News Briefs 1-26-2023

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.

January 27, 2023

Poly Students Help at Vista Court

In one of the best examples of Learn by Doing, students in Cal Poly’s #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program assisted with cleanup efforts following storms throughout San Luis Obispo County. 

More than a dozen students helped residents in the Vista Court community in Los Osos clean up their homes after they were damaged in mudslides from a storm that dumped up to six inches of rain in some areas of the county. In addition, students in the program are also pitching in with general cleanup and restoration efforts at First Fruits Farm and the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden.

Cal Poly is one of nearly 50 state institutions participating in the statewide #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program, which provides 6,500 college students with service-learning fellowships over the span of two academic years to tackle statewide challenges in climate action, K-12 education and food insecurity. As part of their service, fellows will receive up to $10,000 (including monthly stipends and an educational award at the conclusion of service), which can be applied toward their college education.

County Eligible for FEMA Assistance

In the wake of recent storms, San Luis Obispo County is eligible for FEMA assistance.  

On January 17, the Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California (FEMA-4683-DR) for severe winter storms was amended to include SLO County for individual assistance, debris removal, and emergency protective measures. Residents will now be eligible to apply for Federal financial assistance and public agencies will be eligible to seek reimbursement for the removal of debris. Public agencies had previously been eligible for reimbursement for costs associated with emergency protective measures.

“We appreciate the support for our county and the assistance this will provide our residents,” said Emergency Services Manager Scott Jalbert in a news release, “this is a step towards recovery for those who have lost so much.”

Residents who incurred financial losses due to storm damage are encouraged to apply for assistance as soon as possible online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362. You can also apply for assistance by downloading the FEMA app in the Apple and Google store. This allows you to upload documents to FEMA directly and track the status of your application.

For individuals unable to apply by internet or phone, more options will become available in the coming days including a Disaster Recovery Center where you can apply for and get help from a FEMA representative.

Those who can’t live in their homes currently due to issues with water, mold, mud, or inaccessibility, make sure you include this in your application.

Readers with questions should contact the County Office of Emergency Services at (805) 781-5678.

Register for Cuesta Spring Semester 

The Cuesta College spring 2023 semester has begun, but students can add a full-term course through Jan. 29. A complete list of available courses is at and students can register at    

Launching this semester is the new Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program in partnership with ACI Jet. The 18-month certificate program prepares students with the skills and technical knowledge they need to perform maintenance on aircraft in the aviation maintenance industry and to earn certification in airframe and power plant mechanics. Cuesta College’s program is among the 20 AMT schools in California approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Cuesta students can now ride free on the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bus with a valid student ID card. Check out for bus routes and up-to-date schedules. 

Cuesta is implementing virtual parking permits through license plate recognition this spring semester. No more stickers or hanging tags required, simply enter your license information online. Parking permits are required on the San Luis Obispo and North County campuses when classes are in session. Semester parking permits can be directly purchased and managed online in the new portal on my Cuesta. Daily permits for guests and visitors can be purchased in the portal or from self-serve machines in all campus parking lots. 

Cuesta College courses are available at three locations: the San Luis Obispo Campus, the North County Campus in Paso Robles, and the South County Center at Arroyo Grande High School. Classes may also be taken online and via dual enrollment through local high schools.  

The spring semester runs through May 17 and Cuesta College also offers a variety of less-than-full-term courses that run between three and 17 weeks, as well as short courses that can be completed in two weeks or less. Course fees are $46 per unit for credit classes and non-credit courses are free. 

For questions regarding classes and registration, call (805) 546-3952 or email, 

City of SLO Helps Homeless

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved $425K in grant funding for programs and projects that will help house the homeless in SLO and create more affordable housing units. 

The City’s Human Relations Commission reviewed applications for Community Development Block Grant funding and recommended five of the seven applications received. Through the CDBG program, the City has approved $64K for the 40 Prado Homeless Services Center; $9,145 for the Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention program through 5Cities Homeless Coalition; $318K in funding for Orcutt Road Apartments, located at the former Maxine Lewis site (Housing Authority of SLO); and $34K for CDBG Administration and Capacity Building at the City’s Community Development Department.

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