San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department

With daily COVID-19 positive case rates remaining high in San Luis Obispo County, the Public Health Department and a local school district are making some changes.

Angel Russell

Election day is finally here, and voters are making their way to the polls to determine if Governor Gavin Newsom will keep his seat, or be replaced by one of the 46 challengers on the ballot.

Courtesy: Leah Wood

HelpSLO is a local mutual aid Facebook group that started back in March of 2020 in response to the pandemic.

In addition to other activities, group members began building and filling pantries around the county where people can visit to pick up things like food or hygiene products for free.

Leah Wood is the founder of HelpSLO. She said the mutual aid group is a way for people in San Luis Obispo County to come together. She said people use the group for all kinds of help.

Courtesy: NAACP SLO County

The local San Luis Obispo County branch of the NAACP is hosting a virtual series aimed at helping people know their rights during encounters with law enforcement.

Courtesy: City of SLO

The final touches are being done on a new protected intersection in San Luis Obispo that is expected to be completed later this summer.

Now some residents are expressing mixed feelings about the design.

As part of our three-part series on redistricting on the Central Coast, we’re looking at the different systems for redistricting in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department

San Luis Obispo County is stepping up mobile vaccination clinics throughout the area in an effort to encourage people to take the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as the Delta variant is spreading. 

The Delta variant, first detected in India, is now increasing in numbers throughout the world. Dr. Penny Borenstein, SLO County’s public health officer said this variant has shown to spread more easily. 

"I’m most concerned about people who are unvaccinated getting this disease," Borenstein said. "The research is still ongoing, but it may take a greater toll on people's health.”

Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, are secondary residences generally added to already existing properties. ADUs can be completely separate units that are detached from the house or built into a spare bedroom or garage in the existing structure.

Homeowners often use them for housing extra family members, live-in caregivers or renters to provide extra income.

Now, a San Luis Obispo County non-profit is encouraging local ADU construction as a potential for affordable housing.

San Luis Obispo County

As part of KCBX's three-part series on redistricting on the Central Coast, we’re looking at how the process works in San Luis Obispo County.

Sophie Lincoln / KCBX

A second advisory council for the unincorporated community of Oceano will meet in July after the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors voted to recognize the group on June 8. Some opponents of the decision are questioning the council’s motive and fear that this decision will set a dangerous precedent for other community advisory councils.

San Luis Obispo County Public Works

Severe drought conditions have returned to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties — and now Lopez Lake, a water source for southern SLO County cities, is being watched closely. 

San Luis Obispo Tribune

In a recent article written by staff reporter Lindsey Holden, the San Luis Obispo Tribune examined vaccination rates across San Luis Obispo County. KCBX's Benjamin Purper spoke with Holden about the data and some interesting findings across the county.

Paso Robles Police Department

San Luis Obispo County’s League of Women Voters hosted its final Lunch with the League webinar on homelessness June 21.

This was the fifth webinar in the series meant to engage leaders and the public in the issue of homelessness.

Local policymakers and service providers offered solutions to address the crisis.

San Luis Obispo County Social Services staffer Carolyn Berg presented an overview of the county’s regional plans to improve the lives of the unhoused.

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County Facebook Page

The San Luis Obispo County Food Bank honored Hunger Awareness Day June 4 by collecting donations across the county to support those in need.

This year is the 15th annual event held every year on the first Friday of June with donation booths at 12 different locations.

Branna Still is the development director at the SLO Food Bank. She said one in six people in San Luis Obispo County were experiencing food insecurity prior to the pandemic.

Erin Johnston

A group of Cal Poly researchers is beginning a study to track Pismo Beach clams, with the hope of restoring the species’ population.

The research team will start the new ‘mark and recapture’ study May 29 on Pismo Beach. This kind of study involves tagging individual animals so researchers can track them over time.

In this case, the purpose of tagging the clams is to help their population recover by learning about their growth rates, mortality rates and how much they move on the beach.

Trident Winds Morro Bay proposal

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with the federal government May 25 to support California’s efforts to advance offshore wind energy development along the state’s north and central coasts.

Courtesy: City of San Luis Obispo

The City of San Luis Obispo is planning for the reopening of its facilities in the coming months.

City Manager Derek Johnson outlined a way forward for the city at the May 18 council meeting.

He said the city expects to reopen in alignment with future guidelines from the state.

“Really, we’ll be looking forward to the details that come out from the governor,” Johnson said. “He’s made some statements but the details are unknown.”

Courtesy: Rachel Showalter

Cal Poly’s Alternate Care Site, or ACS, was built as an emergency site to treat COVID-19 patients. After going unused for more than a year, it’s now being taken down.

San Luis Obispo County decommissioning of the facility has been ongoing for the past month.

County health public information officer Michelle Shoresman said they expect to have it completely broken down by the end of May.

Rachel Showalter

The COVID-19 vaccination site at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo administers around 1,000 doses every day to county residents.

Randol White/KCBX News

In a 3-2 vote, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors decided May 4 to move forward with using polling places instead of voter service centers for future elections in the county. That vote goes against the preferences expressed by respondents in a recent countywide voter survey.

Rachel Showalter

In a press briefing April 14, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced formal first-degree murder charges against Paul Flores in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Courtesy of the SLO County Clerk-Recorders Office

County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong is asking voters to participate in his San Luis Obispo County 2021 Voter Survey so he can make recommendations, informed by voter input, to the County Board of Supervisors about future county election processes.

Rachel Showalter

In a press briefing Tuesday, April 13, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced Paul Flores has been arrested for the murder of Kristin Smart, a former Cal Poly student who disappeared nearly 25 years ago.

Paul Flores’ father, Ruben Flores, has been arrested as an accessory to her murder.

Matt McKechnie

April 7 is International Beaver Day and the San Luis Obispo Beaver Brigade is celebrating this year by participating in the first free, virtual California Beaver Summit.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein announced April 7 that people who are 16 and older can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

County of San Luis Obispo

In a 2-2 decision, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted April 6 to deny an appeal for a cannabis cultivation site in the community of Pozo, just 15 miles southeast of Santa Margarita. The tie vote upholds a denial by the county Planning Commission.

Central Coast Coalition of Arts Leaders

The California Department of Public Health released new guidelines for outdoor seated live events and performances that went into effect April 1.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department

San Luis Obispo County’s Farm Worker Outreach Taskforce is increasing efforts to vaccinate local agricultural workers.

Courtesy of County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries

In November, the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries began offering a library-by-mail service for homebound seniors. Now, they’re trying to spread the word.

Randi Hair

Mercy Air's primary mission is to support U.S. Army Reserve operations at Fort Hunter Liggett but they also respond to civilian casualties in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. Mercy Air maintains a 24-hour presence for medevac service at Fort Hunter Liggett, with four crews and two helicopters.