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

There have been record-setting hurricanes, floods and a pandemic. And this year in California six of the 20 largest wildfires in the state’s history have occurred, many of which are still burning.  News of mass evacuations are heard daily, often with little or no time at all to prepare. These hardships clearly illustrate the importance of emergency preparedness. If a disaster hits, will you be prepared? Would you be ready to go? Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Paul Deis, Red Cross disaster volunteer, and Dan McGauley, retired firefighter and paramedic with the city of Atascadero, as they discuss the importance of being disaster ready.

Marking 36 years of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access, the Central Coast Writers Conference was named the “Best Conference in the West” by Writers Magazine. An essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers, this year’s three-day event will have 40 presenters offering over 100 classes—all available virtually. Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with  conference director Teri Bayus; Phil Cousineau, an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller; and TV host, author and freelance manuscript editor Jordan Rosenfeld, as they discuss plans for this year’s conference and the artist's responsibility to create and heal in a pandemic and world at unrest.

With the rise of COVID-19, aging and isolation are more prevalent than ever. This year’s Aging Project aims provide an understanding of the aging process through a new lens, navigate social isolation versus loneliness and address wellness and mental health through the scope of aging. Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with Steve Willey, director of volunteer and community education at Wilshire Hospice and Community Services; Denise LaRosa, Wilshire Hospice’s bereavement manager; and Kelly Donohue, Wilshire Health and Community Services's public relations specialist as they discuss what the Aging Project is and it's goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected day-to-day life for nearly everyone around the world, and negatively affected many people’s mental health. For people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders, it has created new barriers to care and treatment. Behavioral health clinicians have found and are continuing to look for new ways to access and work with these individuals during this time of social distancing, and many of have found that this creative hard work is beginning to pay off, evidenced by client buy-in to treatment and anecdotal stories of personal success, improved relationships, etc.

For 30 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has transformed the landscape of our nation and created opportunities for the more than 60 million Americans. Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with Jerry Mihaic, advocate with the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC); John Lee, assistive technology specialist with the Cal Poly Disability Resource Center; and Susan Chandler, president of Californians for Disability Rights, as we recognize and commemorate this important milestone, while also discussing how we can continue to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than five million Americans who make their living in the arts and cultural sector across the U.S. Cancellation of gigs, concerts, openings and engagements to quell the spread of the virus is wreaking havoc on artists, businesses, nonprofits, institutions and individuals of all types. As with other industries, the pandemic is bound to have a severe impact on the financial health of our local arts organizations and individual artists.

California faced a crisis in affordable housing even before COVID-19, so how has the pandemic affected the situation? During shelter at home orders, and the continued restrictions, many low-income tenants have faced job and income loss that have prevented them from paying rent, buying food and accessing health care.  Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with John Fowler, president and CEO with Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) and Morgen Benevedo, PSHH's director of multifamily housing, as they discuss how COVID-19 is affecting affordable housing, including issues such as increase in need, resident safety, a decrease in production and capitalization problems for the future. Plus, what role the government has, and strategies for increasing affordable housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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?

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