Camp San Luis Obispo

Issues & Ideas: Feeding SLO kids, fire evacuations and carbon neutrality at Camp San Luis

Aug 26, 2020

More than 77,000 people have been displaced by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, and in Santa Cruz County, that’s put a strain on shelter capacity. People and their animals are evacuating due to the River Fire, south of Salinas, as well. Camp San Luis Obispo is on its way to becoming the first military base in America to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality. San Luis Coastal Unified School District is not only providing students with nutritious food, but aiming to make sure that no local child goes hungry…even in a global pandemic. Monica Grant, of the San Luis Obispo County YMCA, talks about the challenges faced by the Y during the pandemic, and how they are still able to help families.

Thomas Wilmer

The base commander at California National Guard base Camp San Luis talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about the process of becoming the first military base in America to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality. Initiatives include installation of extensive rooftop solar arrays, 40 electric vehicle charging stations, replacing gasoline powered vehicles with electric power sources, and transitioning to 100 percent LED lighting inside buildings and for exterior lighting. 

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, by speaking to its organizer, Denis Hayes, in a wide-ranging and in-depth conversation. Correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to Camp San Luis Obispo to find out what the National Guard are doing there. To see how virtual learning is faring during pandemic school closures, we check in with school districts in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. We also learn how Santa Barbara teenagers are helping seniors during the pandemic through a program called 'Zoomers to Boomers.' All that and more on this episode of Issues & Ideas.

Captain Jason Sweeney California National Guard

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the California National Guard base Camp San Luis Obispo, where he interviews San Luis Obispo County employees and National Guard members involved in food and medical supply warehousing and distribution to first responders and regional food banks.

Thomas Wilmer

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (COES) and the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) are charged with coordinating emergency preparedness and response to natural disasters and threats to civil order, including cyber and terrorist attacks, fires, earthquakes, floods and pandemics such as the coronavirus. COES and CSTI maintain training facilities at the California National Guard base Camp San Luis Obispo. 

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas: Do you want to make your home wildfire resistant? A landscape design expert says much of the conventional wisdom about native landscapes and fire is wrong. Greg Rubin, president and founder of California's Own Native Landscape Design, is coming to San Luis Obispo on August 1 to share techniques he has developed to create sustainable, ecologically responsible, fire-resistant landscapes. 

Cpt. Jason Sweeney/CNG

Camp San Luis Obispo garrison commander Lt. Col. Brian Wintzer speaks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about the role Camp SLO plays as a California Army National Guard training base. Wintzer also talks about the base's state-of-the-art training facilities used by military and civilian agencies—both federal and state; how Camp SLO is home to the Grizzly Youth Academy and the California Cadet Corps; and the base's partnership with Cal Poly and multiple law enforcement agencies in its California Cyber Training Complex.

CA Military Dept. Foundation

There are two big events planned for Saturday in San Luis Obispo; one is the March for Our Lives, during which area students and supporters will demonstrate for gun control. The other event celebrates military culture, and offers the public a rare opportunity to visit Camp San Luis Obispo, an active California National Guard base. 

At its March 21 meeting, the San Luis Obispo City Council will look at options regarding the Rental Housing Inspection Program. Last week, the council voted to repeal the mandatory program. On Monday the city manager’s office announced a petition to repeal and replace it has qualified for an upcoming election. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A ceremony Wednesday morning marked the opening of the Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab, a group project of Cal Poly and the California State University system, along with the county DA’s office and the California Military Department. The lab will serve both as a classroom for future cybersecurity experts and a high-tech evidence collection facility.