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photos: 'super bloom' at carrizo plain national monument


carrizo plain national monument, an out-of-the-way grassland and dry lake bed in a remote area east of san luis obispo, has erupted with wildflowers. nature lovers and birders know this beauty spot, and now, thanks to this year’s “super bloom,” a record number of visitors are discovering it too.(francine orr / los angeles times)yellow, purple, green and orange colors on the velvet rolling hills of the temblor range, in carrizo plain national monument in san luis obispo county. (francine orr / los angeles times) a windmill on the colorful temblor ridge, in carrizo plain national monument in san luis obispo county. (francine orr / los angeles times)bilaal qinnab of fresno takes photos of wildflowers in carrizo plain national monument in san luis obispo county.(francine orr / los angeles time






east bay activists hail crude oil by rail rejection in san luis obispo – the mer


berkeley — environmentalists on tuesday hailed the san luis obispo county board of supervisors’ rejection of a rail project at a phillips 66 petroleum refinery that could have brought 80-car trains loaded with crude oil through east bay and south bay cities.the santa maria refinery rail project, on the nipomo mesa adjacent to highway 1 in southern san luis obispo county, called for bringing in crude oil, possibly of the heavy, tar sands variety, from out of state via a 1.3-mile rail spur connecting the refinery with the union pacific mainline.rail access to the santa maria refinery from outside the area would be from the south via the los  angeles basin and from the north along amtrak’s capitol corridor through east and south bay shoreline cities, including richmond, berkeley, oakland, fre






pilot of world war i replica airplane killed in san luis obispo county crash


the pilot of a world war i replica airplane was killed when he crashed into a field in paso robles on sunday morning, authorities said.the single engine biplane is believed to have taken off from a private airstrip before crashing a few miles away in the 8300 block of highway 46 east about 9:10 a.m., according to a statement from the san luis obispo county sheriff’s office.the sheriff’s office did not release the name of the pilot, an adult male, pending notification of his family. no one else was on board the aircraft.the national transportation safety board and the federal aviation administration are investigating the cause of the crash.a sheriff's deputy inspects the wreckage of a world war i replica airplane that crashed in paso roblsan luis obispo county sheriff's officea sheriff's de






enjoy bubblegum alley in san luis obispo, but don't get attached


why : because this is california's foremost known repository of used gum. what: bubblegum alley is found just off higuera street (the main commercial drag of san luis obispo) on the 700 block between garden and broad streets. it's the sort of unsanitary whimsy you might expect from a college town: a narrow alley whose tall brick walls are bedecked, festooned, clad and ennobled by the steady accumulation of gum that's already been chewed. this has gone on for decades, evolving from a lingering prank into a full-fledged civic landmark and guidebook highlight despite the fact that it disgusts a substantial part of the population. there's a similar wall in seattle's pike place market -- where a recent clean-up immediately gave way to renewed gum accumulation -- but there are no known riva






she captured spring in seattle in a single college campus photograph


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






explore louisiana: tabasco sauce, slavery museum and kayaking in the bayou


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






cycle your way around yellowstone and grant teton parks this summer


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






take a free boat tour around the port of los angeles


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






greet a new day at morro rock in san luis obispo county


why : morro rock looms lovably over morro bay. usually it's a dark landmark in a sunny landscape. but not at sunrise. what : more than 570 feet tall and 23 million years old, the rock is one of nine sisters -- nine volcanic peaks in san luis obispo county. some can be climbed for nice views (including black hill and cerro cabrillo in morro bay state park ) -- but not this sister. you can't even walk all the way around her. admire this great, rounded rock, preferably at dawn, from the nearby morro bay embarcadero. or the beach . or the dunes. or a kayak. and don't be misled by disney's "finding dory." one of that movie's key locations is the spectacular morro bay aquarium. but in real life, the great aquarium is in monterey . the morro bay aquarium and gift shop is far more modest and gets






amtrak suspends service between los angeles and san luis obispo


amtrak suspended service saturday morning between los angeles and san luis obispo because of mudslides in santa barbara. heavy rain and mudslides can cause debris or water to fall onto railroad tracks, so railroad operators will bring out inspectors to make sure that it's safe to travel, said amtrak spokeswoman chelsea kopta. she could not say how badly railroads were affected in southern california on saturday. there is no alternate amtrak service between l.a. and san luis obispo, and kopta did not know when service was scheduled to resume. an amtrak press release directed passenger's to the company's website for its refund and exchange policy .






the 'do-it-all' tour of italy — in 12 days


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






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captionthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






in this yoga class, a helicopter takes you to nirvana atop the red rocks of a ne


captionthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






amtrak suspends service between los angeles and san luis obispo


amtrak suspended passenger train service saturday morning on its pacific surfliner route between los angeles and san luis obispo because of mudslides in the santa barbara area. with heavy rain threatening to send water, mud and debris onto tracks, railroad operators were conducting inspections to make sure it was safe to travel, said amtrak spokeswoman chelsea kopta. she could not say how extensively rail traffic was being affected in southern california on saturday. there is no alternate amtrak service between l.a. and san luis obispo, and kopta did not know when service was scheduled to resume. an amtrak press release directed passengers to the company's website for its refund and exchange policy .






amtrak suspends service between los angeles and san luis obispo


amtrak suspended passenger train service on its pacific surfliner route between los angeles and san luis obispo on saturday morning because of mudslides in the santa barbara area. with heavy rain threatening to send water, mud and debris onto tracks, railroad operators were conducting inspections to make sure it was safe to travel, said amtrak spokeswoman chelsea kopta. she could not say how extensively rail traffic was being affected in southern california on saturday. there is no alternate amtrak service between l.a. and san luis obispo, and kopta did not know when service was scheduled to resume. an amtrak press release directed passengers to the company's website for its refund and exchange policy .






airline telephone numbers and websites


captionthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






your drive to yosemite just got easier. storm-damaged road to yosemite valley se


captioncarrizo plain's fields of goldthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with colorthe national monument, about 70 miles from san luis obispo, is ablaze with color






follow your nose to the tri-tip at the san luis obispo farmers market every thur


why: it's a college town surrounded by farmers and winemakers, and on thursday nights, they shut down the main drag so that people can eat, drink and listen to music.what: the san luis obispo farmers market, which runs 6:10-9 p.m. every thursday, dates back decades. these days it fills five blocks and includes fruits and vegetables from 37 local farms.there's usually some live music, along with chicken, ribs, pulled pork, corn on the cob and that particular crescent-shaped bit of beef, best when grilled over red oak, that's known as tri-tip. because, to paraphrase norman maclean, along the central coast there is no clear line between religion and tri-tip. where: higuera street, between osos and nipomo streets.how much: it's free to browse, of course. and the bike valet service is free.info






san luis obispo winter travel deals


whether you’re visiting cal poly or hitting the wine trail, san luis obispo is offering two ways to make your adventures a bit sweeter:rainy day cash: stay at any san luis obispo el this winter for two consecutive nights, and the slo visitor center will give you a $100 visa gift card to spend as you’re checking out local breweries, boutiques, bistros and more. there’s fine print to read — presidents weekend is excluded, new bookings only and there’s paperwork involved. email your lodging confirmation to [email protected] they’ll send you a promotion confirmation email, which you’ll need to take along with your lodging confirmation and your el key to the chamber of commerce visitor center downtown to pick up the card. find the details at http://sanluisobispovacations.com/mone






cross country: callum bolger of san luis obispo is gatorade state runner of the


callum bolger of san luis obispo has been selected the gatorade state cross country runner of the year for boys.bolger won the division 4 state individual title with a time of 14:57.4.he has a 4.52 gpa and will attend stanford.for the latest on high school sports, follow @latsondheimer on twitter






cal poly slo dorm closed for rest of school year by landslide


san luis obispo, calif. (ap) — more than 270 college students have moved out of a dorm at cal poly san luis obispo because a nearby hill continues to slide toward the building.california polytechnic state university says it was necessary to close fremont hall by friday because another storm predicted to arrive during the weekend is expected to further compromise the hill.the dorm was evacuated saturday. after the decision to close it for the remainder of the academic year, students returned thursday to pack up their belongings.the residents have been relocated elsewhere at the university and off campus.






oil trains that would have cut through willow glen are stopped


to the relief of worried san jose residents, their streets won’t become the main thoroughfare of dozens of oil-laden tanker trains after all.the san luis obispo county board of supervisors voted 3-1 last week to reject phillips 66’s request for a permit to expand its refinery in santa maria, which would have allowed the company to send 80 tank cars carrying approximately 2.2 million gallons of highly flammable bakken crude oil from north dakota or canada every week. the roughly 2,500-mile route would have taken the trains through diridon station and past numerous homes, churches, businesses and community gathering spots in northern willow glen.san jose fire chief curtis jacobson has said the city isn’t equipped to deal with an oil train disaster such as a derailment, fire or explosion.phil






city dodges the milpitas-bound oil train – the mercury news


when the news drifted north from san luis obispo county, milpitas and a hundred other cities, large and small, could finally heave a sincere sigh of relief. the courageous action was taken two weeks ago by three members of that county’s board of supervisors.they voted 3-1 to say “no” to a 1.3-mile spur track of the union pacific railroad’s main north-south line. a “yes” vote would have allowed a connection to a phillips 66 santa maria oil refinery, thus permitting a series of 80-car trains, several times a day to make their way with crude oil through the center of milpitas and lots of other downtowns all the way from the canadian tar sands.the record of oil train accidents, derailments and explosions certainly should have made any group of locally elected officials be wary. but saying no t






cal poly san luis obispo's gift, l.a. unified's lunch promise, evaluating beaudr


welcome to essential education, our daily look at education in california and beyond. here's the latestuniversity of california president janet napolitano disputed the findings of a scathing state audit.teachers at a group of sacramento charter schools founded by former mayor kevin johnson are trying to unionize.






pilot killed in crash of replica wwi-era plane in california


paso robles, calif. — authorities say a pilot was killed when a replica world war i-era biplane crashed in a field on california's central coast.the san luis obispo county sheriff's office says the single-engine, open-cockpit plane went down shortly after takeoff from a private airfield sunday.spokesman tony cipolla says the pilot, the only person aboard, died at the scene in paso robles, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of los angeles. the pilot has not been identified.sheriff's department photos show the plane on its side with broken wings and a crumpled front end.ian gregor with the federal aviation administration says it's a replica appleby nieuport 28 from 1976. the original biplanes were built starting in 1917, according to the national air and space museum.the faa and the






pilot killed in crash of replica wwi-era plane in california – the mercury news


paso robles  — authorities say a pilot was killed when a replica world war i-era biplane crashed in a field on california’s central coast.the san luis obispo county sheriff’s office says the single-engine, open-cockpit plane went down shortly after takeoff from a private airfield sunday.spokesman tony cipolla says the pilot, the only person aboard, died at the scene in paso robles, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of los angeles. the pilot has not been identified.sheriff’s department photos show the plane on its side with broken wings and a crumpled front end.ian gregor with the federal aviation administration says it’s a replica appleby nieuport 28 from 1976. the original biplanes were built starting in 1917, according to the national air and space museum.the faa and the nationa






residents hope to derail oil train coming through willow glen


san jose residents and local activists have organized a march sunday and community meeting thursday to remind the public that the fight to prevent flammable crude oil from being hauled on rail through willow glen and other neighborhoods up and down the state isn’t over.although the san luis obispo county planning commission last year denied phillips 66’s request to expand its refinery in santa maria, the company appealed the decision to that county’s board of supervisors, which is expected to review the proposal next month.more than 40 public agencies or elected officials throughout california have either passed resolutions or written letters opposed to the plan.if the board approves the refinery expansion, phillips 66 plans to send 80 tank cars carrying about 2.2 million total gallons of






california gop committee faces $30,000 in fines for paign finance violations


the california republican leadership fund has agreed to pay $30,000 in fines to the state for causing six county central committees to make contributions in their names without identifying the fund as the true source of the contributions, according to records released monday. the fund was created to conduct fundraising for republican county central committees in alameda, riverside, sacramento, san luis obispo, stanislaus and tulare counties, according to a report by the state fair political practices commission enforcement staff. spending decisions are made by a panel that includes designees of republican legislative leaders. for the 2012 and 2014 statewide elections, the central committees made $10 million in contributions to about 70 state legislative candidates in their names, the r






pilot killed in crash of replica wwi-era plane in california – the mercury news


paso robles, calif. (ap) — authorities say a pilot was killed when a replica world war i-era biplane crashed in a field on california’s central coast.the san luis obispo county sheriff’s office says the single-engine, open-cockpit plane went down shortly after takeoff from a private airfield sunday.spokesman tony cipolla says the pilot, the only person aboard, died at the scene in paso robles, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of los angeles. the pilot has not been identified.sheriff’s department photos show the plane on its side with broken wings and a crumpled front end.ian gregor with the federal aviation administration says it’s a replica appleby nieuport 28 from 1976. the original biplanes were built starting in 1917, according to the national air and space museum.the faa and






drought finally over in nearly every part of california


the historic drought that plagued california for five years is finally over in nearly every part of the state, federal scientists reported thursday.due to the latest round of soaking storms that crumpled oroville dam’s spillway, flooded downtown san jose and caused mudslides across southern california, 83 percent of california is now out of drought completely — the lowest level since december of 2011, when the drought first began.that’s the conclusion of the u.s. drought monitor, a weekly study by the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the u.s. department of agriculture and the university of nebraska, lincoln that analyzes rainfall, reservoir levels, soil moisture, groundwater levels and other factors.a year ago, only 5 percent of the state was classified as not being in a dr






your california bucket list: essential adventures and experiences in the golden


why: morro rock looms lovably over morro bay. usually it's a dark landmark in a sunny landscape. but not at sunrise.what: more than 570 feet tall and 23 million years old, the rock is one of nine sisters -- nine volcanic peaks in san luis obispo county. some can be climbed for nice views (including black hill and cerro cabrillo in morro bay state park) -- but not this sister. you can't even walk all the way around her.  admire this great, rounded rock, preferably at dawn, from the nearby morro bay embarcadero. or the beach. or the dunes. or a kayak. and don't be misled by disney's "finding dory." one of that movie's key locations is the spectacular morro bay aquarium. but in real life, the great aquarium is in monterey. the morro bay aquarium and gift shop is far more modest and gets mixed






talks: san miguel de allende, mexico; how to lighten the weight of your backpack


mexicopresentationalejandro alia will discuss san miguel de allende and the area’s ascendance as a wine-producing region.when, where: 7:30 p.m. monday at distant lands, 20 s. raymond ave., pasadena.admission, info: free. rsvp to (626) 449-3220.backpackingpresentationlearn how to lighten your backpack to increase your enjoyment in the backcountry.when, where: 6:30 p.m. friday at the adventure 16 store, 11161 w. pico blvd., los angeles.admission, info: free. (310) 473-4574.please email announcements at least three weeks before the event to [email protected] look back at 2016 highlights from vivid sydneya look back at 2016 highlights from vivid sydneycaptiona look back at 2016 highlights from vivid sydneya look back at 2016 highlights from vivid sydneycaptionthe national monument,






cal poly san luis obispo receives $110 million, the largest private donation in


cal poly san luis obispo has received $110 million — the largest private donation in the history of california state university — from william and linda frost, cal state alumni who have worked extensively with administrators for more than a decade “to transform science and mathematics education at cal poly,” school officials announced wednesday.much of the donation will go toward a new multidisciplinary undergraduate research and technology center on campus. about $3.6 million annually is earmarked for student scholarships and research stipends, new lab equipment and the hiring of more instructors. adding to the number of instructors will give faculty members more time to mentor undergraduate students in research — an experience that william frost has expressed particular interest in suppo






fans flock to oak grill, skyroom as 113-year minneapolis tradition ends


determined to reverse eight years of a democratic administration, house republicans are on track to overturn a handful of rules finalized in president barack obama's final months in office to deal with climate change, federal contracting and background checks for gun ownership.