KCBX News

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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.

Courtesy of Monterey County Office of Education

The passage of California's Proposition 58 in November brings a return to more bilingual programs in the state's public schools. KCBX recently spoke with Lisa Vallejos, Senior Coordinator of English Language Arts, English Language Development, Literacy and Family Engagement at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. 

Courtesy of Paul Holston/A Tribe Called News staff

Local organizers have kicked off a membership drive to restart a San Luis Obispo County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - better known as the NAACP.

Google Maps Screenshot

The City of Paso Robles is considering purchasing the former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility property from the State of California. The facility hasn't been in use since 2008. 

Piedras Blancas now a national monument

Jan 12, 2017
Wilderness Society

On Thursday, President Obama included Piedras Blancas in an expansion of the California Coastal National Monument.

Flikr User David K


The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition is celebrating its first anniversary.

Of the 58 counties in California, San Luis Obispo ranks in the top third in opioid abuse and prescribes over a quarter more opioid-based medication than the California average. The Coalition was formed last January to fight against growing opioid abuse in San Luis Obispo County.

Santa Barbara County Live Webcam

Earlier this week, KCBX reported water reservoirs on the Central Coast have been getting a much-needed recharge from the past month’s rainstorms.

Several reservoirs, like Lopez Lake and Lake Nacimiento, have increased by many acre feet. Lopez has seen a rise of six feet in elevation since the fourth of January. Nacimiento rose 23 feet in that same amount of time and 12 feet in just the past three days.

However, reservoirs on the southern Central Coast haven’t been receiving nearly as much of a refill. Specifically, Lake Cachuma, which serves the Santa Ynez Valley, Montecito, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.

Greta Mart

MindBody, the San Luis Obispo company that designs software platforms for fitness centers and gyms, is partnering with Google to make it easier to get or stay in shape. 

Courtesy m B/http://bit.ly/2j5Us8F

Over fifteen hundred people took the time recently to give the city of San Luis Obispo ideas on how to improve. Those people either sent in letters to the city or filled on an online survey. City staff are expecting hundreds of San Luis Obispo residents to turn out Tuesday evening for a community forum to discuss those ideas and what they’d like the city to spend money on over the next two years. 

Courtesy of Photo: San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department

After years of drought, reservoirs in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have dropped to record-low elevation levels. But after this weekend’s storms and with a rainy week ahead, storage levels are starting to rebound, and that's good news for future uses such as agricultural irrigation and recharging ground water supplies.

Greta Mart

Areas around the Central Coast may experience flooding in the coming week, with record amounts of rainfall expected. Here is a list of where you can pick up sand and sandbags in our listening area. Please note that some places may have limits to how many bags you can take.

NOAA/www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/atmrivers/

Boulders slid onto Highway 1 near Ragged Point on Tuesday night after over 13 inches of rain in the Big Sur area. The road has been cleared, but forecasters say more rain expected this weekend may compound damage.

California lemon farmers wary of imported fruit

Jan 5, 2017
Elton Morris/Creative Commons

The United States Department of Agriculture recent published a final rule to allow lemons from Argentina into the country, a decision that has the California lemon industry on edge. 

Greta Mart

Stormy weather continues to affect the Central Coast, with minor flooding in areas of San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. KCBX spoke with PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey late Wednesday afternoon to find out more about what's in store. 

County officials took an oath of office this week as the latest members of the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara boards of supervisors.

Three supervisors were sworn in to serve on the San Luis Obispo County Board. John Peschong now represents District 1, filling the seat of retiring member Frank Mecham. Adam Hill again represents District 3, and Debbie Arnold was also sworn in, having been re-elected to District 5 seat in June.

Top KCBX News stories of 2016

Jan 2, 2017

As the new year gets underway, the KCBX newsroom takes pause to revisit the most-read and newsworthy stories of the past year. Here’s a sampling of 15 stories reflecting KCBX’s coverage of the Central Coast in 2016:

Daniel Orth/Flickr

Next week San Luis Obispo city officials will take a look at potentially curbing the ubiquity of single-use plastic water bottles. The city’s general plan outlines conservation goals that could be the basis for regulation.

Courtesy of Dr. Ann Lippincott/Vocabulary Workshop presentation

In San Luis Obispo County, an estimated 30,000 adults have limited literacy skills in English. In Santa Barbara County, about 18 percent of adults lack basic English literacy skills, that’s 50,000 people. And in Monterey County, according to Panetta Institute for Public Policy, 28 percent of adults - or eighty to ninety thousand people - are unable to read or understand written English.

Courtesy of Trident Winds

In December the federal agency that decides what kind of energy development takes place in our nation’s coastal waters issued a guidebook to understanding how renewable energy projects get approved and built. It’s a wonky topic of particular interest to the Central Coast, as firms jockey to build an offshore wind farm near Morro Bay. 

Bree Zender


If you’re familiar at all with the Santa Ynez Valley, you know it’s famous for its rolling hills and farmland bordered by country roads and twisted-trunked oak trees.

Soil renewal effort takes root in California

Dec 23, 2016
EZRA DAVID ROMERO / VALLEY PUBLIC RADIO

Fifteen years ago tractors could be heard at Sano Farms near Firebaugh, in Central California's San Joaquin Valley, on any given day. Now the sound of tractors is rare. That’s because the 4,000-acre tomato and almond farm has almost stopped running tractors altogether. Farm Manager Jesse Sanchez says he once thought it was a good idea to disc soil often. 

Final environmental docs for state water tunnel project released

Dec 22, 2016
www.californiawaterfix.com

California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has released a 97,000-page environmental document on a plan to re-engineer the state’s water delivery system. Brown said it’s essential in maintaining a reliable water supply.

Greta Mart

Before and after the recreational use of cannabis became legal in California with the passage of Proposition 64, officials in several Central Coast cities have passed urgency ordinances to temporarily ban commercial cultivation and distribution of the plant. 

Erin Inglish

On Dec. 8, 2016, KCBX’s Greta Mart welcomed Erin Inglish, a life-long San Luis Obispo County resident, musician and engineer, to the studio. Inglish recently returned from a trip to North Dakota to see for herself the gathering of native and non-native Americans trying to stop an oil pipeline from being built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Greta Mart: So, Erin, tell me about the trip itself, when did you leave?

dirtsailor2003/http://bit.ly/2i89Pxu

This week the White House announced President Obama has removed large areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans from all future oil and gas exploration. But the president did not include Central Coast waters - or the rest of the West Coast - under the umbrella of permanent protection, at least not yet. 

A 2015 natural gas leak in Los Angeles is now affecting supply levels around the region. The utility company SoCalGas says environmental restrictions on one of its reservoirs is the cause. 

Courtesy of Monterey County Office of Education

Central Coast schools are experiencing teacher shortages, connected to a larger statewide - and national - phenomenon of fewer people going into the profession.

Aera Energy  and Chevron have filed separate lawsuits against Monterey County, alleging the passage of Measure Z will shut down oil production in the county. 

Some Central Coast residents are gearing up for a trip to Sacramento. A growing movement is organizing rallies at state capitols on Monday, December 19 in the hours before the Electoral College is scheduled to vote for the next president and vice-president. The demonstrators hope to persuade electors from casting their ballot for Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Greta Mart/KCBX

California Governor Jerry Brown Tuesday sent a letter to President Obama, requesting the president permanently ban offshore oil and gas exploration in California’s coastal waters.

Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

UPDATE: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.

Covered California announced Wednesday it is extending the deadline for enrolling for health insurance through the state exchange. Uninsured Californians looking for coverage to start on January 1 now have until midnight on December 17 - Saturday night - to sign up. Covered California says over 25,000 people enrolled in the past two days alone.

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