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Lifestyle
4:59 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Santa Barbara among the most expensive Memorial Day Weekend destinations

State Street in downtown Santa Barbara is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
Credit Flickr member Mark Doliner

Santa Barbara is the second most expensive city in the U.S. to spend your Memorial Day Weekend—or any summer vacation dates for that matter—according to a new survey by Los Angeles-based GoBankingRates.com. Only New York City ranks higher.

Content Director Casey Bond says the findings were not a shock.

"To be honest, I mean, most people don't know Santa Barbara for its low cost-of-living, so it wasn't too much of a surprise that it came out number two in our most expensive cities to travel to," said Bond.

San Francisco came in just behind Santa Barbara.

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Crime
11:38 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Three men hospitalized following violence in Isla Vista

The Isla Vista community was on alert Monday night as Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies and UCSB Police searched for a person thought to be connected to a shooting earlier in the evening.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m., less than a block from the UCSB campus. Deputies say they were called to a residence on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde after a report of shots fired during a domestic dispute.

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Education
5:59 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Monsanto and local agricultural reps to be panelists in GMO discussion

Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Representatives from opposite sides of the GMO debate will be at Cal Poly Tuesday.

The student group, Net Impact, is hosting a panel discussion about issues surrounding GMOs.

There will be a representative from Monsanto and members of the local agricultural community.

Amy Tran is an Economics major at Cal Poly and helped organize the panel. She said they aimed to make it as neutral as possible and that they want to inform students about GMOs and the future of food.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Local Assemblymember to represent California on three committees

Credit Jessica Paterson

    

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R- San luis Obispo) will represent California on three committees-- one national, and two regional. 

He was appointed Friday by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D- San Diego) to help formulate policies on economic development, transportation, energy  and the environment.

Achadjian said he believes he was selected to serve on these committees because of his commitment to the issues represented.

He said his role will be to address the needs of our state while working with those representing others.

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Water Issues and Drought
6:50 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Paso Robles ready to initiate new water restrictions for home owners

Credit Flickr member Delwin Steven Campbell

New water restrictions are set to go into effect on May 15 in the City of Paso Robles, targeting outdoor water uses including residential landscaping. New restrictions are an extension of ongoing watering restrictions that have been in place in the city.

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Agriculture
6:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

New pest is growing problem for organic growers on the Central Coast

Bagrada bug adults and nymphs feeding on a green bean.
Credit Surendra Dara - University of California

The ongoing drought is causing headaches for local farmers, but according to numbers released Thursday by Santa Barbara County, it hasn't yet hurt the local agriculture industry enough to reverse overall production values.

2014 was another record year for the county's growers, who grossed nearly $1.49 billion. This number is the total of all ag sales in the county and should not be confused with profits.

Strawberries remain the county's top crop, with wine grapes coming in second. Broccoli placed third.

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Community
6:20 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Grand Jury calls for Morro Bay code enforcement overhaul

Credit Randol White

Health and safety code violations in the City of Morro Bay are not efficiently tracked according to the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury.

In a new report, the jury found the city's current complaint-driven process is poorly managed. It recommends that a full-time enforcement officer be hired and that a new system for tracking violations be put in place.

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Community
1:00 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Peoples' Self-Help Housing celebrates 45 years on the Central Coast

Arroyo Grande's low-income Courtland Street Apartments during the construction phase in May 2014.
Credit Peoples' Self-Help Housing Facebook Page

Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) started 45 years ago in San Luis Obispo County, and since then has spread to Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Current PSHH President John Fowler joined KCBX News Director Randol White to discuss the organization's history, as well as it's current achievements and challenges.

Fowler shared that PSHH—which has always been focuses on housing for low-income families and individuals—is considering an expansion into the much needed arena of work-force housing on the Central Coast.

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Politics
5:00 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Digital Democracy aims to revolutionize how we track Sacramento politicians

Students busy coding Digital Democracy in a basement under the Graphic Arts building on the Cal Poly campus.
Credit Brittany Graham

Scientists at Cal Poly will launch a free system Wednesday that could revolutionize the way Californians keep track of politicians in Sacramento. It's called Digital Democracy and it's something lawmakers haven't had to contend with—until now.

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Transportation
5:46 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Central Coast develops programs for Bike to School Day

Children participate in a SLO County bike event
Credit SLO County Bike Coalition

  Wednesday is National Bike to School Day and while it helps motivate kids and parents to use bikes instead of cars, the influx of new riders also causes some safety concerns.

Bike to School Day events may vary from county to county, but the goal is the same said Kent Epperson, with Traffic Solutions in Santa Barbara.

"We know that if we can get kids on bikes as early as possible they will become responsible and skilled bicyclists as they move through life. It's a great way for kids to incorporate some exercise," said Epperson.

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Community
5:03 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Nepalese students at UCSB lead fundraising for earthquake relief

Kathmandu, Nepal
Credit UCSB Current

The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in late April is unifying a small group of UC Santa Barbara students.  

These students are doing what they can to help family and friends who are half-a-world away.

Pawana Shrestha is working towards her Ph.D in electrical engineering at UCSB.

She said that before the quake hit, she only knew one other Nepalese student at the university. Now she and three others are working to raise money for infrastructure, food and water.

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Environment
7:06 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Star fish population on the rebound along the West Coast

Young star fish (sea stars) are being found in large numbers along the West Coast this spring.
Credit Rachael Williams

Star fish—or as biologists call them, sea stars—appear to be making a comeback along the West Coast. New scientific surveys show a large number of young stars in the coastal waters from the Monterey Bay up to the Washington coast. 

Sea stars have been suffering from a mass wasting disease in recent years. Die-offs like this have happend in the past, but have never been recorded at this magnitude and over such a wide geographic area, according to the UC Santa Cruz Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department.

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Business
6:47 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

San Luis Obispo County real estate market among hottest in the nation

Credit Flickr member Diana Parkhouse

San Luis Obispo County's housing market is among the hottest in the nation according to a new list published by Realtor.com and highlighted through ConsumerAffairs.

The rankings are based on home demand and speed of sale in the county's largest 200 markets. San Luis Obispo County landed at No. 13 behind Santa Cruz (No. 12) and just in front of Ventura County (No. 14).

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Crime
6:32 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

King City calls for public's help following pair of murders

Credit City of King - KingCity.com

King City officials say they're concerned over a spike in violence, following a couple of gang-related murders in recent days.

The most recent killing happened Sunday, with one man shot to death in a car, one wounded and a four-year-old boy who witnessed the whole incident from the back seat.

Friday saw a similar situation, again with one man dead and one wounded.

The acting King City Police Chief says enforcement is getting beefing up through partnerships with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, CHP and several other jurisdictions, incuding Greenfield.

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Agriculture
5:00 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Dry farming and other tricks for maintaining vineyards during an epic drought

Jean-Pierre Wolff, Ph.D., Owner and Vintner at Wolff Vineyards in San Luis Obispo County's Edna Valley shows some dry-farmed Chardonnay vines while his dog watches.
Credit KCBX News - Karen Garcia

California's agriculture sector is struggling as the state heads through a fourth year of drought. Water tables are shrinking and state water project allocations are at near record lows.

The Central Coast's two largest crops are strawberries and wine grapes. Vineyards do have the ability to go into survival mode during dry spells, but managing that period is a tricky and a scientific game.

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