SLO County Roundup

San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo City Council gave city staff the go-ahead to begin discussions with two South County cities seeking fire and police dispatch services from San Luis Obispo.

The request follows a recent move by Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano to combine fire protection services through the Five Cities Fire Authority — a change that takes effect today.

San Luis Obispo city staff will determine the possible effects and advantages of providing the services and develop a financial proposal.

“We would not proceed with a proposal if it were determined that services would be hindered to San Luis Obispo city residents,” police Chief Deborah Linden said.

Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach police departments now share fire dispatch services for the three communities, but believe it would be more efficient if the San Luis Obispo Fire Department took over that responsibility.

The services would be provided out of San Luis Obispo’s new dispatch center at Fire Station 1 at Santa Barbara and Broad streets that is expected to start operating in early August. The center is run by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and handles both police and fire calls.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Five Cities

The first board meeting of the combined Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano fire departments — called the Five Cities Fire Authority — will be held today to formalize the agreement and annual budget among the three entities.

The new agency includes 15 full-time fire engineers and captains and about 25 reserve firefighters.

The annual cost of more than $3.2 million will be split among the three communities. Arroyo Grande’s share is about $1.4 million, Grover Beach’s is $1.1 million and Oceano’s is $657,000.

The agreement solidifies a plan that has been more than six years in the making, local officials said. In 2004, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach decided to share a fire chief and a training captain. In 2008, an agreement was amended to include Oceano and to share reserves and equipment.

Also at today’s meeting, Five Cities Fire Authority fire personnel and board members will be given an oath of office, followed by a reception.

The meeting will start at 3 p.m. at the South County Regional Center at 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande.

— Cynthia Lambert

Cuesta College

Rep. Lois Capps is the keynote speaker at a free green construction workshop open to the public today at Cuesta College.

“It’s all about collaboration and bringing business, government, labor and communities together for economic vitality,” said Kenneth Smokoska, who organized the two-hour Building Green Workforce Partnership event, which begins at 9 a.m. in Room 5401 of Cuesta’s Student Center.

The workshop will discuss a 2006 law that set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, oil refineries and other industries. Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will discuss legislative efforts to encourage green workforce partnerships.

Other featured speakers include Daniel Villao, director for the California Construction Academy at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, who will offer a global perspective on green construction; and Barbara Cox, director of Green Energy Grants for the California Labor Management Cooperation Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Santa Maria

Pre-sale tickets are available through Sunday for the 119th annual Santa Barbara County Fair, held at the Santa Maria Fairpark from Wednesday through July 18.

This year’s fair features a “summertime fun” theme and several new attractions, including a Wet and Wild wildlife exhibit and show, mini monster truck racing, and giant sand sculptures that will be finished July 17.

Dollar admission and dollar carnival rides are offered on opening day. The fair will feature performers including The Beach Boys, Little Big Town, Grand Funk Railroad and WAR. All of the acts, performing on the main stage, are free with paid fair admission.

Pre-sale tickets are available at numerous locations:

• Rabobank locations in Santa Maria, Orcutt, Guadalupe and Nipomo;

• Super Carniceria La Chiquita Markets in Nipomo, Guadalupe and Santa Maria;

• La Miramar in Santa Maria, Oceano, Paso Robles and Lompoc;

• and the Santa Maria Fairpark ticket office at 937 S. Thornburg St.

Pre-sale tickets are $5 for those ages 12 and older and $3 for children ages 6 to 11. Unlimited carnival wristband coupons are $20; season passes for all five days of the fair are $20 and only available at the Fairpark ticket office.

Tickets can also be purchased online at www.santamariafairpark.com.

General admission at the gate is $7 for ages 12 and older, and $5 for children 6 to 11 and seniors 62 and older. Parking is $5.

— Cynthia Lambert

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach and the San Luis Distance Club will hold the annual Stride with the Tide 5K Run starting at the Pismo Beach pier.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. July 31. There is no pre-registration; participants can register from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. on race day. The cost is $15 with a T-shirt or $10 without. Shirts will be available to the first 120 people.

The course will start at the pier, head south to a turn-around point and return to the pier. For more information, call 773-7063.

— Cynthia Lambert

San Luis Obispo

Rabobank has awarded $10,000 to the San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund, according to the fund’s executive director, Jerry Rioux.

The bank also announced a 10-year commitment of $1 million in low-cost loans that the trust fund can lend to finance below-market-price housing projects, said Steven L. Harding, Rabobank’s regional president.

Rioux called Rabobank “the top investor in our revolving loan fund” and “crucial to our ongoing success.”

He said the contribution will help the fund provide financing and technical assistance for below-market-price housing throughout the county.

The Housing Trust Fund is a nonprofit corporation created in 2003 to increase the supply of less-expensive housing throughout the county.

It provides financing and technical assistance to help private developers, nonprofit agencies and local governments produce and preserve housing that working families, seniors on fixed incomes and persons with disabilities can afford to rent or buy.

— Bob Cuddy

SLO County

Women throughout the county will be asked what their concerns are in a survey that will be conducted in upcoming months by the county’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The commission, an advisory group, submits an annual report to the Board of Supervisors that tells them the needs being expressed by the county’s women.

In the past two years, finances and health have drawn the most focus.

The commission will send volunteers into the community to seek responses.

In addition, those who choose to participate can download the survey directly off the website www.slowomen.org and send it by fax to 788-2007.

To contact the commission, call 788-3406.

— Bob Cuddy


The Tribune is seeking a volunteer weather watcher for the community of Templeton.

If you are currently keeping track of temperatures and rainfall for your area and wouldn’t mind sharing that information with The Tribune, please phone Sharon Morem at 781-7937.

— Tribune staff