(KCLU photo)

Drive Underway To Buy, Preserve Prime Santa Barbara County Foothills Land

It’s a scenic hike in the foothills of San Marcos Pass just three minutes off of Highway 154. The San Marcos Foothills Nature Preserve just outside of Santa Barbara has grasslands, wildlife, and panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Now, there’s an effort underway to expand it.

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The big storm hitting the Central Coast Wednesday is now shifting south into Southern Santa Barbara County and Ventura County Thursday.  Santa Barbara County could see some its heaviest rainfall Thursday morning, with the focus moving to Ventura County by Thursday afternoon. 

Rainfall amounts could be astronomical is some places.  Some of the mountains in extreme northern San Luis Obispo County topped ten inches of rain Wednesday night.

The number of coronavirus related deaths on the Central and South Coasts now tops the one thousand mark.  22 additional deaths were reported in the region Wednesday, pushing the overall total to 1004.

Ventura County had 18 new deaths, pushing its total to 564.  Santa Barbara County had four new deaths, for a total of 279.  And, San Luis Obispo County has had 161 deaths.

Some new tax figures show the continuing devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry on the Central and South Coasts. 

The City of Santa Barbara is reporting that its transient occupancy tax collected in December was down 65% from the year before.  The tax is the one collected on hotel room stays, and is a good indicator if how busy motels, and hotels are in the community.

The third, and most powerful in a string of storms during the last week has arrived on the Central and South Coasts, dropping rainfall and causing some street flooding in areas.

So far, the heaviest rainfall has been on the Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County.

Detectives are trying to figure out what led to a fatal shooting on the South Coast Tuesday night.

Oxnard police were called to the 800 block of Hobson Way at about 8 p.m. by reports of a shooting.  That's where the Oxnard Performing Arts Center is located.  They found a man in the street with multiple gunshot wounds.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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(KCLU photo)

Drive Underway To Buy, Preserve Prime Santa Barbara County Foothills Land

It’s a scenic hike in the foothills of San Marcos Pass just three minutes off of Highway 154. The San Marcos Foothills Nature Preserve just outside of Santa Barbara has grasslands, wildlife, and panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Now, there’s an effort underway to expand it.

Read More

Coronavirus On The Central & South Coasts

The number of coronavirus related deaths on the Central and South Coasts now tops the one thousand mark.  22 additional deaths were reported in the region Wednesday, pushing the overall total to 1004.

Ventura County had 18 new deaths, pushing its total to 564.  Santa Barbara County had four new deaths, for a total of 279.  And, San Luis Obispo County has had 161 deaths.

Some new tax figures show the continuing devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry on the Central and South Coasts. 

The City of Santa Barbara is reporting that its transient occupancy tax collected in December was down 65% from the year before.  The tax is the one collected on hotel room stays, and is a good indicator if how busy motels, and hotels are in the community.

The COVID-19 stay at home orders have been removed from the Central and South Coasts, and a number of businesses have reopened, or have been able to expand their services.  But, we have some tough reminders the crisis is far from over in the region.

32 additional coronavirus related deaths were reported in the Tri-Counties Tuesday.

KCLU Remembers Joe Paulucci

A longtime South Coast community leader has died. He had a remarkable life. He was a minister, a therapist, and a businessman, and Joe and his wife Pat were special friends of KCLU.

Actress Cloris Leachman portrayed women of wit and sass over a seven-decade career. She won an Oscar and nine Emmys, and her career was relentlessly inventive. The actress died Wednesday in Encinitas, Calif., of natural causes, according to her press representative, Monique Moss. She was 94.

Boeing is trying to close the books on a dismal year. The aircraft manufacturer Wednesday reported that the company lost close to $12 billion in 2020, a record loss, as the pandemic depressed demand for new airplanes and the company continued to reel from its 737 Max debacle.

Calling it "a year like no other," Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun started a conference call on the company's 2020 financial results by stating an obvious but painful truth.

"2020 was a historically challenging year for our world, for our industry (and) for our business," Calhoun said.

California's muddled county-based coronavirus vaccine distribution system has stoked confusion, frustration and angst for citizens across America's most populous state.

Benee is just chilling. The New Zealander is hanging out in her room, like a lot of us, waiting for the pandemic to end. In another time she'd be on tour in the U.S., celebrating her breakout moment — a viral smash single, "Supalonely" — and the release of her debut album, Hey u x. Instead, she's being patient with the moment, knowing her time will come.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin on Wednesday warning of a continued threat from domestic violent extremists.

The bulletin did not cite any specific threat but described "a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration."

In the early days of the pandemic, hip-hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland created a music industry monster: Verzuz, a live-on-Instagram music battle show that broke livestreaming records on social media. Now, the Caribbean has responded with its own version.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Biden's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pledged to take a tougher line against China and its push to exert influence over the multinational organization during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

"We know that China is working across the U.N. system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the values of the institution," Thomas-Greenfield told lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Hank Aaron, a hero of baseball and of civil rights, is being buried in Atlanta Wednesday, drawing friends, family and sports luminaries to say farewell to the widely respected slugger and activist.

Aaron's wife, Billye, their family and friends gathered in church and online to celebrate the man that Friendship Baptist Church Pastor Richard W. Wills Sr. called "this iconic marvel from Mobile."

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes by the Trump administration, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Wednesday that the release of the first results of the 2020 census will likely be delayed by four months.

The latest state population counts used to determine each state's share of votes in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College for the next decade are now expected by April 30.

The union representing U.S. Capitol Police officers says the force's leadership failed to relay the known threat of violence adequately ahead of the Jan. 6 deadly riot, calling the acting chief's recent admission of prior knowledge of the threat to Congress "a disclosure that has angered and shocked the rank-and-file officers."

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