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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Longtime Vandenberg protester Dennis Apel has case denied by US Supreme Court

Credit Flickr member Sharon Hahn Darlin

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a free speech case brought by longtime Vandenberg Air Force Base protester Dennis Apel.

The Court issued a short statement this week, simply saying:

Dear Mr. Chemerinsky:

The Court today entered the following order in the above-entitled case:

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the UC Irvine School of Law and Apel's attorney for several years, says the denial to take the case now leaves legal questions regarding free speech rights.

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Central Coast salmon season restricted over winter-run Chinook

Ray Richardson prepares his boat Raggamuffin for the 2015 California commercial salmon season in Morro Bay, California.
Credit Spencer Marley

Ray Richardson and other California commercial fishermen are ready to start this year's salmon season, only he faces a shorter window than last year.

"I'm putting the davits on, the gurdies on, and putting the trolling wire on. Then, go to get some ice, put the gear on, and go fishing," Richardson said.

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Energy
6:33 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Central Coast gas prices on the rise, but possibly down in time for summer

Credit Flickr member Mike Mozart

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.

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Community
5:42 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Central Coast students rally to help Nepal earthquake survivors

Credit Hands4Others

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.

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Central Coast
1:59 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Author: Cliff Branch discusses his book 'American Made: A Boomer's Reflection'

Cliff Branch's new book, American Made: A Boomer's Reflection is the part biography, part retrospective on what it was like to grow up during the 50s, 60s, and 70s on California's Central Coast.

Branch was raised in Santa Barbara, went to Cal Poly for college, and began his adventures as a serial entrepreneur in San Luis Obispo.

His book candidly looks at his big successes (mail-order stereo components, hot tubs, computers, real estate) and his troubles (cocaine addiction).

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Environment
11:12 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Santa Barbara County set to vote on greenhouse gas emissions

The Santa Barbara area as seen from the air, with the airport in the foreground and LaCumbre Peak in the background.
Credit Flickr member Doc Searls

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.

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Education
5:45 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

California Secretary of State to visit UCSB in effort to bolster voter turnout

Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

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.

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Water Issues and Drought
7:24 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

New water restriction rates proposed, State Water Board set to vote next week

Numbers represent the percentage a water district must increase conservation this summer, should the State Water Board approve the proposal during its meetings scheduled for May 5-6, 2015.
Credit KCBX News

The California State Water Board is out with new, revised conservation numbers for water districts throughout the state.

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.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Coastal Commission staff recommends keeping Goleta rock wall—for now

Credit California Coastal Commission

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. 

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Politics
5:17 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Lois Capps' daughter says 'now is not the right time' for her to run for mom's seat in Congress

Laura Burton Capps with her four-year-old son in the hills above Santa Barbara.
Credit Facebook

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." 

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Education
6:21 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Creationism in science class, Lucia Mar says 'right intent, wrong action'

Credit Arroyo Grande High School

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.

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Education
5:01 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Cal Poly releases options for University's 20 year Master Plan

A land use concept diagram, part of Cal Poly's updated Master Plan.
Credit http://masterplan.calpoly.edu/

University leaders are sharing new plans for how to deal with an expanding Cal Poly over the next 20 years.

They are considering two versions for a Master Plan.

One continues with the quarter system, using an expanded campus. The other would use increased summer enrollment to handle more students.

Linda Dalton is the interim university planning officer

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Science & Technology
6:40 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Awards continue to pile up for the UCSB professor behind LED lighting

A couple of examples of LED lightbulbs.
Credit Flickr member Dave Nakayama

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.

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Science & Technology
4:51 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

First global maps of the world's moisture content could help track California drought

NASA Soil Moisture Mission Produces First Global Radiometer Map
Credit NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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.

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Politics
6:36 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

'Fair Pay' gaining steam as bill passes out of committee

Credit Jessica Paterson

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.

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