San Luis Obispo County

On March 14, there was one confirmed cast of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County. Nine days later, as of Monday afternoon, there are 33. Two of those patients have been admitted to a local hospital, one in the intensive care unit.

As of Thursday evening, county government and health officials are asking San Luis Obispo County residents to stay at home and refrain from gatherings of any kind. If you do go out, health officials want everyone to maintain a six foot buffer of social distancing.

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.

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. 

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Sunday afternoon he is directing Californians aged 65-and-older and the chronically ill to stay home and self-isolate in the face of widening transmission of the coronavirus statewide. Officials are barring visits to hospitals and senior centers, except for end-of-life visits.

Additionally, all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs are to close, "for now," Newsom said.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently serving a search warrant on San Luis Obispo County. FBI agents arrived early Wednesday morning at the main county building in downtown San Luis Obispo and began searching in government offices under a sealed search warrant.

Michael Barros/KCBX

KCBX News is updating the results in this post as they come in.

The latest unofficial vote tally was released on Monday, March 9 just before 5 p.m. There are still 4,784 ballots to be processed by the San Luis Obispo County Elections division. Clerk-recorder Tommy Gong said it's "to be determined" when the next counting will take place. 

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear from local winemaker Neil Collins, named 2019 “Person of the Year” by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. Collins visits the KCBX studio to talk about his background, changes he’s seen in the local industry and a coming new certification for products produced by regenerative operations. 

James Maxon

Should mountain lions be protected as endangered? This spring the state's Fish and Game Commission is expected to decide whether the animals are to be protected under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Are the current local campaigns for San Luis Obispo County supervisorial seats more negative and rancorous than ever? Or have we seen this level of mudslinging in local elections in the past? 

Wikimedia Commons/BrokenSphere

Developers, landlords, Facebook, construction unions, the state Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, environmental groups and even the AARP wanted to see the bill pass.

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.

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