Beth Thornton

Reporter/Contributor

Beth Thornton is a freelance reporter for KCBX, and a contributor to Issues & Ideas. She is especially interested in how our daily lives are affected by the convergence of words, images, and technology.

Before radio, she worked in print and video for newspapers, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she was the editor of Connections, a monthly e-newsletter published by the Center for Media Literacy that includes research and media activities for K-12 educators. Beth received her BA from UC Santa Barbara, where she wrote for the college paper, and also has a certificate in creative writing from UCLA Extension Writers' Program. She listens to public radio at every opportunity, and enjoys cycling on the Central Coast.

Honor Flight Central Coast California

The Central Coast Queer Archive Project collects oral and video histories of the local LGBTQ community and you’ll hear about the current state of the project. The EPA has awarded the Santa Barbara City College Foundation a grant for a project that will connect students and residents to a network of edible gardens. You’ll hear from local experts about vaccine hesitancy and how to talk to friends and family who are still undecided about the vaccine. Dr. Consuelo Meux has a conversation with the founder of Honor Flight Central Coast California, which takes veterans to Washington D.C. And finally, you’ll learn about the work done by the El Camino Homeless Coalition.

Courtesy of The Siren

On June 15, California will decide whether to lift COVID-19 restrictions and fully re-open businesses. For Central Coast music venues and musicians — who have been on hold since 2020 — preparations for summer concerts are underway.

Erika Mahoney

On this edition of Issues & ideas, you’ll hear about the UC Santa Barbara marine scientists who are currently on an international expedition to help them understand how the ocean will respond to climate change. The western monarch butterfly’s population has declined 99% percent since the 1980s, but you can learn to help them recover in your own garden. We’ll hear from Santa Barbara emergency physician Dr. Jason Prystowsky about what could be done to foster trust between marginalized communities and medical institutions. Father Ian takes us with him as he learns about Olive leaf Tea. Finally, members of The Molly Ringwald Project, a popular local 80s dance band, talk about performing again after the pandemic.

Photo: Deborah Steinberg / NASA.gov

UC Santa Barbara marine scientists are currently on an international expedition to study the ocean’s carbon cycle. The scientists say the data will help them to understand how the ocean is going to respond to climate change.

photo courtesy of KAZU

On this week's show, learn how sheep work to help prevent fires on the Central Coast. Also, after a wildfire in Santa Cruz County destroyed close to 1,500 structures, a local group experiments with fungi, which they say has the ability to remove and even heal toxic burn scars. You’ll hear about the traveling nurses who administer vaccines at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Latinos make up the majority of the population in Fresno County, but they only account for about 36% of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine; we’ll explore some of the reasons why Latino residents are hesitant. There's a new monthly series of Zoom events put on by NAACP SLO County, called "Know Your Rights", and we’ll take a closer look. Finally, Cal Poly grad and author of the award-winning novel, “Prospects of a Woman”, Wendy Voorsanger shares insights about her work chronicling exceptional women throughout California's history.

Cuyama Lamb LLC

Livestock grazing services are becoming more widely used as a fire mitigation tool. Animals clear vegetation and reduce fire risk, especially in hard-to-reach places like the slopes and hillsides of the Central Coast.

photo courtesy of the Santa Barbara Zoo

Learn about the author and editor of the book "Voices of the Grieving Heart", where forty writers share their journeys through loss, grief, transformation and healing. You’ll meet Monty the penguin, a new social media celebrity from the Santa Barbara Zoo who’s featured in a new children's book. You’ll hear from Heidi McPherson of the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. And finally, we'll head to Fort Hunter Liggett, where an 80th anniversary Open House is planned for later this month.

Cover Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara have published the most extensive analysis to date on groundwater infrastructure across the globe. Their research calls attention to the high number of wells at risk for running dry, including along the Central Coast.

City of Santa Maria

There’s a public art boom going on in Santa Maria. It includes brightly painted utility boxes and murals celebrating the town’s culture and heritage.

ECOSLO.org

A gray wolf made a brief appearance in Monterey County last week, and experts say spreading awareness about this protected wolf is essential in minimizing wolf-livestock conflicts. A new audio production called "Voices of the Earth" presents thoughts about the environment from across the ages. EcoSLO continues to advocate for the environment after 50 years on the Central Coast. We hear from Cal Poly president Jeffrey Armstrong about covid testing on campus, and visions for the future.

sbiff.org

On this edition of Issues & Ideas, we take a look at a new virtual art exhibit in San Luis Obispo, which documents the local Black Lives Matter Movement. In Santa Maria, local artists and advocates are working together to bring new art to public spaces. Santa Barbara community members gathered in solidarity with the Asian Pacific Islander community last month, after the violence in Georgia. San Luis Obispo County Public Health Director Penny Borenstein looks back at lessons learned about the COVID 19 pandemic. And finally, we check out the 36th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Frank Chen / Stanford Repertory Theater

On April 22, 2021, Earth Day will celebrate its 51st year, but environmental pioneers and poets have been writing about the need to care for our planet much longer. A new audio production called "Voices of the Earth" presents thoughts about the environment from across the ages.

Alle Pia

On this episode of Issues & Ideas: the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery at Cuesta College is using virtual reality to bring the art to the people. We’ll take a look at some new trends in the local green building industry. The Foundation at Hearst Castle has an ongoing educational STEAM program aimed at inspiring and empowering young students from underserved communities. Finally, on “Playing With Food” you’ll get a closer look at a local artisan salumiere.

Beth Thornton

UC Santa Barbara issued travel guidelines during spring break and testing requirements before students return to campus.

PRJUSD livestream

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District board of trustees moved forward with resolutions related to diversity and anti-racism at their March 23 meeting.

slopartners.org

 

 

Digital Marketing is one way businesses can stay in touch with customers during uncertain times.

SLO Partners, a local nonprofit that supports businesses and local residents by aligning workforce needs with training opportunities, is now expanding their Digital Marketing Bootcamp on the Central Coast.

Beth Thornton

For the last year, art exhibits have been closed around the world, leaving museum spaces empty and art enthusiasts stuck at home. But now, some venues have come up with creative ways to bring the art to the people.

On this episode of Issues and Ideas: Direct Relief, headquartered in Santa Barbara, has a long history of providing aid for medical emergencies around the world, and you’ll hear from Thomas Tighe, president and CEO, about responding to the Covid19 pandemic here on the Central Coast and abroad. You’ll also meet Cal Poly faculty member Michael Whitson, to learn about Pacific Crest Music Festival, a summer program that takes place in Northern California. Donn Clickard, of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation talks about how the organization has helped many young people in the community face the challenges of drug abuse through a variety of programs, and now, there's a book aimed at helping other communities find the same success. And finally, we take a quick look back to 2012, when KCBX contributor Tom Wilmer took part in Dublin Ireland's St. Patrick's Day Parade; this year the famous parade is cancelled due to the pandemic.

Direct Relief

 

The international non-profit organization Direct Relief, based in Santa Barbara, provides humanitarian support free-of-charge to people around the world. Over the past year, the Central Coast has also benefited from their support.

City of SB CWPP

 

California's 2020 wildfire season burned more than four million acres and broke numerous records for increased size and intensity, according to a recent report from the state’s Forest Management Task Force.

Cal Poly Theatre and Dance

 

 

The Cal Poly Theatre Department is exploring a new type of storytelling that’s meant for this moment in time. The experimental production called Shelter includes scenes students created from their homes.

Issues & Ideas: Hwy 1 repairs, STEM, the Son Care Foundation, and a first time filmmaker.

Mar 3, 2021
photo courtesy of Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Dept.

Repair work has begun on a section of Highway 1 on Big Sur’s south coast after a debris flow washed out both lanes. You’ll learn about local businesses that have remained closed for almost a year. UCSB’s student-run radio station KCSB reports on a new effort to bring people of color into STEM fields. Son Care Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, rehabilitates young men using the human-canine bond. A new theatre production from Cal Poly students is all about being at home. Finally, the SLO International Film Festival starts next week, and you’ll hear from a first time film maker about her journey from concept to screen.

Dunes Center / DunesCenter.org

 

The California Coastal Commission and State Parks want to hear from residents on plans to expand recreational activities at Oso Flaco Lake near Guadalupe.

Beth Thornton

 


Since COVID-19 positivity rates are down and safety programs have been approved by the county, Santa Barbara Unified School District is ready to re-open elementary schools.

California Coastal Commission

 

Plans to create public access to the beaches on privately-owned land at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County is ongoing, but the pandemic has slowed the process.

photo courtesy of KVPR

UC Santa Barbara recently opened a certified Covid19 lab to meet the testing needs of students, faculty, and staff; you’ll hear from two of the doctors overseeing the process. Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada foothills are home to the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, and you’ll learn about the tribe’s battle for recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We'll hear a conversation with a local investment advisor about what's going on with the stock market. And finally, on Playing With Food, we take you east of Hwy. 101 near Carpinteria for locally grown passion fruit.

Photo from UCSB

Experts say efficient testing and tracing are key components to limiting the spread of COVID-19. With this in mind, UC Santa Barbara has opened a certified clinical COVID lab on campus for students, faculty and staff.

Beth Thornton

 

Two congress members from the Central Coast and a senator from Oregon are calling for endangered species protections for the monarch butterfly. Western Monarch butterflies spend their winter months on the coast of California. They cling to eucalyptus trees in bright clusters of orange and black, but today very few can be found.

Issues & Ideas: Alzheimer's research, farmworker vaccinations and expanding inclusion

Feb 2, 2021

50 agricultural workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their workplace in Fresno, which advocates say is the best way to ensure all farmworkers get vaccinated. Governor Gavin Newsom has had mixed success modernizing state bureaucracy in the last two years. You’ll hear from a UCSB neuroscientist about a research project aimed at understanding Alzheimer's. Also, we’ll get an update from Michelle Call of GALA Pride and Diversity Center on the ways the organization has become more inclusive. And finally, you’ll get a closer look at the work being done at SLO’s Transitions Mental Health Association.

Courtesy of SBUSD

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has adopted a new grading policy for secondary students—grades 7-12—as they continue with distance learning.

By a unanimous vote, the school board passed a grading policy that now includes an option for a grade of 'No Credit' in lieu of an F.

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