News Briefs 9-21-2023

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.

September 21, 2023

Justice for Survivors Act Clears Legislature 

Legislation by Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) that will end California’s arbitrary civil statute of limitations for minors who have experienced sexual abuse was approved by the State Assembly on a bipartisan basis today. The bill, Assembly Bill 452, now goes to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom for his consideration. 

The bill – introduced jointly with Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – explicitly governs future cases of sexual assault, giving institutions time to prevent future cases of child sexual assault. 

“Assembly Bill 452 sets a new standard for institutions with minors under their care – when a child or family reports abuse, do something, don’t be a bystander,” Addis said. “This commonsense legislation puts abusers and the institutions that harbor them on notice that California won’t tolerate childhood sexual assault any longer.” 

Under current law, survivors who experience sexual assault as minors have until their 40th birthday to seek justice in civil court. Assembly Bill 452 eliminates the deadline to file a civil claim for an incidence of sexual assault that arises on or after January 1, 2024. 

Last year, President Joe Biden signed the Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act, which removed statute of limitations for people who were sexually abused as minors to file civil claims in federal courts. Subsequently, numerous states have eliminated the statutes at the state level.

Libraries to Host Worldwide Film Festival

Film lovers in San Luis Obispo County are invited to join over 100,000 film enthusiasts around the world Sept. 28 – Oct. 8 for the 26th Annual Manhatten Short Film Festival. Atascadero, Cambria, Morro Bay, Nipomo, and San Luis Obispo libraries will host screenings where viewers vote for their favorites.

The short films screen simultaneously across the world during a one-week period, with the Best Film and Best Actor awards determined by ballots cast by the audiences in each participating venue. By virtue of their selection by Manhattan Short, each short film is automatically Oscar-qualified.

Global audiences will vote on selections from seven countries: “Sunless” (USA), “Voice Activated” (Australia), “Yellow” (Afghanistan), “Tuulikki” (Finland), “The Family Circus” (USA), “Career Day” (USA), “Snail: (Iran), “The Record” (Switzerland),”The Stupid Boy” (UK), “Soleil De Nuit” (Canada). Winners will be announced at on Monday, Oct 9.

The Manhattan Short runs:

•  Saturday, Sept. 30, at 1:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Library

•  Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2:00 p.m. at the Atascadero Library

•  Tuesday, Oct. 3, at noon, at the San Luis Obispo Library

•  Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 3 – 4, at 3:30 p.m. at the Cambria Library

•  Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Library

•  Friday, Oct. 6, at 1:30 p.m. at the Morro Bay Library.

Visit for more information about Library programs and events.

Supporting Women and Girls Period

The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in San Luis Obispo is conducting a drive for feminine hygiene product along with incontinence products. The drive is from October 10-14.  The Commission is partnering with the County Library system as the location to receive the community donations. You can drop off product at any library in San Luis Obispo County.

All products received will go to the distributing agencies within our county. 

Alliance for Period Supplies report, 1 in 4 women in the United States struggles to purchase period products due to lack of income, and 1 in 5 low-income women reports missing work, school or similar commitments due to lack of access to period supplies. A 2019 Harris Interactive poll of 2,000 U.S. teens aged 13 to 19 found that 84% have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to period products, 20% have struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all, and 61% have worn a tampon or pad for more than 4 hours because they did not have enough access to period products, which puts them at risk of infection and toxic shock syndrome.

“We in the USA are living longer so many of our people from low-income households as well as our homeless population need incontinence products,” orginizers said. “As people age, many if not most develop a problem on some level of severity with incontinence. Many seniors are on fixed incomes, which often makes it difficult to afford senior incontinence products.”

Road Delays for Repairs of Oceano Levee

Tired of swimming to your destination in parts of the Five Cities during the rainy season? 

Construction activity began in Oceano’s Flood Control Zone 1/1A along the Arroyo Grande Creek channel and levees and will continue the next several months. Construction crews are working throughout the length of the creek to implement the first phase intended to address the flow characteristics of the Arroyo Grande Creek Channel through vegetation and sediment removal to restore capacity and flood protection to the surrounding community to pre-2022-2023 winter storm conditions. Phase II will consist of levee repairs from damages caused by overtopping and seepage during the 2022-2023 winter storms. 

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