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Bambu Batu your friendly South County provider of all things bamboo recently launched a web site for Internet junkies who prefer to do their shopping from the comfort of their own home. The site features an online catalog, shopping cart, and more facts about bamboo than you'll know what to do with. Bambu Batu's new Internet home is, or you can drop by the bamboo haven at 805 W. Grande Avenue in Grover Beach.

Attention all fans of Rob Brezsny and his ilk: The SLO Astrologers are hosting free workshops for anyone interested in learning how to interpret their birth charts. Margaret Hennessy, who will be leading the workshops, has previous teaching experience that includes classes at Sycamore Mineral Springs. Workshops begin in January and take place the first and third Tuesday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Coast National Bank Community Room at 500 Marsh St. Participants will be provided with a birth chart free of charge. For more information, visit, call 546-3420, or e-mail

Seniors Against Investment Fraud (SAID) are actively recruiting volunteer "scam fighters." According to the organization, the majority of scam and fraud victims are older than 50. Anyone interested in learning how criminals select victims and what they can do to prevent friends, family, and neighbors from becoming victims can call 544-8740.

Interested in connecting with your environment in a new and unexpected way? The Coyote Road School, a nature education school in Atascadero, is offering classes designed to instill students with a new sense of appreciation for nature the perfect way to begin a new year. Workshops will include Flint Knapping on Jan. 20, Arrow Making on Feb. 3, Fire by Friction on Feb. 17, and Bow Making on March 10. Workshops last for one day and cost between $60 and $130. All students must be at least 14 years old. For more information or to register, call 423-3288 or visit

If you have an equine friend that isn't getting the love and attention it deserves, Arroyo Grande horse trainer Amy Robinson is here to help. Robinson provides consultation for horse owners who need to re-evaluate whether they really have the time, finances, and desire for a horse. Questions that owners should consider when deciding whether to keep their horse include how often the horse is handled, whether spending time with the horse is still enjoyable, and whether the owner has significantly less time or finances with which to support the horse. Horse owners can call Robinson for a consultation at 886-4727.

Arts Editor Ashley Schwellenbach compiled this week's Strokes & Plugs. Send your business news to New Times via fax, mail, or e-mail (

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