cal coast news

The governor signed into law a pair of bills from a Santa Barbara County legislator intended to improve the ability to deal with oil and gas production accidents.

The governor signed into law a bill by a Ventura County legislator intended to give community college students a better chance at success.

AB 705 tries to better target which students need remedial classes, and which don’t. Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks says up until now, too many students were being forced to take the remedial classes who really didn’t need them. Irwin says in many cases, the unnecessary classes serve as a roadblock to graduation because of the extra time, and costs involved.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department narcotics detectives say it was a huge year for raids on large scale illegal marijuana operations in the county, with more than half a billion dollars in plants seized.

County investigators working with state and federal law enforcement officers confiscated 130,000 marijuana plants during the last five months in the Los Padres National Forest.

The governor signed into law a bill by a state senator from Santa Barbara to monitor and cap some abandoned, and potentially leaky oil wells off the California coast.

Governor Brown signed SB 44, the Coastal Oil Well Cleanup and Remediation Act. It requires the State Lands Commission to catalog and plug so-called “orphan” wells off the coast, and provides two million dollars annually from state mineral leases to pay for the effort.

Would Ventura County residents being willing to pay a special tax to help buy, and preserve more land in the county as open space?

Ventura County Supervisors Tuesday are set to look at a proposal intended to help answer how county residents feel about that idea.

He was an artistic, and scientific genius centuries ahead of his time. Leonardo da Vinci’s name has become synonymous with creativity.

An internationally acclaimed journalist who’s written biographies about some of the leading figures in history has written a new book about the legendary artist and scientist.  Biographer Walter Isaacson is coming to the South Coast for a free lecture and book giveaway this weekend, in advance of his new book's release next week.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for the mountains and valleys of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, with an increased brush fire danger for the region.

There’s been wind in the 40 to 50 mile an hour range for parts of the region, with a 75 mile an hour gust recorded on South Mountain, above Santa Paula. National Weather Service forecasters say they think the strongest wind occurred Monday afternoon, and that it will ease overnight.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley)

It was a spectacular sight. A rocket carrying 10 communication satellites was successfully launched from Santa Barbara County early Monday morning.

A South Coast man has a musical career more than half a century old, starting as the lead singer on some of the most recognizable pop music songs from the 1960’s.

“I’m Henry the 8th, I am,” and “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter ” are some of the hits by the British pop “Herman’s Hermits.” The band may be from the UK, but its lead singer, Peter Noone has called the Santa Barbara area home for more than 30 years, and this week is hosting a big charity concert.

(NRG image)

There’s a major development in the controversy over a proposal to build a new power plant in Oxnard, with a state committee reviewing the project saying it will recommend its denial.

Two members of the California Energy Commission say they feel the Puente Power Project is inconsistent with multiple regulatory guidelines, and that it would create significant unmitigable environmental impacts.

(Iridum image)

Preparations are underway for the launch of a cluster of communication satellites from Santa Barbara County.

SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Mondya morning. The rocket has a payload of 10 Iridum satellites.

They are part of a 66 satellite network being launched into low earth orbits to form a three billion dollar cutting edge communications network.

The launch is set for 5:37 a.m. Monday, so if weather conditions permit, it should be visible along much of the Central and South Coasts.

There’s an increased brush fire threat for parts of the Central and South Coasts Friday, with gusty wind and a spike in temperatures.

A Red Flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for Ventura, and Los Angeles County Mountains, with wind from 15-25 miles an hour, and potential gusts topping 40 miles an hour.

There’s a Red Flag Watch for the mountains of San Luis Obispo County, as well as for the Cuyama Valley.

(NPS Photo)

There’s been yet another mountain lion death in our region.

The remains of a mountain lion known to researchers as P-41 were found in the Verdugo Mountains northwest of Burbank. Biologists think his death may be related to the recent La Tuna brush fire in the area, because when mountain lions burn their paws on hot ground, they are unable to hunt.

A necropsy has been scheduled on the carcass of the 10 year old big cat. Biologists have been tracking a number of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

(Photo by Jesse Michener)

It’s one of the best know, and most honored programs on public radio.

“This American Life” is a mix of journalism, essays, and sometimes even a little comedy. If you’re a regular listener, you know it doesn’t fit into a simple category, other than to say it’s a unique venture into storytelling even in the world of public radio, which is known for its in-depth stories.

Ira Glass is the creator, and host of the program.  He's set to bring his new multimedia show to Santa Barbara this weekend.

KCLU’s Lance Orozco talks with the Peabody Award winning journalist about his career, and the evolution of the show.

The largest city on the Central Coast has announced its new City Manager will come from within its ranks.

The City of Santa Maria is promoting current Assistant City Manager Jason Stillwell to City Manager. Stillwell has worked in city and county government for 25 years, and has been Assistant City Manager for the last two years.

He’ll succeed Rick Haydon, who is retiring in December. Haydon had been with the city for more than 20 years, including the last six as City Manager.

They once roamed the West Coast from Oregon to Mexico, until fur hunters decimated their population, driving them close to extinction.

For the last 40 years, the Southern Sea Otter has been trying to make a comeback, and they are close to being taken off the federally "threatened" list. But now nature, in the form of shark attacks, is hampering their efforts.

The shock over the Las Vegas rampage continues to hit home in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, with word that four more people from our region are among the dead, bringing the local total to five.

(Vista Elementary PTA Facebook)

It’s a scene which is happening all over the country. Shocked people are trying to comfort each other, as they learn that a family member, a friend, or a college is among the hundreds of victims of the Las Vegas rampage.

The news was as bad as it gets at Vista Elementary School, in Simi Valley. The school’s longtime office manager, Susan Smith, was among those who died as a result of the shooting.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

It now looks like it will be Tuesday before we see full containment of a 400 acre plus brush fire on the Central Coast.

The Rucker fire started Friday northeast of Lompoc, forcing evacuations and threatening homes during its first few hours. Firefighters stopped the flames before they could reach houses. They had been hoping for full containment Sunday, but flareups and wind have pushed back expected total containment twice.

Firefighters think the series of blazes which made up what was known as the Rucker fire were caused by an issue with a passing vehicle.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are hoping to get full containment Saturday of a series of fires which have burned 600 acres of brush northeast of Lompoc.

What’s called the Rucker Fire forced a number of evacuations, and threatened a number of homes and other structures.

A series of blazes was reported near Purisma Road and Harris Grade just after 2 p.m. Friday. The fast moving blazes prompted a number of evacuation orders, but firefighters stopped the flames, and all evacuations were cancelled by around eight Friday night.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Santa Barbara County firefighters continue to battle a string of brush fire in the northern part of the county, which have prompted evacuations.

The trio of fires began at around 2 p.m. Friday near La Purisima and Rucker Roads near Lompoc, and have charred about 300 acres of land.

Some 250 firefighters aided by nearly a dozen air tankers and helicopters are fighting the wind-whipped blazes.

The governor signed into law a bill from a Santa Barbara County legislator intended to give healthcare providers full access to someone’s medical records in an emergency.

AB 1119 gives emergency care providers the ability to look at records when the person involved isn’t able to give consent. Medical staff will be able to look at previous diagnoses and prescription histories to allow them to make better informed care decisions.

It’s a beautiful, undeveloped slice of land in the mountains above Carpinteria,  There are rare plants, and incredible views in what’s called Hay Hill, in the Toro Canyon area.

Now, through a unique deal, more than 80 acres of this property will be preserved forever.

(Cal Fire photo)

Firefighters are working towards full containment of a Central Coast brush fire which caused a scare earlier this week.

The Poly Fire, in the hills near Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is now at 105 acres burned, and 90% containment.

Two residence halls were evacuated shortly after the fire was discovered Tuesday afternoon, but no buildings

(UCSB Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences)

It can be something larger than life right in front of us but we don’t see it at first.

A new UC Santa Barbara study concludes we sometimes miss seeing things in plain sight because their size doesn’t conform with what we expect to see. The research is part of an effort to help us understand how we as humans conduct visual searches.

(Ventura County Fire Department)

One teacher and four students at a Ventura County elementary school were hurt when a huge limb from an elm tree on campus suddenly fell Monday afternoon.

It happened just after one p.m. at Topa Topa Elementary School in Ojai.

Ventura County Fire Department officials say the tree was in a playground area, and there were people around it when the limb fell without warning. One adult, and one student were seriously injured, while the other three injuries suffered lesser injuries.

Health officials on the Central and South Coasts say the Hepatitis A outbreak which has hit parts of the state hasn’t hit in our region, but they are taking some precautionary steps anyway.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, which many called “The Great War.” An estimated 16 million people died over a four year period.

Time has caught up with those who fought in World War I.  They are all gone. And, the same thing is happening to their children, who are now in their late 80’s and 90’s.  A Ventura County college class studying World War I is getting some of those stories from some of the surviving relatives.

Authorities are trying to figure out what led to a riot at a Central Coast prison which left one inmate dead, and a second seriously injured.

A disturbance broke out at around 11 a.m. Sunday at the California Men’s Colony East Facility. More than 150 inmates were involved in the fight at the medium security state prison near San Luis Obispo.

(ULA photo)

A postponed launch of a military satellite from the Central Coast has been rescheduled for Saturday night.