KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

KCBX News began reporting local stories in February, 2014. The first on-air newscast happened during All Things Considered on March 3, 2014. KCBX added local news content to Morning Edition in September, 2014.

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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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Water Issues and Drought
12:40 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Central Coast water restrictions and expert gardening tips

Credit Water Wise SB

    

Here are some helpful websites and phone numbers for getting the latest drought information in your area:

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Politics
6:06 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Bill to reduce psychotropic drug prescriptions for foster youth moves past first hurdle

Credit Flickr member: Charles Williams

A bill aimed at reducing the frequency at which foster children are prescribed psychotropic drugs is one step closer to becoming law. 

Nearly one in four children in foster care are prescribed psychotropic drugs. These include anti-depressants, sedatives, and anti-psychotics.

Central Coast Senator Bill Monning (D- Carmel) is the bill's author and said that too often children are prescribed these drugs without proper oversight and that psychotropic drugs can having negative lasting effects.

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Transportation
6:37 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Santa Barbara Airport ready for $3.37 million in safety upgrades

Time-lapse landing lights at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
Credit Flickr member DieselDemon

The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is getting ready to begin $3.37 million in safety upgrades, now that it has received a $3,026,481 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The project includes new runway lighting, fences to keep wildlife away from moving aircraft, and improvements to help maintain the pavement's structural integrity.

Airport Director Hazel Johns says most passengers likely won't notice the changes, but they are important in bringing the airport up to current standards.

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Paso Robles
5:46 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

ROH-blays or ROH-buhlz: How do you say wine country?

The eastern entrance to Paso Robles along Highway 46.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

KCBX, Central Coast Public Radio, is  launching a new series called Local Lingo, where we explore some of the words, expressions, and place names that make up the Central Coast's vernacular.

We begin with a trip to San Luis Obispo County's largest wine growing region, Paso Robles.

Step into the J Lohr Winery tasting room and there's a good chance you'll meet up with Willis Rieser, or Willy as he's called by most. He deals with tourists from around the world, all day long, and he tells them the "grapes are coming from Paso Robles (said ROH-buhlz), from J Lohr."

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Arts
6:14 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Rock legend Neil Young plays surprise concert at SLO Brew

Rock legend Neil Young performing at SLO Brew.
Credit Alex Ullrich, KCBX News

Rock legend Neil Young played some of his old favorites and some new sets during a surprise sold-out performance last night at SLO Brew in downtown San Luis Obispo. 

"I was working a booth at the farmers market and somebody came up and said Neil Young is playing at SLO Brew," said Douglas Shinoda who was one of the few who was able to get into the sold-out show.

Young was joined on stage by Lukas Nelson—Country legend Willie Nelson's son—with whom he's apparently collaborating on a new project.

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Business
3:28 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Firestone Brewery says drought was factor in strong odor coming from ponds

The canning line at Firestone Walker in Paso Robles.
Credit Alex Ullrich, KCBX News

The largest brewery on the Central Coast, Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, is working to solve an odor problem that has plagued the brewery and local neighbors for days.

Brewing requires a lot of water, and much of that water can be collected and saved, so Firestone Walker Brewery decided to build water retention ponds for that purpose. The problem is that once the ponds started to fill up with water from the brewery, bacteria started to grow and put off a foul odor. 

Adam Firestone, one of the company's founders, says this clearly wasn't part of the plan.

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Education
7:17 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Members of the Lucia Mar teachers union approve salary agreement

Members of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association (LMUTA) voted to ratify a tentative agreement reached earlier this month with the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

Bargaining between LMUTA and the District had come down to the wire, with teachers threatening to strike within days.

"This is welcome news and the District congratulates LMUTA and its members for bringing our lengthy negotiations process to conclusion," the District said in a statement.

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Business
7:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Santa Barbara County business leaders meeting to address broadband access

Credit Flickr member Sean MacEntee

Business leaders in Santa Barbara County are coming together Friday in an effort to ensure high speed internet access is available county-wide.

The Santa Barbara Broadband Task Force will meet in Buellton with a goal of expanding the service, says Ken Oplinger with regional Chamber of Commerce.

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Environment
6:53 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

UCSB ranked No. 1 public 'Green College' in the US

The UCSB campus and Storke Tower
Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

In honor of Earth Day next week, the Princeton Review is out with its national list of the Top 50 Green Colleges—and UCSB comes in at No. 1 for public schools.

UC Santa Barbara ranks No. 3 overall, with private schools Lewis and Clark (Oregon) and Green Mountain (Vermont) making the No. 1 and 2 spots respectively.

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Education
6:47 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Cal Poly holds listening session to address anger over faculty wages

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong holds a listening session with faculty members upset over salaries and the size of the university's administration.
Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong held a listening session with faculty members Thursday afternoon in an effort to stem growing anger over wages, and what's referred to as "administrative bloat."

Armstrong said the session went well, and that he heard a lot of "pent-up emotions" coming from faculty members who have not received salary adjustments for years. He did note that situation has now changed.

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