Santa Barbara County

Pride comes to Santa Maria

Aug 11, 2017
Courtesy of Audy Macdonald

The Santa Maria LGBTQ community is celebrating its first ever Pride event this weekend. 

Update: Alamo Fire 100% contained

Jul 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire

The Alamo Fire burned for two weeks near the Twitchell Dam east of Santa Maria. On Thursday, CalFire reported firefighters have totally contained the blaze and will spend the next few weeks mopping up. The fire destroyed 45 square miles of oak woodland and one home.

Vegetation fire ignites on Foxen Canyon Road

Jul 18, 2017
David Zaniboni/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 7/18/17 11 A.M.: As of Tuesday morning, 40 percent of the wildfire is contained, as firefighters held back the flames from burning more than 40 acres. Foxen Canyon Road is open.

UPDATE 7/17/17 6 P.M.: Forward motion on the fire stopped at 35 acres. 

Greta Mart

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is encouraging those who have six or more cannabis plants for non-personal use to register the plants online.

The county says it would use the information to collect data for future studies. The registry program asks people to provide information on the scale of their past cannabis growth and plans for the future. 

Wikimedia Commons/Ixitixel

The commercial strawberry crops grown in Santa Barbara County were worth almost a half a billion dollars last year alone. That’s according to the 2016 Crop Report, released Monday by the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. The report lists the acreage, yield and gross dollar value of each of the county's crops.

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. 

Courtesy of Ashley Spratt/USFWS

Friday marked the anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill. On May 19, 2015, a two-foot-diameter underground pipeline named Line 901 ruptured near Santa Barbara County’s Refugio State Beach. By the time the line was shut off, over 100,000 gallons of crude oil spilled over coastal bluffs and into the ocean. It took hundreds of workers more than two months to clean up - at a cost of over $100 million dollars. 

Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

The deadline for Isla Vista voters to cast their ballot in that district’s May 9 special election is Tuesday at 8 p.m. The all-mail ballot election is for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

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

Bree Zender

Although the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians succeeded in their efforts to fold the 'Camp 4' property into the Chumash reservation through a federal land trust, opponents throughout the Santa Ynez Valley continue to oppose it.

Bree Zender/KCBX

Residents in the Santa Ynez Valley are holding a public meeting Thursday to discuss their efforts to block the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians from annexing property into the tribe’s reservation. 

Trenton Ulysses Rock/Flickr

New residents and property owners in Isla Vista, in Santa Barbara County, have until midnight to register to vote for the May 9 special election. The election is an all-mail ballot for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

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. 

Glenn Beltz/http://bit.ly/2onJwBU

The energy company Venoco announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company told the California State Lands Commission it no longer has the financial means to continue operating its oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel. 

http://bit.ly/2oW40GV

A Santa Barbara County grand jury determined a recent fee hike by the Laguna County Sanitation District was justified. The district provides sewer service to about 12,000 residential and business customers in Orcutt and unincorporated areas of Santa Maria.

The grand jury looked into the increase because service charges have increased by 87 percent since 2011. The independent jury came to the conclusion that all was above board after interviewing Santa Barbara County public works staff, reviewing paperwork and reports and visiting the sanitation district’s treatment plant. 

Some cities around California and the country have been declaring themselves as sanctuary cities, claiming a type of social and seemingly lawful refuge from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents. Last week the Soledad City Council voted unanimously to officially establish the city as a safe haven. But other cities, and police departments, are more concerned with the safety of all than political assertions.

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. 

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:

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.

http://bit.ly/2gUrq87

Central Coast farmworkers are invited to a town hall meeting Monday night in Santa Maria. Santa Barbara County supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal are hosting the meeting, and they say the public workshop is intended to be a space for farmworkers to “air grievances” and describe living and working conditions in the area’s agricultural industry.

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. 

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was preparing to file supplemental court papers later this month, after a federal judge this week blocked any new fracking on BLM land in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and other Central California counties.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from St. Vincent de Paul’s summer camp, Circle V Ranch Camp located just across the road from the entry to Santa Barbara County’s Lake Cachuma Park.

Thomas Wilmer

 Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from St. Vincent de Paul’s summer camp, Circle V Ranch Camp located just across the road from the entry to Lake Cachuma County Park. The summer camp is dedicated to serving kids from the California Central Coast and Los Angeles.

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