San Luis Obispo County

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.

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. 

Courtesy of San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County’s legal department has released more information about the recent resignation of the county's public works director. The documents include several written complaints about a sexually-inappropriate management style of a department head who held the job for over a year.

The use of a dangerous pesticide will soon be phased out in California. The California Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will start the process to cancel the registration of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Courtesy Cal Poly Campus Dining

Cal Poly's Academic Senate, the governing body for the university's faculty, voted Tuesday overwhelmingly in favor of removing a Chick-fil-A restaurant outlet from the university's San Luis Obispo campus. The resolution was proposed in light of recent news the fast food chain's charity arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, continues to give money to anti-LGBTQ organizations. The vote by the Academic Senate comes after another university and two cities moved to block Chick-fil-A outlets from opening in recent weeks due to the company's perceived opposition to the LGBTQ community. 

CDC

Following a measles quarantine of hundreds of students at Los Angeles universities, Central Coast health officials are on high alert, they say. Since January, over 700 cases of measles have been reported in 22 states.

Courtesy of the Hind Foundation

A north San Luis Obispo County government office may close or possibly reduce services. The county’s clerk-recorder says time constraints and looming budget cuts are prompting reconsideration about operations at its small Atascadero office. But for north county residents who frequent the office, this may mean more expense and longer drives to San Luis Obispo to file documents.

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week San Luis Obispo County officials voted to ask the state transportation agency to close middle sections of Highway 101 south of Arroyo Grande to prevent further collisions and deaths.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County officials, service providers, non-profits and residents gathered Wednesday to discuss what to do with millions of dollars in state funds, aimed at supporting the county’s homeless population. But the meeting became a passionate debate between recognizing a need for more homeless services, and concern over where to put them, particularly a shelter proposed in South County.

Carmen Allison

There are many more visitors than usual these days at the Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County. On Saturday afternoon, March 30, a steady stream of cars headed down the area's bumpy, lumpy dirt roads to check out the visitor's center and drive the length of Soda Lake, the "largest remaining natural alkali wetland in southern California," according to the Bureau of Land Management.

But there's room for everyone on this unique expanse of windswept plain, currently blooming in vivid, riotous yellow, orange and blue wildflowers. If you've had the chance to visit the Carrizo Plain during this super bloom season and would like to share a picture or two, please email to news@kcbx.org and we'll add it to this slideshow.

Greta Mart/KCBX

KCBX News' Central Coast Curious is an ongoing series for which we invite listeners to ask questions and the newsroom reports back with answers. Since we launched the series last year, we've received several questions asking, "when will the Bob Jones Trail extension be built?"

David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

For more than a century, mecury mines were active across San Luis Obispo County. The roughly 150 mines not only drove the county's economy, they helped establish Cambria as a city in the 19th century. They also played a role in America’s history—from the California Gold Rush to World War II. All of the county's mines have long since shuttered, but are still hiding in plain sight.

Courtesy of SLO Wine Country

Anne Steinhauer recently took the helm of the San Luis Obispo Wine Association. We speak with her about member wineries and marketing wines made in the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande to other parts of the country, and the world.

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas, major newspapers and public radio stations across California—including KCBX—are collaborating on a statewide project to look at personnel records from local enforcement agencies. 

Courtesy of the Hourglass Project

Diving into the subject of economic vitality and growth on the Central Coast, KCBX News speaks with Melissa James, CEO of a new collaboration among local private industry leaders. The Hourglass Project aims to encourage the mindful shaping of new industry and fostering future jobs across the region, particularly in light of the planned 2025 closure of a major economic engine in the area, PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Issues & Ideas: SLO growth, economic vitality and wildflowers

Mar 20, 2019

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we hear about the Hourglass Project, a new economic vitality venture aimed at bringing future jobs and industries to San Luis Obispo County. We'll also hear two sides of the ongoing conversation about downtown San Luis Obispo, and what should be done to encourage a wide-range of businesses while nurturing the city's unique characteristics. UCSB neuroscientist Kenneth Kosik talks about studying a genetic mutation that causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and our colleagues at KCRW explore what's behind California's current wildflower super bloom, and where you can see carpets of spring flowers. 

Five Cities Fire Authority

Arroyo Grande city officials and community members met for over four hours this week to consider if Arroyo Grande should stay in the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA), which isn’t actually comprised of five cities, it’s three—including Oceano and Grover Beach. The meeting came after city staff recommended Arroyo Grande leave the fire department, essentially dissolving it. Now San Luis Obispo County officials may be stepping in to help save it.

(left) courtesy of Karla Hernandez/(right) Tyler Pratt

Teenagers from across San Luis Obispo County will gather February 8 to celebrate their love of poetry. The high school students have been memorizing and reciting poems in their classrooms with the aim of performing them in front of their peers. It’s part of the nationwide Poetry Out Loud competition.

Broadcast date: 2/7/2019

Nationwide, dental care is the most prevalent unmet health need for children in low-income families and children with special needs. In San Luis Obispo County, close to 45 percent of children have cavities by the time they reach third grade—and that number increases to nearly 70 percent for children in low-income communities. For many, getting treatment for the resulting toothache is not simple: countywide, more than 12,000 children enrolled in Medi-Cal Dental lack access to regular dental care. Untreated dental disease is linked to problems with nutrition, speech, self-esteem, and even success at school, as children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss class time as a result of dental pain. Now, the county's Public Health Department is expanding its oral health program to ensure more children get the dental care they need.

Randol White/KCBX

The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel released its recommendations Tuesday for the future reuse of the state’s last nuclear power plant, as well as the property's surrounding lands and coastline. The facility is scheduled to shut down in 2025, and the panel—made up of various community leaders—is tasked with listening to public input and submitting a 'Strategic Vision' to the plant’s owner, PG&E.

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