San Luis Obispo County

Central Coast residents concerned with protecting the area's coastal live oak trees are joining forces in the coming days to stop the spread of a serious disease. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has been a problem in California for years, but now scientists have tools to track—and possibly slow—its spread.

Volunteers play a crucial role in this process, according to Lauren Brown, a trainer with the 2015 Spring SOD Blitz, a campaign aimed at mapping the location and status of trees throughout the state.

Jessica Paterson

    

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R- San luis Obispo) will represent California on three committees-- one national, and two regional. 

He was appointed Friday by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D- San Diego) to help formulate policies on economic development, transportation, energy  and the environment.

Achadjian said he believes he was selected to serve on these committees because of his commitment to the issues represented.

He said his role will be to address the needs of our state while working with those representing others.

Flickr member Diana Parkhouse

San Luis Obispo County's housing market is among the hottest in the nation according to a new list published by Realtor.com and highlighted through ConsumerAffairs.

The rankings are based on home demand and speed of sale in the county's largest 200 markets. San Luis Obispo County landed at No. 13 behind Santa Cruz (No. 12) and just in front of Ventura County (No. 14).

Source: EMSI QCEW and non-QCEW Employment 2014.3

A jobs report released this month shows San Luis Obispo County is challenged when it comes to the number of high-paying positions available.

Last year, the SLO County Workforce Investment Board partnered with BW Research Partnership, Inc. to conduct a study on the local economy.

The report found the county has had a strong recovery in terms of total employment, exceeding the numbers of neighboring Central Coast counties.

Flickr member Fried Dough

Crops in San Luis Obispo County are dropping in value, likely a result of the ongoing drought according to statistics released Tuesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture says 2014's overall values dropped by two percent, year over year.

“Despite challenging drought and unusual weather during 2014, agriculture in San Luis Obispo County remains strong and is well in reach of achieving, in the near future, the $1 billion milestone in overall value”, said Ag Commissioner Martin Settevendemie.

Chris Meagher, Rep. Lois Capps

Just a day after announcing her planned retirement in 2016, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) visited San Luis Obispo County Thursday to meet with health officials about climate change.

A local nutrition program called Women, Infants, Children (WIC) is working climate change into its model. The WIC program gives vouchers for food and educates participants on healthy options.

Ty Safreno, Trust Automation

The specialized manufacturing sector of the San Luis Obispo County economy accounts for 2.27 percent of the jobs in the area, but according to number from the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), those jobs come with an average pay-scale higher then most other industries — $65,855.

While relatively small, the sector is growing. The latest numbers show it grew seven percent from 2008 to 2014.

GUESTS:

Ty Safreno, CEO and co-owner of Trust Automation, Inc., is the co-chair of EVC's Specialized Manufacturing Council.

Camp Hapitok website

Camp Hapitok, local camp for children with speech and language disorders, was expected to shut down this summer, but now may continue running. 

Recently, Friends of Hapitok announced the camp would have to shutter for the summer.

The problem was a county review found the camp's agreement opened the county up to liability issues. In order to be in compliance, the county needed to remove itself as the legal employer.

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County Facebook Page

One of the largest organizations to provide much needed meals to hungry people along the Central Coast, confirmed plans Thursday for a major change to its operation.

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County wants to shut down its facilities in Paso Robles and Oceano so that it can consolidate those operations into one larger warehouse that's centrally located.

Camp Hapitok website

Organizers of a summertime tradition for kids with speech and language disorders in San Luis Obispo County said that the camp won't happen this summer. 

Camp Hapitok has been hosting summer sessions for more than 40 years.

Dr. James Brescia is the County Superintendent of Schools and said that as he prepared to renew the annual agreement between the County and the organization,  he had the relationship reviewed by legal counsel.

Cuesta College

The organization that determines whether community colleges in the West are competent to teach students is clearing San Luis Obispo County's Cuesta College for the next six years.

The news is a relief for the institution, that in recent years hasn't always seen such favorable reviews.

The college has been working to maintain it's accreditation since 2008, when it was first placed on probation.

Flickr member: Fried Dough

The latest annual report from the American Lung Association shows smoking on the Central Coast is still a problem in many communities.

The report gives mixed grades for Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Not a single city got an "A" grade, but Carpinteria and San Luis Obispo got B grades, as did unincorporated Santa Barbara County.

Vanessa Marvin is a senior director with the Lung Association and says there's still a lot of work to be done by many of the other the area's other communities.

San Luis Obispo County is the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco making it a primary spot for human trafficking within the state. The FBI recently named California a primary destination for human trafficking. Reporter Jordan Bell speaks with Assistant District Attorney, Lee Cunningham, Director of the Victim/Witness Unit, Debbie Vallely and Rebecca Turner with Mountainbrook Community Church about their organizations' efforts to combat human trafficking in the county.

USGS 'Did You Feel It?' Map

A light-to-moderate earthquake hit the Central Coast this morning with people throughout Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties reporting to have felt it. 

The 4.4 temblor struck along the San Andreas Fault east of Greenfield and Soledad.

The quake was also felt in the Central Valley areas of Fresno, Madera and Visalia.

No damage has been reported.

Gordon Hensley - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Volunteers are set to record thousands of images of the California Coast next week as the highest tides of the year are expected to hit the area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The volunteers are part of an effort to help people visualize how sea level rise will impact the lives of coastal Californians. It's called the California King Tides Project, and Central Coast representatives are on board to help document the event.

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