Monterey County

Local government roundup: 09/11/17

Sep 11, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week in local government in San Luis Obispo County, the board of supervisors has a full agenda of grant and funding allocation items, such as $755,000 for marketing and advertising for the San Luis Obispo County Tourism Business Improvement District for the next fiscal year. The board will also hold a hearing on issuing bonds to help pay for upgrades to facilities for developmentally disabled people in the county, and review the county’s year-end budget report. 

County government contracting bill reduces local control, say opponents

Aug 29, 2017
Ttoolan/Wikimedia Commons

Opposition is growing against a bill in the California Legislature that would add strict new requirements before any counties can contract out for government services.

Big Sur's Henry Miller Library looks at branching out

Aug 25, 2017
Krista Almanzan

The Henry Miller Library is an iconic Big Sur destination. But a bridge failure and landslides left it stranded without tourists to support it. So the library moved north and set up temporary shop in Carmel. Now it’s executive director is finding reason to make that temporary location permanent. 

Krista Almanzan

The landslide at Mud Creek – about 25 miles north of Hearst Castle – is the largest ever on the Central Coast. It buried and broke apart a section of California's famed State Route One. To fix it, CalTrans has decided to build a road over the massive slide.

Sophia Mathews/@MsPhias

On the same afternoon the Whittier Fire ignited near a summer camp in Santa Barbara County, another fire broke out east of San Miguel, on the border of rural eastern Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.

Celebrating Monterey County non-profit's musical mission

Jul 1, 2017
Fred Arellano/courtesy of Guitars Not Guns Monterey County

This week the Monterey County chapter of the organization Guitars Not Guns was named “Non-profit of the Year” by California Senator Bill Monning. The all-volunteer group provides free guitars and weeks of lessons to children and teens to encourage development of positive pastimes. Since 2009, the group has worked with just under 1500 kids in Monterey County cities and towns. 

Gary Griggs

Cemex is a Mexican multinational company that manufactures and distributes building supplies in over 50 countries; key Cemex products are cement and ready-mix concrete. The company operates the Cemex Lapis Sand Plant on a beach about eight miles north of Monterey and despite the state closing all the other sand mines operating along the coast years ago, the Cemex mine is different because of its specific location. The company maintains it has a longtime, vested right to operate there, and that those operations are not the cause of beach erosion in the area. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

54 people were arrested last week in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation targeting areas in Central California. ICE officials said over a third of the arrests took place in Monterey County, specifically in communities in the Salinas Valley.

PG&E fined for faulty Monterey County tower

Jun 6, 2017
Brian Rinker

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week issued a $400,000 fine to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for safety code violations. The citation results from the failure of a transmission tower near Moss Landing three years ago. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018. 

KCBX Two-Way: Monterey County's Cemex sand mine

May 19, 2017
Gary Griggs

In March of 2016, the California Coastal Commission sent a cease and desist warning to the Cemex company over its sand mine on the Monterey County coast. Cemex, a multinational company headquartered in Mexico, operates the Cemex Lapis Sand plant on a beach about eight miles north of Monterey. The company’s customers use the mined sand in products ranging from water filtration systems to golf courses to concrete. But the facility has long been controversial in the area, and this week there was a new development. 

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. 

Local government roundup: 05/01/17

May 1, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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

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. 

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. 

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 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:

Greta Mart/KCBX

Water advocacy leaders in California are calling for the state government to permanently invest in water infrastructure--noting that over 300 California communities are affected by unsafe drinking water. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

USDA

Hundreds of concerned parents, health workers and educators turned out Thursday evening in Salinas to urge state officials to increase restrictions on the use of agricultural pesticides near schools. Over a dozen growers also attended, concerned about a new proposal that limits the application of pesticides during school hours.

Randol White

Voter registration in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties is at an all-time high. 

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