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Issues & Ideas: A Central Coast Rhône anniversary, librarians and "Clover Blue"

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Thirty years ago, the only Rhône grape most Americans knew about was Syrah. Then a French family and an American family together purchased some land west of Paso Robles, in the Adelaida wine district. They set out to import Rhône grape varieties to the Central Coast, with the aim to grow them using organic, dry farming and other sustainable methods. 

It took years of quarantine, propagation and vineyard growth, but Tablas Creek Vineyards has become an influential force in sustainable wine grape and Rhône wine production. Marisa Waddell talks with Tablas Creek general manager Jason Haas and one of the founders, Jean-Pierre Perrin, about the company’s past three decades, and about its future.

Also, in the latest installment on media literacy, the conversation moves to the library. San Luis Coastal Unified School District librarian Michelle Hopper and San Luis Obispo High School library media tech Jennifer Sawyer explain the natural fit for librarians to foster inquiry and critical thinking skills with students from kindergarten through high school—and they have some tips for the rest of us, too.

And local author Eldonna Edwards and Brian Reynolds discuss Edwards' new novel, “Clover Blue,” about a young boy coming of age in a 1970s-era commune in Northern California. 

As director of programming and content, Marisa Waddell coordinates the radio programming on KCBX and KCBX HD2 and leads efforts to develop content on digital media. Marisa also hosts the Thursday night Americana music program The Road Home, and contributes interviews to the weekly KCBX radio magazine Issues and Ideas and to KCBX News. She manages the KCBX on-air staff, including the newsroom, music hosts, continuity announcers and on-air volunteers.
Brian was born in Visalia, CA, and spent many years in the Central Valley before leaving for college at UC Berkeley. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UCB, and two Master’s degrees (UCLA and CSU Chico…Library Science and Public Administration). He lived abroad for two years in Spanish-speaking countries (Spain and Nicaragua) and is fluent in Spanish. He spent his career as a public librarian, serving as a Library Director for over 30 years. He retired from the Director position at the SLO County Library in 2013.
Beth Thornton is a freelance reporter for KCBX, and a contributor to Issues & Ideas. She is a 2021 Data Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.
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