Author: Melissa Chavez

Paderewski Festival welcomes Magdalena Baczewska

A Gala Concert trifecta: Chopin, Szymanowski and Paderewski Every November, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles brings together music lovers, cultural exchange and delightful way to celebrate the contributions of composer, statesman and honorary Paso Roblan, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. This annual series of piano concerts, jazz and swing performances, youth recitals and more is a great way to savor some of the best entertainment and artistic enrichment that Paso Robles offers. Wildly talented and accomplished Polish classical artist Magdalena Baczewska will headline this year’s Paderewski Festival in a Gala Concert at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom on Saturday, November...

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GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR SPRINGTIME IN 2018 A prime commercial corner lot in Paso Robles has been revived for groundbreaking in 2018 following recent building project approval by the Paso Robles Planning Commission. The 2.42-acre parcel at 944 Pine Street sat dormant since Hayward Lumber closed its doors to concentrate on business holdings in San Luis Obispo, but will soon become a downtown destination known as Hotel Ava. Building demolition — to provide a clean slate for redefined vision — is scheduled for next year, according to owner and Project Manager Debbie Lorenz. The first inception, 189,331 square foot Pine...

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  ~ Dr. Seuss The financial strain for many families to put food on the table and shoes on growing feet too often leaves little leftover for presents under the tree. In its 23rd year, Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles is continuing to work year-round to gather toys, raise funds and rally practical support for gifts that will be shared with neighboring families. Toy Bank estimates that in 2017, a total of 587 families and 1,300 children will participate in the Day...

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TWO SOLDIERS SHARE REALITIES OF MILITARY SERVICE Beyond waving flags, salutes and parades are the very real sacrifices of war. Two men from two different generations and wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan describe briefly their post-combat experiences. CHIP WILBURY — CALIFORNIA NATIONAL GUARD Chip Wilbury trained deploying soldiers how to render first aid, but felt his 
work would not be complete as a combat medic until he himself had seen battle, 
so off he went — numerous times — and managed to return home safely. “I have a recurring dream based on a real-life occurrence in Afghanistan — 
Matun Hill in Khost, 8 kilometers from Pakistan. I was the staff sergeant senior medic with the 870th MP’s from Pittsburg, California. This was my fifth deployment as a medic, my third deployment into combat from 2010 to 2011. “The air raid sirens sound off in the middle of my very light, and sometimes 
troubled, sleep. Mortar rounds are coming in from outside our base, probably from the nearby hills. We can hear one or two whistles overhead as they pass. I’m thinking to myself, ‘We’ve trained this scenario dozens of times in training back in the 
US base, but we’re always surprised when it happens for real.’ “The mortar rounds are not near us as they land, but close enough to be feel the thump as the rounds hit earth....

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THE 8TH TRANSPORTATION CORPS VISITS ESTRELLA WARBIRDS MUSEUM In mid-September, Estrella Warbirds Museum hosted an annual reunion of Vietnam War veterans who were assigned to United States Army 8th Transportation Group. In its fifteenth year, over 75 vets and their wives from throughout the United States gathered to meet on the Central Coast. A commemorative convoy to Paso Robles preceded the group’s visit to the museum from Morro Bay. On display was a replica of the museum’s own gun truck, emblazoned with the “Snoopy” moniker. The original truck was used by the 8th Transportation Group, and is one of...

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