Advisory Council Election

posted Sep 26, 2011, 2:14 PM by Laverne Buckman   [ updated Oct 9, 2011, 7:55 PM ]

San Miguel Advisory area of influence
Area of Influence Map for San Miguel Advisory Council

The San Miguel Advisory Council is holding their annual election on June 22nd. Nominations were accepted at the May meeting. Council candidates must be registered voters and reside within the sphere of influence of San Miguel.  There are three two year terms and two (alternates) one year terms to be filled.

Qualified nominees are Craig Rambo, Mike Sanders, Noel Carpenter, Sharon Brower and Anthony "Bear" Kalvans. Mr. Carpenter currently serves as Vice-Chairman, Mr. Sanders as Public Relations and Ms. Brower as Recording and Communication Secretary, with Mr. Rambo as Alternate.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM to give time for the candidates to be introduced and heard. The election will be held and the electees will be announced at the end of the regular meeting, which commences at 7:00 PM.

The Council is the eyes and ears for the County Planning Department, as well as the Board of Supervisors.  The Council is entrusted with presenting upcoming building projects to the public, offering an open forum for questions and concerns regarding the projects and then communicating to the Planning Department their recomendations.

The League of Women Voters will validate all voters registration and oversee the voting. More information can be obtained by contacting Chairman Gary Davis at

San Miguel Community 
Plan Presented

Cover to walking trails brochure
Walking Trail brochure prepared by Cal Poly students
On June 1st, Cal Poly City & Regional Planning (CRP) 463 Students presented their final Senior Projects. These projects were an extension of their previous CRP class where they prepared an update to the San Miguel Community Plan. Local community members from the San Miguel Resource Connection, Lynne Schmitz, Jean Hoffmann, and Laverne Buckman were in attendance to see the student presentations. A total of 10 projects for San Miguel were presented. These included:
  • Senior Housing Due Diligence
  • Water Recycling Program
  • Historic District Ordinance
  • Recreational Trail System
  • Historic Trail Sign Program
  • Alleyway Enhancement
  • Historic Walking Trail
  • 10 Street On Ramp Feasibility
  • Downtown San Miguel Zoning Code
  • High School Feasibility Study
The Senior Projects will be compiled along with the Community Plan Update and will be posted on the web for all interested parties to review.The County is very pleased with the students' efforts and presented the class with a Certificate of Appreciation at the Board of Supervisors meeting on June 7th.

For further information, you can contact Adjunct Faculty member John Knight or Professor Zeljka Howard. - story submitted by John Knight

Ag Day at Lillian Larsen

Ag Day at Lillian Larsen School
Students learn about tomato plants on Ag Day

May was an exciting month for agriculture awareness at Lillian Larsen School.  Christina Wilkinson and her junior high agriculture science class facilitated Agriculture Field Day for students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. 

To celebrate the end of state testing an Agriculture Field Day with presenters from around the county came to school to present agriculture specialties and hands-on learning. 

Kindergarten and first graders learned about seeds, goats, crime prevention, and how to grow their own plants.  Second and third graders were introduced to recycling using worms, how to make butter, clucking chickens, and beneficial insects.  Fourth through sixth graders were introduced to biodiversity, the many products made from lavender, soil ingredients, and roping.  All these presentations aligned with state standards and made learning fun.  -story submitted by Laverne Buckman

School Garden Work Day

Students work in their garden
Students prepare the garden area

The first garden expansion work day at  Lillian Larsen School was organized by teacher, Christina Wilkinson.   Inspired by an opportunity presented by Sunset Magazine, the groundwork for receipt of 100 raised bed containers has begun.   Sunset Magazine works closely with the SLO Visitors and Conference Bureau  and  theNorth County Farmer’s  Market Association(NCFMA)for a special “Savor the Central Coast” event.   NCFMA has been very supportive of  the Lillian Larsen School efforts in agriculture-based education and bringing  farm to school .  NCFMA has been instrumental in arranging for the containers to be donated after they are used for a demonstration garden at “Savor the Central Coast” in October.   

May 14 was the first workday to install groundwork for the irrigation system .  Students, parents, school staff,  community volunteers,  a farmer advisor from NCFMA, and  Rex  at Awalt’s Aqua Engineering  helped make the workday a success.  The work crew dug over  500 feet of trenches and  laid in  water pipe,   conduit  with wire, and control boxes.   Some of the younger students, along with a few adults helped prepare the large field for the pumpkin patch and fruit trees by removing large rocks and pieces of cement or other debris.  Other students  and adults repainted the  outdoor  table  and benches and re-stained the grape arbor. It was definitely a team effort .  This was a first step in preparing  for an expanded garden area at Lillian Larsen School.    It is the hope of the team working on this project that eventually enough fresh produce will be grown at the school to supply a good portion of the cafeteria  produce. 
Presently, Christina  teaches  an afterschool class  for students to  garden and  eat the harvest.  The program,  Soils to Succulent Flavors, is sponsored by the San Miguel Resource Connection .   Students in this program along with the Lillian Larsen Healthy Hornets have conducted  frequent fresh fruit and vegetable tastings for all students and thereby have been encouraging other students to enjoy eating fresh produce.  Christina also teaches a junior high agriculture enrichment class that supports the gardening and engages students  in hands-on activities such as irrigation, watersheds, apple tree grafting, vegetable/fruit nutrition, body systems and functions, and outside furniture construction.

Through the expansion of the garden, the team is hoping to find ways to expand the Soils to Succulent Flavors program and the agriculture science enrichment class to work more with the cafeteria and establish a Farm to School program.    The team is also hoping to establish more of a community connection by establishing a garden club. 

For those interested in making a donation to assist with payment for materials in the irrigation system or wanting to be involved in the garden club please use the following address:  Attention: Christina Wilkinson or Sherrie Castellano, Lillian Larsen School, 1601 L St., San Miguel, CA  93451.  For any questions you may have please call Christina Wilkinson at 467-9181. -story submitted by Laverne Buckman

Art Contest Winner

NDGW art contest winner
Babette Smith pictured with Andrea Lopez

The Native Daughters of the Golden West, Parlor 94 awarded First Prize in the Student Art Contest to Andrea Lopez. Friends , mentors, and family attended the award ceremony.  Andrea  is a student at Shandon High School. The title of her entry is Born Free. Winner of the contest is eligible to enter the NDGW State Student contest. - story and photo by Babette Smith

Winning art
"Born Free" by Andrea Lopez

Laverne Buckman
Citizenship Award

Laverne Buckman receives award
Laverne Buckman with award presenter Christina Wilkinson

Laverne Buckman was recognized by the international organization of educators, Phi Delta Kappa, as the "Lay Citizen" of the 2010-2011 school year for San Miguel Joint Union School District.

Laverne has brought her life in San Miguel full circle.  She attended Lillian Larsen School, 1st-8th grades and now being retired is a volunteer and right hand woman in promoting and helping facilitate healthy eating, active living activities, with the P.E. teacher, Eileen Rogers and the Ag. Science teacher, Christina Wilkinson.  Throughout the years Laverne has been an intrical part of the San Miguel community.  She has taught swimming at the San Miguel pool, been a Girl Scout leader, cub Scout Den mother, 4-H leader, CASA volunteer and served on the county Juvenile Justice Commission.  For the past 5 years she's been on the board of directors for San Miguel Resource Connection overseeing the afterschoolMasters At Their Trade, Art and Music programs.

Three years ago Laverne assisted in the writing of a grant from the California Endowment and in cooperation with HEALSLO (connected with the county). This grant allowed the Lillian Larsen P.E. teacher and the Ag. Science teacher to teach and incorporate healthy eating and active living throughout the school.  Currently, Lillian Larsen school has the Healthy Hornets who are students that teach other students about proper eating and exercise.  There has also been an after school garden to table class where students grow and cook harvested fruits and vegetables.  Twice a month throughout the past two years there have been taste testings held in the cafeteria for students to experience nutritious fresh vegetables and fruits.  Ending this school year Lillian Larsen is in the process of putting in a fruit orchard, pumpkin patch, and large garden, ready for next years' students to learn from and eat from.

This could not have been possible without Laverne.  Being a teacher herself she knows the time constraints teachers have.  She has been a powerful facilitator, coordinator, and hands-on assistant to us in seeing that community connections are made and timelines are met.  The Lay Citizen award could not have gone to a more deserved individual than Laverne Buckman.  Thank you! - story submitted by Christina Wilkinson