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.

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. 

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. 

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