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Step away from the courtroom 

Robin Werderits loves to get in the middle of things. Not in a "dark" kind of way like carnage-hungry paparazzi or lowlifes provoking and filming bum fights. No, Robin's arena is divorce proceedings. She likes to get in there and help out, kind of like a therapist-slash-lawyer. She knows people and knows how to work with them.

"In one proceeding the wife came in with a list of demands for the husband: 'You will do this, this, and this,'" says Werderits at a double-latte clip. "She thought our company's job was to make the husband sign the papers at all cost. The husband refused to sign it, so I asked him what he wanted. And he looked at me in a way that told me no one had ever asked him that before. That was touching."

Through Werderits' persistence the couple reached an agreement. After all, it is her business, or that of Core Mediation Services. She says the company's goal is to help couples work it out without having to go to court. She says that once you enter the courtroom, all the power of your future, house, custody, etc. is held by the judge.

Her knack for mediating comes naturally from her background as a teacher and her experience as a mom. She warms up to people quickly (just like she did to this reporter), and is sharp as a tack.

"I make suggestions," she says. "That's what I do. I never tell someone what to do. Once they have the papers with the agreements, then they can go to a lawyer." By wrangling the subtleties of divorce proceedings through Core Mediation Services, couples dissolving their marriages can save heaps in legal fees.

Core Mediation Services is located at 1264 Higuera in Suite 203. Check 'em out on the web at, or call 544-6334 for more info.


Energy comes from lots of things - plutonium, fossil fuels, and, yes, you. Constance Whitelaw wants you to tap this big ol' reservoir of vibrancy by learning color therapy techniques. Her Energy Rejuvenation Workshop lets the light in at the Healing Arts Institute at Sycamore Mineral Springs July 2. Classes include restorative yoga in addition to color, light, and aromatherapies. Enter the light by calling 305-0046 or click on their web site:

... Black Sheep Bar and Grill's menu is to food what Guinness is to beer: heavy, filling, and overall pretty damn tasty. The secret ingredient? Meat! Black Sheep specializes in linguica sandwiches and all things burger (including a Guinness Burger). All are available for consumption in a rich, my-god-it-looks-like-"Cheers"-in-here setting. Pay them a visit at 1117 Chorro in downtown SLO, or call 544-7473 for more info....

... Bird watching? Waiting and wondering when Polly will come home? Yes, now there is help. 911 Parrot Alert is an international database for lost and found pet birds. Bird owners can post photos and missing reports to a network of folks who care. There's also a real "can do" parrot-finding vibe happening here. The latest posting featured Suzi, a cockatiel from Chico, with a caption that read: "Suzi's owner will be moving soon. Let's try to get Suzi home before then!" We should all have such friends. Check them out at:

Contributor Bryan Dickerson compiles New Times' Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at


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