Greta Mart

News Director

Greta Mart is a seasoned radio, web and print journalist. Greta hails from a media family - her late father started his career as a news cameraman in Seattle before he bought the world’s first commercially-available Steadicam and became one of Hollywood’s top operators. Greta spent every free moment during her high school years working with him.

Greta earned a BA in political science at the University of Massachusetts and spent a year studying history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the Bay Area in 1995 and worked in publishing before launching a career as a theater technician. She worked freelance gigs until joining the crew at Beach Blanket Babylon, the San Francisco comedic institution, where she served as prop mistress and made the magic happen backstage.

In 2005, a reporting opportunity sent Greta’s career on a new trajectory as a reporter in print media. In 2013, she was accepted into the intensive two-year master’s program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where her thesis advisor was the food writer Michael Pollan and All Things Considered’s Kelly McEvers her instructor. At the J-School, Greta transitioned to broadcast radio journalism and has since worked at three Alaskan public radio stations - KCAW in Sitka, KHNS in Haines and KUCB in Unalaska.

Greta loves to hike, camp, cook and read. She considers Port Townsend, WA her hometown and when in the Bay Area stays aboard her ’30 Catalina sailboat berthed at the Berkeley Marina.

You can reach her at gmart@kcbx.org or on twitter @greta_mart.

Ways to Connect

Randol White/KCBX

On Wednesday, March 13, the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel is hosting a public hearing on the management—over the coming decades—of the spent, radioactive nuclear fuel generated at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The hearing will take place in board chambers at the downtown SLO government center at 1055 Monterey Street from 6 to 10 p.m. The hearing will also be aired on the SLO-SPAN network.

Mark Hogan/creative commons

This month San Luis Obispo will host a housing summit, featuring the state lawmaker behind a push to override local zoning laws and build high-density housing near centers of public transportation and jobs. And recently San Luis Obispo County officials signed an agreement with Central Coast builders and nonprofits dedicating themselves to building a lot more affordable housing in the coming years.

What’s not being talked about is how the planned construction is actually going to get done, when there currently are not enough construction workers to build all those new housing units.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 3/6/19 8 A.M. Evacuation orders are now lifted for all areas of Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said many roads may be impassable or have standing water and mud, but the immediate danger of debris flows has passed.

Around 3,000 Santa Barbara County residents are evacuated  from their homes once again this week. Rainstorms starting Tuesday are expected to be severe enough to potentially cause debris flows and mudslides, especially with already-saturated ground. The forecast prompted Santa Barbara County officials to issue evacuation orders starting at 4 p.m. on March 5 for those who live near or below the Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas Fire burn scars.

Greta Mart/KCBX

It's been 100 years since the first public library came to San Luis Obispo County, and this year the library system is celebrating. In digging through the archives for centennial material, staff came across a wrong they thought needed righting. San Luis Obispo's first city librarian is currently buried in an unmarked grave at a local cemetery, so staff and volunteers started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to buy a headstone for Francis Margaret Milne. They've since surpassed their goal, the headstone delivered and awaiting installation. Library officials are planning a memorial and dedication ceremony in April of 2019. 

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, it's been 100 years since San Luis Obispo County set up its first library, and this year the SLO Library system is celebrating. In digging through its archives for centennial material, staff came across a wrong they thought needed righting. San Luis Obispo's first librarian is buried in a local cemetery with no grave marker, so staff and volunteers started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the money to buy a headstone for Francis Margaret Milne. KCBX heads to San Luis Cemetery to learn more. Also, we discuss diversity and inclusion at Cal Poly with the university's first Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award recipient, Camille O'Bryant. And a 30-year-old San Luis Obispo city law means students are living “off lease," is it illegal? We'll talk to the student reporter investigating the issue in SLO. Finally, Father Ian Delinger dives into dahl and diversity with Ermina Karim, former CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla stops by to discuss big changes coming to California elections in 2020. Also, the CEO of San Luis Obispo health and wellness tech company MindBody breaks his silence following a multibillion-dollar acquisition. We talk with Rick Stollmeyer about future plans for MindBody, if the company will stay in San Luis Obispo and what the acquisition means for the Central Coast tech industry. And we get to know more about eating disorders on college campuses through the eyes of a survivor, a dietary expert and a reporter who has been covering one student's journey.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A group of people spent the day Friday in San Luis Obispo thinking and talking about some serious issues involved with the planned decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is no longer facing a deficit, forecasted in December to be as large as $3 million dollars, according to interim superintendent Julian Crocker.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we talk with retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission judge Alex Karlin, who is calling for independent panel to monitor the Diablo Canyon decommissioning. We find out more about the financial crisis and recent loss of leadership in Paso Robles schools, and talk about the 32nd annual "Share The Love Foundation Fashion Show." And we get to know San Luis Obispo police chief Deanna Cantrell and her poetry. Those stories and more on this week's episode of Issues & Ideas.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we meet a Cal Poly aerospace engineering professor who has designed aircraft that hold nine world speed records. He's part of a team traveling the world for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race Championship. We speak to the newest member of the Grover Beach City Council, appointed to the city's governing body during the first city council meeting she ever attended. January 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, and we have a report from commemorative event. Later, we talk with a San Luis Obispo woman who launched a pedicab business, and says a fleet of the human-powered vehicles could help solve some of San Luis Obispo's traffic and parking issues. And we'll get to know the UCSB professor who recently won the National Book Award for his biography of Alain Locke, the famous "Dean" of the Harlem Renaissance.

https://m.pge.com/#outages

UPDATE Feb. 4, 2019 10 A.M. Continued rainstorms and windy conditions overnight Sunday contributed to power outages in San Luis Obispo County, and more early morning text warnings from Santa Barbara County emergency officials about possible debris flows in and around recent Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas Fire burn areas. State Route 154 will remain closed indefinitely while crews clean out a culvert near Lake Cachuma, clogged with debris from 2017's Whittier Fire.

SMBSD

On Wednesday evening, Santa Maria parents can learn more about a local school’s dual language immersion program.

A handful of Central Coast public school districts offer such programs for children entering kindergarten. Over the years, students learn to read, write, and think in both English and Spanish.

U.S. Department of Energy

A public comment period ends Monday night at midnight on plans to lease areas off California’s coast to wind energy development. Proposed for areas of the ocean roughly 20 to 30 miles offshore, the wind farms would consist of dozens of connected floating turbines generating electricity, conveyed to shore—and the energy grid—via a seafloor cable.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Ever since public libraries have been around, the overdue library book—and the fines incurred—have been the bane of borrowers, and sometimes a punchline. But San Luis Obipso County library branches are adopting a new policy, aimed at removing a barrier to borrowing. 

[Sound clip from the television sitcom Seinfeld: Mr. Bookman: You took this book out in 1971...Seinfeld: yes, and I returned it in 1971...Mr. Bookman: yeah, 1971, that was my first year on the job.]

Greta Mart/KCBX

A few thousand people are expected to turn out for the Women's March in downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, January 19. It's one of the many marches planned around the country—for the third year in a row since President Trump was elected into office in 2016. 

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For our latest Central Coast Curious segment, a listener asks what happens to San Luis Obispo County’s compensation for Diablo Canyon’s decommissioning if PG&E goes bankrupt due to its multiple liabilities?

KCBX News

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we continue our exploration into housing issues on the Central Coast, speaking to Anne Wyatt, head of a San Luis Obispo nonprofit—HomeShare SLO—that matches people looking to homeshare in a way aimed to be safer and more vetted than a Craigslist ad. We also talk to Wyatt about the growing excitement around tiny homes, and what is coming for San Luis Obispo, now that city officials have passed initial regulations opening up options for tiny homes. Later in the program, we'll find out what a community panel recommends be done with Diablo Canyon and the surrounding land and coastline when the nuclear power plant shuts down. These stories and more, plus Tom Wilmer goes pickling!

On this week's Issues and Ideas: Monday marks the transition from Jerry Brown to Gavin Newsom as California's next governor; we'll hear stories about "Brownisms" and Newsom promises. Tyler Pratt reports on a new California prison integration program has inmates' families worried for their safety. And Greta Mart attends a recent public forum on offshore wind energy and reports on how state and federal officials are taking public comment on locations proposed for offshore wind energy development—two of which are off San Luis Obispo County's coast. 

Courtesy of Natural Healing Center

The city of San Luis Obispo will start accepting applications for cannabis businesses on January 7, 2019. There are just three licenses available for retail storefronts. City officials have already figured out where those three stores can go, and the taxing structure is in place. There are no limits on the number of manufacturing, distribution, testing and delivery businesses that can open.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Voters in six California counties have passed measures banning fracking and placing limits on other types of oil extraction. This November, a citizen’s initiative in San Luis Obispo County sought to do the same. Oil companies funded an $8 million dollar campaign to defeat the measure, and a majority of voters rejected Measure G—54 to 46 percent.

The defeat removes one roadblock to a planned expansion of operations at the Arroyo Grande oil field near San Luis Obispo.

Click on the play button to hear KCBX's weekly news magazine, Issues & Ideas. 

A wave of bomb threats was sent out across the United States Thursday to hundreds of school, business and government entities, including several on the Central Coast. The threats have been determined to be part of a large hoax. 

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San Luis Obispo County officials held a public hearing this week about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to people arrested and held at the county jail. The California TRUTH Act, aimed at bringing transparency to local law enforcement participation with ICE, requires a community forum be held once a year.

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UPDATE Nov. 27, 2018: The Federal Drug Administration says its investigation has narrowed down the source of the current E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura counties. The CDC says packaging should indicate where the lettuce was grown, and if it does not, do not eat it. 43 people are now reported ill connected to the outbreak. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration urged consumers to toss out any romaine lettuce on hand in connection to an E. coli outbreak, and Monterey County's top agricultural official said romaine grown on the Central Coast is possibly the source.

Greta Mart/KCBX

UPDATE TUESDAY, NOV. 27, 2018 10 A.M. Caltrans announced Tuesday morning it plans to close two sections of Highway 1 around Paul's Slide and Mud Creek. The closures go into effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Here's part of the advisory from Caltrans, alerting the public "to be prepared for closure of the roadway tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 mid-morning due to a significant storm. A final notice will be sent when the roadway closes. Caltrans will have our Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units on call and prepared to inspect/clean up during daylight hours when the storm ends and it is safe to be onsite again. The gates on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide will be key locked. These gates will not be manned when the highway is closed. No one, including Emergency Services or Caltrans employees, will be allowed access until a proper assessment can be made and any necessary cleanup has been completed."

As the state's transportation agency warned earlier this month, a temporary closure of Highway 1 between Ragged Point and Big Sur is possible this week. The National Weather Service says a coming storm could be severe enough to warrant closures at two high-risk sections: Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A handful of protesters gathered outside the California Men’s Colony prison in San Luis Obispo Thursday. The wives and loved ones of inmates say they are worried about a new policy change coming to the facility, and prisons statewide. It’s a program that merges two different populations of inmates; effectively ending the country's largest protective custody program.

Courtesy of USF&W

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied to hear a case aiming to restrict where California sea otters can swim and live, a situation that has fishermen pitted against otters.

Joe Johnston/Tribune

At the northern end of Morro Bay, demolition continues on a former U.S. Navy property that held two giant holding tanks for jet fuel. The 10-acre property on Panorama Drive is now being cleared of its former industrial use by a Santa Maria construction company and the work is expected to last through Thanksgiving. To learn more, KCBX News spoke with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Nick Wilson, who has been covering this story.

Among the scores of campaign mailers appearing in San Luis Obispo County voters’ mailboxes during this election season, one claims to be a “progressive voter guide.”

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

An overturned tanker truck is blocking both lanes of southbound Highway 101 between Los Osos Valley Road and Higuera Street, and the highway is closed. Traffic is at a standstill and backed up to the Madonna Road exit.  Drivers can expect major delays and Caltrans recommends taking other routes. Northbound lanes of Highway 101 through the southern San Luis Obispo area remain open. 

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