News Briefs 9-9-2021

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 10, 2021

County Law Enforcement Helps with Caldor Fire

San Luis Obispo County law enforcement agencies have deployed personnel to provide mutual aid assistance to El Dorado County in response to the growing Caldor Fire that threatened the resort town of Lake Tahoe. 

As of Sept. 7, the blaze had burned more than 216,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes since starting Aug. 14. Currently, it is 49% contained, according to the Cal Fire website. 

Included in the deployment were 12 members of the Sheriff’s Office, along with seven members from allied county agencies including the San Luis Obispo Police Department, California Polytechnic State University Police Department, Grover Beach Police Department, and the Atascadero Police Department.

Staff will assist with evacuations, road closures, and keeping the areas around the Caldor Fire secure.

Morro Bay Releases Parking Study

Morro Bay city officials released the recently completed parking study of the Embarcadero, Morro Rock, and Downtown areas. The purpose of this study, conducted by Walker Consultants, is to understand existing parking needs, how parking is currently being used and how to best plan for parking demands moving forward.  The study presents an analysis of existing parking conditions during both summer and off-season periods and includes recommendations for parking management strategies.  

It was found that there are parking challenges—particularly in the waterfront area—that could be addressed with several potential approaches, including paid parking.   

The study will be presented to the Harbor Advisory Board, Public Works Advisory Board and Planning Commission in September.  Input gathered in those meetings and from the public will be shared with City Council during their review in October.  Council will consider the study at that time and provide direction to City staff regarding any potential next steps.  

The $50,000 study was paid for through Parking in Lieu Funds; no General Fund revenues were used to support the effort.  View the study at

Pharmacy Offers COVID Testing

A local pharmacy has expanded its services in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Sumanta Paul, owner of Morro Bay Drug & Gift, 600 Morro Bay Blvd., Ste. B, said he is now offering the rapid and antibody tests for COVID-19. This is in addition to the COVID vaccinations the pharmacy has been offering since last February.

They continue to provide the vaccinations, which are being strenuously encouraged after the recent uptick in cases blamed on the so-called, Delta variant of the virus.

Morro Bay Drug & Gift is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9-2, closed Sundays. They also have the regular flu shots. Call (805) 771-9988 for an appointment.

 Cuesta College Awards Over $350k in Scholarships

Cuesta College awarded almost 500 scholarships to 346 students totaling $357,890 for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Scholarship recipients are current students at Cuesta College, incoming transfers, and high school students attending the Fall 2021 semester. Many students received more than one scholarship, which can be used for tuition, books, and other expenses. The scholarships awarded do not include over $20,000 in Promise Scholarship funds, which offer two years of fee-free education to San Luis Obispo County high school graduates. There were 985 students who received support from the Promise Scholarship during the 2020-21 academic year.

In addition to scholarships and the Promise, every Cuesta College student, regardless of income, is eligible for financial assistance and emergency funds to support college enrollment. Since the pandemic started, over $4 million in financial aid have been given out directly to students, and over $240,000 was raised through the Foundation towards Cuesta’s Assistance for Student Emergencies fund.

“Our remarkable community continues to respond graciously to support emergency grants,” said Dr. Jill Stearns, Cuesta College superintendent / president. “I remain inspired and amazed at the college’s ability to respond to this crisis and add our community’s strong commitment to our college and students.”

Contact the Foundation office at (805) 546-3279 to find out how you can support Cuesta College students.

Part of Tank Farm Road to Close

As a reminder to commuters, a portion of Tank Farm Road is closed for about the next three months as part of the second phase of construction on the new Orcutt/Tank Farm Roundabout.

Tank Farm Road will be temporarily closed between Wavertree Street and Orcutt Road, and travelers are encouraged to take alternate routes, if possible.

Orcutt Road will remain open to provide a temporary bypass to both Johnson Avenue and Broad Street. Those traveling through the construction zone should expect delays, and City officials encourage travelers to plan additional time into their trips and drive cautiously.

For more information, including more project updates, please visit or follow the City of SLO on Facebook or Instagram.

Send your news, community and business briefs to Be sure to include the who, what, why, where and when information along with a contact person.

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