Reports focusing on the latest political news and trends along California's Central Coast.

San Ysidro Ranch

Voters in Santa Barbara County will likely have a say this November on whether to raise a tax aimed at tourists to the area. 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his wife Jane, gesture at supporters as they take a walk in New York's Times Square, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer / AP

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire. Learn more about PolitiFact California.

Every April, the townspeople of Lindsay pack the pews of a local church, as fathers in cowboy boots proudly escort their daughters down the aisle. They’re the college-bound young women elected as the Orange Blossom Festival Queen and her court. This year, they’re all young women of color.

Queen Angela Bolaños says that’s a sea change from a time when the royal court was almost always made up of white farmers’ daughters.

California Counts: What do you want to ask our US Senate candidates?

Apr 15, 2016

In the months leading up to California's primary election, we've been closely following our state's U.S. Senate campaign. 

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is retiring, and our partner station, KPBS in San Diego, will host a live debate May 10 with the top four candidates running to replace her. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Duf Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro will answer questions on the economy, immigration, health care, crime and policing.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in the Bronx borough of New York.

Frank Franklin II / AP

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire. Learn more about PolitiFact California.

 The effort to mobilize voters to go to the polls is a grueling process. Over Spring Break, the Sacramento State Civic Engagement Center took high school and college students door-to-door to register voters in one of Sacramento's historically low voter turnout neighborhoods. 

Take a walk with some of the students.


During their spring break, high school students volunteer to hand out voter registration forms in South Sacramento on March 24, 2016. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio


Jae C. Hong / AP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens during a news conference as he is joined by individuals who identify themselves as family members of victims who were killed, Friday, July 10, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Jae C. Hong / AP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has picked a veteran GOP strategist to run his California campaign just weeks before vote-by-mail ballots go out, leaving his campaign with a lot of work to do in very little time.

Three of the five candidates on both sides of the aisle hail from New York in some way or another, so which candidate truly has a home court advantage is questionable.

But, demographics might offer a clue.

Historical and current U.S. Census data suggest that New York's demographics are unusual compared with other states that have already voted this primary season. No doubt, New Yorkers have their own state of mind, but, a few demographic trends help us understand the electorate.

A few things to watch:

1. Urban

Responding to criticisms over his state's controversial new law that voids cities' anti-discrimination rules protecting members of the LGBT community, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has issued an executive order that "seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination."

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio in Mexico, to the same position in the U.S., replacing the Vatican's ambassador who set up the pope's meeting with controversial Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis last fall.

The move had been anticipated since the exiting nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 earlier this year.

Go To The Tape: A Cheap, Easy Way To Prevent Blisters

Apr 12, 2016

Blisters are the bane of weekend hikers and Olympic marathoners alike. Stanford researchers say they've found a simple, cheap method to help prevent them.

That humble hero is paper surgical tape, which often costs less than a dollar and is sold at most any pharmacy.

Their study, published Monday in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, found that the paper tape reduced the instance of blisters by 40 percent.

It Took a Village; Building Childcare

Apr 12, 2016
Robbie Harris

What do you do when you live in a city that does not have enough Child Day Care Centers? You build one.  That’s what a group of volunteers and donors did in Radford, Virginia.

“We believe the model is replicable and can be done in other places.  Have we tried to do it in other places?  Not yet.  But it is possible to do.”

A Fitbit Saved His Life? Well, Maybe

Apr 12, 2016

Wearing a Fitbit?

If so, you already know that electronic fitness trackers can let you keep records on your smartphone of how many steps you've walked, how much you've slept, maybe your heart rate, or even where you've been.

But what can the gadget tell your doctor? A few things that are pretty useful, it turns out.

Scientists say they've figured out how to track down people they call "genetic superheroes."

These are people who remain healthy even though they were born with genetic mutations that would usually lead to devastating disorders.

If enough of these people can be identified and studied, the researchers hope they could yield important new insights into the causes of many genetic disorders and possibly lead to new ways to prevent or treat them.

All of Marisa Anderson's music has travelled thousands of miles. This is literally true — the Portland, Ore. guitarist spent her late teens and twenties walking across the United States — and it's one of her gifts as a musician. She revels in the journey, in the process that of getting from point A to point B.

Every writer knows the paralyzing terror of the blank page. For poet Tess Taylor, the antidote to fear came through farming.

Taylor is the author of Work & Days, a new volume of poetry inspired by her year spent working on a farm in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. She was there living alone in a cabin as part of a writer's residency, finishing her first book of verse, and "had nothing to do but write," she says. "The idea of facing the blank page for that much time really scared me."


King City is moving forward with its plans for a district elections system. Its part of an effort to make representation on the City Council more reflective of the town's neighborhoods. 

Ben Bradford / Capital Public Radio

They call to you from street corners or in front of the supermarket: Signature-gatherers, asking you to put your name down to help a measure qualify for the November ballot.

At a small folding table in the aisle of a mall, Roscoe Downey spreads out 11 different ballot initiatives.

"This one’s on a tax extension on those that make more than $250,000 that goes directly to our schools," Downey says. "Then I’ve got one on hospital compensation, where it limits what executives can make."

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire. Learn more about PolitiFact California.

Flickr member Ryosuke Yagi

Voters in Isla Vista will have a choice this November on whether they'd like to form their own local government. 

Andrew Harnik / AP

Bernie Sanders is catching up with Hillary Clinton in California’s Democratic presidential race. A new Field Poll out Friday morning shows Sanders trailing Clinton by six points, 47 percent to 41 percent, among likely Democratic primary voters. His deficit was 11 points back in January.   Another 12 percent are undecided with less than two months to go before California’s June 7th primary.  

Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo says the results suggest the Vermont senator’s attacks have hurt the former secretary of state.

SLOCOG / Caltrans

Plans are moving forward to put a San Luis Obispo County-wide, half-cent sales tax measure on the November 2016 ballot. 

Darron Birgenheier / Flickr

The June 7 California presidential primary is two months away, and it increasingly looks like the Golden State will play a key role in both parties' delegate chases. A new poll out Thursday shows Donald Trump leading the Republican race, but Ted Cruz isn't far behind.

The highly-respected Field Poll shows Donald Trump with 39 percent of likely Republican voters, Ted Cruz at 32 percent and John Kasich at 18 percent – with the final 11 percent undecided. That’s similar to other recent California polls.

Uber Forcing Democrats to Rethink Labor Rules

Apr 7, 2016

Organized labor has always counted on Democrats’ support for issues like raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave. But in the new gig economy, run on apps for companies like Uber and TaskRabbit, the very nature of work is changing. And the new tech-driven workplace could put some Democrats at odds with their friends in the labor movement.

At Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Centers in Oakland, 16-year-old Eric enjoys tending roses in a small patio.

“It don’t got a lot of roses yet but they’re growing,” he says. It could be a metaphor for his own life.

He just completed 60 days of residential addiction and mental health therapy instead of serving time at juvenile hall. We’re calling him “Eric” to protect his identity.

A year and half ago, he robbed a woman for her purse and phone.

Former President Bill Clinton raised a hot-button issue while stumping for his wife in Los Angeles this week: America’s mounting student loan debt.

Student debt in the United States has reached $1.3 trillion, which trails only the amount Americans owe on their mortgages. It’s often blamed for preventing young people from buying houses and cars, which fuels the country’s economy.

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Francisco Medina is one of the organizers of a project called Vote Allies that aims to pair nonvoters with voters. Medina made headlines last summer as one of two men without legal resident status who were appointed to city commissions in Huntington Park in Southern California. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Some Californians can vote, but don’t. Then there are others who would like to, but can’t.

Randol White

The City of Morro Bay wants to hear from local residents about whether a law regarding the storage of boats and RVs should be enforced or dropped from the books. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Big-time spending is expected in the fight over California’s ballot measures this election year.

One expert estimates campaigns could dole out nearly a half billion dollars to influence the fate of the dozen or more initiatives expected on the November ballot.

San Luis Obispo County

  • Host: Brian Reynolds
  • Guest: Whitney Szentesi

View the San Luis Obispo County 2015 Annual Report online