Wednesday, March 29, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 35

Weekly Poll
Should SLO allow night hiking in public spaces?

Yes, I need my fix of night hiking and biking, especially during the short winter days.
No, I think that might disturb the wildlife that occupy those open spaces at night.
No, have you not heard of mountain lions?
People hike at night anyway so might as well make the change.

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New Times / News

The following article was posted on April 2nd, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 36 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [] - Volume 28, Issue 36

A controversial ICE facility is approved in Santa Maria


On a narrow 3-2 vote, the Santa Maria City Council upheld a February Planning Commission decision to approve a building permit for an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Santa Maria.

The council’s March 27 special meeting to discuss four appeals against the Planning Commission’s February decision to grant a development permit for the project started at 3 p.m. and dragged on for more than eight hours. More than 1,200 locals turned up to protest the project.

After listening to presentations from city staffers, the appellants, and the developers—as well as public comment from dozens of concerned citizens—the council voted 3-2, with Mayor Alice Patino and Councilmember Terri Zuniga dissenting, to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision.

The vote didn’t sit well with the meeting’s several hundred remaining attendees and spurred some to start chanting what sounded like “We remember the KKK!” Others wiped away tears as they made their way outside and back to their homes.

Dennis Apel—who recently made headlines because of his protests at Vandenberg Air Force Base—approached the dais with a sign reading, “NO A ICE EN NUESTRA COMUNIDAD,” and loudly challenged the council members’ decision. The move prompted Police Chief Ralph Martin and other officers to form a human barricade between the public and the council members and developers as they left the building.

According to ICE officials, the proposed office would serve as a processing facility for undocumented inmates coming out of the Lompoc Penitentiary, the California Men’s Colony, and the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbra County jails.