Morro Bay

Courtesy Vaping360.com

The San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors may soon introduce an ordinance to ban the sale of electronic smoking devices in the unincorporated areas of the county. According to the Dec. 10 board meeting agenda, a public hearing on the issue could be slated for January 14. The issue comes before county officials as a bipartisan group of national lawmakers—including seven from California—sent a letter to President Trump this week urging a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, two Central Coast cities—Morro Bay and Arroyo Grande—have already begun the process of banning the sale of all vaping products in their jurisdictions. But not all city leaders are in favor of complete bans, and some business owners say the move will slash half their business and fortify the black market.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, the city of Morro Bay continues its effort to build a $126 million dollar wastewater treatment facility near the north end of South Bay Blvd. But a group of residents are putting on the brakes with a referendum campaign; the county is currently verifying signatures that could trigger a public vote.

  

The advent of battery powered e-bikes and fat tire beach cruisers—along with good old knuckle-busting maintenance and repair—helps sustain independently-owned, neighborhood bike shops. Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Morro Bay, California for a visit with Dave Shultz, owner of the The Bike Shop, to learn the rest of the story.

Statoil

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

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, one of the Central Coast’s most prominent music festivals starts soon. We chat with Festival Mozaic music director Scott Yoo and new executive director Lloyd Tanner about what to expect this year. 

Courtesy of the Morro Bay Police Department

A rash of thefts in Morro Bay and other Central Coast locales has local authorities asking residents to be sure to lock their cars at night. Police say they have arrested two people who may be responsible for the Morro Bay thefts, but suspect more thieves are still in the area. 

Courtesy of the Morro Bay Police Department

A rash of vehicle thefts in Morro Bay has local authorities asking residents to be sure to lock their cars at night. Police say they have arrested two people who may be responsible for the recent thefts, but think more suspects are still in the area. And the crimes aren’t limited to the central San Luis Obispo County coast.

On this week's Issues and Ideas: Monday marks the transition from Jerry Brown to Gavin Newsom as California's next governor; we'll hear stories about "Brownisms" and Newsom promises. Tyler Pratt reports on a new California prison integration program has inmates' families worried for their safety. And Greta Mart attends a recent public forum on offshore wind energy and reports on how state and federal officials are taking public comment on locations proposed for offshore wind energy development—two of which are off San Luis Obispo County's coast. 

Community choice energy grows on Central Coast

Dec 28, 2018
Sarah Swenty/USFWS

In 2005, California passed a law allowing local governments to pool the electricity demand of their residents and then buy and sell electricity on their behalf. It’s called Community Choice Energy, and over 19 cities and counties have now established community choice agencies or programs.

Thomas Wilmer

The tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are in port in Morro Bay, California until December 18. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer aboard the Lady Washington for a visit with Captain J.B. Smith, 3rd Mate Eric Dowell, and David Livingstone, chief mate aboard the Hawaiian Chieftain. 

Joe Johnston/Tribune

At the northern end of Morro Bay, demolition continues on a former U.S. Navy property that held two giant holding tanks for jet fuel. The 10-acre property on Panorama Drive is now being cleared of its former industrial use by a Santa Maria construction company and the work is expected to last through Thanksgiving. To learn more, KCBX News spoke with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Nick Wilson, who has been covering this story.

Sea otters found to be “touch specialists”

Oct 2, 2018
Creative commons

Sea otters spend much of their day devouring whatever ocean snacks they can hunt down. They rely on their digestion to keep warm in the chilly Pacific Ocean, so they need to get their paws on at least ten pounds of food each day.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay water and sewer residential customers will be paying up to $41 dollars more a month for service, starting next summer. On Tuesday night, the Morro Bay city council voted to raise the rates, after counting the results of a community vote. Those opposed to the rate increase were short by an estimated 636 protest votes.

Courtesy of kentnagano.com

Celebrated conductor Kent Nagano grew up in Morro Bay in the 1950s and '60s. Nagano returned home this week to lead a benefit concert designed to raise money for the Cerrito Peak Project in Morro Bay. 

Sandi Twist talks SUP with correspondent Tom Wilmer on the docks in Morro Bay, California
Jennifer Little

A visit with Sandi Twist, owner of The Paddleboard Company, fittingly located on the waterfront in Morro Bay. Twist walks about the explosive popularity of stand-up paddling (SUP) for both the curious and serious.

Greta Mart

Morro Bay officials recently decided upon a location for the city's new wastewater treatment plant. The city council opted for the inland South Bay Boulevard site, which will cost approximately $25 million more than if the city challenges a host of state agencies and insists on rebuilding in the current, beachside location. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Globules of decades-old bunker oil washed up on Morro Rock Beach and the southern end of Morro Strand State Beach Saturday, after a contractor working on an offshore pipeline accidentally released “a solid ball of oil” trapped inside the pipe and it broke up in whitecap waves. 

Greta Mart

The owner of the shuttered power plant in Morro Bay says it has resumed work on a long-term pipeline removal project. The Texas-based company Dynegy owns the Morro Bay Power Plant, which created electricity from natural gas until it was decommissioned in 2014. In fall of 2015, the company hired a contractor to conduct underwater surveys of the pipelines in preparation for the current work. 

M.V. Mojo chartered by Hollywood actor George C. Scott, attempts to leave Morro Bay Harbor back in 1978
Scott Redd

One of the most iconic images associated with Morro Bay, California is a photo of Hollywood star, George C. Scott’s chartered yacht, the 84’ long M.V. Mojo, being smashed by a monster wave as it attempted to leave the harbor during a turbulent winter storm, January 28, 1978.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay city staff and officials held a town hall meeting this week to get public feedback on the future of commercial cannabis. Residents who attended expressed their support for cultivating both retail and manufacturing cannabis businesses in the seaside city. 

Morro Bay's city manager resigns

May 18, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The city of Morro Bay is looking for a new city manager. David Buckingham, who’s been the city's top administrator for the past three years, announced his last day will be June 26. 

Marisa Waddell/KCBX

Professional cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California wrapped up Stage 3 of the race in Morro Bay late Tuesday afternoon. Slovakian racer Peter Sagan was the winner of the stage, a 120-mile course that started in Pismo Beach and wound through the streets of San Luis Obispo. 

M.V. Mojo crashed in to a monster wave at the Morro Bay Harbor mouth January 28, 1978 sustaining major damage and injuries
Scott J. Redd

When Terry MacRae was a student at Cal Poly State University back in the early 1970’s he had no clue that the University’s learn by doing model would lead him on a life journey where he would eventually become the CEO of Hornblower Cruises. Considered the greenest fleet in America, Hornblower employs wind and solar technology and operates the largest small passenger-vessel operation in the country.   

MacRae shares his passion for the untapped potential of waterborne ferry transportation as a viable commuting option for not only San Francisco Bay but around America.

Pacific Wildlife Care

Pacific Wildlife Care is situated in a non-descript building behind the old PG&E power plant in Morro Bay, California. But, anywhere wounded or endangered wildlife are found on the Central Coast they are just a phone call away from rescue and rehabilitation. The organization rescues more than 3,000 wild animals, representing more than 200 different species annually.

Human "helping" a danger for beached marine mammals

Mar 24, 2017
Greta Mart

 

It’s pupping season on the Central Coast for animals like seals and sea lions, but some marine mammal mothers are abandoning their pups because of human interaction. 

Courtesy of CalTrans

Caltrans has announced plans to reopen Highway 41 West at 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 after a month-long closure due to landslides. 

Tall Ship Lady Washington enters Morro Bay Harbor
Thomas Wilmer

Join the conversation dockside at Morro Bay Harbor with Jennifer Little of Discover Morro Bay Tourism Bureau, Mark Elterman with California Highway 1 Coast Discovery Route, and Morro Bay hotelier Joan Solu.

January and February are dubbed the “Secret Season” by local tourism industry folks.

Courtesy of Trident Winds

In December the federal agency that decides what kind of energy development takes place in our nation’s coastal waters issued a guidebook to understanding how renewable energy projects get approved and built. It’s a wonky topic of particular interest to the Central Coast, as firms jockey to build an offshore wind farm near Morro Bay. 

Morro Bay's back bay estuary at sunset
Thomas Wilmer

January and February is when hotel occupancy, restaurant patronage, and tourists visiting the Central Coast is at a low ebb. Throughout the San Luis Obispo County, January is “Restaurant Month” with ample offerings of two-for-one dinners, and other hard to pass up deals. Many hotels offer overnight stays far below posted rates.

Scientists are worried about the health of the Morro Bay Estuary because of a rapid decline in a plant considered to be at the base of the system's food chain.

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