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Politics
6:23 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Rep. Capps tours Central Coast after retirement announcement

Rep. Lois Capps visited the Paso Bamboo Farm & Nursery in Paso Robles on Thursday, as part of an effort to highlight the importance of agriculture and small businesses to the Central Coast economy.
Credit Chris Meagher, Rep. Lois Capps

Just a day after announcing her planned retirement in 2016, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) visited San Luis Obispo County Thursday to meet with health officials about climate change.

A local nutrition program called Women, Infants, Children (WIC) is working climate change into its model. The WIC program gives vouchers for food and educates participants on healthy options.

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Business
5:21 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

LinkedIn to purchase Lynda.com for $1.5 billion

A Central Coast based company that teaches online "how-to" courses on technology is being acquired by Silicon Valley giant LinkedIn.

The purchase price for Carpinteria-based Lynda.com is estimated at $1.5 billion dollars, which includes a combination of cash and stock.

"This is such an exciting moment in the 20-year history of lynda.com, and I couldn't imagine a better pairing than lynda.com and LinkedIn," said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of the board of lynda.com in a company statement.

Education
5:16 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Cal Poly SLO works to bring faculty salaries closer to system's averages

Cal Poly faculty members can expect a boost in salary, according to a letter sent out Thursday by President Jeffery Armstrong.

In it, he says $2.5 million will go into salary adjustments over the next several years. This includes $500,000 this fiscal year, followed by $1 million next year.

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Education
5:12 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Lucia Mar School District and Teachers Union compromise to avoid strike

Credit Teachers Market

There is a potential contract in place after months of negotiations between a Central Coast school district and its teachers union. 

Both sides compromised to avoid a strike. Teachers in the Lucia Mar District which covers most of southern San Luis Obispo County were prepared to strike as early as next week over salary concerns.

A new agreement which still needs ratification by the union's members calls for a three percent salary increase starting April first and an additional three percent at the start of next year.

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Health
6:30 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Drought, warmer temps spell bad news for spread of West Nile Virus in California

Mosquitos transmit West Nile virus to birds and then birds serve as carriers to transmit the disease back to mosquitos.
Credit Flickr member Enrique Dans

Warmer temperatures and the lingering drought in California could lead to increased levels of West Nile Virus, according to medical experts.

The California Department of Public Health said Wednesday that the state saw record virus activity in 2014.

Doctor Vicki Kramer runs the Vector-Borne Disease Program in the Department and said the Central Coast has been protected somewhat because of it's cooler temperatures. But, the drought and record warmth during the first few months of 2015 could make maters worse.

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Politics
11:25 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Candidates already lining up to run for Lois Capps' seat in 2016

Credit Roll Call video

Central Coast Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) announced Wednesday that she will not run again for her seat in Nov. 2016. She made the announcement in a video saying, "it's been a hard decision to make."

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Energy
6:11 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Santa Barbara ready to fire up hydroelectric power plant

The Gibraltar Reservoir, pre-drought.
Credit City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara will soon be in the business of generating hydroelectric power with the completed upgrade of a plant connected to Gibraltar reservoir.

The facility was built in the 1980s and went online in 1985, but it was taken offline in 1998 when the costs to run the plant—including federal regulatory fees—exceeded the revenue from power sales.

Cathy Taylor is the Water Systems Manager for the city and says Mayor Helene Schneider was passionate about restarting the power plant. The Mayor even took the issue to the lawmakers in Washington D.C.

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Education
6:19 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

SBCC campus to discuss emotions surrounding controversial teepee art project

SBCC art students pose with their teepee structure.
Credit SBCC Facebook Page

A controversial art display at Santa Barbara City College last month will be the topic of a campus discussion on cultural sensitivity. It's scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.

Native American students were offended by a wooden teepee, constructed on campus by art students.

Representatives from the various sides met last month, resulting in the dismantling of the teepee a couple of days ahead of schedule.  SBCC President Dr. Lori Gaskin said that decision was made entirely by the students. 

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Community
4:52 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Is Isla Vista's party culture showing signs of change?

Crowds from Deltopia 2015 in Isla Vista
Credit Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

    

Santa Barbara County law enforcement is saying a big thank you to the Isla Vista community for its cooperation during Deltopia this weekend.

The sheriff's department estimates the Deltopia crowd at roughly 10,000 people, a major decrease from last year's nearly 25,000 party-goers.

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Science & Technology
6:00 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

New agreement keeps bus tracking app around four more years

Credit Transit Unlimited Wiki

A smartphone app that makes it easier for thousands of Central Coast residents to use public transportation will officially be around for four more years.

The "Bus Tracker" app gives users real time information of bus locations throughout San Luis Obispo. Its creators and the city announced this week that they have entered into a formal, four-year agreement.

John Osumi is the CEO of Bishop Peak Technologies and said their agreement will allow them to deliver the mobile app and it's expanded administrative applications.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Grunion runs expected on Central Coast beaches Saturday through Tuesday nights

Taken at Belmont Shore, Long Beach.
Credit Kimberly Walker: Environmental Scientist, Marine Region Fisheries Research and Management Project, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central Coast residents and visitors should get a chance in the coming days to see a natural phenomenon that is expected to peak along local beaches.

The annual grunion run is predicted to take place Saturday through Tuesday nights, April 4-7. When the conditions are right, thousands of the small fish beach themselves as part of their mating cycle. There will be another run this month, April 18-21, and two more in May.

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Education
6:54 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Cal Poly opens new center to help veterans with their education, careers

The official ribbon-cutting portion of Thursday's dedication ceremony for Cal Poly's Veterans Success Center.
Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A new Veterans Success Center was officially dedicated Thursday on the Cal Poly campus. It's designed to help veterans and their dependents become successful students, and move on into their careers.

The number of vets and their dependents attending Cal Poly is on the rise with more than 300 enrolled in the 2014/2015 school year.

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Environment
6:01 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

California condors having 'banner year' on the Central Coast

A California condor protecting its egg during the 2015 breeding season.
Credit Pinnacles National Park

The endangered California condor is having its best spring to date with at least 16 active nests identified statewide by biologists.

More than a third of those nests are within Pinnacles National Park in Monterey County, the park stated on its Facebook page. 

The range of the condor is big, including much of the Western United States and even a portion of Mexico. But, the endangered birds seem to be doing especially well along the Central Coast this year at Pinnacles.

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Community
5:17 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Isla Vista community working toward a riot-free Deltopia weekend

Deltopia 2014
Credit Santa Barbara County Fire

A crackdown by law enforcement will start Thursday night in the Isla Vista area in anticipation of this weekend's Deltopia celebrations.

Safety preparations are coming from several fronts. More than 200 officers from a variety of local agencies and university campuses statewide  are involved with keeping the peace this weekend in Isla Vista.

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Community
6:14 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Can skaters self-regulate enough to keep new SLO park unfenced?

Man skating one of the bowls in the SLO Skate Park days after opening.
Credit Jordan Bell

San Luis Obispo city leaders are questioning whether the newly-opened skate park can continue operating as is, after some community complaints regarding after-hours use and trash.

Around nine o'clock on a Tuesday night, there are plenty of people of all ages at the park, mostly a cross section of the SLO community, but they're all males.  Lines form throughout the park as skaters wait for their turns, holding their boards.

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