KCBX News

Monday through Friday during All Things Considered

We are very excited for the launch of KCBX News this March. Listen for our local updates during NPR's All Things Considered each weekday. Later this summer, our local coverage expands to Morning Edition as well.

  • News tips, story ideas, and coverage comments are always welcome. Send your thoughts to news@kcbx.org or call the newsroom at: (805) 549-8855 ext. 115.
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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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Politics
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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Politics
5:25 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Bob Jones Trail extension approved by County Board of Supervisors

The 4.5 mile extension of the trail would begin at the historic Octagon Barn in San Luis Obispo.
Credit SLO County Bike Coalition

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the final environmental impact report and approve the project alignment of the final section of the Bob Jones Trail.

Anne Wyatt is on the steering committee of the Friends of the Bob Jones Trail.

She said the vote was a 'feel good moment' and they are certainly celebrating, but they're gearing up for the next steps.

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Environment
1:32 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

'Unprecedented' back-to-back warm winters in California complicate ongoing drought

Jan. 17 2015 - San Luis Obispo, Calif. — A wet December helped to green California's hills and refill a portion of San Luis Obispo's Laguna Lake, but the following month of January was among the warmest and driest on record in 2015.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

The Central Coast saw a very warm, dry January this year, as did the rest of the state. Now, Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say it ranks among the warmest and driest on record.

Not only was this January the fourth warmest in the books, but it follows the warmest January ever in 2014. 

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Education
5:58 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

San Luis Coastal teachers and district prepare for Friday talks

Credit Teachers Market

Teachers and district leaders are coming together Friday to hammer out differences over work load and salaries in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. 

Paul Orton, President of the San Luis Coastal Teachers Association, says one of the biggest improvements they hope to achieve is the addition of more prep time. 

"K through 3 teachers have no time set aside in the contract for them to work on lessons, and with this Common Core new curriculum it's an incredible amount of work load," said Orton.

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Health
6:16 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Whooping cough case reported at Santa Maria's Righetti High School

A Righetti High School student has been diagnosed with Whooping Cough, according to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD).

"SMJUHSD officials are urging anyone experiencing Whooping Cough symptoms to immediately seek medical care from their physician," said district spokesperson Kenny Klein.

The student is not attending school currently, according ot Klein.

California is in the midst of a Whooping Cough—or pertussis—epidemic, which peaks every three to five years.

Energy
6:05 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

San Luis Obispo is latest city to express concern over refinery's proposed rail project

Phillips 66 says modern, safe rail cars would ship millions of barrels of crude oil annually to its Santa Maria Refinery should its rail project be approved.
Credit Phillips 66

The City of San Luis Obispo is the latest municipality in California to voice concern over plans to build a rail connector to the Phillips 66 refinery near Santa Maria. 

Cities and counties along the Southern Pacific rail line have sent letters to San Luis Obispo Planning Commission expressing concern regarding the dangers associated with sending crude oil by train.

San Luis Obispo City Council Member John Ashbaugh said that they urged the Mayor to send a letter in light of the recent disaster in West Virginia.

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Science & Technology
6:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Cal Poly grad among shrinking list of candidates for mission to colonize Mars

The Mars One teams hopes to send up the first pod of colonizers by 2024.
Credit The Mars 100 YouTube video

A Cal Poly graduate is among the 100 finalists of more than 200,000 applicants that were in the running to be one of the first humans to colonize the planet Mars.

They're part of the Mars One mission that's being organized by a private, non-profit out of the Netherlands.

Kay Radzik Warren, 54, graduated from Cal Poly's Architecture Department back in the mid-1990s. She says she hopes the mission succeeds and that she's part of it when it does. 

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Environment
6:27 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Bill aims to add more protections for California groundwater from oil and gas drilling contamination

Roughly 60 percent of the oil pumped to the surface in California comes from Class II injection wells, according to the state. This oil field is in Kern County, Calif.
Credit Flickr member ben klocek

A new bill up for consideration in Sacramento is aimed at protecting groundwater from oil and gas drilling operations.

Central Coast Assembly Member Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) introduced AB-356 on Tuesday. It would require monitoring near Class II injection wells.

Currently, there are nearly 42,000 oil field injection wells operating in the state, according to the California Department of Conservation. These wells are designed to increase oil recovery and "safely dispose of the salt and fresh water produced with oil and natural gas" the department states.

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Business
12:13 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

Famous Hollywood family launches full-service movie studios on the Central Coast

Credit Jessica Dieny

Todd Fisher, the son of Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds and the brother of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, recently went public with a high-end production company on the Central Coast. The Hollywood Motion Picture Experience (HMPE) is located in the small San Luis Obispo County town of Creston.

Fisher is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the full production and post-production house that he built on his secluded, self-sustaining, solar-powered ranch.

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Education
6:25 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Santa Maria-Bonita School District approves bilingual education

A new elementary school (yet to be named) scheduled to open in August, is the planned site for the district's upcoming dual immersion program.
Credit Santa Maria-Bonita School District

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District is moving forward with a plan to bring bilingual education to its students. The dual immersion program was approved by the superintendent and district board Thursday night.

The program will be set at the new elementary school, which is scheduled to open this August.

District Spokesperson Maggie White says the board chose not to initiate a program start date yet, but says it could go into effect as soon as the start of the next school year.

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Politics
11:25 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Watch: President Obama at White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

President Barak Obama signs an executive order on cybersecurity information sharing following an address on the Stanford campus Friday.

(From WhiteHouse.gov) The President delivers remark at the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect American consumers and companies from growing threats to consumers and commercial networks.

The Summit brings together major stakeholders on consumer financial protection issues to discuss how all members of our financial system can work together to further protect American consumers and their financial data, now and in the future.

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Environment
6:13 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

UCSB Study: The world's oceans are filling up with plastic

Plastics mixed in with debris washed ashore at San Francisco's Ocean Beach following a storm in 2010, the same statistical year used for the NCEAS study.
Credit Flickr member Kevin Krejci

A study published Thursday in the journal Science takes at look a just how much plastic waste is collecting in the world's oceans.

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste are added each year according to the numbers crunched by UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). That's more than scientists had thought, and enough to cover the entire City of Los Angles in ankle deep trash more than twice over—each year.

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Politics
6:07 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Longtime Paso Robles city manager retiring at end of the year

The longtime city manager for Paso Robles says he plans to retire at the end of the year. Jim app has served as the city's top administrator for nearly two decades.

"It has been said that one of life's greatest gifts is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing," said App in a press release. "It has been an honor to work on behalf of the people of Paso Robles these past 25 years."

He said he made the announcement early, in order to give the City Council "ample time to find an able successor."

App said it's his intent to retire on December 30, 2015.

Politics
6:06 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

UPDATE: Beverage industry pushes back against bill for warning labels on sugary drinks in California

Credit Flickr member Alan

California's soda industry is fighting back after Central Coast State Senator Bill Monning announced this week a renewed effort to put warning labels on sugary drinks.

The Industry group CalBev calls the bill misguided and said that they don't believe warning labels are an effective policy for promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

Roger Salazar is a CalBev spokesperson and says the bill unfairly singles out the beverage industry while ignoring other junk food.

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