News Briefs 5-4-2023

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.

May 8, 2023

Bike Path Reopened After Pipeline Construction

Cycling enthusiasts have a revamped place to ride. The bike path between Atascadero Road and Main Street near Lila Keiser Park is now open after construction of the City of Morro Bay’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) pipelines. As part of the project, the bike path was reconstructed and paved. 

“Thank you to the community for the patience and cooperation demonstrated during the bike path closure,” City officials said in a new release. “The goal is to create a safe bike path and healthy urban forest for generations to come.”

Following ongoing construction of the WRF injection wells near the bike path, native hydroseed mix will be applied to all areas disturbed during construction. The seed mix includes grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs that are native to the area. Locations for future tree and shrub plantings are also being identified by the City’s Public Works Department to replace trees removed from this area and to have trees planted in suitable locations (i.e., not under power lines). The Department will also work with the Public Works Advisory Board on a replanting plan to allow for public input. 

League of Women Voters to Present Housing Panel

SLO County has a serious lack of affordable housing for low and moderate-income families. The League of Women Voters of SLO County presents “Why the Lack of Affordable Housing Matters” on May 8 at noon on Zoom.

The webinar explores why it matters and what tools are available to address the problem. The panel will look at the economic and social consequences for the whole community, as well as show how individual households suffer the impact of a shortage of affordable housing.

This is the first of four webinars produced by the League to describe the lack of affordable housing and identify steps to address the problem. Jeff Eckles, CEO, Housing Trust Fund of SLO County moderates the event and the panel includes Michael Foote, project manager with Reach; Brenda Mack with the Homeless Services Oversight Council; and Krista Jeffries, lead organizer YIMBY SLO County.

This Zoom event is free to the public, but registration is required at

SLO Food Bank Supports CalFresh Awareness Month 

May is CalFresh Awareness Month, and the SLO Food Bank has a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the program. 

The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a nutrition assistance program that provides eligible individuals and families with monthly financial assistance to purchase healthy food at grocery stores and some farmers’ markets. 

The SLO Food Bank along with the CalFresh Alliance and other stakeholders have worked to increase CalFresh enrollment rates, and their efforts are paying off. Currently, 23,720 people to buy food in San Luis Obispo County utilize CalFresh. 

Enrollment in SLO County has increased by 20% from February 2022 to February 2023. 

“This is a significant achievement, and the SLO Food Bank is proud to be part of the effort to provide nutritious food to those who need it most,” said Savannah Evans, SLO Food Bank marketing and communications manager,

To further increase CalFresh enrollment and close out CalFresh Awareness Month, the SLO Food Bank has organized application assistance sites across the county, in conjunction with Hunger Awareness Day on June 2. At these sites, individuals will receive one-on-one assistance in applying for CalFresh benefits with the help of local hunger heroes from the Department of Social Services and SLO Food Bank volunteers. The assistance sites take place at several county public libraries including Atascadero, Morro Bay, SLO, Nipomo, and Arroyo Grande. No appointment is necessary, and individuals can drop in between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., except for the Arroyo Grande Public Library, which will be open from 1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To start the application process, individuals must provide a form of identification, proof of income, and social security or legal resident identification. The immigration status of any person applying for CalFresh is confidential and is only used to determine eligibility for benefits in their household. 

Addis Bills Pass out of Committees 

Four bills by Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) passed out of policy committees in the State Assembly this week by unanimous and bipartisan votes. 

Specifically, the following Addis bills advanced in the State Assembly:

• Assembly Bill 1147: Disability Equity and Accountability Act – Strengthens the oversight of California regional centers to improve outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities.  

• Assembly Bill 1407: Ocean Life Recovery Act – Establishes the Ocean Restoration and Recovery Fund that targets ocean resilience and recovery by establishing clear restoration for acres of kelp forests, eelgrass meadows, and native oyster beds. 

• Assembly Bill 444: Stronger Defense Communities Act – Permits military communities in California to access federal dollars to build and improve infrastructure around the state’s military bases. 

• Assembly Bill 720: Conservation Ranching – Ensures ranchers and other private landowners have a financial incentive to implement grazing practices that restore grassland, soil, and biodiversity on some of California’s most endangered landscapes.  

“I’m thankful that my colleagues supported this legislation that’s important to my coastal Assembly District, and all of California,” Addis said in a news release. “Bills to help people with disabilities get critical services, to restore and conserve vital marine ecosystems and rangeland, and to fund infrastructure in military communities all won support in the Legislature this week.”

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