California

Tom Hilton/Flickr

The owners of San Luis Obispo County nail salons and tattoo parlors should start getting ready to reopen on or after June 19. That's the latest message from county health officials about the personal services sector.

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, emergency relief for undocumented immigrants recently became available in California, but demand outweighs the supply of cash. We’ll learn how the California NanoSystems Institute at UCSB is repurposing 3D printers to make face shields for healthcare workers. And hear about the challenges facing small farmers in California due to COVID-19. We get an update on First 5 SLO County from director Wendy Wendt; the independent public agency, created by California’s Proposition 10, uses a tax on tobacco products to fund programs for children through age five and their families. The city manager of Morro Bay, Scott Collins, talks about having to discourage vacationers due to the pandemic. And finally, we’ll learn about an award-winning book by UCSB professor emeritus Tonia Shimin featuring the art of her late father, Symeon Shimin.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas: Learn how the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council is helping local residents better prepare for fire.

Also, hear about REACH, which is the new iteration of the Hourglass Project, a year-old "action tank" focused on forming a viable plan to create new jobs and economic development across the Central Coast. 

Coronavirus concerns prompts governor's executive order on large gatherings

Mar 12, 2020
Randall Benton/AP Photo

Large gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled, according to an advisory by Gov. Gavin Newsom and California public health officials on Wednesday night.

Today is Election Day, when California voters will decide the primary races—not only to select their presidential and congressional favorites, but local and state representatives as well. There are four candidates running for the 17th District seat, representing the Central Coast, in the state Senate. Senator Bill Monning, who has held that seat for several years, is termed out. 

Primary election day is fast approaching. In Monterey County, there is only one race being contested for the county board of supervisors. Four people are running for the District 4 seat, which stretches west of Salinas to the Pacific ocean.

CapRadio

Confusion and misinformation about California’s March 3 primary election abound on social media. Some on Twitter have falsely claimed that millions of voters won’t be able to choose their favorite presidential candidate because they’re registered as No Party Preference. Others have suggested that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ name was intentionally placed last among presidential candidates on the ballot, fueling mistrust over the election process.

Flickr/Anita Ritenour

A Central Coast professor is asking surfers to serve as citizen scientists on February 8 and 9, during the final king tide of this season.

King tides are an annual winter occurrence, when the combination of a full moon and Earth’s closer proximity to the sun cause tides that are both higher and lower than the normal tidal range.

California just counted its homeless—a tally sure to be inaccurate, and politically weaponized

Feb 4, 2020
Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee

With yellow vests and flashlights, over 200 volunteers recently fanned out across Fresno to count homeless people. Along the railway, one group walked by a freight container with a mattress and shoes inside, and past a dirt cot enclosed in a tarp pegged to a bush.

Wikimedia Commons/BrokenSphere

Developers, landlords, Facebook, construction unions, the state Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, environmental groups and even the AARP wanted to see the bill pass.

Next stop for free college: Cal State University?

Jan 21, 2020
Greta Mart/KCBX

In yet another push to make higher education more accessible in California, a bill filed in the state Legislature would extend the state’s tuition-free college guarantee to four years — and beyond community college — for some students, making it one of the most generous programs in the nation.

California governor to propose that state manufactures its own generic drugs

Jan 9, 2020
CalMatters

In a bold strategy to drive down prescription drug prices, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing that California become the first state in the nation to establish its own generic drug label, making those medications available at an affordable price to the state’s 40 million residents.

Courtesy of The San Luis Obispo Tribune

The 2020 election is just around the corner, and this time the California primary is much earlier—in March—and this means you can soon expect to be bombarded with ads, flyers, and yes, even attack ads.

Battle lines are drawn over oil drilling in California

Dec 6, 2019
Adria Watson/CalMatters

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.

San Luis Obispo faces legal threat over at-large elections

Dec 5, 2019
Courtesy of Paso Robles

Update 12/05/19

San Luis Obispo’s attorney says the city now has until the end of January to either start changing the way it elects council members, or decide to fight a legal threat over its current election system.

How California is rewriting the law on online privacy

Dec 2, 2019
DJANDYW.COM/creative commons

Our actions online have created a vast trove of information worth billions of dollars. Every time we search, click, shop, watch, send, receive, delete or download, we create a trail of data that companies can use to figure out our tastes and interests. We also hand over information when we use social media or loyalty programs at our favorite stores.

Flickr/Clint Gardner

In an instance of déjà vu, there’s a new E.coli outbreak in late November linked to romaine lettuce. The outbreak was quickly traced to romaine lettuce grown near Salinas

Later start times coming for California middle and high schools

Oct 14, 2019
Courtesy of AMS

California is now the first state in the U.S. to insist on later start times for most public schools with grades 8 through 12. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill over the weekend that phases in a requirement for junior high schools classes to begin no earlier than 8 a.m. and high school classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Issues & Ideas: Vaping, lavender and a farm-to-school lunch tray program

Sep 30, 2019

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: the state's public health agency has urged Californians to stop vaping immediately, days after Governor Newsom signed an executive order aimed at curbing vaping among youth. 

Immigrants afraid of Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule are dropping food stamps, MediCal

Sep 27, 2019

Last month, Yuri sat in her dining room in San Jose, turned on the T.V., and heard something that made her sit up straight and sent her mind racing. The Trump administration, the newscaster announced, had just published a new rule that could make it harder for immigrants to get a green card if they used, or were likely to use, public government benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.

Courtesy of the Oceano CSD

Next year there’s going to be a big change in voting dates in California. Instead of the primary election being held in June, it’s moving up to March 3, 2020. On that ballot, Oceano voters will decide a special tax measure to fund fire and emergency medical services.

James Baker/Cal Poly

A Cal Poly program is helping combat human trafficking. Staff from the university’s California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) recently met with law enforcement officers from across the state to demonstrate how to spot signs of human trafficking operations in places like massage parlors. 

Statoil

Recently there’s been behind-the-scenes movement in the effort to bring offshore wind energy development to the Central Coast.

Issues & Ideas: Cannabis odor, berries and Harmony glass

Jul 1, 2019
KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, there has been a lot of discussion about cannabis grows on the Central Coast, especially when it comes to the plants' odor. In a conversation produced by KCRW's "The 805: Stories from the Central Coast" podcast, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams dives into the issue and allegations he has been too chummy with cannabis lobbyists.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to disgorge tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prison system in 2011, Justice Antonin Scalia warned in his dissent of “the terrible things sure to happen as a consequence” including the “inevitable murders, robberies, and rapes to be committed by the released inmates.”

Judy Lin/CALmatters

Despite speculation about bold moves—in a far left direction, even for this blue state—Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative Democrats actually landed a budget Thursday that’s surgical about new taxing and spending while still keeping promises to help poor Californians and working families.

Wikimedia Commons/hakkun

If the plight of hungry and homeless college students has lately caught the national media’s attention, it’s in no small part due to the efforts of Temple University professor Sara Goldrick-Rab. 

CALmatters

Russians hack Ukraine’s electricity network, turning lights off and on at will, rendering the country’s best tech hands helpless to intervene. North Korea takes over the controls of a South Korean nuclear power plant. Snipers with high-velocity rifles unleash a fusillade on a transmission station near San Jose, inflicting $15 million in damage.

It’s not the plot of the latest spy novel. Rather, it’s small sampling of actual attacks, the kind of sabotage against vulnerable energy systems that can cut off power with the click of a mouse and bring officials to their knees.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Voters in six California counties have passed measures banning fracking and placing limits on other types of oil extraction. This November, a citizen’s initiative in San Luis Obispo County sought to do the same. Oil companies funded an $8 million dollar campaign to defeat the measure, and a majority of voters rejected Measure G—54 to 46 percent.

The defeat removes one roadblock to a planned expansion of operations at the Arroyo Grande oil field near San Luis Obispo.

PG&E video still

Diablo Canyon Power Plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is looking for community input on its plan to decommission California's last nuclear power plant. A panel tasked with helping to plan the closure has released a draft report, and Dec. 10 is the deadline to provide public comment on the panel's "strategic vision." 

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