KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The award-winning KCBX Newsroom works to bring you local stories that represent our Central Coast listeners and supporters.

KCBX News began covering 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.

In the years since, KCBX News has had local stories featured on NPR and The California Report.

Krista Almanzan/KAZU

Californians are used to the idea of recycling cans, bottles and paper. But the idea of recycling water is a little hard for some to swallow. In fact, the process is sometimes dubbed “toilet to tap.” That’s a phrase the people at Pure Water Monterey quickly dismiss when talking about the new advanced water purification facility being built in Marina. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Mud Creek Slide is being called the biggest landslide to hit the Central Coast, at least in recent memory. On May 20, millions of tons of rocks and dirt collapsed over Route 1 when four separate, adjacent slides triggered at the same time, combining into one massive terrain avalanche.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Big Sur area has been losing tourism business over the past year due to a series of natural disasters. It started with last summer’s Sobranes Fire, which set records as the the costliest American wildfire in terms of the resources it took to put out. Then heavy winter rains caused road closures due to mudslides and the condemnation of the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge. Then came the massive landslide that wreaked havoc on the area last Saturday. 

Courtesy of John Madonna Construction

Four different landslides rolled into one buried California's famous coastal highway under millions of tons of earth and rocks last Saturday night at Mud Creek. Located eight miles north of Ragged Point - where Hwy. 1 has been closed to Big Sur-bound traffic for months - the slide brought down enough dirt to extend the current shoreline by 250 feet. State Route 1 now lies under about 35 feet of dirt for a quarter mile. 

Willis Jacobson

The Lompoc Valley Medical Center is at risk of losing its Medicare, Medicaid, and Medi-Cal certifications after a routine review from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found several violations at the facility.

Courtesy of Ashley Spratt/USFWS

Friday marked the anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill. On May 19, 2015, a two-foot-diameter underground pipeline named Line 901 ruptured near Santa Barbara County’s Refugio State Beach. By the time the line was shut off, over 100,000 gallons of crude oil spilled over coastal bluffs and into the ocean. It took hundreds of workers more than two months to clean up - at a cost of over $100 million dollars. 

KCBX Two-Way: Monterey County's Cemex sand mine

May 19, 2017
Gary Griggs

In March of 2016, the California Coastal Commission sent a cease and desist warning to the Cemex company over its sand mine on the Monterey County coast. Cemex, a multinational company headquartered in Mexico, operates the Cemex Lapis Sand plant on a beach about eight miles north of Monterey. The company’s customers use the mined sand in products ranging from water filtration systems to golf courses to concrete. But the facility has long been controversial in the area, and this week there was a new development. 

Morro Bay's city manager resigns

May 18, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The city of Morro Bay is looking for a new city manager. David Buckingham, who’s been the city's top administrator for the past three years, announced his last day will be June 26. 

Marisa Waddell/KCBX

Professional cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California wrapped up Stage 3 of the race in Morro Bay late Tuesday afternoon. Slovakian racer Peter Sagan was the winner of the stage, a 120-mile course that started in Pismo Beach and wound through the streets of San Luis Obispo. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

A San Luis Obispo High School special education teacher has resigned after controversy erupted about an anti-LGBT letter he wrote to the school's newspaper editor. Former teacher Michael Stack's letter was in response to the May issue of the high school’s newspaper, SLO Expressions, which contained three articles focusing on LGBT issues. KCBX News spoke with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Nick Wilson, who has been covering this story. 

SLO County's chief administrative officer resigns

May 12, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The top administrator of San Luis Obispo County announced his resignation Friday. Dan Buckshi accepted a new job as the next city manager of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area.

Bree Zender

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations of certain national monuments, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. 

NOAA

Two Central Coast environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District in an effort to improve habitat for local endangered fish.

Isla Vista voters approve parcel tax for parks

May 10, 2017
Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

In Santa Barbara County, of the 11,000 registered voters in Isla Vista, just 550 ballots were cast in this week’s special election there. That’s a five percent voter turnout, according to the semi-official results. Of those 550 voters, 80 percent were in favor of Measure O, a new parcel tax that will raise money for the Isla Vista Park and Recreation District (IVRPD). 

SLO County 2016 crops valued at $915 million

May 10, 2017
Sharon Mollerus/Creative Commons

San Luis Obispo County’s agricultural crops were worth $915 million dollars last year. The county’s agricultural commissioner, Martin Settevendemie, released crop statistics for 2016 this week, and he said one surprising finding was that strawberry crops were almost as valuable as wine grapes on the market.

Bill aims to allow local governments to investigate discrimination complaints

May 9, 2017
Courtesy of the DFEH

California workers with discrimination complaints against employers could soon turn to their local governments for relief. A new bill that would allow counties and cities - like San Luis Obispo or Monterey County - to investigate such claims passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee this week.  

Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is director of the Black Worker Center in Los Angeles. She says state and federal employment departments are taking an average of one to two years to process discrimination claims against private companies or governments.

Greta Mart/KCBX

UPDATE: On Tuesday, county supervisors voted unanimously to approve reallocating $318,000 towards building the next installment of the popular walking and biking Bob Jones Trail pathway. 

Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

The deadline for Isla Vista voters to cast their ballot in that district’s May 9 special election is Tuesday at 8 p.m. The all-mail ballot election is for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

Courtesy of Seth Richardson

On Saturday, May 6, a new one-day music festival makes its debut at the Red Barn in Los Osos, the home of the Red Barn Community Music Series created by Jonas Richardson. The first Central Coast Folk Festival will feature ten bands and seven straight hours of music. 

Bree Zender

Horacio Amezquita has lived at the San Jerardo Cooperative, just southeast of Salinas, since 1979, when he was 18 years old.

He had immigrated to the United States from Mexico about five years earlier. Amezquita, his parents, and his 8 brothers and sisters were excited to move into house that had more than two bedrooms when they moved to San Jerardo. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A legal settlement this week will make it harder for the Trump administration to open federally-owned public lands to oil and gas development, particularly on the Central Coast.

$110 million dollar gift to "transform" Cal Poly

May 3, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

“One hundred and ten million dollars!” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong shouted out the instant confetti cannons exploded, yellow and green balloons flooded down from the ceiling and an organist played triumphal chords. That was the big reveal today on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo - the moment Armstrong announced the amount of the latest and greatest gift to the university from San Luis Obispo County residents William and Linda Frost. 

Paso Robles goes solar for savings

May 2, 2017
Jeremy Levine/http://bit.ly/2pDLIHJ

Over the past few years, Paso Robles has started to build up its municipal solar energy infrastructure, after the 2013 adoption of the city's Climate Action Plan. In doing so, city administrators took advantage of a by-product of Proposition 39, passed by California voters in 2012. 

Flooding expected from epic Sierra snowpack

May 2, 2017
Courtesy of NASA Airborne Snow Observatory

The water content of the Sierra snowpack is nearly double the average of long-time measurements. The state's lead water agency conducted the last survey of the wet season Monday. It's now a matter of managing run-off. 

Local government roundup: 05/01/17

May 1, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

May Day marches

May 1, 2017
Bree Zender/KCBX

Monday marked International Worker’s Day and on the Central Coast, people marched for a variety of reasons - for social justice, supporting immigrants and refugees and better worker benefits -  in Salinas, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara. Approximately 150 people turned out to march and chant in San Luis Obispo. 

Bree Zender

Although the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians succeeded in their efforts to fold the 'Camp 4' property into the Chumash reservation through a federal land trust, opponents throughout the Santa Ynez Valley continue to oppose it.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters and the outer continental shelf. It calls for a review of current five-year plan for oil and gas leases, and directs the secretary of the interior to establish a streamlined permitting process. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Expect to see a lot of athletes around San Luis Obispo this weekend. The SLO Marathon and half-marathon are taking place Sunday morning, April 30, with a 5K and family races scheduled for Saturday, April 29.

State lawmakers advance stormwater collection efforts

Apr 27, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The California state Senate has passed a bill that would make it easier for cities to finance and build projects to capture stormwater. 

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