Estero Bay News Briefs 11-30-2023

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.

December 4, 2023

County Grant to Educate Young Drivers

The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Department received a $113,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to increase education among young adults around responsible and safe driving. The Department’s Prevention & Outreach Division will use the funds to raise awareness about the risks of impaired, distracted, and unsafe driving.

The Youth Traffic Safety Initiative grant will allow funding through September 2024 to support:  

• Ongoing training and presentations to middle, high school, and college students focusing on alcohol and drug impaired, distracted, and unsafe driving.  

• Educational campaigns focused on impaired and distracted driving, especially during major national traffic safety events such as Winter Mobilization Month, Superbowl, National Distracted Driving Awareness, Summer Mobilization National Teen Safe Driving Week.  

• Outreach at local high-traffic events including high school rallies, Cal Poly Rodeo, community farmers markets, California Mid-State Fair, and local health fairs to increase awareness around safe driving practices.  

• Needs and Wishes Fundraiser Dec. 9

• On Saturday, December 9, the 18th Annual Needs ‘n Wishes Holiday Fundraiser takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Avenue, Los Osos.

• Watch the Chamber of Commerce’s Los Osos Christmas Parade, then visit with Santa, enjoy free cookies, refreshments, and entertainment.  Shop at Santa’s Toy Store, Mrs. Claus Bake Shop, and bid on our huge silent auction. Be sure to get a bite to eat at Rudolph’s Kitchen and save up your spare change to fill the 2-gallon water jug.

• The event is sponsored by the South Bay Seniors – People Helping People

• to benefit 40 Prado Homeless Shelter Services Center – SLO Noor Clinic, a free health clinic for the uninsured and underinsured.

• Readers who would like to make a monetary donation, cans make out a check to People Helping People and designate Needs, N Wishes in the memo section. Mail to P.O. Box 6721, Los Osos Ca, 93442.  The first $8,000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar.  Every penny goes to Prado and SLO Noor Clinic.  

• For more information, call 805 528-5800. 

Low Income Housing in SLO Could Spread

The City of San Luis Obispo and its partners were recently awarded a $400,000 award to create a community-led concierge service called SLO Green and Healthy Homes — a program that officials say, “will expand over time and the lessons learned can then be used by other communities in California and throughout the nation.” 

SLO Green and Healthy Homes will help low-income building owners who want to improve their homes by investing in energy-efficient upgrades, solar panels, and high-efficiency electric appliances.

“Federal and state funds to promote energy improvements are heavily focused on low-income homeowners and, in our community, that primarily means mobile and manufactured homeowners. These improvements have the potential to provide cleaner indoor air, provide access to air conditioning, and stabilize energy bills,” said Chris Read, sustainability manager.

The program will initially focus on serving the over 1,400 mobile and manufactured homes in the community and will eventually expand to serve the entire community in the hopes of helping the City reach its climate action goal of communitywide carbon neutrality by 2035. The success of the program could see other communities implementing the process.

“There are historic levels of federal, state, and regional funding available to support building energy retrofits,” a news release said. “However, accessing these funding sources is often complicated and time consuming for many community members. The Department of Energy funding will support the City and its partners CAPSLO (Community Action Partnership of SLO County) and the Diversity Coalition of SLO County as they seek to create a program that will simplify access to the multiple funding resources.”

For more information, visit

Cuesta Inlet, Challenges Remain

Save Cuesta Inlet Inc, the non-profit organization seeking the transfer of the privately owned Cuesta Inlet to the public domain, has reason to cheer, but work still needs to be done.

The groups fundraising efforts have now approached $200,000, but well below the price tag of the 13-acre property, which was put up for sale for one million dollars. Funds were gathered over the last year and a half from more than 200 donors throughout the region.

The inlet to the Morro Bay National Estuary has been enjoyed for decades by area hikers, kayakers, birders, and others who appreciate a quiet space to take in the central coast’s beauty. It was created in the 1950s when the owners at that time dredged the marshland in an attempt to develop it for residences or vacation homes with bay access. 

The proposed development never came to fruition and the land has remained vacant.

“Save Cuesta Inlet has been working with the property’s multiple owners, along with grantors, government agencies and conservancies that have expressed strong interest in the purchase and transfer of the land for public use,” said SCI representatives. “Towards that end, Save Cuesta Inlet had the property appraised and is seeking to have it purchased for the appraised amount consistent with IRS guidelines that limit government agencies and non-profit organizations to paying no more than the appraised value.”

The current appraisal value of $700,000, is less than the $1,000,000 asking price and all five of the private parties who own the land must agree to the sale price, negotiations are continuing. It is the fervent hope of Save Cuesta Inlet, its donors and thousands of Los Osos and area residents that a deal can be reached. 

To learn more about the effort to Save Cuesta Inlet, including historic photos, maps, and an FAQ, go to

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