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KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The award-winning KCBX Newsroom works to bring you local stories that represent our Central Coast listeners and supporters.

KCBX News began covering stories in February, 2014. The first on-air newscast happened during All Things Considered on March 3, 2014. KCBX added local news content to Morning Edition in September, 2014.

In the years since, KCBX News has had local stories featured on NPR and The California Report.

Mixing it up at Cuesta College's clay stomp

Sep 19, 2018
Lauren Johnson-Milbourne

It's harvest time on the Central Coast, and grapes aren't the only thing being crushed.

San Luis Obispo County

A new state law mandates that San Luis Obispo County and a coalition of local entities receive over $85 million dollars to help mitigate the closing of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill co-sponsored by Central Coast state lawmakers Bill Monning and Jordan Cunningham.

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that implements the California Legislature’s new system for investigating sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and senior staff. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The San Luis Obispo County jail has been under scrutiny for several years over inmate deaths inside the facility. The issue came to a head in 2017 after the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill inmate who had been tied to a restraint chair for almost two days. About 10 days ago another inmate inside the jail committed suicide.

Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Electric scooter rentals may be coming to San Luis Obispo, but not Thursday, as scooter company Bird had planned. City officials said they’ve been in contact with Bird, which deploys e-scooters and runs an app that allows electric vehicle sharing. It appears the company had planned a “rogue launch” of its e-scooters without city approval.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay water and sewer residential customers will be paying up to $41 dollars more a month for service, starting next summer. On Tuesday night, the Morro Bay city council voted to raise the rates, after counting the results of a community vote. Those opposed to the rate increase were short by an estimated 636 protest votes.

Public forum series aims to inform Paso Robles

Sep 10, 2018

Paso Robles residents looking for a crash course in civics—and to get more involved in community issues—have an opportunity to do so over the next month. City officials have launched a forum series called “Paso Talks” to help break down local government issues.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

In San Luis Obispo County, 97 percent of Cambria’s Coast Unified School District teachers have voted “no confidence” in the district’s superintendent. The teachers cast their vote earlier in the summer, and delivered it to the school board last month. The Coast Unified board of trustees held a special meeting Thursday night to evaluate the superintendent’s performance, and to consider whether to continue her employment. But first, they heard from a packed room of teachers, staff and parents.

LADOT Bike Blog

After two years of fierce community debate, the San Luis Obispo city council cast a deciding vote this week to build protected bike lanes between downtown and Foothill Boulevard.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Some Central Coast residents and environmental groups are alarmed over a current federal study, saying it could open up iconic local places like Morro Rock and Montana de Oro State Park to hydraulic fracking.

Euan Slorach/Creative Commons

For years, Diane Shinstock watched her adult son deteriorate on the streets. Suffering from severe schizophrenia, he slept under stairwells and bushes, screamed at passersby and was arrested for throwing rocks at cars.

Carol Tangeman/KCBX

In the Central Coast city of Santa Maria, there is a community college-based conservatory that teaches students everything they need to pursue a professional career in theater. For decades, the Pacific Conservatory Theatre has offered a two-year vocational program, and alumni include stars like Robin Williams and Kathy Bates.

No bail law signed by Governor Brown

Aug 30, 2018
Thomas Hawk

California's legislature has done away with the cash bail system, after Governor Jerry Brown signed the new law this week.

San Luis Obispo updates zoning rules

Aug 23, 2018
Flickr/ThinkOutLoud

This week the San Luis Obispo city council voted unanimously to update the city’s zoning rules. In a five-hour meeting Tuesday night, the council approved a package of regulations addressing topics such as building heights, land uses and parking.

Shawn Hubler for CALmatters

Jen Burt lives with her husband and two kids in the woods not far from Grass Valley, in a four-bedroom foothill house in a stand of black oak and cedar trees. Tucked away on a private road, the five-acre spread is a hallmark California dream—and a potential California nightmare: It’s in wildfire country. Last February, Burt’s insurer of six years canceled her fire insurance. The scramble for new coverage was pricey and harrowing.

Mark Verlander

KCBX recently interview a young musician who is making new sounds on a very old instrument. Ella Jenkins grew up in Frazier Park—on the southeast side of the Los Padres Forest—and now lives and works in Half Moon Bay. 

Should Baby Boomers get a property tax break to move?

Aug 14, 2018
Courtesy of CALmatters

Proposition 5, which California voters will decide on this November, allows homeowners age 55 and up to receive a major break on their property taxes when they move homes. Sponsored by the California Association of Realtors, the initiative attempts to address a problem familiar to many Californians of a certain age: You want to move from your empty nest, but you’re scared of the new taxes you’d have to pay on a downsized property.

Commuter train service ahead for Salinas

Aug 13, 2018
Erika Mahoney/KAZU

Work is underway on a local passenger rail project. It will create commuter train service from Salinas.

Flickr/Omar Bárcena

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced this week new efforts to reduce wait times, such as a new text notification program, self-service kiosks and extended hours. On the Central Coast, part of that reprieve is new Saturday hours at the Salinas and San Luis Obispo offices. San Luis Obispo County specifically has seen a huge jump in wait times over the past year, almost doubling. They’re not the longest wait times in the state, but long enough to have customers lining up outside every morning.

Flickr Commons/http://bit.ly/2AvLjN0

In a decision that surprised many, a federal court released a decision Thursday ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to effectively ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Cascarones — or confetti eggs — are a long-standing Mexican tradition. Chicken eggs are hollowed out, cleaned and decorated, then filled with toys or confetti. And often, the resulting party favor is then cracked over people's heads as a gag. The colorful creations are frequently seen around Easter, as well as other holidays and festivals, like Santa Barbara’s Fiesta, a celebration of the city’s culture and heritage. But this year, state officials descended on the event, threatening to issue citations to cascarones vendors, unless they started paying state taxes on their sales.

Greta Mart/KCBX

In February, San Luis Obispo put out a call for artists, looking for local talent to submit ideas for painting 26 utility boxes around the city. The city’s park and recreation department received over 200 submissions, and in the end, 19 artists were selected. This week, those artists started their painting projects.

CityofSalinas.org/data

This week, the city of Salinas joined other cities across the U.S. that have created open data portals. Such portals are web tools that let anyone have a closer look at data that have been collected by different city agencies. Cities like Salinas provide data in the interest of being more transparent with their residents, but the practice could also help local governments function a little better.

Jeremy P. Jacobs/E&E News

Where does the Central Coast get its water, our most fundamental of needs? Some comes in the form of rain filling up local reservoirs; some from the State Water Project, a long system of pipes and canals that carry melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the central and southern part of the state. And a significant amount comes from underground, pumped up via wells.

Until just four years ago, groundwater was totally unregulated in California. But extended droughts made it clear that Californians needed to figure how to manage the underground water supply.

Pesticide that harms children’s brains could soon be listed as toxic in California

Aug 1, 2018
Jeff Vanuga

A group of nine scientists on California's Scientific Review Panel agreed that a pesticide used on more than 60 crops, grown in the Salinas Valley and around the state, should be listed as a toxic air contaminant.

www.flickr.com/photos/fairywren

In mid-July, after several months of Santa Barbara city officials engaging with restaurants and businesses in an effort to reduce waste in the city, the Santa Barbara city council voted to pass local laws banning plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery and polystyrene—also known as Styrofoam—food containers

But at their July 24 meeting, council members voted to dial that back a bit. City of Santa Barbara Environmental Services Outreach Coordinator, Bryan Latchford, worked on both ordinances and spoke with KCBX’s Tyler Pratt to help explain what happened.

Courtesy of SLO Opera

Every summer, a San Luis Obispo nonprofit puts on a kid's camp focused on an art form not usually considered a favorite of the under-18 set—opera. But as Carol Tangeman discovers, the region's professional opera company offers a whirlwind experience that gets local kids singing.

Charles Krupa/AP Photo, File

California’s unemployment rate remains at a record low of 4.2 percent in the latest jobs report. But a closer look shows 2018 has not exactly been a banner year for the state’s labor market.

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