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Science & Technology
4:23 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Cal Poly grads win 2014 TechPitch competition with pickup truck device

The LiftGator won the 2014 TechPitch competition Wednesday night at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Credit Superior Solutions Manufacturing, Facebook Page

A pair of Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering alums are the winners of this year's Tech Pitch competition held last night at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo.

It was 22-year-old Justin Russo who gave the presentation for his company's removable LiftGator device designed for pickup trucks. He runs Superior Solutions Manufacturing with fellow Cal Poly grad Marty Affentranger. Their device is a product out of the HotHouse incubator. The Lift Gator makes it easy to load heavy items into truck beds.

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Community
4:04 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

City of Goleta approves parking restrictions in anticipation of Isla Vista Halloween crowds

Credit City of Goleta

The City of Goleta is preparing for the upcoming Halloween weekend by cracking down on parking in neighborhoods adjacent to Isla Vista.

City leaders say residents will get two free temporary street parking permits for each household. Only residents with valid permits will be able to park on the streets in the affected area between noon on Friday, October 31 and Sunday, November 2 at 6 a.m.

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Politics
5:53 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Measure P rallies hit the streets of Santa Maria as November vote nears

Yes on P supporters gathered Wednesday in front of Santa Maria's City Hall.
Photo by Jeanne Sparks

Rallies both for and against a proposed fracking ban in Santa Barbara County hit the streets of Santa Maria Wednesday around lunchtime.

The Yes on Measure P supporters initiated the effort to rally North County voters. The No on Measure P side got wind of it and staged their own counter demonstration.

Representatives from both sides tell KCBX the interactions were civil. They say anywhere between 70 and 100 people participated with more more people showing up for the yes side.

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Politics
11:06 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Argument against San Luis Obispo’s Measure G

Credit SLOmeasureG.com

ALSO: Hear the argument for Measure G

On November 4, 2014, voters in the City of San Luis Obispo will decide whether they want to extend a half-cent sales tax for another 8 years. This "general purpose" tax was originally passed in 2006 as Measure Y. This year’s version is known as Measure G, and does come with some changes.

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Crime
6:32 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Drought slows illegal marijuana farms in Santa Barbara County

One of the 18 illegal growing operations targeted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office in 2014.
Credit Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Marijuana Eradication Season is now over in Santa Barbara County according to the Sheriff's Office, and law enforcement says 47,000 plants were destroyed this year as part of the program.

Sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover says the plants had an estimated street value of $131 million. This year's sweep however was down slightly from last year primarily because of the drought, Hoover said.

Most of the growing operations were found on Los Padres National Forest land by Santa Barbara County aircraft. In all, 18 individual illegal gardens were discovered.

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Politics
5:49 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

UPDATE: SLO City Council fails to override Airport Commission for development plans

UPDATE: October 21, 2014 at 10:26 p.m.

The San Luis Obispo City Council failed to garner enough votes on Tuesday night in an effort to override development restrictions put in place by the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC).

Council members voted 3 to 2 in favor of the override, but needed at least a 4 to 1 split for it to be succeessful.

Voting against the move were Council Members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith. Mayor Jan Howell Marx, Vice Mayor Carlyn Christianson, and Council Member John Ashbaugh all voted in favor.

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Politics
10:24 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Argument in favor of San Luis Obispo’s Measure G

Credit SLO Citizens for Measure G, Facebook Page

ALSO: Hear the argument against Measure G  

On November 4, 2014, voters in the city of San Luis Obispo will decide whether they want to extend a half-cent sales tax for another eight years.

The "general purpose" tax was originally passed in 2006 as Measure Y. This year’s version is known as Measure G, and does come with some changes.

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Crime
6:37 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Lompoc Police Officer arrested on domestic violence charges

An off-duty Lompoc Police Officer was arrested this past weekend on domestic violence charges, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said 29-year-old Matthew Lee Hill was booked into the County Jail for violating section 273.5 of the California Penal Code. He was released the same day after posting $25,000 bail.

Hill was taken into custody Sunday morning at his home in Vandenberg Village after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Weather
6:29 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

High surf expected this week for Central Coast beaches

NOAA Radar of the storm system in the Pacific Northwest that is expected to generate high surf along the Central Coast this week.
Credit National Weather Service

A storm system brewing in the Pacific off the coast of Oregon and Washington is expected to affect the surf along the Central Coast.

There is a High Surf Advisory in place for the West to Northwest facing beaches of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties Monday evening through Wednesday.  

The National Weather Service says a large swell is moving into the area bringing surf of 8 to 12 feet, with some local sets as large as 14 feet. The peak wave action is expected Tuesday.

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Sports
6:18 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

2015 Amgen Tour of California to showcase Santa Barbara, Pismo and Avila Beaches

Amgen riders take off from the Pismo Pier during the 2014 race.
Credit Courtney Winters, City of Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and Santa Barbara are three of the host cities chosen to represent the state during the Amgen Tour of California next May.

The host cities were announced Monday for what will mark the tenth year of America's largest cycling race.

Stage 5 has participants starting in Santa Barbara and riding to Santa Clarita. Both cities have hosted the event six times.

Stage 4 will take the riders from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach—a rather short distance for a stage that's not a designated time trial.

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Santa Barbara County
5:33 am
Mon October 20, 2014

UPDATE: Methodist Minister says hearing over gay son's wedding went well, waiting on decision

A prayer vigil held Wednesday in Isla Vista for Pastor Frank Schaefer in advance of his United Methodist Church Judicial Council hearing later this week.
Credit Stand with Pastor Frank: Support Equality Facebook Page

UPDATE: October 22, 2014 at 5:56 p.m.

The local minister who had his credentials stripped after presiding over his gay son's marriage ceremony is waiting for a final ruling on his standing with the church.

Pastor Frank Schaefer was reinstated to the United Methodist Church this past summer, just prior to his transfer to Isla Vista. That decision was challenged however, so Wednesday he went before the organization's global Judicial Council to plead his case.

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Water Issues and Drought
7:09 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Approaches differ on clearing out dry lakes during record drought

The shallow end of San Luis Obispo's Laguna Lake as it was drying out earlier this year.
Credit KCBX News - Randol White

With record drought conditions on the Central Coast, several neighborhood lakes have either dried up or are nearly dry. One of the most visible is San Luis Obispo's Laguna Lake, where neighbors are pushing the city to dig a deeper lakebed. It's a process already underway up the road in Atascadero.

There is heavy equipment in the bottom of the 27- acre, Atascadero Lake, removing soil and transferring it to trucks. This process of dredging to deepen the lake, can improve its overall health.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Register to vote: Deadline is today in California

Credit Flickr member Vox Efx

Monday, October 20, 2014 is the final day to register to vote in the November 4 Midterm Elections.

In California, you can register online through the Secretary of State's website.

State law also stipulates that your voter registration application must be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days prior to Election Day.

MONTEREY COUNTY (MAIL or IN PERSON)

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Science & Technology
1:29 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

WATCH: Reusable 'space plane' successfully lands at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The X-37B following a successful landing on the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, October 17, 2014.
Credit 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

UPDATE: Friday, October 17, 2014:

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed Friday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The military said it touched own at 9:24 a.m.

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Energy
6:28 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Expensive fight over anti-fracking Measure P in Santa Barbara County

Oil wells in nearby Kern County, where the fracking process is currently used.
Credit Flickr member ben klocek

The latest campaign finance figures from the California Secretary of State's office and the Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder show the battle over fracking is a costly one on the Central Coast. And, the contributors footing most of the bill are big oil companies.

This November's Measure P is designed to ban the use of high-intensity oil extraction methods—including fracking, acidizing, and steam injection—by future oil and gas projects on unincorporated Santa Barbara County land.

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