7:47 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Pismo Beach City Council does away with prayer at meetings

Prayer will no longer be a part of Pismo Beach City Council meetings following a unanimous vote last night by the three council members in attendance.

The decision resolves a lawsuit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and a member of Atheists United SLO asking the city to end the practice.

The Pismo Beach city manager says the council's move was made to avoid a costly trial using taxpayer funds. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees of $47,500. In addition, the position of city chaplain was abolished.

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6:45 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

RTA and homeless shelter land purchase moving forward

Plans are in the works for an RTA facility and homeless shelter at 40 Prado Road in San Luis Obispo.
Credit Google Street View

Plans to buy nearly 10 acres of land at 40 Prado Road in San Luis Obispo as a site for a local homeless shelter and transit facility now have the financial backing to move forward.

The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) agreed to fund more than $1.5 million toward the purchase price, or 68 percent of it.

The city and county will provide the additional $715,000 allowing the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) to make the purchase.

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2:51 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Santa Barbara County settles sexual harassment case

Santa Barbara County has paid $30,000 to a former search and rescue volunteer who said she was sexually harassed by former undersheriff Jim Peterson.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted in closed session Tuesday to settle the issue with Valerie Walston, county counsel Mike Ghizzoni told KCBX on Wednesday.

The agreement requires Walston drop all current or future claims related to this matter against the county and its employees. It does not however affect any possible personnel action the county could still take against Peterson.

6:21 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Controversial 'Glove Law' faces likely change

A worker at Gus's Grocery on Osos and Leff Streets in San Luis Obispo puts on a latex glove to prepare a sandwich.
Credit Shannan Baumann

California restaurants and bars may be in luck after a unanimous vote last week in favor of Assembly Bill 2130.

The bill is an amendment to the Retail Food Safety Bill, commonly referred to as the "Glove Law," which went into effect this January. According to Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who wrote the initial legislation and the bill in consideration, the law was intended to be a non-controversial update to the existing food safety code.

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11:06 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Santa Maria City Council votes to move forward with ICE facilty

Location for the proposed ICE facility in Santa Maria.
Credit Google Maps

A special session of the Santa Maria City Council drew an estimated 1200 people to the Fairpark on Thursday, ending with a 3-2 vote in favor of moving forward with the planning department's recommendation for the development of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.

The session ran roughly from 3 - 11:00 p.m. with a strong protest presence against relocating the ICE office within Santa Maria.

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6:24 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Special meeting in Santa Maria to consider ICE facility

The Santa Maria City Council is holding a special meeting Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at the Fairpark to consider plans for a federal immigration facility which has sparked outrage among many of the city's residents.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement—or ICE as the federal agency is called—wants to move its regional processing operations to a new facility in Santa Maria. The planning commission gave its approval for the location back in February in the midst of large community protests.

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7:26 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden in Santa Barbara through Saturday afternoon

Vice President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
Credit Oscar Flores - Twitter @oflores

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit the Central Coast on Friday and Saturday. He and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, met with teachers from the Santa Barbara Unified School District immediatly after landing at the Santa Barbara airport.

The Vice President is scheduled to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner in Montecito on Friday night. It's a gathering of just 25 people at $5000-a-plate, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

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6:42 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Longtime Morro Bay Mayor Bill Yates dead at 66

Morro Bay harbor
Credit Randol White

City flags in Morro Bay were lowered to half staff Thursday in honor of former mayor Bill Yates, who passed away Wednesday night at the age of 66.

"It's a sad day at City Hall," said City Clerk Jamie Boucher. "He will be missed."

Yates served four terms as mayor for the San Luis Obispo County coastal city, starting his first two terms in 1992. He held the post again from 2002-04, and most recently from 2010-12.

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6:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Amendments to Paso Robles water management plan move forward

A vineyard in the Paso Robles wine growing region.
Credit Flickr member goingslo

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday afternoon to move forward with beefing up the Paso Robles Water Management Plan.

Only Supervisor Debbie Arnold, part of whose district would be affected, voted against the plan. Arnold says she'd prefer to wait until more studies are complete.

Supervisor Frank Mecham, whose district is also affected, voted in favor saying he wants to be pro-active and doesn't want to "kick the can down the road anymore."

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6:22 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Arrests made during Vandenberg AFB peace rally

Peace activist Dennis Apel being taken into custody during a rally at the entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Credit Brad Wormdal, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

A couple of arrests were made Friday afternoon at an international peace vigil being held at the entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Longtime Central Coast peace activist Dennis Apel and Salinas-based peace activist MacGreggor Eddy were the two people taken into custody by military police, according to event organizer Bruce Gagnon with the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

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5:19 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Drought Emergency declared by SLO County Supervisors

San Luis Obispo County is among the driest areas of California, with nearly the entire area in a D4 "Exceptional Drought" status.
Credit Randol White

An official "drought emergency" has been declared by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday's vote was unanimous. 

The declaration could make the application process for federal aid easier for farmers, ranchers, and other water-dependent individuals.

District Three Supervisor Adam Hill says, while the vote was a formality, it does signal an on-going effort by the supervisors to tackle this problem.

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6:19 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

SLO leaders must decide how to handle binding arbitration

An administrative law judge says the City of San Luis Obispo needs to reverse course and bring back binding arbitration for the city's police and firefighter unions.

Back in 2011, nearly 3-out-of-4 voters approved Measure B, which put an end to the arbitation practice. Voters also created the binding arbitration method back in 2000.

The judge says the city didn't follow proper procedure before putting the issue back on the ballot with Measure B. The City Council will meet in closed session this Monday to discuss options, including an appeal.

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6:42 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

How Assemblyman Achadjian sees Paso's proposed water district

Grapes growing in the Paso Robles area.
Credit Flickr member Dan'o

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho   Achadjian says he is still working on the language for a bill to create a Paso Robles Water Management District.

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4:41 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Green light for move to divide California into six states

"West California" (in blue) would consist of SLO, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and LA Counties.
Credit KQED - cropped from original

  A Silicon Valley venture capitalist who believes California has become too large to manage received word Wednesday from Secretary of State Debra Bowen that he may begin circulating his voter petition to split up the state.

The proponent for the measure, Tim Draper, must collect signatures from eight percent of the state's registered voters by mid-July in order for his initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. He launched his measure back in December.

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Civil Rights
12:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

NAACP – A History

Founded over 100-years ago, the NAACP is seen as a vanguard civil rights organization.  But this institution was not the first to devote its efforts to advancing the cause of racial justice, as we learn from professor Susan Carle in her book, Defining the Struggle.

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