San Luis Obispo County

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we get better acquainted with former San Luis Obispo city councilmember Dan Rivoire. He was recently selected to be the new executive director of leadership development for the SLO Chamber of Commerce. He’s tasked with running Leadership SLO, a county-wide program designed to bring participants out of their comfort zones to learn new leadership styles and ways of handling diversity in opinions and people.

Courtesy CDRC

San Luis Obispo County may be getting a new probation center. County officials took steps this week to fund the design of a new building to house all probation services. But this move also calls into question the future of a child care center at the same location, which some parents and advocates say is desperately needed.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Just about a year after the first-ever strike in San Luis Obispo County government history, the county and thousands of its workers have reached a deal. At the beginning of December, the San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association or SLOCEA, the county’s largest union, made a deal for wages and compensation. On Tuesday, the board of supervisors approved it.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A proposed settlement agreement has been reached regarding the decommissioning of the Central Coast’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Five Cities Fire Authority

The future of San Luis Obispo County’s Five Cities Fire Authority will be in the hands of a select group of voters in the upcoming election. The fire department that serves Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano faced uncertainty in 2019 as the communities grappled with how to fund it. On March 3, Oceano voters will weigh if a tax hike is worth the cost of continued shared fire services.

SLO County

A San Luis Obispo County planning commissioner has resigned after prompting controversy with posts to Facebook. South county supervisor Lynn Compton’s office announced Friday afternoon Compton had accepted a resignation letter from Jim Harrison, effective immediately.

Geocortex Essentials/SLO CO

San Luis Obispo County officials adopted a management plan for a portion of the county’s groundwater Tuesday. It’s a plan required under California’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act—or SGMA—a law that, for the first time in California’s history, placed rules on the use of groundwater, which supplies up to two-thirds of the state’s fresh water. The Paso Robles subbasin is one of the state’s most depleted underground water sources, after decades of overuse and mismanagement.

Courtesy of The San Luis Obispo Tribune

The 2020 election is just around the corner, and this time the California primary is much earlier—in March—and this means you can soon expect to be bombarded with ads, flyers, and yes, even attack ads.

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.

Courtesy of USLT RCD

Have you heard of Resource Conservation Districts—or RCDs? They are organizations focused on helping landowners make the most of their resources, and much of the work of the RCD in Templeton is with vineyards and agriculturists in northern San Luis Obispo County. RCDs serve as a bridge between government agencies like the California Department of Food and Agriculture and farmers and vineyard owners. Here's KCBX's Greta Mart in conversation with Andrew Johnson, program manager at the Upper Salinas/Las Tablas RCD, on the district's latest grant opportunities and projects.

Flickr/Clint Gardner

In an instance of déjà vu, there’s a new E.coli outbreak in late November linked to romaine lettuce. The outbreak was quickly traced to romaine lettuce grown near Salinas

California halts new fracking permits

Nov 21, 2019
Greta Mart/KCBX

California Governor Gavin Newsom's administration has announced the state will issue no new fracking permits for oil companies. 

San Luis Obispo County Administrative Office

What is the financial outlook for San Luis Obispo County? It depends on a lot of factors. County officials got a five-year financial outlook this week and it covered a lot of “what-if” scenarios.

Courtsey PG&E

The most recent announcement from energy company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), listed San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties as “elevated” for potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, which could begin Sunday and Monday.

Wikimedia commons

There has been a dramatic rise in deaths this year from fentanyl in San Luis Obispo County. The news comes from the county’s public health department, which says 10 people have died since May.

Wikimedia Commons

Products made out of polystyrene and expanded polystyrene (EPS)—commonly known as Styrofoam—will soon be prohibited in all of San Luis Obispo County. A years-long effort by many to pass a countywide ordinance aimed at stopping the use of polystyrene ended Wednesday. The ban will go into effect in six months.

Google Maps

Plans for more affordable, supportive housing in San Luis Obispo County are underway, and the project may signal an end to a south county skirmish over where to place shelter for the homeless. The nonprofit affordable housing developer Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) met with Pismo Beach officials in September to negotiate a possible location in the city. On Tuesday, the nonprofit announced it had gone into escrow on a new site.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Law enforcement in San Luis Obispo County has a new tool to help fight property theft, particularly farm equipment. It’s called SmartWater, but it’s not the bottled water you can find in a convenience store.

Courtesy of the Oceano CSD

Next year there’s going to be a big change in voting dates in California. Instead of the primary election being held in June, it’s moving up to March 3, 2020. On that ballot, Oceano voters will decide a special tax measure to fund fire and emergency medical services.

Courtesy of KING 5

The number of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County increased this year. A recent report from the county’s social services department revealed the number rose by more than 30 percent in 2019, compared to two years ago. A group of people are hoping to help lower the numbers, by trying to create a village of tiny homes to house a portion of the county’s homeless, but there are still hurdles to overcome.

SLO County

Residents in the San Luis Obispo County town of Santa Margarita are facing a rise in their water bills, after the county board of supervisors held a hearing Tuesday to hear protests to the proposed increase. Since the county received just 23 written protests out of 500 water customers, the increase went through.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

If you’ve been on the north San Luis Obispo County coast in the past few weeks, you may have noticed some new fauna off the side of the road: goats. A state agency has been using goats to remove non-native plants from a former stretch of highway, and if all goes well, they could become a regular sight on Central Coast roadways.

SLO County Homeless Census & Survey/ASR

According to the county’s department of social services, the number of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County rose by nearly 32 percent in 2019, compared to a count two years ago. The latest estimated numbers were released Thursday.

A new local public safety app went live this week, and it’s meant to save the lives of heart attack victims. At the same time, it alerts users to emergencies in San Luis Obispo County.

Issues & Ideas: A solar sail, command change and tech trends for the over-50 crowd

Jul 17, 2019
Photos courtesy The Planetary Society, Fort Hunter Liggett and the AARP

On this week's Issues & Ideas: A unique spacecraft is now orbiting the earth and soon a team at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo will command it to unfurl a super-thin Mylar sail. The craft will then glide through space, propelled only by sunlight. We talk to the mission's project manager to learn more. Also, there was a recent change of command ceremony at Army Reserve Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County. We hear from both the outgoing and incoming commanders.

SLO County Ag Commissioner

The latest crop statistics for San Luis Obispo County are out, and in 2018, San Luis Obispo’s agriculture industry exceeded one billion dollars in overall value.

Courtesy of Credit Debit PRO

The wife of San Luis Obispo County’s top election official has admitted to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a high school fundraising club. A criminal complaint filed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office alleges Sherry Gong stole more than $32,000 from an Atascadero booster organization.

Flickr/Tracey Adams

The economic hit faced by San Luis Obispo County when Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DPCC) closes won’t be as bad as previously estimated, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Thomas Wilmer/KCBX News

Summer has arrived on the Central Coast, and that means birthing time for sea lions and large gatherings of sea lions and other marine mammals. But something in San Luis Obispo County ocean waters may be affecting the behavior of area marine mamals. A recent video went viral of a sea lion biting a Paso Robles teenager at a south San Luis Obispo County beach. It's a rare event that could be the result of toxic algal blooms. 

Michael Barros/KCBX

In an about-face vote from exactly one year ago, San Luis Obispo County officials enacted a temporary ban this week on new industrial hemp production. The ban will be in effect for at least 45 days.

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