got a call about an elephant named Congo who had escaped and was running loose in a parking lot. Congo looked all around the parking lot until he found a truck. He pounded on the truck, flattening it. It wound up that the truck belonged to a handler who was mistreating him. Once Congo destroyed the truck, he went back to his enclosure without further incident.

In Gerry’s introduction he said, “I know you are all familiar with the Dos Equis commercials and the most interesting man in the world. How many of you have met the most interesting man in the world? Well, in my opinion, you are about to meet him. “Stay thirsty Mi Amigo!” Well, Gerry, I think everyone in the room agrees with you. This was such an entertaining presentation that many of us did not want it to end. Thank you Ken for taking the time to visit our club. You can read Ken’s blog at And be sure to read Almost Human (available on Amazon).

Margie Sesser, CAPSLO Board Member, told us that Grace has a masters degree in Social Work and has worked in the field for over 35 years. She is currently overseeing the Prado Homeless Project.

Grace began by telling us that there are approximately 1,125 homeless persons in the county, of whom 69% are unsheltered, 262 are chronically homeless, and 81 are veterans. She also told us that 74% were residents of SLO County before becoming homeless. 14% of homeless reported having been in the foster care system as a youth. The risk of homelessness is greatest among households headed by single women and families with children under the age of six. Children in families experiencing

homelessness have an increased incidence of illness, emotional and behavioral problems than those with consistent living accommodations.

The 40 Prado Homeless Services Center is a 365 days per year facility that helps individuals and families improve their health and stability and move them towards self-
sufficiency. Services available to all participants include:

  • overnight shelter (up to 100 beds)

  • meals

  • showers

  • laundry

  • mail/phone services

  • access to case management

  • primary medical care

  • animal kennels

    Specialized services include the SLO-Hub Project for individuals seeking assistance in dealing with mental health and substance use issues.

    Additionally, 40 Prado serves as the Warming Center location for the City of San Luis Obispo during times of inclement weather.

    There was so much important information in this presentation that I found it difficult to get it all down in my notes. However, Grace was kind enough to send me a copy of her slide show and I have attached it to the email with this week’s newsletter. If you missed this meeting, please take a few minutes to look at the slide show. It contains a lot of information about homelessness that you might not have been aware. Donations are always welcome. Community Action Partnership of SLO Co. Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID # 95- 2410253.

Donna Crocker told us that Marj graduated from San Jose State in 1954 before receiving her Masters from Santa Clara. At one time she worked in a Maraschino Cherry factory. Not many people can make that claim.

How many people do you know who can say they grew up with Hearst
Castle as their playground? Well we heard from someone who did just
that! Marj Sewell told us about how her family wound up in San
Simeon when she was a young girl. Her father William, an army brat,
moved from London to Canada to Australia before coming to the
United States. They took a train from San Francisco to King City where
they had to take a pack train across the mountains to the coast. Marj’s
father was thrilled to be hired to work on Hearst Ranch in 1927. As the gardener on the hilltop, he planted 500 begonias a year and worked in the 5 heated greenhouses where he grew orchids.

Marj was born in 1932 and the family, including Marj, her older brother, Keith, mother Lois and her dad lived in a house along the same road as the schoolhouse.

During the war the Army would set up a temporary encampment for war games out on the point. About 40-50 vehicles full of army guys came every month or so for two weeks at a time. On Saturday nights, the Army boys would play music in front of Sebastian’s and girls from Cambria would come to dance. The Army also provided the boys with first run movies and townspeople were invited to attend. Having the

Army there brought a sense of security as well as the “merriment” they brought along.

The Ranch, as Hearst referred to the castle, had the largest private zoo in the world. As kids, Marj and her friends would frequently see many of the 87 different animals including polar bears, tigers and lions. When driving up the hill, one would often encounter camels that would stand by the gate and spit at the cars going by.

Polar Bear’s enclosure

When Marj attended Coast Union High School, there were 87 students but
they had a full band and a drill team, something the school does not have today.

Marj gave a very entertaining talk and we learned quite a bit about what it was like growing up in San Simeon. If you would like to know more about this, local Michele Oksen wrote a book entitled “The Reid Family’s Journey to San Simeon: Memoirs of Marjorie Reid Sewell”. It is available at the Cambria Historical Museum and on Amazon.

Our Own Heide Santos gave us a heartbreaking and amazing snapshot of what it was like growing up in Germany during the Nazi reign. She began by saying that she was told Americans were well informed about what happened in Germany because they watched Hogan’s Heroes. Heide debunked that claim.

Before the war, Heide’s family lived a comfortable life. But, when the war broke out, bombs were dropped on her house just a month before she was born. Hers was a difficult birth and her mother spent 6 months in the hospital while Heide’s older sister (14) took care of Heide and her other sister (10). An American soldier, upon learning of the sister’s situation, wanted to help and brought them food. The family later tried to go to Regensburg but were turned away and wound up living in tents in Dresden

where they were given just one bowl of food per person per day. Heide’s mom went from 150 pounds to 100 pounds and eventually collapsed from hunger. Luckily, an American doctor helped her regain her health.

After World War II, the Allies partitioned the defeated Germany into a Soviet-occupied zone, an American-occupied zone, a British-occupied zone and a French-occupied zone. Berlin, the German capital city, was located deep in the Soviet zone, but it was also divided into four sections. In 1946, Heide’s father came and took them to the Russian area of Berlin in East Germany.

In 1948 a “Coyote” (human smuggler) took the family through a forest to West Berlin.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and Heide
needed to end her story there. We are hoping she can return to finish telling us her fascinating story.

Mark began by telling us that the Paso Robles High School Field Studies Collaborative is a pathway for students interested in supplementing their PRHS standards based education with field training and hands-on research. Students earn academic credit while conducting real-world scientific research outside of the school day.

VISION The Vision of the Field Studies Collaborative is to create citizens with a deeper understanding of the connections between human well-being, service to the community, and stewardship of the natural world.

MISSION STATEMENT The Field Studies Collaborative at Paso Robles High School creates transformative educational experiences through hands-on, field-based learning and research. In partnership with private and public entities, these extra-curricular, for-credit courses provide a pathway for students to improve leadership skills and prepare for college and career with rigorous, learn-by-doing research opportunities. CORE VALUES Perseverance, Work Ethic, Leadership, Creativity, Problem-solving, Collaborative Skills, Accountability

Benefits for Students

● Direct Hands on Learning Experience
● Growth in Leadership, Problem Solving, Group Work, Perseverance and Responsibility ● Students Learn Scientific Field Techniques
● Access to Experience Not Available in the Traditional Classroom
● Collaboration with Universities, Government Agencies and Non-Profits
● Opportunity to See Research Published
● Travel, Often to Remote Research Sites
● Explore a Field of Work Usually Unavailable to High School Students
● Wonderful Chance to Make New Friends
● Receive Academic Credit.
FSC Courses are Free to Students

A number of Mark’s students who have participated in various field studies spoke of their experiences. Students participated in a Marine Intertidal Monitoring Program through NOAA. On a 2-day trip to Mt. Wilson, another student told us about doing research in binary stars while another student recounted her experience on a 5-day backpacking trip to Joshua Tree studying the desert for affects of climate change. Twice a year, students go to Santa Cruz Island for 4-5 days to monitor the plant community. During their stay, they also learn to make stone tools like the Chumash used.

Rebecca told us that a handbell is a bell designed to be rung by hand. To ring a handbell, a ringer grasps the bell by its slightly flexible handle - traditionally made of leather, but often now made of plastic – and moves the arm to make the hinged clapper inside the bell strike. An individual handbell can be used simply as a signal to catch people's attention or summon them together, but handbells are also often heard in tuned sets. Rebecca enjoyed playing handbells in the Bay Are for many years, with Bay Bells, Low Ding Zone, Bell Appeal, Arioso and various churches. Now that she lives in Cambria, she has presented workshops and concerts throughout San Luis Obispo County as a vocal and bell soloist, and also performs with ringing partners. She was very happy to be joined by one of her favorite bell ringing partners, Judy Zaretzka.

Rebecca explained that the original bells were made in England in 1701-02 to enable tower bell ringers to practice in more comfortable spaces than the often cold and wet bell towers. She also explained that bells can only be played in one direction. Handbells can weigh as little as 7 oz or upwards of 18 lb. Bell ringers often wear special leather gloves to protect their hands and to prevent oils from tarnishing the bells.

Rebecca said she can customize programs or presentations to audiences and events. She can be contacted at 40-307-9616 or by email at

We were treated to a wonderful bell ringing concert. Thank you Rebecca and Judy.

Donna Crocker told us that Heather began Infant Essentials in 2013. The organization provides items for homeless and low income families. Heather is a Cambrian, a member of University Women, was named a Hands On Hero by First Five and a Hometown Hero by KSBY.

The development of Infant Essentials was a journey I began in 2012, Heather explained, when she drove past a homeless couple here in Cambria, holding a sign "looking for work, food, money". She was caught off guard when she noticed that there was a baby in a stroller behind the couple. It happened to be her daughter Gwen's First Birthday and she was coming home from the grocery store having bought food for our 15 person family celebration dinner. she felt guilty for having all of the wonderful things that we have been blessed with, but also felt helpless because what could she offer them that would make a difference in their lives? She ran home and grabbed some baby snacks from our cupboard and brought them along with $20 to the couple. They were very thankful, but Heather didn't feel any


Heather said that she embraced the moment and finally put her Community Health Degree back to work and began a needs assessment. She discovered pretty quickly that diapers are in high demand amongst the homeless community. Neither the Food Stamps nor WIC programs offer diapers or diaper discounts, and none of our shelters or day centers here in SLO have the ability to store or distribute goods like diapers. Having found this information she established a non-profit organization called Infant Essentials. The goal is to provide necessary comforts to homeless and low income infants 0-3 years old.

Heather received requests for diapers, pull ups, car seats, strollers, etc. from 14 agencies around the county that have identified families in need on the North Coast. There are currently 700 homeless diaper-aged children in SLO County. In addition to the homeless population, organizations such as RISE and Stand Strong contact Infant Essentials when they identify women with infants escaping violence.

Heather thanked us for the diapers and other items we donated at our meeting.

You can learn more about Heather’s work or make a donation at https:// We were please to announce to Heather that our Community Service Committee voted to make a donation to Infant Essentials and Bob Kasper invited her back to accept a “Big Check” (along with an actual one).

Miguel Hernandez told us that he recently was elected to the Cambria Community Health District (CCHD) and is still learning the ropes. He introduced Mike McDonough who was hired in August 2019 as the new Administrator. Mike has 37 years in Emergency Medical Services as a field Paramedic and as an educator. Mike has a B.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management, a Masters in Health Sciences/EMS Leadership, and is working on a Ph.D in education and Transformative Leadership.

Mike told us that CCHD was created in 1947 with the objective of attracting physicians and dentists to locate their practice to the community. Community healthcare districts were originally created to bring healthcare to rural areas of California and provide jobs for war veterans. CCHD provides ambulance service to an 810

square mile area and responds to about 1500 incidents a year with an average of 600 requiring transport to the hospital. Since Cambria is so far from area hospitals, the paramedics are trained to provide more medical care than paramedics in larger cities.

In addition to providing ambulance and paramedic services, the District provides cpr training, health and wellness education and emergency preparedness education.

Mike cautioned us that people tend to think 911 will be around forever but this is not happening everywhere. As a public entity, CCHD is supported by taxes but that does not cover all

the expenses. So, the board has created a trust to help ensure that the district will be able to continue to provide the badly needed emergency services. The board is also working on identifying a helicopter landing site so patients can be transported quickly. Miguel also told us that they are working to see if an Urgent Care facility could be brought to town.

Thank you Mike for taking the time to educate our Club on the Community Healthcare District.

Donna Crocker told us that Jim Brescia is the SLO County Superintendent of Schools
and a clinical faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Administration
Program at Cal Poly. He has served as the County Superintendent of schools since
2015 and has been re-elected to serve a second four-year term. He enjoys teaching
organizational theory, educational leadership, educational finance, school site
leadership, and instructional evaluation. Dr. Brescia’s writing and research interests include school leadership, instructional leadership, problem-solving-based training of educational leaders, and, most recently the issue of recruitment and retention of teachers. He is an avid supporter of Career Technical Education and Arts in Education initiatives.

Dr. Brescia told us that there are 34,000 K-12 students in SLO County schools, including 3 charter schools. The schools provide almost half a billion dollars in economic contributions to the county.

He explained that students in our county need to be prepared for future careers that increasingly require creativity, critical thinking and complex problem solving.

Arts Outreach: Jim explained that Paso schools participate in an Art & Design Program where students work directly with artists to learn to deal in public in a gallery setting and get advice from the artists. Students get to display and sell their art at the Paso Robles USD Art Gallery in Studios in the Park. Students work in the gallery on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

Career & Technical Education (CTE) is a program of study that involves a multiyear sequence of courses, integrating core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. The technical, academic and employability skills that students gain in CTE programs, through career and College Pathway courses, work-based learning, career and technical student organizations and duel enrollment, are essential for college and career success.

Career and College Pathways: Aligned with industry standards, labor market demands and college expectations, the Pathways are sequenced into three levels of courses: Introduction, Concentration, and Capstone. Due in part to the strong business partnerships the courses have with local industry sectors, Pathway Completers are poised to enter the workforce in their desired career, whether it is immediately after high school graduation, or after completion of trade school, Community college program or university degree.

Dual Enrollment applies to students in Grades 9-12 concurrently enrolling at Cuesta College while in high school. Over the past several years, Cuesta College has implemented dual enrollment courses at every SLO County public high school, serving more than 3,000 students annually.

Thank you Dr. Brescia for such an informative presentation. It appears our students are in good hands!

Sue Oberholtzer told us that Dan was first elected District Attorney of San Luis Obispo in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. Throughout his career, he has focused on sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence cases. Dan served in the US Army since 1989 and currently serves as Lieutenant Colonel JAG officer in the CA National Guard at Camp Roberts. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010 where he was awarded the Bronze Star. Dan is married to Wendy (also a Rotarian) and they have two children Chloe and Jedidiah.

Dan began by telling us that it was great being with “another Best Rotary Club”. The Mission of the District Attorney’s is to bring justice and safety to our rights of crime victims. In addition to prosecuting, the District Attorney’s
office is responsible for keeping the community safe, helping and protecting the rights of victims.

District Attorney Dow leads the office staff of 110 employees which makes the District Attorney's Office the largest law firm in San Luis Obispo County. There are 37 attorneys, 16 victim advocates dealing with people in crisis, 38 support staff and 17 investigators who help attorneys prepare for trial.

In the justice system, the Judge ensures fairness, the defense advocates for clients seeking the best possible outcome and the DA seeks the truth: a just outcome for the victim and society. Domestic violence accounts for 10% of the crimes in SLO County and last year the DA’s office handled over 1,000 cases. Just in the past week, 3 defendants were sentenced: Levente Lazar received life without parole for murder, William Martinez Perez got 100 years to life for 3 counts of child molestation (under 14 years old), and Tyrel Hebert received 4 years for intimate partner violence and child abuse.

Human trafficking has become a top priority for the DA’s office. They are trying to catch people paying for sex and publish their names in an effort for reduce the demand for sexual exploitation of children. 99% of prostitutes in the county are victims of human trafficking,

Thank you Dan for a very informative program and for agreeing to return to get into more details about Human Trafficking.

Paula began by telling us that she has been living in Zambia since 2005 and has been wanting to build a school in the town of Mwandi. Moyo Lunga Community School opened on January 14, 2019 for pre-school and 1st grade. We have 2 pre-school class rooms and the morning and afternoon 1st grade total enrollment is over 70 students. This is a community school so the PTA fees that we charge are modest. For those students who cannot pay the parents or guardians work at the school keeping the land clear of weeds and debris as well as cleaning the toilets and class rooms and giving the teachers any assistance they may need. This school is the first of its kind in Mwandi Royal Village. The only other primary school in the area was built in the 50’s for around 300 students they now have over 1000 from 1st to 7th grade. This community school was very much needed and is working exactly like a community school should.

Paula told us they have 3 wonderful qualified teachers. Peter, who she sponsored through college to be a teacher, is their acting head as well as 1st grade teacher. Lydia and Bridget are the pre-school teachers. All the buildings and furniture were donated by many groups and individuals.

They plan to take this school to 7th grade and are always looking for donors to help us build as well as help with the running costs of the
school. The PTA fees only cover about 1 1⁄2 months of expenses. They must pay the teachers, electric, water, hand soap, toilet paper and all
the other running costs. At this point they do have a group coming in July 2019 that are raising funds to build 2nd grade but they always need help with furniture and other things needed to open that class, as well to continue building on to the school. The community is behind this school 100% . “The need was so great these kids deserve the best we can give them. Life in this village is not easy. and without an education that starts early in life they are lost. Our hope and mission is to keep building on till we get to the 7th grade to provide quality education to all”, Paula said.

Check out the gallery of photos at gallery.html to get a true picture of the work that is being done by this amazing group of volunteers.

Donna Crocker introduced our speaker, Mara Purl, author and actress.

Mara shared with us short version of her journey to the Central Coast. What brought her to Cambria was an invitation from Jim and Olga Buckley to spend a summer co-starring in a professional production of Sea Marks at the Pewter Plough Playhouse. It was then that she realized that Cambria was too creative, too eccentric, too fantastic not to write about it!

Back in Los Angeles, she was cast as Darla Cook in Days of Our Lives. But Cambria was never far from her thoughts. She got interested in the longer form of storytelling. And realized that a small coastal town would be a perfect framework for a story of her own. During the run of the play at Pewter Plough, she was invited by Wally Wallenbrach, the owner of our local radio station K-Otter, to do a radio drama. By the time she accepted his invitation, the radio station had been sold but with support from Wally and our very own Bruce Howard, she was able to sell her show to the station.

Now she has to decide what to name the show. It would be based on Cambria, but she was unsure whether or not she should use the name Cambria. First, this was now a town full of friends, some of whom had already agreed to become cast members. Second, although she had experience as a journalist, this would not be a documentary. This would be drama. To protect the town and her friends and to give herself artistic freedom she decided to create a fictional town that had suspicious resemblances to Cambria. Mara created two main characters: one would be the head of the Environmental Planning Commission – at the time, there was no such thing; the other would be a builder-developer. They were
constantly at loggerheads. She then created two more main characters. One would
be an artist who painted wildlife and landscape; the other would be the heir to a
coastal oil company. Despite romantic interest, their lives were moving in opposite

While searching for a name for her fictitious town, she discovered that Cambria is a name for Wales. So she looked to the country of Wales for ideas. She located a town by the name of Milford-Haven and it was on a coastline very similar to Cambria. She commissioned local artist, Warren Talcott to create a visual representation of Milford-Haven and turned the radio show into a series of printed books.

Amazingly enough, word of her books drew the attention of the BBC, who was
interested in broadcasting her show in Great Britain! Mara realized that she would need to promote her story in Britain and Wales so she and her husband headed there. She was amazed to discover so many similarities between Cambria and Milford-Haven. Both towns had produced whale oil and were involved in ship building. With the demise of the whale oil trade, both towns turned to tourism. The people of Milford-Haven, Wales, welcomed Mara with open arms because she was helping to put their town on the map through her books.

Thank you for a very interesting presentation. You can read more about Mara Purl and her books at

Dennis Frahmann told us that the Festival showcases independent films from around the world that celebrate romance, romantic comedies and the complexities of love. The 2020 event will be their third year, the festival is 4 days long, there are 3 venues and more than 50 films will be showcased.

In 2019, nearly 2,00 seats were filled and VIP tickets sold out a month in advance. The 2020 even promises more films, lunchtime talks with the filmmakers and a Festival
Lounge. More than 3000 entries have been received from around the world.
And, for the first time, individual advance purchase tickets will be available.

Dennis invited us to a free screening of What’s Up Doc on October 16 at Cambria Center for the Arts. They will also be previewing some of the new films and you can get a jump start on purchasing tickets.

See for more information about tickets and sponsorships.

Savi began by telling us that, in 1945, the United Nations invited people from the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain to come together to discuss how to avoid war. The majority of people in attendance were Rotarians. November 9, 2019 is Rotary Day at the United Nations which celebrates the two organizations’ shared vision for peace and highlights the critical humanitarian activities that Rotary and the UN lead around the world.

DG Savi told us that Rotary turns dreams into reality. She told us she is proud that so
many clubs in our district are providing scholarships for Tech Trek, a math and science
camp for middle school girls This program allows middle school girls recommended by
their science, math or technology teachers to attend a week at UCSB with more than 80
other girls from across the state. Hands-on classes in the STEM fields and project-based work groups make this preview of college a unique opportunity for the participants. She thanked our club for our donations to Piyali Learning Center which helps change a life and gives young bright girls in India the opportunity for an equally bright future. Savi said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.

Savi also thanked us for our support of RYLA and told us how the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) is like a mini RYLA and gives kids who can’t go to RYLA a chance to experience some of the leadership skills that RYLA graduates learn. She encouraged all clubs to consider a YES program. One of the students who went through the YES program initially did not want to go. He was depressed and was considering suicide. After begrudgingly attending, he went on to attend RYLA and is now studying to become an Orthopedic Surgeon.

Rotary is well on it’s way to defeating polio thanks to Rotarians who give up their time to travel around the world administering the vaccine. Savi told us of a Rotarian who was administering vaccines and had just finished vaccinating a young girl when he felt something tugging at his pants. He looked down to see a young boy in a wheelchair. The boy, who had polio, looked up at him and said “thank you for vaccinating my sister".

Savi also encouraged all of us to follow the 4 Way Test in everything we do because when you follow the words of the test, you will be happier and you will actually make a difference.

Thank you DG Savi for a very inspirational talk that obviously came from your heart!

John Ehlers explained that it was actually Ken Cooper who spearheaded the effort to form the Cambria Historical Society back in 1971. Ken told us that he purchased the Blue Bird in 1971 and, when he was going through some of the items left behind by the former owners, he came across some photos of Bing Crosby and Wm. Randolph Hearst on horseback in the Pinedorado Parade and thought he would like to donate them to the local historical society. After asking around, he discovered that there was not a local historical society but that Paul & Louise Squibb had a lot of local

history memorabilia. Ken spoke to Louise Squibb and asked her if she would donate her items to the town. She told him she had already decided to give them to the SLO Historical Society since there was no society in Cambria. Ken told her he would start one. Being somewhat skeptical, she turned down his request. Undaunted, Ken began his quest to form a Cambria Historical Society. He contact Joan Broadhurst, an attorney who just moved to town and asked her how much it would cost to incorporate. Joan responded that the cost would be about $1200. So, Ken set out to raise the needed funds and, with Joan’s expertise, the Cambria Historical Society was incorporated in 1990.

John Ehlers also noted that Rotarians Nancy Carr, Linda Finley, Dennis Rightmer, Roger and Sue Robinson have been very involved with the society in the past.

John shared some fun facts about Cambria’s history:

  • Many of us have been complaining about the construction in Highway 1 this summer. Did you know that, in the late early days of Hearst Castle, in order to transport visitors from SLO to San Simeon, one had to stop 19 times to open cattle gates.

  • Local shop owner, George Lull, went to the county to get a permit to build what is now the main structure at the Bluebird Inn. When he was asked what the address of the property was, he said 1880 Main St., since the year was 1880 and it was the first number he came up with. From that time on, all Main St. addresses were based on the 1880 address.

  • Have you noticed some of the buildings on Main Street in the East Village are below street level. That is because, in 1927, when the highway was build, they raised the level of Main St. so it would match the highway.

    The Santa Rosa School House:

• The Cambria Lions Club donated the structure to the Cambria Historical Society several years ago. CHS has now obtained a lease on the 6 acre parcel at the East edge of town informally known as the old dog park. This location provides an authentic bucolic setting for the Schoolhouse and a contextual welcoming for the entrance to the East Village. CHS plans to restore the Schoolhouse interior to its original design, furnishing it with vintage school desks, chalkboards and educational materials. It will be open to children and adults as a school museum where we will regularly offer interactive activities, exhibits and educational experiences. These experiences will recall how people lived and learned in the 1800s and early 1900s. Donations are sorely needed. A GoFundMe page has been set up ( Anyone making a $1,000 donation to the Vintage PTA will have a plaque with their name on it at the schoolhouse.

Julian Crocker introduced our speaker. Andrea Wogsland came to Cambria in 2019 to start her new position as Executive Director of Greenspace - The Cambria Land Trust. She brings
with her a background facilitating land conservation, environmental business design, community outreach, and environmental education. After working for a conservation-driven
investing firm and the local land trust, who operated the organic farm closest to New York City, Wogsland became a Project Partner with Southwest Strategies, a top public affairs firm in
California, spearheading an eco-tourism project. She galvanized the simmering need for healthy food in a community located in the South Bay of San Diego by leading the business
planning effort to start a grocery co-op market. The co-op now has over 300 owners. Since 2016, she has served as the Development Director for an animal welfare non profit organization in Santa Barbara County, CA with several environmental education programs. She serves on the board of directors of Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, a cooperative non profit organization with California State Parks and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration for the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

November 2019.

Wogsland attended Parsons School of Design’s business program for Design & Management in New York City.

Greenspace kicked off our #3000 Trees Initiative at our Earth Day celebration on April 21, 2019. More seeds got a jumpstart the following week when Greenspace participated in Cambria Grammar School's STEAM night. As of May, 35 families have stepped up to sow and care for a rack of 98 Monterey Pines in Super-Cells until they are ready to be planted with their sibling trees this fall. In total, our community is growing approximately 3,800 seedlings.

Growers are relaying that seed germination is already emerging anywhere from
one courageous leader to a family of 48 in greenhouse conditions. While the germination rate may vary between seed lots, we are on the path for our projected planting in

She also told us about Pocahontas Park (on the corner of Wilton Dr. & Newton) which is being used to demonstrate the prosperity of native plants. By exhibiting native plant growth, we hope to show Cambrians that a beautiful garden can be achieved with the addition of native plants. This inspiration scales to a larger audience through education events and volunteer involvement.

We learned about the Nature Club which focuses on exploration and discovery, the different age and generation groups being together allow for different needs and perspectives to be viewed by all. For example, the 15 year old is a role model for the 4 year old, who gives a helpful perspective through young eyes, and for myself, being an “elder,” I might share my thoughts and experiences with young parents.

Julian Crocker introduced our speaker, Brandi Moody, telling us that she has worked in Wine & Spirits, Hospitality, the Cannabis Industry and as a Market Research Consultant.
Brandi began by telling us that the legalization of cannabis was a long time coming. In 1996, Prop 215, otherwise known as Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative or the Compassionate Use Act, was approved.

It was not until 2016 Prop 64, The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, was approved by voters. Prop 64 permits adults 21 years of age and over to possess and grow specified amounts of marijuana for recreational use. Brandi told us about some of the regulations tied to this proposition:

  • A license is required to grow or sell cannabis.

  • All cannabis must be in a child resistant package.

  • Advertising on tv, radio or billboards is not allowed.

  • Packaging cannot have cartoon characters or any other images that might appeal to children.

  • Up to 6 plants can be grown on private property.

  • There is a 15% tax on sales and that can be in addition to other cannabis tax, sales tax. In San Jose the taxes

    imposed on cannabis total 40%

    What to know about Cannabis:

  • Cannabis and hemp are cousins but hemp does not contain the beneficial components of cannabis.

  • Hemp is imported and not tested.

  • THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects.

  • CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.”

    Thank you Brandi for such an interesting and informative presentation.

ulian Crocker introduced our speaker, Leslie Kasanoff, DC, a fellow Rotarian from Los Osos who helps people who want natural treatments.

Below is directly from Leslie’s website:

I have spent my professional life in health care; initially beginning my career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. “Then, there I was; called on to assist at the bedside, for a bone marrow biopsy. The frail, elderly lady looked, to my 22 year old eyes, to be 110.”

The pathologist thrusted a blunt-ended needle into her sternum (bone) and I cringed, averting my eyes. The blood-curdling screams seemed to suck all the energy from the room; seemed to suck any compassion he had from his heart as he maneuvered & manipulated that needle inside her sternum to obtain that sample.

Finally, after what seemed hours, the screaming stopped, he handed the sample to me, where-upon I made the requisite microscope slides and brought them & the remaining sample back to the lab. As I handed the sample to

the technologist, I told her the story. She looked back at me with sad eyes, “But, Leslie, they don’t even treat leukemia in people that age.”

I was appalled and devastated! Here I was, technically still a student, just weeks from graduating after 5 long and grueling years. I instantly understood that in my then current position I was helpless to effect change in her life or in the system that put she and I in these positions. I knew, in that instant that I needed to be outside of that system in order to effect change and to truly help people heal.

My science background allowed me to quickly separate the chaff from the grain & see what made sense and had real scientific support and what didn’t, regardless of who published it. Fast forward to the fall of 2018, I left Community Health Centers (where I had
taken a position to serve mostly those with limited access to healthcare), went on a Fall Foliage Bicycle trip thru New England, reuniting, for part of it with 2 of the cyclists that accompanied me on the trip nearly 40 years earlier. That trip
helped me reaffirm that we can still do whatever we want, regardless of age and circumstance if we have the inspiration to put the pieces of the puzzle
together . So on my return to the Central Coast, I recommitted myself to helping women, families and seniors find simple natural answers to common health problems.

I help debunk the myths surrounding diet, exercise, genetics and lifestyle.

I’ll help you find balance so you can holistically manage your health and move forward with clarity at a pace that’s comfortable yet challenging.

I even help my clients navigate the thorny confrontations of telling their physicians that they are choosing a drug- free path and wanting to elicit cooperation.

Pres. Roger started things off my thanking everyone who participated in the Avenues of Service projects during his presidency year and applauded their accomplishments.

PE and VIVA Chair, Chuck Forester pointed out that, without the proceeds from the
VIVA event, the Avenues of Service would not be able to do much of what they have done during the 2018-19 year. He asked that everyone pay attention to the slide show and do what they can to help this year’s VIVA be the best one yet! There are many ways to help.

GRAND RAFFLE: Sue O. pointed out that we have 500 Grand Raffle tickets to sell. We need to sell $7500 worth of tickets just to break even. So, please tell your friends, family, neighbors what a great deal this is and get those tickets sold. If you have any rack cards left over, please give them to Sue.

EVENT TICKETS: Linda Sherman told us that event tickets will be available on line beginning June 28. Go to Cambria Rotary and click on the VIVA logo. That will bring you to the VIVA page where you can purchase tickets and bid on silent auction items. Those not attending the event can still bid on Silent Auction items on-line until a couple of days before VIVA. Their bids will be entered on the bid sheets.

LIVE AUCTION: Reluctant Live Auction Chair, Bob Kasper asked us to get creative this year. Do you know anyone in “the industry” that could get backstage passes to see a filming, can get a limo to take people wine tasting, a vacation rental or airline miles. So far the J Patrick House (thanks to former members Linda Ennen & Ron Castadio), has been donated and will be used as a trade with the Oakhurst Club for a Yosemite package. We will also be offering Tree Bones and he is working on a possible Dodger package. But he can not

do it all himself. Anyone willing to help Bob, please let him know.

SPONSORS: Patty Griffin is, once again, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to get a lot of sponsors for the event. Today, Philip Sullivan presented VIVA with a $2500 check for a GOLD sponsorship from Pacific Premier Bank. Thanks Philip!

SILENT AUCTION: Sue Robinson told us that the VIVA Committee is trying something new this year. All members are being asked to join with fellow Rotarians to put together silent auction items. She and Sue O. passed around a list of silent auction ideas and asked for members or groups of members to sign up to donate a basket. Otis, Dr. Joe, Heidi and Janet Meyers signed up for “A Bit of Italy” basket and Elaine & Heide signed up for a “Crafty Ones” basket.

If anyone would like to help out with VIVA, let Chuck know. The more the merrier.

Youth Services Chair, Cynthia Woodruff-Neer, began the program by inviting Condee Seed up to the stage. Condee was the winner of our local 4-Way Test Essay Contest and also was selected as number 1 in the District! In error, Condee was previously given the award for 2nd place but, now that error has been corrected and she was presented with a $100 check.

Cynthia then went onto thank Heidi Santos and Donna Crocker for working with her to determine which students would be offered scholarships. She also thanked Nancy McKarney for doing up the certificates for the students.

CUHS Scholarship Winners Zack (Jack) Acevedo will be attending Cal Poly majoring in Agriculture Business. He hopes one day to set up agriculture programs in poorer countries.

Cesar Hernandez will be attending Cuesta with the hopes of transferring to Cal Poly or Long Beach State. He is planning on a degree in Nutrition and hopes to be a registered

dietician in the sports field. Karis Lawson will be attending Cal Poly working toward a degree in Landscape Architecture and a masters in City Planning.

Jasmine Torres will be pursuing a degree in Agriculture Business and Ranch Management. She thanked her parents for coming to the US and working so hard to

give her a better life and encouraging her to do her best. Haley Zinn will be attending Cal Poly to study Physics and/or Chemistry with an eye on a medical degree.

Leffingwell Scholarship Winners Zachery Dolan will attend Cuesta then transfer to Alan Hancock in pursuit of a

degree in Criminal Justice. Luis Ramos will be attending Cuesta majoring in Business. Jazlin Rixman is going to Cuesta with an eye on becoming a Psych Technician.

Vocational Services Chair, Laudon Rowen, presented all 6 Leffingwell graduates with Chrome Books so they are better prepared for the road ahead.

Once again, we were so impressed with the students of our local school district. The future looks bright. Thanks to Cynthia and Laudon for organizing this visit from the



Bob Putney showed a PowerPoint explaining Rotary’s funding structure. Our membership fees fund ONLY membership and insurance fees paid to District 5240 and to Rotary International. Your pledges fund our Club’s annual operating budget ONLY.

Our Cambria Rotary Club Foundation is the giving arm of our Club and donations to the Foundation are saved to build a fund. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.

The Cambria Rotary Board and the Cambria Rotary Foundation Board are
Separate entities.
75% of VIVA profits go to Rotary Avenues of Service
25% of VIVA profits are retained by the Cambria Rotary Club Foundation
Fundraising profits from i.e. the Beer Booth would go into the Cambria Rotary Club Foundation.

TRF The Rotary Foundation

Annual Programs Fund; World Fund; SHARE (Annual Fund and World Fund); International Initiatives; Polio; Direct Project Donations i.e. Project Peanut Butter, Shelter Box, etc.


Funds we donate to TRF are invested and grow, and after three years, are available to us as District Grants, for which we must be eligible and for which we must apply. To be eligible, we must have at least two members attend on-line or in-person Grant Training.

TRF has a good reputation for giving 98 1/2 cents of each dollar directly to projects, with the balance retained as administrative costs. In 2018, Rotary distributed $86,677,399 for 1,306 grants.

Sustaining Memberships are $100/year. Cambria Foundation pays $75 for each of its members, with the remaining $25 voluntarily donated by each member to TRF.

Cambria Rotary is 48 years old— began in 1971. A Paul Harris Award is given to a Cambria Rotary member for each $1,000 donated to TRF, either in installments or at one time. If a Cambria Rotary member donates $1000 to the Cambria Rotary Foundation, he receives a Neal Jensen reward.

Regarding the END POLIO NOW campaign, the final countries working on eradication are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Republic of Congo.

May 24 Presentation:


PP Jane Howard told us about the unbelievable schedule the kids followed during their 4 days at RYLA. Days began at 7:45 when all attendees were required to attend the flag salute and usually ended at about midnight! She then asked the students to tell us what they thought the best lesson they learned from their experience.

Emanuel began by telling us that the first day was “kind of weird” being with all these people he didn’t know. By the second day, he had made a lot of friends and feels grateful for everything he has.

David said inspirational speaker, Jim Brogan, pushed everyone to be the best they could be.

Ore told us that she felt bad for those who were not chosen to attend

RYLA and she wanted to make the most of her experience because she wanted to do it for all those kids.

Gabriel said he started off not really wanting to branch out. He is thankful that Rotary sent him to RYLA because he connected with other kids in his color group and they will all be meeting at the Mid State Fair this summer.

Annika told us that she was really nervous about going to RYLA but, by the second day, she had made lots of new friends. She also said Diversity was really hard because she learned that you never really know what someone is going through.

Alondra was not sure she would be getting as much out of RYLA as the other students. But, she met a girl in the foster system and, after hearing her story, has decided she wants to study to be a social worker.

Jacqueline found the entire experience life-changing. She was most impacted by the ropes course because she is afraid of heights. But, with a lot of encouragement from everyone, she finished the course.

Angelique said she learned to be “unapologetically herself”. She learned leadership fundamentals which she will put to good use as next year’s Senior Class President.

Spencer got a big kick watching 6’3” guys fitting in the tiny beds in the cabin. Although he is afraid of heights, he was able to help someone who was more afraid to tackle the rope course.

John said he learned invaluable skills. His first class was diversity and that was difficult. He also confessed that he too is afraid of heights and that this
“tiny little girl” helped him navigate the rope course. He is still in touch with 30 members of his team. What an amazing group of kids. Everyone in attendance agreed that our future is in good hands.

Rotary International Strategic Plan
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Cambria Rotary Club Information

Welcome to the BEST Rotary Club in the world!
You can email us at cambriarotaryclub AT


Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Cambria Pines Lodge
2905 Burton Drive Cambria or
San Simeon Bar and Grill 9520 Castillo Dr
Cambria / San Simeon, CA
United States of America
(805) 769-4749
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Club Executives & Directors
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Stepdown Party 2019
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June 2020
Member Birthdays:
  • Bonnie Cameron
    June 7
  • Phillip Sullivan
    July 2
  • Steve Ormondroyd
    July 3
  • Del Clegg
    July 8
  • Joe Morrow
    July 12
  • Ed Pearce
    July 15
  • Kate Perry
    July 17
  • Jane R. Howard
    July 23
  • Tim Carr
    July 23