Monterey County

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. 

KCBX News, Randol White

Audio Pending...

It's no surprise that housing on the Central Coast is expensive making it hard for young people to afford to live here and for businesses to attract and retain a solid workforce. 

CDC - James Gathany

The first Zika virus case on the Central Coast was reported recently in Monterey County. 

Cal Fire Twitter: video credit - Keith Vandevere

UPDATE: July 26, 2016 at 12:43 p.m.

Air patterns over California's Central Coast are pushing smoke from Monterey County's Soberanes Fire south into San Luis Obispo County, initiating an Air Quality Alert on Tuesday.

Flickr member: Dylan's World

The City of Salinas is the latest Monterey County city to pass an ordinance on how marijuana can be grown and sold.

Monterey County Water Resources Agency

One of the biggest Central Coast water projects in decades is moving forward along the San Luis Obispo-Monterey County line.

Randol White, KCBX News

Home prices are on the rise along the Central Coast according to the latest numbers reflecting the local real estate market. 

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