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.

Ways to Connect

Ballista/Wikimedia

Police departments across the Central Coast continue to report a rash of thefts involving catalytic converters. That is part of a car’s exhaust system and inside are metals that thieves can sell. 

Issues & Ideas: Big Sur landslide, a broken EDD and Central Coast internet connectivity

Feb 9, 2021

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, Central Coast state senator John Laird talks with KCBX’s Greta Mart about the EDD and the effort to fix the dysfunctional agency. New research out of UC San Francisco examines the risk of COVID-19 death among essential workers, and we’ll hear from the UCSF epidemiologist who led the research team. Monterey County's Big Sur community faces more hardship now that a section of Highway 1 is yet again closed after a landslide. Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall effort, and we’ll take a look at who’s behind the effort and also fact check claims about Facebook’s role in the situation. You’ll hear a conversation about fiber optics and the future of internet connectivity on the Central Coast. Finally, a discussion about the important role of ‘makers’ to keep shopping interesting in a downtown setting.

Alexa Kushner

Avellino Labs, a third-party lab charged with administering COVID-19 tests to Cal Poly students, told campus officials in late January it made a mistake in reporting test results.

Issues & Ideas: Lorilee Silvaggio, Zapotec and spiny lobster

Jan 29, 2021

On this edition of "Issues and Ideas," Central Coast congressman Jimmy Panetta talks about action taken by the USDA under the Trump Administration and how it affects local farmworkers. A group of linguists at UC Santa Cruz are on a mission to save a rarely-studied, endangered language. We’ll hear how records from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks were moved to the University of California Merced during last September's wildfires. We have a remembrance of San Luis Obispo’s Lorilee Silvaggio, founder of the SLO Civic Ballet. Central Coast poet Toni Stern talks about her new book of poetry. Finally, Father Ian Dellinger learns about the spiny lobster fishing industry in Santa Barbara.

Angel Russell/KCBX

1/29/21 UPDATE

Just a few dozen Central Coast residents remain without power this morning as PG&E and SoCalEdison continue to clean up damage from this week's storm. Advisories for high surf remain in effect through this evening. Highway 1 remains closed from Ragged Point to Big Sur, and no estimate on when the coastal highway will reopen after a mudslide covered the road near Big Creek Bridge. Storm-related damage and flooding has closed several roads across Monterey County. In the Santa Ynez Valley, Highway 246 is closed due to downed trees in the roadway and Caltrans crews are on the scene. Many roads across the Central Coast are still experiencing flooding, so extreme caution while driving is advised. 

Courtesy of Drew Silvaggio

For 26 years, the name Lorilee Silvaggio was known to KCBX listeners through her weekly show “From Ballet to Broadway.” And for decades, she was known to the larger San Luis Obipo community for her world of dance. Lorilee Silvaggio died from ovarian cancer in late 2020 at age 73. KCBX’s Greta Mart spoke to people who knew Silvaggio well in this remembrance of the late San Luis Obispo trailblazer.

pixnio.com

Intending to take action against global warming, 32 California cities have passed bans on natural gas in new buildings. This week city officials in Santa Barbara are looking at passing similar regulations.

Courtesy of Cottage Hospital

Intensive care unit bed capacity is reaching a limit in Santa Barbara County, and health officials warn it may get worse.

Issues & Ideas: US fishing industry floundering, debris flow risk and the Channel Islands

Dec 28, 2020

On the December 21 edition of Issues & Ideas, we'll hear a report on how some GOP lawmakers in California oppose business shutdowns because they say there’s no evidence they reduce COVID-19 cases or spikes. And, you’ll hear about how the pandemic is impacting the fishing industry on the entral Coast and beyond, as KCBX speaks with a Central Coast fishing industry official and two academic researchers. Lake Tahoe has finally received a measurable amount of snow, and more is forecasted, but the pandemic has buried the tourist economy there. The rainy season is upon Monterey County and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season brings a significant risk of debris flows. We have a report on how COVID-19 has affected one Central Valley family. We’ll also hear from a San Luis Obispo business owner about current challenges and opportunities—and the risks her family took during the pandemic to help their business stay afloat. Finally, we’ll learn about a new "un-textbook" written about the Channel Islands.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we learn about a year-long San Luis Obispo Tribune investigation into substandard housing in San Luis Obispo County. We also hear from Dawn Ortiz-Legg, chosen by California's governor to represent SLO County District 3 after the death of Adam Hill. Julie Rodewald talks about the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and how the recent national election broke all records in SLO County. Finally, we meet the newest lion at the Santa Barbara Zoo—a cub named Pauline—and hear how the zoo is dealing with all the operational changes of 2020. 

Courtesy of Kaytlyn Leslie/SLO Tribune

Lindsey Holden is a staff reporter at the San Luis Obispo Tribune and recently published a series of stories resulting from a months-long investigation into substandard housing in SLO County. 

Angel Russell/KCBX

A San Luis Obispo County superior court judge ruled Friday the county district attorney’s office is disqualified from prosecuting local Black Lives Matter organizer Tiana Arrata and six others.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Chris Lambert created the podcast "Your Own Backyard," about Kristin Smart and the nearly quarter-century-long unsolved case of her disappearance from San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly campus.

SpaceX

In a blow to the future of a post-Diablo Canyon Central Coast economy, Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) appears to have lost a bid to become the new headquarters for American military growth into space. But regional economic planners aren’t giving up on making the case for Vandenberg just yet.

CHHS

The Central Coast is headed for a statewide curfew, due to increasing COVID-19 cases. The state health department issued a stay-at-home order Thursday that applies to nightime nonessential activities, as of November 21.

Issues & Ideas: local campaign contributions, the purple tier and SLO CO downtowns

Nov 18, 2020

We’ll learn about an election-related matter now before the SLO County board of supervisors, regarding campaign contribution limits for county offices. We travel to Fort Hunter Liggett for Veterans Day insights and an update on COVID-19 preventative measures at the base. Monterey County is stuck in the state's most restrictive COVID-19 category—purple—and we’ll learn how the tier system works. Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are now in the purple tier as well. You'll hear a conversation between KCBX contributor Consuelo Meux and Shannon McOuat of Hospice of San Luis Obispo County on 'The Nonprofit Story.' Finally, KCBX contributor and Downtown SLO CEO Bettina Swigger has a conversation with Paso Robles city manager Tom Frutchey, about the challenges and opportunities facing these two Central Coast cities.

Businesses across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are being asked to close once again after California’s governor "pulled the emergency brake" on COVID-19 reopening plans.

Courtest of SLO Co

Many in San Luis Obispo County are more than ready to forget about elections for now and focus on other matters. But there is sizable public opposition to an election-related matter now before the county board of supervisors. District 1 supervisor John Peschong is spearheading a move to allow people to donate up to $25,000 to candidates for county offices like sheriff, district attorney and the five supervisorial seats.

Angel Russell/KCBX

The outlook for San Luis Obispo County in terms of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse. SLO County is currently in the red tier, but health officials warn the current case count indicates a purple tier is looming. 

Flickr/Tracey Adams

In San Luis Obispo County, Pacific Gas & Electric says it still can’t say when Diablo Canyon will restart sending electricity to California’s grid. The nuclear power plant has been completely offline since mid-October, generating no electricity while workers do maintenance and do repairs.

Issues & Ideas: SLO city council candidates, the changing media and the Elfin Forest

Nov 7, 2020

Six San Luis Obispo city council candidates answer questions posed by the KCBX newsroom, Pismo Beach residents decide their next mayor and a bed tax. We hear from Kim Bisheff of the Cal Poly Journalism Department, speaking about the changes in today’s media. And finally, we learn about the Elfin Forest Natural Area in Los Osos.

Courtesy of the candidates

As of Sunday night, 63 percent of SLO County voters have already cast their votes in the current election. 

But of those still filling out their ballot—or planning to head to the polls Tuesday—some will be weighing in on who will fill two open seats on the San Luis Obispo city council. Just under 31,000 people in San Luis Obispo are voting on that race. 

Courtesy of the Waage/Shadwell campaigns

Like in several Central Coast cities this election, Pismo Beach residents are deciding on the next mayor, two or more city council seats and a tax measure.

We hear from candidates running to represent the Central Coast in state and federal government; including California Assembly incumbent Jordan Cunningham and California’s 20th congressional district Congressman Jimmy Panetta. We also speak to the three mayoral candidates in Santa Maria. This is Media Literacy Week, and we speak with the executive director of a nonprofit organization that hosts a week-long event to highlight media literacy education. The KCBX Arts Beat reports on the local performing arts industry, which is taking a huge hit during the COVID-19 crisis without much direction for an eventual reopening. Finally, pumpkin spice season is here and KCBX contributor Father Ian explores some local holiday treats.

Continuing KCBX's election coverage, we hear from challenger Dawn Addis and incumbent Jordan Cunningham, the two candidates vying to represent the Central Coast in the California state Assembly. 

Issues & Ideas: Local election coverage, SLO real estate and Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

Oct 21, 2020

Continuing KCBX's election coverage, we hear from Dawn Addis, one of the candidates hoping to represent the Central Coast in the state Assembly. And learn more about the two men running to represent the Central Coast in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reporter Harry Lawton of KCSB spoke to Santa Barbara County's election official. The U.S. Census Bureau has finished counting for the 2020 Census, and you’ll hear two experts weigh in on what happens next and why some people are concerned if the Census Bureau will produce an accurate count. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a whale alert system for transiting vessels, hoping to keep whales from being struck by cargo vessels. On this week’s “Working Lunch” we have a conversation about the local real estate market. And finally, on “The Nonprofit Story,” we learn about the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center.

NTSB/J. Dingham

Over a year after 34 people died in a fiery boat disaster in the Channel Islands, an official federal investigation is now complete. But the probe didn’t pinpoint definitively what started the fire aboard the Conception dive boat.

Tonight at midnight is the deadline to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. That deadline was moved up two weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week.

The California governor’s office says there’s still no word on who Gavin Newsom will pick to replace the late Adam Hill on the San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors.

By now, Central Coast voters should have received their November 2020 general election ballots in the mail—and this election is going to be like no other. Between the pandemic, new machinery, possible power shutoffs and operational changes, county election officials face a daunting job this year. KCBX's Greta Mart spoke with San Luis Obispo County's top election official, Tommy Gong, about what voters need to know. Click on the above listen button to hear their conversation.

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