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.

Proposed rules for pesticide use near schools diluted

Mar 16, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week the state released revisions to its rules for pesticide use near schools, and the revisions are not what many residents in the Salinas Valley were hoping for. In December, hundreds of Salinas parents, health workers and educators attended a four-hour hearing to urge the state’s pesticide regulator to change the rules. 

At its March 21 meeting, the San Luis Obispo City Council will look at options regarding the Rental Housing Inspection Program. Last week, the council voted to repeal the mandatory program. On Monday the city manager’s office announced a petition to repeal and replace it has qualified for an upcoming election. 

CalTrans

CalTrans sent engineers out Wednesday to evaluate how to completely demolish the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, after a wrecking ball failed to break through the bridge Monday. 

Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan rejected once again

Mar 14, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

Opponents of the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project celebrated Tuesday after the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted three to one to deny the company’s appeal. 

Local government roundup: 03/13/2017

Mar 13, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

On local government agendas this week, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will continue the hearing that began Monday morning on the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project appeal. A handful of supporters spoke in favor of the oil company’s plan to build a rail spur to its Nipomo Mesa refinery; dozens of speakers stated their opposition to the project. The Board will resume hearing public comment on Tuesday morning.

Courtesy of CSWSLOCO

180 people gathered Saturday to honor three inductees into San Luis Obispo County’s Women’s Wall of Fame, local women celebrated as impressive and effective county leaders. The annual awards are sponsored by the County Commission on the Status of Women and the South Bay Women's Network.

Greta Mart

 

If a Central Coast lawmaker prevails, students in California public schools may soon be taught how decipher fact-based news from “fake news.” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara has introduced a bill to create a statewide advisory committee to come up with the best way to educate students on responsible media consumption. 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office recently retrieved skimmer devices from bank ATMs in Santa Maria and Orcutt. Officers say they discovered the devices before whomever installed them was able to return.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Recently, 11 families got the keys to their brand new homes in Atascadero. A ceremony featuring local politicians and plenty of picture-taking marked the end of a year and a half long building process. The new homeowners had built their own and each other’s homes, creating close neighbor to neighbor relations along the way. 

Jennifer Moonjian

An estimated 100 women - and a few dozen men - walked from San Luis Obispo’s Meadow Park to downtown Wednesday morning, participating in the Day Without a Woman event. Many dressed in red, as requested by the national organizing group called the Women’s March, the same group that launched the January 21 Women’s March on Washington and sister marches around the globe. 

rachelflowersmusic.com

Hearing is Believing is a documentary about Rachel Flowers--a rising musician who has been called a 'piano prodigy'. Flowers lost her eyesight shortly after she was born due to retinopathy of prematurity. She stated playing piano at the age of 2-and-a-half, and at age 4 was accepted to the Southern California Conservatory of Music. Hearing is Believing will be featured at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on March 19th at 2:30 at the Historic Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. A concert from Flowers will follow.

On Wednesday, city officials in Salinas voted to sue the Trump administration in federal court over the president's executive order against sanctuary cities. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

In the months since the 2016 election, progressive organizations around the country, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have been holding seminars to provide information about becoming an activist. Many are modeling their efforts on the grassroots Tea Party playbook that made that movement so effective in 2009.

Local government roundup: 03/06/2017

Mar 6, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

On Central Coast county government agendas this week, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Phillips 66 Rail Spur project set to go before the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on March 13, next Monday. Santa Barbara officials are urging their San Luis Obispo counterparts to reject a Phillips 66 appeal of the 2016 San Luis Obispo Planning Commission decision to deny the project. 

Cafe vibe, teen space at renovated SLO county library

Mar 6, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The main branch of the San Luis Obispo County library system reopened this weekend, after being closed since October for an $843,000 renovation.

Library Director Chris Barnickel says patrons can expect to see a third floor and an extra 1800 square feet added to the library. And, the updated first floor resembles a coffee shop, but without the coffee.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Activist women and supporters on the Central Coast are planning a general strike and march on Wednesday, part of a greater ‘Day Without a Woman'. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, March 8, the planned one-day action is happening across the country. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

As of this week, PG&E customers on the Central Coast will be paying more for their electricity. Rates went up on March 1, and the estimated increase for PG&E customers is 2.1 percent a month. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A ceremony Wednesday morning marked the opening of the Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab, a group project of Cal Poly and the California State University system, along with the county DA’s office and the California Military Department. The lab will serve both as a classroom for future cybersecurity experts and a high-tech evidence collection facility. 

PG&E video still

Templeton resident Jordan Cunningham was elected to the California State Assembly in November. The Republican lawmaker represents the 35th District, which encompasses all of San Luis Obispo County and a portion of Santa Barbara County. The second bill he introduced since being elected, AB 457, calls for feasibility study on repurposing the existing desalination plant at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant as a public water supply. KCBX spoke with Cunningham in a recent phone interview about his ideas for the PG&E-owned nuclear power facility scheduled to be decommissioned starting in 2025. 

Local government roundup: 02/27/2017

Feb 27, 2017

On Central Coast local government agendas this week, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will consider issuing construction bids for repairs of county roads, and revisit cannabis regulation in the county and tweaks to a draft ordinance.

Greta Mart/KCBX

More than 600 people turned out for a city-sponsored immigration forum last week in Salinas. Hosted by the Salinas chief of police, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and other city and county officials, the Spanish-language forum was scheduled in response the federal government’s recent focus on immigration reform and deportations. 

Mudslide threat closes Cal Poly dorm

Feb 24, 2017
Dylan Ring/KCBX

 

A Cal Poly dorm is closed for the next several months due to a recent mudslide behind the building. 275 student residents of Fremont Hall are moving out this week after recent storms put the dorm and residents in jeopardy. 

Tess Whittlesey

Central Coast congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) held a town hall meeting in Arroyo Grande Wednesday evening, attracting hundreds of people. KCBX asked Carbajal his reaction to the meeting and the most prevalent concerns voiced there.

“The most pressing concerns I heard last night were the concerns of repealing the Affordable Care Act, especially the attempts to repeal it without replacing it,” Carbajal said.

This week the city of Salinas is hosting a free public forum on immigration. The forum will be primarily held in Spanish with English translation. 

Brian Reynolds has a conversation about bilingual education, which was once deemed illegal in California, with Lisa Callejos from the San Luis Obispo Office of Education and parents from San Luis Obispo's Pacheco Elementary.

Courtesy of CalTrans

In Monterey County, a Caltrans crew spent Tuesday afternoon evaluating the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, just north of Big Sur Pfeiffer State Park. The bridge was closed last week due to damage from the recent rains. Since then, the saturated, sliding land underneath has moved the bridge seven inches. 

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2017: Caltrans says the bridge is beyond repair and will have to be replaced entirely. 

Local government roundup: 02/20/2017

Feb 20, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

In this week's local government roundup, Tuesday is a day of strategic planning for the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. It will consider adoption of the county’s five-year infrastructure and facilities capital improvement plan.

The board is also slated to consider appointing former KPRL conservative talk show host and former Thousand Oaks mayor and city council member Dan Del Campo to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

 

A Cal Poly professor and his research team were given a grant from the US Department of Agriculture for almost half a million dollars last week to study solutions to food waste.

Cal Poly economics department chair Steve Hamilton said his research team aims to reduce food waste not only at the consumer level, but at every step of the process, from farmers, to retailers and to consumers. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A powerful storm brought heavy rains, gusty winds and pounding waves to the Central Coast Friday and early Saturday morning. Power outages across the region closed schools and businesses Friday morning in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, and as of Saturday morning, many customers remain without power. Weather forecasters say another storm system will arrive Monday, President's Day. Here's an update on Central Coast storm-related news:

Courtesy of Santa Barbara City Attorney's Office

This week Santa Barbara city officials continued enforcement efforts against notorious landlord Dario Pini. Pini owns and operates - according to Pini himself - thousands of rental and motel units across Santa Barbara. 

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