News Briefs 9-7-2023

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 7, 2023

Parking Lot Temporarily Closed in SLO

The City of San Luis Obispo officially closed the parking lot at Palm and Nipomo streets on Sept. 5 to begin preparing the site for construction of the Cultural Arts District Parking Structure. 

Alternative parking options during construction include curbside and metered parking, three other parking structures (842 Palm Street, 919 Palm Street, and 871 Marsh Street), and spaces available by parking permit only. Visit to find current parking rates, accessible parking locations, links to easy payment mobile apps, and details about street parking pay stations.

The project is located on the corner of Palm and Nipomo Streets and involves construction of a five-level parking garage, 397 parking spaces, 41 Electric Vehicle chargers, 32 bike racks, solar panels, and other improvements that will enhance accessibility along the block. Momentum on the project will accelerate in early November with a groundbreaking ceremony (date to be determined) and the mobilization of the construction project’s  larger general contractor.

The construction work area will be fenced to limit access onto the site, Pedestrian and vehicular travel will be afforded around the site on Palm, Nipomo, and Monterey Streets. .

September Hunger Action Month 

The SLO Food Bank is set to participate in Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month this September. Hunger Action Month is a national campaign organized to rally local communities to participate in hunger relief fundraising events and actions while spreading awareness about the life changing mission to alleviate hunger for all our neighbors. 

“Hunger Action Month is a call for all who are able to step up and enhance the health of our community by eliminating the hunger and poor nutrition that burdens over 31,500 of our SLO County neighbors,” said Garret Olson, CEO of the SLO Food Bank. “By uniting our voices, taking purposeful action, and coming together under this vital cause, we can ensure that all our neighbors have access to the nourishment they need to thrive.” 

Throughout September, individuals are encouraged to seize daily opportunities to support hunger relief efforts in SLO County. Events include fundraising collaborations with local restaurants across the county, such as House of Bread, Woodstock’s Pizza, Urbane Cafe, and Blaze Pizza in San Luis Obispo; Chipotle or Blaze Pizza in Paso Robles; and Blaze Pizza or Panera in Arroyo Grande. By dining at these establishments during specific dates and times detailed on the Hunger Awareness Month website, community members can enjoy a delicious meal while contributing to the effort to alleviate hunger in SLO County. To get involved and see the full calendar of events and actions, visit 

Additionally, the Hunger Action Month Matching Gift Challenge runs through September 30. The local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 639 returns alongside other generous donors to match gifts, dollar-for-dollar, up to $40,000. Every contribution made to the SLO Food Bank during this campaign will have double the impact, providing even more resources to support those in need. 

Phone Scam Dialing Up

The Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a phone scam in San Luis Obispo County. 

There have been several reports recently that someone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office has contacted individuals to inform them there is a warrant out for their arrest. The phone number used by the scammers directs callers to a fake Sheriff’s Office phone tree. The caller indicates the resident can clear the warrant by making a cash transfer or through a debit card or gift card. 

“We want to caution residents this is a scam,” a Sheriff’s Office news release said. “The Sheriff’s Office reminds you that it is not our practice to contact residents by phone regarding these matters. Deputy Sheriff’s will never request money or gift cards in lieu of bail.”

Anyone who receives a call like this should report it to their local law enforcement agency. 

Poly Grads Prove Employable 

Ninety-one percent of Cal Poly graduates are positively engaged, with the vast majority working or attending graduate schools in California, according to the university’s latest Career Services Graduate Status Report. Eight in 10 Cal Poly graduates accepted jobs in the Golden State, including 18% in San Luis Obispo County. 

“Employers tell us time and again that they seek to hire Cal Poly graduates because our grads are ‘ready day one,’” Executive Director of Cal Poly Career Services Amie Hammond said. 

Cal Poly’s Career Services annually surveys Cal Poly graduates to determine their post-commencement plans, top employers and locations, employment regions, and starting median salaries. This most recent survey includes information on 2,232 graduates in the nine months following graduation. 

Of the graduates who are positively engaged, 71% are working full time, 4% are working part time and 14% are attending graduate schools. Another 9% were still seeking employment, and 2% were engaged in other pursuits, including travel, a planned gap year and personal commitments. 

Overall, the median starting salary among 2021-22 graduates increased to $72,000 from $68,800 the prior year. The starting salary has increased 22% since the 2014-15 survey, when graduates’ starting median salary was $56,000. The median starting salary of graduates from the College of Engineering increased to $83,500 from $68,000 during that time — an 18% increase. 

To view Cal Poly’s latest and past Graduate Status Reports, go to

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