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

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, the real estate and development industry are being impacted in different ways. Interest rates are at a historic low, yet fewer homes are on the market

Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with experts from the Central Coast housing and real estate industry—Chris Richardson, president of Richardson Properties; Mary Trudeau, SLO division manager at the Mortgage House; and Lindy Hatcher, executive director of the Home Builders Association on the Central Coast—as they discuss how the global pandemic could reshape the U.S. real estate industry.

In a statement issued in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, NAACP's president said, “What we must do now is protest peacefully, demand persistently and fight politically.” Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Cheryl Vines, local business owner of Mesa Design Group and co-founder, secretary and chair of WIN, and Stephen Vines, president of NAACP San Luis Obispo County and an area director for Central California. They will discuss the events surrounding George Floyd’s death, and issues of race, racism and police violence, and talk about suggestions for action.

 

Santa Barbara County’s COVID-19 cases now total 1,376, including 895 cases from the  correctional complex in Lompoc, a federal prison. The northern part of the county continues to be the hardest hit by the virus, with 190 cases in the city of Santa Maria, compared to just 69 case within the city of Santa Barbara. As we have also seen nationally, the virus has had a disproportionate impact on the county’s racial and ethnic minorities. According to a recent presentation by the Santa Barbara Public Health Department, Hispanics make up less than half of the county’s population, but account for over 60% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases. What is the county doing to control the spread of the virus? Are their efforts to flatten the curve working? What is being done to assist the Latino community to prevent virus spread, access health care and care for basic needs?

UNESCO recently reported 192 countries had closed schools and colleges around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting more than 90% of the world’s learners; around 1.6 billion children and young people.

Current data as of today shows California has a reported 27,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 889 people have died from the virus, 101 yesterday alone. What is the latest on the pandemic across the state and locally? Have we flattened the curve? What is the availability of testing and care for those that are ill with the virus? Are our healthcare workers prepared? When can we expect a re-opening of the state? Our counties?

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.  

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