News Briefs 4-6-2023

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.

April 7, 2023

Poly’s Sexual Assault Action Month

Cal Poly’s Safer program hosts its annual Sexual Assault Action Month (SAAM) campaign during April with outreach, events and opportunities for campus community members to get involved. 

Safer is Cal Poly’s prevention education and confidential advocacy resource for sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation and harassment. 

Themed “Resistance and Resiliency,” this year’s SAAM includes survivor healing events, therapy dogs, a Lunch and Learn dialogue about consent beyond sex, a community art project and Denim Day. And San Luis Obispo residents might notice the Cal Poly “P” painted teal for two weeks to bring attention to this annual prevention and advocacy campaign. 

“Months like this highlight the power of solidarity,” said Jennifer MacMartin, Safer’s violence prevention specialist. “The movement against violence cannot, and will not, happen in isolation. This is a community issue, so it necessitates a community response, and we look forward to strengthening our work in San Luis Obispo. Sexual Assault Action Month is an opportunity to do just that.” 

The campaign culminates Thursday, April 27, for Safer’s biggest event of the year: Take Back the Night, an international survivor solidarity event with roots in San Luis Obispo since the 1980s. The event is hosted in the University Union Plaza on Cal Poly’s campus from 5 to 8:30 p.m. With a focus on uplifting survivors and empowering community, the event will feature live music, catered food, art installations, local vendor and resource fairs, speakers, and a solidarity march. It will conclude with a candlelight vigil.

For more information on Sexual Assault Action Month and Take Back the Night, go to or follow @calpolysafer on Instagram. 

Justice for Survivors Act Clears First Committee

A bill by Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) to end the civil statute of limitations for survivors of sexual abuse unanimously passed its first committee in the State Assembly. 

Under current law, survivors who experience sexual assault as minors only have until their 40th birthday to seek justice in civil court. Assembly Bill 452, co-authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), removes this arbitrary deadline for child sexual assault cases that occur after January 1, 2024. 

“I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining with me to end the cruel and arbitrary civil statute of limitations laws for childhood sexual abuse cases,” Addis said. “The vote today will provide future survivors of child sexual abuse the critical opportunity to seek justice and healing, no matter their age.” 

The bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee 11-0. The committee referred the bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Chimney Rock Road Repairs Begin

With no storms in the immediate forecast, County of San Luis Obispo Public Works began repairs to Paso Robles’ Chimney Rock Road that was washed out during an early March atmospheric river event.

Steep terrain, unstable soils, rising lake levels, and a continuous stream of storms since March 9, have hampered repair efforts, but thing are back on track.

By the week of April 24, weather and site conditions permitting, it is expected that stranded residents in the lakeside communities of Running Deer Ranch, CAL-Shasta, and Tri-Counties will have access to and from their homes for the first time since March 9. 

The washout will be repaired in three phases. In the first phase, public works and local contractor, David Crye General Engineering Contractor, Inc, will build a temporary road upstream at a lower elevation than the existing road. Once open, the road will provide limited access to residents, construction equipment, and emergency vehicles only. Though the temporary road will be passable for vehicles, the site remains an active construction zone, and drivers are advised to exercise extra caution on the roadway.

For the second phase of repair, public works and Souza Construction, Inc. will construct a temporary bridge over the washout on Chimney Rock Road. This one-lane bridge is expected to be open to all vehicles this May.

Once the temporary bridge is in place, the County will move to the third and final phase, which will be the long-term repair of the road. For the long-term fix, Public Works is considering a permanent bridge or a large-diameter culvert capable of passing large debris for 100-year storm flows. 

SLO Looks at Increasing Housing Options in Downtown 

The City of San Luis Obispo has prioritized increasing housing options in San Luis Obispo and the City Council considered a new program that is designed to create more smaller housing units in the City’s downtown core. The proposed Downtown Flexible Density Program offers housing developers a variety of incentives to build more housing within current standards for the scale and height of buildings downtown. These incentives include: (1) flexibility from standard density limitations, which means they can build more units provided they are 600 square feet or less in size, (2) exemption of these smaller units from the City’s Inclusionary Housing Requirements, and (3) reduced parking requirements for properties located outside of the downtown parking district boundaries.

The Council reviewed the program and staff will bring back an item for final adoption later this month. For more information on housing in San Luis Obispo, visit

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