Train buffs are flocking to the Central Coast for the second annual Central Coast Railroad Festival.
The festival, which runs Thursday through Monday, celebrates the region’s historical ties to rail travel with events from Paso Robles to Pismo Beach to Guadalupe.
Highlights include train-themed concerts, film screenings, storytelling sessions and history talks, as well as several model train layouts and museum displays.
Festival attendees can experience the region’s rail history first-hand by riding on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner routes, or taking a walking tour of the Harford Pier in Avila Beach, the Paso Robles railroad station and the Village of Arroyo Grande. Visitors are also invited to explore the Dana Adobe in Nipomo, the Oceano Train Depot and San Luis Obispo’s historic Railroad District.
On Saturday, the recently restored Freight House is the scene of a railroad-themed celebration in San Luis Obispo. Similar celebrations take place Sunday at Guadalupe’s Amtrak platform and Pismo Beach’s Price Historical Park.
Nearly all of the Central Coast Railroad Festival events are free and open to the public.
For a complete schedule of events, call 773-4173 or visit www.ccrrf.com.
— Sarah Linn
Network television crews are expected to film hundreds of bicyclists — including many disabled veterans — today as they make their way through San Luis Obispo County.
The ride is being organized by Ride 2 Recovery, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to aid the physical and mental rehabilitation of military veterans.
Riders set out Sunday from San Francisco on a seven-day, 450-mile ride to Santa Monica.
NBC film crews joined the riders Tuesday at Lucia on the Big Sur coast to document the ride and a dinner that night in San Simeon, organizer Ron Waltman said.
He said segments of the ride, including a “Highway 1 Wave-By” this morning in Cambria, may appear on the national nightly news and on “Access Hollywood.”
Cambria American Legion Post No. 432 is encouraging area residents to gather at 9 a.m. today at the intersection of Highway 1 and Cambria Drive, near the Cambria Veterans Memorial Building, to cheer on the riders as they head south to San Luis Obispo.
The riders are scheduled to spend the night in Pismo Beach before traveling on to Oceano and Solvang.
— Bert Etling
The county sheriff’s race is the highlight of tonight’s meeting of the South County Democratic Club.
Former Pismo Beach Police Chief Joe Cortez, seeking to become the sheriff of San Luis Obispo County, will speak at the meeting.
Although his opponent, San Luis Obispo Police Captain Ian Parkinson, will not be on hand, former Grover Beach City Councilman Steve Lieberman will speak in his place.
The meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Grover Beach Community Center at 1230 Trouville Ave. Attendees will have a chance to meet the speakers beginning at 6:30 p.m. Printed information about the candidates will also be available.
— Bob Cuddy
San Luis Obispo
The next Cal Poly president may be selected by mid-December.
The California State University Board of Trustees plans to meet Dec. 13 in Long Beach to interview the finalists and choose one of them. A public announcement is expected to be made a short time later.
Finalists will be interviewed publicly on the Cal Poly campus the week of Nov. 29, according to Claudia Keith, CSU assistant vice chancellor of public affairs.
A board committee spearheading the review process is expected to narrow its search by Nov. 11-12, when it conducts private candidate interviews at Los Angeles International Airport. Finalists will be determined after that.
Keith said she doesn’t know whether the salary and benefits for the new president will be increased to attract a more competitive field of candidates, noting only that the “salary will be competitive.” Pay was cited as an issue in June, when the CSU board determined that the two finalists weren’t the right fit and ordered a new search. At the time, a CSU spokesman said Cal Poly’s president is paid less than many of his colleagues nationwide.
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed has previously cited polytechnic universities where presidents earn between $500,000 and $1 million a year — including Georgia Tech, whose president earns more than $600,000 annually.
Interim Cal Poly President Robert Glidden, who began working Aug. 1, is earning $328,200 a year. That’s about the same salary as former President Warren Baker, who retired July 31.
— Sandra Duerr