Central Coast roundup

By El Latino Newsroom

The City of Simi Valley announced that is now taking applications for two vacant seats on the Simi Valley Youth Council’s current term; one Apollo High School representative and one community at-large alternate member.

“The Youth Council provides an opportunity for young people in our community to learn about and participate in City government,” the Ciity announced in a press release. 

All Simi Valley students who are in the 7th through 12th grades are eligible to apply.

The Simi Valley Youth Council is comprised of 21 middle school and high school youth and three alternates.  

The deadline to apply for this special recruitment is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26.  

The Youth Council is an advisory board to the City Council on teen related issues.

Youth Council members research and advise the City Council on the needs and concerns of the City’s teens, conduct special projects, and coordinate events.

The City stated that each year the Youth Council hosts the “Youth Summit” designed to encourage youth to contribute to their community.

“The Youth Council typically meets at 5:00 p.m. for approximately one hour on the first and third Tuesdays of each month during the regular school year,” the local officials said.

Application forms for Youth Council positions are available on the City’s website at www.simivalley.org/YouthCouncilApp.  

Students 14 and under must complete a hardcopy of the Youth Council application, which can be requested by email at, youthcouncil@simivalley.org

For more information contact Kristin Tignac, Youth Council Coordinator at, 805.583.6766. 


The State of California delivered 56,700 COVID-19 test kits to the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) this week for distribution to school districts across the county.

The at-home kits are intended specifically for TK-12 public school students as part of a program announced by Governor Newsom in December to meet the surging demand as case rates spike due to the Omicron variant.

“We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our allotment of at-home test kits. They provide needed relief to our students and families and are a critical tool for helping our schools mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools.

The state ordered 6 million at-home test kits last month to be distributed to school districts through county education offices. 

Salcido stated the tests are iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests and include two tests per pack. 

“The tests can be administered at home via nasal swab with results occurring in 15 minutes. Local school districts are coordinating distribution to students and families,” she said.

The demand for testing and the shortage of tests have created pressures on school districts statewide as campuses reopen following the winter break.

The Governor’s Office announced in December that each TK-12 student would receive 1-2 test kits free-of-charge (excluding districts that previously received test kits and/or have other direct sources for at-home test kits).

Preschool and childcare centers have also been provided with information about how they may request test kits at no cost from the CA State COVID-19 Testing Task Force.

“We greatly appreciate this and any support our schools receive that helps keep our students, staff, and families safe and healthy,” Salcido said. 


The City of Goleta announced last week the completed construction of a new Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) crosswalk on Calle Real in order to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and alternate modes of transportation and to reduce accidents.

The PHB is located mid-block between Encina Lane and Kingston Avenue in the Calle Real Shopping Center area. 

According to the local officials, a PHB signal provides warning to motorists that a pedestrian or bicyclist is crossing the street. 

“The user can activate the flashing lights with either the push of a button or ‘touchless’ with the wave of a hand. Activation of the PHB requires motorists to stop so pedestrians and bicyclists can cross safely,” the officials said.

The PHB’s technology remains dark until activated, then displays a special sequence of lights. 

“Unlike a standard traffic signal, drivers are not required to stop when the PHB is not activated. Once activated, the beacons flash yellow, then steady yellow, then solid red. During the red phase, drivers must remain stopped while users cross the street. Prior to turning dark again, the beacon alternates flashing red to allow drivers to stop then proceed when clear, as they would with a stop sign,” the City said in a press release.

The City’s Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon projects are funded by Measure A.


This week the SB County Board of Supervisors approved local capital matching funds in order for the Housing Authority of the County to apply for a $16 million state Homekey grant to provide permanent supportive housing for persons who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. 

“The funds would be used to purchase the Super 8 hotel located at 6021 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. On January 5, the Goleta City Council approved $600,000 in funds toward the project’s local capital match,” said the County in a press release.

The local officials also added that if the application for approximately $16,097,500 in Homekey grant funds is awarded, the County will also contribute $3,047,501 in matching funds for capital costs. 

“The Board’s action today authorizes the County’s Community Services Department Housing Division to submit documents to the state in order to support the Housing Authority’s Homekey 2.0 application for funding,” the County said.

Second District County Supervisor Gregg Hart stated that Identifying sites for permanent supportive housing can be a long and challenging process. 

“Thanks to the dedication of the County, City of Goleta, and the Housing Authority, our community is making progress toward our goal of increasing safe and supportive housing resources for people experiencing homelessness. This project will change the lives of the individuals who are provided with housing and services, while also improving the quality of life for our entire community,” said Hart.

The City’s contribution of $600,000 is from, but not limited to, its 2021 ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) allocation to the project. 

The money will be used to build a 60-unit housing project that would be owned and managed by the Housing Authority.

The estimated cost of annual operations and services is $992,698.

The Homekey application would provide an estimated $950,400 in operations funding per year for two years. 

Goleta’s Mayor Paula Perotte added her city is pleased to partner with the County and the Housing Authority in this major step to address homelessness among their residents. 

“I am especially pleased that preference for this housing will be for Goleta residents and veterans,” Perotte said.

The County’s funds would consist of $1,500,000 of the ARPA funds previously set aside by the Board on October 19, 2021; $1,015,191 in supplemental HOME Investment Partnership Program funds made available by the American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) approved by the Santa Maria/SB HOME Consortium on December 17, 2021; and an additional $532,309 in County ARPA or Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention Program (HHAP) funds. 

State HCD Homekey funds would be awarded directly to the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority must provide reasonable assurance to the state of matching contributions to cover operations and service costs for five years. 

The estimated cost of annual operations and services is $992,698. The Homekey application would provide an estimated $950,400 in operations funding per year for two years. 

The remaining operations and service costs for the first five years will be funded with tenant and Section 8 rents.