Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5
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With tight living spaces and work that's not conducive to social distancing, H-2A farmworkers are at risk

Cover Story

With tight living spaces and work that's not conducive to social distancing, H-2A farmworkers are at risk

By MALEA MARTIN

Even before the days of stay-at-home orders and record-breaking numbers of unemployment applications, our nation struggled with domestic labor shortages in the agricultural sector. As American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote during 2019’s mid-summer harvest season, “Farmers and ranchers in every state tell me that the shortage of labor is the greatest ... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

News: Local organizations call on Santa Maria to pass eviction moratorium policies
Cover Story: With tight living spaces and work that's not conducive to social distancing, H-2A farmworkers are at risk
News: Santa Barbara County firefighters released from quarantine after negative COVID-19 test
News: Residents near Lompoc continue fight against wind project
News: Cities and the county begin to weigh financial implications of COVID-19
 

News

Local organizations call on Santa Maria to pass eviction moratorium policies

By MALEA MARTIN

A group of local organizations is calling on Santa Maria City Council members to pass policies that would make it easier for people who are struggling to pay rent as a result ...

Residents near Lompoc continue fight against wind project

By ZAC EZZONE

Not wanting their home to be disturbed by the nearby development of 29 wind turbines in a largely undeveloped area about 5 miles south of Lompoc, George and Cheryl Bedford con...

Santa Barbara County firefighters released from quarantine after negative COVID-19 test

By MALEA MARTIN

Four Santa Barbara County firefighters who were quarantined after a potential exposure to COVID-19 while responding to a call on March 24 were released from isolation, SBC Fir...

Commission recommends more stringent permit process for cannabis cultivation

By ZAC EZZONE

All cannabis cultivation projects in Santa Barbara County will face a more rigorous permitting process if supervisors back a recommendation the county Planning Commission made...

Cities, county weigh tax relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

By ZAC EZZONE

As many Santa Barbara County residents and businesses take on additional financial burdens related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county and some local cities are offering some...

Cities and the county begin to weigh financial implications of COVID-19

By ZAC EZZONE

As public health officials continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, cities in Northern Santa Barbara County are beginning to understand how closures related to the viru...

Political Watch: April 2, 2020

• On March 27, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order prohibiting evictions for residential renters who are unable to pay rent due to a loss of wages or additional e...

Spotlight

Local grocery stores designate morning shopping hours for those most impacted or at risk as a result of COVID-19

By MALEA MARTIN

Grocery stores across Santa Maria are rising to the coronavirus challenge by designating specific morning hours for people most affected by product shortages. It’s just ...

Cannabis Corner

An ag panel discusses present challenges, potential for the future

By ZAC EZZONE

Labor shortages and government regulations tied to groundwater usage continue to hinder local farmers, but technological advancements could ease some of these concerns, accord...

Commentary

Why our for-profit health care system is unprepared for this current crisis

By GALE MCNEELEY

Every family in America has a horror story to tell around our current health care system. You know what it is. The high cost. The inability to be seen. The denials. The long w...

Letters

Know the unknowns

By Jan Lipski, Vandenberg Village

Let’s say you have a koi pond with 100 fish, and one day you go out and you find one of the fish belly up. You test it and find out it died of a viral infection. At that...

Canary

CANARY: Up to no good

By THE CANARY

Is there a communication breakdown or is it just me?  Maybe I live in a little bubble—surrounded by COVID-19 press conferences, press releases, case numbers, art...

Arts

Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department offers new at-home videos

The city of Santa Maria’s Recreation and Parks Department is producing an ongoing series of short, family-friendly “how to” videos focused on keeping good ph...

Gavin's Books offers free delivery in Orcutt and Santa Maria

Gavin’s Books, a Santa Maria bookstore, is now accepting orders for free deliveries from Santa Maria and Orcutt residents. Locals who feel stuck at home and in need of a...

Riverbench Winery organizes live-stream Easter activities

Because of coronavirus cautions and social distancing mandates, a Santa Maria winery is putting a creative spin on its annual Easter egg hunt this year. Instead of hiding more...

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature takes part in timely, meditative social media campaign, #MuseumMomentofZen

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

With galleries, museums, theaters, and other venues closed for the foreseeable future, the current state of the art world at large is almost exclusively online. The staff of t...

Central Coast local Robert Eringer revs up his upcoming road trip novel, 'Book Drive'

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

Amid our current reality—or any reality for that matter—there are few better ways to spend time cooped up at home than with a good read, and better yet, with the k...

Film

Netflix’ Tiger King is a batshit-crazy look into the world of unsanctioned zoos

Editor’s note: Movie theaters aren’t open for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have come with it. And we know you&rsqu...

Eats

Local growers are coping as restaurants close and social distancing is changing everything

By BETH GIUFFRE

It’s awfully quiet outside. But farmers have not stopped the plows.  Checking in with our local food growers, many reported a huge increase in CSA boxes and farm s...





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