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.

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. 

April 12 on the Cal Poly campus, there is a free public presentation by one of the world's foremost astronomers, Dr. Fran Bagenal. KCBX invited Cal Poly astronomy professor Dr. John Keller and Joseph Carro, the president of the Central Coast Astronomical Society, to the studio to hear more about Dr. Bagenal and her presentation, learning astronomy at Cal Poly, and stargazing on the Central Coast. 

http://bit.ly/2oW40GV

A Santa Barbara County grand jury determined a recent fee hike by the Laguna County Sanitation District was justified. The district provides sewer service to about 12,000 residential and business customers in Orcutt and unincorporated areas of Santa Maria.

The grand jury looked into the increase because service charges have increased by 87 percent since 2011. The independent jury came to the conclusion that all was above board after interviewing Santa Barbara County public works staff, reviewing paperwork and reports and visiting the sanitation district’s treatment plant. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

With a surge of rain over the winter months, scientists at UC Berkeley are on alert for the spread of Sudden Oak Death disease, or SOD. And they need the help of ordinary citizens for research. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

[audio of cow mooing, metal clanking, galloping hooves and a lasso swinging through the air]

That’s the sound of a chute gate opening and a steer taking off running. And chasing the steer is a student athlete.

“I go to school at Cuesta College and I rodeo for their rodeo team,” said Will Centoni. “I compete in bull riding, bronc riding, team roping, calf roping, and bull dogging at the college rodeo.”

LAFCO

The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission, better known as LAFCO, voted Thursday in favor of an application to form a new new, 40,000-acre water district in the Paso Robles area.

California looks to GPS tracking to solve gas tax deficit

Apr 5, 2017
Capital Public Radio

Every time you pump gas in California, a portion of that price-per-gallon goes to building and maintaining roads. But the state’s transportation needs far outweigh the money generated.

In a 3-2 vote, the San Luis Obispo County Supervisors opted Tuesday evening to reaffirm a contentious policy change made in early March, when the board majority designated the county as the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the San Luis Obispo County groundwater basins.  

Advocates call for more salary transparency on Equal Pay Day

Apr 4, 2017

Tuesday on “Equal Pay Day,” California women’s rights advocates highlighted a proposal to require employers to be more transparent about what they’re paying their workers. A bill would mandate companies with more than 250 employees report the median pay for men and women. 

Courtesy of the United State of Cinema

On Tuesday, independent movie houses on the Central Coast - and across the country - are all screening the film "1984," a cinematic version of George Orwell's 1949 novel. Organizers of the synchronized screenings say it's to promote discussion of the film’s fictitious events compared and contrasted with the reality of today’s political climate.  

Local government roundup: 04/03/2017

Apr 3, 2017

A main focus at Tuesday’s San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting will concern groundwater basins and alleged violations of state law by some of the supervisors.

The allegations stem from the March 7 board meeting during which - without any prior public notice or discussion - Supervisor Arnold made a motion for the county to become the agency responsible for managing the area's groundwater basins. Supervisors Peschong and Compton’s supporting votes passed the motion that significantly changed policy. 

Atascadero farmers' market returns to downtown

Mar 31, 2017
Courtesy of North County Farmers Markets Association

The weekly Atascadero farmers’ market is permanently returning to downtown. It’s been 14 years since the 2003 San Simeon earthquake forced the market’s relocation, after the closure of the quake-damaged historic City Hall building.

Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center via Creative Commons

Farmworkers and activists plan to gather Friday at noon in Salinas; they are rallying to publicly call on Governor Brown to ban a pesticide called chlorpyrifos.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was scheduled to announced on March 31 the equivalent of a total ban on the pesticide because a court and EPA scientists had found it unsafe. But under the Trump administration, the EPA reversed its ban decision on Wednesday.

Atascadero's Eagle Ranch project moving forward

Mar 29, 2017
Courtesy of the City of Atascadero

After a four-year hiatus, momentum on the proposed Eagle Ranch project just south of Atascadero is once again picking up. On Thursday evening, March 30, the Atascadero city council and planning commission are holding a joint meeting to take public comment on the mega development project. 

Courtest of the City of Santa Maria

Santa Maria is transitioning from an at-large voting system to a district-based election process. This week the city is hosting the first in a series of public hearings to explain the process, answer questions and get input from the residents on how the new district maps should be drawn.

Local government roundup: 03/27/2017

Mar 27, 2017
Greta Mart

In local government this week, Monterey County officials are slated to make decisions related to the new county jail expansion project. The $89 million dollar project is almost ready to go out to bid, but first the board of supervisors has to sign off on a staffing and operations plan for the facility for next 30 years. 

Human "helping" a danger for beached marine mammals

Mar 24, 2017
Greta Mart

 

It’s pupping season on the Central Coast for animals like seals and sea lions, but some marine mammal mothers are abandoning their pups because of human interaction. 

Five percent tuition hike coming for Cal Poly, CSU schools

Mar 22, 2017
courtesy of Cal Poly/http://bit.ly/2g2HhVe

The trustees of the California State University system--comprised of 23 universities including Cal Poly and CSU Channel Islands--voted Wednesday to raise tuition five percent despite strong opposition from students. 

Los Osos Groundwater Basin 2015 Annual Report

San Luis Obispo county officials will hold a public hearing on the topic of groundwater basin management after a recent vote provoked allegations of Brown Act violations.

Matt Toevs

The San Luis Obispo County Coroner confirmed the victim of a fatal car crash Tuesday morning as 30-year-old Matthew Frank, widely known as the SLO Stringer. Many didn’t know his personal identity but his breaking news coverage was followed by tens of thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents. 

Hefty jackhammer takes down Big Sur bridge

Mar 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalTrans

Work continues this week on the demolition of Monterey County’s Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1. On Saturday, a CalTrans crew succeeded at bringing down the whole middle section of the bridge in one spectacular crash.

Local government roundup: 03/20/2017

Mar 20, 2017

In Central Coast local government this week, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is slated to approve a $22.7 million dollar contract with Avila Construction for renovation to the county’s government center. The board will also look at creating a community choice power program - called the Monterey Bay Community Power Authority - within unincorporated areas of Monterey County. On the agenda is a public hearing on traffic in Carmel Valley and a resolution to change election dates for school and community colleges to the same as statewide general elections. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Thursday, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury found two writers from CalCoastNews guilty of defaming a Central Coast hazardous waste contractor in a 2012 article published on the site.

Theft is San Luis Obispo's number one crime

Mar 17, 2017

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell released Friday crime statistics for 2016.

There was a seven percent reduction in violent crime in San Luis Obispo last year. But property crimes have spiked. A whopping 673 police reports were about thefts. And the percentage of thefts from cars increased by 52 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Paso Robles Groundwater Management Plan

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - passed into law in 2014 - for the first time requires organized management of the state's underground reservoirs of fresh water. It provides a framework for creating new governing agencies to do so,  and requires those agencies to create, maintain and enforce sustainable management plans.

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.

Pages