Gas prices on the Central Coast are nearly 30 cents higher per-gallon than they were just a week ago. Statewide they've jumped 44 cents per-gallon over the past two weeks.
As of Thursday, a gallon of regular unleaded in San Luis Obispo County was going for $3.64, that's up from $3.34 last week, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. In Santa Barbara County, those numbers jumped from $3.23 to $3.56.
A Santa Barbara-based group recently sent a water purification system to Nepal that can provide enough clean water daily for 25-thousand people.
The local non-profit called Hands-4-Others (H4O) is made up of young people, mostly students, from Santa Barbara and other parts of California.
H40 had their annual fundraising event just weeks before the Nepal earthquake. Funds from that event combined with immediate fundraising efforts by their members allowed them to ship off the purification system.
The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is scheduled to hold a special meeting Thursday to update guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions within the County. Specifically, the District is looking at pollution generated by business and industry.
The APCD's Molly Pearson said Wednesday that members will vote on one of two options for updated guidelines. The public will get a chance to speak prior to that vote.
California's Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be at UC Santa Barbara Thursday to speak with students about the importance of voting.
Padilla said that he and a lot of others in the political world were dismayed by 2014's record low voter turnout in California.
He said that getting more people involved in the political process is important. With a school like UCSB, where there are thousands registered to vote, he said their participation, could really shape an election.
He said that getting people to participate is the tough part.
These water restriction rates are part of a final proposal to be voted on next week.
The blanket 25 percent statewide reduction goal issued originally by Governor Jerry Brown was updated on April 18 to include restriction tiers, based on a water district's previous conservation efforts.
California Coastal Commission staff is recommending that the rock wall at Goleta Beach County Park get a 20 year extension to remain in place.
The 12-hundred foot long wall has been the topic of much debate.
Local environmentalists, including the Santa Barbara Surfrider chapter, say that studies show rock seawalls eventually work against sandy beaches, causing them to disappear. Supporters of the wall say it helps protect key areas of the park, including the lawn.
Laura Burton Capps, the daughter of Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) says she does not plan to run for her mother's seat next year.
"It would be the ultimate honor for me to represent this incredible district in Congress," said Burton Capps in a written statement. "After giving a campaign serious consideration, however, I’ve decided that now is not the right time for me, Bill and our four year-old-son, and I will not be seeking election to Congress in 2016."
An instructor at Arroyo Grande High School will no longer teach creationism in his science class, according to a spokesperson for the Lucia Mar Unified School District. The swift action comes following a parent's complaint and a request to fix the problem voiced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The District says the teacher was using the evolution versus creationism argument as a teaching tool to get students engaged. But, at least one student didn't find the creationism focus appropriate for the subject matter.
The international awards are piling up for the UC Santa Barbara professor who helped create energy-saving LED lighting.
UCSB's Shuji Nakamura was named this year's Global Energy Prize Laureate, announced Thursday in Moscow. Nakamura is being recognized for his lighting invention that's helping to save billions of dollars in energy costs worldwide.
LEDs had been around for decades, but not the white light versions that are currently replacing incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, launched from Vandenberg on January 31, 2015, has already sent back its first global maps.
The satellite focuses on soil moisture—liquid or solid—and will likely help develop more accurate long-term forecasts. The images could also help California track the state's ongoing drought conditions.
The SMAP mission is designed to help scientists understand the links between the Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.
A bill aimed at closing the wage gap between men and women in California passed out of a major committee today. If signed, SB 358 would become the strongest equal pay law in the U.S. according to Jackson.
The California Fair Pay Act would ensure women are paid the same as their male colleagues for comparable work.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D- Santa Barbara) authored the bill and said it would be the toughest equal pay legislation in the nation because it protects women from being retaliated against should they ask and object to what their male colleges make.