Fred Munroe

Host of Central Coast Voices

Along with hosting Central Coast Voices, Fred Munroe can be heard guest-hosting other programs like the “Evening Blues”, “Basically Bluegrass” and “The Broken Spoke Folk Show”

Fred has successfully divided his time as a local entrepreneur, political leader, and communicator.  He owns and manages two local firms addressing personal travel planning and public transportation; Travel With Fred and Ridership Development Consultants.

Fred is a former City Council Member and Mayor of Grover Beach.  He has served on the San Luis Obispo County Council of Governments and the Coastal Rail Coordinating Council.  Fred currently serves on the Citizen’s Transportation Advisory Committee for SLOCOG and is a member of ACTION for Healthy Communities.

He also co-hosted a program on KJDJ with insights on travel and leisure pursuits.  His travel column “Let’s Get Outta Here!” appeared in newspapers and on the Internet for many years.

Fred has been writing and offering commentary since he first volunteered at KPFK in Los Angeles in 1972.  His involvement with KCBX began as a volunteer for the Live Oak Music Festival almost 20 years ago.

Fred and his wife Sharon, also produce and host an Americana music, house concert series known as Musica Del Rio; www.MusicaDelRio.org, in Atascadero.  This series is now in its eighth season, having presented artists as diverse as Chad & Jeremy, Joe Craven, Blame Sally, Steve Gillette, Gilles Apap, The Waymores, and The Cache Valley Drifters.

Ways to Connect

Last year California’s homeless population climbed to 150,000, the most in the nation. Already communities have been struggling throughout the state to deal with this crisis. Now with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are fears that many in this vulnerable population could become infected with the virus. One projection suggests that up to 60,000 homeless in the state could become infected. How can you shelter-at-home when you have no home?

Host Fred Munroe speaks with guests from the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. They discuss their work of providing children access to a variety of arts programs, an opportunity for students to find their voices and selves in a sometimes unstable world.

The arts are often the first to be cut from public school budgets and sadly, they are simply out of reach for many low-income families. The cost of private lessons can mean the difference between a guitar lesson and having food on the table. It is so important to the cognitive development of our young people and especially those who do not learn well in traditional settings to be able to express themselves through song, dance, art or acting. When young people are enriched by the arts, they do better in their regular school classes, they make like-minded friends, they find mentors and look forward to higher education goals. They learn to collaborate and reach for the stars. This is why Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) was created with a mission to enrich the lives of area youth with free classes in the visual and performing arts in a safe, nurturing environment. They provide over 300 students ages 5–18 with over fifty weekly classes and serve over 1,200 students annually on the Central Coast.

In commemoration of Black History Month, R.A.C.E. Matters SLO has launched a month-long, multimedia, multi-location event series entitled BELONGING, meant to give a voice to members of the San Luis Obispo County community who are of African American descent.


The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) is just around the corner. As a premiere six-day annual event, the SLOIFF showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of venues. From cutting edge documentaries to tried and true cinema classics, the SLOIFF celebrates film on the ‘big screen’ by offering something for everyone.

 

 


The Atascadero Printery, a 100-year-old structure that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, stood vacant and vandalized until recently, when the Atascadero Printery Foundation formed through a grassroots movement to reclaim, rehabilitate and repurpose the historic building.

 

In 2014 the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education formed SLO Partners to address college and career readiness among the county’s student population. Since then, SLO Partners has produced five apprenticeship programs over the last three years, and together these have produced over 300 graduates and employees for around 25 local companies. Today, San Luis Obispo County is among  the top places in California for apprenticeship programs.

Advances in medical technology have made it possible for US citizens to live longer, and often with declining health or a life a limiting illness resulting in increasing gaps in services when they fail to meet the criteria for home health or Medicare certified hospice. Compounded by projections for 10,000 baby boomers to turn 65 every day, this is quickly becoming a health and caregiver crisis.

The 10th Annual San Luis Obispo (SLO) Jewish Film Festival is the premier event on the Central Coast celebrating Jewish culture from around the world. The festival offers features and short films, narratives and documentaries, as well as opportunities to meet award-winning filmmakers in up-close and personal discussions after each screening. You don’t have to be Jewish to join the celebration and celebrate Jewish culture.

The Veterans’ Voices art initiative provides an opportunity for those who have served in the armed forces to express themselves through the artistic medium. They ask them to share reflections on their lifetimes, playtimes and pastimes.  What has their service meant to them?  What did they take away from their experience through service?   How have they suffered?  How have they healed?  How do they feel?  How can we help? The programs goal is to provide veterans’ a voice through art.

Bishop Street Studios is a unique project that takes a step towards solving the much larger community and state-wide housing crisis by focusing on providing supportive housing and services to people with mental illness in San Luis Obispo.

 

Two years ago, concerned community members came together to provide support for a Guatemalan family seeking asylum. Allies for Immigration Justice was born from this group. Dedicated to working with community organizations, faith groups, and concerned individuals, they envision a country where all people, regardless of immigration status, are treated with respect and dignity, and have access to a fulfilling and prosperous political, economic and social life.​

Local food grown, caught, raised, or produced, and then consumed in our region provides the highest quality product for the best possible nutrition. That is why FarmSLO, established in 2017, and a program of Slow Money SLO, that supports small, local farms, has been working with Food Service Departments within the San Luis Coastal School District to purchase local food for the school meal program. Part of the District's wellness initiative, year after year, the program has continued to grow, while also assisting other San Luis Obispo County districts in partnering with the local farm community.

The Central Coast Writers Conference is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year writers join our community for three days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access. Due to continued success, exceptional staff, and overall appeal, The Writers Magazine recently named this conference "the best in the west."

Lack of access to affordable, quality child care in San Luis Obispo County has reached a crisis point locally and across the state. This crisis has serious implications, not just for families and children, but also for local employers, the local economy and overall health of the community.

For many individuals the Central Coast is a place to thrive and enjoy economic success, however the Central Coast economy is not working for all. Reports suggest residents are struggling to get by, let alone get ahead, with 86% of our workforce population believing that our young people today will not be able to live here when they grow up. To address these concerns The Hourglass Project was created to bring together industry, academia, and policy makers across two counties and twelve cities to address issues that hold our region back such as housing affordability, infrastructure, talent development, and job creation.

For over 50 years, the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Symphony has provided a unique cultural experience and vital music education opportunities to communities throughout the Central Coast. Last year, more than 4,700 people from SLO County and beyond experienced the excitement of a live orchestral music performance by the SLO Symphony.

Much of what you enjoy and depend on most in life, from your cell phone to the GPS in your car to your online banking, depends on Artificial Intelligence (AI). But advances in AI pose risk, perhaps eventually even existential risk. How should we think about the rise of AI and how should we enable or resist its myriad implications?

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries. Many people might think that the library is used less often today due to the internet, but in fact San Luis Obispo County Libraries had their busiest year in 2018, with more than 1 million visitors, and almost 3 million items checked out. Libraries have always been about connecting people with information they are seeking. In the past that was done with books and other print media. Now the County Public Libraries follow a mission of connecting the community to knowledge, culture, and creativity by providing people with tools they need and expertise from staff. Books are not going away, but libraries are so much more than books.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, San Luis Obispo County is over 71% white—considerably higher than the statewide percentage of just over 40%. How does this reality shape local conversations about racism and structural inequality?

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with guests with guests Cameron Clay; Donna Helete, a regenerative grief coach; and Dr. Leola Dublin Macmillan, critical cultural scholar, essayist, and consultant about their upcoming workshop, “Preparing to Put in the Work: Intersectionality in Action.” The workshop is presented by San Luis Obispo-based group R.A.C.E. Matters and begins the conversation on how to leverage white privilege in pursuit of a more just and equitable community.

There are 46,000 residents in San Luis Obispo County who are struggling with hunger. Unfortunately, the majority of them are those who are most vulnerable: children and seniors. Forty percent are children and teens, 18 years and younger, 20% are seniors, often on a fixed income, and many are working parents who are faced with choosing to pay for utility bills or buy groceries for their families.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on any one night in California there are approximately 134,000 individuals without a home. Of these, the state has the highest percentage of unsheltered homeless individuals in the country, at just under 70 percent. Tragically, reports show that families represent one-third of the entire homeless population in the state.

This week we will continue our look at the homeless crisis in California and how it impacts us here on the Central Coast and discuss how funds from the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP)-- a $500 million block grant initiative, meant to provide direct, immediate aid to local governments--- are being distributed locally and plans for their use.

As California’s homeless population has grown, it has become an increasing concern in communities. Last year’s point-in-time count of California’s homeless populations exposed that about 130,000 Californians were homeless, about a quarter of the nation’s total. Contributing to the problem is the state’s chronic shortage of affordable housing. Working to address this issue, California created the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP)-- a $500 million block grant initiative to provide direct, immediate aid to local governments to address California’s homelessness crisis.

Earth Day is a global event each year, beginning on April 22, 1970, when millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. Today more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation celebrated by individuals, children, families, business, community leaders, governments and many others.

Woods Humane Society has been opening homes and hearts to homeless pets in San Luis Obispo County since 1955. Their mission is simple: to serve, protect and shelter homeless companion animals; to place animals into humane environments; to promote responsible pet ownership, provide humane education, and reduce animal overpopulation; and to celebrate the human-animal bond. Each year at their facilities Woods cares for over 3,000 cats and dogs until they can be united with loving forever families and their medical team has performed nearly 40,000 spay/neuter surgeries since its opening in 2007.  

Welcome to one of your new favorite film festival, where nature takes center stage on screen and blooms in abundance throughout one of California’s most scenic valleys. The upcoming NatureTrack Film Festival is located in the picturesque town of Los Olivos and will feature over 50+ films curated to “ignite passion for nature through film.” NatureTrack will also be offering docent led hikes for those wishing to take advantage of the abundant natural beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley for a more immersive outdoor experience. The local film festival is an extension of the nonprofit NatureTrack which introduces school children to outdoor spaces from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands.

The California Voting Rights Act has served as a crucial defense against voting rights violations but has recently been a source of increasing controversy. Hundreds of cities and school districts have been required to move from at-large to district elections, intent on improving racial representation. Some groups are now calling the entire Act into question, while others question whether Congressional-style district elections are up to the goal of achieving better representation for women, people of color and other under-represented groups.

Many economists would argue that the key to progress and therefore, happiness, is obtaining and enjoying material goods. The tiny remote kingdom of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas, has taken a different approach. Rather than trying to measure progress by the popular idea of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they are looking to measure it through Gross National Happiness (GNH), believing the goal of amassing material wealth does not necessarily lead to happiness.  

Broadcast date: 2/7/2019

Nationwide, dental care is the most prevalent unmet health need for children in low-income families and children with special needs. In San Luis Obispo County, close to 45 percent of children have cavities by the time they reach third grade—and that number increases to nearly 70 percent for children in low-income communities. For many, getting treatment for the resulting toothache is not simple: countywide, more than 12,000 children enrolled in Medi-Cal Dental lack access to regular dental care. Untreated dental disease is linked to problems with nutrition, speech, self-esteem, and even success at school, as children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss class time as a result of dental pain. Now, the county's Public Health Department is expanding its oral health program to ensure more children get the dental care they need.

Broadcast date: 1/31/19

Mental health affects everyone in some manner, however, individuals often hesitate to reach out for support. Early experiences and messages surrounding mental health can frame someone’s understanding of their mental health as well as others’ mental health. This can affect both their likeliness to seek help and feel hopeful about recovery, but also how they perceive mental illness in our community. Less than one-third of adults with a mental health issue will get help. Data shows that fear of others’ perceptions, as well as fear of discrimination are the main reasons people don’t access mental health services. With community education we can remove the stigma, and people with mental illness will more readily seek treatment. Recovery is possible--Up to 90 percent of those who get help are able to significantly reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life.

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