Central Coast Voices

Thursdays, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Central Coast Voices addresses the many ramifications of change and how today's choices will affect tomorrow's community. This program is an extension and production of "Action for Healthy Communities" an organization committed to identifying and carrying out projects that will improve the quality of life in San Luis Obispo County. The show's topics and guests focus on raising public awareness through credible and valid information about local and regional concerns such as health care access, neighborhood design, the state of our education infrastructure, the economic impacts, and much more. Your hosts Kris Kington-Barker and Fred Munroe invite you to join the conversation. To participate, call 805-781-3875 during the program.

Ways to Connect

For weeks following the death of George Floyd and during the protests that have followed, activists across the country have called on community leaders to “defund the police.” But what does this really mean? And is this the solution that we need? Why do we as a community need to rethink public safety?

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, the real estate and development industry are being impacted in different ways. Interest rates are at a historic low, yet fewer homes are on the market

Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with experts from the Central Coast housing and real estate industry—Chris Richardson, president of Richardson Properties; Mary Trudeau, SLO division manager at the Mortgage House; and Lindy Hatcher, executive director of the Home Builders Association on the Central Coast—as they discuss how the global pandemic could reshape the U.S. real estate industry.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Coast businesses has been immense. Results from a survey issued to local business owners by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce suggest severe impacts on the business community due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with Jim Dantona, president and CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and Jocelyn Brennan, president and CEO of the South County Chambers of Commerce, about the business and economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the Central Coast. They will discuss their efforts to assist businesses and organizations weather the closure, navigating confusing HR issues, and help businesses prepare for a safe, successful, and sustainable reopening of the economy.

In a statement issued in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, NAACP's president said, “What we must do now is protest peacefully, demand persistently and fight politically.” Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Cheryl Vines, local business owner of Mesa Design Group and co-founder, secretary and chair of WIN, and Stephen Vines, president of NAACP San Luis Obispo County and an area director for Central California. They will discuss the events surrounding George Floyd’s death, and issues of race, racism and police violence, and talk about suggestions for action.

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations, including the LGBTQ+ community. According to research, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans are more likely to become unemployed as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with guests Michelle Call and David Weisman of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance (GALA), and Jamie Woolf, chair of Tranz Central Coast, as they discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the LGBTQ+ community of the Central Coast, and how Pride is shifting it’s a celebration this year. 

Child care is essential to the economic vitality of any city. Unfortunately, like many businesses and organizations, child care providers are suffering greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Join Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with several guests—Shana Paulson, children services manager with CAPSLO Child Care Resource Connection; Raechelle Bowlay, CAPSLO'S quality early learning manager and Child Care Planning Council coordinator; Monica Grant, CEO of the San Luis Obispo County YMCA; Kim Love, director of Bright Life Playschool in San Luis Obispo; and Jamie Sanbonmatsu, director of Valley View Children’s Center in Arroyo Grande and member of the We Are the Care Initiative—about the continuing need for child care in the community and the challenges providers face in re-opening amid the pandemic:

Join Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Heidi McPherson, CEO with the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, Garret Olson, COVID-19 emergency operations manager with the SLO Food Bank, Lisa Fraser, executive director with the LINK Family Resource Center and the Center for Family Strengthening, and Janna Nichols, executive director with the Five Cities Homeless Coalition. They will be talking about the struggle of nonprofits to help meet the basic needs of the community as well as what a global depression could mean for their organizations and the local populations they help.

 

Santa Barbara County’s COVID-19 cases now total 1,376, including 895 cases from the  correctional complex in Lompoc, a federal prison. The northern part of the county continues to be the hardest hit by the virus, with 190 cases in the city of Santa Maria, compared to just 69 case within the city of Santa Barbara. As we have also seen nationally, the virus has had a disproportionate impact on the county’s racial and ethnic minorities. According to a recent presentation by the Santa Barbara Public Health Department, Hispanics make up less than half of the county’s population, but account for over 60% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases. What is the county doing to control the spread of the virus? Are their efforts to flatten the curve working? What is being done to assist the Latino community to prevent virus spread, access health care and care for basic needs?

Nursing homes have been ravaged by coronavirus throughout the nation. Data shows that people who reside or work in long-term care facilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and a new report shows that as of April 23, 2020 there have been over 10,000 reported deaths due to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities (including residents and staff), in the 23 states that publicly report death data, representing 27% of deaths due to COVID-19 in those states.  So how is the Central Coast responding to the threat of COVID-19 in local long-term care facilities? What is being done to protect both residents and employees? And what is the future of nursing homes?

UNESCO recently reported 192 countries had closed schools and colleges around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting more than 90% of the world’s learners; around 1.6 billion children and young people.

Many nonprofits are already feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic: increases in demand for services, health and safety concerns, and volunteer shortages. Canceled fundraising events, shutdowns and an economy in turmoil due to the crisis have led to a decrease in revenue. These effects are likely to continue for some time and may even worsen, while for many nonprofits, the needs of their clients continue to grow. How are local nonprofits meeting the demands? How will they survive when they are most needed? What resources are available to help?

Current data as of today shows California has a reported 27,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 889 people have died from the virus, 101 yesterday alone. What is the latest on the pandemic across the state and locally? Have we flattened the curve? What is the availability of testing and care for those that are ill with the virus? Are our healthcare workers prepared? When can we expect a re-opening of the state? Our counties?

The United States has lost 10% of its workforce as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Newest reports show that almost 17 million Americans filed jobless claims in the last three weeks. With the economy in a coma, small business owners and workers are struggling to find ways to survive. Are there ways for businesses to get help during the crisis? What are some innovative approaches that companies can use to stay afloat?

Last year California’s homeless population climbed to 150,000, the most in the nation. Already communities have been struggling throughout the state to deal with this crisis. Now with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are fears that many in this vulnerable population could become infected with the virus. One projection suggests that up to 60,000 homeless in the state could become infected. How can you shelter-at-home when you have no home?

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is stressful to the community in numerous ways. Individuals may have fear and anxiety about catching the virus for either themselves or their loved ones. People may be experiencing loneliness from isolation due to the stay-at-home orders. And many individuals may have increased worry due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic. How will their business survive? How will they pay their mortgage or rent? How can they get food for their family? The coronavirus can significantly affect mental health for everyone, but especially for those who already suffer from mental illness. How are these individuals able to continue treatment?

As coronavirus cases in the world and the U.S continue to soar, we will talk with local experts about what you need to know to stop the spread, stay safe, get tested and how prepared we are to fight this outbreak, as well as what are the political implications of this pandemic for the U.S.

Host Fred Munroe speaks with guests from the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. They discuss their work of providing children access to a variety of arts programs, an opportunity for students to find their voices and selves in a sometimes unstable world.

The arts are often the first to be cut from public school budgets and sadly, they are simply out of reach for many low-income families. The cost of private lessons can mean the difference between a guitar lesson and having food on the table. It is so important to the cognitive development of our young people and especially those who do not learn well in traditional settings to be able to express themselves through song, dance, art or acting. When young people are enriched by the arts, they do better in their regular school classes, they make like-minded friends, they find mentors and look forward to higher education goals. They learn to collaborate and reach for the stars. This is why Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) was created with a mission to enrich the lives of area youth with free classes in the visual and performing arts in a safe, nurturing environment. They provide over 300 students ages 5–18 with over fifty weekly classes and serve over 1,200 students annually on the Central Coast.

 

Have you ever wondered how people persevere despite roadblocks and obstacles? The Resiliency Project seeks to learn how people experience setbacks, opposition, and oppression while retaining (or ultimately regaining) mental and physical well-being.

In commemoration of Black History Month, R.A.C.E. Matters SLO has launched a month-long, multimedia, multi-location event series entitled BELONGING, meant to give a voice to members of the San Luis Obispo County community who are of African American descent.


The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) is just around the corner. As a premiere six-day annual event, the SLOIFF showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of venues. From cutting edge documentaries to tried and true cinema classics, the SLOIFF celebrates film on the ‘big screen’ by offering something for everyone.

 

Court Appointment Special Advocates (CASA) of San Luis Obispo County has been serving foster youth in San Luis Obispo County for over 25 years. They advocate for the best interest of children who have been removed from their parents because of abuse or neglect. At any given time, there can be up to 500 foster youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and CASA has dedicated, caring volunteers working with at least half of these children to be a consistent presence in their life and advocating for the best interests of these abused and neglected children within the court system. That leaves more than 200 children still waiting for help from CASA.

 


The Atascadero Printery, a 100-year-old structure that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, stood vacant and vandalized until recently, when the Atascadero Printery Foundation formed through a grassroots movement to reclaim, rehabilitate and repurpose the historic building.

 

French Hospital Medical Center’s Beyond Health campaign will redefine the health care experience for our community and lead us into the future. By doubling the capacity through a $130 million campaign, the medical center can grow with our community and provide the most advanced technologies patients deserve. Listen in and learn what this transformative expansion will include, and how it will impact the health of Central Coast residents.

In 2014 the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education formed SLO Partners to address college and career readiness among the county’s student population. Since then, SLO Partners has produced five apprenticeship programs over the last three years, and together these have produced over 300 graduates and employees for around 25 local companies. Today, San Luis Obispo County is among  the top places in California for apprenticeship programs.

Advances in medical technology have made it possible for US citizens to live longer, and often with declining health or a life a limiting illness resulting in increasing gaps in services when they fail to meet the criteria for home health or Medicare certified hospice. Compounded by projections for 10,000 baby boomers to turn 65 every day, this is quickly becoming a health and caregiver crisis.

Despite research that shows a majority of Americans say they would like to see more women in top leadership positions – not only in politics, but also in the corporate world, we know women rarely self-nominate themselves, even though when they do run for political office, statistics show that they win at an equal or better rate than men.

Many might not know it, but among homeless veterans, women are the fastest growing group. A 2017  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report showed the number of homeless female veterans increased by 7% from 2016 to 2017, compared to only a 1% increase for male veterans and estimated that more than 3,500 female veterans were homeless on a single night in January of that year. So why are so many women vets now homeless, or facing homelessness? And what can be done to help?

The 10th Annual San Luis Obispo (SLO) Jewish Film Festival is the premier event on the Central Coast celebrating Jewish culture from around the world. The festival offers features and short films, narratives and documentaries, as well as opportunities to meet award-winning filmmakers in up-close and personal discussions after each screening. You don’t have to be Jewish to join the celebration and celebrate Jewish culture.

The United States is supposed to be a representative democracy. We elect decisionmakers to represent us and make decisions in our interest. But as state legislatures have become more responsive to a smaller, wealthier, and healthier subset of voters, they have restricted access to health care for the broader population and have failed to address many health and environmental challenges within the communities they govern. The most vulnerable populations have, consequently, experienced worsening public health disparities. At the federal level, environmental and public-health policies, and the science these policies depend on, are being dismantled at an unprecedented rate—exacerbating existing inequities and opening the door to even greater harm.

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