2:34 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Avila Beach population could triple if housing proposal is approved

Wild Cherry Canyon, looking toward Port San Luis and Pismo Beach.
Credit Kara Woodruff

As many as 1,500 homes could be built at Wild Cherry Canyon near Avila Beach if a new, controversial proposal gets approval. Avila Beach residents and supporters of the Wild Cherry Canyon conservation effort are upset over the potential housing development that could triple the size of the small beach town's population.

Kara Woodruff spearheaded the Wild Cherry Canyon protection effort and says she has concerns about issues surrounding water availability, sensitive habitat, and traffic.

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5:56 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Wildflower season gets early start in eastern San Luis Obispo County

This 2008 photo in the Carrizo Plains National Monument shows a pre-drought wildflower bloom.
Credit Bob Wick, BLM California

The wildflower season in eastern San Luis Obispo County is off to a very early start. Fields of yellow and blue are a few weeks into their bloom right now according to the Carrizo Plain National Monument's visitor center.

Jackie Czapla runs the center and says the blooms should just be getting started, but instead are well underway.

Czapla says the monument has had less than five inches of rain this year, so it's not going to be a big showy spring display, but it's still beautiful.

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5:26 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Possibility of more oil trains passing through Santa Barbara is focus of community meeting

Union Pacific rail lines passing through San Jose, one of the municipalities that has expressed concern in writing to the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission over the Phillips 66 oil train project.
Credit Flickr member Drew Jacksich

Santa Barbara County and City leaders will be take part in a community meeting Monday night to discuss the proposed Phillips 66 oil train project.

A growing number of districts and municipalities up and down the California coast, including several cities and counties, are writing to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to express concern over the plan. All are situated along Union Pacific rail lines that could potentially carry the additional tanker cars.

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10:45 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Developers explain the inspiration behind historic Long-Bonetti Ranch project in SLO

Artist rendering of the finished SLO Public Market on the historic Long-Bonetti Ranch property in San Luis Obispo.
Credit PB Companies

The recent passage of the City of San Luis Obispo’s update to the General Plan—known as the LUCE, or Land Use and Circulation Elements—opened the door for several large development projects to move forward.

One of the those is a $16.5 million project that sits at the intersection of South Higuera and Tank Farm Road, called the SLO Public Market.

Some long-time locals may know the parcel as the historic Long-Bonetti Ranch.

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6:13 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Food Bank plans to change its structure for serving SLO County

Credit Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County Facebook Page

One of the largest organizations to provide much needed meals to hungry people along the Central Coast, confirmed plans Thursday for a major change to its operation.

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County wants to shut down its facilities in Paso Robles and Oceano so that it can consolidate those operations into one larger warehouse that's centrally located.

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Science & Technology
5:55 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Dawn spacecraft mission to Ceres could help explain origins of our solar system

The dwarf planet Ceres as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Credit NASA

A former Cal Poly professor is among the lead team members as NASA prepares to enter a historic orbit Friday morning of a dwarf planet. 

The Dawn spacecraft launched in 2007 is studying the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists believe Ceres was on its way to becoming a full-sized planet... but had its development interrupted by Jupiter's gravity.

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6:30 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

New development could be game changer for Guadalupe's future

A Central Coast city on the verge of insolvency last fall, now has a much brighter future according to those in charge.

A major housing development broke ground Wednesday in the City of Guadalupe. When finished, it could boost the city's population from roughly 7100 to above the 10,000 mark.

The total development is on more than 200 acres and will include 800 homes and will be built in stages over 10 to 15 years.

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5:57 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Why out-of-state student cap won't affect UCSB

Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

The University of California is putting a cap on the number of out-of-state students that can attend certain campuses next year. 

This new rule will not apply locally to UCSB. The number of non-resident students attending both Berkeley and UCLA will be capped at current levels  and UC San Diego will be held to 20 percent according to the new rule.

UCSB's non-resident percentage has more than doubled in the past five years at 9.2 percent last fall. The average for the UC system not counting those campuses under the cap program is six percent.

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Santa Barbara County
6:53 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Families of slain UCSB students file lawsuit against county, apartment

A memorial resurrected in Isla Vista after the mass killings shows the names of victims.
Credit Jordan Bell

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by two Los Angeles-based law firms on Monday against several parties associated with the mass killings in Isla Vista last spring. 

The suit names the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and the Capri Apartments in Isla Vista on behalf of the parents of three men, David Wang, James Hong and George Chen, killed in the Capri Apartments last May.

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Water Issues and Drought
5:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

'Notice of Violations' filed against Cambria's emergency water supply project

The CCSD's Emergency Water Supply Project started officially operating in January, 2015.
Credit Jason Lopez

District leaders in Cambria say the area's emergency water supply project is now in compliance, after receiving a "Notice of Violation" from the regional water quality control board.

The project, designed to keep the village from running out of water during the ongoing drought, began officially operating in late January after a couple of months of testing.

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San Luis Obispo County
6:09 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Organizers say Camp Hapitok will not host 2015 summer session

Children playing a game at Camp Hapitok in July of 2012.
Credit Camp Hapitok website

Organizers of a summertime tradition for kids with speech and language disorders in San Luis Obispo County said that the camp won't happen this summer. 

Camp Hapitok has been hosting summer sessions for more than 40 years.

Dr. James Brescia is the County Superintendent of Schools and said that as he prepared to renew the annual agreement between the County and the organization,  he had the relationship reviewed by legal counsel.

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5:49 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Several factors are behind rising gas prices on Central Coast

Credit Flickr member Mike Mozart

A steep jump in gas prices along the Central Coast is likely to continue for the time being. Maria Montgomery with AAA says the rise has mostly been fueled by problems in Southern California.

"We've seen prices rise in the Central Coast area over a dollar in the last month and it is primary because a local refinery in Torrance has been affected by an explosion and that has sent wholesale prices skyrocketing," said Montgomery.

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1:32 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

San Luis Coastal teachers and district reach a compromise

Credit Teachers Market

San Luis Coastal Unified School District teachers and district leaders recently reached a tentative agreement regarding workload and salaries.

Assistant superintendent of personnel, innovation and educational services, Rick Robinett, says that he hopes the members of the association and the school board will approve this three-year contract.

“The salient features are a four percent raise for teachers, retroactive to July 1 of 2014,” he says.

“Some clarification about prep time and putting preparation time into the contract for elementary school teachers.”

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Santa Barbara County
6:19 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

UCSB to help pay for permanent safety fences along Isla Vista cliffs

Approved fencing for the Isla Vista bluffs
Credit Santa Barbara County Planning Department

Isla Vista residents will likely see permanent fencing this year along the bluffs that have long been a danger for those living in the area.

Plans for this fencing have been in the works for more than a year. As a temporary measure, orange mesh fencing was put up along the cliffs in Isla Vista in June of last year.

To finance a permanent solution, the university and the county agreed that UCSB would pay for building the permanent fencing and the County would take on the long-term maintenance.

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5:48 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Central Coast as wedding destination serves as initiative behind new assembly bill

Local Assemblymember Das Williams introduced a bill Monday that aims to mitigate issues surrounding large events such as weddings.

Williams says the Central Coast hosts many large weddings every year and big events like these create traffic and public safety problems for locals.

He says a lot out-of-towners host these weddings and many of them do not get permits.

The bill proposes that local governments can assess a larger fine for county land use and development code violations.

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