News Briefs 7-27-2023

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.

July 31, 2023

Free School Meal Sites

Coast Unified School District announced an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2023-24 school year. All students will be served breakfast and lunch at no charge at the following sites: Cambria Grammar School, Santa Lucia Middle School, Coast Union High School and Leffingwell High School. 

For additional information, contact your school site. 

Ready, Set, Register at Cuesta 

There is still time to take part in Cuesta College’s Fast Track Registration Days, an event dedicated to helping current and prospective students seamlessly enroll in classes for the fall semester. Taking place in a one-day, in-person format, this event offers comprehensive support and assistance with academic counseling, financial aid, online orientation, class registration, and more.

Fast Track Registration Days will be available on the following dates and times, accessible at both Cuesta College campuses as well as online:

• August 2, 9, and 10 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the North County Campus

• August 2 and 9 from 4 p.m. – 6p.m., virtual on Zoom

• August 1 and 8 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Campus

• August 1 and 8 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Campus

• August 12 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Campus

The Fast Track Registration Days event at the San Luis Obispo campus take place in Building 3100, Room 3131. For the North County campus, participants can visit the Campus Center, Building N1000, 2nd Floor. Free parking is available at the San Luis Obispo campus in Lot 3 and the North County campus in Lot 10.

Participants are encouraged to register at to secure their spots. However, walk-in registration will also be available. New students are advised to submit a Cuesta College application prior to attending a Fast Track registration session unless application support is needed during the event.

Boat Inspection at Cuesta Inlet Surprises 

All boats at Cuesta Inlet were inspected on Saturday, July 15 by Celebrate Los Osos volunteers. 

“Several surprises were encountered. Just in the last week there was a flurry of boat owners who rushed out to the inlet to affix current license tags next to the CF numbers on their boats,” said Celebrate Los Ooss President Pandora Nash-Karner. “We knew all along those annual California Boat registration stickers were lurking on the boat owner’s desks just waiting to be placed on their boats. While the number of boats didn’t decrease, the number of boats who had contact information on them dramatically increased. To us, that means our annual reminders to license boats and place contact information on the boats is paying off.”

Currently there are 408 kayaks; 128 canoes; 20 mono-hulls; 34 multi-hulls; 1 trimaran; 24 dinghies and 9 “other” or mystery boats.

There were two kayaks that were deemed far beyond repair and were cut into pieces for disposal. Several years ago, an orange and yellow catamaran was abandoned at the inlet, the CF numbers had been sanded off and there isn’t any way to identify the former owner. The catamaran is on a trailer and with some TLC, new rigging and sails it may be an inexpensive way to get into sailing, Nash-Karner said. There is also a blue and white monohull that might make a great piece of yard art, filled with topsoil and succulents. Both of these boats are available for free to whoever takes them away.

Future of Natural Gas Bans in Question

A halt to bans on natural gas infrastructure in new construction in the City of San Luis Obispo and beyond could impact the North Coast depending on which way court decisions go.

As an ongoing court case leaves the future of natural gas bans for new construction in question, the City of San Luis Obispo has paused enforcement of its all-electric new buildings ordinance and until further notice will not deny building permit applications on the basis that the project includes natural gas.

Property owners and developers may submit building permit applications for new mixed-fuel buildings, meaning some new future buildings could potentially install and use natural gas infrastructure. It’s important to note that mixed-fuel applicants may have to modify their building plans to be all-electric during construction if the court’s ruling is overturned, even if the project has an approved permit to include natural gas.

“The City remains committed to its Climate Action Plan for Community Recovery and becoming a carbon neutral community by 2035,” said Michael Loew, chief building official and deputy director of community development in SLO. “City officials encourage developers to consider all-electric new builds because they are cost-effective, use highly efficient appliances, are connected to an increasingly green electricity system, and include state-mandated solar energy systems.”

In April 2023, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals court overturned Berkeley, California’s first-in-the-nation ban on natural gas in new construction, agreeing with restaurant owners who argued the city bypassed the Federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act when it approved the ordinance. Following the decision, the San Luis Obispo City Council authorized staff to order a temporary suspension of its similar ordinance. By Administrative Order issued in June 2023, the City of San Luis Obispo has now suspended enforcement of its all-electric ordinance for new buildings.

However, the Berkeley case is not yet finally resolved. The City of Berkeley has appealed the panel ruling, asking the full Ninth Circuit overrule the panel’s decision. If that happens, and no Supreme Court review is sought or granted, the City of San Luis Obispo will immediately resume enforcing its all-electric new building ordinance. 

“It is important for developers to understand that, depending on the timing of any court decisions resolving this case in Berkeley’s favor, a developer might not be able to construct a mixed-fuel building, even if they have received a building permit for one,” Loew said.

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