San Luis Obispo

SLO County set to reopen restaurants, shopping

May 20, 2020
Greta Mart/KCBX

The news many have been looking forward to finally came Monday: California’s governor announced it is now up to individual counties to proceed on reopening after the two-month pandemic shutdown. San Luis Obispo County officials say the county is ready to go.

Current data as of today shows California has a reported 27,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 889 people have died from the virus, 101 yesterday alone. What is the latest on the pandemic across the state and locally? Have we flattened the curve? What is the availability of testing and care for those that are ill with the virus? Are our healthcare workers prepared? When can we expect a re-opening of the state? Our counties?

SLO County

Animal shelters across the state are seeing a reduction in the number of dogs and cats in their kennels. Eric Anderson, the manager of San Luis Obispo County's Animal Services division, talks with KCBX via Zoom about the impact of the pandemic on animals in our community.

Issues & Ideas: Farming in SLO County

Apr 13, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Agriculture plays a crucial role in the economy of both California and the Central Coast. KCBX's Greta Mart talks with Brent Burchett, executive director of the SLO County Farm Bureau, about a variety of local agricultural issues and challenges for the county's farmers.

Last year California’s homeless population climbed to 150,000, the most in the nation. Already communities have been struggling throughout the state to deal with this crisis. Now with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are fears that many in this vulnerable population could become infected with the virus. One projection suggests that up to 60,000 homeless in the state could become infected. How can you shelter-at-home when you have no home?

Greta Mart/KCBX

As the novel coronavirus pandemic widens, the acute shortage of personal protective equipment worsens; things like face masks and hand sanitizer. To help meet the great need, Central Coast distilleries are changing their production lines from booze to bottling ethanol-based sanitizer.

Courtesy of Cal Poly College of Engineering

In San Luis Obispo, some Cal Poly professors are using the spring quarter’s curriculum to provide tangible support to doctors and nurses during the pandemic, research the virus, and more—an impromptu study in real-world applications.

HelpSLO.com

As health officials began confirming the first COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County, one local woman decided to create a way for people to help each other. HelpSLO is the result.

MARELBU/wikimedia commons

Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us and in San Luis Obispo, that usually means crowds of revelers and Cal Poly students hitting the downtown bars and restaurants for some serious partying, starting early in the morning. But in this new reality of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not going to be the case this year.

First COVID-19 cases reported in SLO County

Mar 16, 2020

As San Luis Obispo County’s public health officer warned earlier this week, it was only a matter of time before the novel coronavirus came to the county. Late Saturday evening, the public health department confirmed the first case—a North County resident has tested positive. 

City of SLO

A plan to refurbish San Luis Obispo’s downtown Mission Plaza is now several years in the making. But this week marked the first time elected city officials looked at and discussed an official draft design of the first phase of the project. The response was supportive overall, but with a handful of criticisms.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Many communities in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties receive their water supply from two local dams. And those dams are in serious need of repair. Later this spring, its likely voters in Monterey County will be asked to decide whether these costly repairs will go forward.

Courtesy of City of SLO

San Luis Obispo’s mayor and city council will get a substantial pay raise next year. The council voted unanimously this week to bring salaries up to the area's median income

Courtesy of PSHH

The city of San Luis Obispo moved forward this week with support for a plan for 108 affordable housing units for low-income residents. The city council approved $2 million dollars Tuesday to help fund the construction of that housing.

Audio Postcard: The 2020 San Luis Obispo Women's March

Jan 23, 2020
Katherine Lane

On January 18, across the nation and the world, people of all backgrounds joined together for the 2020 Women’s March. It’s mission is to "harness the political power of diverse communities to create social change." In San Luis Obispo, thousands gathered to participate in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

californiacensus.org

The U.S. Census Bureau is on a hiring spree, and scrambling to find enough temporary workers in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to help complete the 2020 Census

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

New holiday banners have gone up around downtown San Luis Obispo, part of a city beautification effort to highlight diversity in the community and raise cultural awareness.

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.

If any renters in San Luis Obispo recently received an eviction notice, it could possibly be unlawful. City officials have passed an emergency tenant protection ordinance seeking to prevent unjust evictions and unreasonable rent hikes. About 65 percent of San Luis Obispo residents are renters.

The local law took effect immediately after the city council passed it on November 26. According to the city manager, the council found the issue acute enough to only require one hearing to pass the ordinance.

SRAM

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with design engineer Will King and director of design engineering Garrett Smith at SRAM’s high-tech bicycle component facility in San Luis Obispo. King and Smith talk about the company's nonprofit initiative in support of World Bicycle Relief and SRAM’s upcoming fundraiser/open house on December 13. World Bicycle Relief provides locally-assembled bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in rural areas of developing countries around the world, connecting them with education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

On the latest Issues & Ideas, a San Luis Obispo artist is working to find more employment opportunities for artists in the community. Jami Ray is the founder of Lamplight Arts Collective, a grassroots group of local independent artists working together to bring live art to San Luis Obispo and, hopefully, create paying gigs for Central Coast artists. We recently sat down with Ray to learn more about live art and the collective—which will be showcasing live art at the San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market on Thursday, December 5.

Dustin Wise

A hit true crime podcast in Australia has a major Central Coast connection. Season four of the “Unravel” podcast, titled Snowball, zeroes in on what the producers call 'love fraud.' The podcast revolves around a mysterious woman and the family she allegedly defrauded, and one family member's obsession with finding her, tracking down another alleged victim in Paso Robles, and even confronting the woman at the center of it all in San Luis Obispo. Click the Listen button above to learn more.

Santa Rosa and Pacifica are the latest California cities to draft local laws aiming to curb the use of natural gas infrastructure in new construction. It’s part of a push to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

San Luis Obispo city officials voted once—in early September—to pass a similar ordinance on what’s called decarbonization.

But then attorneys for a utility labor union cried foul.

Former SLO mayor and Mission Plaza founder dies

Oct 21, 2019
Courtesy John Ashbaugh

Founder of San Luis Obispo's Mission Plaza and former San Luis Obispo Mayor Kenneth "Ken" Schwartz died Saturday. He was 94.

Pixabay image

Thousands of small objects are currently orbiting Earth, and while some are working satellites, a lot are junk. Cal Poly state university in San Luis Obispo has joined forces with the U.S. Department of Defense to monitor all the space debris—and come up with some ways to reduce it.

On this week's Issues & Ideas: An expo on tiny homes is coming to San Luis Obispo on Oct. 12, focused on exploring every facet of the housing trend that's sweeping the nation. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

After a 20-year-plus effort, a San Luis Obispo landmark is opening to the public. The Octagon Barn, just south of the city limits, is now a community center. Built in 1906, the unique, eight-sided agricultural building was a key location in the early years of the county’s dairy industry. But by 1997, it was falling down and on its way to demolition.

Courtesy of Paula Zima

Should San Luis Obispo have a formal policy regarding monuments? That was the discussion among city officials this week after a group proposed placing a statue of a former U.S. president in a city park. The mayor and some in the community disagreed with the idea. San Luis Obispo officials ultimately decided the city’s policy is not to allow any monuments to living or dead individuals to be erected.

Matt Klepfer/SLO Queer Crowd

This week is San Luis Obispo Pride, a celebration of the Central Coast LGBTQ+ community. Over the weekend there will be parties, drag performances and Pride in the Plaza, a free festival for the public with live entertainment. Some will also be using the opportunity to raise awareness about issues that continue to impact all communities—including the queer community—such as deportation, racism and gentrification.

UPDATED July 12, 2019: Police Chief Deanna Cantrell's stolen firearm has been found, San Luis Obispo City Manager Derek Johnson said in a statement Thursday evening. Johnson said Skeeter Carlos Mangan, 30, admitted to, "finding the firearm in the restroom at El Pollo Loco, putting it in his pocket, and returning to his home to Los Osos." According to the statement, Mangan's brother-in-law reported him to authorities. Cantrell told KCBX News Friday morning no arrest had been made, but the department is preparing to file charges against Mangan.

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