News Briefs 8-24-2023

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.

August 25, 2023

Public Comments Sought for LOVR Traffic Study

San Luis Obispo County has begun their study of Los Osos Valley Road. They are looking for public comment. Folks can register comments on the map at

Click on the interactive map and leave your comment at the location you are reporting on. The deta reportedly will decide the future of Los Osos Valley Road regarding traffic, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways and crossings. 

Readers with questions are asked to reach out to Deborah Howe, Los Osos Community Advisory Council transportation chair at

The Los Osos Valley Road Corridor Concept Plan will remain as a conceptual design tool to facilitate corridor improvements in preparation of capital project delivery. The County will serve as the Lead Agency, in cooperation with SLOCOG, on implementation of this plan.

Oktoberfest and Car Show Seeking Sponsors 

Los Osos Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce & Bay Osos Kiwanis Presents Oktoberfest 2023 on October 29 on Santa Maria & 2nd Street in Baywood from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Event and eclusive sponsorships are available now. This is the oldest Oktoberfest in the county and attracts well over 5,000 people for the day. For more information or to be a sponsor or to register for the car show or run, contact Jim Stanfill (805) 528-1557 or LOBP Chamber (805) 528-4884 or

Once again, the day will kick off with the infamous Fun Run at 9 a.m. and delicious pancake breakfast provided by Bay Osos Kiwanis. Cruise through the Car Show and shop with local artists and vendors.  

“We have another great line-up of music this year,” said event spokesperson, Colleen Vecchetti. “Hop on over to enjoy some hops at the locally hosted Beer Graden while listening to the great tunes! There will be a variety of local food vendors, so don’t worry if you work up an appetite.” 

Organizers say the event is “family friendly and extra fun.” The Kid’s Zone will have plenty of fun and games for all ages. Be sure to wear your costumes for the annual contest with different categories: adult, kids, and pets.

Cal Poly Joins Fire-Resilient Communities Alliance

The Cal Poly Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fire Institute has formed a strategic alliance with the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) to further Cal Poly’s mission of developing holistic solutions to prevent destructive wildfires and help build more resilient communities.

Cal Poly’s WUI Fire Institute and the WFCA will collaborate on mitigation efforts from analysis to management, with the overall goal of providing solutions that reduce the threat to those living in WUI communities.

The Cal Poly WUI Fire Institute, comprised of Cal Poly faculty, staff and students, and partnered with industry and community members, is focused on developing and evaluating methods of managing forests and designing communities in ways that reduce wildfire severity and threats to human welfare and property while maintaining environmental and community health. It is the first-of-its kind at a California State University campus. In 2021 three of the largest California investor-owned electric utility companies — Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company — pledged funding and support to assist in launching the institute. 

The alliance follows the hiring of retired fire chief Frank Frievalt as the director of Cal Poly’s WUI Fire Institute in April. Frievalt previously served as fire chief for the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District, division chief of operations for the Sparks Fire Department and in various other leadership roles for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Nevada and California State Fire Chiefs Associations and the University of Nevada, Reno.

 “WUI communities are facing, and will continue to face for decades to come, extraordinary wildfire threats from a perfect storm of ecologic, economic and climatologic forces,” Frievalt said. “We cannot suppress our way out of these conditions. We must add mitigation, using trusted evidence-based techniques to mitigate the growing wildfire threat. Exceedingly difficult policy decisions are on final approach and legislators and administrators will need our organizations to bring evidence-based recommendations from trusted sources.”

SLO Cultural Arts District Parking Structure Project Moves Forward 

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved a financing plan to pay for the Cultural Arts District Parking Structure, the city’s fourth downtown parking structure. 

The five story, 397-spot structure will be located at the corner of Palm, Nipomo, and Monterey streets near the History Museum, SLO Museum of Art, and the SLO Children’s Museum, as well as the future site for the SLO Rep Theater. The City will issue $50 million in bonds to finance the $41.1 million parking structure project, while also paying off 2012 bonds to save on interest. 

The financial plan will also transfer the Marsh Street Parking Garage to the City’s Public Financing Authority, which will in turn lease the facility back to the City. Officials say the financing plan allows the City to get the new structure “built as quickly as possible while making prudent use of taxpayer dollars.” 

Construction for this project is set to commence in early September with the initial phases of lot demolition and soil remediation. These preliminary steps will pave the way for the subsequent stages of construction. 

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