Erika Mahoney

Erika joined KAZU in 2016. Her roots in radio began at an early age working for the independent community radio station in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. After graduating from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2012, Erika spent four years working as a television reporter. She’s very happy to be back in public radio and loves living in the Monterey Bay Area.

 

The Santa Cruz County VoteMobile looks like a taco truck. But instead of tacos, you can order a ballot. The front of the trailer has two glass customer service windows. Let's just say you can't miss it driving around town. The trailer is brightly painted with an American Flag and the word "vote" written in giant letters on each side.

With precision, farm workers swiftly harvest rows of strawberries at an organic field in Salinas, Calif. It's hard work, even without a global pandemic and wildfires burning in the background.

Four major wildfires erupted across the state's Central Coast in mid-August, one near Salinas. Smoke blanketed the region, the sun glowed orange and ash rained down.

"It hurt our sinuses," said Jesús Ahumada, an agricultural foreman, in Spanish. "The smoke was so thick."

Erika Mahoney

July 15 is the extended deadline to file 2019 income taxes. Next year, some undocumented families will qualify, for the first time, for California’s tax credit program for low income workers.

MBARI 2012

Far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean is a lab run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, MBARI. From here, scientists have been studying deep-sea communities, and they’ve been at it now for over 30 years. 

David Hills/Fishypictures and David Hills Photography

The commercial salmon fishing season along the Central Coast is about to launch. California’s fishing industry is designated as essential by Governor Gavin Newsom, but their usual markets, restaurants, are all but shut down because of the coronavirus. That’s spelling trouble for local fishermen and women. Still, some believe there’s a silver lining to this crisis.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we get a tour of a former military facility off the coastal highway in Big Sur. It's been off-limits to the public until now, and it’s full of Cold War secrets. Also, we get to know JooWan Kim, the composer and pianist behind an avant-garde hip-hop orchestra from Oakland called Mik Nawooj.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, the city of Morro Bay continues its effort to build a $126 million dollar wastewater treatment facility near the north end of South Bay Blvd. But a group of residents are putting on the brakes with a referendum campaign; the county is currently verifying signatures that could trigger a public vote.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, one Central Coast community is helping teachers fight affordability issues by housing them on school district land. 

A favorite dish for purple sea urchins living off the coast of California is kelp. Problem is, those kelp forests are shrinking dramatically and that's hurting the marine ecosystem. So a group of scientists ran an experiment to see if these sea urchins can themselves become a top menu item.

Just off the Monterey Peninsula, a boat sways in the ocean. Three divers get ready to jump in. They're students from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, a graduate school for marine scientists. The assignment: Count purple sea urchins.