Greta Mart

News Director

Greta Mart is a seasoned radio, digital and print journalist. Besides serving as reporter/newscaster/producer and helming the newsroom, Greta's work regularly airs on NPR and KQED’s The California Report.

Prior to joining KCBX in early November 2016, she worked as a Bay Area-based public radio reporter and earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. During the two-year program, Greta transitioned from print to broadcast radio news reporting, and spent the summers of 2014 and 2015 working at public radio stations in Sitka and Haines, Alaska, respectively. She also spent a year as acting news director/reporter at KUCB in Unalaska, Alaska, covering the Aleutian Islands.

From 2005 to 2012, Greta was a staff reporter at community newspapers in Washington and California, and her freelance print work has appeared in magazines around the world. Greta earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, studied history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and when visiting the Bay Area, stays aboard her 30’ sailboat berthed at the Berkeley Marina.

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SLOCOSO

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office alleges the man killed Thursday by deputies in a shootout in Templeton was a member of a “white supremacist gang.”

More businesses can reopen effective immediately in San Luis Obispo County. On Tuesday the county’s public health officer said the county has qualified to move into the less-restrictive ‘red tier,’ according to the state’s framework for reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

After nearly two weeks of widespread calls for action, the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) announced Wednesday it was recommending a criminal charge for a motorcyclist who drove into protestors during a September 2 march in downtown San Luis Obispo. 

Mike Eliason/SBC Fire

Military fire crews, with help from Santa Barbara County Fire, are fighting a brush fire that has sparked at Vandenberg Air Force Base. As of Wednesday afternoon, it’s burned between five and ten acres and is moving at a slow-to-moderate speed. 

In response to the pandemic shutdown, some Central Coast cities are focused on providing financial support to small businesses. Other cities are directing support to residents. September 4 is the deadline to apply for an emergency rental assistance program in Santa Maria and Goleta.

Greta Mart

King City is a town with just under 15,000 residents at the southern end of the Salinas Valley in Monterey County. It’s an agricultural-focused community, with the Salinas River winding through and adjacent vast stretches of wine grapes and fields of celery and lettuces. But tucked away just south of King City is a 55-acre piece of property that’s an island of exuberant wildness amid so much cultivation.

Nurses across the Central Coast demonstrated this week, taking part in a national day of action. The healthcare workers aim to bring attention to the ongoing lack of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill is dead at age 54. He was found unresponsive Thursday afternoon, and as of Thursday evening, a heavy police presence remained at his home. A Pismo Beach police officer confirmed Hill had died, but said he could not confirm a cause of death at this time. 

Courtesy of Cayucos Elementary

Some elementary schools in San Luis Obispo County are now filing paperwork trying to get permission to reopen for in-person classes in the fall. It involves asking for a waiver from the county public health department.

SLOPD

The San Luis Obispo Police Department has released drone video footage of a Tuesday night Black Lives Matter protest, asking for information about a vehicle the department says was struck and damaged by one of the protest organizers as it was "attempting to leave the area."

But SLO PD doesn't mention the video shows the vehicle driving into protestors before speeding away.

Issues & Ideas: NAACP, Latinx healthcare and Miss Odette

Jul 17, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County chapter of the NAACP has big plans for the next five years; we share a conversation with the chapter’s leaders. KCBX's Greta Mart speaks to a researcher who is studying ways in which community groups can help immigrants within the Latinx community get access to better health care. The authors of a new book on stress management techniques for first-responders share some practical tips. We’ll learn about a remote mountain top in rural California where a years-long renaming effort continues, and we’ll visit a rare underwater lab run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute— one of the world's only long-term monitoring sites at that depth. Finally, San Luis Obispo County's Miss Oddette serves up pulled pork and a conversation about racial justice.

Greta Mart/KCBX

After three days on the state’s watchlist for COVID-19 cases, San Luis Obispo County is now back under the kind of closure orders experienced in March, April and May. All bars are closed. Starting Thursday, gyms, churches, most offices, salons and malls are ordered to close down all indoor operations.

Angel Russell/KCBX

Despite weeks of assurances from county and state officials, not everybody who wants a COVID-19 test can get one, especially now. On July 9 San Luis Obispo County’s health officer said there’s not enough capacity to meet the huge increase in demand for testing, and she asked people with no symptoms to not seek a test at this time, only essential workers.

All bars across San Luis Obispo County are now ordered to close for the weekend, to "avoid large congregations of individuals in close proximity within a confined space."

Wikimedia Commons

In late June, a mountaintop cross in Riverside that bears the name of Franciscan friar Junipero Serra became the most recent target of those who call for removal of all Serra statues and namesakes, part of a renewed focus across the country to remove monuments associated with racism, colonialism or slavery.

A statue of Serra at Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa is now in storage, after being removed by church administrators around June 23.

Courtesy Viridian

Located at the southern end of the Salinas Valley, King City in Monterey County is the first California city to outfit all of its police officers with cameras—on their guns. That's despite the city of just over 14,000 residents having no officer-involved shootings in recent memory.

Courtesy of the 5 Cities Fire Authority

A few hundred residents evacuated from a destructive brush fire in Paso Robles are now free to return home.

Courtesy of OpenSLO.org

June 18 marks the start of a new San Luis Obispo project aimed at providing more space for downtown restaurants and shops, doing so by closing down streets to car traffic.

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, Cal Poly grad student and photojournalist Diego Rivera discusses his  reporting on the SLO Police Department's explanations for using tear gas and pepper spray during the June 1 San Luis Obispo protest march. We’ll hear from Courtney Haile, co-founder of R.A.C.E. Matters SLO, describing the goals of the organization and the recent protests around San Luis Obispo County. Michelle Shoresman of the San Luis Obispo County Health Department talks about her job helping find medical coverage for poverty-level residents. And while government insurance covers the poorest of the poor, there are still millions of Americans who fall into a gap: they make too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to buy insurance on the marketplace. The Noor Foundation in San Luis Obispo County aims to close that gap. Finally, UC Santa Barbara professor of communication Robin Nabi talks about her research on the positive effects of entertainment media as it relates to stress, illness, and goal attainment.

CalFire SLO

Update 6/16/20 10 a.m. All lanes of US Highway 101 are now reopened, although the northbound Avila Beach and Spyglass offramps remain closed. All evacuation orders have been lifted. Firefighters worked through the night trying to contain the fire. The strong winds of Monday evening have died down and homes in the area are no longer under threat. CalFire San Luis Obispo says 300 firefighters and multiple aircraft from across the Central Coast are on the scene this morning, and the fire's cause is under investigation. It has burned about 400 acres with 20 percent containment.

Tom Hilton/Flickr

The owners of San Luis Obispo County nail salons and tattoo parlors should start getting ready to reopen on or after June 19. That's the latest message from county health officials about the personal services sector.

THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020

  • SLO County's public health department today announced the county's 14th COVID-19 death. Six of those patients were living at the Vineyard Hills nursing home in Templeton, which has an outbreak among patients and staff. 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020

Greta Mart/KCBX

BREAKING NEWS 5:30 PM: In Paso Robles, the suspect is dead and three police officers injured in a shoot out that took place in the 4 p.m. hour in a vineyard. The shot police officers were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

In this edition of Issues & Ideas—protests, demonstrations and rallies continue across the Central Coast and nation, and one of the many issues brought into the spotlight is the racism that has shaped our cities over the past several decades, and how that racism intersects with climate change. We have an interview with Peter Rupert, director of the Economic Forecast Project at UC Santa Barbara, an initiative involved in Santa Barbara County's reopening after the pandemic shutdown. Consuelo Muets, CEO of SPOKES—which, for a membership fee, provides resources for nonprofits—talks with guests from OperaSLO and the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande. And finally, contributor Tom Wilmer traveled to Arkansas in 2016 and spoke with Robin White, superintendent of the National Park Service's Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Given the national conversation at the moment, we're listening again to White's perspective. 

E Walden Bohnet

High school graduation ceremonies continue around the Central Coast this week, although in a very different manner than in years past. 

Marco Bruschi

Thousands on the Central Coast have been protesting police killings of black people this week, with over five days of demonstrations in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. A rally calling for action on racial justice attracted thousands more Thursday evening. 

Rich Appelbaum

Now that one of Santa Barbara’s main thoroughfares is partially closed to vehicles, city officials hope it will help some restaurants and shops practice distancing, and start drawing customers again to stay afloat after weeks of pandemic shutdown. As of May 22, State Street is closed to traffic for eight blocks.

On this episdoe of Issues & Ideas, we hear from a SLO County infectious disease physician who is a key player in paving the way out of the pandemic shutdown; and from SLO supervisor Lynn Compton, who gives an update on the current status of the county's reopening plan. A founder of Lighthouse Atascadero talks about how the nonprofit has helped young people fight addiction since 1994, and how its programs have grown over the years. We’ll follow Father Ian as he hunts for local wild yeast in “Playing With Food,” capturing some yeast near a patch of poison oak and baking with it. And finally, we learn more about a fatal shark attack earlier in the month in waters off a state beach near Watsonville.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The news many have been looking forward to finally came Monday: California’s governor announced it is now up to individual counties to proceed on reopening after the two-month pandemic shutdown. San Luis Obispo County officials say the county is ready to go.

In contrast to decades of positioning itself as a travel destination, this week San Luis Obispo County started airing online ads aimed at discouraging tourism from the Central Valley and elsewhere. On Friday, county officials went a step further.

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