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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.

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. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

Residents in the Santa Ynez Valley are holding a public meeting Thursday to discuss their efforts to block the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians from annexing property into the tribe’s reservation. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

UPDATE: This week Morro Bay officials opted for a cheaper solution to the city’s wastewater treatment needs. In a 3-to-2 vote, the Morro Bay city council directed staff to pursue construction of a new sewage treatment plant estimated to cost between $123 and $136 million, That option won’t have advanced water recycling capabilities, as did another one of the council’s choices, priced at $167 million. But faced with public pushback, officials decided they could pursue phasing in water recycling at a later date. Since the estimated costs to build the facility were so high, the council also asked for a second opinion on the project’s total estimated cost.

Original story: This week in Morro Bay, city officials are weighing options for construction of the city’s new wastewater treatment plant, and staff says “substantial rate increases will be needed to pay for the new facility.” 

Trenton Ulysses Rock/Flickr

New residents and property owners in Isla Vista, in Santa Barbara County, have until midnight to register to vote for the May 9 special election. The election is an all-mail ballot for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Earth Day this year, the March for Science took place around the globe. There were 43 marches in cities and towns around California; here on the Central Coast marches were held in Monterey, Cambria, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara.

Flickr member Tracey Adams

Hearings for Pacific Gas and Electric’s decommissioning plan for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant got underway Wednesday before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In a parallel case concerning PG&E’s request to raise customer rates to cover its nuclear decommissioning costs, a CPUC administrative law judge issued a proposed decision Thursday to deny PG&E’s multi-billion dollar cost estimate for closing Diablo Canyon, reducing it by $1.4 billion. 

The March for Science is taking place on Saturday, April 22. In what is now a global event, scientists and those who support science-based evidence will be hitting the streets in mass marches, similar to the Women’s March on January 21. In a mission statement, organizers say the event “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” 

Mark Moz/http://bit.ly/2oIGvzG

The most recent market report from the Century 21 real estate company says the housing shortage on the Central Coast is at an all-time high. 

Glenn Beltz/http://bit.ly/2onJwBU

The energy company Venoco announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company told the California State Lands Commission it no longer has the financial means to continue operating its oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel. 

Salinas, Monterey County join coalition supporting lawsuits against 'sanctuary city' funding cuts

Apr 14, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The City of Salinas and Monterey County - along with 50 other cities and counties around the country - are among the official supporters of two lawsuits filed against President Donald Trump and his executive order to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary” jurisdictions. On Friday, attorneys gave oral arguments before a federal judge in the cases City and County of San Francisco v. Trump and County of Santa Clara v. Trump.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A 60-year-old inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Jail died in the early morning hours Thursday. It’s the second irregular inmate death since the start of the year and it prompted San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson to call a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce he has initiated an outside investigation into the in-custody death. 

Non-stop between SLO and Seattle now an option

Apr 13, 2017
Tom Wilmer/KCBX

The first daily, direct flights to and from San Luis Obispo and Seattle began Thursday with a party at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. 

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