San Luis Obispo County

SLO County's chief administrative officer resigns

May 12, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The top administrator of San Luis Obispo County announced his resignation Friday. Dan Buckshi accepted a new job as the next city manager of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A legal settlement this week will make it harder for the Trump administration to open federally-owned public lands to oil and gas development, particularly on the Central Coast.

Local government roundup: 05/01/17

May 1, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

Wikimedia commons/Marya Figueroa

Hearings start Wednesday morning in San Francisco for Pacific Gas and Electric’s request to retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. PG&E representatives will go before the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to ask for permission to decommission the plant, as well as approval of a joint agreement PG&E made between San Luis Obispo County and several cities, a school district, labor unions and environmental groups.

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. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A 60-year-old inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Jail died in the early morning hours Thursday. It’s the second irregular inmate death since the start of the year and it prompted San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson to call a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce he has initiated an outside investigation into the in-custody death. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

It’s been several months since the Wonderful Company and its Justin Vineyards clear cut an oak woodland forest on its land near Paso Robles. That clear-cutting touched off a furor of public outcry, and prompted San Luis Obispo County officials to enact a temporary ban on oak cutting.

On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a permanent oak ordinance designed to prevent such large-scale oak felling in the future. 

Thursday the San Luis Obispo local agency formation commission - better known as LAFCO - voted in favor of an application to form a new water district in the Paso Robles Area. In a five-to-two vote, the LAFCO commissioners approved the formation of the Estrella-El Pomar-Creston Water District, or EPC for short.

LAFCO

The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission, better known as LAFCO, voted Thursday in favor of an application to form a new new, 40,000-acre water district in the Paso Robles area.

In a 3-2 vote, the San Luis Obispo County Supervisors opted Tuesday evening to reaffirm a contentious policy change made in early March, when the board majority designated the county as the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the San Luis Obispo County groundwater basins.  

Greta Mart/KCBX

The future of garbage disposal  - and energy production  - was on display Tuesday morning at the San Luis Garbage Company facility on San Luis Obispo’s Old Santa Fe Road. It was the official groundbreaking for a new project called an anaerobic digester plant. 

Los Osos Groundwater Basin 2015 Annual Report

San Luis Obispo county officials will hold a public hearing on the topic of groundwater basin management after a recent vote provoked allegations of Brown Act violations.

Matt Toevs

The San Luis Obispo County Coroner confirmed the victim of a fatal car crash Tuesday morning as 30-year-old Matthew Frank, widely known as the SLO Stringer. Many didn’t know his personal identity but his breaking news coverage was followed by tens of thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents. 

Paso Robles Groundwater Management Plan

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - passed into law in 2014 - for the first time requires organized management of the state's underground reservoirs of fresh water. It provides a framework for creating new governing agencies to do so,  and requires those agencies to create, maintain and enforce sustainable management plans.

Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan rejected once again

Mar 14, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

Opponents of the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project celebrated Tuesday after the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted three to one to deny the company’s appeal. 

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.

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. 

Cafe vibe, teen space at renovated SLO county library

Mar 6, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The main branch of the San Luis Obispo County library system reopened this weekend, after being closed since October for an $843,000 renovation.

Library Director Chris Barnickel says patrons can expect to see a third floor and an extra 1800 square feet added to the library. And, the updated first floor resembles a coffee shop, but without the coffee.

PG&E video still

Templeton resident Jordan Cunningham was elected to the California State Assembly in November. The Republican lawmaker represents the 35th District, which encompasses all of San Luis Obispo County and a portion of Santa Barbara County. The second bill he introduced since being elected, AB 457, calls for feasibility study on repurposing the existing desalination plant at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant as a public water supply. KCBX spoke with Cunningham in a recent phone interview about his ideas for the PG&E-owned nuclear power facility scheduled to be decommissioned starting in 2025. 

Tess Whittlesey

Central Coast congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) held a town hall meeting in Arroyo Grande Wednesday evening, attracting hundreds of people. KCBX asked Carbajal his reaction to the meeting and the most prevalent concerns voiced there.

“The most pressing concerns I heard last night were the concerns of repealing the Affordable Care Act, especially the attempts to repeal it without replacing it,” Carbajal said.

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

January’s extreme rainfall — though a welcome blessing for many— posed a serious problem for San Luis Obispo county’s homeless community. 

Greta Mart

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has declared a countywide state of emergency due to damages from weeks of stormy weather. 

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges against John Wallace, a former county administrator.

Phillips 66

A date has been set for appeal hearings in the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan. In early March, county officials will revisit a proposal by the oil company to build a rail line extension from the company’s Nipomo Mesa Refinery to the main rail line.

Piedras Blancas now a national monument

Jan 12, 2017
Wilderness Society

On Thursday, President Obama included Piedras Blancas in an expansion of the California Coastal National Monument.

Flikr User David K


The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition is celebrating its first anniversary.

Of the 58 counties in California, San Luis Obispo ranks in the top third in opioid abuse and prescribes over a quarter more opioid-based medication than the California average. The Coalition was formed last January to fight against growing opioid abuse in San Luis Obispo County.

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.

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