News Briefs

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

August 12, 2021

Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Releases Annual Report 

The Measure L Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee released its 2020 Annual Report, which was presented and accepted by the San Luis Obispo County Community College Board of Trustees at their June meeting. 

Measure L is a $275 million general obligation bond voted on by San Luis Obispo County voters in November 2014 that authorizes funding for new construction projects, needed repairs, and upgrades. The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee is an independent group of community members tasked with reviewing expenditure reports and ensuring that the District expends bond proceeds for the purposes set forth by Measure L. 

The committee reviewed the Independent Auditor’s Report for the financial statements of the general obligation bonds and a Performance Audit Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. It concluded that the District “has properly accounted for the expenditures held in the General Obligation Bond Fund (Measure L) and that such expenditures were made for authorized bond projects.” 

“The future looks bright for the San Luis Obispo County Community College District with facilities improved to provide a quality education and life experience,” said committee chair Dr. Gil Stork. “The contribution of Cuesta College to the county is enormous, and the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee is proud to be part of this most beneficial program.” 

The report provides project updates, including the completion of the R & B Shultz Early Childhood Education Building on the North County campus, road improvements, and upgrades to ADA compliance, HVAC, roofing, and technology. Upcoming bond projects include a new campus center on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo campus and conceptual design and construction of new signage and wayfinding for the District. 

“Cuesta College continues to champion student success through its improvement of District facilities, increasing our ability to provide a safe and technology forward learning environment for all students,” said Cuesta College Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns. 

Find out more about Measure L updates and information at cuestacollegebond.info.

Healthcare Board Approves Mandatory Vaccinations for Employees

The Cambria Community Healthcare District Board has approved mandatory vaccinations for all employees.

“With the recent increases in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, the urgency to ensure safe work environment was paramount to their decision,” said Mike McDonough, CCHD administrator in a press release. 

The new policy states that workers, as a condition of employment, must be vaccinated by September 30, 2021, unless they file and exemption for medical or religious reasons. Those who are exempted must wear a mask when around others and be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

“The District leadership emphasizes that the professionals who staff our ambulances are well trained and equipped to continue in providing a safe and effective service,” McDonough said. “The residents and visitors in our community should never hesitate to call 911 in an emergency.

The District operates an Advanced Life Support ambulance (ALS) service, owns a professional medical building and provides community health education.

LOCSD Committee Vacancies 

The Los Osos Community Services District Board of Directors is looking for two qualified individuals to fill vacancies on the Utilities Advisory Committee. People with experience in the water and/or drainage field who want to join a dynamic committee working on important issues facing the community, should consider submitting an application.

The application form is located on the losososcsd.org website. Applications can be submitted to the Los Osos Community Services District office, 2122 9th Street, Suite 110, Los Osos, or emailed to ldurban@losososcsd.org or mailed to P.O. Box 6064, Los Osos, California 93412.

Final Plaza Pop-Up In SLO is Colorful

Art at Mission Plaza

Six brightly colored, imaginative structures adorn Mission Plaza throughout August as the final installation this season in the city’s Plaza Pop-Up series that began in April.

“This Plaza Pop-Up series has exceeded all expectations,” said Molly Cano, City of SLO tourism manager. “We are so grateful to have supported five cultural nonprofits and to have worked with the talent at local company, Karson Butler Events, to create unique installations for the community to enjoy all summer long.”

The SLO County Arts Council tapped local artist, SHAHRZAD, to produce the whimsical installation, “Untitled VI” as part of August’s city-sponsored featured cultural nonprofit. SHAHRZAD conceived the idea for the eccentric structures from digital symbolism, Zoroastrian superstition, and Instagram pop-up culture with the intention of creating a space of fantasy in the heart of San Luis Obispo.

The six sculptures—including a hand, flame, “evil eye”, squiggle, rainbow and smiley face —vary in height from four to six feet. The large, colorful figures are juxtaposed by the hard, industrial materials they are made from including 600 pounds of hydrocal and 1,000 feet of quarter-inch steel rod—meant to express the collective contradiction of emotions experienced over the past year and a half exacerbated by the pandemic and global social unrest.

“Before a person enters the space, these structures are just symbols of my artistry—defined by a Persian-ness, a Zoroastrian superstition, and an obsession with the Internet,” said SHAHRZAD. “But as community members share space with the installation, I hope our energies meld and for a moment, we can live like children, curiously together.“

The artist drew inspiration for the pieces from her heritage and identity as a first generation, mixed, Iranian-American. Her middle name, SHAHRZAD, is a nod to the infamous storyteller from Persian folklore. In honor of her namesake, SHAHRZAD, as an artist, uses sculpture installation, and her body to create immersive environments that serve as a narrative describing contradictions and characteristics of personal identity through time, ritual and familial history. Though this installation marks the end of the Plaza Pop-Up series, it also coincides with the return of Downtown SLO’s 25th Annual Concerts in the Plaza. The free community concert series runs every Friday until mid-September.

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