Estero Bay News Briefs 2-15-2024

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.

February 16, 2024

The 2024 Primary Election is underway 

Vote-by-Mail ballots have been distributed and citizens can make their voice count by depositing them for free at the following library locations by March 5:

North County – Atascadero; Santa Margarita; Shandon libraries

South County– Arroyo Grande; Nipomo; Oceano libraries

North Coast – Cambria; Cayucos; Los Osos; Morro Bay libraries

More election information can be found at slocounty.ca.gov under Departments then Clerk Recorder.

Calling All Garden Lovers

Mark your calendars because the Morro Bay Garden Tour is back.  The tour is scheduled for Sunday, April 28 from 12-5 p.m. There are four gardens featured, however the tour is self-guided and can be enjoyed at the pleasure of your own pace.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Volumes of Pleasure in Los Osos, Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay, Farm Supply (locations include SLO, AG and Paso Robles), My805Tix.com and with any AAUW member. 

This is the major fundraiser for the Morro Bay Branch of the American Association of University Women. Proceeds are used to fund community projects and scholarships. 

The American Association of University Women advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Founded in 1957 and chartered in 1959, the Morro Bay Branch has since grown to over 80 members representing Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

For more information, email mbaauw1959@gmail.com. 

Downtown SLO Announces New CEO

Downtown SLO announced that LeBren Harris, who has served as the chairperson of the board of directors for the SLO Chamber of Commerce, as well as area director of sales for Quorum Hotels & Resorts, has been hired as the new CEO. 

“I am absolutely thrilled and deeply honored to step into the role of CEO. The prospect of leading and inspiring a team united in our commitment to serve and uplift our community fills me with boundless excitement,” says Harris.

Her journey began as a student-athlete at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she excelled in track and field, earning a coveted scholarship. LeBren’s prowess in the 400m hurdles led to her becoming a two-time Big West Champion and securing the title of the current school record holder in the same event. In 2004, LeBren earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cal Poly, and continued at Cleveland State University, where she obtained a master’s degree in sport management in 2006. 

Beyond her professional achievements, LeBren said she finds fulfillment in her role as a wife to San Luis Obispo native Terrance Harris for over 15 years. Together, they share the joy of raising three beautiful daughters – Jolee (11), Mikayla (11), and Alicia (6). As CEO of Downtown SLO, LeBren will continue to advocate for downtown vitality and oversee the organization’s highly visible events, including the weekly Thursday Night Farmers’ Market, Concerts in the Plaza, the Annual Holiday Parade, and more. 

“We are thrilled to have LeBren join Downtown SLO to lead our amazing team,” says Donna Lewis, Downtown SLO Board President. “We are looking forward to her fresh perspective and the enthusiasm she brings to all she does in our community.”

SLO Recognized as ‘Prohousing’

The City of San Luis Obispo was recognized by the State of California as a prohousing community, which means San Luis Obispo now has a competitive advantage for more funding incentives and additional resources to speed up the development of housing for people with all income levels. This brings the total number of Prohousing communities to 37 in California.

“The people of San Luis Obispo have made it clear: We need more housing options here,” said Mayor Erica A. Stewart.  “While the City government doesn’t build housing directly, the City has adopted – and continues to adopt – innovative policies that will create new housing developments and further the construction of more housing in San Luis Obispo.”

California needs to plan for 2.5 million new homes over the next eight years, with at least 1 million serving the needs of lower-income Californians, according to the Statewide Housing Plan. Reaching that goal is only possible with the concerted efforts of state and local governments actively working to implement state housing laws and best practices that go above and beyond. San Luis Obispo needs to accommodate up to 3,354 new homes between 2020 and 2028.

The State’s Prohousing Designation Program is part of a package of supports, incentives, and accountability measures established by the 2019-20 Budget Act. By earning the Prohousing Designation, communities receive exclusive access to Prohousing grants and additional points in the scoring of competitive housing, community development, and infrastructure funding programs administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Send your news, community and business briefs to Editor@EsteroBayNews.com. Be sure to include the who, what, why, where and when information along with a contact person.

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