Greta Mart

News Director

Greta Mart is a seasoned radio, web and print journalist thrilled to be joining the KCBX team. Most recently she served as acting news director at a public radio station in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles, Greta hails from a media family - her late father started his career as a news cameraman at KING TV in Seattle before he bought the world’s first commercially-available Steadicam and became one of Hollywood’s top operators. Greta spent every free moment during her high school years working with him as a gofer and camera assistant on scores of movie sets and music videos shoots during the heyday of MTV.

Greta earned a BA in political science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and spent a year studying history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the Bay Area in 1995 and worked for a few years in publishing before launching a career as a theater technician. After many freelance gigs as a stage manager and soundboard/lightboard operator, Greta joined the crew at Beach Blanket Babylon, the San Francisco comedic institution, where she served as prop mistress and made the magic happen backstage.

In 2005, a reporting opportunity sent Greta’s career on a new trajectory, first as a staff reporter for Robinson Newspapers in the Pacific Northwest, then as the staff reporter of the Martinez News-Gazette in the Bay Area. In 2013, she was accepted into the intensive two-year master’s program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where her thesis advisor was the food writer Michael Pollan and All Things Considered’s Kelly McEvers her instructor. At the J-School, Greta transitioned to broadcast radio journalism and has since worked at three Alaskan public radio stations - KCAW in Sitka, KHNS in Haines and KUCB in Unalaska.

Greta loves to hike, camp, cook and read. She considers Port Townsend, WA her hometown and when in the Bay Area stays aboard her ’30 Catalina sailboat berthed at the Berkeley Marina.

You can reach her at gmart@kcbx.org or on twitter @greta_mart.

Ways to Connect

Greta Mart/KCBX

It’s been just about nine months since the Montecito Debris Flow killed 23 people and destroyed homes, bridges and roadways. Now that the immediate pain of the disaster has abated a bit, but before too much time passes that people start forgetting, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara are studying the disaster in a coordinated effort.

Mixing it up at Cuesta College's clay stomp

Sep 19, 2018
Ritchie Bermudez

It's harvest time on the Central Coast, and grapes aren't the only thing being crushed.

San Luis Obispo County

A new state law mandates that San Luis Obispo County and a coalition of local entities receive over $85 million dollars to help mitigate the closing of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill co-sponsored by Central Coast state lawmakers Bill Monning and Jordan Cunningham.

Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Electric scooter rentals may be coming to San Luis Obispo, but not Thursday, as scooter company Bird had planned. City officials said they’ve been in contact with Bird, which deploys e-scooters and runs an app that allows electric vehicle sharing. It appears the company had planned a “rogue launch” of its e-scooters without city approval.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay water and sewer residential customers will be paying up to $41 dollars more a month for service, starting next summer. On Tuesday night, the Morro Bay city council voted to raise the rates, after counting the results of a community vote. Those opposed to the rate increase were short by an estimated 636 protest votes.

Central Coast Writers Conference

There's a conference taking place at the end of the month in San Luis Obispo designed for those studying the art of writing. Whether you are a writer in search of a publisher or have a great idea for a movie, the 34th annual Central Coast Writers Conference is taking place September 27-29 at Cuesta College. KCBX's Greta Mart met with conference director Teri Bayus to learn more about the three-day event.

Cuesta College

The new school year is already underway at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County. The community college went through a leadership change this summer when the school's former president, Dr. Gil Stork, retired after half a century with the school. After a nationwide search, Dr. Jill Stearns became Cuesta College’s seventh superintendent and president in July. Dr. Stearns recently sat down with KCBX's Greta Mart and Tyler Pratt to discuss her background and her vision for the school's future.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in San Luis Obispo County?”

CityofSalinas.org/data

This week, the city of Salinas joined other cities across the U.S. that have created open data portals. Such portals are web tools that let anyone have a closer look at data that have been collected by different city agencies. Cities like Salinas provide data in the interest of being more transparent with their residents, but the practice could also help local governments function a little better.

Jeremy P. Jacobs/E&E News

Where does the Central Coast get its water, our most fundamental of needs? Some comes in the form of rain filling up local reservoirs; some from the State Water Project, a long system of pipes and canals that carry melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the central and southern part of the state. And a significant amount comes from underground, pumped up via wells.

Until just four years ago, groundwater was totally unregulated in California. But extended droughts made it clear that Californians needed to figure how to manage the underground water supply.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Firefighters have gotten a handle on a wildfire that whipped up late Friday night in the hills above Goleta in Santa Barbara County, and CalFire reports crews held the Holiday Fire at 100 acres. As of Monday, the blaze is 90 percent contained.  

UPDATE Friday, JUNE 22 6 P.M.:  San Luis Obispo County certified its election results Friday. Lynn Compton successfully defended her district 4 seat on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors against challenger Jimmy Paulding by just 60 votes.

Compton's victory will maintain the conservative majority on the board.

June 19 is Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day. It's a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and signified the emancipation of slaves throughout the United States. It came over two years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. 

In November of 2016, Monterey County voters passed Measure Z. That's a citizen's initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing and limit new oil drilling within the county's borders. Seven other California counties have similar bans. 

Now residents in San Luis Obispo County are hoping to qualify their own anti-fracking initiative for the November's ballot. KCBX's Greta Mart invited two leaders from Protect SLO County to the studio to learn more about the planned measure and what it hopes to accomplish.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Central Coast high school students joined their cohorts around the nation Wednesday in organizing walkouts to support gun control and protest gun violence.

Anjalie Tandon/KCBX

Santa Barbara County officials sent out a warning Tuesday evening of a coming storm that could bring more debris flows to areas scarred by recent fires.  But late Wednesday afternoon, the county said it doesn't plan to upgrade that evacuation warning to mandatory. Instead county officials issued a flash flood watch. 

Greta Mart

Besides having to rebuild their homes and community, survivors of the January 9 Montecito debris flows are now wrangling with their insurance companies. 

San Luis Obispo County

A judge’s decision issued Wednesday paves the way for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to close in 2025, if that decision is ratified by the full California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Seven months after hearings started in the proceeding, a CPUC administrative law judge issued a draft approval of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) request to close the plant. 

Paul Towers

Salinas Valley farmworkers and advocacy groups made a trip to Sacramento this week to rally for a ban on a pesticide called chlorpyrifos. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018. 

Bree Zender

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations of certain national monuments, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. 

Bree Zender

Horacio Amezquita has lived at the San Jerardo Cooperative, just southeast of Salinas, since 1979, when he was 18 years old.

He had immigrated to the United States from Mexico about five years earlier. Amezquita, his parents, and his 8 brothers and sisters were excited to move into house that had more than two bedrooms when they moved to San Jerardo. 

The March for Science is taking place on Saturday, April 22. In what is now a global event, scientists and those who support science-based evidence will be hitting the streets in mass marches, similar to the Women’s March on January 21. In a mission statement, organizers say the event “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” 

http://bit.ly/2oW40GV

A Santa Barbara County grand jury determined a recent fee hike by the Laguna County Sanitation District was justified. The district provides sewer service to about 12,000 residential and business customers in Orcutt and unincorporated areas of Santa Maria.

The grand jury looked into the increase because service charges have increased by 87 percent since 2011. The independent jury came to the conclusion that all was above board after interviewing Santa Barbara County public works staff, reviewing paperwork and reports and visiting the sanitation district’s treatment plant. 

County officials took an oath of office this week as the latest members of the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara boards of supervisors.

Three supervisors were sworn in to serve on the San Luis Obispo County Board. John Peschong now represents District 1, filling the seat of retiring member Frank Mecham. Adam Hill again represents District 3, and Debbie Arnold was also sworn in, having been re-elected to District 5 seat in June.

Aera Energy  and Chevron have filed separate lawsuits against Monterey County, alleging the passage of Measure Z will shut down oil production in the county.