COVID-19

Angel Russell

Local restaurant owners have been under pressure since the start of the coronavirus pandemic; now the colder temperatures and rain will bring new challenges as outdoor dining continues.

Courtesy of the SLO Symphony

The performing arts industry is taking a huge hit during the COVID-19 crisis, without much direction for an eventual reopening.

For many businesses right now, the income is dried up, employees are taking pay cuts and the future remains uncertain as doors stay shut.

In an attempt to light the way for the industry, local arts administrators are taking action. The Central Coast Coalition of Arts Leaders (CCCOAL) recently reached out to the state and San Luis Obispo County health departments with the goal of prioritizing the industry’s reopening.

Courtesy of motel6.com

A Motel 6 in Paso Robles will be converted to provide over a hundred rooms for emergency and permanent housing for homeless individuals,  a project expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all families, but for families caring for children with disabilities, it can be especially challenging. According to the last US Census Report, one in every 26 American families reported raising children with a disability. How are they coping? What resources are there for them in the community? Join Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Kaycie Roberts, executive director with the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center, member of the San Luis Obispo County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Community Advisory Committee and parent of a child with autism; April Lewallen, board chair of the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center and V.P. with PathPoint' and Rebekah Koznek, parent and chair of the Community Advisory Committee (C.A.C.) with SELPA, as they discuss how they are coping during the pandemic.

Angel Russell

The state off-roading park at Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo County will partially reopen next week as part of a three-phase plan. The dunes have been closed to vehicles and camping access since mid-March.

Urban Institute, "Housing and Land-Use Implications of Split-Roll Property Tax Reform in California," October 2020

When Californians approved Proposition 13 in 1978, critics of the landmark ballot measure say voters did not foresee many of the unintended consequences of capping property taxes on both residential and commercial land: lower school funding, cash-strapped cities, major corporate tax benefits.

Angel Russell

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department has put out a call asking for donations of cloth masks.

Angel Russell

The city of San Luis Obispo is clearing a homeless encampment along the Bob Jones Trail. This comes a week after SLOPD found the body of a man inside one of the tents, who they say died from unknown causes weeks earlier.

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Joel Peterson, executive director with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; Jason Haas, partner and general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard; and Adrienne Ferarra, co-owner of Clesi Wines and professor in the Department of Wine & Viticulture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as they discuss how the Central Coast wine industry is coping with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and organizations that help survivors of domestic violence on the Central Coast report an uptick in calls, believed to be directly related to the pandemic.

Angel Russell

Regal Cinemas, the country's second largest movie chain, temporarily closed last week due to coronavirus-caused economic woes. But smaller, independent movie theaters like Park Cinemas in Paso Robles are trying to stay open.

David Rodriguez, The Salinas Californian

A CalMatters analysis shows that Cal/OSHA dispatches inspectors in just 5% of COVID complaint cases. Non-COVID complaints were more than twice as likely to result in on-site inspections — but that’s still far below the pre-pandemic share.

Angel Russell

With four weeks left until election day, over five million voters across the country have already cast their ballots. Some are voting by mail, while others are doing so in-person at early voting centers.

Melissa Hill

Stores like Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions—including ten locations throughout the Central Coast—are now selling at-home COVID-19 tests. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. County airport director Kevin Bumen shares information about COVID-19 sanitation initiatives within airport terminals and aboard aircraft. Bumen also talks about dealing with reduced daily flights (down fifty percent from 2019), a marked reduction of income from ancillary revenue streams such as long-term parking, and Bumen's new position as the first chief commercial officer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with his last day at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport set on October 9.

Angel Russell

As an outdoor activity, Central Coast pumpkin patches are able to welcome visitors over the next month. 

Jennifer Bennett, an Atascadero mother of two, was one of the first customers at Avila Valley Barn Monday morning. 

“I’m a stay-at-home mom," Bennett said. "Being home with these two all the time has been really hard without being able to take them to do anything.”

She’s excited the pumpkin patch—along with the goats, cows and chickens to visit and feed—are open.  

Angel M Russell

It’s been six months since Oceano Dunes State Park has allowed vehicular recreation on its beach and dune complex. While many are calling to keep it closed now for the pandemic—and for a variety of reasons, into the future—others are advocating for its immediate reopening.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed and intensified systematic racism in many of our institutions. In August the National Urban League reported that Black Americans are infected with COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.  Research suggests that Black Americans, and other communities of color, appear to be at greater risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 due to a history of racism that creates differences in health and access to care and other resources needed for good health. 

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County advanced to a less-restrictive phase in California’s COVID-19 blueprint Tuesday, and businesses are yet again adjusting to the new changes. 

Downtown SLO

After 44 years, the organization Downtown SLO is canceling the city’s annual holiday parade due to COVID-19 concerns. But the group has some other ideas on keeping the holiday spirit alive.

More businesses can reopen effective immediately in San Luis Obispo County. On Tuesday the county’s public health officer said the county has qualified to move into the less-restrictive ‘red tier,’ according to the state’s framework for reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

Angel Russell

In Paso Robles, some students with disabilities returned to campus Monday, and the school district is hoping to serve more students with in-person learning assistance this school year. 

Undocumented workers in California are now eligible for certain tax credits under a bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed Friday

Issues & Ideas: Wildfire smoke on wine grapes, downtown vitality and SLO's first cannabis store

Sep 17, 2020

California voters will decide this fall on a dozen ballot measures, including one measure that would exempt gig companies from a law that makes it harder to classify workers as contractors. A black box theater in Santa Barbara that was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic is now producing its own shows. We’ll hear from a Central Coast grape grower, who talks about the possible effects of smoke particles on wine grapes. The cities of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara are responding to COVID-19 and imagining new ways for the respective downtowns to operate as spaces for people to live, work, and play. Finally, we’ll hear from the owner of San Luis Obispo's first cannabis retail store. 

There have been record-setting hurricanes, floods and a pandemic. And this year in California six of the 20 largest wildfires in the state’s history have occurred, many of which are still burning.  News of mass evacuations are heard daily, often with little or no time at all to prepare. These hardships clearly illustrate the importance of emergency preparedness. If a disaster hits, will you be prepared? Would you be ready to go? Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Paul Deis, Red Cross disaster volunteer, and Dan McGauley, retired firefighter and paramedic with the city of Atascadero, as they discuss the importance of being disaster ready.

Angel Russell

In San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly students began their first day of classes Monday, mostly logging in to their lectures online, and the CSU system announced classes will remain that way through spring 2021. 

Angel Russell

Los Angeles County has banned haunted house attractions and festivals this Halloween, and the LA County health department is also recommending parents not take their kids trick-or-treating due to COVID-19.

While Halloween traditions are up in the air in the Central Coast due to the pandemic, that’s not stopping people from coming into the Santa Maria Spirit Halloween store. 

Courtesy of Center Stage

Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic. But since the shutdown, the theater has been pushed into producing its own shows, including a virtual series of story readings from local authors and performers.

Angel Russell

Despite an ongoing pandemic and wildfires causing smoky skies, people are still visiting the Central Coast—but overall tourism is sharply down compared to years' past.

Courtesy of Partners in Education video

Schools have moved to online education and that means every student needs a computer and internet access to participate. A program called Computers for Families provides refurbished equipment and technical support to families throughout Santa Barbara County.

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