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KCBX News Update: The "reunification" of Morro Rock, and CA unemployment drops to historic low

Morro Rock human chain
Benjamin Purper
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Attendees at the Aug. 22 ceremony by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council pass stones to return them to Morro Rock.

Northern Chumash Tribal Council holds reunification ceremony at Morro Rock

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council held a ceremony this weekend that they described as a “reunification” of Morro Rock.

The rock is a sacred site to the Chumash, whose name for it is Lisamu’. Much of the rock was quarried in the late 1800’s to construct buildings around San Luis Obispo County, as well as the Port San Luis breakwater.

IMG_1625.jpg
Benjamin Purper
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Attendees and tribal members placed recovered stones back to the base of Lisamu', or Morro Rock.

Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is repairing that breakwater, and has returned some of its stones to the Chumash.

In a ceremony at the base of the rock on Saturday, tribal council chairwoman Violet Sage Walker handed out effigies of the rock to fellow tribal members.

“It represents our Rock and our ocean, and our people, and our food, and our energy, and our love," she said.

Stones from the breakwater were returned to the base of the rock, in what Walker described as a “healing” ceremony.

The breakwater project began this year and is expected to last into next year.

CA unemployment rate drops to historic low

Last month, California’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, which the state describes as a ”new record low going back to the official data series that started in 1976.”

California has also recovered all the private sector jobs lost during the pandemic, and added about 85,000 nonfarm jobs in July, according to the state.

San Luis Obispo County unemployment hit a record low in May when rates reached about 2 percent. The last time SLO County’s unemployment rate was this low was in September 2019, at about 2.5 percent.

KCBX News is run by News Director Benjamin Purper and overseen by Program and Content Director Marisa Waddell. Gabriela Fernandez and Amanda Wernik are the current reporters. Posts by "KCBX News Staff" reflect collaborative writing and reporting from multiple news team members and may include work from Benjamin, Gabriela, Amanda and newsroom interns/volunteers.