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Morro Bay / Los Osos News Watch

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 3.28.40 PMWill Los Osos get a a McDonalds? The county Planning Commission will take up the matter February 6 at 9AM. McDonalds would occupy most the old Bank of America building vacant for a number of years. The eatery would take 3000sf with 900sf for lease for office space. The restaurant would utilize the existing drive-thru. The issue has divided the community of Los Osos in a matter likely to be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.Opponents do not like chain restaurants coming to town and cite water use while supporters say the community has a large number of vacant commercial spaces and needs more business.

Speaking of hamburgers – Sonic Burger is expected to land at the NE corner  of Hwy 41 and Hwy 1 according to a City of Morro Bay pending project list.

To improve water pressure the City of Morro Bay is constructing a new 1.23 million gallon water tank that will replace a 140,000 gal unit at the end of Nutmeg on the hill above the city.The project is expected to be complete by September 2014.

Coast Guard launches an unmanned aircraft from a cutter

Coast Guard launches an unmanned aircraft from a cutter

US Coast Guard plans to expand operations in Morro Bay adding 5000sf of building space along the Embarcadero in Morro Bay. Staff have met with the city to find the right spot.  Between the influx of panga boats and rescues – the 27 person Coast Guard contingent  stays busy protecting the area that includes the Diablo Canyon power plant. About half the new spaced is expected to house a boat maintenance facility with the balance for office use. This part of the coast has seen some 10 panga boats carrying drugs land here in the past year.
Reports indicate that the Coast Guard is now using unmanned aircraft  to fight drug smuggling off the California coast. In November Rear Admiral  William Lee  told a House panel that the aircraft is being used successfully to spot the smuggling boats. An account of the testimony says
“A considerable threat along our entire maritime border involves the use of ‘pangas’,” explained Alles. “Smugglers use these wood or fiberglass homemade fishing vessels’ relatively high-speed capabilities, small radar signature, and the cover of darkness to attempt to evade detection by surface patrol vessels and patrol aircraft.”
CBP has noticed that smugglers are using larger and larger vessels, sometimes reaching up to 50 feet in length, which can carry multiple tons of contraband for longer and longer distances.
“A recent trend identified off the California coast is a shift from using smaller panga vessels that make quick cross-border trips to beach areas near San Diego to using larger pangas,” Alles noted. “Larger pangas are typically used in the Western Caribbean transit zones from South America, but are now transiting from Mexico farther offshore and farther Northward along the California coast.”

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