Central Coast

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.

Michael Barros/KCBX

While the Trump Administration has worked to dismantle protections for transgender people, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which bans discrimination in employment on the basis of characteristics like race, religion and national origin—extends to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Beth Thornton

Movie theaters and cineplexes across the Central Coast now have clearance to start reopening. But for the past several weeks, there’s been another way to go out for an evening to see a film. A staple of life in the 1950s and ‘60s, drive-in theaters fell out of popularity for the past few decades—but may be making a comeback. Drive-ins offer a safe option for people of all ages and social distancing is easily managed.

Did sea farm debacle sink California aquaculture?

May 18, 2020
South Australian Research and Development Institute via NOAA

As pilot projects go, it couldn’t have gone much worse.

The nation’s first commercial shellfish farm in federal waters was supposed to provide a national model for sustainable aquaculture.

Doug McKnight/KAZU

Part 1 

Part 2  

Over the next three months, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers will converge on the Central Coast to do something deemed essential in the time of COVID-19, harvest our food. The speciality crops farmed locally, like strawberries and leafy greens, require a lot of hand labor. But the dramatic increase in population could trigger a surge in COVID-19 cases.

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?

Courtesy Laura Foxx/Kevin Harris

The Central Coast is known for its many gifted artists—across the spectrum of mediums and disciplines—who choose to live and create here. Via Zoom, we checked in with two local performance artists to learn how they are adapting during the pandemic shutdown, and the shuttering of their livelihoods.

Courtesy army.mil

It’s been seven weeks since Central Coast schools closed in-person classrooms and began teaching students virtually. The change was radical and abrupt.

On this agriculture-themed episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear the second half of a conversation with Brent Burchett of the SLO County Farm Bureau, about issues facing farmers on the Central Coast. Father Ian takes us on a journey to explore growing and enjoying Central Coast artichokes. We learn more about a new research project in a San Miguel vineyard involving vermiculture, and tag along on a tour of a vermicompost production facility. And we get the lowdown on a state grant program designed to encourage healthy soils. Finally, meet the newest baby giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Courtesy of Festival Mozaic

A popular, summertime Central Coast festival announced Thursday it is postponing until 2021. The management of another major SLO County event is taking a more wait-and-see approach on whether to go ahead as usual. Stay-at-home orders have laid waste to all planned concerts, festivals and events this spring, and now summertime ones are falling like dominoes—all triggered by the pandemic.

JM Jaffe

LGBTQ+ rights pioneer Phyllis Lyon died on April 9 at the age of 95. Lyon and her longterm partner Del Martin were the first California couple to get married after same-sex marriage become legal in the state in 2008, due to a ruling by the California Supreme Court.

David Hills/Fishypictures and David Hills Photography

The commercial salmon fishing season along the Central Coast is about to launch. California’s fishing industry is designated as essential by Governor Gavin Newsom, but their usual markets, restaurants, are all but shut down because of the coronavirus. That’s spelling trouble for local fishermen and women. Still, some believe there’s a silver lining to this crisis.

Cities and community services districts around the Central Coast are facing serious financial repercussions from the pandemic.

On this episdoe of Issues & Ideas: We learn more about a STEAM—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math—program for middle school students offered by the Foundation at Hearst Castle. And a nationwide shortage prompts distilleries in San Luis Obispo County to turn production over to hand sanitizer. We hear more about a nonprofit organization called 'School on Wheels' that tutors homeless children in Santa Barbara County. And Father Ian takes us on an educational tour of Central Coast olive groves and olive oil producers. 

Playing With Food: Central Coast olive oil

Mar 30, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Explore the world of Central Coast olive oil with Father Ian on "Playing With Food."

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. 

Michael Barros/KCBX

KCBX News is updating the results in this post as they come in.

The latest unofficial vote tally was released on Monday, March 9 just before 5 p.m. There are still 4,784 ballots to be processed by the San Luis Obispo County Elections division. Clerk-recorder Tommy Gong said it's "to be determined" when the next counting will take place. 

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. 

Flickr/Rennett Stowe

A new survey of Central Coast residents finds many are uncertain about their economic situation, and many of the respondents working in the region say they are worried they may not be able to afford to live here much longer.

The Hourglass Project, the group that commissioned the poll, says labor shortages could further strain the local economy.

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.

Playing With Food: Mystery cracked; it's walnuts!

Nov 25, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

A mystery grove along Highway 101 turns out to be walnuts. “Playing With Food” cracks the nut on 57 years of growing walnuts on the Central Coast near San Ardo.

Playing With Food: Lavender in the kitchen

Sep 30, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

In the early summer, many of our yards are dotted with the vibrant purple flowers of lavender. In addition to the splash of color they give to our golden lawns, the heavenly scent of lavender relaxes us when the dried buds are put in sachets and dotted around the house. But did you know that lavender has many culinary uses? There are a handful of lavender farms along the Central Coast, and Father Ian visited one to find out how to use the plant in everyday cooking.

Statoil

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

Fifty years ago, in August of 1969, half a million young people gathered on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. To mark the anniversary, KCBX shares the stories of San Luis Obispo County residents who were there. 

Courtesy of Ken Lidoff and Will Jones

Fifty years ago, in August of 1969, half a million young people gathered on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. KCBX is sharing the stories of San Luis Obispo County residents who were there. 

Photos courtesy of BJ Semmes, Bill Seavey and Alice McNeely

Fifty years ago this month, half a million young people gathered on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music Festival. KCBX shares the stories of San Luis Obispo County residents who were there. 

Courtesy of Gail Brooks and Bill Weiner

Fifty years ago this month, half a million young people gathered on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music Festival. This week and next, KCBX shares the stories of San Luis Obispo County residents who were there. 

KCBX News

Fracking has been a hot topic on the Central Coast ever since the Trump administration released an environmental review about the possibility of expanding hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in Central California. We hear reactions from some in the neighboring community of Kern County to the plan. And Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback explains some fracking basics, including what is and isn’t known about the technique's impact on the environment. We also talk about emergency preparedness in San Luis Obispo County. KCBX's Greta Mart sits down with county planner Jillian Ferguson and emergency services coordinator Scott Milner about how they are planning for possible future man-made and natural disasters. Also, if you’re a Democratic presidential primary voter, how will you decide who gets your support? We chat with four undecided California Democrats. And we previously reported that Santa Barbara’s landfill is filling up. Soon, in July, trash and recycling curbside services will go up. We’ll find out how the city plans to use the fees to in an effort help improve how the city manages recycling and trash.

Greta Mart/KCBX

There's a new type of recycling facility in San Luis Obispo County that's turning food and green waste into power and compost. It's called an anaerobic digester, and it was built by global engineering firm Hitachi Zozen Inova. The company is touting it as the first of its kind in the United States for the specific way it recycles waste. 

On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we hear about a local mission to preserve the story of winemaking in our region. The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County is a museum without walls; we speak with Heather Muran and Libbie Agran about the effort to bring the county's wine history to life through unique exhibits. Also, learn more about the sleep disorder narcolepsy from local patient-activist Ashley Allen.

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