Adria Watson/CalMatters

Battle lines are drawn over oil drilling in California

Two announcements with implications for California’s oil industry whizzed past each other in recent weeks, revealing starkly conflicting visions for energy development. After a five-year hiatus on auctions for oil-drilling rights on federal land, Washington finalized a plan to allow them on more than 700,000 acres in 11 Central California counties. A more significant proposal to include parcels on more than 1 million acres in the Bakersfield area is due in the next few months.

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NPR

White House Rules Out Participating In House Impeachment Inquiry Process

President Trump has decided to stay out of the impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House of Representatives. White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected an offer from House Democrats that would have allowed the president to send counsel to represent him at future impeachment hearings. In a short two-paragraph letter to Democrats, Cipollone said the impeachment inquiry is "completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness." "House Democrats...

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City of King - KingCity.com

Updated: 2/28/2014 at 1:32 p.m.

A former Cuesta College criminal justice instructor has been named as the interim police chief in King City, following the arrests of the police department's acting chief and several officers on bribery and embezzlement charges

Dennis Hegwood was appointed by City Manager Michael Powers to run the police department while a national search is conducted for the department's next police chief.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

A Solvang man is facing felony vandalism and theft charges after Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies caught him in a parking lot full of slashed tires.

Deputies say 23-year-old Dakota Serge was arrested early this morning on Alisal Road in Solvang.

The sheriff's department reports 35 tires were slashed, 22 of those on United States Post Office trucks.

In addition, deputies say Serge was in possession of an an American, a California, and several Danish flags, which they believe were cut down from local Solvang businesses.

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County - video still

An effort to create public access to the hillsides surrounding Pismo Beach is getting financial help from a San Luis Obispo resident.

Richard Alberts says he will match $10,000 worth of community donations made to the Pismo Preserve project between now and April 1, according to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Alberts is a longtime supporter of the organization and was "inspired to do something that would help spur the community into action"

City of King - KingCity.com

A six-month investigation of the King City Police Department resulted in the arrests of six officers and one civilian this morning. The Monterey County District Attorney's office announced bribery, embezzlement, and several other charges during an afternoon press conference today in Salinas.

Those facing charges include acting King City Police Chief Bruce Miller, former Chief Dominic Baldiviez, Sgt. Bobby Carrillo, and Officers Mario Mottu, Sr, Jaime Andrade, and Mark Baker.

Visitor numbers on the rise in Santa Barbara

Feb 24, 2014
Flickr member Damian Gadal

The amount of money spent at local lodging facilities in the City of Santa Barbara saw its largest increase in several years last month with a significant 23.8 percent bump. 

This year-over-year increase in visitor spending helped generate $991,834 in revenue for the city through its 12 percent Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), the vast majority of which goes into the general fund. A smaller portion of the TOT is set aside for creek restoration and water quality improvements.

Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

Updated: Tuesday, 2/25 at 4:59 p.m. PST

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team is now part of the effort to look for evidence related to the rape and beating of a 19-year-old UCSB student.

After being treated Sunday at a Santa Barbara area hospital, the student went to recover with her family.

Significant rainstorm predicted for Central Coast

Feb 21, 2014
KCBX News

Updated Monday, 2/24 at 1:52 p.m. PST:

The month of February could end much the way it started, with some badly-needed rainfall for California and the Central Coast. Unlike the last couple of rain events however, this time around the region could get hit with a major winter storm.

KQED - cropped from original

  A Silicon Valley venture capitalist who believes California has become too large to manage received word Wednesday from Secretary of State Debra Bowen that he may begin circulating his voter petition to split up the state.

The proponent for the measure, Tim Draper, must collect signatures from eight percent of the state's registered voters by mid-July in order for his initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. He launched his measure back in December.

NASA image shows drought's effect on Central Coast

Feb 19, 2014
NASA Image of the Day

A new image from NASA helps put into perspective one component of California's exceptionally dry winter—its effect on the vegetation found in state's grasslands, farms, and forests.

Using a series of images captured through the latter half of January, NASA came up with a composite map highlighting areas of vegetation growth. The image was created by using a specialized sprectroradiometer to compare current plant health to the average for the same period over the past decade.

DataQuick

Central Coast home prices shot up last month according to the latest report released by the number crunchers at San Diego-based DataQuick.

The San Luis Obispo County real estate market saw a strong year-over-year January with an increase in both the number of homes sold and the overall median sales price. A total of 261 properties were sold countywide during the first month of 2014, up 19.7 percent from the previous year. The median price of those homes also rose to $400,000, up 5.5 percent.

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