H-CENTRAL COAST

May 31, 2013 6:15 PM

Counting down 60 top stories of 60 years: #15-11

KSBY is counting down the top 60 local stories of the past 60 years as part of our 60th anniversary.

Number 15 on our countdown is the 20-day blockade at Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

An anti-nuclear group called the "Abalone Alliance" started the protest on September 1st, 1981, when the NRC approved a test license for the plant.

The blockade brought more than 10,000 people to Diablo.

Six-hundred police officers arrested nearly 2,000 people over the course of two weeks.

The NRC was forced to pull Diablo's licence when an engineer looked at the blueprints and realized PG&E built supports for the reactors backwards.

Number 14 is the space shuttle program at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Vandenberg was approved as a space shuttle launch complex in 1975.

Between 1979 and 1986, the Air Force spent more than $4 billion to reconstruct the base for the program.

In July of 1986, the Air Force placed Vandenberg on Operational Caretaker Status just six months after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

They eventually ended the program at Vandenberg in 1989.

The year 1970 marks number 13 on our countdown.

It also marks rioting in Isla Vista.

Student protests against the Vietnam War brought national attention to Santa Barbara.

They began when students living in the community burned a Bank of America on February 25th, 1970.

A police officer shot and killed UCSB student Kevin Moran during the four-month-long protests, and other officers tear-gassed students gathered in a park to defy a 7:30 pm curfew.

At number 12, great white sharks have killed three people on the Central Coast in the past 10 years.

Debbie Franzman, 50, was swimming among sea lions in Avila Beach when she was attacked on an August morning in 2003.

Seven years later, UCSB student Lucas Ransom was body-boarding at Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base when a great white killed him in 2010.

Francisco Javier Solorio, Jr., 39, of Orcutt was surfing at that same beach when he was attacked by a shark in October of last year.

At number 11, San Luis Obispo made history in August 1990 when the city was the first in the world to ban smoking indoors.

Then in May 2010, smoking became illegal in all public places in San Luis Obispo.

The ordinance does allow smoking in designated outdoor bar areas and says people can smoke in any outdoor area where non-smokers aren't present or expected to arrive.

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