• Volunteers needed for annual creek, river cleanup day

    ATASCADERO — Community volunteers are once again being sought out to participate in the annual Atascadero Creek and River Clean-up event to take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will meet at the Atascadero Mutual Water Company yard, 6575 Sycamore Road. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and work begins promptly at 9 a.m. All volunteers should remember to bring work gloves, sturdy, closed-toe shoes and a small backpack to carry water. Volunteers will be provided with water, refreshments and snacks, as well as lunch upon conclusion of the event at noon.

  • Fatal collision on Cuesta Grade

    According to information provided by the California Highway Patrol, Robert Dave Jones II, 19, of Fresno was driving a 2007 Toyota Scion, when he executed an unsafe turning movement to the right due to alleged intoxication.

  • Local group forms Paso Food Co-Op

    Hungry? Good news: a new grocery shopping option is coming to the North County. Mobilized by a group of individuals who were dissatisfied with the grocery options available in the area, the Paso Food Co-Op is a community-owned grocery store with a mission to maximize the affordability, sustainability, and accessibility of local products. They are currently seeking members to become part owners of the state-registered co-op. Paso Robles food Co-op President Greg Ellis said that the main goal of the co-op is to “tap into the underground of local products that you would know of as a foodie, but isn’t available to regular folks right now.” He and the current members are “all just consumers who are dissatisfied with the limited selection of local groceries here. We feel that the north county has a great wine and food culture, and a lot of restaurants . . . but there’s not an equivalent in a grocery store that features the local, tastier options.”

  • Kelley off to Oregon

    After 42 years in Atascadero, former City Council Member and Mayor Pro-tem Bob Kelley is moving on. Over the past several years, Kelley and his wife, LaVonne, took several trips in their RV to Grant’s Pass, Ore., and fell in love with the area. When it ca

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Arts & Entertainment

Whale Rock: Castoro's gift to local students

The California certified organic winery and music hub of the area, Castoro Cellars, is on it’s fifth year of bringing back an all ages soulful event, something reminiscent of the groovy 60s. Castoro’s Udsen family doesn’t make a penny on the Whale Rock Festival. All profits benefit Templeton school music education. The Whale Rock Music Festival will be Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16, beginning at noon each day. Tickets for the first day are almost sold out. The festival (formerly known as Beaverstock) will have it’s usual mostly Central Coastal lineup of country western, folk, eclectic, soul, global and funk banks at the same time as gatherings and meetups for yoga classes, as well as art, food, and wine to discover. Aside from the new name, a little marketplace with local vendors will debut, and a trippy ‘Silent Disco’ experience, where headphone gear accompanies a dance party under a tent of contrasting boogie moves.

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Arts & Entertainment

Max Randoph's classic trade in a magical art

Walking into Max Randolph’s Paso Robles hillside studio, one might see the fifth generation blacksmith turning and forming a massive steel pipe over his great, hand-refurbished forging oven, sparks flying, steel morphing from red to yellow, sweat dripping off his forehead onto his beard, and think, bewildered – what year is this? Where am I? The Industrial Revolution of America? The Art Nouveau movement in France? A sword and weaponry mercantile down thither the stone steps of Casterly Rock? “I really took to steel because I loved the permanence of it,” Randolph said, describing the entry into the blacksmith profession as coming “from a lifetime of being misunderstood to all of a sudden finding a means to express yourself.”

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Arts & Entertainment

A little piece of Broadway: Idina Menzel brings soulful singing, a personal touch to Vina Robles

On Sunday night at Vina Robles, Broadway star and vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel delighted the audience not only with her soulful singing, but also with intimate glimpses into her life. During the 90-minute concert she bared her soul on romantic relationships, motherhood, and life as a performer. Menzel’s new album, “Idina,” provided the foundation of the experience. Starting with the energetic “Queen of Swords,” Menzel set the vocal expectations high, both literally and figuratively. The song featured a strong African-inspired drumbeat and a pre-chorus that ascended into the vocal stratosphere, prompting delighted cheers from the audience.

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Punk rock revival: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys channel the angst and fervor of yesteryears

Not all of us sported razor sharp mohawks and tattooed forearms to bear our tortured souls. Some of us who listened to Dropkick Murphys and Rancid when we were ‘nobody gets me,’ rebellious teens, showed up last Friday at the Avila Beach Golf Resort concert too. The punkers of the late eighties and nineties are now in our forties and fifties, our years of teenage angst neatly worked out through counseling and (for some, judging by the smoke in that taunted the clean ocean-side air) cigarettes. I was stoked to see the Thrasher Magazine shirts and spiked dog collars in abundance, and even more delighted to see former punkers with their newly-anointed kids up on their shoulders, screaming like awesome maniacs — the future torch bearers of punk. How wonderful, I thought, that when they get to their inevitable first disappointments in life: when the first girlfriend dumps them for some jock, when their dad won’t quit drinking, and when they get busted for skateboarding over someone’s flower bed, they’ll have their headphones to turn to. Full blast. Because, isn’t that what punk is? A big, giant middle finger to everything that sucks? At least for me it is, because “God Save the Queen,” I’d never listen to Hell-heavy bass and angry thunder drums when I’m feeling chipper and content with all the great things happening in my life.

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Arts & Entertainment

Thomas Hill Organics

Where did Thomas Hill Organics’ new chef come from? Kurt Metzger, who now heads both the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo restaurants, was asking himself the same question after his red Corvette was rear ended a few years ago and a severe brain injury from a bad concussion wiped his memory clean. He was on his way home to Mission Hills from his restaurant, the wildly popular Kitchen 4140 in San Diego. The 44-year-old culinary talent who owned and operated his own restaurant on Morena Boulevard and was married to an absolutely gorgeous woman named Syrisa, had his life taken from him in that moment. Everything and everyone he knew was gone in a puff of smoke. Amnesia had erased it all: Being top of the class at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, cheffing at Roxxi’s in San Francisco and Bistro 45 in Pasadena, running Concept Catering for 15 years, working with Flavors of San Diego and dominating the annual “I Love Poke San Diego” Festival competition. Gone was his childhood, growing up as a twin near Pasadena, as the son of a Sergeant Major Ranger and loving mother who encouraged his cooking. He lost his father four years before, and when he called his mom, whose voice he didn’t recognize, she had to break the news to him again. He couldn’t remember that he’d been a foodie since he was a child, and had loved to prepare food before he had even become a teen. Friends he had, contacts he made, were taken aback and sometimes insulted when Metzger didn’t recognize them, and the menus which he had perfected were as foreign as the tastes of the ingredients that made up every dish. He and his brother had to start a friendship all over again.

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Additional Articles

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Tacos and Trump: Trevor Noah comes to Paso

    The star of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah performed a stand up show on Saturday night from at Vina Robles Amphitheater. It was a perfect, Central Coast summer night. As Noah walked to center stage the last few minutes of daylight danced a

  • Sports

    Spencer Howard drafted

    On Monday evening, the dreams of one local athlete came true. Spencer Howard, Cal Poly sophomore and former Templeton Eagle pitcher was drafted in the second round of the Major-League Baseball Draft. Taken with the 45th pick overall by the Phillies, accor

Speciality Publications

Miss California Mid-State Fair Queen crowned at pageant

Fair festivities kicked off Tuesday with the 2017 Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant, where Adrianne Stultz, of Atascadero, was crowned queen. Taking the runner-up Princess spot was Suzanne Belton of Paso Robles and in the third spot, named Miss Congeniality, was Belle Caffee, of San Luis Obispo.


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