San Luis Obispo County

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.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Voters in six California counties have passed measures banning fracking and placing limits on other types of oil extraction. This November, a citizen’s initiative in San Luis Obispo County sought to do the same. Oil companies funded an $8 million dollar campaign to defeat the measure, and a majority of voters rejected Measure G—54 to 46 percent.

The defeat removes one roadblock to a planned expansion of operations at the Arroyo Grande oil field near San Luis Obispo.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wednesday marks the second day of the San Luis Obispo County employee strike. Members of SLOCEA, the county’s largest union, didn’t go to their jobs Tuesday—affecting social services, clerical positions and prompting library branch closures. Instead, many showed up to protest at the county board of supervisors meeting.

County of San Luis Obispo/SLOCEA

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an employee strike. For the first time in its history, SLOCEA—the county’s largest employee union—plans to strike Tuesday, December 11 through Friday, December 14. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits. KCBX News recently sat down with San Luis Obispo County’s manager and met with a SLOCEA member to learn more.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an imminent employee strike. Members of the SLOCEA union plan to strike Tuesday, and potentially continue through Friday. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits, and while the strike is expected to happen, what’s not certain is who will strike and what all will be affected.

Courtesy of Dennis Eamon Young Photo

The county board of supervisors have agreed on a plan to help build affordable homes for the county’s workforce. But while the move is being heralded for bipartisan—and multilateral—agreement, some say the real work is still to come.

wikimedia commons

San Luis Obispo County officials held a public hearing this week about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to people arrested and held at the county jail. The California TRUTH Act, aimed at bringing transparency to local law enforcement participation with ICE, requires a community forum be held once a year.

Greta Mart/KCBX

For the first time in county government history, San Luis Obispo County officials are gearing up for a potential employee strike. The county’s largest employee union, the San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association (SLOCEA), wants a higher wage increase than the administration has offered. But that’s not the only issue on the table.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Two weeks after the general election, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong says his office is still counting vote-by-mail ballots. He expects to release more numbers later this week, and next. But one thing has halted: those election mailers stuffing mailboxes since summer. How much do campaigns spend on mailers? How many mailers were there? And where do they end up when the election is over?

Flickr member davidsonscott15

The Paso Robles Police Department notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning of a threatening social media post made to a Santa Maria school. A 22-year-old Orcutt resident wrote on Facebook that he wanted to “shoot up a school" in the area, although he did not specify which one.

Greta Mart/KCBX

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appears unlikely Measure G, aiming to curb future oil extraction and fracking in San Luis Obispo County, will pass.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Depending on where voters are registered, there are a lot of candidates in one category on the November 2018 ballot: judicial. But unlike other offices, measures and propositions in this election, there are no judicial campaigns vying for votes. 

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