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Fast facts 

Can you believe it's been four years since the United States invaded Iraq? Time sure does fly when you're waging war with a country most people probably can't find on a map. On the official anniversary, March 17, Blowin' in the Wind and SLO's Code Pink are holding a vigil to honor the American soldiers who've lost their lives since the invasion. To be a part of the procession, meet at Mitchell Park at 11 a.m. The actual event will start at noon. Information and politically motivated art projects will be on hand until 3 p.m., including close to 3,200 white prayer flags one for each of the American soldiers lost in the Iraq war. To help display a flag, call 595-7154. To learn more about the event or Code Pink, call Dawn at 544-0826 or visit

Steynberg Gallery, with help from Linnaea Philips, former owner of Linnaea's cafe, will host the first in a series of weekly discussion forums on March 20. "Tea and Talks on Tuesday at Two" will feature a guest speaker and conversation on varied topics from religion to housing to politics, art, and agriculture. Tea and Talks kicks off with George Work and Maryann Vasconcellas. The inaugural topic is "What's a Farmer to Do?" discussing the changing face of farming and innovative ways for small farms to market themselves. March 27 will feature a discussion on "Painting Politics" with local artist Mark Bryan. The events are free, and no reservations are necessary. Steynberg Gallery is located at 1531 Monterey St. in SLO. For more info, call 547-0278.

After 18 years of commendable service, the uniforms worn by the Paso Robles High School Band are retiring. The band needs to raise about $40,000 more to purchase 125 new uniforms that will be worn to football games, parades, and band competitions. Dr. Kirk Weller, who's heading up the fundraising effort, said the average lifespan for a uniform is about 10 years which makes the Paso band almost a decade overdue for new outfits. While parents have done a great job to keep the uniforms in shape, Weller said that a worn uniform could affect how the bands do in competition. For more info or to donate, call 237-3333.

Replace your old wood burning stoves or fireplaces with clean-burning products before March 31 and receive a $150 rebate from the California Change for Clean Air program. Newer stoves are more efficient and can produce up to 70 percent less smoke than older models. For more info, call Pacific Energy Company at 545-8887 or stop by their showroom at 2121 Santa Barbara St. in SLO.

Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to

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