California Bookstore Day May 3, 2014

Volumes of Pleasure Book Shoppe in Los Osos between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay will participate in the first California Bookstore Day, a collaboration of the Northern and Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. The organization promotes its first annual event as “a statewide party on Saturday, May 3, 2014 as big and varied as the state itself.  It’s more than 90 stores in more than 80 zip codes putting their bells on and throwing out the welcome mat… (offering) books you cannot get on any other day at any other place.” An available list of books written and offered is at

“It’s a dual celebration for us,” said owner Carroll Leslie. “We are celebrating 35 years in business. I love books and love getting to know my customers and connecting them with a book I think they might like. My philosophy has always been to offer books with independent thought by lesser known writers and offer local authors a place to sell their books.”

Leslie and Barbara Strauss moved to Los Osos from Laguna Beach where they owned a book store. “I worked for the county and Barbara discovered Volumes and expressed an interest in buying it. The owners were eager to sell. We immediately increased the inventory. Barbara (deceased in 2012) and I loved escape literature and we added philosophy and spiritual books. As the trends changed we did.”

To compete with the corporate book stores and Amazon, they added sideline products to stay in business. “At one time there were fourteen independent book stores in the county,” said Leslie. “Now there is Coalesce in Morro Bay and us.”

Editor’s Note: There are several wonderful book stores still in San Luis Obispo County that offer recycled books, including Nan’s of Pismo (south of San Luis Obispo), which will also order new books for clients. Nan’s is also very supportive of local authors.

According to Volumes of Pleasure’s Christine Ahern, the celebration will begin at 11:30am Saturday with a Children’s Book Corner followed by readings by local authors throughout the afternoon until 5:30pm. Participating include Anne R. Allen, Charlie Perryess, Sue McGinty, and poets Beverly Boyd, Carol McPhee and Bonnie Young. Three Sheets to the Wind will perform at 1pm and Hoapili Pomaika’i Aloha is at 3pm.

 Allen, author of seven comic novels, including her latest mystery set in Morro Bay, No Place Like Home, said, “Independent stores like Volumes of Pleasure can carry books by authors who publish with smaller presses, the way I do. Big box bookstores usually only carry titles published by the big five publishing corporations, who can pay for shelf space. It’s a fantastic resource for readers and writers alike.”

 McGinty, author of three mysteries set in Cayucos, Morro Bay and Los Osos, said, “Readers often want books with local settings. I write about the Central Coast. Bella, my protagonist in Murder in Los Lobos, lives in “Los Lobos.” It’s invaluable to have my books in Volumes of Pleasure.”

Another Editor’s Note: When you make that choice to buy a book, think about all the help an independent book store owner has given you over the years. Do you want the chance to walk in a storefront and browse the shelves and look at the book jacket and feel the “volumes of pleasure” waiting to be opened and read. Does Amazon smile at you when you place that order? I encourage you that convenience is not always the best decision. Support your Independent Book Store so we will have them in our future. Thanks. Judy

South Bay Women’s Network celebrates 30 years

In 1983, when Jean Brown worked at Security Pacific Bank, she believed the Los Osos area needed a networking organization for women in business to support their individual endeavors and share issues specific to working women.  

Brown persuaded Cathy Stalter, Judi Tewell, Connie Framberger, Rosa Metzler, Diane McClish and Linda Villanueva to join her on the first governing board of the South Bay Women’s Network.

Last December the group celebrated 30 years of community support for the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter, including 2013 when $1,500 was raised at the annual Holiday Auction. Metzler reported the first holiday meeting was a wrapping party with each member donating a gift. Current president, Gila Zak, thanked her team of Metzler, Debra Angell and Peggy Zett for gathering community donations for their latest auction supporting the shelter.

“Helping the Women’s Shelter continues to be our major fund raiser, but we also give three $500 scholarships annually for women at Cuesta College,” said Zak, owner of Quantum Wave Biofeedback. “Mainly our mission is to encourage and support each other.”

Past-president Dawn Rodden, owner of Creative Design in Los Osos, explained the networking group commits to doing business with members, including helping women in transition. “One member’s car broke,” Rodden said, citing an example. “Another member helped this single mom replace her car so she could get to work.” Rodden, who prefers being the quiet worker bee, added she “never thought I might lead the group as president, but with full support from the group, I had the confidence and a great experience.”

Sally Brooks, owner of The Great Skin Company said, “I joined in 1996 because of the great causes we support, then so many SBWN members support my business. The friendships are invaluable. For me it has been a win-win.”

The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at noon at La Palapa in Baywood. Andrea Tackett, MD, with Coast Cardiology is an example of one of their monthly speakers. Guests are encouraged to attend. More details and to connect to attend a meeting check out

The group has maintained their dues at $45 so women can afford to join. This year, the group plans to continue raising money for the women’s shelter and support member Paula Ufferherdt’s efforts as a longtime commissioner with the Status of Women, a commission of women appointed by the San Luis Obispo County Supervisors to advocate for women and girls and inform the supervisors of unmet needs in the county. This year both groups will celebrate women volunteers for their countless hours of volunteerism during a luncheon at the Madonna Inn. Details at



Estero Bay Community Radio KEBF 97.3 The Rock Goes Live

Morro Bay’s Jeff Eckles pursues possibilities. Two years ago when he heard about a possible community based radio station, he stepped forward. The founder of Eckles Wealth Management, he hosts “Beyond Business,” a weekly financial information program at Estero Bay Community Radio 97.3FM The Rock. A 501c3 nonprofit , streamed programs on art, health, relationships, fitness, business, and music until the license was approved recently by the FCC.

Saturday, March 29 at 1pm the public was invited to a “flip the switch” celebration and tour of the studio housed at Morro Bay’s Chamber of Commerce, 695 Harbor Blvd. Sample the 24-hour programming schedule and meet EBCR Chaiman Sherry Sim and board members plus Hal Abrams, Operations Manager until 4:30pm. Live entertainment included Christine Rogers, Ray Taratino and The Monroe, plus current on-air talent Ruthann Angus, Michael Saffran, Cyndee Edwards, Greg Finch, Bryce Davis, Youssef Alaoui, James Davis, Chris Christian, Rachal Duchak and Eckles.

“This will be huge,” said Eckles. “Community radio is an on-air town hall. There are so many possibilities. We don’t know what it will become, but we know we can make it what we want it to be. It’s only limited by the number of volunteers who want to share their interests and expertise.”

Station Manager Hal Abrams was excited many of the former DJs from KOTTR which once was based in Cambria and provided the area with eclectic music and talk had volunteered to bring their voices and music files to 97.3 The Rock. The 24-hour operations will be a mix of mostly music, 34 talk format mixed in and public service announcements for community news and emergency notices as needed. “I’m working closely with Morro Bay Police Chief Amy Christie to coordinate the first responders to provide talk shows and information on a regular basis.”

Eckles was a seasoned seminar presenter, but had never interviewed or hosted radio before Dave Congalton invited him to appear on KVEC 920AM’s The Dave Congalton Show. “I learned everything I know about radio from Dave. When the financial crisis hit, I’m grateful he gave me a chance to do what I think I do best…take a complex economic issue and break it down to its simplest parts – un-complicate it for the general public.”

For those interested in hosting a show on 97.3 The Rock, Eckles advised, “Talk about what you know – what you’re passionate about. Topics need to be researched and interesting for a broad group of listeners. But community radio is not to sell your business. Listeners see right through the sales pitch and will turn you off. Endless possibilities for programming are still available.”

Eckles continued, “Listeners want you to share your passions. Most don’t know why a financial guy serves on the Morro Bay Harbor Advisory Board. Maritime is in my blood. I was a U.S. Merchant Mariner at sea for two years. I need to live and work by the sea. It’s why I resigned a Smith Barney vice-presidency to start my company in Morro Bay near the sea and my 9-year old twins, Aiden and Sophie.”

Eckles encouraged, “Go for it. Submit an idea. It may move you out of your comfort zone, but that’s how we grow.” And sustaining the station with an all volunteer staff will be the challenge – and the benefit – and hopefully the joy of birthing a new radio station for the Central Coast.