Central Coast

Environment
6:57 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Pacific Coast sardine fisheries in decline, upcoming season cancelled

A school of sardines at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Credit Flickr member Allie_Caulfield

The upcoming 2015-2016 sardine fishing season off the Central Coast will be closed in an effort to help rebuild the fish population, according to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Council members made the decision at their current meeting in the Bay Area.

“While this is a sad day for all those dependent on a healthy sardine fishery, it is actually a good thing that this Council is addressing the problem directly, something you don’t always see across the nation or certainly, internationally,” said Council member Frank Lockhart.

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Water Issues and Drought
6:29 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

CAL FIRE preparing for extreme start to Peak Fire Season

CAL FIRE Station No. 11 in Cayucos will be staffed starting Monday, April 13, 2015, as Peak Fire Season begins.
Credit CAL FIRE

Monday was the official start of Peak Fire Season along the Central Coast, with agencies in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties joining forces in preparation. 

The move ensures staffing at all California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) offices, including Station No. 11 in Cayucos which had been temporarily closed as part of a money saving measure.

CAL FIRE San Luis Obiso Chief Robert Lewin said the fire danger indicator signs were moved to "high" on Monday and there's potential for more severe conditions later in the week.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Grunion runs expected on Central Coast beaches Saturday through Tuesday nights

Taken at Belmont Shore, Long Beach.
Credit Kimberly Walker: Environmental Scientist, Marine Region Fisheries Research and Management Project, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central Coast residents and visitors should get a chance in the coming days to see a natural phenomenon that is expected to peak along local beaches.

The annual grunion run is predicted to take place Saturday through Tuesday nights, April 4-7. When the conditions are right, thousands of the small fish beach themselves as part of their mating cycle. There will be another run this month, April 18-21, and two more in May.

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Environment
6:28 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Chumash tribe plans to resubmit marine sanctuary nomination following NOAA rejection

Their are plans to move forward with an effort to create a National Marine Sanctuary for the waters off the coastlines of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, following a federal rejection of the nomination earlier this month.

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council would like to preserve the area sandwiched between the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands sanctuaries. The proposed area would be called the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

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Education
1:32 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

San Luis Coastal teachers and district reach a compromise

Credit Teachers Market

San Luis Coastal Unified School District teachers and district leaders recently reached a tentative agreement regarding workload and salaries.

Assistant superintendent of personnel, innovation and educational services, Rick Robinett, says that he hopes the members of the association and the school board will approve this three-year contract.

“The salient features are a four percent raise for teachers, retroactive to July 1 of 2014,” he says.

“Some clarification about prep time and putting preparation time into the contract for elementary school teachers.”

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Politics
5:48 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Central Coast as wedding destination serves as initiative behind new assembly bill

Local Assemblymember Das Williams introduced a bill Monday that aims to mitigate issues surrounding large events such as weddings.

Williams says the Central Coast hosts many large weddings every year and big events like these create traffic and public safety problems for locals.

He says a lot out-of-towners host these weddings and many of them do not get permits.

The bill proposes that local governments can assess a larger fine for county land use and development code violations.

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Education
6:26 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Santa Maria-Bonita School District gets $1.8 million for math program

Students in the Santa Maria valley will soon be part of math program that uses real word applications to help teach the STEM curriculum.

The three year program pairs local teachers from the Santa Maria-Bonita School District up with the Cal Poly Mathematics department. The two have been working together since 2006.

Kate Reily, a mathematics professor at Cal Poly, says her department is excited for this newest opportunity to work with the school district.

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Water Issues and Drought
6:01 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Weekend storm is welcome news, with locals hoping for much more

Graphic prediction of rainfall totals during the storm's peak Friday night into Saturday morning (not a cumulative total) shows more than a half an inch of rain falling in the San Luis Obispo area.
Credit National Weather Service

Rain showers are expected to hit the Central Coast Friday and continue through the weekend. Totals will vary greatly throughout the area with most of the rain falling to the north, possibly up to three inches.

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties can expect steady rain over the next few days said Joe Sirard, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. He said that urban runoff and minor flooding will be possible, mainly on Saturday. 

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Environment
5:29 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Proposed National Marine Sanctuary nominated off California coast

The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is in the initial nomination process with NOAA.

A large area along California's Central Coast is now being considered as a National Marine Sanctuary.

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary marks the first time that the public has nominated a stretch of California coast for this designation.

The formal documents were submitted this week to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for consideration on Monday.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Sea creature that prefers warm water found moving farther up California's coast

Hopkins' Rose Nudibranch - Pink sea slug
Credit Jeff Goddard, UCSB

Central Coast scientists are seeing a number of species show up along the California coast, far north of their usual range. One of these animals is the Hopkins' Rose nudibranch, a pink sea slug.

Jeff Goddard, a project scientist at the UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Intstitute says the Rose nudibranchs are normally found in Southern California, but last year's warmer ocean conditions may have pushed them north. 

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Environment
4:39 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Widespread reports of shaking following light Central Coast earthquake

Credit USGS 'Did You Feel It?' Map

A light-to-moderate earthquake hit the Central Coast this morning with people throughout Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties reporting to have felt it. 

The 4.4 temblor struck along the San Andreas Fault east of Greenfield and Soledad.

The quake was also felt in the Central Valley areas of Fresno, Madera and Visalia.

No damage has been reported.

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Environment
3:45 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Volunteers asked to take photos of upcoming King Tides event in California

King Tide on December 12, 2012 at Port San Luis in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Gordon Hensley - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Volunteers are set to record thousands of images of the California Coast next week as the highest tides of the year are expected to hit the area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The volunteers are part of an effort to help people visualize how sea level rise will impact the lives of coastal Californians. It's called the California King Tides Project, and Central Coast representatives are on board to help document the event.

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Pets & Animals
12:46 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Sea otters have a friend in the fight for their lives

Credit Flickr member andertho

    

California Sea Otters are among the threatened species fighting for their right to live. Their most staunch ally is the 'Friends of the Sea Otter' organization. Donna Cheek speaks with Advocacy Program Director, Jim Curland about the issues that jeopardize sea otters on the Central Coast of California.

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Politics
5:49 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

City of SLO determines standards for homestay rentals

Credit Jordan Bell

The San Luis Obispo City Council adopted new standards for short-term homestay rentals Tuesday night, allowing use of this type of rental within the city.

These are rentals occupied for less than 30 days. A major distinction between homestay rentals and vacation rentals is homestay rentals require the owner to prove they live there. Vacation rentals are still prohibited in neighborhoods for which they are not zoned.

The ordinance also requires one additional parking space, two rooms and that a responsible party must only be a 15 minute drive away. 

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Traffic
6:27 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Busy holiday airport traffic made worse by regional pilot shortage

Travelers walk onto the tarmac to board a regional flight at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

The weekend before Christmas is among the busiest airport travel days of the year with crowded flights at all Central Coast airports, including Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara.

Friday evening, the FAA showed delays into San Francisco of more than two hours because of low clouds. Flights heading connecting through SFO from the regional airports were affected.

In addition to the weather delays, there is also a pilot shortage issue affecting Central Coast airports.

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