Year in pictures

Photos by Christopher Gardner


If you like news, inspirational or depressing, 2005 was your kind of year. Our photographer, Chris Gardner, would be one to agree, as he captured much of it through the lens of his camera, not only in SLO County but as a Red Cross volunteer in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast as well.

All of the images that you'll see in the following pages of our annual year in review pictorial for 2005, save two, were snapped by Chris, from the Mardi Gras parade of police to sewer's folly in Los Osos. If you don't think a lot happened this past year, just peruse the photos.

There is one picture we at New Times would like to recall … that of our founder and publisher Steve Moss, who passed away in April at the age of 56.

We will press on, but it won't be the same.

King Harris

Managing Editor

#TOTAL RECALL Move-the-sewer proponents claimed a hairsbreadth victory in September when John Fouche, Chuck Cesena, and Steve Senet unseated three pro-sewer board members, creating a new Los Osos CSD board unanimously opposed to the contentious midtown sewer project.

#YOO THE MAN The San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival hit a high note this summer as the 34-year-old violin virtuoso and musical director, Scott Yoo, brought a note of youth and vitality to the classic event.

#005 was a tumultuous year for Dan De Vaul, who thought the county would seize his Los Osos Valley Road ranch for operating an unlicensed sober living facility. But he squared with the county and then a Cal Poly architecture class took up his cause and helped him to design a master plan for the property. He continues to work towards his goal of providing affordable treatment to those who “sleep in the creek.�

#OVERGROW THE GOVERNMENT Despite an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in July, medical marijuana activists, like Mark from the Five Cities area, continue to operate underground co-ops throughout San Luis Obispo County.

#CARE FOR KIDS On Sept. 1, every child in San Luis Obispo County became eligible for health insurance regardless of their family's income or immigration status. Dr. Rene Bravo, a local pediatrician, was a key element in building the Healthy Kids program.

#GENEROUS WANDERER Sharon Ostman during a visit to her sister's home in Northern California. Though Sharon had brothers and sisters who loved her, as well as children and grandchildren living in the area, she spent the last 20 years living as a member of San Luis Obispo's homeless community. In July she was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by a killer who has not yet been caught.

#MAGICAL MYSTERY SEWER Amid roars of disapproval, CSD President Stan Gustafson in July announced the groundbreaking of the long-awaited Los Osos wastewater treatment facility at the corner of Los Osos Valley Road and Palisades Avenue. In September, voters narrowly approved Measure B to relocate the project, which continues to languish in litigation.

#FLOATING HAZARDS In early August, officials began removing illegally moored boats from Windy Cove in Morro Bay, arguing that the derelict boats pollute the water, litter the cove, and increase crime.

#LOOKING FOR SUPPORT Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited The Apple Farm restaurant in San Luis Obispo in an attempt to drum up support for his doomed ballot measures. Outside, 70 to 80 protesters and supporters chanted
slogans and waved signs.

#AMAZING RIDE In August, local skaters converged at the new Los Osos skate park. Area children raised funds for the park's construction.

#AMAZING SPIRIT In 2001, Cameron Clapp lost both legs and one arm in a freak accident with a train. Today he competes in triathlons, wins gold medals, and travels the country as a patient advocate.

#GOODBYE, GAIL In October, Gail Johnson announced the closure of the venerable Johnson Gallery, a cornerstone of the San Luis Obispo arts community for 20 years. The gallery closed on Dec. 23, but Johnson will continue to offer her custom framing services at 3563 ‘N' Sueldo, at Granada Drive, off South Higuera.

#PLEA AGREEMENT This summer, Regina Bennett pleaded no contest to a reduced sentence of manslaughter and DUI with injury. A year earlier, Bennett had been charged with second-degree murder after hitting and killing a man bicycling with his son.

#KATRINA CLEANUP This woman in Louisiana may have something of a kitchen left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but her roof is gone.

#COPS ON PARADE There were more police than paradegoers in SLO when this year's Mardi Gras festivities were cancelled for fear of another riot.

#BLAZING HILLSIDE In August, a turkey vulture's collision with a power line started a three-acre blaze on the Cal Poly campus. It took about seven hours for fire crews to extinguish the fire.

#BEST OF NEW TIMES The founder, owner, and publisher of one of the most successful alternative weekly newspapers in the country died suddenly in April at the age of 56.

#BUMMER Constables on patrol during Mardi Gras confronted local college kids looking for a bon temps.

#VICTORY California nurses and Gov. Schwazenegger were at odds earlier this year over a law that would increase hospital nurse-to-patient ratios. In spite of an emergency declaration by the Governator to postpone the decision until 2008, a judge ruled in favor of law, allowing hospital staffs to hire more full-time nurses.

#THREATS OF EMINENT DOMAIN Marty Tracey, Atascadero's executive deputy director of redevelopment, denied threatening property owners Pat and Sue Gaughan with eminent domain if they refused to sell their property to the city for a below-market price. However, he left a message on their answering machine doing just that.

#PANDORA'S BOXES Pro-sewer, Save the Dream activist, Pandora Nash-Karner presents an unlikely alternative to the downtown sewer facility.

#BUEL ON THE HILL The first action of the newly elected Los Osos CSD board was to remove General Manager Bruce Buel from his post.


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