College Corps Showcase at City Farm SLO

Friday, January 19th, 2024
Flyer layout


Steven—wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for hosting us last week, and thank you for helping make the college corps program so successful. We really value your partnership and I look forward to continue working with you!

Much appreciated-

Josh Fryday


Hi Steven – what a great event! It was wonderful and hearing the testimonies of what the program meant to Poly students was so moving! You did GREAT and what momentum to keep the program going. Fantastic, all around.

I was able to provide Senator Laird and team a full report – everyone was impressed!
Congrats to you again and best wishes to you and Jan, Kara

Kara Woodruff, JD/MA
District Director
State Senator John Laird (SD-17)
Cell: 805/440-6650
Capitol Office: 916/651-4017
Email: kara.woodruff@sen.ca.gov


Hi Steven,

Thank you so much for extending the invitation to the College Corps Showcase to our office. It was such a wonderful experience and greatly educational for me as well. I have shared my enthusiastic feedback with Assemblywoman Addis.

Thanks again and please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can be of assistance in the future!

All my best,


Andrea Chmelik

District Director

Assemblymember Dawn Addis (AD 30)

Office: 1-805-549-3001

Email: Andrea.Chmelik@asm.ca.gov


Hi Steven,

I wanted to reach out and thank you for all the work you and your team did to host the roundtable and service showcase on Friday.

Our team enjoyed working with you, we greatly appreciated your kindness in providing the facilities and coordination with local partners,  and Chief Service Officer Fryday truly enjoyed meeting you, the amazing fellows and furry friends at the farm.

We also got great media coverage from both KEYT and KSBY news stations about the program and the farm, so it was a win-win!

I hope you have a lovely year ahead, please stay in touch.

Kind regards,


Karie Portillo (She/Her/Ella)
Communications Manager
(916) 584-1705 Cell/Direct


Paris–August 10

Sunday, December 24th, 2023

Our intention this morning was to stray from the cliche tourism of the Bateau Mouche and ride a City bus at the quai to the end of the line and back as we’d done in London.  We walked a new way toward the river and came upon a tiny corner sculpture park centered on a travertine marble box behind which a large red circle was painted on the blank wall of a building.

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A sign indicated that the box was used as a base for temporary art installations, this one entitled “Pandora’s Box.” A young woman walked up to the pedestal and pressed  a button causing the plastic assemblage to revolve and look like a discharge of steam. (more…)

Paris–August 8

Monday, December 18th, 2023

We began the day with the practical task of doing laundry, which, not surprisingly, turned into a memorable adventure.  Morning sunshine reflected from the recently cleaned old buildings turned routine urban activities into paintings.


Ancient architectural monuments  adorned the way to  the laundromat up the block.


Apartment buildings appeared as architectural marvels. (more…)

Paris–August 7

Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

On a walk around the neighborhood, before our scheduled train departure for Paris, we happened upon a building fronting a large square where booths, stages and grandstands left from previous days’ Pride celebrations were being dismantled.  It  was the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, originally built as a City Hall in 1655, later converted to a Royal Palace by the conqueror Napoleon’s brother Louis Napoleon in 1806 and eventually appropriated by the Dutch Royal Family who retain control of it today.


We arrived at the grandiose Paris Gare du Nord in the early afternoon (more…)

Amsterdam–August 6

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Next morning was rainy, and we decided to return to the Hermitage complex to explore some of the galleries we’d noticed the day before, none requiring reservations or as crowded the Rijksmuseum.  The City Museum provided a graphic history of the town which helped make sense of the  technological achievement of reclamation of swamp and seawater that started in the thirteenth century.  It provided a system of defensive moats, a transportation grid allowing easy movement of goods and people and access to river and ocean trade routes that led to the 17th century Dutch Golden Age. It also made the city, like Venice, an attraction for tourists.


Rather than glorifying the Dutch cultural heritage, most of the exhibits emphasized the brutality and injustice suffered by the victims of empire and their efforts to survive, witness and protest. (more…)

Amsterdam–August 5

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023

After breakfast we set out for another major museum, the Hermitage.  Located on the bank of the Amstel River, one of the city’s natural major arteries, the morning fog obscured the building’s name and nature, which only partially revealed itself in the course our visit.


Through a basement stairway we entered the old industrial brick compound into a sleek new interior occupied by independent galleries surrounding  courtyards and gardens and found the Rembrandt and Contemporaries exhibition visiting from New York. (more…)

Amsterdam-August 4

Monday, November 13th, 2023

Amsterdam is known as a city of museums, containing 75 of varying scope and size.  We were interested enough to purchase IAmsterdam cards in advance providing free entry and reservations, remembering the summer’s tourist invasion.  Our conservative preference for Rembrandt and other early modern Dutch and Flemish masters led us to the Rijksmuseum during the first morning.  It wasn’t surprising to see the rainbow flag displayed over the entrance as it was everywhere else celebrating the upcoming climax of this year’s Pride Week (or month).


The building itself, another late nineteenth century combination of Gothic and Renaissance Revival style, opened onto a grand plaza and park, unlike the other compressed spaces of the city, where only the waterways offered open vistas.


On the way to the Rembrandt galleries, I relished the raunchy canvases celebrating peasant delights in drinking and sex (more…)

Amsterdam–August 3

Sunday, November 12th, 2023

August 2 turned out to be a welcome transition day after the intensity of the two previous ones.  We had planned to spend it in nearby Metz with a person whom we’d last seen 37 years ago, the best friend of our son in grade 4 while we lived in Claremont CA.  After reading a recent autobiography by his mom, we’d connected by email and learned that he’d moved to France and lived on an off-grid organic farm with his wife and two children.  We were eager to see each other, but shortly before the planned visit an unfortunate circumstance required its cancellation.

After a slow morning we arrived  by train in Metz stayed in the least expensive hotel near the railroad station we could find, and next day continued on  getting a taste of local transport by switching trains in Luxemborg and Brussels.

We arrived late in the afternoon at our destination, another vast nineteenth century monument to the railroad, Amsterdam Central Station.


Crossing the bridge over the wide canal crowded with boat traffic that fronted it, we found the hotel that Jan had selected online, a small-scale tribute to the rail transportation system that continued to thrill me. (more…)

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Monday, November 6th, 2023

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Strasbourg–August 1

Saturday, October 28th, 2023

Facing the next day meant a shift of role back to tourist from that of honored guest and time traveler. Nevertheless Jan and I both had earlier associations with this City that added dimension to the brief visit we’d planned.  My father’s birth in 1907 was registered there–perhaps because Kehl had no hospital at the time. After the Franco Prussian war in 1870, it was annexed to Germany, along with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, before being returned to France at the end of the World War I, then reconquered by the Germans in 1939, then again becoming French in 1945.

Jan remembered hitchhiking with a friend from Stuttgart to visit the Cathedral and medieval art masterpieces in the surrounding area during her 1965 year abroad.  I recalled roaming its docks until I found work on a boat that would take me down the Rhine to Brussels without being able to pay passage near the end of my three months’ summer adventure in 1962. (more…)