Takin’ Care of Business 1-26-2023

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Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

January 27, 2023

Los Osos/Baywood Names New Board

The Los Osos/Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce kicked off 2023 with the installation of the newly elected board of directors and the election of their officers.  Those elected and those chosen as officers were:

Tom Cross, individual member; President Curtis Armstrong, Baywood Bed and Breakfast; President-Elect Annie Wahler, Kiwanis, secretary; and Josh Tucker, Tucker Law Firm, treasurer.

Other Board members are Colleen Vecchetti, Movement for Life Physical Therapy; Gary Dove, Rotary; Marshall Ochylski, CSD; and Jim Stanfill, individual member.

In February, the board will plan for the year’s activities including a retreat to set dates and select chairpersons for the upcoming events with the first one being the annual awards dinner.  Tentative plans for this event are for late March.

The next ribbon-cutting and mixer takes place at Brightside Restaurant (formerly Nichols) at 1236 on LOVR near Fairchild at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January the 26.  

Cambria Chamber Honors Citizen and Business of the Year

About 60 people gathered to celebrate the 2023 Cambria Chamber of Commerce Citizen and Business of the Year during their annual dinner and awards celebration on Jan. 17.

Chamber President Mel McColloch’s presented a picture of the Chamber going strong after the pandemic stating that there are more than 250 members, and visitor numbers are starting to increase again.

Vice President Oz Barron reviewed the year’s activities by the Chamber, including a successful car show, participation in community events, the strong return of Hospitality Night, and the upcoming Art & Wine Festival.

Sunshine Johnson received the Business of the Year Award on behalf of Robin’s Restaurant. Lorienne Schwenk, chamber executive director, introduced her by speaking to the work owner Shanny Covey does through Robin’s for the community and the world at large while also continuing to run an outstanding restaurant. Johnson continued that theme of collaboration and outreach in her thank you speech.

“Community member Suzanne Kennedy gave a very moving introduction to Citizen of the Year, Steve Kniffen,” Schwenk said “She addressed his strong generations of family, his leadership at the Sea Chest, and his deep commitment to the Cambria community’s health and well-being.

Steve Kniffen gave a rousing speech honoring those who have inspired him and sharing his award with those who lifted him up. 

“In all, the event spoke to how we are all stronger together when we collaborate and help one another,” said Schwenk.“San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill provided a terrific dinner with their usual wonderful staff.”

For more information, contact the Cambria Chamber of Commerce at 


Local Author Releases Murder Mystery

Los Osos resident Alan E. (Al) Strunk released “French Market Mayhem – an Early Times New Orleans Murder Mystery” taking readers on a trip through the dark side of New Orleans. 

Early Times, escapes his past in San Francisco with its romantic complications by fleeing to New Orleans. Now he finds tarot cards in his mailbox, on his kitchen bulletin board, and under his windshield wiper. He never meant to become a private investigator, but with the help of his landlady Angélique Rolé, Early must unravel the mysteries of the Caribbean occult, serving up gore and ritual with hush puppies. 

Strunk experienced life in the French Quarter in the 1980s after receiving an MFA in theater from Tulane University. After graduation, he served as production manager at the Saenger Performing Arts Center and the La Petit Theater du Vieux Carre. He is the author of the historical novel “Pacific Sail” and the non-fiction journal “Quarantine Quickies – Pandemic in Paradise.” 

“French Market Mayhem – an Early Times New Orleans Murder Mystery” is now available at Amazon.com. Strunk can be reached at pacificsaga@yahoo.com.

Free Tax Help for Seniors and More

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide of San Luis Obispo County will provide free tax services to seniors and low to moderate taxpayers for the 2023 tax season. Services are free, and while funded through the AARP Foundation, are available to all seniors and low to moderate income residents, not just AARP Members. Tax return preparation services are offered from February 1 through early April 2023.

There are nine locations across SLO County including the Church of Christ, 1001 Las Tunas Street at Kings, Morro Bay. All sites are returning to in-person tax preparation except for the City of San Luis Obispo, which will again use the two-visit drop-off model.  Social distancing protocols for the safety of volunteers, location sponsors, and taxpayers will be in place at all locations. Details about specific operations at each of our locations can be found at CCFREETAX.ORG.

AARP Tax-Aide is offering an online self-booking appointment system, also at CCFREETAX.ORG. Taxpayers without a computer, tablet or smartphone can call the appointment line at 805-931-6308. Taxpayers are strongly encouraged to use the online appointment system.

Are you or a neighbor Taking Care of Business? Submit your awesome local efforts for publication here. Is your business supporting our community? Maybe you’re launching a new business, or you’re making updates to your current business model, or re-opening. Or perhaps you have a job opportunity, or have been doing some volunteer work, or are collaborating with another business or a non-profit. Or maybe you know someone who is. Fill out our online form at EsteroBayNews.com.

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